Make and Do (Advanced)

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Tagged with: Frequently Confused Words, Advanced Vocabulary

Do can be an auxiliary or a main verb.


  • Auxiliary verb - Do you live here?
  • Main verb - What are you doing now?

As a main verb do means "general activity."


  • What are you doing this weekend?
  • We need to do something about this problem.
  • Never do it again!
  • What can I do to help you?

Do is also used for talking about work.


  • What do you do (= What is your job?)
  • I have to do my homework.
  • He didn't do any work yesterday.

Make can only be a main verb. The meaning is "creating or constructing something."


  • These toys were made in China.
  • I made a card for my Grandma.
  • Who made this costume for you?


  • Sam, you need to make your bed before breakfast. Do it now!

Remember the following expressions with make and do. Note that make is used more often than do.

Make Do
make a connection do right / wrong
make a difference do 50 mph
make a loss /profit do away with something
make a point do enough
make a purchace do farm (dental) work
make a speech do the dishes
make a suggestion do one's best
make advances do one's duty
make a proposal do one's /somebody hair
make a fortune do someone good
make a living do housework
make an alternation  
make an observation  
make an arrangement  
make plans  
make room  
make sense  
make up one's mind  
make something (im)possible  
make progress  
make reservations  
make something clear  

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