Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

ESL Tutoring: "Do" and "Make"- What's the Difference?

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 @ 03:57 PM

ESL tutoring question markIn my ESL tutoring lessons in New York and Boston, a lot of students ask me when they should use "to make" and when they should use "to do". This is a common question for English students! In today's article, I will give you a few important tips to remember when you are learning about these two verbs. Check out the tips below then try the video lesson with a quiz at the end.  Please contact me if you have any questions!

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2 Tips to Remember:


Tip # 1: Don't translate from your native language- A lot of students get confused about when to use "to make" and "to do" so they just translate directly from their native language. What's the problem with that? It doesn't work! When you learn English, you should be thinking in English. Remember, the rules are probably very different in your native language so don't try to translate directly.


Tip # 2: Learn the rules, then remember that we always break them- In this video lesson, I am going to give you a few general rules and guidelines for choosing "to do" or "to make". However, you have to remember that in English, we break the rules a lot. A lot of common phrases with "to do" and "to make" don't follow the rules. You are much better off learning the correct verb choice through English immersion. That means, you need to be in an English speaking environment as much as possible. You need to hear the phrases being used correctly and practice using them yourself every day.

 Try this video lesson and quiz!




Now, try this quiz



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Photo in this post is credited to tj scenes


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