Do / make / tie a knot

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Senior Member
Spanish / Spain
Hi all,

going through another thread, I've noticed that some English natives say "make a knot" and some others "do a knot". What's the right expression??

- Do a knot??
- Make a knot??
- Tie a knot??

And is it correct to say "do/make/tie a knot ON your necktie/ribbon/on the rope..."??

Thank you!!
  • aplomb

    India, Hindi,English
    Hi Rivendell,
    I think "tie a knot" is correct. Do a knot does not make any sense to me.
    In fact if 'a' is removed from it then it might sound good.
    For example we say "Do post your reply."
    Similarly it is "Do knot the tie".

    And "make a knot" is also right but is different from "tie a knot". You tie a knot on you necktie but you make a knot on the rope.


    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    For example we say "Do post your reply."
    Similarly it is "Do knot the tie"
    I think the "do" here is used the same way as we do with "please", i.e. "Please post your reply". It's not used in the same sense as "do a knot".

    I believe "do a knot" is a rather colloquial expression.


    Senior Member
    British English
    I've never heard do a knot! It sounds very wrong to me. Make a knot also sounds a bit strange - could this be AE in the same way that make a right is common in AE? I would certainly go with tie a knot for BE.

    Edit: And you generally tie a knot in something.
    I think the most correct form is "tie a knot" - but, in spoken ENglish I would not be surprised to hear someone (or myself) say:

    "Okay, now you have to do a knot in the string, then pull the ends..."
    "If you want it to stay, you have to make a knot".

    But "tie" is much better.


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I would use "tie" or "make". I would understand "do", but it would sound unnatural. I would never use it myself, and I don't ever remember coming across any other native speaker saying "do a knot."


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think "tie" will always be right when the knot is made intentionally.

    "Tie" may not be right when something is knotted accidentally. When it's done accidentally, "make" could be the better word.

    I tied a knot in my phone cord. (intentional)

    I made a knot in my phone cord. (accidental)

    "Do" sounds like slang to me, or dialect. I don't recall hearing that in regular usage.

    The preposition is usually "in."
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