Do you make or do your homework? Do you make an exam or do you do it? When to use these often pose a problem because most languages have only one word for it. Native speakers use the correct word unconsciously, and will have difficulty in telling you the reason for their choice, if you were to ask them.
The reason is simple: there isn't really a clear rule for it! Just like phrasal verbs, the best way is probably to learn them by heart. You do your homework, but you make plans for your future. You make a cake, but you do the washing up.
However, having said all that, there are a few guidelines to help you.
When we talk about an activity without saying exactly what it is, we use ‘do’.
What are you doing?
I don’t know what to do.
When we want to describe an activity that we have to do, often over and over again, we use do. Do also contains an element of duty and responsibility.
I’m not going to do any work.
I hate doing the cooking and the shopping.
I am always doing the washing up!
I wish I had a maid to do all the boring jobs!
She hates doing business with the Italians.
Could you do me a favour, please?
Make is used to describe a creative activity or something you choose to do.
I’ve just made a cake.
Let’s make a plan.
My father and I once made a boat.
I’ll be back in a minute – I have to make a phone call.
I’m no good at making decisions.
You have to make a better attempt at learning English!
Stop making excuses! I know you don’t want to come.
And now, it's time for you to practise with the dustbin game! Remember the score is the clock, so the lower the score is, the better you are! Don't forget to write your name/class/school and your score in the comments below!
Click the wordle image to start the dustbin game.