TOEFL iTP | Errors in Word Choice | Grammar | Wrong Choice of Make or Do

The verb to do is often used in place of to make, and to make in place of to do. In its basic sense, to make means to produce, to create, to construct, while to do means to perform, to act, to accomplish. These verbs are also used in a number of set expressions:

Common expressions with Make

  • Make advances
  • make an attempt
  • make a comparison
  • make a contribution
  • make a decision
  • make a distinction
  • make a forecast
  • make an investment
  • make a law
  • make an offer
  • make a plan
  • make a point
  • make a prediction
  • make a profit
  • make a promise
  • make a sound/noise
  • make a suggestion.

be made of = be composed of

make up = composed

Common Expressions with Do

  • do an assignment
  • do business with
  • do one’s duty
  • do someone a favor
  • do a job
  • do research
  • do one’s work

The auxiliary verb do is used rather than repeat main verbs (my computer doesn’t operate as fast as theirs does).

Sample Items

  1. Cement is done from varying amounts of limestone, clay, and gypsum.

The verb done is incorrect in this sentence. The correct word choice is made.

2. Small town newspapers often urge readers to make business with local merchants.

The phrase should read do business.

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