“Make” and “do” are two very common English verbs. You are probably used to using them both often, but you may not know how many different ways they can be used. So in this article, we’ll look at both words in detail and introduce their many practical uses for daily conversation.
Let's begin with "do." It means "to perform an action" and it's often used to talk about a process or something that takes time to complete (for example, homework, chores, a job or task).
We use "do" to ask about careers.
It's also used to talk about general activities or things that are not specific.
Other uses of “do”
There are many activities you can express by using "do" together with specific nouns. Unfortunately, you have to memorize them because there is no rule for them all!
Types of exercise
Laundry, the dishes (= to clean)
Martial arts (karate, Taekwondo, kickboxing, etc.)
Gymnastics and athletic movements
Hair and nails (= to style, decorate or design)
Some people also use "do" for makeup, but "put on" is more common.
We use "play" for games, but "do" for puzzles!
Time (= spend time in jail)
In action and adventure movies, you may hear the hero tell the villain, “Do your worst!” This means “Hurt me as much as you can” or “I will never give up, no matter what you do.” Dramatic!
There are also "dos and don'ts," which are lists of things you should and should not do in a specific place or situation.
Don't use chopsticks to point at anything.
While "do" is often used to talk about a process, "make" refers to an object or the result of a process (like a meal, a sweater, a business plan, a decision).
"Do" would be incorrect in these sentences.
Another important use of "make" is the meaning "to force someone to do something."
Other uses of “make”
Compared to "do," many ways of using "make" are figurative, which means "used in a different way than its normal meaning."
Fun (of someone or something) (= to tease or joke about)
Love (= have sex)
Time (for something) (= reserve time for a specific activity)
Up one’s mind (= decide)
That's a lot of uses! Of course, it's important to improve your vocabulary with new words, but it's also important to understand all of the ways the most basic words can be used. "Do" and "make" are two of the simplest English verbs, but look at how many uses they have! Mastering these will really help you to improve your fluency in everyday conversation.