Words Used with Make or Do – English Vocabulary Exercise

Make or Do

In the English language, two commonly used verbs often cause confusion due to their overlapping meanings: “make” and “do.” While both verbs involve the creation or completion of something, they are used in distinct contexts.

Understanding when to use “make” or “do” correctly can significantly improve one’s fluency in English.

The verb “make” generally refers to the creation or production of something tangible or abstract. It implies constructing, forming, or causing something to exist. “Make” is often associated with activities that involve creativity, fabrication, or manufacturing.

On the other hand, the verb “do” is more versatile and encompasses a broader range of actions. It is often used when referring to tasks, actions, or activities without specifying the creation of a specific object or result. “Do” is commonly used for general actions, chores, or tasks.

Exercise 1 – Words Used with Make or Do

Look at the sentences below and decide whether they should be completed with the verb make or the verb do. The form of these verbs will need to change in most sentences.

  1. Has your mother ________ a will yet?
  2. She ________ her piano exercises every morning.
  3. The storm ________ a lot of damage last night.
  4. Who will be ________ the speech at her wedding?
  5. We ________ a large profit when we sold our house.
  6. There’s a lot of work still to be ________ .
  7. At the moment he’s ________ great efforts to learn Spanish.
  8. They ________ a lot of business with European countries.
  9. I’m not ________ the washing today.
  10. When we got to the hotel, the beds hadn’t been ________ .
  11. The workmen are ________ so much noise we can’t use the telephone.
  12. We are ________ good progress towards finishing the house.
  13. He didn’t mean to ________ any harm.
  14. His wife usually ________ all the housework.
  15. The milk boiled over and ________ a mess on the stove.
  16. I can’t ________ today’s crossword – it’s too hard.
  17. Are you going to ________ a Christmas cake again this year?
  18. How much money did you ________ last year?
  19. It took us hours to ________ the washing up after the party.
  20. He ________ an inquiry about trains to Edinburgh.
  21. I need to ________ a quick phone call before we leave.
  22. Don’t ________ such a fuss – it’s only a little scratch.
  23. She ________ a mistake in typing the address.
  24. We ________ friends with some French people on holiday.
  25. Our company is small but it’s ________ well.
  26. She ________ a few notes before her speech.
  27. She was ________ the ironing when I came home.
  28. Companies often ________ a loss in their first year of operations.

Correct Answers:

  1. made
  2. does
  3. did
  4. making
  5. made
  6. done
  7. making
  8. do
  9. doing
  10. made
  11. making
  12. making
  13. do
  14. does
  15. made
  16. do
  17. make
  18. make
  19. do
  20. made
  21. make
  22. make
  23. made
  24. made
  25. doing
  26. made
  27. doing
  28. make

Exercise 2 – Idioms and Colloquialisms Using Make

Replace the words and expressions in bold with an expression using make from the box.

make the best of * make a break with * made a meal of * make do with * make time * made off with * make-believe * make up my mind

  1. The burglar stole all their silver.
  2. She forgot her pyjamas and had to use a T-shirt because there was nothing else available.
  3. They say it will rain this afternoon so we’d better take advantage of the sunshine while it’s here.
  4. I can’t decide whether to take the afternoon off to do some shopping or stay in the office and work.
  5. She spent a lot of unnecessary time and went to a lot of effort repainting the kitchen.
  6. His stories about his love affairs are just not true, although he pretends they are.
  7. We must arrange to visit the new sports club even though we are short of time.
  8. I’ve tried to forget my last girlfriend, but it’s not always easy to move away from the past.

Correct Answers:

  1. made off with
  2. make do with a T-shirt
  3. make the best of (we can also say make the most of)
  4. make up my mind up
  5. made a meal of
  6. make-believe
  7. make time
  8. make a break with

To master the usage of “make” and “do,” practice is essential. Reading and listening to English in context can help reinforce the correct usage of these verbs. Moreover, engaging in conversations and actively using these verbs in sentences will improve fluency and accuracy over time.

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