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what does "make A out of B" means?

This question is driving me crazy. There is an old song called "making love out of nothing at all", right? According to the official translation in chinese, it means "making love become nothing at all". But when I search an explanation for the phrase "make A out of B", I was told that this phrase means make B become A, like, "Tom made salad out of lettuce."
So, make A out of B means make A become B, or make B become A?

Many thanks in advance!

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language


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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    Make A out of B means B becomes A.

    Make ice out of water (by freezing it) means water becomes/turns into ice (when you freeze it.

    Tom made a salad out of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers.
    Lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers become a salad when Tom puts them together.

    "Become" is not the best explanation because it tends to mean something occurs on its own. But in this case, somebody or something is doing/making something. So that might be confusing the translation.

    I would think the correct Chinese translation for "making love out of nothing at all" would be "nothing at all becomes making love" or "you can make love from nothing at all". That just means that you don't need anything (well, except people :) ) to make love.

    Ok, first of all ''making love out of nothing'' is not the same with ''making love become nothing''.
    Now let's take your example: ''Tom made salad out of lettuce'', where A=salad and B=lettuce.
    You can either say: Tom made salad out of lettuce (=make A out of B),
    or you can say: Lettuce was made into a salad by Tom (=make B become A). That's the same thing..But you can't say: The salad was made into a lettuce(=make A become B)...That's a different thing and it doesn't even make sense in this example..
    So: making love out of nothing = nothing was made into love but not ''love was made into nothing''.
    Hope it helped you!

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