Do and Make are two of the most common verbs in English. They are also two of the most commonly confused verbs in English! There are two main reasons for this:

• Many languages have only one of these verbs. For example, in Italian 'fare' translates for both 'do' and 'make'.

• Many of the expressions are fixed expressions such as: make the bed, do homework.

This guide should help you learn the most common uses of both Do and Make in English.

Fixed Expressions with 'Do'

Here are the some of the most common fixed expressions with 'do':

• do homework

• do the dishes

• do housework

• do good

• do harm

• do your best

• do a favor

• do 50 mph

• do business

• do your duty

• do your hair

• do a deed

• do penance / time

• do right / wrong

• do enough

Fixed Expressions with 'Make'

Here are the some of the most common fixed expressions with 'make':

• makean offer

• make an exception

• make a mistake

• make peace / war

• make love

• make money / a profit

• make a phone call

• make an effort / attempt

• make (a) noise

• make a suggestion

• make a decision

• make an excuse

• make progress

• make arrangements

General Rules for 'Do'

Use 'do' when speaking about vague, or indefinite activities. These include speaking in general using '-thing' words such as something, anything, nothing, etc.


Are you going to do anything about it?
Let's do something this afternoon.
I didn't do anything wrong!

Use 'do' for activities. This includes any chores or daily tasks.


Hurry up and do the dishes
Did you do your chores?
I didn't have time to do my homework

Use 'do' with various jobs and activities ending in '-ing' such as do some gardening, do some thinking, do some painting, etc. This use tends to be informal in [continua]

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