The Cambridge Learner Corpus shows that some of the most frequent collocation errors made by candidates in advanced English exams relate to the use of make. Here are some typical errors and their corrections.
I would like to
do/give some suggestions (WRONG) --> MAKE some suggestions
I think that I could
have/give a contribution
I expect you to
g ive a formal apology (WRONG) --> make a formal apology
There is still some way to go and lots of improvements to do (WRONG) --> improvements to MAKE
Thank you very much for
doing these arrangements (WRONG) --> MAKING these arrangements
Sometimes candidates use make where another verb is required. For example:
We’re going to
MAKE a party on Saturday --> HAVE a party
MADE some-interesting -research into her family roots --> DID some interesting research
Other expressions with make
It’s a good idea to make a habit of switching off the lights when you leave a room.
If you always say exactly what you think, you’ll make a lot of enemies.
The team made several attempts to climb the mountain before they finally succeeded.
I hope that they’ll make a success of their new restaurant business.
I have to go to a party for a colleague after work but I will try and make an early escape.
Our research team has made an important discovery about how whales communicate.
When doing your accounts, try to ensure you make all the calculations correctly.
If we move the sofa closer to the window, it’ll make room for the piano.
I first made his acquaintance when he moved in next door, (formal: got to know him|
The house we looked at is just what we want and we’ve decided to make an offer on it.
As no one else has any ideas, I’d like to make a proposal, [make a formal suggestion!
We must make a stand against the casino they propose to build here, [protest about|
Other verbs that mean make
create a good/bad impression
Wear your grey suit to the interview if you want to create a good impression.
slightly more formal than make an impression
create a (+ adj.) atmosphere
The lanterns in the garden create a romantic atmosphere.
more formal than make for a romantic atmosphere
stage a protest
The students staged a protest against rising tuition fees.
= make a formal protest
lodge a complaint
Several people have lodged a complaint about the bank managers rudeness.
= make a formal complaint
rustle up a meal
It took Sam ten minutes to rustle up a meal.
(informal) = make a meal very quickly
run up curtains
This weekend I'm going to run up some curtains for my new room.
= make quickly using a sewing machine
turn in a profit
This month our company should turn in a profit for the first time.
slightly more informal than make a profit
coin a phrase
I wonder who coined the term 'blogging'.
= invent / make up a new phrase