the difference between <make up for something> and <make it up>

Tae-Bbong-E

Senior Member
Korean
Hello

I have searched <make up for something> and <make it up> on this WordReference dictionary.
And the meanings are the as follows.


-make up for [Something]: (compensate)
ex) She made up for being rude to me yesterday by inviting me out for coffee.

-make it up to [Somebody]: informal (make amends)
ex) George wanted to make it up to Andrea for being so bad-tempered towards her earlier.



Questions is....what is meaning of it in <make it up to [SB]>?.. As well what is difference between them?

Furthermore, is it possible to change the order of two prepositional phrases? One is [for Something], and another is [to Somebody].
ex) She made up for being rude to me yesterday by inviting me out for coffee.
--> She made up to me for being rude yesterday by inviting me out for coffee.

ex) George wanted to make it up to Andrea for being so bad-tempered towards her earlier.
--> George wanted to make it up for being so bad-tempered towards her earlier to Andrea


I am looking forward to your kind feedback.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    You cannot change the word order in "make it up" that I can see; it has to be "make it up to [someone]".

    In "make up for", it might be possible to add "to [someone]" after "up", but I would only do this where it is not at all obvious who the person is. In your sentence, "to me" could be omitted altogether and we would still know who was being made up to, so adding it after "up" sounds very unnatural. However, in a sentence such as:
    Jane made up to Mary for being rude to John yesterday.​
    Without "to Mary" we would have no idea who Jane made up to.
     

    Tae-Bbong-E

    Senior Member
    Korean
    You cannot change the word order in "make it up" that I can see; it has to be "make it up to [someone]".

    In "make up for", it might be possible to add "to [someone]" after "up", but I would only do this where it is not at all obvious who the person is. In your sentence, "to me" could be omitted altogether and we would still know who was being made up to, so adding it after "up" sounds very unnatural. However, in a sentence such as:
    Jane made up to Mary for being rude to John yesterday.​
    Without "to Mary" we would have no idea who Jane made up to.

    Hello
    If so, do the following sentences make sense?
    A) I made up for breaking the window to Mr. Kim
    B) I made up to Mr. Kim for breaking the window.


    As you said, do you think B) sentence is unnatural?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    No. If you need to add "to [someone]", where it cannot be inferred from any other part of the sentence and is not part of the "for..." phrase, then it can be placed after "up". Sentence B is fine. Sentence A is wrong: you did not break the window to Mr Kim.
     

    Tae-Bbong-E

    Senior Member
    Korean
    No. If you need to add "to [someone]", where it cannot be inferred from any other part of the sentence and is not part of the "for..." phrase, then it can be placed after "up". Sentence B is fine. Sentence A is wrong: you did not break the window to Mr Kim.

    ah ha Now i can see.
    "to John" from <Jane made up to Mary for being rude to John yesterday> is different with "to Kim" from <I made up to Mr. Kim for breaking the window.>

    So let me organize my understanding.

    ex from Wordreference dictionary) She made up for being rude to me yesterday by inviting me out for coffee.
    In this sentence "to me" is related to "being rude", not verb "made up for~".
    Of course people can sill know who was being made up to. It is me.
    So even though I can write <She made up to me for being rude to me yesterday by inviting me out for coffee>, it is unnecessary.
    That's why I should write <She made up (to me) for being rude to me yesterday by inviting me out for coffee>. It is more natural.


    My composition) She made up to me for being rude yesterday by inviting me out for coffee.
    In this sentence "to me" is not related to "being rude", just it is related to verb "made up to", Namely, who was being made up to is me... As well people still know that. Thus, I can write <She made up (to me) for being rude yesterday by inviting me out for coffee>.


    My composition) I made up for breaking the window to Mr. Kim
    In this sentence "to Mr. Kim" is weird, plus it is not related to verb "made up for", just it could be related to verb phrase "breaking to window". but it is absurd. So this sentence is wrong.


    MY composition) I made up to Mr. Kim for breaking the window.
    In this sentence "to Mr. Kim" is related to verb "made up for". So, "to Mr. Kim" is who was being made up to. That's why this sentence is possible.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    ah ha Now i can see.
    "to John" from <Jane made up to Mary for being rude to John yesterday> is different with "to Kim" from <I made up to Mr. Kim for breaking the window.>
    Yes. "To Kim" has the same function as "to Mary".

    Your explanations are all correct.

    In a different type of sentence, something like "I made up for breaking the window to Mr. Kim" might well be possible; I don't know any general rule for the order of prepositional phrases. But in this particular type of sentence, we don't expect a "to" prepositional phrase at the end, whereas it is very common to need to include "to"+[object] within the "for" prepositional phrase.
     
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