Friday, 31 October 2014



DO and MAKE are two verbs which we frequently confuse. Let's learn the difference between DO and MAKE and when to use each one.

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 When we talk about work, jobs or tasks. Note, they do not produce any physical object.
  • I do my homework everyday.
  • I wouldn't like to do that job.
  • I help my mother to do the housework.
2. When we refer to activities in general without being specific. In these cases, we normally use words like thing, something, nothing, anything, everything etc.
  • Hurry up! I've got things to do!
  • Don't just stand there – do something!
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?
3. We sometimes use DO to replace a verb when the meaning is clear or obvious. This is more common in informal spoken English:
  • Do I need to do my hair? (do = brush or comb)
  • I'm going to do the dishes. (do = wash)
  • I'll do the kitchen if you do the lawns (do = clean, do = mow)
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Make is for producing, constructing, creating or building something new.
It also indicates the origin of a product or the materials that are used to make something. 
  • His wedding ring is made of gold.
  • The house was made of adobe.
  • Wine is made from grapes.
  • The watches were made in Switzerland
We also use MAKE for producing an action or reaction:
  • Onions make your eyes water.
  • You make me happy.
  • It’s not my fault. My brother made me do it!
You MAKE after certain nouns about plans and decisions:
  • make the arrangements
  • make a choice
We use MAKE with nouns about speaking and certain sounds:
  • make a comment
  • make a noise
  • make a speech
We use MAKE with Food, Drink and Meals:
  • make a cake
  • make a cup of tea
  • make dinner

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A: You have to make a cake for Simon.
B: I’ll do it later.

Notice how in the response the verb DO is used. This is because the meaning is clear and to avoid saying “I’ll make it later.” which could sound repetitive.

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The difference between Do vs Make in English

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The following expressions are collocations (combinations of words that frequently appear together) that you need to learn: 

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The following words are normally used with DO:
  • a burp
  • a course
  • a crossword
  • a dance
  • a drawing
  • a fart
  • a favor / favour
  • a job
  • a painting
  • a project
  • a service
  • an assignment
  • anything
  • badly
  • business
  • chores
  • damage
  • everything
  • exercises
  • good
  • harm
  • laundry
  • nothing
  • research
  • right (the right thing)
  • something
  • the gardening
  • the housework
  • the ironing
  • the dishes
  • the rest
  • the shopping
  • the washing
  • well
  • work
  • wrong (the wrong thing)
  • your best
  • your hair
  • your homework
  • your job
  • your nails
  • your work

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The following words are normally used with MAKE:
  • a bet
  • a cake
  • a call
  • a change
  • a choice
  • a comment
  • a complaint
  • a confession
  • a connection
  • a cup of coffee / tea
  • a date
  • a decision
  • a demand
  • a difference
  • a discovery
  • a face
  • a fool of yourself
  • a fortune
  • a friend
  • a fuss
  • a joke
  • a line
  • a list
  • a living
  • a loss
  • a mess
  • a mistake
  • a noise
  • a pass at someone
  • a plan
  • a point
  • a prediction
  • a profit
  • a promise
  • a reservation
  • a sandwich
  • a scene
  • a sound
  • a speech
  • a statement
  • a suggestion
  • advances
  • alterations
  • an appointment
  • an announcement
  • an attempt
  • an effort
  • an error
  • an escape
  • an exception
  • an excuse
  • an impression
  • an observation
  • an offer
  • amends
  • arrangements
  • breakfast
  • certain
  • clear
  • dinner
  • faces
  • famous
  • fun of someone
  • love
  • lunch
  • inquiries
  • peace
  • possible
  • progress
  • money
  • room
  • sales
  • sense
  • someone rich
  • someone smile
  • sure
  • trouble
  • war
  • your bed
  • your mind up
  • your way

Try this interactive games to practice Do vs. Make

Don´t forget!! Look at this mind map and remember MAKE and DO uses in your exercises.

And that's all for today!!