Make and Do (Intermediate)

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Tagged with: Intermediate Vocabulary, Frequently Confused Words

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 bed do well
  make friends do badly
  make a mistake do good
  make noise do harm
  make money do somebody a favor
  make an excuse do business
  make an exception do homework
  make love do an exercise
  make a choice do nothing
  make an effort  
  make an attempt  
  make a change  
  make a complaint  
  make a decision  
  make sure  

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