Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha.
In this lesson, I’m going to talk about 12 common expressions that use the word “make”.
Let’s get started!
The first expression I want to talk about is a very common one we use for meals.
The expression is, “to make (meal)”.
So, this can be “to make breakfast”, “to make lunch”, “to make dinner”. This means to cook that meal or to prepare that meal.
For example, in past tense:
“I made dinner last night.”
So, it’s up to you. You can use “cooked dinner” if you want or lunch or breakfast or whatever, but generally, we don’t use a verb like “create” or “prepare” at least in everyday speech, because it sounds quite formal, especially “prepare”. “Create” might be used for, like, a professional chef. So, in everyday speech, we typically use “make”, in past tense, “made”.
“I made dinner last night.”
The second expression for this lesson is, “to make a plan”.
So, “to make a plan” just means to create a plan. So, this can be a plan for anything; for travel, for work, for your studies. “To make a plan” means to create a plan.
You will notice, throughout this lesson, there are lots of expressions that use the verb “make” to mean “create”. So, this is a key difference between “make” and “do”. We use “do” a lot for activities. We use “make” when we are creating something. So, in this case, “to create a plan” refers to “make a plan”.
For example:
“We made a plan for the weekend.”
So here, I’m using it in past tense, again, and I’m following made a plan with “for”, this preposition “for”. This shows the purpose of the plan. “We made a plan for the weekend,” the weekend. So, in this case, I’m talking about my plan for my activities for the weekend.
“We made a plan for the weekend.”
Okay. Onward to the next expression, very common, “to make a reservation”.
“To make a reservation” means to reserve something. So, we use this expression when we are calling restaurants, maybe bars, cafes, hotels. We would use this as well when we are making reservations for airplane tickets too. So, any time you need to reserve something, you can use the expression “make a reservation”. At a hair salon is another case.
So, for example:
“Hello, I’m calling to make a reservation, please.”
So, you can use this on the phone. Here, I’ve used “calling”. “I’m calling” means right now, I’m on the phone. This is an expression that’s very commonly used to begin a conversation on the phone. So, you can use this in any situation where you need to make a reservation.
Okay. Let’s move on to the next one.
Also, extremely common, “to make a mistake”.
“To make a mistake” means to do something incorrectly, to do something incorrectly. So, “to make a mistake”, this is a very common expression because we make lots of mistakes, so mistakes happen a lot.
So, to express that, we can use something like this example:
“Oh no, I made a mistake.”
So, again, past tense “made” here, “I made a mistake.” So, not “mistake”, “Oh no, I mistake”, but “I made a mistake”. So, I did something incorrectly, that’s what this expression means.
Okay. So, let’s move on then to some more advanced expressions that use “make”.
This one is “to make (something) up”.
“To make (something)”
So here, there’s some other information in this sentence. This expression means “to lie” or “to create a false story”. So this thing, as we’ll see in just a moment, is something that is not true.
So, for example:
“I made up a reason for why I couldn’t go to the party.”
So, this is an expression where we can put this (something) here, yes, like “let’s make (something) up” means let’s create something that’s not true, “let’s make a lie”, “let’s create a lie” or we can put “make up” plus, in this case, a reason. So, in this example sentence, this reason is false. We know that because this expression “made up” means “to lie” or “to create a false story”. So, if we say, “I made a reason,” it’s not the same.
We need to use:
“I made up a reason for why I couldn’t go to the party.”
So, in this case, the lie was for the purpose of, like escaping this party. So, “for why I couldn’t go to the party”. So, for a reason I couldn’t go, I was not able to attend. So maybe I was able to attend, but I didn’t want to go, so I created a reason. This is a lie. So, this is how we use the expression, “to make up (something)” or to make something up. You can use both of them.
Okay. Let’s move on to the next one.
The next expression is “to make do”.
“To make do”, this is interesting. This means to use something of low quality (when you want something of high quality). So, you want this thing, but the thing you have is down here. So, you decide, okay, I’ll use it. When we want to express that as a verb, we say, “to make do”, to make do.
For example:
“This isn’t the equipment I wanted, but I’ll make do.”
So, for example, I really wanted this camera for my project, but this is the camera my company has, so, okay, I’ll use this, I’ll make do. So, it’s of lower quality, yes, but I will do my best with this low-quality item instead of the high-quality one I wanted. So we say, “to make do” to describe this.
All right. Let’s move over to the other side of the board.
The next expression is “to make time to” or “to make time for”.
So, these both mean “to create time in a schedule.”
Of course, we cannot, like, create time, but this means like finding time in a schedule.
So, what’s the difference between “to” and “for” here?
We use “to” before a verb in the regular infinitive form.
We use “for” before a noun, so this can be a person or an activity.
For example:
“He made time for me on Tuesday.”
Again, past tense and here, I’m using “for” because the next item in the sentence is a noun, “me”. So, “He made time for me on Tuesday.” So, I could change this to “to”, like “He made time to meet me on Tuesday” if I want to use a verb. So, you can choose whichever you prefer, the verb form or the noun form.
“To make time for” means to create time in a schedule.
Okay. Let’s move on to the next one.
The next one is “to make up with”.
So, to “make up with” means “to reconcile” which means to repair a relationship. So, to reconcile with someone means, for example, you have a fight, an argument, a disagreement, or something bad happens, something bad that happens in your relationship and you have some distance, maybe, or you have a problem. But, “to reconcile” means to fix that, to fix that relationship. So, “to make up with (someone)” means to repair that relationship.
For example:
“I finally made up with my roommate after our fight last week.”
So, I finally repaired my relationship with my roommate after our fight last week. So, “made up with” is a much shorter way of saying “repaired my relationship with” or “fixed my relationship with”. We don’t really say that. We say, “made up with” to mean like we repaired something that happened in the past that wasn’t so good. In this case, we had a fight last week, but I finally fixed it. Together, we repaired our relationship.
Okay. Let’s move on then to the next one which is a little similar to “to make up with.”
It is “to make it up to (someone)”.
“To make it up to (someone)” is used to mean to apologize with an action. So, we usually use “to make it up to (someone)” after we apologized.
For example:
“I’m so sorry I’m late!” so apology.
“I’m so sorry I’m late! Let me make it up to you.”
“Let me make it up to you.” Let me apologize with an action. So, let me fix the situation with an action.
“First drink is on me.”
“First drink is on me” means I will buy the first drink.
So, you’re meeting someone, you’re late.
“I’m very sorry I’m late. Let me fix it. I will buy the first drink.”
That’s what this means.
“So, I’m sorry I’m late! Let me make it up to you. First drink is on me.”
So, “to make it up to (someone)”, here, “someone” is you, so you’re waiting for this person, they are late, they decided they want to fix their error with a drink.
So, this is another common expression, but be careful, don’t mix it up with to make it up or sorry, don’t mix it up with “to make up with”. “To make up with” means to repair a relationship, kind of general. “To make it up to (someone)” means, like to repair a past error with an action specifically.
Okay. Let’s move on to this one.
“To make a day/night/weekend/other time period of it.
“Of it”, this is an interesting expression.
This means to do an activity for a period of time. We use this expression when we are making plans and we decide, hmm, we should use this entire, this whole time period to do that activity.
For example:
“Why don’t we go to the beach? We could make a weekend of it.”
“We could make a weekend of it.”
So, here’s the suggested activity, “Why don’t we go to the beach?” And then, they say, the speaker says, “We could make a weekend of it.” That means, this activity could be for one weekend, so we could do this activity, visiting the beach, for the entire weekend. So we could make a weekend of it. We could change this to “day”. “We could make a day of it” so meaning, a one-day trip to the beach. So that means using the entire time period to do an activity.
“To make a weekend of it.”
“To make a day of it.”
“To make a night of it.”
“To make an evening of it.”
“To make a morning of it.”
So, we use these time periods. We generally don’t use something like “make a month of it”. I suppose you could in like maybe very long travel situations, but we typically use this for shorter things, shorter activities like a weekend trip or maybe a trip to a certain shopping mall in the morning. We typically don’t use this for very long periods of time. So, “We could make a weekend of it” sounds quite natural.
Okay, let’s move on to the next one.
The next one is “to make it quick” or “to make it fast” or “to make is snappy”.
So, “quick” and “fast” both mean the same thing, to do something at a, at a high speed.
“Snappy” is kind of a casual rough word which means fast or quick. So, we use it in this expression, not so much in other situations, but “to make a quick”, “to make it fast”, “to make it snappy” means to do something quickly. So, we usually use this when we are in a rush to go somewhere or we want to go somewhere very soon or we want to do something very soon and someone wants to do a different activity, and maybe we feel a little pressure or a little stress.
So we say something like:
“You want to shop now? OK, but make it quick. We have to catch a train.”
So here, a person wants to go shopping. Maybe, they are travelling somewhere and the speaker says, “OK, but make it quick” or “OK, but make it fast”, “OK, but make it snappy”. So, “We have to catch a train.” So this is the reason the person shopping needs to go quickly, so there’s a train to catch. So, “make it quick”, “make it fast”, “make it snappy”. Be careful, this expression can sound a little aggressive like you’re pushing the other person to do something quickly because like you have pressure or some stress in your situation. So, “make it quick”, “make it fast”, “make it snappy”.
Okay. The last expression for this lesson then is this long one -
“to make a mountain out of a molehill”.
So, a “mountain” is, of course, a very large part of nature. A “molehill”, this word comes from a small creature that lives in the ground called a mole. A “molehill” is very small. So a mountain is very large, a molehill is very small, so this is where these creatures live, on the ground.
So, this expression, “to make a mountain out of a molehill” means to consider a small problem as a big problem. “To make a mountain out of a molehill,” that means I have a small problem here, but in my mind, I consider it a very big problem.
So, for example:
“Her mistake at work wasn’t a big problem. She’s making a mountain out of a molehill.”
So here, this person, this “she”, maybe made a mistake at work and she thinks, oh no, it was such a big problem, I feel so bad, I’m so upset. So, she thinks the mistake is the size of a mountain, but her colleague, maybe, thinks, nah, it wasn’t such a big problem. It was very small. So, this person, the person who made a mistake is making a mountain out of a molehill. She’s considering the problem as bigger than it actually is. So, this is kind of like a “don’t worry expression”. It’s not such a big deal.
“To make a mountain out of a molehill”
You may also hear this in the plural form, so “don’t make mountains of molehills”. You may hear that too.
Okay. So, those are 12 expressions that use the verb “make”. I hope that you found something new here. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye-bye!