Are there any differences between these expressions:


1. to do shopping / to do the shopping


2. to make dinner / to make the dinner


Thank you in advance,



article asked Apr 28 '13 at 10:15 Lola New member

2 answers


Hi Lola, I am a native speaker from Britain.  Usually, things we regard as house chores are given the article "the".

do the shopping

do the gardening

do the ironing

do the washing

do the dusting

do the vacuuming etc


We also often use these expressions with the word "some".  "I think I'll do some ironing".  This implies that we are not going to get all the ironing done, just "some".  Almost with the meaning to fill in a bit of time.   "do the shopping" sounds like a bigger activity, really getting everything you need for the week, for example, than "do some shopping".

As for "make the dinner" or "make dinner", well...  that's a hard one.  I don't know which one I would say.  I live alone, so I don't say this one!  I would say both are perfectly fine.

link answered Apr 29 '13 at 09:04 Caroline Wiggins New member

Thank you very much, Caroline!

LolaApr 29 '13 at 09:44

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By the way, I forgot to say that we don't use these expressions with no definite article at all.

link answered Apr 29 '13 at 09:58 Caroline Wiggins New member

Understood, thank you!

LolaApr 29 '13 at 11:07

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