Make and do

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This unit deals with make and do, two verbs that many learners have problems with. If you remember that the basic meaning of make is about producing something and the basic meaning of do is about performing an action, then the collocations on this page may seem more logical.

Make
collocationexample
make arrangements forThe school can make arrangements for pupils with special needs.
make a change / changesThe new manager is planning to make some changes.
make a choiceJill had to make a choice between her career and her family.
make a comment / commentsWould anyone like to make any comments on the talk?
make a contribution toShe made a useful contribution to the discussion.
make a decisionI’m glad it’s you who has to make the decision, not me.
make an effortJoe is really making an effort with his maths this term.
make an excuseI’m too tired to go out tonight. Let’s make an excuse and stay at home.
make friendsKaren is very good at making friends.
make an improvementRepainting the room has really made an improvement.
make a mistakeThey’ve made a mistake in our bill.
make a phone callI’ve got to make some phone calls before dinner.
make progressHarriet is making progress with all her schoolwork.
Do
collocationexample
do your bestAll that matters in the exam is to do your best.
do damageThe storm did some damage to our roof.
do an experimentWe are doing an experiment to test how the metal reacts with water.
do exercisesWe’ll do some exercises practicing these collocations tomorrow.
do someone a good turn / do someone a favourScouts and guides are supposed to do someone a good turn every day.
do harmChanging the rules may do more harm than good.
do your hairNo, I’m not ready. 1 haven’t done my hair yet.
do your homeworkMy son has to do his homework straight after school.
do the ironing/shopping/ washing, etc.I’ll do the washing if you do the ironing.
do some workWe’ll do some work on our project and then we’ll go to the cinema.

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