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Idioms with "Make"


This is a lesson on idioms formed with the verb, make.

We use the verb make, with adjectives, nouns, and verbs to form idiomatic verbal phrases. As a rule, you can use the verb make with almost all adjectives, only with some exceptions. However, you cannot use the verb make with all nouns. For example, you can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But you cannot say I will make my homework tonight. The correct use is I will do my homework tonight. Homework is a noun, and this is an exception. There is no rule for exceptions of using make with certain nouns but not with others. I suggest you learn them slowly by using them in your conversations and writing. When you come on different phrases formed with make, just make a note of them and look them up, and try to use them in your English. Slowly and surely you will learn how to use the verb make properly.

Most importantly, you should be able to recognize the parts of speech, namely, adjectives, nouns and adverbial, possessive pronouns, and verbs and adverbs in order to be able to use the verb make properly. Click here for further information on parts of speech. If you can recognize adjectives easily, then it will be easy for you to use make with adjectives. Next, you must also recognize adverbial and possessive pronouns. The adverbial pronouns are me, you, her, him, us, and them, and possessive pronouns my, your, his, her, our, and their. With adjectives the syntax is as follows:

make + noun or pronoun + adjective


My husband makes me happy.

makes + me (adverbial pronoun) + happy (adjective)

And finally, you must recognize verbs in order to be able to use the verb make with them correctly.


You are making me study hard.

make + study (verb without the infinitive) + hard (adjective)

Using Adjectives with Make:

You can use all adjectives with make. Below are just a few adjectives that are used with make.

make it easy, hard: to ease out

Person A: The teacher made it easy for Lucy to answer the questions.

Person B: Not my English teacher. She made the test so hard that many of us failed.

make it difficult: to cause difficulty

Person A: Please don't make it so difficult, Just explain it in a simple way.

Person B: Ok. I'll try to make it easy for you.

make someone happy, unhappy or angry: to cause someone feel happy, unhappy, or angry.

Person A: Why aren't you trying to make me happy? I am trying so hard to make you happy!

Person B: I am trying to make you happy, but whatever I do, you don't appreciate.

make someone tired: to cause someone be tired

make someone feel good: to cause someone to feel good

Here are the examples to use make with possessive pronouns:

The English teacher made my son love English.
Made, my (the possessive pronoun), love (verb without the infinitive)

My friend made my anger go away.
Made, my (the possessive pronoun), go away (verb without the infinitive).

Using nouns with Make:

make friends: idiomatic verb: to meet new people and develop friendship

Person A: I have made many friends in the U.S. since I came here.

Person B: I can't you make friends easily. I am shy.

make friends with someone: idiomatic verb. to develop friendship with someone or people.

Person A: I have made friends with many Americans.

Person B: It is easy for me to make friends with people of different backgrounds.

Person A: Why is it easy for you to make friends with different people?

Person B: I guess because I am curious about different cultures.

make profit: to earn money

Person A: I am not making any profit yet. I've just started this business.

Person B: It will take a lot of time and effort to make profit in this business. I admire your determination.

make breakfast, lunch, or dinner: to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner

Person A: Come over tonight. I'll make a fancy dinner for you.

Person B: What are you going to make?

Person A: I'll make salmon, french salad, and fruit salad for dessert.

make a fool out of someone: to make someone look stupid

Person A: I'm angry. Your brother make a fool out of me yesterday in front of all my friends.

Person B: I apologize for his behavior. He does it to everybody. We punish him all the time, but he is not getting any better. May be we need to see a psychiatrist. I will talk to him tonight

Using make with Verbs:

make a joke or make jokes: to joke

Person A: My boss makes jokes all the time so it's very much fun to work for him.

Person B: My boss is to the opposite. She never makes jokes.

make something work: to spend time and effort to improve something. You can make your marriage work; you can make your job work better; you can make your relationship with some one work.

Person A: I've tried very hard to make my marriage work. Now, my marriage is working better.

Person B: What did you do? Tell me. I wish I knew how to make my marriage work.










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