In Grammar By Catherine

Make or Do: that is the question

Remember how in English will «do»? That’s right, I do, and … right, make. How often, even those who are quite fluent in English, are lost in doubt, which of the verb to use in a particular case. Let’s try to understand the intricacies of translation, as well as once and remember occurrences do and make.

So, do. First of all, we should pay attention to what do the English language serves two important functions: first, it is informative verb, which carries the meaning «to do, to perform»; secondly, an auxiliary verb, whose role is only «construction»: it is a necessary part of the question and denial in the present (as in the form of did — the last) time. It would seem that it is a well known fact, and it is pointless to mention. Nevertheless, the practice shows the opposite: «loss» informative verb «do» in questions and negatives is one of the most common mistakes among English language learners.

The students like to say this:

  • [?] Does she always her homework?
  • [-] She does not her homework.

And it should be:

  • [?] Does she always DO her homework?
  • [-] She does not always DO her homework.

Remember this: not to be confused with the auxiliary verb semantic. They perform different functions in the sentence, so we can not remove one and leave the other.

How to distinguish the verbs do and make?

The verb do can be roughly translated as «carry», pattern, make habitual actions, while, make — «create» to produce something to do with his hands. This generic guide for use. Further details.

DO is used in the following cases:

  1. We use do, when you do not name any specific action in question. Often used with the words, thing, something, nothing, anything, what.

    He did a very strange thing at the party. — He did a very strange thing at a party.

    Why do not you do something? — Why do not you do something?

    Doing nothing seems to be his hobby. — It seems that doing nothing — this is his hobby.

    What shall I do then? — What do I do then?

  2. We use do, when it comes to the work assignment.

    ! It is important to remember that we are not talking about the work, due to which there is a tangible, visible results of your actions (that is, most likely, the work associated with intellectual activity).

    He does his work pretty well. — He’s doing a good job. (I mean, in general, it works well)

    My son always does his homework in time. — My son always does the job on time. (work is connected with mental activity)

    I am sick and tired with doing all the housework by myself. — I’m tired of doing all the housework herself. (the result of the work around the house can not be touched, it is not tangible, so do)

    Shall I help you to do the accounts? — I help you count the numbers? (intellectual work)

  3. We often use do to replace another verb whose meaning is obvious from the context. This is a more colloquial variant.

    I need to do my hair before we leave. (= Comb my hair) — I need to put (brush) hair before we leave.

    Will you do the dishes? I’m just exhausted. (= Wash the dishes) — pomoesh dishes? I’m so tired!

    I’m doing my exam in a few weeks. (= Take an exam) — I’m going to take the exam in a few weeks.

    My mom always does the laundry. (= Washes) — My mom always erases things.

  4. We use a gerund do when it comes to actions that take a certain time, or repeated at regular intervals (work or hobbies).

    I always do some walking after dinner. — I’m always a little walk after dinner.

    My grandpa has done a lot of reading through his life. — My grandfather was a lot of reading for life.

    Note that in this arrangement unacceptably addition!

    We are going to tidy the room. (NOT We are going to do some tidying the room.)

    However, we do employ a compound noun, which consists of a verb and a complement.

    Why do not we do some bird-watching this weekend? — Why do not we go look at the birds in this weekend?

    It’s time you did some letter-writing. — It’s about time you wrote a few letters.

Now more about the verb to make. As mentioned above, make means «create», «produce», «construct», «construct». Familiarize yourself with its use cases:

  1. Make — is not a mechanical clearly defined tasks, and the introduction of innovation, creativity in work.

    My mom has made a delicious cake. — My mother cooked a delicious cake. (the result of the work you can touch and even try, so make)

    Robinson Crusoe made a canoe. — Robinson Crusoe built a canoe. (again, we can touch the result of the work)

  2. Make also used in the case when we wish to indicate the material of which the object is made, or the place of its origin.

    The necklace is made of white gold. — The necklace is made of white gold.

    Glass is made of sand. — The glass is made from sand.

    This chocolate was made in Belgium. — This chocolate was produced in Belgium.

  3. Make also used to express an action which results in a specific reaction or investigation.

    The smell of the dish makes my mouth water. — The smell of this dish makes my mouth water to expire.

    You make me happy. — You make me happy.

    My mum made me go there though I did not want to. — My mom made me go there, although I did not want to.

  4. We use make with certain nouns, when it comes to plans and decisions.

    We made an arrangement with them on Thursday — we agreed with them on Thursday.

    It took me quite a lot of time to make my final choice. — I spent a lot of time to make the final choice.

  5. We use make with certain nouns, when it comes to conversation and sounds.

    After her speech, everyone could make their comments. — After his speech, everyone can leave comments.

    I was afraid to make any noise as the baby was sleeping. — I was afraid to make any sound as the child slept.

  6. We use make with certain nouns, when it comes to food, drinks and meals.

    She made her traditional biscuits with cinnamon for Christmas. — She has prepared its traditional cookies with cinnamon for Christmas.

    I made a cup of coffee to cheer myself up. — I made a cup of coffee to cheer.

    We made a fine dinner together. — We have prepared a great dinner together.

The following example clearly demonstrates by contrast do make.

Do not forget to make a cake for the party. — Do not forget to prepare the cake for the party.
Sure. I’ll do it as soon as I get back home. — Of course. I prepared as soon as I get to the house.

In the first case we use the make, as we are, in fact, create something (cake) with his own hands. In response, we have a do, because the effect is obvious from the context.

Frankly, even familiar with all the above criteria and use do make, the probability is high that the selection of the desired verb you will tear some doubts. To avoid this, your attention is provided a list of the most common expressions do and make:


  • do aerobics — aerobics
  • do anything — do anything
  • do an assignment — to do the job
  • do away with = abolish — to do away
    • do badly — badly to succeed (in anything)
    • do one’s best — do everything possible to make every effort
    • do a burp — burp let
    • do business — to conduct business, to do business
    • do chores — doing homework
    • do the cleaning — clean
    • do a course — take a course (training)
    • do a crossword — solving crossword
    • do a dance — choreographed
    • do a drawing — new picture
    • do drugs — the drugs make
    • do damage — causing damage
    • do the dishes — washing dishes
    • do down — talk bad about someone
    • do one’s duty — to perform the duty, obligation
    • do an exercise — the exercise
    • do exams — pass exams
    • do an examination — make examination
    • do evil — doing evil, and damage
    • do the gardening — gardening
    • do good — to the benefit, benefit
    • do a favour — to provide the service
    • do harm — harm
    • do one’s hair — do hair
    • do homework — homework (homework)
    • do housework — doing housework
    • do in = to kill — kill
    • do the ironing — ironing
    • do a job — to do their job (their responsibilities)
    • do justice — done properly
    • do the laundry — washing engaged
    • do lecturing — lecturing
    • do lessons — homework
    • do military service — to serve in the military
    • do a mike — laze
    • It does miracles — to perform miracles
    • do one’s nails — manicure
    • do nothing — to do nothing
    • do a painting — paint a picture
    • do a problem — create a problem
    • do a project — to create a project
    • do repairs — to make repairs
    • do research — to conduct research
    • do the rest — do the rest
    • do right — do it right
    • do a service — to serve
    • do the shopping — shopping
    • do something — do something
    • do sports — doing sports
    • do the suite up — in order to bring the apartment
    • do up = fasten, tie — fasten, tie
    • do a task — to do the job
    • do time = to go to prison — to serve time (in prison)
    • do (also make) a translation — translate
    • do someone a good turn — to provide good service
    • do a university degree — get a degree at university (bachelor’s, master’s, and so on. n.)
    • do the washing — washing engaged
    • do the washing up — to wash dishes
    • do well — to succeed (in anything)
    • do with — to be content, to endure, to bear
    • do without — to go without something
    • It does work — to do the job
    • do wrong — err, sin


    • make advances — to meet
    • make amends — to make amends, compensate
    • make an accusation — to make the accusation
    • make agreement — to make the transaction / agreement
    • make arrangements — to negotiate, organize
    • make alterations — to make changes
    • make allowances for — to take into account
    • make an appointment with smb. — arrange a meeting
    • make an attempt — try
    • make a bargain — to make a deal
    • make one’s bed — clean bed
    • make a bet — bet
    • make a big deal about something — to exaggerate the importance, the value of something
    • make breakfast / lunch / dinner / a meal — make breakfast / lunch / dinner / meal
    • make a cake — a cake to bake
    • make a call — call
    • make certain — sure
    • make a change — change (to be)
    • make clear — clear
    • make a choice — a choice
    • make a comment — comments
    • make a complaint — complain
    • make a compliment — to compliment
    • make a confession — admit
    • make a connection — to connect (to be)
    • make a cup of tea — brewed tea
    • make a date with smb. — a date
    • make a deal — to make a deal
    • make a demand — demand
    • make a decision — to make a decision
    • make a difference — to make a difference
    • make a discovery — a discovery
    • make a dress — tailor dress
    • make an effort — an effort
    • make an enquiry — to request
    • make an error — a mistake
    • make an escape — escape
    • make an estimate — to assess
    • make an example of someone — anyone punished as a warning to others
    • make an exception — make an exception
    • make an excuse — apologize
    • make a face — grimaced
    • make a fire — build a fire
    • make fun of — making fun of someone
    • make food = to cook — cook
    • make fool of — fool
    • make a fortune — a fortune
    • make friends — friends
    • to make fun of smb. — ridicule, laugh, make fun, joke smb.
    • make a fuss — fuss
    • make a gesture — make a gesture
    • make a guess — guess suggests
    • make a habbit — acquire a habit
    • make an impression — the impression
    • make improvements — to improve something
    • make inquiries — interested
    • make a joke — a joke
    • make a journey — make a trip
    • make a list — a list
    • make a living (do smth. for a living) — to earn
    • make a long story short — short
    • make a loss — to suffer a loss
    • make marks on the wall — to make a mark
    • make a mess — a mess to clean / disorder
    • make a mistake — to make a mistake
    • make money — make money, get rich
    • make a movement — to move, to make a movement
    • make a noise — noise
    • make a note — to record
    • make a nuisance of — nadoedat
    • make an observation — make an observation
    • make an offer — to offer, make an offer
    • make oneself at home — feel like home
    • make a pass at someone — flirt
    • make peace with someone — to make peace with someone, stop quarreling with anyone
    • make a phone call — call
    • make a plan — a plan
    • make a point of doing something — attach particular importance to anything; take anything for a rule
    • make possible — make it possible to
    • make a prediction — forecast
    • make a profit — a profit
    • make progress — to make progress
    • make a promise — promise
    • make an observation — make an observation
    • make out (distinguish) — distinguish between
    • make one’s living — to make a living
    • make one’s way back / home — back
    • make someone’s position clear — to explain his position (his opinion)
    • make a plan — a plan
    • make preparations — to prepare for something
    • make progress — to make progress
    • make a quorum — make quorum
    • make a request — to request
    • make a remark — to make a comment
    • make a reservation — reserve, reserve
    • make room — make room
    • make a sandwich — make a sandwich
    • make a scene — to make a scene
    • make sense — to make sense
    • make someone sick — arouse anyone aversion
    • make a sound — the sound issue
    • make a speech — speech
    • make a statement — to declare
    • make a suggestion — to make an offer
    • make sure — sure
    • make trouble — create a problem
    • make the most of the situation — to get out of the situation best
    • make up one’s mind — to solve
    • make up a story — write history
    • make war — to go to war
    • make one’s way — their way
    • make a will — make a will

    Advances in the study! 🙂



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