Four Money-Related Idioms With Make

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My cousin Suzy has a good job, and makes a living doing computer work. She moved to Manhattan two years ago, but she soon found it hard to make ends meet living alone there, so she decided to get a roommate to help pay the rent. Her roommate makes money in sales, so she can afford half of the rent. The problem is that the apartment is not big, so they have to make do with living in a small space.

For today’s free English lesson, I want to show you four English phrases related to money that use the word make. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check out the lesson.

Make money means to earn or get money. It has a positive nuance of earning a good or high profit:

  • Lori makes a lot of money selling stuff on eBay.
  • It’s hard to make money working as a musician.
  • Momo made money in the stock market and bought a nice house.

Make a living means to earn money to live and support oneself and/or a family. We often use a gerund (VerbING) or as + noun after make a living:

  • Jack makes a living selling used cars.
  • I think it would be tough to make a living as an artist.
  • Tommy makes a living doing accounting.

Make do or make do with + object means to manage with a limited amount of something, like money, or an inadequate thing, like an old car.

  • Danny doesn’t have a job now, so he has to make do with his savings.
  • We can’t afford a new car, so we’ll have to make do with this old car until we can save enough to get a new car.
  • We only brought two bottles of lemonade to the picnic. I didn’t realize Ken’s family is also going to join us so we’ll just have to make do.

Make ends meet means to earn just enough money to be able to pay one’s bills. Literally, it means to live and budget one’s money, so that the end of the money and the end of the bills meet at the same time.

  • Chris and his wife just bought a house, so they are working really hard to make ends meet.
  • After the landlord raised the rent, Jenny started working a part time job in order to make ends meet.
  • Eddie couldn’t make ends meet living alone in Manhattan, so he decided to get a roommate to help pay the rent.

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