Do or Make Revision

Collocations Course Collocations | Confusables | Tests | Vocabulary


Collocations are pairs or groups of words that are generally used together. Collocations sound natural to native English speakers, but when students of English get them wrong, they can sound unnatural and non-English. Like any vocabulary items, collocations must be learnt individually because they are difficult to guess from the words alone. These British English collocation Activities will help you to learn some of the most common collocations and avoid making mistakes that make it obvious you are not a native English speaker.


Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 


If you are preparing for one of the internationally recognised exams such as IELTS, or the exams from Cambridge Assessment English, or Trinity, then the Activities in this category will be very useful to your studies. If you simply want to test your English abilities in and see how you are progressing in your studies of English as a second or foreign language, then the tests in this category will help you. You can test your abilities in English by seeing if you make the same mistakes that advanced users of English or even proficient users of English make. There's also an English level test with a hundred questions to test your general level of English. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, as it's through mistakes that we improve in anything we do, including learning English.


Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

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The lesson, Do or Make, will introduce you to the uses of the verbs do or make and this lesson will give you some revision of some common collocations with these verbs. The collocations include: a bad job, a comment, a confession, a degree, a fortune, a good job, a joke, a life, a list, a living, a loss, a noise, a point, a profit, a promise, a statement, a suggestion, a workout, an effort, believe, business, friends, good, gymnastics, harm, love, money, my homework, nothing, progress, some exercise, some work, the bed, the dishes, the effort, the hoovering, the housework, the ironing, the shopping, the washing up, the washing, well, your hair, your job, your job, your makeup, your nails, and yourself go to the gym.

Collocations Course

Do or Make

These two verbs are troublesome for most students of English.

There are some rules which you can follow to make their use easier.

1. Completing Tasks

2. General States or Ideas

3. Creating Something Physical

4. Common Expressions

Completing Tasks

We often have tasks to do, such as the ironing, homework, housework, the washing up, the gardening. We also have jobs to do at home and at work.

When we complete these things we have not created anything physical, we have completed a task. We have done something, not made anything.

In these cases, we use the verb do.

Sometimes we can use both do or make with some things, but the meaning is a little different.

I'll make dinner means I will produce something.

I'll do dinner means that, though I will produce something, I am going to complete a task.

General States or Ideas

I'm not doing anything today.

This expresses a general idea of what I am, or in this case, am not doing. We don't normally express a particular thing that we are or are not doing.

When we express general ideas, we use words like anything, something, nothing and everything.

When my father was alive, he did everything for my mother.

Arming rebels does nothing to help the peace process.

Creating Something Physical

When we actually create something that we can see and touch, we normally use the verb make.

I'm making a cake. We can see the finished cake and eat it.

Shall I make coffee? We will see and taste the coffee.

I'll make the bed. We can see a newly made bed ready to sleep in.

Sometimes, a thing can use both the verb do and make, but the meaning is slightly different.

I'll make breakfast this morning - I will produce something you can see, touch and eat.

I'll do breakfast this morning - I will complete the task.

Common Expressions

Both do and make collocate with certain nouns to make common fixed expressions in English.

do my best

do harm

do someone a favour

do business

do good

make good differs from do good...

1. To carry something out successfully: I made good my escape.

2. To fulfil something: He made good on his promise.

3. To compensate; make up for: I'll made good the loss.

4. To succeed at something: I made good as a teacher.

Make makes many more common expressions than do.

make ends meet

make love

make sense

make a noise

make plans

make money

make excuses


Certain words always go with other words. The words just "sound right" if you are a native English speaker. An expression like make the bed is a collocation but many students confuse it with do the bed which sounds wrong to native English speakers. If you do this course, you will not make mistakes with these collocations.

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Do or Make Challenge

The collocations with the verbs do and make can be very confusing for non-native speakers of English and for students. The 122 common collocations in this Challenge Test will help you to master them. Remember that we use do for obligations, repetitive tasks, and actions, but we use make when we talk about creating something or for actions we choose to do. Make usually refers to the result of the action, while do refers to the action itself.

Categories: Challenges | Confusables | Vocabulary | Collocations

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Everyday Collocations

A collocation is a pair of words or a group of words that are used together. Collocations sound natural to native English speakers, but students of English often make mistakes with collocations. You have to learn collocations because they are difficult to guess from the words alone. The verbs do and make are often confused by students, but these two verbs are used in many common everyday collocations. Many students, for instance, make mistakes when they say do mistakes. This lesson will help you to avoid making the same mistakes.

Categories: Collocations | Confusables | Tests | Vocabulary

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