From time to time, we come across some words that can be a bit complicated to understand. Some words can sound the same, and some words can be used in the same manner.

But what happens when we need to use “Make and Do” how can we differentiate their actions? When can we use them? Do they have the same focus? 

The first thing you need to do is: don’t panic! 

Secondly: read the post to the very end. We will explain to you how to correctly use them and what their similarities and differences are. 

RULES TO DIFFERENTIATE "MAKE" AND "DO"

“Make” y “Do” are two of the most used verbs in English, and can be easily confused. “Do” is focused on physical actions, while “Make” emphasizes the final result of an activity. For example, if you are with some friends and you use the expression I make my homework you would be making a mistake because the correct form isI do my homework.

The reason behind the use of these verbs goes beyond logic and even their semantic nature…

THE FIRST AND MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "MAKE" AND "DO"

“Do” is a verb in the infinitive form and is also used as an auxiliary verb in the simple present (I, You, We, They use Do whereas He, She, It use Does).

In the affirmative sentences, when we use “Do”, you focus the atention on the action or the process, but not on the result. 

EXAMPLE: I do exercises

Case, on the contrary, happens with “Make”, which is a verb in the present form, and when we use it, the verb emphasizes more on the result of the activity, than the activity itself.

EXAMPLE: I make a list (Result)

SECOND ASPECT:

We also use “Do”, when we generically mention an activity or in other words: without specific information.

EXAMPLE: I do housework (General)

But if you want to be more specific, then “Make” will help you with that. 

EXAMPLE: I make a cake (Specific)

THIRD ASPECT:

“Do” is mostly used in the area of repeptitive actions. 

EJEMPLO: I do my work (Repetitivo)

“Make”, resulta mejor cuando hacemos referencia a la creación de algo, a la fabricación desde cero.

EJEMPLO: I make art (Creación)

THE FOURTH ASPECT IS MORE COMPLEX:

There are some phrases, rules, or words also known as “collocations” when we use “Make” and “Do“, that do not necessarily adapt to the grammar we have just explain, and even sometimes they do not have an explanation. 

Simply put: it is the best way to sometimes express an action (or at least on a day-to-day basis). As some people would say: it sounds better. 

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HERE ARE SOME PHRASES WITH "DO" THAT DO NOW FOLLOW THE MAIN CRITERIA OF THE COLLOCATIONS:

  • Do business 
  • Do your hair
  • Do a favor 
  • Do the dishes 
  • Do the laundry
  • Do well 
  • Do bad 
  • Do nothing 
  • Do your best 
  • Do a research 

THESE ARE SOME COLLOCATIONS WITH "MAKE" THAT YOU CAN LEARN:

  • Make your eyes water 
  • Make a mistake 
  • Make a point
  • Make sure 
  • Make a pass at someone 
  • Make up (for both fixing a relationship or cosmetic use)
  • Make up your mind 
  • Make time 
  • Make a decision 
  • Make fun 
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Even though “Do” may seem more useful, the truth is that  “Make” has more collocations. 

HOW CAN YOU LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM?

To do so, you need to practice and make use of your memory. There’s simply no other way, because they are expressions that make the language more natural and fluid, and they do not need to adhere 100% to the grammatical rules (which are important, but in occasions may vary due to oral communication).

HERE YOU HAVE SOME EXERCISES THAT WILL HELP YOU LEARN THE DIFFERENCES

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Try to complete these sentences in a pice of paper, and use “Do” or “Make” where you think they are used. 

  •          You need to ______ a decision as soon as possible
  •          I ______ dinner
  •          He _______ his job perfectly
  •          You can _______ progress, if you practice your English everyday
  •          You can ______ a fire there, but be careful
  •          I like to ______ new friends
  •          ______ your report. We need it
  •      He _______ progress
  •          I going to _______ some coffee
  •     I ______ breakfast for you

Learning can be easy and fun when we understand the how to of every process (even though in English they sometimes do not have an explanation). That’s why we created this blog, so we could share details, rules, and the process behind learning English. This will allow you to practice at your own pace. 

Today you learned the difference between “Make” and “Do”, but we have a lot more information available for you. If you need help or guidance, then contact us! Don’t be shy! We are waiting for you! 

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