Make or Do? They are very different and really stand out to native speakers. Don’t *make* the mistake! Follow my blog! :)

Make and do are very difficult for Spanish speakers. There are no real rules but some “guidelines”. This is something that I work a lot with with my students. So, what are the “guidelines”? Here are some examples. There are many more than this! But, little by little, I’ll introduce you to them all!

To do:

Tasks (work, jobs or school)

  • do your homework
  • do the dishes
  • do the laundry
  • ***you MAKE the bed
  • You will see “do an exam” on some other sites. Maybe it’s British but I would say, “take an exam” or “have an exam” I’m taking an exam tomorrow. I have an exam tomorrow.

Non-Specific activities: (if you use a word like _____thing, it’s non specific! ok, maybe that one is easy)

  • do something/anything/nothing/everything

About your body:

  • do exercise/yoga/pilates/sports
  • do your nails/hair/make up/eye brows (it means to pluck your eyebrows)

General actions:

  • do good/well/badly
  • do your best
  • do a good thing
  • do the right thing

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To make:

Food, drinks and meals:

  • make breakfast
  • make a cup of tea
  • make scrambled eggs
  • make a snack

Something that produces a reaction (physical or mental) 

  • make you happy/sad/mad/scared
  • make you sleepy/tired
  • make you smile/laugh

Plans and decisions:

  • make a plan
  • make arrangements
  • make a choice/decision
  • make progress
  • make (prepare) breakfast/lunch/dinner
  • **** you DO a favor

Product material or origin:

  • made of wood
  • made of silver
  • made of gold
  • made in the US
  • made in Spain
  • made by me

Sounds and speaking:

  • make a noise
  • make a suggestion/comment
  • make a speech


  • make a donation (of money or objects)
  • make money
  • make a living (earning money to pay your bills)
  • make a fortune (a lot of money)


Let’s take a quiz!!

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Make or do #1

Do you know the difference between Make or Do? Let's see! Pay attention to verb tense!!

How’d you do??? I’m sure you did great!

If you want to learn make and do really well, I’ll be posting about it a lot. I think it’s something that really helps you improve your level. Eventually, we will work our way up to (we will progress, learn more) make, do, take, have and give and then we will learn that some nouns can use more than one verb to mean something entirely different!!

Click here  for a PDF document with a more comprehensive list of expressions with MAKE.

Click here for a PDF document with a more comprehensive list of expressions with DO.




See you next time!

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This is my cat Artie waving goodbye! 🙂





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