[q] Managers who go on to earn engineering degrees can make up to $100,000 a year.
-- corpus.byu.edu/coca

What does ‘make’ mean? I guess it might be either [a] or [b] below from Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s.

[a] 14 a [linking verb] — used to indicate a total
[b] 17 [+ obj] : to earn or gain (money, a profit, etc.)

But I’m not sure, for [q] has prepositional complement which I don't find in dictionaries. Which mean do I have to take? Can the prepositional phrase be used with the one you select?


It means that managers who go on to earn engineering degrees can earn an annual salary that may be as high as $100,000 per year.

  • up to ($100) = as high as ($100) – learner Jan 5 '14 at 20:03

It's Definition 17. Definiately 17. The word make in that context refers to salary; under Definition 17, make is a synonym of earn.

I made $18,000 when I first started working here.

Most native speakers would assume that the $18,000 figure in that sentence referred to an annual salary, unless additional context specified otherwise.

As for Definition 14, that's more of an arithmetic use of the word:

Twelve donuts make a dozen.

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