Which is correct? Make Do vs. Make Due

If you use make due rather than make do in your writing, you might be giving yourself away as a reader of Victorian or early 20th century American novels.

Make do means to “persevere through difficult times,” as in When dad lost his job, mom said, ‘We’ll just have to make due with just my income for a bit.’”

Make due is considered a misspelling of make do. A perfect demonstration of how language evolves, make due actually was the preferred spelling until the 1940s. If you want to use this spelling in a letter or diary entry that a character in a historical novel set between 1800-1949, then you’re okay.

In the 21st century, though, make do is the way to go in your writing.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.