What do you do? What do you make?
These simple words can cause a lot of confusion for students whose first language is Spanish. Let's try to explain the difference between do and make.
Look at some common expressions with Do
Do the dishes.
Do some chores.
Do your work.
Do your best.
Do it over.
Do the report.
Do is used to describe an activity that you have to do, often over and over again. For instance, we do the dishes and we do the laundry repetitively . Do also contains an element of duty and responsibility.
Now, take a look at some expressions with Make
Please make time.
You make dinner.
You make drawings.
You make decisions.
You make plans.
Your make reservations.
You make money.
You make friends.
Make is used to describe a creative activity or something you choose to do. You choose, for instance, to make plans, make friends, and make decisions. You have choices.
Why do we say make dinner if we have to do it over and over? Perhaps because cooking is seen more as a creative activity than a chore. But cleaning the table, and cleaning the dishes are just chores so we say do the table and do the dishes. That is also why Americans say make money instead of do money. Making money is seen as both creative and a choice. Idioms are cultural. Sometimes Americans will use the verb make in a way that might seem strange, but make a decision to do your best and learn practical workplace expressions.
Can you create some sentence using Do or Make?