The Difference between DO and MAKE – 30+ Common English Collocations

The following tables will show you some frequent uses of the word combinations with both do and make.


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

Common Collocations with DO

  • Do a deal

To make an arrangement, esp. in business

Eg: Have you done any deals with distributors in Asia yet?

  • Do business

To be engaged in business, to be involved in commerce or trade.

Eg: We want to do business with you

  • Do damage

To cause harm or damage

eg: Did the storm do much damage?

  • Do the dishes

To wash plates, cups, pots, pans, knives, forks, etc. used to cook and eat a meal

Eg: Whose turn is it to do the dishes tonight?

  • Do the ironing

To iron clothes, sheets, ...

Eg: I like listening to the radio while I'm doing the ironing.

  • Do the shopping

To buy food and groceries

Eg: We usually do the shopping at our local supermarket.

  • Do (your) best

Do all you can to succeed

Eg: We did our best to win, but the other team played really well.

  • Do (your) duty

Do what you should do at work, at home, or for your community

Eg: The police were just doing their duty when they arrested him.

  • Do (your) hair

Style your hairI need the hair dresser to do my hair

Eg: Every morning I do my hair so it looks presentable.

  • Do (your) nails

Paint your nails

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

  • Do someone a favour

Do something for someone as an act of kindness

He: He did us a big favour by postponing his departure for a couple of weeks.

  • Do harm

To have a bad effect on somebody or something

Eg: The floods didn't do any serious harm to our crops.

  • Do damage

To cause harm or damage

Eg: Did the storm do much damage?

  • Do better

To improve in performace or condition

Eg: We didn't play well today, but I'm sure we'll do better next time.

  • Do work

To put effort into a task or a job

Eg: I've done enough work for one day. I'm going home.



Common Collocations with MAKE

  • Make a bed

To neatly arrange the sheets, blankets and pillows on a bed

Eg: Mum says I have to make my bed before I go to school.

  • Make a decision

To decide what to do

Eg: "Have you made a decision yet?"

  • Make a fortune

To make a huge amount of money

Eg: My uncle made a fortune in the software business.

  • Make a fuss

To create unnecessary excitement or concern about something

Eg: I like people who achieve a lot without making a big fuss about what they're doing.

  • Make a living

To earn money for the things you need in life

Eg: It's not easy to make a living when the economy's so bad.

  • Make a mess

To create an untidy or disorganized state or situation

Eg: If rich kids make a mess, their servants tidy things up again.

  • Make a mistake

To do something that's wrong or has bad results

Eg: Whenever we make mistakes, our teacher corrects them for us.

  • Make a note (of)

To write down something so that you don't forget it

Eg: I'd better make a note of that, or I might forget.

  • Make a pass at

Flirt with someone

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

  • Make a profit

To make money from business or investments

Eg: Big companies employ smart people to ensure they pay very little tax on the huge profits they make.

  • Make a reservation

To book or reserve a seat on a train, a table in a restaurant, a room in a hotel, ...

Eg: Shall I make a reservation for 8 o'clock at that Japanese restaurant?

  • Make a takeover bid

To try to get control of something

Eg: The company made a takeover bid for one of its rivals.

  • Make an appearance

To appear; to appear in a performance

Eg: We waited forthirty minutes for the professor to make an appearance,then we went home.

  • Make an effort

To put time and energy into doing something

Eg: You can't learn a language without making an effort.

  • Make an excuse

To give a reason for doing something you shouldn't do, or for not doing something you should do

Eg: He got to work late and made some excuse about being stuck in traffic.

  • Make an offer

To state a price you're willing to pay for something

Eg: He made a generous offer, but I had to turn it down.

  • Make contact

To contact a person or an organisation

Eg: After I get there, I'll make contact with a number of local trading companies.

  • Make friends

To form new friendships

Eg: Jenny finds it hard to make friends.

  • Make peace

To end hostilities; to reach a peace agreement

Eg: Both countries can rebuild now that they have made peace with each other.

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The Difference between DO and MAKE – 30+ Common English Collocations

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