I know we can say "someone makes a good leader." But can the same thing be used in past-tense "he made a good leader." ?

  • 3
    Yes past tense is fine but using the idiom is weird for a baby.
    – user24964
    Apr 26, 2014 at 15:59

3 Answers 3


It's certainly grammatical and, providing the context made it reasonably clear, I'd understand what you meant. I would point out though that the construct is most frequently used to indicate someone performing a role well: for example 'made a good Hamlet' or 'made a good president'. Your sentence would sound natural if you were talking about role-play, for instance, but we don't normally think of babies as acting as babies so much as just being babies.


He made a good leader.

This is grammatical and sounds fine to me.

She made a good baby.

This is also grammatical, but it sounds strange to me. I would not use the so-and-so made a good X construction unless X is a role or position, e.g. "he made a good teacher" or "he made a good uncle". You should probably stick with "she was a good baby", or alternatively consider "she made a good daughter" if you feel the need to use this construction.


The title sentence is too ambiguous:

"She made a good baby"

Could be interpreted as referring to the mother rather than the baby:

"The mother produced a good baby"

  • yes i realize it's ambiguous. But is it grammatically correct to mean what I want it to mean?
    – Riz
    Apr 26, 2014 at 15:47
  • 1
    "She made a good baby" is no less correct than "She made a good cake" Apr 26, 2014 at 15:50

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