Make and Do

A Quick Overview by Malcolm Pemberton

Make and do are used in many different ways, sometimes with prepositions, to create many different meanings.
So, they are quite hard to learn. I’ll try to make it simple 😉

Make – Use ‘make’ for production and creation: 

I shall make this presentation using OpenOffice.org.
This morning I made coffee and pancakes.
We shall make an agreement tomorrow.
The company made an announcement to the shareholders.
The police made an appeal for witnesses on the TV.
Juliet makes all her own clothes.
This computer was made in China.
Nokia makes telephones.
The kids made a big effort to clean up.

Do – Use do to describe actions:

You’re doing a great job!
I don’t like to do the same thing every day.
What do you do ? I’m a doctor.
What are you doing? I’m resting.
Shall I do that for you?
You’re always doing that. Stop it!
Why don’t you do it the other way?

Expressions with Make

I’m human – I make mistakes.
made an appointment to see the doctor.
We had to make changes to the timetable.
I’m making a phone call.
Please don’t make any noise, I’m working.
made a shopping list before I went out.
They’re making a movie.

Expressions with Do

Who did their homework?
Will you do me a favour?
Nobody had done the dishes.
do the laundry at the weekends.
I don’t like doing the housework…but I do my best.
Please do exercises six and seven.

Comparing Make and Do

The teacher made exercises for the students to do.
Untidy people make a lot of work for others to do.
Jenny does the housework and her husband makes the excuses.
He seems to do a lot of work, but he makes very little money.

Other Expressions – with explanations

Make love, not war.

If you do good deeds, you might make it to heaven.

They made up after their fight. (They made friends again after an argument.)

He seems to go out of his way to make enemies. (He seems to try very hard not to make friends.)

She’s going to have a make-over on TV. (She will have her hair styled, face made up, new clothes etc.)

He’s all made-up. (He has all he wanted and is very satisfied)

She was all made-up for the party. (Make up, nice clothes and hair-style etc.)

‘Do’ can often be replaced:

I do karate on Fridays >> I practice karate on Fridays.

Who did this picture? >> Who drew/painted this picture.

Who did this work? >> Who performed this work.

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