Difference between do and make

The -do- and the -make- are two verbs in English that have a similar use, since both refer to the verb to do. However, it is important to know the different uses and applications of each of these verbs, since there are contextual differences between them that can vary the meaning of the sentence.

In this sense, we present a brief description of each of the verbs indicated as well as their applications and some examples that will serve to make known the differences that exist between them.


The verb -do-, is a verb that in English means -do- and is generally used for actions or jobs. Similarly, this verb is translated into Spanish as executing or carrying out any activity, so it also expresses action.

Therefore, this verb can be used to talk about work, tasks, actions and activities. Its verb forms are:

  • Present: do/does.
  • Gerund: doing.
  • Participle: donated
  • Past: did.

In addition, it is a verb that can act as an auxiliary verb in the present tense to ask questions, when accompanied by an interrogative sentence (subject + verb + complement). Likewise, it is used when talking about things in general, when the activity is not specified, that is, it is used a lot with indefinite pronouns such as –something-, anything-, -nothing-, (something, anything, nothing, between others.).


  • Do a favor (do a favor): expresses doing something.
  • Do you like potatoes? (do you like potatoes?): interrogative sentence.
  • I’m going to do something good: expresses an action.


The verb -make- means -do- but in relation to making, elaborating, producing or creating something with your hands. Therefore, it can be said that -make- is used to refer to construction, creation and elaboration. Likewise, it is used to make decisions, to say that something produces a sound, for the preparation of food, among others.

Its basic forms are:

  • Present: make/makes.
  • Gerund: making.
  • Participle: made.
  • Past: made.

In short, it is a verb that is used for activities in which something that can be touched, a physical object, among others, is created. However, in English there are pre-established phrases with the verb -make- that do not necessarily imply the making of something like, for example, -make a mistake- which translates as -to make a mistake-.


  • To make a cake: indicates the preparation of something.
  • Make money: indicates saving, creating and increasing money.
  • Make a telephone call: indicates to do something (an observable action)

As you can see, they are two similar verbs that refer to doing with the basic difference that is the following:

  • The verb -do- refers to -do- but in a general sense, that is, to do something (activities, jobs) while -make- refers to do something but in the sense of creating or manufacturing something, that is, obtain a finished product.
  • The verb -do- is an auxiliary verb when it is used in interrogative sentences or in negative sentences while -make- is not used as an auxiliary verb in questions or negations.

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