I'm trying to understand th edifference between do and make by example provided in this article.

They do a very good lunch at this restaurant


Have you made dinner yet, darling?

Can I say in the same way something about doing sport:

I do sport every day

and making sport:

I'm going to make sport tommorow

In the last one I meant that... I'm describing a one-time activity that's going to happen tommorow.

Can I use do and make in this way or there some limitations?

  • I have never heard "They do a very good lunch".
    – zondo
    Apr 10 '16 at 14:10
  • @zondo So this is incorrect? Apr 10 '16 at 14:11
  • I can't say positively that it is wrong, but I have never heard it.
    – zondo
    Apr 10 '16 at 14:13
  • @zondo Interesting... And what about doing sport. I've never heard that someone makes sport. But taking this article's rule into account we could say that make sport means do it once, not on a regular basis... Apr 10 '16 at 14:14
  • Usually, it's do sports (plural). I haven't heard "make sport[s]" either. You could have "I do sports", "I play sports", "I play soccer". Using "make", though, implies that you create your own games.
    – zondo
    Apr 10 '16 at 14:17

The point of the article, as I understand it, is that there are a number of idiomatic phrases in English, which use the verbs "do" and "make." In these idioms, even if you are not familiar with them, those using 'do ' tend to refer to a repeated activty, wheres "make" suggests a single act. I think the distinction does exist, but is not as strong, or as useful as the article claims. Treat it with caution.

You cannot use this to form new expressions, instead you must learn the correct idiom in each case. In your example you could use "play". I play tennis each week/ I'm going to play tennis tomorrow. Your example of "make sport" is not idiomatic. "Make "can, in the simple present refer to a repeated activity:" I make lunch everyday "is correct .

"Do a good lunch" is correct, and used, at least in British English.

  • 1
    “Do lunch”. It can be heard in AmE as well.
    – user3395
    Apr 10 '16 at 14:50
  • 1
    Be careful. "They do a good lunch" (of a restaurant) means they regularly provide good food for lunch. "Let's do lunch" is a (quite recent) colloquial phrase for "Let's meet for lunch".
    – Colin Fine
    Apr 10 '16 at 19:17

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