How to Use "Make" and "Do" in English
It can be difficult to know when to use "make" and when to use "do". Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
We use "make" for more creative activities:
"She makes her own clothes."
"He made a beautiful hat for the wedding."
We also use "make" to describe functions of speech - what we are doing when we speak:
... an offer ("I'll pay you $500 for your car.")
... an appointment ("Can we meet at 9 am?")
... an arrangement ("Let's meet at the station.")
... a promise ("I'll help you with this photocopying.")
... a threat ("If you do that again, I'll tell him.")
... a compromise
... a suggestion
... a promise
... a mistake
... a decision
... a point
... a complaint
... an excuse
There are also some "fixed expressions" with "make":
"They made friends when they were at primary school."
"He made fun of her new hairstyle."
Other expressions are:
... make a fuss
... make a fortune
... make money
... make a profit / a loss
... make a journey
... make an effort
... make progress
... make a mess
... make a telephone call
... make a choice
One expression that uses either "do" or "make" is:
make a deal / do a deal ("I'll do it if you help me.")
We use "do" to refer to jobs, or responsibilities. These are often routine things, which do not involve much creativity or fun:
"I do the shopping once a week."
"He does the gardening every weekend."
"We have to do a lot of work on the house."
You also do:
... your homework
... the housework
... a job
... the paperwork
... an exam
There are some fixed expressions that you can learn which use "do":
"She does a lot of good in the community."
"This chemical can do a lot of harm."
"She always does favours for her colleagues." (Do someone a favour = help someone)
Other expressions are:
... do something well / badly
... do your best
... do something right / wrong
... do the minimum / the maximum
... do damage
Make and Do Quiz
Level: Pre-intermediate and above
- You ''make a mess''.
- You ''do work'' - whether it's housework, homework, exercises or other practice.
- You ''make an effort''.
- You ''make progress'' or ''make an improvement''.
- You ''do'' things, stuff, or activities.
- You ''do your best''.
- You ''make mistakes'' - perhaps because mistakes are creative things!
- We say ''do harm'' - and also ''do good'', ''do evil''. For example, ''do no evil'', ''do good for people'', and so on.
- You ''make a promise'' and other things that you speak - make an offer, make a decision, make a threat, etc.
- Remember: sometimes both do / make are correct. You can make or do a great cake, roast dinner, tuna salad, etc.
21 commentsson do ngoc
just like it. The more i read over, the more i remember it. It'll be useful for my teaching.
this is great - thanks!!!it will be very useful my for my teaching as well :-)
great for explaining to my young English learners
Great! thank you for this simple explanation.
I've got a doubt... do we say to make a progress or to do a progress?
We say "make progress".
Good Ex.it very relaable
Thnks! What is it right?... We did a meeting or We made a meeting.
I'd say "we had a meeting".
it so nice , it is help me so much
do a degree or make a degree?
You could say either "do a degree" or "study for a degree". For example, "She's doing a degree in English" or "She's studying for a degree in English".
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