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Do & Make: What's the difference?


The verbs "do" and "make" are among the most used words in the English language. These two words often confuse English learners because they often use one verb for both in their native language (like "hacer" in Spanish). To help your students understand this better, take a look at the following chart below showcasing the difference between "do" and "make".

Grammar Corner Do & Make: What's the difference?


"Do" and "make" are two verbs that frequently confuse students learning English. The following explanations will help you better understand the difference between "do" and "make" and when to use each one.

When do we use "do"? 

1. "Do" is used when talking about work, jobs or tasks:

  • I usually do my homework as soon as I get home.
  • I have to start doing the housework.
  • She hates doing the laundry.

2. "Do" is used to refer to non-specific activities, for example:

  • Hurry up! I've got things to do.
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?

3. "Do" can be used to replace a verb when the meaning is clear or obvious.

  • Can you do my hair?
  • Have you done the laundry yet?

4. "Do" is used as an auxiliary verb for questions.

  • Do you speak English well?
  • Does she like to go shopping?
  • Did we go to the store?



When do we use "make"?

1. "Make" is used for producing, constructing, or creating something.

  • Wine is made from grapes.
  • I made this cake for you.
  • She makes coffee every day at 2 PM.

2. "Make" is used for producing an action or reaction.

  • Cutting onions makes your eyes water.
  • Eating chili makes some people sick.
  • If you marry me, I will make you happy.

3. "Make" is used before nouns about plans and decisions.

  • She made an appointment at the hair salon.
  • They're making plans for the weekend to go on a camping trip.


4. "Make" is used with nouns about speaking and certain sounds.
  • The twins are sleeping - don't make a noise!
  • She was so upset and didn't make a peep the whole evening.

5. "Make" is used with food, drinks and meals.

  • My mom makes dinner at 6 PM every day.
  • I can make you a mojito if you like.

6. "Make" can be used to force someone to do something.

  • My mother makes me fo to bed at 10 PM every day.
  • My date made me wait for her for 1 hour.



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