Let's say I made your list. Does it mean I managed to get into your list or I created a list for you? Do we have to rely on context to determine which meaning is intended?

Is there any difference among make a list, make the list and make one's list?


It is difficult to say anything without having more context. Adding more ambiguity is the use of 'your' and not 'you' (which makes the list personal).

Just like I made your clothes, I made your list may work where it means that you helped someone make his/her list. But as I said, more context will clarify it further. If you get into the list, I'd add a preposition - I made to your list. Nevertheless, a more-common expression I've come across is to say I managed to ...

As far as the second part of the question is concerned, it's very clear -

make a list - make any/random list
make the list - very specific (the listener and the speaker both know which list they are talking about) and,
make one's list - generalized, can refer to any person's list.

  • Well, make the list is probably an idiom as in "The Eiffel Tower would have made their list".
    – dan
    Jan 1 '20 at 9:25
  • Native English speakers wouldn't say I made to your list; made needs an object, and to is the wrong preposition. They might say I got onto your list; I made it onto your list; or maybe even I made your list. Feb 3 '20 at 16:06

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