Elementary vocabulary: make or do
Do and make are very similar but we use them differently.
- We often use do to speak about everyday jobs: do the shopping; do the dishes.
- We use make when we create or produce something: the factory makes furniture; make some tea; make dinner.
Here are some examples of when to use make or do:
|make coffee, tea||I always make coffee after breakfast.|
|make something (produce)||The factory makes furniture; Volvo makes cars.|
|make a mistake||I made a mistake. I’m sorry.|
|make a promise||You made me a promise. Please keep it!|
|make a decision||Managers have to make hard decisions sometimes.|
|make a telephone call||Excuse me, I have to make a telephone call.|
|make a profit||Microsoft made a big profit last year.|
|make a mess||The children made a mess in the kitchen.|
|make progress||The students are making good progress with their English.|
|do something||What are you doing? I’m not doing anything.|
|do an exam||I did five exams and passed all of them.|
|do homework (from school)||School kids have to do a lot of homework.|
|do housework||I always do the housework at weekends.|
|do the shopping||I hate doing the shopping in supermarkets.|
|do the dishes||Who’s going to do the dishes after dinner?|
|do the ironing||Her husband never does the ironing.|
|do an exercise||I did all the exercises in my grammar book.|
|do business||Our company does a lot of business in Asia.|