5 Ways to Use “Make It” Like a Native English Speaker
Here, Shreya apologizes for not being able to go to Peter’s party. But why does she use “make it” instead of just saying “come” or “go”? Today, we’ll explain the top five ways English speakers use the phrase “make it”!
Meaning #1: “To be able to go to an event or appointment”
English speakers most commonly use “make it” to mean “to be able to go” to some event or place.
Like the sentences above, most sentences that use “make it” could be rephrased with either “come” or “go.”
The difference is that “make it” focuses on whether someone is “able to” come to an event or a place. And when a lot of time or effort is required for someone to come to an event or a place, English speakers are more likely to use “make it” instead of “come” or “go.”
For example, let’s say a couple from New York decides to have their wedding someplace far away, such as in Hawaii. At the wedding, the couple would probably say things like this:
In both cases, they could have used “come” instead of “make it.” But they’re more likely to say “make it” because their guests needed to spend a lot of time (and money!) to get to their wedding.
Meaning #2: “To reach a destination”
A second related meaning of “make it” is “to reach or arrive at” a place, especially if it is difficult to get to. Here are some examples.
“Make it” is often used like this with phrases like “on time” and “in time (for).”
You can see “make it” used like this in the following sentence about a girl named Selah who is trying to climb to the top of a tall rock:
Selah's mother, Joy Schneiter, said she was worried that her daughter would get too tired to make it to the top.“10-Year-Old May Be Youngest to Climb El Capitan” | Engoo Daily News
Meaning #3: “To qualify for something or achieve a goal”
English speakers also use “make it” to talk about people who have succeeded in qualifying for something. You’ll often see it used in the context of sports and other competitions.
Here’s a sentence about a song that got third place in a list of songs ranked by popularity:
Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" made it to No. 3 in the week ending December 21, 2019 to become the third highest-charting holiday hit ever.“25 Years After Release, Christmas Classic Hits No.1” | Engoo Daily News
English speakers also use “make it” like this to talk about achieving a specific goal - like someone being promoted to a new role at work.
Meaning #4: “To become very successful”
English speakers also use “make it” to talk about being very successful, especially in some type of work that is difficult to succeed in. When “make it” is used this way, it often also implies that the person became rich and famous.
Related phrases are “make it to the top” and “make it big.” You can replace “make it” with these phrases in the sentences above and they would make sense too.
Keep in mind you can use “make it” to talk about someone even if they’re not famous. If you believe someone has become very successful, you can say they’ve “made it.”
Meaning #5: “To survive”
“Make it” also means to survive something serious, such as a disease, an injury or any other life-threatening situation.
English speakers also use it to talk about dealing with difficult situations in general, even if they don’t involve the possibility of dying.
Do you have any questions?
If you have any questions about using the phrase “make it” or any other phrase in English, book a lesson with an Engoo tutor!
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