In today's lesson we look at the difference between DO and MAKE in English.
DO or MAKE? English language grammar explanation - Intermediate level (B1-B2)
1: We use MAKE when we create, construct, manufacture or produce something.
She made a cake.
I've made some coffee.
Did you make that jacket yourself?
The children have made such a mess. (IT. casino)
2: We use DO for general activities.
Notice that many times the verb is not mentioned. In this case, 'do' is often used to mean 'something', 'nothing', 'anything' or 'everything' (In other words, it's a substitution for the verb) :
What are you doing tonight? (Note: no verb mentioned)
What did you do at the weekend?
I didn't do anything yesterday.
He's fed up with doing everything herself.
Are you doing anything interesting during the holidays?
NOTE: 'What do you do?' means 'What's your job?'
3. We use MAKE to talk about money or anything related to money.
He makes loads of money in his job.
The company didn't make any cash during the crisis.
If that idea works, he will make a packet. (i.e. 'a lot of money')
This month I made a €300 profit.
He made a fortune buying Bitcoin.
4. We often use DO to talk about sport and movement.
We are going to do a bit of skiing this winter.
She does no sport whatsoever.
He says that he does 200 press-ups every day.
I like to do 20 minutes of yoga in the morning.
5. We typically use MAKE to talk about speech or verbal communication.
They made a fantastic speech about workers' rights.
He made a rude comment that upset the woman.
I don't like you making that type of remark.
Shut up! You are always making excuses.
6. Unfortunately there are many standard expressions with 'do' and 'make' that have no logical explanation. Many of them are very common. Memorize the most important ones:
Examples of phrases with DO
|30 mph (miles per hour)||Many people do more than 30 mph through this town. It's very dangerous.|
|badly||She did very badly on the exam, so she'll have to retake it.|
|your best||Don't worry about getting everything correct. Just do your best.|
|business||It's been a pleasure doing business with you.|
|chores||I have to go home and do some chores this afternoon.|
|a course||John has decided to do a course in computing this autumn.|
|a crossword||She sat on the sofa, doing a crossword and drinking tea.|
|damage||The storm has done a lot of damage to the house.|
|the dishes / the washing up||I really hate doing the dishes. I'm hoping to buy a dishwasher this year.|
|a drawing||The little boy spent hours doing a drawing.|
|your duty||He has to do his duty and look after his elderly parents.|
|an exam||I have to do three exams and write a huge essay this term.|
|exercise||Julie likes doing exercise, especially running.|
|an exercise||The teacher asked us to do a lot of grammar exercises over the holidays|
|someone a favour||My friend did me a huge favour and lent me some money.|
|the gardening||David often spends Sunday afternoons doing gardening.|
|good||She helps homeless people and tries to do good.|
|you good||You should eat your vegetables. They'll do you good!|
|your hair||Allie spends ages doing her hair in the morning.|
|harm||I spilt coffee on my suit and tried to clean it, but I did more harm than good. It looks even worse now!|
|homework||Have you finished doing your homework?|
|housework||Let's do the housework quickly this morning, then we can go out for lunch.|
|the ironing||My mother listens to the radio while she does the ironing.|
|a job||I think the students did a great job with this essay. It's excellent.|
|the laundry / the washing||He did the laundry, cleaned the house, and made dinner.|
|your nails||Jenny likes to do her nails each week.|
|a painting||There was an old man sitting on the bank of the river, doing a painting.|
|paperwork||Does everybody hate doing paperwork?|
|research||I'm doing some research for my thesis at the moment.|
|the shopping||I'll do the shopping tomorrow morning. We need milk, bread, pasta and bananas.|
|time (= be in prison)||He broke into a bank, was caught by the police, and now he's doing time.|
|well||My sister is doing well in her new job.|
|work||Unfortunately, Lucy does a lot of work at the weekends.|
Examples of phrases with MAKE
|amends||I'm so sorry that I upset you. How can I make amends?|
|an appointment||She had toothache, so she made an appointment with the dentist for the following day.|
|arrangements||Okay, so we're going to go on holiday in September. Let's make some arrangements. I'll find a hotel, and you can look at flights.|
|an attempt||I know we might not catch the plane, but let's at least make an attempt to be on time.|
|believe||The children's favourite game is to make believe that they are kings and queens from long ago.|
|certain||I think the café opens at six, but let's make certain. I don't want to be standing in the street waiting!|
|a change||I've made some changes to the document.|
|a choice||Which job are you going to take? You need to make a choice.|
|a comment||My mother made a comment about my shoes.|
|a complaint||The food took so long to arrive that Julie made a complaint to the manager.|
|a confession||I'd like to make a confession. I was the one who ate the last of the chocolate.|
|a date||I'd love to see you soon. How about if we make a date for next week?|
|a decision||I've made my decision. I'm going to go back to university.|
|a difference||Going to the gym has really made a difference to how I feel.|
|a discovery||When John was last in London he made a discovery - a beautiful little café in a quiet street.|
|an effort||You're not trying hard enough! Make an effort!|
|an error||He made several errors on the report, and the boss told him to rewrite it.|
|your escape||The bank robbers took £10,000 from the safe and then made their escape.|
|an exception||Usually the children aren't allowed to watch TV but I made an exception today since the weather was so horrible.|
|an excuse||Why was Lisa late? Did she make an excuse?|
|a face||The child took a bite of the broccoli and made a face.|
|a fire||We put up our tent, made a fire, and had a hot drink.|
|a fool of yourself||You shouldn't sing in front of everyone! You'll make a fool of yourself.|
|a fortune||Lucy made a fortune when she sold her company. Now she doesn't have to work.|
|friends||She loved university and made lots of friends.|
|fun of||The children love to make fun of the teacher,– but only when she's not looking.|
|a fuss||It's okay! I'm fine, it's just a cough. Don't make a fuss!|
|an impression||Jenny certainly made an impression last night! All my friends are asking about her.|
|a joke||The interview was very tense at the beginning, but then John made a joke, and after that it was much more relaxed.|
|a journey||Because of the snow, try not to make any journeys which are not absolutely essential.|
|a list||First, I must make a list of all the things I need to do.|
|a loss||Their business made a loss the first year, but did much better after that.|
|love||The hero and the heroine made love in the film.|
|a mess||What a mess you've made! Can't you tidy up a bit?|
|a mistake||She made so many mistakes in her essay that the teacher couldn't understand it.|
|money||John made a lot of money in his twenties and was able to retire at the age of 35.|
|a move||Look how late it is! Let's make a move.|
|a noise||Please try not to make a noise when you come home, because I'll be asleep.|
|an observation||Could I make an observation? I don't think some of our customers like the new adverts.|
|an offer||She made an offer on a house. She's nervous because she'll find out today if it has been accepted, and she really wants to buy that house.|
|a payment||Hello? I'd like to make a credit card payment, please.|
|a phone call||I'm going to go outside and make a phone call. It's too noisy in here.|
|plans||David is making plans to move to Paris.|
|a point||The professor used lots of examples to make his point.|
|a prediction||The journalist made a prediction about the economy, but in the end it wasn't correct.|
|a profit||His business made a profit from the beginning.|
|progress||Finally, after being stuck in a traffic jam for an hour, we're making some progress! We'll arrive by 8pm.|
|a promise||I must study hard today. I made a promise to my mum that I wouldn't fail any more exams.|
|a remark||John was upset because the boss made a negative remark about his work.|
|a reservation||Could you call the restaurant and make a reservation for tonight?|
|a scene||Susie made a scene in the café when her order was wrong. She shouted at all the staff and demanded to speak to the manager.|
|a sound||Don't make a sound! We need to be completely quiet.|
|a speech||The bride's father often makes a speech at her wedding.|
|a suggestion||Could I make a suggestion? How about going out for dinner?|
|sure||I don't think I left the gate open, but I'm just going to go and make sure.|
|the bed||Could you please make the bed before you leave the house? Otherwise it looks so messy with the duvet and the pillows everywhere.|
|time (=find time to do something)||Everybody's busy, but you need to make time to study. Otherwise you won't be able to get a better job.|
|trouble||That employee is trying to make trouble. He is always telling the boss bad things about his colleagues.|
|a visit||I'll call you this afternoon.– I need to make a visit to my granny this morning.|
|your mind up||Do you want chocolate or strawberry ice cream? Make your mind up quickly!|
|your way||After the film, John made his way to a café, where he had two cups of coffee and some cake.|
DO or MAKE? Intermediate level exercise (B1-B2)
HOMEWORK: Do the above exercise for DO & MAKE.
Write the answers on paper as your teacher will check your work.