Grammar Time: Do and Make

When we use do and make with noun phrases, do focuses on the process of acting or performing something, make emphasises more the product or outcome of an action. Let’s learn the basic differences between do and make. Try to memorize the common collocations with these verbs.

Exam in Mind Level B1

Basic Difference between DO and MAKE

  • Use DO for actions, obligations, and repetitive tasks.
  • Use MAKE for creating or producing something, and for actions you choose to do.
  • DO generally refers to the action itself, and MAKE usually refers to the result. For example, if you “make breakfast,” the result is an omelet! If you “make a suggestion,” you have created a recommendation.

There are a lot of fixed expressions with make and do.

Common English Collocations with DO

do the housework – робити домашні справи
After I got home from the office, I was too tired to do the housework.

do the laundry – прати
I really need to do the laundry – I don’t have any clean clothes left!

do the dishes – мити посуд
I’ll make dinner if you do the dishes afterwards.
(you can also say “wash the dishes”)

do the shopping – робити покупки
I went to the bank, did some shopping, and mailed a package at the post office.

do work – виконувати роботу
I can’t go out this weekend – I have to do some work on an extra project.

do homework –робити домашню роботу 
You can’t watch any TV until you’ve done your homework.

do business – займатися бізнесом
We do business with clients in fifteen countries.

do a good/great/terrible job – виконувати хорошу / чудову / жахливу роботу
She did a good job organizing the party.
(in this expression, “job” doesn’t necessarily refer to work. It simply means the person did something well)

do a report – зробити звіт
I’m doing a report on the history of American foreign policy.
(you can also say “writing a report”)

do a course – вивчати курс
We’re doing a course at the local university.
(you can also say “taking a course”)

do exercise – робити вправи
I do at least half an hour of exercise every day.

do your hair (= style your hair) – робити зачіску
I’ll be ready to go in 15 minutes – I just need to do my hair.

do your nails (= paint your nails) – фарбувати нігті
Can you open this envelope for me? I just did my nails and they’re still wet.

do anything / something / everything / nothing – робити що-небудь / щось / все / нічого
Are you doing anything special for your birthday?
You can’t do everything by yourself – let me help you.

do well – виконати добре
I think I did pretty well in the interview.

do badly – робити погано
Everyone did badly on the test – the highest grade was 68.

do good – робити добро
The non-profit organization has done a lot of good in the community.

do harm – завдавати шкоди
The scandal did his career a lot of harm. Try to choose products that do the least harm to the environment

do the right thing – робити правильні речі
When I found someone’s wallet on the sidewalk, I turned it in to the police because I wanted to do the right thing.

do your best – старатися
Don’t worry about getting everything perfect – just do your best.

do a favour – зробити послугу
Hey, can you do me a favor? Can you pass me that bottle of soap over there?
Can you do me a favor? – Sure. – Can you watch my stuff for me for a few minutes? I’ll be right back.

Common English Collocations with MAKE

make breakfast/lunch/dinner – зробити сніданок / обід / вечерю
I’m making dinner – it’ll be ready in about ten minutes.

make a sandwich – зробити бутерброд
Could you make me a turkey sandwich?

make a salad – зробити салат
I made a salad for the family picnic.

make a cup of tea – зробити чашку чаю
Would you like me to make you a cup of tea?

make a reservation – забронювати
I’ve made a reservation for 7:30 at our favorite restaurant.

make money – заробляти гроші
I enjoy my job, but I don’t make very much money.

make a profit – отримати прибуток
The new company made a profit within its first year.

make a fortune – розбагатіти
He made a fortune after his book hit #1 on the bestseller list.

make $_______ – заробити $
I made $250 selling my old CDs on the internet.

make friends – подружитися
It’s hard to make friends when you move to a big city.

make fun of someone (= tease / mock someone) – висміяти когось
The other kids made fun of Jimmy when he got glasses, calling him “four eyes.”

make up (= resolve a problem in a relationship) – помиритися
Karen and Jennifer made up after the big fight they had last week.

make a phone call – подзвонити
Please excuse me – I need to make a phone call.

make a joke – пожартувати
He made a joke, but it wasn’t very funny and no one laughed.

make a point – прикладати зусилля
Dana made some good points during the meeting; I think we should consider her ideas.

make a bet – укладати парі
I made a bet with Peter to see who could do more push-ups.

make a complaint – поскаржитися
We made a complaint with our internet provider about their terrible service, but we still haven’t heard back from them.

make a confession – зробити зізнання
I need to make a confession: I was the one who ate the last piece of cake.

make a speech – виголошувати промову
The company president made a speech about ethics in the workplace.

make a suggestion – зробити пропозицію
Can I make a suggestion? I think you should cut your hair shorter – it’d look great on you!

make a prediction – зробити прогноз
It’s difficult to make any predictions about the future of the economy.

make an excuse – вибачатися
When I asked him if he’d finished the work, he started making excuses about how he was too busy.

make a promise – дати обіцянку
I made a promise to help her whenever she needs it.

make a fuss (= demonstrate annoyance) зчинити галас
Stop making a fuss – he’s only late a couple minutes. I’m sure he’ll be here soon.

make an observation – зробити спостереження
I’d like to make an observation about our business plan – it’s not set in stone, so we can be flexible.

make a comment – коментувати
The teacher made a few critical comments on my essay.

make plans – планувати
We’re making plans to travel to Australia next year.

make a decision – прийняти рішення
I’ve made my decision – I’m going to go to New York University, not Boston University.

make a mistake – помилитися
You made a few mistakes in your calculations – the correct total is $5430, not $4530.

make progress – робити успіхи
My students are making good progress. Their spoken English is improving a lot.

make an attempt / effort (= try) – зробити спробу
I’m making an effort to stop smoking this year.

make up your mind (= decide) – прийняти рішення
Should I buy a desktop or a laptop computer? I can’t make up my mind.

make a discovery – зробити відкриття
Scientists have made an important discovery in the area of genetics.

make a list – скласти перелік
I’m making a list of everything we need for the wedding: invitations, decorations, a cake, a band, the dress…

make sure (= confirm) – переконатися
Can you make sure we have enough copies of the report for everybody at the meeting? Make sure the letter is properly addressed.

make a difference – зробити різницю
Getting eight hours of sleep makes a big difference in my day. I have more energy! Watch how you can make a difference to your environment.

make an exception – зробити виняток
Normally the teacher doesn’t accept late homework, but she made an exception for me because my backpack was stolen with my homework inside it.

make a choice – зробити вибір
We all have to make a choice. The salesman hurried the customer to make a choice. I am facing a no-win situation right now; it is too hard to make a choice.

make an appointment – призначити зустріч
I’d like to make an appointment with Doctor Evans, please. Did you make an appointment to see the doctor? Could you make an appointment with the secretary for next week?

make a bed – застелити ліжко
She taught her son to make a bed. Did you make your bed?

make a change/changes – внести зміни
When you want to make a change in your life, you can only start by stepping up. Be it possible to make a change in our order?

make a demand – висувати вимогу
A client gets the right to make demands. He has no right to make demands, she owes him nothing.

make a loss – втрачати
No wonder the firm makes a loss; the office is terribly overstaffed. The ferry service was making a loss and had stopped running for the winter.

make a noise – шуміти
If things start going badly again, our members are sure to make noises. Children made noise.

make an offer – зробити пропозицію
He was ready to make an offer. They made an offer to help us.

make peace – укласти мир
It’s time to make peace with your body image. He returned to the village to make peace with his mother.

make war –  вести війну
A severe depletion of resources led several tribes in the region to make war for many years. The extremist wing of the political party has been making war on any and all groups that disagree with their opinion in any capacity.

make arrangements – домовитися
Let’s make some arrangements. I’ll find a hotel, and you can look at flights.

Have Practice Do and Make 

Task 1. Choose the right words: Do and Make. Use them in the correct form.

  1. I __________ the shopping every Friday afternoon.
  2. Please, can you __________ a reservation for me?
  3. She doesn’t __________ much money.
  4. Nobody helps my mother to __________ the housework.
  5. Will you __________ me a favor? Help me carry this table.
  6. Let’s __________ the appointment for 10:00 in the morning.
  7. Try not to __________ any grammar mistakes in your writing.
  8. Oh, dear! There is so much laundry to __________!
  9. She always __________ the dishes late at night.
  10. I always __________ the washing up myself.
  11. The students don’t like to __________ quizzes.
  12. The menu was so good that it was difficult for us to __________ a choice.
  13. The soldiers are obliged to __________ their beds every morning.
  14. __________ an effort to finish before lunch.
  15. The doctor asked me to __________ exercise.
  16. I don’t know how people __________ money without hard work.
  17. We have to __________ a decision quickly.
  18. They wanted to __________ an offer to build the bridge.
  19. Can anybody __________  a suggestion? I am completely in the dark.
  20. If you want to buy that car, I am sure we can __________  a deal.
  21. Let’s go out tonight and __________ the town.
  22. I __________ an appointment to visit my doctor yesterday.
  23. Jim, I told you not to __________  a mess in the living room!How much money does your father?
  24. I like __________ business with Jack.
  25. I usually __________ the cleaning on Saturday morning.
  26. Sue cooks but I __________ the dishes.
  27. Let’s __________ a date for the 15th.
  28. I’d be happy if you would __________  the honors.
  29. He __________ everything by hand, he’s amazing.
  30. How much profit did your company __________  last year?

Task 2. Do and Make. Put in the correct form of ‘make’ or ‘do’.

  1. How much money does a waitress __________ ?
  2. Could you __________ the laundry today? We have no clean clothes.
  3. She spent the evening watching black and white films and __________ her nails.
  4. Did their new business __________ a profit last year?
  5. The teacher __________ some very positive comments about Susie’s work.
  6. There’s so much paperwork to __________! I’ll be here all night.
  7. I’d like to __________ Julie an offer of a job. It would be full time in our office.
  8. There was a man sitting on the pier earlier. He was __________ a painting of the boats.
  9. This lecture is so boring! Let’s __________ an escape during the break and go to the cafe.
  10. William __________ an excuse to the teacher about why he was late, but she didn’t believe him.
  11. Stop talking and __________ some work!
  12. Alison can’t come tonight. She’s already __________ plans.
  13. I’m going to work all weekend. I really want to __________ some progress on this project.
  14. Could you please __________ sure that the money has gone into the correct bank account?
  15. It takes Lizzie an hour a day to __________  the washing up. She would love to have a dishwasher.
  16. I offered the job to Ian, and said he had until Monday to __________ his mind up.
  17. In the morning she gets up, has a shower and gets dressed, then __________ the bed. After that she goes downstairs and has breakfast.
  18. John and Lucy __________ their way through the crowded streets to their hotel.
  19. Graham __________ really well in the tennis competition. He came second out of over a hundred people.
  20. John worked hard and __________ his best at his job, but he still wasn’t promoted.
  21. The teenagers were __________ such a noise that the neighbour called the police.
  22. She __________ a payment on her debt every month. Soon she’ll have finished paying it off.
  23. So many chores to __________! I need to clean the bathroom and the kitchen, hoover and change all the beds.
  24. Sorry, I’ve __________  a mistake. The restaurant isn’t here, but on another street.
  25. It’s late, and we should go home. Let’s __________ a move.
  26. Unfortunately, his business __________ a huge loss last year and he had to close down.
  27. If you don’t speak English, you’ll find it hard to __________  business in the UK.
  28. He __________ a promise to his grandmother that he’d never fight anyone ever again.
  29. I called the hotel and __________  a reservation for two people for Saturday the 16th.
  30. The washing machine flooded and the water __________ a lot of damage. All the carpets had to be replaced.
  31. She __________  a lot of lists of things to do, but she never does any of the things!
  32. Unfortunately, all the students __________ very badly on the test.
  33. Children __________ such a mess! I spend my whole life tidying up.
  34. The car was __________ 90 miles per hour on the motorway when it was stopped by the police.
  35. John went outside to __________ a phone call.
  36. Lucy has decided to __________ a course this autumn. She’s going to study Spanish.
  37. My grandmother loves __________  crosswords.
  38. Anne __________ a good point. She said that it’s often cheaper to fly in the UK than take the train.
  39. If I were to __________ a prediction, I’d say that it’ll rain this afternoon.

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