When you construct something, you are putting it together from existing materials. When you build something, you are creating it from scratch.

Construct and build, the difference between the two

Building something also tends to be a more complex and involved process than constructing. This is because you not only have to worry about putting the thing together, but you also have to design it as you go. With constructing, the design work has already been done for you.

Building something usually requires specialized skills and knowledge that most people don’t have. Constructing, on the other hand, is often something that anyone can do with a little bit of practice.

Think of it this way: when you construct a table, you start with individual pieces like legs, a tabletop, and screws. You put those pieces together to create a functioning table. When you build a table, you take lumber and nails and build the table from scratch.

When to use each word


For example, if you’re talking about assembling a toy from a kit, you would say “I’m going to construct a toy.” You can also use construct when discussing more complicated things like buildings or bridges. In this case, you’re usually talking about the process of putting the pieces together, rather than creating them from scratch.


When you’re referring to creating something new from scratch, you want to use build. For example, if you’re talking about making a table from scratch, you would say “I’m going to build a table.” You can also use build when talking about constructing something complex like a house. In this case, you’re usually referring to the process of creating everything from the foundation up.

Photo by Mark Potterton on Unsplash

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