Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you make something, or do you do it?

Today, in #3 of our Top 15 Fixes, we talk about the difficulty of distinguishing when to use these two verbs!


Many English learners have difficulty using do and make, often because they are directly translating from their own language. But native English speakers make it even more difficult.  Even though there are some basic rules for using these verbs, native speakers tend to break them.


Make usually means to create something, from the ground up. Some examples include:

  • Making food, a drink, or anything requiring ingredients
  • Making friends (creating friendships)
  • Making the bed or table (putting things together)
  • Making a phone call, or making mistakes


Do usually relates more to a responsibility, an action or a job. Some examples include:

  • Doing dinner, coffee or drinks (something you do together, with others)
  • Doing homework, or doing the dishes (doing a job or work)
  • Doing someone a favor
  • Doing your best



Michelle and Lindsay are on a Caribbean cruise and are discussing some of the activity options.

Lindsay: Can you do me a favor? Help me pick some activities from this list.

Michelle: There are so many options! I heard there are tennis courts on the ship. Have you seen them?

Lindsay: No, but that’s definitely something I want to do. Maybe tomorrow morning!

Michelle: And there’s a cooking class scheduled for tonight- let’s do that!

Lindsay: Yes! It looks like we’re going to learn how to make cream puffs. My pastry skills could definitely use some work!

Michelle: Same! I love making cookies, but pastry dough is way harder!

Lindsay: What else do you want to do? There’s so much on this list!

Michelle: Seriously! It’s hard to choose. And there’s so much extra time when we don’t have to make dinner or do the dishes.


Other Entries in the 15 Fixes Series:


What do you make?

What do you do?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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