Rio OlympicsOlympic rings logoCompetition Winner!

the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

do OR make?

It is not always easy to choose between do and make.

Do can be an auxiliary verb (Do you like coffee?) or a main verb (I did my homework yesterday). As an auxiliary verb, do has no meaning. It is necessary only for the grammatical structure. As a main verb do has a meaning, but the meaning is rather general. It often expresses a general activity.

Make is not an auxiliary verb. It is always a main verb (I made a cake yesterday). The meaning of make is also rather general, but it often expresses the idea of construction or creation.

In this lesson we look at some guidelines that may help you, followed by a quiz to check your understanding: