Using Do and Make

The different uses of make and do

Some students insist that do and make can be all the same. Teachers have to lay down some guidelines otherwise language learning will be harder. Make is generally used with constructing and do is used with more figurative forms and activities where the final product isn't the creation of something else. Make is used with some expressions where do is not and do is used for the emphatic as in stressing what actually occurred. Saying I 'did do that' instead of 'I did that' is used to challenge a person's denial of your admission.

For example you make your swimming pool because you are arranging elements so that the pool is dug properly, then concrete is poured and the furnishings are added. Since this involves planning and physical work make is more appropriate. The final product is a new creation as it were and that is why make is used. We do our homework on the other hand because it is an activity if there is anything created it is the act of doing something but there is no physical change in the final product. Students may argue that a completed notebook is proof that physical work has been done.

Then I would go onto explaining further if the concept was not understood: like you make a sandcastle out of sand or a house out of bricks but homework is not made of physical materials. Transcribing information from book to notebook page is a mental activity and that is abstract. Students may argue that their parent language has other rules. language or that the English language is being too specific. The teacher is not there to argue who is wrong or right about how the language was created or compromised. Coaching is done to provide explanations independent of what the client may think. Similar difficulties occur between the uses of get and go when they are both used for locomotion and the movement from one point to the next.

Do is used as an auxiliary for the same verb whereas make is not. So one will hear questions like do you do your work regularly and not make your work regularly. Do and make are used in different phrasal verbs and consequently in different idiomatic expressions. So we use do and not make in ‘do up your jacket’ meaning we zipper or button our jackets and we use make as in ‘he made up to her’ meaning he apologized.

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Guimo Pantuhan
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Posted on Aug 7, 2011