Wednesday, 27 June 2012

To Do or To Make?

This article is also about common mistakes that many students make. Or should I say Do?
The correct phrase is To Make a mistake. The source of wrongly using the verbs To Do and To Make also derives from translating from a language to another and not thinking in the language you try to use. When I advise my students to think in English, they reply that they cannot change their thoughts into English. Nobody asks them to do that, but (as I said in my previous articles) to adapt the sentences you want to make, to the patterns of the English language. Should I say do a sentence? No, the correct phrase is To make a sentence.
The question is what differentiate these two verbs? When do we use To Do and when To Make? First of all, do not forget that To Do is also an auxiliary, but when it is used as an auxiliary, it is devoid of meaning, it just fills the position of an auxiliary that a question or a negation should never miss.
Unfortunately, there are no rules for using To Do and To Make, the only difference is that To Do is more abstract and To Make involves in some contexts the actual action of making or producing something. That is why on all the products we have the phrasemade in"…or manufactured in…”
In order to use them correctly, try to use them in context. If you are not sure, all the time check the phrase in a dictionary and be careful with phrases like “to do an exercise” but “to make sentences” and “to make a mistake”.
For my advanced students I have a piece of advice, which is trying to make progress by reading, conversing, watching films being subtitled also in English. You will do a good job by doing so.

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