Lesson 16a: Father's Day

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FATHER'S DAY - English Vocabulary

Language focus: Phrases with the verb “make”

Father’s Day is celebrated in many different countries.In the United States, we celebrate it on the third Sunday of June. In honour of the upcoming holiday, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my own father…and doing so, help you learn some set phrases with a very common verb: make. By “set phrases”, I mean groups of words that people often use together. For example: we don’t say that you Do a mistake, but you can Make a mistake. “Make a mistake” is an example of a set phrase. The objective of this lesson is to learn 12 set phrases with the verb MAKE. In other words, I like to help you to understand these phrases when used in written or spoken English. And I hope this lesson will develop your ability to use these phrases effectively in your own speech.

Phrases with “MAKE” (Set 1)
Do you know these phrases?

- Make do

- Make a point of

- Make up your mind

- Make the most of

Let me tell you about these phrases briefly

1. Make do: You can also make do with (something). People often say “Make do with what you have; make do with what you got”.

To “make do” is to work with whatever you have…to use the things that you have even if they’re not ideal.
Example: The boy and his father didn’t have an umbrella, but they made do with newspaper. They were able to keep their heads dry as they walked home.

2. Make a point of doing something: If you “make a point of doing something”, you make sure that you do it. You remember to do it.

Example: Because Greg never knew his father, he makes a point of spending lots of time with his own children.

3. Make up your mind: You can also “Make up your mind (to do something)

When someone “makes up his mind”, he decides. He chooses to do something.
Example: For my birthday, my parents are giving me a choice of going to a concert or taking a weekend trip. I can’t make up my mind.

4. Make the most of (something):

If you make the most of situation, then…you do what you can to get the best result from that situation.
Example: Julie’s father works long hours during the week, so they make the most of their time together on the weekends.

Exercise 1: Decide if statement is TRUE or FALSE
Example: If you make the most of a bad situation, you complain about it. True or False?
It’s false. If you make the most of a bad situation, you don’t complain about it. Your positive is your try to find something good. You try to get all you can out of this situation.

1. If you make a point of doing something, you remember to do it. True or false?

2. When you make up your mind, you cannot decide what to do. True or false?

False. Making up your mind is deciding, is making a choice.

3. If a family must make do with what they have, then they can always buy whatever they want at the grocery store. True or false?

False: A family that makes do did not have ideal situation, they don’t have everything they want or need.

Phrases with “MAKE” (Set 2)
Do you know these phrases?

- Make something of youself

- Make plans

- Make the acquaintance of

- Make a life for youself

Again I explain each phrase briefly.

1. Make something of youself

If you “Make something of youself”, you become successful. You become the kind of person that others can respect. It’s not about being famous. It’s about being respected. Can others respect you? Can you respect yourself? So when you “Make something of yourself”, you can be proud of yourself.
Example: Ian wants to make something of himself. He has plans to finish college and start his own business.

2. Make plans

You can also use “make plans (to do something)” and “make plans for (something)
If you “make plan” to do something, you arrange to do it
Example: Ben has already made plans for his retirement. When he stops working, he’ll move closer to his grandchildren. He’ll also play more golf.

3. Make the acquaintance of

Another variation is “make someone’s acquaintance”
You can “make someone’s acquaintance” or “make the acquaintance of someone”. It means you get to know each other. You introduce yourselves, and now you’re acquainted.
Example: My father made the acquaintance of some interesting people during his travels.

4. Make a life for youself

To “make a life for yourself” is to find your place.  You have a home, you have a job…possibly a family…and you have a life that you can be happy with.
Example: The Johnsons told their thirty-year-old son it was time to move out the house and make a life for himself.

Exercise 2: Decide if statement is TRUE or FALSE.

1)For a wedding you must make plans.

The statement is true

2) If Ned lost his job, we can say he is making a life for himself.

It’s False.  Losing a job is not an example of making a life for yourself. Making a life for yourself is getting a job and keeping it along with perhaps having your own home and family.

Once you make someone’s acquaintance, the two of you know each other.

The statement is true.

A person who makes something of himself or herself is lazy and weak. The statement is false. Someone who makes something of himself or herself is successful.  They’ve done something good for their life and it usually takes strength and hard-work. End of part 1. Please go on to the next part of this lesson.

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