Make - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionaries Online


from English Grammar Today

The verb make can be used in a number of ways.

Make + object

We use make + object to talk about things that we produce or create:

She made some coffee.

Did you really make this table?

There are many expressions which use this pattern:

make a claim

make a mess

make a speech

make a complaint

make a mistake

make a start

make a concession

make a note

make a statement

make a date

make a phone call

make a wish

make a difference

make a point

make an appointment

make a fuss

make a profit/loss

make an effort

make a list

make a sound

Make + object (o) + adjective complement (ac)

Music makes [O]me [AC]happy.

Make + object (o) + noun complement (nc)

They made [O]her [NC]team captain for the coming year.

[at the lost luggage department at an airport]


When am I going to get my suitcase?


I promise you we’re going to make it a priority.

Make + indirect object (io) + direct object (do)

The chef made [IO]him [DO]a special cake.

Can I make you a cup of tea or coffee?

Make + object (o) + prepositional phrase (pp) with for

Can you make a [O]sandwich [pp with for]for Lisa as well? (or Can you make Lisa a sandwich as well?)

I’ve made an appointment for you at the dentist’s.

We don’t use the preposition to in this pattern with make:

I made pasta for our guests.

Not: I made pasta to our guests.

Make + object + adjective (or noun) complement + prepositional phrase with for

He made [O]life [AC] [PP with for]difficult for me.

What would make [O]it [NC]a better book [PP with for]for students?

Make meaning ‘force to do’

We can use make meaning ‘force someone (to do something)’. In the active voice, we use it with an infinitive without to:

The boss made me work an extra day.

Not: The boss made me to work

However, in the passive voice, we must use an infinitive with to:

The people were made to wait outside while the committee reached its decision.

(“Make” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press.)
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