“Do” and “make” are verbs that are often used to talk about activities.

“Do” means “to perform an action or a particular task.

“Make” means “to form or create something.”



As mentioned earlier, “do” means to perform an action or a particular task. The emphasis here is the process or action of an activity.

Below are common collocations with “do.”

1. “Do” + general activities


things, something, nothing, anything, everything

  • “Did you do anything over the weekend? ‘Cause I did absolutely nothing!”

2. “Do” + housework


the laundry, the dishes, the shopping

An exception is “make the bed.”

  • “What kind of chores do you usually do at home?”
  • “I try to do the dishes after every meal. I usually do the laundry on weekends.”

3. “Do” + work/study


a job, a project, a course, a test, an exam, business, homework, reading, writing

  • “I did some homework yesterday, but I still have to do some more reading for class tomorrow.”

4. “Do” + body


exercise, makeup, yoga, hair

  • “I try to do some yoga in the morning before I get ready for work.” 
  • Doing my makeup doesn’t take long and my hair is short, so I don’t usually do anything to my hair.”

5. “Do” + good/bad actions


your best, the right thing, badly, good

  • “I don’t really want to do badly but I also need a lot of motivation to do my best.”

Related expressions with “do”

Do (someone) a favour
– To perform a helpful service to someone.

  • “Can you do me a favour?”

Do (someone) good
– To benefit or have a positive effect on someone.

  • “Taking a day off will do you some good.”


“Make” means to form or create something. The emphasis here is the result or outcome of an activity.

Below are common collocations and expressions with “make.”

1. “Make” + food


breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee, a reservation

  • “I made a reservation for dinner today. I’m running out of ideas for what to make for dinner all the time.”

2. “Make” + action/reaction

Make (someone):

do it, happy, cry, frown, angry, etc.

  • “She makes me really angry whenever she makes me do her job.”

3. “Make” + money


money, a loss, a profit, a fortune, a living

Make a living
– To earn enough to support oneself financially.

  • Making a living isn’t just about money, it’s also about managing responsibilities.”

4. “Make” + relationships


friends, up, love, babies

Make up”
– (phrasal verb) To reconcile after an argument.

  • “They usually make up after a fight, but their last argument was quite serious.”

Make love
– To have sex.

Make babies
– To have sex but with the goal of creating a baby.

  • “Don’t just make babiesmake love.”

5. “Make” + communication


a phone call, a suggestion, a comment, a complaint

  • “It is often more constructive to make a suggestion than to make a complaint.”

6. “Make” + plans/decisions


arrangements, an offer, a promise, an exception, up your mind

Make up your mind
– To make a decision.

  • “Don’t just make empty promises and useless arrangementsMake up your mind!”

7. “Make” + progress/mistakes


an error, an excuse, an attempt, an effort, a difference, a change, changes, sure

Make sure
– (phrasal verb) To check or confirm.

Make a change or changes
– To change something in specific ways.

Make a difference
– To have a significant effect on a person or situation.

  • “I want you to make sure that the appropriate changes are made to the draft.”
  • “Don’t make excuses, at least make an effort!”

8. “Make” + sound


music, a sound, (a) noise

  • “Don’t make a sound! She’s sleeping!”

Related expressions with “make”

Make sense
– (phrasal verb) Something is understandable or reasonable.

Make a habit of something
– To do something regularly that it becomes a habit.

  • “It makes sense to make a habit of something that will do you some good.”

Original posts: 9 April 2020