Verbs: the tricky ones



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20 thoughts on “Verbs: the tricky ones

  • Suzanne Lachaise

    La question 2 est bizarre: elle contient « make » qui ne devrait pas y être mais pas le mot suivant qui porterait le sens de l’action…

    les questions sont de plus en plus difficiles dans le cours de l’exercice, ça me rend de plus en plus présente mais pas de plus en plus efficace…

  • Glenys Hanson Post author

    Hi Suzanne,

    Question 2 is strange but correct. If you don’t have something, you have to make do with something you like less. In wartime people make do with very little of everything. I’ll see what I can do to make the question easier.

    Try the exercise again in a few days – you’ll probably have progressed. You know why.

    Mmm… I couldn’t access the “Examples of “make” in the British National Corpus” – the Americans must be using it. .

    Please continue giving feedback.

    Cheers,
    Glenys

    • Glenys Hanson Post author

      Hi Suzanne,

      I’ve changed Question 2. It’s easier now.
      For other people, this was the original Question 2

      The link to “Examples of “make” in the British National Corpus” now gives an error message: “Sorry, the server is down temporarily.” Oof! their problem, not mine!

      By the way, Suze, did you know my cat, Timide, is now on YouTube? See: Learning to open a door.

      Cheers,
      Glenys

  • Robert

    At question 23, I think the choice should be between “did” and “made”, not between “do” and “made”.

    I did a few errors (I don’t know exactly how many since I din’t see where my score was displayed), but I have no conscious criterias.
    I think I just remember well-made expressions. I find the opposition result / activity not relevant or too difficult to decide.

    • Glenys Hanson Post author

      Hi robert… oops! I’ve made a mistake and written your name with a small “r”.
      You’re right about Question 23 – I’ve made the correction.

      What can I say to be helpful about “make” and “do”???

      it’s easy for me to make a list of things I did yesterday: I just have to evoke all my activities: “I got up, I had breakfast, I went shopping, I bought a lot of things, I came home and I watered the garden.” There’s no obligation to say “do/did” because the only things we can do are activities. But if I need to insist I can always put it in. For example, if you don’t believe me: “Yes, really. I did get up, I did have breakfast, I did go shopping, I did buy a lot of things, I did come home and I did water the garden.”

      it’s more difficult to think of things I made because I didn’t make many physical objects. I’m not a craftswoman or an artist. When I say “I made my bed” I don’t mean I literally took some wood, some nails and a hammer and made a new bed. I just made the bed tidy and ready to sleep in. “I made coffee” but I didn’t make the coffee itself (the coffee bush did that) I mean I prepared a drink from the ground coffee beans. in general I think the things I make are new situations. i made a space in the garden to plant some flowers. At the moment I’m making an effort to express the difference between “make” and “do”. You’ve made me realise, Robert, that it’s something I find quite difficult to do. It’s made me see I’m not clear about this distinction in my own mind.

      Have I made things clearer for you or not?

      Maybe another English teacher will read this and do something to help.

      Cheers,
      Glenys

      • Glenys Hanson Post author

        Hi again Robert,

        To see how many answers you got right you have to click on *all* the correct answers. That is, you have to see the smiley in each question. I’ll try and make that clearer in the “Help!” video.

        It is working correctly – just tested.

        Cheers,
        Glenys

      • Robert

        Thank you, Glenys, for this new exercise you made for me. You should put il as a second exercise after “What an awful day!” It helped me to improvove my score when I did the exercise again, but I think I’m still confuse about the meanings of the two verbs. I make my choices by remembering examples, like Idiomatics. Maybe there is as few logic making a choice between do and make in English thon between the indicative mode and the subjonctive mode in French!

  • Suzanne Lachaise

    Situation 3:
    “I’m …. a pullover for your brother.” dans la boite, il y a 2 fois “making”.
    PDC je sais souvent mieux répondre à chaque question d’une situation donnée quand j’ai traité toutes les réponses de cette situation.
    Seulement une ou deux comparaisons de situation à situation.
    je ne crois pas que je sais répondre à une question sans les oppositions présentées ici.

    Que faire pour pratiquer l’une au moins à coup sur (etre sure qu’il s’agit ou non de “do”: si ce n’est pas l’un, ce sera l’autre).

    Je n’ai pas encore fait les pdc correspondantes dans le français”faire” est vraiment un verbe à tout faire.
    la référence à une sens comme “construire” ou “fabriquer” ou “réaliser” ne me suffit pas (en français).

    j’ai fait seulement ” erreurs ce qui ne reflète pas mon niveau!
    Ca me fait drole de “doing homeworks” je suis sure que je les “make”!

    • Glenys Hanson Post author

      Wow! Suze, you’re quick!
      I don’t know if it helps but “do” doesn’t really exist in French. I mean, in sentences like this:
      “Do you like ice-cream?” “Yes, I do.”
      “My garden does look very pretty at the moment.”

      How many mistakes did you make? ” (Is that a typo for 3?)

      I don’t think anyone makes homework (do you notice you didn’t notice there’s no -s?) Even teachers don’t make homework. They make exercises, they set tasks but homework is only done by a person who needs (or the teacher thinks they need) to do the activity.

      I’ll try and think of more exercises. Even doing 50 exercises is more economical than learning by heart the several thousand expressions with “do” and the several other thousands with “make”. Children of course, may attention to a few situations and extrapolate to others. But they’re not distracted by trying to make English function like French!

      Cheers,
      Glenys

  • Robert

    I felt this “contrast” exercise very helpful to make clear the difference between “make” and “do”.
    Thank you very much !

    • Glenys Hanson Post author

      Hi Robert,

      I’m glad you find this exercise useful. You have far more experience of English than Suze.

      Now I hope one of you, or one of the other French teachers reading this, will make a set of exercises where I have to choose between the subjective and the indicative where both are possible in French.

      Cheers,
      Glenys

  • Stan Bogdanov

    Hi Glenys,
    Yep, ‘make’ and ‘do’ are kind of tricky and as proficient as I’m I still have trouble sometimes with make/do on unfamiliar word combinations.
    As a non-native I’ve tried to figure out differences between ‘make’ and ‘do’ to classify and generalise sort of a ‘rule’ for myself. To me, and this is how I try to explain it to students, in most cases “make” is synonymous with “create, develop”, while do is “perform an activity”. This is when it represents more of a physical notion. When it’s more of an abstract one, if the contrast createperform isn’t working, I just memorize the phrase in the particular context.

    • Glenys Hanson Post author

      Hi Stan,
      Thanks for your contribution. I think your create/perform expresses much the same as contrast as my result/activity. When you create, you create a “something” – physical or not. “Perform” an activity is a a synonym of “do” an activity. Different formulations to say the same thing can be helpful to students but I would say it’s the “figuring out” for themselves is what is most important in helping them understand these kind of tricky words – tricky because there are two words in the foreign language for one in one’s native language.

      I still have some hesitation in choosing between the two French expressions which are both covered by “only” in English… and the two words for “know” and the two words for “live” and several others. I know I’m trapped in the English world-view and on a gut level feel that if the distinction doesn’t exist in English, there’s no real need to make such a distinction. Just foreigners making unnecessary complications. I think I have such problems partly because at school I wasn’t encouraged to figure things out for myself and, unlike you, was not autonomous enough to do the exploration of my own initiative. Which, of course, explains why your English is so much better than my French.

      Cheers,
      Glenys

      • Robert

        Hi Glenys and Stan.
        For me, create/perform helps me more than result/activity, maybe because they are verbs like make/do while result/activity are names, which I can’t substitite.
        Cheers.
        Robert

  • Cedric

    Hi,
    I loved the second exercise on “to make/to do”. I thought many times about the other exercise (the “awful day” one) and I think it’s good to give it when the student has built some criteria to distinguish between the two verbs. Doing it a couple of time might give some practice with more specific expressions or situations.
    The “make/do contrast” exercise seems really good to help someone figuring out how/when to use these verbs. While doing it, I felt that having an instant feedback would be very helpful so that each new answer can be based on all the previous ones without having to wait until the end of the exercise. Something like a JQuiz multiple-choice with ShowAllQuestions set active, maybe? But this is a great exercise for sure!!!

    • Glenys Hanson Post author

      Hi Cedric,
      Do you mean you liked the first exercise “Make” and “Do” – contrasts”? Thank Robert for pushing me to make it! You can in fact get immediate feedback by scrolling down and clicking on check. You’ve make me realise it’s too long to be practical. I’ll split it in two and maybe make the first half an MCQ as you suggest.

      You’re right “Make or Do? – What and awful day!” is a practice exercise not a learning exercises.

      Between these two exercises there should be a lot more of different types.

      Why are there only 24 hours in the day?

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Cheers,
      Glenys

      • Cedric

        Yes, I meant the first exercise “Make / Do – Contrasts”. I only saw how they were organized on the site after leaving my comment (or maybe I saw it earlier and didn’t pay attention, I’m not sure).
        I like long learning (and practice) exercises and so far my students have often asked me for longer exercises too. Splitting it in two might be an option,but I wonder if many students allow themselves to click “Check” before reaching the end of the page if you don’t encourage them to. Of course they should and I wouldn’t have a problem to do that either, but it would be good to have other people’s feedback on this too.

        • Glenys Hanson Post author

          Hi Cédric,

          I’ve split the “Contrasts” exercises in two so that it’s easier to see a whole set of exercises at once and the “Check” button at the end. I’ve also make the instructions more explicit.

          There still need to be more exercises on “make” and “do”. Any volunteers? Any English teachers around? I’d be happy to help on the technical side.

          But you’re so right that students often don’t ‘allow themselves to click “Check” before reaching the end of the page’. We are so used to doing “tests” and “quizzes” that we often assume these “rules” apply to exercises where the objective is to explore and experiment. I write “we” because I’ve caught myself out doing just that. Freeing oneself from social norms isn’t easy. I’ve nearly finished a blog post on this subject.

          Cheers,
          Glenys