Do or make: Which one is it?
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The English Verbs ‘to Make’ and ‘to Do’
The verb to make means
- To do something concrete, to make something
I make breakfast every morning.
I made a cheesecake.
I want to make a phone call.
- To describe the material something is made of or its origin
This coat was made in Spain.
My ring is made of silver.
- To describe a reaction
These children make me happy.
Don’t make me cry.
Some special expressions include:
- To make friends
Bob is happy in his new school as he is making new friends.
- To make money
That man doesn’t have values. His only objective is to make money.
- To make a decision
I can’t make a decision.
- To make an effort
Make an effort, please.
The verb to do has a more general meaning. It shows the execution of a job, an activity, or a task. It specifically indicates,
- The execution of a job or an activity that does not include the creation of anything physical
I am going to do my homework.
I love doing this job.
- To carry out generic activities
I have a lot of things to do.
What are you doing?
- In informal English, to do replaces a more specific verb
I need to do my hair.
I am going to do the dishes.
Some special expressions include
- To do someone a favour
Could you do me a favour, please?
- To do one’s best
I am sorry if you don’t like the painting, I am doing my best!
- To do an exercise
I am doing exercise at the gym.
Listen to our podcast about phrasal verbs
Let’s look at some phrasal verbs that include to make and to do.
To make over (renew, transform something)
I want to make over my bedroom.
To make off (escape, leave quickly
The thieves made off with the diamonds.
To make out (understand)
I can’t make out what my teacher is saying.
To do away with (throw away, get rid of)
I did away with all of my old furniture.
To do in (kill, defeat, really tire out)
The marathon I ran this weekend really did me in.
To do (someone) good (benefit someone)
Let’s talk a bit. Letting out your feelings will do you good.
Now that you know the difference between the verbs to do and to make, Now that you know the difference between the verbs to do and to make, you can carry out a conversation in English with more confidence. A rich vocabulary is the basis of communication in any foreign language. Try to learn as many verbs as possible and do not neglect the phrasal verbs. Include as many as you can in conversation so that you can memorize them and thus learn to use them correctly.
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