'Make' vs 'Model': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on September 7, 2023

Do you need to know the difference between 'make' vs. 'model?'

Here is the short answer: 

  • 'Make' is a term people in the automotive industry use for the brand of a vehicle. 
  • Model' is a term used in the automotive industry to indicate the specific type of car within an automaker's lineup. 

'Make' and 'model' both have several other meanings that you can learn about in this guide, which contains definitions, pronunciations, and tips for using each term.

What is the Difference Between 'Make' vs. 'Model?'

When people use the terms 'make' and 'model,' they usually refer to the brand and specific model of a vehicle.

'Make' represents the brand, and 'model' refers to the specific vehicle, for example:

  • Hyundai (make) - Sonata (model)
  • Hyundai (make) - Palisade (model)
  • Toyota (make) - Camry (model)
  • Toyota (make) - 4Runner (model)
  • Chevrolet (make) - Silverado (model)
  • Chevrolet (make) - Camaro (model)
  • Ford (make) - F150 (model)
  • Ford (make) - Mustang (model)

There are many vehicle 'makes' and 'models.' However, the vehicles listed above are some of the most popular brands and vehicles in the United States.

Definition of 'Make': What Does 'Make' Mean?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'make' as a verb that means:

  • To create by forming, molding, shaping, or altering materials
  • To design and construct
  • To write or compose
  • To put components together to constitute something
  • To cause an experience to happen or occur
  • To cause to exist, occur, or appear
  • To favor the occurrence of something
  • To fit or intend something as if creating
  • To establish or enact something
  • To name or set something
  • To cause something to come about
  • To appoint someone or something
  • To carry out an action or plan
  • To fix or repair
  • To prepare or fix
  • To perform using one's bodily movements
  • To amount to something significant
  • To count or number
  • To form significance or constitute a significant portion of something
  • To develop into something different or an altered state
  • To have the capability to be changed
  • To attain something or accomplish a goal
  • To gain a position on or in
  • To have success in showing, providing, or following through on something
  •  To gain rank
  • To gain something for doing a job
  • To acquire
  • To score a point or goal in a sports game
  • To shoot a shot successfully
  • To turn a split into a spare
  • To form an opinion
  • To regard as the truth
  • To produce something through thought, behavior, action, or effort
  • To translate from one language to another
  • To include in a journey
  • To attend
  • To cause a successful or prosperous outcome
  • To form a thought and hold it in mind
  • To begin or act
  • To prepare by actions that cause the finished outcome or product
  • To manipulate the body to create a gesture or expression

'Make' can also be a noun that means:

  • The way, style, or process something is fashioned by
  • The moral, physical, and mental fabric of a person
  • The action of manufacturing and producing something
  • The output or yield produced during a specific period
  • Card shuffling

Synonyms of 'Make'

  • Build
  • Form
  • Construct
  • Engineer
  • Fabricate
  • Manufacture
  • Craft
  • Assemble
  • Organize
  • Invent
  • Erect
  • Structure
  • Design
  • Forge
  • Raise
  • Originate
  • Model
  • Imagine
  • Mint
  • Picture
  • Conceive
  • Think
  • Visualize
  • Achieve
  • Attain
  • Obtain
  • Win
  • Score
  • Capture
  • Realize

Definition of 'Model': What Does 'Model' Mean?

The same dictionary defines 'model' as a noun that means:

  • A miniature version of something sometimes made to scale
  • A pattern of something that is to be made or produced
  • A product design
  • The description of an entity or state of affairs as a mathematical presentation
  • A computer simulation
  • An example that can be imitated or emulated
  • A person who works displaying clothing and other items
  • A person, place, or thing that acts as a pattern or inspiration for an artist
  • Something that can't be seen but is used to help someone visualize something
  • Structural or architectural design
  • Something others mimic
  • The copy or image of something
  • Blueprints or building design plans

'Model' can also be a verb that means:

  • To create or fashion something in the image of something else
  • To shape or mold using plastic or clay
  • To create a simulation
  • To wear clothes for the purpose of displaying them to others
  • To shape, form, mold, or prepare using a pattern
  • To form an organization
  • To make a pattern
  • To create an imitation

'Model' can also be an adjective that means:

  • Capable or able to serve as an example or pattern
  • A miniature representation of something

Synonyms of 'Model'

  • Replica
  • Clone
  • Miniature
  • Copy
  • Duplicate
  • Carbon
  • Mock
  • Duplication

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Make' vs. 'Model'

Let's take a minute to look at the pronunciation of 'make' vs. 'model' before we go on.

Here is a pronunciation guide you can refer to when pronouncing 'make' vs. 'model'.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'make':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'model':


When and How to Use 'Make' vs. 'Model'

Now, with so many meanings for 'make' and 'model,' it can be challenging to know when to use them. So, here are some tips to help you determine when to use 'make' vs. 'model': 

  • Use 'make' when you are asking about the brand or automaker who produced a vehicle.

For example, you might hear someone say:

What is the make of your car? 

  • Use 'model' to indicate the specific car within an automaker's lineup.

As an example, I might say:

I am in the market for a new car. I know I want to buy a Toyota, but I am not sure which model I want.

  • Use 'model' as a verb to say that someone is creating something according to a pattern, design, or model.

For example, you might hear someone say:

Please model your assignment after the design on page 324 of your book. 

  • Use 'make' as a verb for creating something.

So, you can say:

We make crafts in art class and sell them to raise money for our high school

Sample Sentences Using 'Make' vs. 'Model'

Next, read these sample sentences using 'make' vs. 'model' to ensure that you remember how to correctly use these terms.

  • Do you make the products you sell, or do you buy them?
  • Toyota is one of the top vehicle makes in the United States.
  • If you own a Ford or Chevrolet, you might want to check the active recalls because there have been several lately for those makes.


  • You need to know the specific model of your vehicle when you purchase parts for your car.
  • The model is an exact replica of the mansion.
  • How does the model maintain her figure?
  • You can create a model of your design using clay or plastic.


  • Did you get the license plate of the vehicle that struck that pedestrian? The make was definitely Toyota, but I am unsure about the model.
  • Can you make a model of the project for our presentation next week?
  • You need to enter your vehicle make and model into the app if you want to use curbside pickup.
  • Did you make the dress the blonde model is wearing?

Last Look at the Difference Between 'Make' vs. 'Model'

Finally, here is a recap of what you learned about the difference between 'make' vs. 'model': 

  • 'Make' is a verb and noun that means to create something by fashioning, modeling, designing, or producing something.
  • 'Model' is an adjective, verb, and noun that means a replica or reproduction of a design, a person who works wearing clothes to display them to others, or having the ability to act as a pattern or example. 
  • In terms of the automobile industry, 'make' refers to a specific automaker, and 'mode' refers to the specific vehicle within the automaker's lineup. 

Even after learning the meanings, pronunciations, and uses of these words, they can be challenging to remember. So, if you ever need a reminder, you can always return to review this lesson.

You can also verify the correct meanings and uses of hundreds of how other words in the confusing words section. So, if you have been wondering when or how to use other English terms, check them out now!

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WritingTips.org Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.