8th August 2019
Word Choice: Made vs. Maid
The title of the 2002 Jennifer Lopez romcom Maid in Manhattan is a pun. Not a very funny pun, but then it wasn’t a very funny movie either. So at least it’s consistent on that level. And “made” and “maid” do indeed sound the same while having different meanings, so it is, undeniably, a pun.
However, if you’ve not seen the movie and don’t get the joke – or if you’re simply worried about mixing up the words “made” and “maid” in your writing – check out our guide to how these terms work below.
Made (Past Tense of Make)
The word “made” is the simple past tense and past participle form of the verb “make.” As such, we use it when something has been “produced,” “constructed,” “achieved,” or “carried out.” For example:
The horn made an unpleasant sound when he blew it.
They made the tower from glass and steel.
We have made great progress in the last week.
I made the phone call first thing this morning.
We also see this term used adjectivally sometimes. Usually, this will refer to how something was made, such as in the terms “handmade” (i.e., made by hand) or “self-made” (i.e., made without help). Even in these cases, though, “made” refers to the idea of being produced or constructed.
Find this useful?
Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.
Maid (A Female Domestic Servant)
The noun “maid” is a name for a female domestic servant, typically in a house or hotel. For instance, you might hear someone say:
The maid comes in once a day to clean the room.
You’ll see it used alone and combined with various other terms, depending on the work done by the woman or girl in question Common examples include “chambermaid,” “milkmaid,” and “handmaid.”
This is because, in the past, people used “maid” as a general term for an unmarried or virginal woman, so it had a wide application. However, this is not true in modern English, so you are unlikely to see it used so widely now.
Summary: Made or Maid?
These words have very different meanings, so you won’t want to mix them up in your writing. Remember the following distinction:
- Made is the simple past tense and past participle of the verb “make.” Typically, then, it means something like “produced” or “carried out.”
- Maid is a noun meaning “a woman or girl who works as a domestic servant.”
If you struggle to tell these words apart, keep in mind that “made” is only one letter away from “make.” So if you can remember “make,” you should be able to remember what “made” means, too. And if you need any more help with the spelling in a document, we’re always here to help.
How to Organize References Easily Using ChatGPT
Putting together a reference list is an important and necessary part of writing a paper,...
How to Create a Study Plan Using ChatGPT
Perhaps you don’t even have to imagine the scenario: you have exams coming up and...
What Is the Plural of Quiz?
Whether you’re in class, at the pub, or watching TV, you’re likely to find yourself...
A Student’s Guide to Using ChatGPT
The emergence of AI-powered chatbots has led us all to wonder how we could use...
How to Write the Ultimate Essay Hook
Never underestimate the power of an essay hook. This opening statement is meant to grab...
How to Cite a Book Review in APA Referencing
A book review is a form of literary criticism where a book is summarized or...
institutions and businesses