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Make and Do (grammar)

When to use make and when do? It can be hard to decide but there is a simple general rule:

1.  We use ‘make’ when we create or construct something. For example:

  • She made a beautiful sandcastle.
  • Lily makes delicious cakes.
  • Did you really make these ornaments?
  • You look tired. I have made you a cup of coffee.

‘Make’ is also used to talk about the materials used to make something, or the country where it is produced.

  • The house is made of bricks.
  • Everything is made in China.

2.  We use ‘do’ for general activities. When we form sentences with ‘do’ we often use it together with words like ‘something’, ‘nothing’, ‘anything’ and ‘everything’:

  • Are you doing anything interesting on Sunday?
  • I didn’t do anything yesterday.
  • She is tired of doing everything herself.


There are many fixed expressions with ‘make’ and ‘do’ and there are no rules for when to use which, so you have to memorise them. Here are just a few that are used the most frequently:

MakeDo

Make arrangements
Make an attempt
Make a bed
Make breakfast, lunch, dinner
Make a booking
Make a cake, a sandwich
Make a call
Make a change
Make changes
Make a choice
Make a decision
Make plans
Make a comment
Make a complaint
Make a compromise
Make a decision
Make a declaration
Make a deal
Make a demand
Make a discovery
Make a difference
Make an exception
Make friends
Make an effort
Make an enquiry
Make an excuse
Make a fortune
Make fun of something/somebody
Make a fuss
Make an impression
Make money
Make a mistake
Make a loss
Make love
Make money
Make a noise
Make a sound
Make an offer
Make peace
Make a phone call
Make a point
Make a presentation
Make a profit
Make progress
Make a promise
Make a remark
Make a reservation
Make a booking
Make room for something
Make a speech
Make a statement
Make a suggestion
Make sure
Make a threat
Make a wish
Make war
Do the accounts
Do the shopping
Do sport
Do nothing
Do well
Do experiments
Do the accounts
Do an assignment
Do badly
Do business
Do harm
Do damage
Do a degree
Do a course
Do the dishes
Do the washing up
Do drugs
Do your dutyDo an exam
Do exercises
Do a favour
Do the gardening
Do your hair
Do your make-up
Do your work
Do homework
Do the housework
Do the laundry
Do the ironing
Do military service
Do a project
Do research
Do the accounts
Do the shopping
Do sport
Do nothing
Do something
Do right
Do wrong
Do the accounts
Do the shopping
Do sport
Do nothing
Do well
Do experiments
Do the accounts
Do an assignment
Do badly
Do business
Do harm






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