To Do List

How many of you make a “to do list” each day?

How many things on average do you have on your list each day?

Are all of those things very important?

Do they all need to be done TODAY?

Watch the video and see if you agree with the author’s to do list.

What did the author want to do more of and less of?

IF you could make a change today, what would you do MORE of and what would you do LESS of?  Why?

Make a similar list for your self and then share it with the class.

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What did you do?

The verb “do” presents tons of problems for the majority of new English speakers, but, in fact, it is easy to learn, if done properly.

In Spanish we have 1 verb (hacer) to say what in English is divided between 2 words: Make and Do. The difference between the two are the following:

Make is something that needs constructing of involves a process: 

Make a cake, make your bed, make a cup of coffee, etc.

Do is used for activities or daily chores:

Do your hair, do the dishes, do exercise, etc.

There are also a large amount of phrases that are set using do and make. You can see those here.

aprender-ingles-rosario

But that is not the confusing part. That we understand. The part that confuses us is when the verb do is used as an auxiliary verb.

A WHAT!

An auxiliary verb is a verb used to give support to another verb. We could call it a helper verb. The helper verb used to ask questions and make negative responses is do.

Do you want to go dancing tonight?

or we can use it in the past form:

Did you go dancing last night?

Do you like coffee?

No, I do not like coffee (No I don’t like coffee)

Take a look at the structure below.

Did

you

eat

pizza

yesterday?

Auxiliary verb

Subject pronoun

Verb

noun

adverb

 

So, you can never ever ever ever never say:

Know you him?

Firstly because there is no auxiliary word that makes it a questions.

Secondly because the pronoun is out of order

The correct way to ask the question is:

Do you know him?

Take note

When you ask a questions using do in the past, you will use did, in which case, the verb will be in present simple tense.

Did you do the dishes?

If the answer is a negative response you will use the same structure

No, I did not do the dishes.

If the answer is a positive response, the verb will conjugate into the simple past tense.

Yes, I did the dishes (no auxiliary verb)

A fun way to practice this is by asking your friends what they did last night and taking turns answering the questions.

  • Did you drink wine last night?
  • Did you eat in a restaurant last night?
  • Did you sleep in your bed last night?
  • Did you call your mother last night?
  • Did you make a cake last night?

Make and Do

Oh my oh my, make and do, what a problem! But why? It seems to me that the problem lies with the fact that, first, the verb hacer, is completely over used in the Spanish language, and, secondly, because in English we have two words for hacer instead of one.

Hopefully this will clear up any confusion you might have, beginning with:

Fixed Expressions with ‘Do’

  • do homework
  • do the dishes
  • do housework
  • do good
  • do harm
  • do your best
  • do a favor
  • do 50 mph
  • do business
  • do your duty
  • do your hair
  • do a deed
  • do penance / time
  • do right / wrong
  • do enough

Fixed Expressions with ‘Make’

Here are the some of the most common fixed expressions with ‘make’:

  • make an offer
  • make an exception
  • make a mistake
  • make peace / war
  • make love
  • make money / a profit
  • make a phone call
  • make an effort / attempt
  • make (a) noise
  • make a suggestion
  • make a decision
  • make an excuse
  • make progress
  • make arrangements

General Rules for ‘Do’

Use ‘do’ when speaking about vague, or indefinite activities. These include speaking in general using ‘-thing’ words such as something, anything, nothing, etc.

Examples

Are you going to do anything about it?
Let’s do something this afternoon.
I didn’t do anything wrong!

Use ‘do’ for activities. This includes any chores or daily tasks.

Examples

Hurry up and do the dishes
Did you do your chores?
I didn’t have time to do my homework

Use ‘do’ with various jobs and activities ending in ‘-ing’ such as do some gardening, do some thinking, do some painting, etc. This use tends to be informal in nature and can often be stated in a different manner. For example, ‘I did some studying this afternoon’ can be stated ‘I studied this afternoon’.

Examples

I did some thinking about your problem.
He did some reading this morning.
She’s going to do some resting on vacation.

General Rules for ‘Make’

Generally, use ‘make’ when actually constructing or creating something (in other words, NOT for activities).

Examples

I made a cup of tea for breakfast.
He made his daughter a rocking horse.
Did you make that wonderful bread?