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I know that both "get it right" and "make it right" have a meaning of "correction", but what's the significant difference between them?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 17 down vote accepted

The two phrases can be used in different contexts, so it'll be hard to explain ONE difference that always holds true.

That said, I'd suggest that:

  • "Get it right" means, "Get your facts straight."
  • "Make it right" means, "You messed up and hurt someone, now go fix the situation."

For example:

Did you hear Justin Bieber got arrested for cocaine?

No, that's not true – he tested positive for alcohol and marijuana. Get it right.

And then:

I don't know why you thought it would be so funny to throw eggs at Mrs. Murphy's house. She's only been nice to you. You need to march yourself over there and make it right.

You're right, Dad. Not only will I help her clean up the mess, I'll offer to cut her lawn for free for the rest of the summer.

As I said, though, that's only one way to distinguish the two phrases. A math teacher might tell her students:

Be careful when you do your arithmetic. Make sure you get it right.

But then, if the students turn in answers with a lot of mistakes:

I want every student to correct their assignments. Any place where I've marked a problem wrong, you need to make it right.

Essentially, make it right refers to fixing something your got wrong, whereas get it right is an exhortation to not get it wrong in the first place.

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This answer is very clear and walks through more of the use cases than mine does. Vote for this one instead of mine :) –  Abby T. Miller Jan 31 at 18:27
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"Get it right" means that you are going to do something right the first time. You're working on a project, and you are determined to do it the correct way.

"Make it right" means more to fix something that is already wrong. You've taken something already created (or some harm already done) and decided to fix it. If it's so bad that it can't be repaired, you might scrap it and start over, planning to "get it right" the next time around.

"Make it right" also has more of a moral connotation. To "make something right" most often means to make amends for some wrong that has been done to someone. "He had his TV stolen from his house, but the cops will catch the thief and make this right."

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This answer presents the same information as mine in a more concise manner. It's worthy of upvotes, too. –  J.R. Jan 31 at 21:10
    
Yes, "make it right" can be used in a moral context, but I think that the core is if it is correct on the first time, or eventually correct. If you get something, you are receiving it whole, if you make something you are creating it. In this case the correctness if being done whole, or by pieces. –  Phil Feb 3 at 17:25
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In 'making it right' you are asking a person to correct an injustice, to change a state from being unfair to fair. The person who is being asked obviously has some ability, power or influence to be able to alter whichever situation you are trying to make fair again while the person asking lacks or is unable or incapable of changing the unfair situation themself. "Honey, please make it right between your parents". "You are our last hope, you have to make it right no matter the sacrifice".

With 'get it right' you are asking someone to succeed during their next attempt, which could be the first attempt, but could also be additional attempt at achieving something they failed at achieving before. It is said from someone in a position of power to someone below them, since this is not something a soldier would ever say to a general, an employee to a boss, or a child to their parents (unless they got no manners).

A coach, a teacher, a parent, a team mate, or anyone with a stake in another person succeeding at some task is likely to say this as long as they are above or equal to them. Saying 'get it right' will sound unusually harsh coming from a spouse, or close friend if used incorrectly, and for some reason I want to add 'bozo' to the end - "get it right bozo... or you are fired!" "You will keep marching around the barracks all night and every night, if that's what it takes for you to get it right."

So "make it right" is addressed to a position of power in a polite, almost pleading way, hoping that they will accept. While "get it right" is never addressed to a position of power unless you want to sound insolent and rude on purpose.

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I like this answer better than mine; it's a classic example of why it's best for an O.P. to not accept a question too early. –  J.R. Feb 1 at 12:29
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Make it right means something or some situation is wrong and needs correction. Get it right means doing it right or the right thing in the first attempt. No room for doing wrong .or It being done wrong ..

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