I gleaned a new phrase "what do you make of something" sometime ago(from a Australia TV show). I am wondering if I can say "what can I make of something". I have searched the google and yahoo, I can get several recommendations while entering "what do you make of" and "what do you make" but I can not while searching "what can you" or "what can I make" or "what can you make".

Is the saying "what can you/I make of something" natural to you?

  • Have a look at make of, definition 1.1.
    – Lawrence
    Sep 30 '16 at 14:57


What can you/I make of something?

is grammatical.

Substituting the auxiliary can for do (and optionally changing the pronoun) in What do you make of it? is acceptable in this case.

As for "natural," it is not necessarily something that a native speaker would say very often (which might explain the lack of results in your search).

When asking about the ability to derive some meaning out of something puzzling, a native speaker is more likely to say

Can you/I make anything (out) of it?

Search results for "Can you make anything of it?

"Can you make anything out of it?

Something is possible instead of anything in the above.

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