“Make” vs “Do” – Part 2

My first post was too long so I decided to divide it in two parts: “Make” vs “do” – Part 1 and “Make” vs “Do” – Part 2. This is the Part 2 of subject “Make vs “Do“.

I showed in the Part 1 the expressions with “Make” and now I’m going to show you the expressions with “Do“. If you’ve not read the Part 1 yet, I repeat in this post the two first paragraphs of Part 1. Read the paragraphs below:

The use of verbs “Make” and “Do” sound so natural and easy for native English speakers. However, “Make” and “Do” can be confusing in some languages such as Portuguese and Spanish. Sometimes “Make” and “Do” have the same meaning, they both mean “fazer” in Portuguese and “hacer” in Spanish.

I found several definitions that explain when to use “Make” or “Do” as main verbs in a sentence. Some words go after “Make” and others after “Do“. See below my conclusions and the list of some words with “Make” or “Do“.

Examples of expressions with “Do

Do – used to describe work, jobs or (leisure), tasks, duties or indefinite activities.

1. Work, jobs, tasks and duties

  • do work
  • do a job
  • do business
  • do a project
  • do service
  • do one’s duty
  • do an assignment
  • do chores
  • do a task
  • do one’s teeth
  • do one’s hair
  • do one’s nails
  • do one’s make-up
  • do the shopping
  • do a test
  • do exam
  • do the homework
  • do the housework
  • do household chores
  • do the dishes
  • do the laundry
  • do the washing
  • do the washing-up
  • do the cleaning
  • do the cooking
  • do the ironing

Exception: make the bed

2. Leisure

  • do sports
  • do gymnastics
  • do exercises
  • do crosswords
  • do a drawing
  • do the gardening
  • do a walking

3. Indefinite activities (general)

  • do something
  • do anything
  • do nothing
  • do everything


More expressions with “Do

The following words are generally used with “Do“:

  • do your best
  • do well
  • do good
  • do right (the right thing)
  • do wrong (the wrong thing)
  • do on purpose
  • do harm
  • do badly
  • do your worst
  • do time (to go to prison)
  • do a sum
  • do accounts
  • do a course
  • do a research
  • do repairs
  • do the rest
  • do (somebody) a favour/ favor
  • do damage (to something)
  • do a burp
  • do a fart


If you want to see the expressions with “Make“, click  on “Make” vs “Do” – Part 1.

I found these two interesting websites about “Make” vs “Do“: http://www.vocabulary.cl/Intermediate/Do_Make.htm and http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv2.shtml

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