Tuesday Tip: Make vs Do

Ah, the dreaded question many a teacher commonly receives – “When do I use make and when do I use do?

So, here’s the tip – unless your student is ready for the complicated conversation, skip it! Unsatisfying? Yes. This, and so many other topics, are important, but their nuances make it really hard for lower level students to learn. This is also a detail topic that a lower level student doesn’t really need to know…yet!

When you and your student(s) are both ready to face the challenge, help student them start to think of do/make not as separate words, but as parts of phrases that simply always go together. So, your student doesn’t learn do + homework; he or she learns do homework.

Making flash cards is a great way to practice. Bring in a bunch of magazines and work with your student to find pictures to represent the phrases. Glue the picture on one side of an index card and have your student write the phrase on the other. Just as with sentence structure, you want your student to gradually feel the phrases so that they become part of memory.

This Make and Do handout is also a very neat resource to support teaching this topic.