Make or Do – Difference, Examples & Worksheet

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Is it make a proposal or do a proposal? Do you make a cake or do a cake? When you’ve finished your homework, have you made it? Or done it?

I usually use make when I’m creating something and do when I’m accomplishing it. That means I do the agenda once I’m done making it.

Learn the difference between make and do with examples of sentences and expressions. I also provided a worksheet at the end of the article that will challenge your mastery of the two verbs.

Make vs. Do

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Make and do are similar English verbs. In some sentences, make and do are interchangeable. But in other statements, the word is fixed.

Make means the action of creating. It means one constructs or produces something. It can be a cake, building, or promise. For example:

  • I made Joshua a cake for his birthday.

This sentence means the speaker created or produced a cake for Joshua’s birthday. They were likely to bake the cake from scratch. Make is also used when we’re emphasizing the result.

Some synonyms for make include assemble, put together, manufacture, produce, shape, forge, create, and form.

Do is for general activities you fulfill, such as work or daily tasks. This verb also applies to activities, tasks, and obligations you often repeat. For example:

  • I do paperwork every day in the office.

This sentence means the speaker performs paperwork on a regular basis in the office. Here, we don’t emphasize the physical object.

Aside from being a normal verb, do is also an auxiliary verb. For example:

  • Do you like drinking tea?

Some synonyms for do include carry out, discharge, undertake, perform, accomplish, implement, and finish.

One way to remember make vs. do is to consider the word plan. When you are still forming it, the correct phrase is making a plan. But when you want to fulfill or make it happen, you do the plan. For example:

  • I made a business plan.
  • I did the business plan.

Expressions Using “Do”

Use do for regular or daily activities, such as housework and studies. Here are some examples of sentences or expressions.

  • I usually do the laundry every weekend.
  • Do the household chores
  • Do the ironing
  • Do a few jobs
  • Do the washing up
  • Do the dishes
  • Do the cooking
  • Do your duty
  • Do a book report
  • Do a test
  • Do your assignment
  • Do your homework
  • Do experiments
  • Do the project
  • Do business
  • Do puzzles
  • Do an online course
  • Do some reading
  • Do the math
  • Do research
  • Do a deal

Do is also common among general ideas or non-specific actions.

  • I’m not doing anything tomorrow.
  • I do all the things that make him happy.
  • Do your best
  • Do an amazing job
  • Do better
  • Do harm
  • Do damage
  • Do the right thing
  • Do the minimum
  • Do something right
  • Do well

Use do for actions that involve taking care of your body.

  • She has to do her nails.
  • Do your hair
  • Do exercise

Examples of expressions with do using general, good, or bad actions.

  • Do anything
  • Do something
  • Do everything

Expressions Using “Make”

Make is used for anything you produce. Here are some common expressions.

  • Make war
  • Make a threat
  • Make a habit
  • Make a cardigan
  • Make a mess
  • Make a dress
  • Make a move
  • Make an allusion
  • Make changes
  • Make pancakes
  • Make sense
  • Make a difference
  • Make believe

Here are some expressions with make before nouns about plans.

  • Make an appointment
  • Make a contract
  • Make a choice
  • Make a decision
  • Make a schedule
  • Make a difference
  • Make an effort
  • Make up your mind
  • Make plans
  • Make an offer
  • Make a list
  • Make sure
  • Make an exception

Make is also common when discussing reactions or relationships. Here are some sample expressions.

  • Make him happy
  • Make her sad
  • Make her angry
  • Make them upset
  • Make a fool of oneself
  • Make a pass at
  • Make your heart flutter
  • Make your eyes water
  • Make you sleep
  • Make you laugh
  • Make love
  • Make up
  • Make fun of someone
  • Make a break with

Use make for communications. For example:

  • Can I make a suggestion? You should call him.
  • Make a phone call
  • Please make a comment about my outfit.
  • Make a joke
  • Make a complaint
  • Make a reservation
  • Make a gesture
  • Make a promise
  • Make a prediction
  • Make a point
  • Make a fuss
  • Make a noise
  • Make a speech
  • Make a confession
  • Make an excuse
  • Make an error
  • Make a call
  • Make an observation
  • Make an impression
  • Make an appearance
  • Make a sound

This verb is also common when discussing money or other product materials. For example:

  • Made of gold
  • Made by my mother
  • Made of plastic
  • Made from strawberries
  • Made in America
  • Make a profit
  • Make a fortune
  • Make money

Make Changes or Do Changes?

The correct phrase is make changes. Here are some examples of sentences.

  • Can we make changes to the proposal before submitting it to the manager?
  • My mother decided to make a change to our dinner plans.
  • I know I was rude a few weeks ago. But I’m ready to make a change.

Make or Do a List?

Make a list is the correct phrase, meaning produce a list. Consider these sample sentences.

  • Lane made a to-do list of everything we’ll do during the vacation.
  • I will make a list of everything I like about you.

Make or Do Shopping?

The correct phrase is do the shopping because we use it for common activities. For example:

  • We should do the shopping tomorrow morning.
  • I will do the shopping later.
  • While my mother does the shopping, my father does the carrying.

Make or Do a Visit?

The more common phrase is make a visit. For example:

  • My aunt proposed to make a visit this Easter Sunday.
  • Please email me if you won’t be able to make a visit.
  • I want to make a visit before I fly to Singapore.

Make or Do Homework?

The correct expression is do homework because it’s an activity you accomplish or fulfill. For example:

  • I did the late homework after dinner.
  • I do my homework two days before the deadline.
  • Have you done your homework?

Make and Do Summary

By now, all your confusion about make vs. do should be gone. Remember that make means create or produce, while do means perform or accomplish.

You’ll usually find make in sentences that include food, communications, money, products, and plans. Some examples include make baked chicken and make a fortune.

Meanwhile, do is for housework, studies, and non-specific activities. Some examples include do the dishes and do your nails.