do/ make a good job

Discussion in 'English Only' started by marylou2010, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. marylou2010 Senior Member

    German (Swiss)
    Dear all,

    I was wondering whether I could also say "make a good job" instead of "do a good job"? Is it acceptable, colloquial or not an English phrase? Thank you very much for your help in advance. Marylou
     
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    Do you have a sentence in mind, marylou2010? I usually hear and see "do a good job" over here although I'm familiar with the phrase "Make a good job of something". I would never use "Make a good job!" by itself.
     
  3. marylou2010 Senior Member

    German (Swiss)
    Thank you for your quick reply:)! I thought of something like praising a student saying "You made a good job!". Could I use your phrase in a sentence such as "I make a good job of teaching?" - mmh, doesn't really sound good or does it? Does it mean "to make good money by doing a specific job?
    Thanks a lot! Marylou
     
  4. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    You're quite welcome, marylou2010. Thanks for the context.

    (1) I sure wouldn't use "You made a good job!" Just "Good job!" or "You did a good job!" is far better.

    (2) "I make a good job of teaching" sounds odd. I rarely hear "Make a good job of it". When I do, it's always a tag after some command: Go out and cut the grass and make a good job of it. That may be a regional expression I picked up in the southern U.S. I wouldn't recommend trying to improvise with the phrase. It's probably safer to stick with "do a good job of something", as I'm sure that version is widespread.

    (3) "I make good money at/from something" is common. "Make a good job of it" doesn't really have anything to do with that idea as far as I know.
     
  5. Li'l Bull

    Li'l Bull Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Hello, native speakers of English!

    I would like to ask you if you can use the expression "do/make a good job of + -ing" in the following context: Let's imagine I know a carpenter who makes really nice and creative shelves. I'm speaking to a friend who wants to refurbish his living room, so I suggest: "Why don't you go to this carpenter on X Street? He does/makes a really good job of making shelves."

    Is this usage correct? Most examples I've found are about specific cases where someone manages to do a good job of something (e.g. "You've certainly made an excellent job of the kitchen" - source: Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary). However, I'd like to know if the expression can be used in the present simple, in a more general sense.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  6. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    Do a good job is the standard way of saying this, but you're right that make a good job is possible as well. I think - it's hard to be sure - that I am more likely to use this idiom in the past tense: He made a good job of these shelves. I don't think the present and past tenses are incorrect, though.
     
  7. Li'l Bull

    Li'l Bull Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Thank you, Kate. That was quick!

    Do you mean that if the friend that I was talking to were you (the one who needs to refurbish her living room), and I told you exactly that (i.e. "This carpenter I know does a really good job of making shelves"), would that feel natural and idiomatic enough to you? Would you be more likely to say things like "This carpenter is really good at making shelves"?
     
  8. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    Both of those are fine. My only quibble is that I expect carpenters to be good at making shelves (they should be good at making much more difficult things than that), so a more likely thing for me to say is, "He's a really good carpenter. He did a great job on my new shelves." The difference is that instead of focusing on the shelves, I'm focusing on what a good carpenter he is and using the shelves as an example of that.

    I'm not sure that helps you, but that is what I'd be more likely to say. But both "does a really good job of making shelves" and "is really good at making shelves" are perfectly fine and idiomatic.
     
  9. Li'l Bull

    Li'l Bull Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Yeah, it does help. Thanks again. :)
     
  10. Hettyy Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    Please could any native speaker of English kindly tell me what I can say to encourage someone to "do a good job"? This is supposed to be an imperative remark from a senior/boss to a junior workeryy followed by some promises for a bright future in career. I tried "carry on", or "Keep on", or "Do a good job" or "Do a good job of it", but was really not sure whether they would work for the purposes...

    Most sincere thanks!
     
  11. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    Hello, Hettyy.

    "Keep up the good work" is something that I've heard bosses say before. If you use this phrase, you are complimenting your workers for doing a good job as well as encouraging them to keep working hard.
     
  12. Hettyy Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    Arh, great, "Keep up the good work" sounds very suitable for the context. Many, many thanks, owlman5, for your kind and prompt help. Have a very nice day :)
     
  13. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "To make a good job of + noun" is common in BrE. E.g. Someone puts up some bookshelves and, while looking at the bookshelves, I say "You've made a good job of these bookshelves".
     

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