What did you make of London?

What did you make of London?

Asking what did you make of somewhere or something means, “What did you think of it?” – in this example, you are asking for your friend’s opinion of London and asking what he thought about the things he saw. Maybe your friend will reply, Actually, not much, I didn’t enjoy it at all. Consider the following example, which could be from a newspaper (e.g. A headline, 标题):

Times are changing: what do older people make of the latest smart phones?

Times are changing just means that society, people’s attitudes, the culture etc. is changing. So the headline suggests that maybe older people are becoming positive towards the latest phones, even though traditionally they might not be familiar with them and might not like them. 

I didn’t know what to make of it when James started talking about football. Normally he hates it.

The prime minister said he will give £100,000 to the poor. Make of it what you will.

Make of it what you will means “you decide how to interpret this; you think about what this means, because it could be understood in many different ways”. 

Another different meaning of make of it describes how you use opportunities and skills. For example,

University is what you make of it. If you spend all your time having parties, then you won’t learn anything, but if you study, you’ll do well.

Life is what you make of it. Some people don’t work hard and so they aren’t successful. Other people enjoy themselves because they try new things and are confident in themselves.

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