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Make vs. Do: Collocations with DO and MAKE

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In this guide, we will explore the difference between “make” and “do” and the collocations that are typically used with each verb. We will also provide examples of common phrases and sentences that use “make” and “do” to help you better understand the difference between the two verbs.

List of Common Collocations with MAKE and DO

List of some common collocations with Make:

  • Make money
  • Make progress
  • Make a difference
  • Make a mistake
  • Make a decision
  • Make a phone call
  • Make a reservation
  • Make a point
  • Make a plan
  • Make a difference
  • Make a change
  • Make a move
  • Make a difference
  • Make a living
  • Make a statement
  • Make a claim
  • Make a request
  • Make a purchase
  • Make a reservation
  • Make a list

List of some common collocations with Do:

  • Do research
  • Do homework
  • Do business
  • Do exercise
  • Do damage
  • Do justice
  • Do well
  • Do wrong
  • Do a favor
  • Do a job
  • Do a task
  • Do a survey
  • Do a study
  • Do a presentation
  • Do a workout
  • Do a service
  • Do a good deed
  • Do a test
  • Do a search
  • Do a cleaning

If there are any word associations that need such attentiveness and intensive concentrated practice will surely be the cases in which DO and MAKE are used to describe actions. Both of them work better and more authentically than each other because none of them dare replace the other in any domain supervised, predominated and controlled by each one of them. This is said, we have to take it for granted that both of the verbs almost describe the same action.

“We’ll make dinner provided that you do the dishes“.

What are The Differences Between DO and MAKE

The main difference between “do” and “make” is that “do” is generally used for general actions, while “make” is used for creating or producing something. “Do” can be used for many different types of actions, such as work, household tasks, activities, and more. “Make” is typically used to indicate the creation of something, such as making a cake, making a phone call, making a mistake, etc.

Another difference between “do” and “make” is that “do” is often used in idiomatic phrases, such as “do business” or “do your best” whereas “make” is often used in collocations that involve creating or producing something, such as “make a cake” or “make a decision.”

It’s also important to note that “do” is more common in spoken English, while “make” is more common in written English.

For example:

  • “I will do my homework later.” (general action)
  • “I will make a cake for the party.” (creating something)
  • “I’m going to do some shopping.” (activity)
  • “I’m going to make a phone call to my friend.” (creating something)

Collocations with DO and MAKE

Here is the useful list of collocations with the verb Do & Make in English:

English Collocations With MAKE


  • Make breakfast/lunch/dinner

E.g: I’m making dinner – it’ll be ready in about ten minutes.

  • Make a sandwich

E.g: Could you make me a turkey sandwich?

  • Make a salad

E.g: I made a salad for the family picnic.

  • Make a cup of tea

E.g: Would you like me to make you a cup of tea?

  • Make a reservation

E.g: I’ve made a reservation for 7:30 at our favorite restaurant.


  • Make money

E.g: I enjoy my job, but I don’t make very much money.

  • Make a profit

E.g: The new company made a profit within its first year.

  • Make a fortune

E.g: He made a fortune after his book hit #1 on the bestseller list.

  • Make $___

E.g: I made $250 selling my old CDs on the internet.


  • Make friends

E.g: It’s hard to make friends when you move to a big city.

  • Make a pass at (= flirt with someone)

E.g: My best friend’s brother made a pass at me – he asked if I was single and tried to get my phone number.

  • Make fun of someone (= tease / mock someone)

E.g: The other kids made fun of Jimmy when he got glasses, calling him “four eyes.”

  • Make up (= resolve a problem in a relationship)

E.g: Karen and Jennifer made up after the big fight they had last week.


  • Make a phone call

E.g: Please excuse me – I need to make a phone call.

  • Make a joke

E.g: He made a joke, but it wasn’t very funny and no one laughed.

  • Make a point

E.g: Dana made some good points during the meeting; I think we should consider her ideas.

  • Make a bet

E.g: I made a bet with Peter to see who could do more push-ups.

  • Make a complaint

E.g: We made a complaint with our internet provider about their terrible service, but we still haven’t heard back from them.

  • Make a confession

E.g: I need to make a confession: I was the one who ate the last piece of cake.

  • Make a speech

E.g: The company president made a speech about ethics in the workplace.

  • Make a suggestion

E.g: Can I make a suggestion? I think you should cut your hair shorter – it’d look great on you!

  • Make a prediction

E.g: It’s difficult to make any predictions about the future of the economy.

  • Make an excuse

E.g: When I asked him if he’d finished the work, he started making excuses about how he was too busy.

  • Make a promise

E.g: I made a promise to help her whenever she needs it.

(You can also say, “I promised to help her whenever she needs it.”)

  • Make a fuss (= demonstrate annoyance)

E.g: Stop making a fuss – he’s only late a couple minutes. I’m sure he’ll be here soon.

  • Make an observation

E.g: I’d like to make an observation about our business plan – it’s not set in stone, so we can be flexible.

  • Make a comment

E.g: The teacher made a few critical comments on my essay.

EXCEPTION: Don’t say “make a question.” The correct phrase is “ask a question.”

Plans & Progress

  • Make plans

E.g: We’re making plans to travel to Australia next year.

  • Make a decision/choice

E.g: I’ve made my decision – I’m going to go to New York University, not Boston University.

  • Make a mistake

E.g: You made a few mistakes in your calculations – the correct total is $5430, not $4530.

  • Make progress

E.g: My students are making good progress. Their spoken English is improving a lot.

  • Make an attempt / effort (= try)

E.g: I’m making an effort to stop smoking this year.

  • Make up your mind (= decide)

E.g: Should I buy a desktop or a laptop computer? I can’t make up my mind.

  • Make a discovery

E.g: Scientists have made an important discovery in the area of genetics.

  • Make a list

E.g: I’m making a list of everything we need for the wedding: invitations, decorations, a cake, a band, the dress…

  • Make sure (= confirm)

E.g: Can you make sure we have enough copies of the report for everybody at the meeting?

  • Make a difference

E.g: Getting eight hours of sleep makes a big difference in my day. I have more energy!

  • Make an exception

E.g: Normally the teacher doesn’t accept late homework, but she made an exception for me because my backpack was stolen with my homework inside it.

English Collocations With DO


  • Do the housework

E.g: After I got home from the office, I was too tired to do the housework.

  • Do the laundry

E.g: I really need to do the laundry – I don’t have any clean clothes left!

  • Do the dishes

E.g: I’ll make dinner if you do the dishes afterwards.

(You can also say “wash the dishes”)

  • Do the shopping

E.g: I went to the bank, did some shopping, and mailed a package at the post office.

EXCEPTION: make the bed = putting blankets, sheets, and pillows in the correct place so that the bed looks nice and not messy.

Work / Study

  • Do work

E.g: I can’t go out this weekend – I have to do some work on an extra project.

  • Do homework

E.g: You can’t watch any TV until you’ve done your homework.

  • Do business

E.g: We do business with clients in fifteen countries.

  • Do a good/great/terrible job

E.g: She did a good job organizing the party.

(In this expression, “job” doesn’t necessarily refer to work. It simply means the person did something well)

  • Do a report

E.g: I’m doing a report on the history of American foreign policy.

(You can also say “writing a report”)

  • Do a course

E.g: We’re doing a course at the local university.

(You can also say “taking a course”)

Taking Care of Your Body

  • Do exercise

E.g: I do at least half an hour of exercise every day.

  • Do your hair (= style your hair)

E.g: I’ll be ready to go in 15 minutes – I just need to do my hair.

  • Do your nails (= paint your nails)

E.g: Can you open this envelope for me? I just did my nails and they’re still wet.

General Good or Bad Actions

  • Do anything /something /everything /nothing

E.g: Are you doing anything special for your birthday?

You can’t do everything by yourself – let me help you.

  • Do well

E.g: I think I did pretty well in the interview.

  • Do badly

E.g: Everyone did badly on the test – the highest grade was 68.

  • Do good

E.g: The non-profit organization has done a lot of good in the community.

  • Do the right thing

E.g: When I found someone’s wallet on the sidewalk, I turned it in to the police because I wanted to do the right thing.

  • Do your best

E.g: Don’t worry about getting everything perfect – just do your best.

Collocations with DO and MAKE | Image

Collocations with DO and MAKE

Collocations with Do and Make | Image 1

Collocations with DO and MAKE

Collocations with Do and Make in English | Image 2

The Differences Between DO and MAKE | Images

Collocations with MAKE and DO

Collocations with MAKE and DO

Please note that ‘Make’ and ‘Do’ express the same thing but each one is used irreplaceably in combination with particular actions. It is easy but you need to continuously practice them so that these crucial details stick in your head.

The following tables will show you some frequent uses of the word combinations with both do and make. These collocations have to be learnt quite curiously so as not to be confused and therefore confusing. Don’t forget that native speaker wouldn’t understand you if it happens that you misused the combination.

Collocations with MAKE and DO

Collocations with MAKE and DO


rosalia valenza

Saturday 10th of April 2021

great tools, thanks a lot!


Sunday 6th of December 2020

Make the learn english

kb man

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

i really like your post! pls keep it up!


Tuesday 28th of November 2017

Very useful for everyone who studies English.


Friday 24th of November 2017

It's really educating