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DO vs MAKE | The Difference Between Do and Make in English

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DO and Make! The verbs DO and MAKE can be confusing in English because the meaning is similar but they co-occur with different words. It is best to learn the expressions by heart. The lesson below will provide the list of common collocations with Do and Make with ESL printable infographic. 

Collocation Definition

Collocations refer to words that usually go together. They co-occur more often than would be expected by chance.

So how can you distinguish between collocations with make and do?

Generally speaking, use do for activity and make to create something. Compare these examples:

  • I always do my homework in the evenings.
  • I like spaghetti. I make it every day.

But there are other things to consider when using do and make. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.

Collocations with DO and MAKE

Collocations with DO


  • Use do when someone performs an action, activity or task. 
  • Use the verb ‘do’ when you speak about general things (to describe an action without saying exactly what the action is.)
  • We often use do to refer to work of any kind.

List of collocations with DO:

  • Do the dishes 
  • Do an exercise 
  • Do the laundry
  • Do the ironing
  • Do the shopping
  • Do your work 
  • Do homework 
  • Do housework
  • Do your job
  • Do business
  • Do your hair 
  • Do your nails
  • Do one’s best
  • Do good
  • Do harm
  • Do a favor
  • Do business
  • Do things right / badly / well 
  • Do good 
  • Do harm 
  • Do time – (to go to prison) 
  • Do your best / worst.

For examples:

  • I’ll just do the dishes before we go.
  • Today is a good day to do the laundry.
  • I set my alarm for four in the morning to give myself enough time to do homework before the paper route.
  • I always do the shopping on a Monday.
  • She does not want to do housework.
  • Since you were professional, he expected you to do your job.
  • Walsh was asking Kleindienst to do a favor for his client.
  • It’s been a pleasure to do business with you.
  • Don’t worry about the exam-just do your best.
  • I’ve got nothing to do today.
  • He doesn’t do anything all day long.
  • She does everything to attract him.

Collocations with MAKE


We use the verb make to construct, build or create. The result is something that you can touch.

List of Collocations with Make:

These are some important expressions that you can use with make:

  • Make arrangements
  • Make an attempt 
  • Make bed 
  • Make believe 
  • Make change
  • Make a choice
  • Make a comment
  • Make a complaint 
  • Make a decision
  • Make a demand 
  • Make a difference 
  • Make an effort
  • Make an exception
  • Make an excuse 
  • Make an inquiry 
  • Make a fool of yourself 
  • Make a fortune
  • Make friends 
  • Make a fuss 
  • Make a journey 
  • Make love 
  • Make a mess 
  • Make a mistake 
  • Make money 
  • Make a move 
  • Make a noise
  • Make an offer 
  • Make peace 
  • Make a phone call
  • Make a plan
  • Make a point 
  • Make a profit 
  • Make a promise 
  • Make a remark
  • Make a sound
  • Make a speech
  • Make a suggestion
  • Make time 
  • Make a visit
  • Make war

For examples:

  • They make tea with mint in Morocco. 
  • She makes beautiful dresses.
  • Let’s make a cup of coffee
  • Can you make a cup of tea?
  • They make delicious food in this restaurant!
  • She had to make a choice between the two dresses.
  • You can work hard and try your best, but do not make an excuse for the self-seeking.
  • I’ve just got to make a phone call. I’ll be with you in two shakes.
  • If you make a promise, abide by it.
  • They make a profit of ten pence on every copy they sell.
  • Is now an appropriate time to make a speech?
  • She tried not to make a sound because she didn’t want to disturb her husband.
  • If I may make a suggestion, perhaps we could begin a little earlier next week.
  • This is the wrong time to make a visit.

Collocations with DO vs MAKE | Infographic

Useful Collocations with Do and Make with ESL infographic.

do and make


Friday 25th of December 2020