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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > do / make a castle    

do / make a castle

United Kingdom

do / make a castle
Hi Everyone,

Ok, the other day I tell my 3 year old who �s playing in the sand to "do a castle".My Spanish friend asked me why it wasn �t "make a castle"? I told her that both were fine, since "make" usually has the idea of creating something but to be honest I �m not sure why "do" was also ok in this instance.

Any ideas?



27 Jun 2011      

United States

Maybe BE is different, but I wouldn �t say "do a castle".

27 Jun 2011     


DO a castle doesn �t make much sense to me either. 

27 Jun 2011     


I�d say "make a castle" or maybe "build a castle"

27 Jun 2011     

United States

We say go and build or make a sand castle.

27 Jun 2011     

United Kingdom

I feel it �s similar to this situation: Imagine a child is drawing a house, you might say to them, why don �t you "do" some windows or a chimney? In this case you coulddn �t use "make". 

Or is this just British English? Do you have to say "draw" elsewhere?!!

Curious Colibrita

27 Jun 2011     

maryse pey�

I agree with make a castle. "build" makes me think of a TRUE castle, not a sand one.
"Make" lets suppose a concrete result that everyone can see on the beach, even if after this result will disappear.

27 Jun 2011     

United States

Do/did can be a stand in verb for  draw, make, attempt, or create as in the following example.

The child did a caricature of a famous person. When finished, he asks him Mom, "Who should I do  now? He means who should he draw now. Mom can answer, "Do Ronald McDonad."

Similarly, I can imagine the scenario on the beach where the child has dug a hole and filled it with sea water. When he became bored with that activity, he bagan making a sand sculpture of a turtle, then of a mermaid. Running out ideas, he asks his Mom what he should attempt next. She would be able to say, Do a sand castle."

27 Jun 2011     

United Kingdom

Redcamarocruiser, yes I think you �ve hit the nail on the head - in my case "do" was substituting "build".

I �ve just come across this interesting link to a "the difference between make and do" forum. http://www.eslhq.com/forums/esl-forums/teaching-esl/how-do-you-teach-difference-between-make-do-9469/<<

27 Jun 2011     


I would use make or build, do a sand castle makes no sense to me.

28 Jun 2011     


I agree with redcamarocruiser: we often use �do �, paradoxically, as a substitute when the first choice might be �make � esp. as it �s connected to creating. My explanation for this would be that in our minds, we are thinking of doing an activity, rather than making something and that �s why we say �do �.

This lack of fixed rule must be very frustrating, but I don �t think English is alone ... Confused


29 Jun 2011