Is there any difference in meaning between go easy on someone and make it easy on someone? For example:

You shouldn't do all the work in one go. Go easy on yourself.

You shouldn't do all the work in one go. Make it easy on yourself.

1 Answer 1


There is a subtle difference, although your example doesn't quite highlight it.

Go easy on has a sense of not applying as much pressure as possible, from a desire to protect someone or spare them hardship. You are letting them off the hook a little. You could have been more critical/forcing but you have decided against it. It's a magnanimous gesture.

Go easy on him. He's going through personal problems and he's understandably irritable.
(= don't be too critical of him, even though he may have said something to justify being critical of him)

Make it easy on is when you are deliberately simplifying a task (usually) in order to save time or effort. It can be used in similar situations to 'go easy on', but there is less emphasis on the holding back and more emphasis on the cutting down of required work.

I'll make it easy on you. If you cut the front lawn, I'll cut the back lawn for you.
(= I'm lowering the amount of work you have to do)

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