Make or Do?
In Bangla, we use the verb 'do' in a particular sense and 'make' in a different sense. To 'make' in Bangla would mean to 'create' or to 'prepare' something, whereas, any other action in general can be expressed with 'do'. For example, to give literal translation of how we use 'do' (kora) in Bangla would be, “Do these sums” “Do shopping” “Don't do mistakes” “Don't do noise” “Do an appointment with the doctor” (Ankoguli koro, Bhul koro-na, shobdo koro-na, Daktarer shathe appointment koro) etc. But notice how one says the same things in English.
Do these sums; Do the shopping; Don't make mistakes; Don't make a noise; Make an appointment with the doctor.
In English for some expressions we use the verb make.
We all make mistakes.
The new Principal made it clear that he wouldn't tolerate any indiscipline in the classroom.
In others we use the verb do.
Tell me what I should do.
Do your homework and do less talking.
Make and do have similar meanings so it is often difficult to know which to use where.
Read the following dialogues.
A. At a student's apartment.
Masum : What are you doing, Joseph?
Joseph : I'm doing my math.
Masum : What about dinner? Who will do the cooking today?
Joseph : I think it's Sagar's turn to do the cooking. I've already done the dusting and cleaning.
Masum : And I did the shopping last night.
(Sagar comes in)
Sagar : Hi, every body! Ready for dinner? I've made pizza for you!
B. On a popular TV talk show.
Interviewer : Mrs. Ahmed, we know that both you and your husband are very
busy people. May we ask who does the household work?
Mrs. Ahmed : Well, both of us do. Usually, my husband does the gardening, shopping
and washing. And I do the cleaning, cooking and ironing.
Mr. Ahmed : (Laughing) Well, you guess who makes the arrangements mostly!
C. Two friends before going to class in the morning.
Anna : Tanya, would you do me a favour?
Tanya : What's it?
Anna : Would you please make breakfast for me? I've to do a lot of homework.
Tanya : No problem. Do you want me to make the bed also?
Anna : No, thanks. Leave it like that. I'll do it when I come back.
D. The same two friends in the evening.
Tanya : Was your homework good, Anna?
Anna : Oh, no. I made a lot of mistakes. The man next door was making so much
noise in the morning that I couldn't really concentrate.
Tanya : Come on, Anna, don't make excuses.
Notice the following phrases.
doing the dishes
We make a list
make an enquiry
make a fuss
make a telephone call
make an appointment
make a reservation
make a fortune
make a speech
make a guess
make a decision
do the laundry
do the sums
do the dishes
do our best
make a wish.
making a speech
E. Two colleagues sharing an apartment. Their telephone is out of order.
Hasan : I'm going to Riad's place. I've to make a phone call.
Do you want to come?
Rana : No, I can't. I've my departmental exam tomorrow. I'm doing a difficult exercise right now.
Hasan : Well, I've to make some enquiries about the flight before I make
the final booking. There isn't much time left.
Rana : Don't forget to make a reservation for the hotel, too.
Hasan : No, I won't. Thanks.
F. Nina and her friends are going to attend a college function in a short while. Two of her
I'd like to make a reservation, please.
friends got ready and have come for Nina.
Eva : Nina, are you ready?
Nina : Oh, not yet. I won't be long.
Rumi : What are you doing?
Nina : I'm doing my hair. I'm trying to make a French braid.
Rumi : She always makes such a fuss about her hair!
Eva : I hope she doesn't take too long, because she has to make the
Let's conclude today's Learners' Club with the following expression:
“Let's for the time being make do with whatever we have said so far about make and do.”
(R) thedailystar.net 2006