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As a non-native english speaker, I have learned a lot of terms and phrases for the verbs do and make and I assume that my intuition is reliable most of the time. But I'm anxious to find a rule. In German for example, there are the words "tun" and "machen" (basicly they mean the same and sometimes can be used similarily, but a direct translation to the english words do and make is not working.

I have some examples:

Work/Job is **done**
Calculation is **made**

Issue is **done**    
Adjustments are **made**

Dishes are **done**
Food is **made**

Test is **done**
Licence is **made**

My questions sorted by importance:

1.) Is there a logic one can rely on?

2.) Is there a source I can refer to?

3.) And are the examples I wrote even correct?

  • Good one, thank you. Much better than my results when doing research with alternative search engines. – romeoyankee Mar 21 '18 at 10:40
  • Also: vocabulary.cl/Intermediate/Do_Make.htm – user240918 Mar 21 '18 at 10:43
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    You really have to carefully check each example. There are over 2 000 000 Google hits for "did the calculation". We'd certainly say 'I made dinner yesterday' / 'Joan made a lovely cake', but 'The pie should be done by now'. I'd prefer 'That issue is done with' or 'That issue is done and dusted' to 'That issue is done.'. (Inner full-stop to indicate 4-word sentence.) There may be some logic, but I'd guess that any rule you might come up with would have so many exceptions that you'd have to ditch it and just learn what goes with what on a pairwise basis. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 21 '18 at 11:01
  • There is Greek word ποιεο, poieo, which covers (in Greek) the meanings of both 'do' and 'make'. I asked a question here in an attempt to find a similar English word, in English, but was unsuccessful. 'Effect' was the closest I got. I think we could do with a word which incorporates both meanings, myself, and this would put an end to the struggle in English to maintain what I believe to be an artificial divide. – Nigel J Mar 21 '18 at 13:02

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