05/12/16 ‘Do’ or ‘Make’?

The use of do or make

When ‘do’ or ‘make’ are used as main verbs it can be confusing. The verb ‘make’ goes with some words and the verb ‘do’ with other words.

Do

We use the verb ‘do’ when someone performs an action, activity or task.

do a crossword
do the ironing
do the laundry
do the washing
do the washing up

‘Do’ is often used when referring to work of any kind.

do your work
do homework
do housework
do your job

Note – these activities do not usually produce a physical object.

‘Do’ for General Ideas

Use the verb ‘do’ when speaking about things in general. In other words, to describe an action without saying exactly what the action is. This form is often used with the words ‘something, nothing, anything, everything, etc.’

I’m not doing anything today.
He does everything for his mother.
She’s doing nothing.

Important Expressions with ‘Do’

There are a number of standard expressions that take the verb ‘do’. The best solution is to try to learn them.

do badly
do business
do the dishes
do a favor
do good
do harm
do time – (to go to prison)
do well
do your best
do your hair
do your nails
do your worst

In our next Lesson, we’ll analyze the uses of MAKE.