make it up to somebody for something / make up for something


Senior Member
Good day

Are the sentences right?

• make it up to SB for Sth.
George wanted to make it up to Andrea for being so bad-tempered towards her earlier.

***(For your reference) One native speaker gave me his advice like "You cannot change the word order in "make it up" that I can see; it has to be "make it up to [someone]"

• make up for Sth:
I made up to Mr. Kim for breaking the window.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both of those expressions are fine. But they mean different things and are used in specific ways. Your example under the second one is wrong. Adding “to Mr Kim” is not idiomatic.

    make up for something
    = atone or compensate for something bad you’ve done or something you’ve failed to

    make it up to someone
    = make amends to someone for something bad you’ve done to them (or something you’ve failed to do)

    Sat Ori

    Hell @lingobingo

    I do not want to make it controversy,,, but last time I was taught by one native speaker.
    He said the second sentence is fine.
    the difference between <make up for something> and <make it up>

    However, you mean "make up for Sth" is possible. :tick:
    But inserting [to SB] between make up and for Sth is impossible .Namely "make up [to SB] for Sth" is impossible. :cross:


    Maybe, the native that has taught you, thought make up to [someone] as fine, in order of cultural language. Like the difference between british english and american english. Or something similar.


    Senior Member
    I don’t understand that comment. There are two different idioms, as shown in #2 — Make Up For / Make It Up To Someone. If you use both of them in the same statement, you need to keep the pronoun it, as shown in #4.

    Note that to make up to (rather than make it up to) someone has a different meaning in British English: Make Up To

    @lingobingo @Sat Ori

    Okay,,But if I say the under-mentioned sentence, this sentence is not what I mean anymore.
    I made up for breaking the window [to Mr. Kim]

    --> This sentence means I broke the window to Mr. Kim... It was weird.
    Actually I want to describe that I compensated Mr. Kim for breaking the window.


    Senior Member
    I know what you want to say. And in post #4 I explained how you can say it.

    Now I see.
    I made it up to Mr. Kim for breaking the window. :tick:

    In short, I cannot express what I want to say by using "make up for" and inserting [to SB] between "make up" and "for"
    Because in British English, "make up to SB' has a different meaning itself.
    Thus, If I want to insert [to SB] between "make up" and "for", the sentence is not what I want to say.
    Maybe I guess there would be conflict between "make up to SB" and "make up [to SB] for".......(I know "make up [to SB] for" is impossible.)