Category Archives: Grammar Note

Do vs Make

source: Woodward English


Do and Make are two verbs which frequently confuse students. Here we will learn about the difference between Do and Make and when to use each one.

When do you use DO?

DO is used as follows:

1. DO is used when talking about work, jobs or tasks. Note, they do not produce any physical object.

  • Have you done your homework?
  • I have guests visiting tonight so I should start doing the housework now.
  • I wouldn’t like to do that job.

2. DO is used when we refer to activities in general without being specific. In these cases, we normally use words like thing, something, nothing, anything, everything etc.

  • Hurry up! I’ve got things to do!
  • Don’t just stand there – do something!
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?

3. We sometimes use DO to replace a verb when the meaning is clear or obvious. This is more common in informal spoken English:

  • Do I need to do my hair? (do = brush or comb)
  • Have you done the dishes yet? (done = washed)
  • I’ll do the kitchen if you do the lawns (do = clean, do = mow)

Remember Do can also be as an auxiliary verb (for making questions in the present tense – Do you like chocolate?) For more about Do used in this case, see our page about Do vs Does. Here we will be talking about Do as a normal verb.

When do you use MAKE?

Make is for producing, constructing, creating or building something new.

It is also used to indicate the origin of a product or the materials that are used to make something.

  • His wedding ring is made of gold.
  • The house was made of adobe.
  • Wine is made from grapes.
  • The watches were made in Switzerland

We also use Make for producing an action or reaction:

  • Onions make your eyes water.
  • You make me happy.
  • It’s not my fault. My brother made me do it!

You make after certain nouns about plans and decisions:

  • make the arrangements,
  • make a choice

We use Make with nouns about speaking and certain sounds:

  • make a comment
  • make a noise
  • make a speech

We use Make with Food, Drink and Meals:

  • make a cake
  • make a cup of tea
  • make dinner

Compare Do and Make

A: You have to make a cake for Simon.

B: I’ll do it later.

Notice how in the response the verb DO is used. This is because the meaning is clear and to avoid saying “I’ll make it later.” which could sound repetitive.

Common Expressions with Do and Make

The following expressions are set collocations (combinations of words that frequently appear together) that you need to learn:

Expressions with DO

The following words are normally used with Do:

  • a burp
  • a course
  • a crossword
  • a dance
  • a drawing
  • a fart
  • a favor / favour
  • a job
  • a painting
  • a project
  • a service
  • an assignment
  • anything
  • badly
  • business
  • chores
  • damage
  • everything
  • exercises
  • good
  • harm
  • laundry
  • nothing
  • research
  • right (the right thing)
  • something
  • the gardening
  • the housework
  • the ironing
  • the dishes
  • the rest
  • the shopping
  • the washing
  • well
  • work
  • wrong (the wrong thing)
  • your best
  • your hair
  • your homework
  • your job
  • your nails
  • your work

    Expressions with MAKE

    The following words are normally used with MAKE:

    • a bet
    • a cake
    • a call
    • a change
    • a choice
    • a comment
    • a complaint
    • a confession
    • a connection
    • a cup of coffee / tea
    • a date
    • a decision
    • a demand
    • a difference
    • a discovery
    • a face
    • a fool of yourself
    • a fortune
    • a friend
    • a fuss
    • a joke
    • a line
    • a list
    • a living
    • a loss
    • a mess
    • a mistake
    • a noise
    • a pass at someone
    • a plan
    • a point
    • a prediction
    • a profit
    • a promise
    • a reservation
    • a sandwich
    • a scene
    • a sound
    • a speech
    • a statement
    • a suggestion
    • advances
    • alterations
    • an appointment
    • an announcement
    • an attempt
    • an effort
    • an error
    • an escape
    • an exception
    • an excuse
    • an impression
    • an observation
    • an offer
    • amends
    • arrangements
    • breakfast
    • certain
    • clear
    • dinner
    • faces
    • famous
    • fun of someone
    • love
    • lunch
    • inquiries
    • peace
    • possible
    • progress
    • money
    • room
    • sales
    • sense
    • someone rich
    • someone smile
    • sure
    • trouble
    • war
    • your bed
    • your mind up
    • your way

    Try Woodward English’s interactive games to practice this: Do vs. Make




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22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other

Source: Business Insider

Screen shot 2013-08-31 at 11.15.39 PM

Everyone knows that Americans don’t exactly agree on pronunciations.  Regional accents are a major part of what makes American English so interesting as a dialect.

Joshua Katz, a Ph. D student in statistics at North Carolina State University, just published a group of awesome visualizations of Professor Bert Vaux and Scott Golder’s linguistic survey that looked at how Americans pronounce words. (via detsl on /r/Linguistics)

His results were first published on Abstractthe N.C. State research blog.

Read more here.

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The World’s Best Grammar Checker

Grammarly is an automated proofreader and your personal grammar coach. Correct up to 10 times more mistakes than popular word processors.

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Speak Up, Write Up, Understand Up


There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is “UP.”

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP,look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so………… Time to shut UP…….

I know it looks confusing but they are used in English a lot!

Have fun if you can  :))

=> This article was published on  Brian’s Informal English Class.

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Grammar Note – Inflammable vs Flammable


by Brian Zack (*)

Did you know that inflammable and flammable both mean the same? If you want to say something is not flammable you just basically say  “not flammable.”



Bellhop is a person who works at hotels to help us with carrying our suitcases. It’s called bellhop because it is believed that the person is supposed to hop when he is being called. 🙂 They are hop to it! Don’t forget to tip them. 😉


Idioms are useful in our daily lives. Here some of them:

** Knot in one’s stomach – a nervous feeling in the stomach
( I had a knot in my stomach when I asked that beautiful girl for a date.)

** Get off the beaten path – go to an area not visited by most people
( He was completely lost for two hours after he got off the beaten path.)

** Bundle – A lot of money
( I spent a bundle when I bought a jacket at the designer clothing store. )

** Take it from me – trust me
( Take it from me,that movie is unbelievably boring.)

** Know something like the back of one’s hand – be very familiar with something
( I know this area like the back of my hand because I’ve lived here all my life.)

(*) Brian Zack is a volunteer tutor

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Grammar Note – Affect vs. Effect and Who vs. Whom


by Dan Ethe (*)

The difference between affect and effect

The majority of the time you would use affect (with an a) as a verb and effect (with an e) as a noun.

 Using the word affect

affect (with an a) means “to influence”.  For example, “The arrows affected Andrew,” or “The rain affected my hair.” Affect can also mean “to act in a way that you don’t feel”  – for example: “She affected an air of superiority.”

Using the word effect

effect (with an e) basically means “a result”.  For example, “The effect was eye-popping” or “The sound effects were amazing” or “The rain had no effect on my hair.”


The difference between who and whom

You would use “whom” when you are referring to the object of a sentence, and you would use “who” when you are referring to the subject of a sentence.

Using the word whom

For example, it is “Whom did you step on?” or “Whom do I love?” because you are asking about the object.

Using the word who

If you were asking about the subject of these sentences, then you would use “who.” For example, “Who loves you?” and “Who stepped on Sarah?” In both these cases the one you are asking about is the subject — the one taking action, not the one being acted upon.

(*) Dan Ethe is a volunteer tutor

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Grammar Note – Accept vs Except


by Eileen Saks (*)

There is sometimes confusion concerning the differences in the usage of accept and except.

Accept is a verb meaning “to receive willingly” as in

I accept your donation to our charity

or “hold something to be true” as in

We  accept the importance of your belief

or Accept can also mean to say yes as in

I accept your invitation to lunch.

Except is a preposition meaning “not including”as in

I can resist any sweet, except chocolate.

or  a conjunction meaning “but”as in

I would attend the class, except that I have nobody to babysit.

Rarely, except can be a verb meaning “to exclude”as in

You are excepted from the class

(*) Eileen Saks is a volunteer tutor.

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