Do and make. What are the differences between do and make? I’ll try to be as concise and short as possible so let’s have a quick look. Rules and an elaboration on ‘do’
- We use ‘do’ to talk about jobs and tasks:
Can you do what I asked please? (Implies a task)
Did you do you homework last night?
You’re doing odd things right now.
- We use ‘do’ to talk about all activities, anything that we don’t have a name for:
What is she doing?
I don’t like what she’s doing.
Did you do a noise?
What would you like to do?
- We use ‘do + gerund’ (verb + ing) to talk about activities that take some time to complete (Determiners are usually used with this construction):
Have you done any cycling today?
I did some running yesterday.
One should do a lot of reading, it’s important.
Let’s do some writing.
- We use ‘make’ to talk about ‘constructing’ or ‘creating’:
We just made a new pastry in the kitchen.
Are you making a house?
Let’s make a cake, hmm.
My step brother is making a new apartment building.
Apart from the rules, we also have a few exceptions to the rules that are fixed and need to be learnt by heart:
- Do: exercise, sport, business, good, harm, one’s duty, one’s teeth, one’s hair, one’s best, x amount of Km, a favour
- Make: money, a noise, a journey, an offer, a decision, an attempt, love, peace, war, a profit, a fortune, an exception, a mistake, an excuse, a suggestion, a fire, progress, a phone call, an effort, arrangements