Make or Do?

Do we say MAKE or DO?

When to use MAKE

When we create, build, and produce something

  • They make computers.
  • The boat is made of wood.
  • The iPhone is made in China.
  • That sweater is made of bamboo.

When we prepare food or drinks

  • I am making dinner
  • She made me a coffee.
  • I will make yogurt.
  • I made you a margarita.

To express a plan or decision

  • I made a decision. (We can also say I took a decision)
  • We should make arrangements
  • He will make plans for the summer.

To describe a noise or sound.

  • The children are making a lot of noise.
  • Birds make chirping sounds.
  • He could make a phone call.

To express a promise or a wish.

  • She might blow out her candles and make a wish.
  • I made a promise that I will keep.

To express a reaction or emotion

  • Onions make my eyes water.
  • It didn’t make sense.
  • They made me happy.

Tip: We make our bed

When to use DO

When we talk about work or tasks

  • We did our homework.
  • Would you like to go swimming today? I would love to do that!
  • I have to do housework.

We can replace a more descriptive verb with do. (Informal English)

  • We did the dishes after dinner. (We washed the dishes.)
  • He’ll do the lawn tomorrow. (He will mow the lawn tomorrow.)
  • She did her makeup before leaving. (She put on her makeup before leaving.)

To form a question: present simple tense

  • Do you like chocolate?
  • Do they want to see a movie?
  • Do we need a new computer?

Tip: We use does with he, she, and it.

Using do for emphasis

Tip: do, does, did: used for emphasis

Example: Lutz wants to emphasize that he likes seafood.

  • Inge: Why aren’t you eating? Don’t you like seafood?
  • Lutz:  I do like seafood. I’m not very hungry.

Example: Xavier wants to emphasize his desire

  • Sabine: Do you want to go to the music festival?
  • Xavier: I do!

Example: Geraldine wants to emphasize that she called.

  • Magda: You didn’t call Karina yesterday.
  • Geraldine: I did call. She didn’t answer.
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