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English Grammar Lesson – The confusing verbs ‘Do’ & ‘Make’

Are you confused about the use of two very simple English verbs – “make” and “do”. Be sure that this English Grammar lesson will do away with your confusion. Join ESL teacher  Michelle in this Spoken English lesson.

Make is for producing, constructing, creating or building something new.

It is also used to indicate the origin of a product or the materials that are used to make something.

  • His wedding ring is made of gold.
  • The house was made of adobe.
  • Wine is made from grapes.
  • The watches were made in Switzerland*

We also use Make for producing an action or reaction:

  • Onions make your eyes water.
  • You make me happy.
  • It’s not my fault. My brother made me do it!*

You can also use it with plans, arrangement, decision, choice

Use make after certain nouns about plans and decisions:

  • Could you please make some arrangement for my visit?
  • Let’s make a plan for Hawaii.

We use “Make” with Food, Drink and Meals:

  • make a cake
  • make a cup of tea
  • make dinner

Example: Please make me a cup of coffee.

When do you use DO?

DO is used when talking about work, jobs or tasks. Note, they do not produce any physical object.

  • Have you done your homework?
  • I have guests visiting tonight so I should start doing the housework now.
  • I wouldn’t like to do that job.

DO is used when we refer to activities in general without being specific. In these cases, we normally use words like thing, something, nothing, anything, everything etc.

  • Hurry up! I’ve got things to do!
  • Don’t just sit there – do something! (that’s not for u)
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?

We sometimes use DO to replace a verb when the meaning is clear or obvious. This is more common in informal spoken English:

  • Do I need to do my hair?
  • Have you done the dishes yet?
  • I’ll do the kitchen if you do the lawns.

 

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