Make v do

What's the difference between "make" and "do"?

We use "make" for constructing, creating and preparing (food).

We use "do" when someone performs an activity, action or task.

However, there are many standard expressions which don't fit into either idea. You just have to learn them by heart.

Activities with "make" usually create a physical object but activities with "do" usually don't.





Compete the following with "make" or "do" in the correct form.
  1. My husband never _____ the washing up.
  2. I don't like _____ crosswords.
  3. Where ______ Rolls-Royce cars ______?
  4. Do you think you could ______ me a favour?
  5. Who ______ dinner last night?
  6. Stop ______ fun of me.
  7. I_______________ anything today. I just want to relax.
  8. You can only ______ your best.
  9. If you want to improve your English, you have to _______ an effort.
  10. You need to ______ a decision quickly.
  11. Do you mind if I ______ a quick phone call?
  12. A lot of British Companies ______ business in the Middle East.
  13. A: ______ you ______ your bed yet? B: No, not yet.
  14. He ______ a cup of tea for his wife every morning.
  15. A glass of wine won't _______ you any harm.
  16. ______ BP _______ a profit last year?
  17. The PM ______________ an announcement tomorrow.
  18. Who ________ the housework in your house?
  19. Why are you ________ such a fuss?
  20. I didn't _______ very well in my last exam.


Other expressions with "make":
  • an appointment
  • arrangements
  • a change
  • a choice
  • a complaint
  • your day
  • a decision eg He finds it difficult to make decisions.
  • a difference
  • an exception
  • an excuse
  • a fool of someone
  • a fortune
  • friends
  • a (good/bad) impression
  • a living
  • a loss
  • love
  • a mistake
  • money eg  You can't make much money from teaching.
  • a move
  • the most of
  • a note
  • a (good) point
  • progress
  • promises
  • room
  • a speech
  • a start
  • a suggestion
  • sure
  • time
  • use of
  • way
  • yourself at home


Other expressions with "do":
  • 120kph
  • a good deed
  • a good turn
  • a (good/bad) job
  • a degree eg He did a degree in law.
  • an exam
  • an exercise
  • badly
  • exercise
  • homework
  • justice eg That photo doesn't do you justice.
  • right
  • the cleaning
  • the dishes
  • the gardening
  • the ironing
  • the shopping
  • the washing
  • wonders
  • wrong eg Why are you so angry? I haven't done anything wrong.
  • your duty
  • you good eg You should walk to work rather than take the bus. It'll do you good.
  • your nails
  • your hair

Can you add to the list? Can you write some examples of your own to demonstrate the meaning?


Here is another "make/do" test.

And another "make/do" test.

Comments

Paloma said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Graham said…
Hi Paloma!

The good news: in terms of "make" and "do", you only made a couple of mistakes.

17. The PM will MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT tomorrow.

19.Why are you MAKING such A FUSS?

The others were grammatical mistakes where the verb is in the wrong form.


Try them again:

3.Where ___ Rolls-Royce cars ____? (passive form)

5.Who ____ dinner LAST NIGHT?

6.STOP ______ fun of me.

7.I ________________ anything TODAY. I just want to relax.
(future plan)

13.A: ____ you ____ your bed YET? B: No, not yet.

16.___ BP ____ a profit LAST YEAR?


The words in CAPITAL LETTERS give you a clue.
Paloma said…
Hello again Graham
3.Where were Rolls-Royce cars made? (passive form)

5.Who made dinner LAST NIGHT?

6.STOP to make fun of me
7.I'm going to do anything TODAY. I just want to relax.
(future plan)

13.A: Have you made your bed YET? B: No, not yet.

16.Did BP make a profit LAST YEAR?
Graham said…
Paloma:

You are almost there!

3. Where were Rolls-Royce cars made?(grammatically correct) More logical: Where ARE Rolls-Royce cars MADE?

6. STOP MAKING fun of me.

7. I'M NOT GOING TO DO ANYthing TODAY. I just want to relax.

The others are fine.

That was a tricky exercise so, well done!
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Graham said…
Hi Blanca!

The good news is that you only made one mistake choosing between do and make. 12

But the following aren't grammatically correct: 2, 3, 5, 11.

Can you correct them?
Anonymous said…
Hi Graham!

It's Cristina (the one having class on Friday afternoons).
I've done the two make/do tests. I've not got a bad score. I like this kind of exercises. I find them useful to lern and practise the grammar.
Graham said…
Hi Cristina!

Good to see you making an effort. It might make my day if Rodrigo did the same. :D
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Graham said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Graham said…
Hi Nuria,

I'm impressed. Keep it up.

Fingers crossed.

The only mistakes that I can spot are:

15. A glass of wine won't do you any harm.

16. Did BP make a profit last year?

HI! Graham, I'm Ana.

1.My husband never DO the washing up.
2.I don't like MAKING crosswords.
3.Where ARE Rolls-Royce cars MADE?
4.Do you think you could MAKE me a favour?
5.Who MADE dinner last night?
6.Stop MAKING fun of me.
7.I AM NOT GOING TO anything today. I just want to relax.
8.You can only DO your best.
9.If you want to improve your English, you have to MAKE an effort.
10.You need to MAKE a decision quickly.
11.Do you mind if I MAKE a quick phone call?
12.A lot of British Companies DO business in the Middle East.
13.A: HAVE you MADE your bed yet? B: No, not yet.
14.He MAKES a cup of tea for his wife every morning.
15.A glass of wine won't MAKE you any harm.
16.DID BP MAKE a profit last year?
17.The PM WILL MAKE an announcement tomorrow.
18.Who DOES the housework in your house?
19.Why are you MAKING such a fuss?
20.I didn't DO very well in my last exam.
Graham said…
Hi Ana,

I'll give your classmates a chance to do the exercise as well, before I provide the solutions.
Anonymous said…
Hi Graham I leave here my answers

1. does
2. making
3. are / made
4. make
5. did
6. making
7. have been doing
8. do
9. make
10.make
11.make
12.do
13.have/done
14.made
15.do
16.
17.is going to make
18.does
19.making
20. make

Clara
Graham said…
Hi Ana and Clara,

Here are the answers:

1. does
2. doing crosswords
3. are / made
4. do sb a favour
5. made dinner
6. making
7. I'm not going to do anything
8. do
9. make
10. make
11. make
12. do
13. have / made your bed
14. makes
15. do you any harm
16. did / make a profit
17. is going to / will make
18. does
19. making
20. do very well


Quite a tricky exercise for you.