Do vs Make - English Grammar - Teaching Tips


When 'do' or 'make' are used as main verbs it can be confusing to ESL learners. Let?s break it down: DO We use the verb 'do' when someone performs an action, activity or task. Some examples include:

  • do a crossword
  • do the ironing
  • do your job
  • do the dishes
  • do homework
We also use the verb 'do' when speaking about things in general and to describe an action without saying exactly what the action is. This form is often used with the words 'something, nothing, anything, everything, etc.' I'm not doing anything today. He does everything for his wife. He's doing nothing. There are also a number of set expressions that take the verb 'do', such as:
  • do badly
  • do business
  • do a favor
  • do good
  • do harm
  • do time - (to go to prison)
  • do well
  • do your best
  • do your hair
Now let?s look at ?make?. We use the verb 'make' for constructing, building or creating, for example:
  • make a car
  • make food
  • make a cup of tea
There are also a number of standard expressions that take the verb 'make'. For instance:
  • make arrangements
  • make a choice
  • make a decision
  • make an effort
  • make an excuse
  • make friends
  • make a journey
  • make a mistake
  • make money
and many others. I hope this clears up any confusion. That's it for today. See you next time!

Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

In this lesson I have learnt how to use eye contact, how to control my voice. Also, I have learnt what are the main principles of classroom arrangement, how to reduce amount of time with my back to the class while writing on the board, how to provide adequate attention to each student, how to establish good relationship with students and how to maintain discipline.Unit 8 gives a thorough enlightenment on Future Tense System. As per the other grammar units, it provides the learner with detailed explanation about the different uses. The great deal of example sentences helps to clarify the situations in which each form is appropriate. I also found very interesting the summary tables and I took great advantage of the task sheet.