Students often make mistakes when trying to use make or do. Unfortunately there is no hard rule in English concerning the use of make or do. The verb make goes with some words and the verb do with other words.
DO is used :
– for indefinite activities : do something / nothing / anything / everything
– for work : do work/ the shopping/ the garden/ a job/ business/ homework/ the windows/ laundry/ the dishes/ the housework/ exercise/ chores/ a translation/ a test
– in the informal structure do ……….. ing when talking about activities that take a certain time or are repeated jobs or hobbies. There is usually a determiner: the, some, my, much…
Example: I’m going to do some walking.
He wants to do some bird-watching.
– in common fixed expressions: do harm/ good/ one’s best/ a favour / sport / exercise / one’s hair/ one’s teeth/ 100mph /
MAKE is used for some creative activities. These activities usually create something you can touch and involves something you choose to do.
You make: breakfast/ lunch/ dinner/ a cup of tea/ your bed/ a mess/ friends/ love / a journey/ a decision/ a promise/ an effort/ a suggestion/ an appointment/ an arrangement/ a complaint/ an excuse/ a complaint/ a mistake/ a speech/ a statement/ room for something/ money/ a fortune/ a profit/ a loss/ a telephone call/ a choice/ a reservation/
However, sometimes the context needs to dictate the choice between “do” or “ make”. Here’s the example:
He’s doing the crossword puzzle.
But the person who created that crossword puzzle probably makes crossword puzzles for living and earns money for that.
Teachers make homework and exams and students do homework and take exams.
In the end, here’s a piece of advice to you. Make your own list of “do” and “ make” expressions. Use “make” where you could use “create” and “do” elsewhere.
Here are a few quizes if you want to check your knowledge: