Common Mistakes : Do, Have, Make, Take

Common Mistakes


Common Mistakes : Do, Have, Make, Take


.BAD: We all made our best to see that they enjoyed themselves

.GOOD: We all did our best to see that they enjoyed themselves



Many phrases begin with a very common verb such as do, make, have, or take

I felt very nervous about taking the test but, after having a long talk with Mrs Fisher, I decided I would just do my best and try not to make too many silly mistakes

These verbs can be combined with some nouns but not with others and since they do not have a clear meaning of their own, choosing the right combination can be a problem. Phrases which tend to cause difficulty are shown below



‘.Have a bath (or esp. AmE take )  ‘She’s probably upstairs having a bath
‘.Have (your) breakfast  ‘We usually have breakfast in the kitchen
‘.Have (your) dinner  ‘We had dinner and then went for a walk
‘.Have a drink  ‘I’ll collapse if I don’t have a drink soon
‘.Have (an) experience  ‘He has no experience of running a large company
‘.Have fun  ‘You can’t stop people from having fun
‘.Have a holiday  ‘It’s almost a year since we had a real holiday
‘.Have an interview  ‘I’ve had six interviews but no one has offered me a job
‘.Have a lesson  ‘Every morning we have three fifty-minute lessons
‘?Have (your) lunch  ‘Isn’t it about time we had lunch
‘.Have an operation  ‘Before I had the operation I could hardly walk
‘.Have a party  ‘On Saturday we’re having a party
‘.Have a picnic  ‘If it’s sunny we could have a picnic
‘.Have a shower (or esp. AmE take)  ‘It only takes me a minute to have a shower



‘?Take/do an examination  ‘Why do we have to take so many tests
‘.Take (your) medicine  ‘Don’t forget to take your medicine
‘.Take a pill  ‘He refuses to take sleeping pills
‘.Take/do a test  ‘The last test I took was a disaster



‘.Make an effort  ‘I had to make a big effort not to laugh
‘.Make a journey  ‘It was the first journey he’d made all on his own
‘.Make a mistake  ‘He has made a serious mistake
‘?Make a noise  ‘How can one small child make so much noise
‘.Make progress  ‘I made very little progress at the start of the course



‘.Do your best   ‘Don’t worry, Tim. Just do your best
‘.Do (or cause) damage   ‘The storm did a lot of damage to the crops
‘?Do an exercise   ‘Have you done your exercises today
‘.Do an experiment   ‘To do this experiment, you’ll need two eggs
‘.Do (sb) good   ‘The holiday has done him a lot of good
‘.Do harm   ‘A scandal would do his reputation a lot of harm
‘?Do your homework   ‘Have you done your homework yet
‘.Do a job   ‘I’ve got one or two jobs to do this evening
‘.Do the/some shopping   ‘Jake has gone into town to do some shopping
‘.Do research   ‘We need to do a lot more research
‘.Do things   ‘We’ve done lots of different things today
‘?Do your training   ‘Where did you do your training
Note also: do something/anything etc: ‘I can’t come now – I’m doing something.’ ‘He hasn’t done anything wrong



.BAD: He is the best surgeon of the hospital

.GOOD: He is the best surgeon in the hospital

.BAD: It is one of the best theatres of Spain

.GOOD: It is one of the best theatres in Spain

The phrase that follows the best (+ noun) usually begins with in (NOT of ):   ‘one of the best restaurants in London’, ‘the best team in the league’, ‘some of the best students in the class


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