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So, in HSK 5, there are quite a large number of verbs which relate to 'making / creating / doing'. For other people's reference, I have listed out those I know, and then underneath there are a few where I am unsure. Please let me know if something is wrong. I can update 搞 also if somebody is able to provide some information per the below. No doubt others can help out here to create a useful reference. Thanks!

创造 - to produce (an abstract concept): opportunity, miracle, requirement, atmosphere, value, culture, (to set) a (world) record.

制造 - to produce/manufacture (something physical): products, clothes, cars

制作 - to produce/manufacture (like 制造, but where the product requires handcraft or fine workmanship, normally in small quantities): jewelry, cake, furniture, art, literature.

生产 - to produce/manufacture (like 生产 but where the manufacturing process is relatively simple, though are often interchangeable)

引起 - to cause/create (seems to be a very generic cause/create that can apply to anything): effects, repercussions, problems, reaction, illness.

造成 - to cause/create (give rise to - almost always negative): side effects, problems, losses, stress, burdon, disaster.

导致 - to cause/create (like 造成 but where the effecting item is an action/clause - can be positive or negative): (taking tablets:) side effects, (not studying hard:) problems, (doing exercise:) results

产生 - to cause/create (like 造成 - can be positive or negative, tends to relate to emotions): interest, effect, result, feeling, emotion, mentality, problem, misconception, efficiency.

建设 - to build (something large and often physical): economy, system, institution, railway, city, culture, communism, facility, installation.

盖 - to build (somewhere where you live): house, building, flats, accommodation, hotel.

搞 - to do/make: event, technology, target/aim, art, item - not sure what this verb really means - how would you translate 搞技术,搞活动,搞对象,搞艺术,搞名堂? What unites the verb's meaning in these instances?

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搞 is an omnipotent verb used in oral language. It emerged very lately as gao3,with which the modern meanings associated has nothing to do with its ancient usage.

Basically, most important usage is to attach it to any abstract noun/verb, meaning conceptual "do":

搞艺术/搞创作/搞发展/搞卫生/搞活动/搞名堂/搞关系...

Even in oral language, 搞 has a tone of bureaucratese, because using (abusing) these kind of all-purpose verbs are a prominent feature of government officials' speech/writing.

Other than "do", 搞 can mean "get", but I would say it's more like "do something such that":

In 搞两张票来/搞到手, you may treat 搞 as "get", but this is not the essence.

Because it is 来/到手 that indicate "get": do something such that two tickets "come" (搞两张票来)>"get"/ do something such that something to your hand(搞到手)>"get"

So it can extend to: 搞好关系/搞砸事情/搞定/搞完/搞大肚子/搞死/搞出人命...

The last usage, though somehow overlaping, is "make":

搞事/搞钱/搞核武器...

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  • Thanks Toosky! That's really informative. Will edit my original post with the info once I get home! :-) – Hashamyim Feb 17 '20 at 17:54
  • The English equivalent of 搞 is the ubiquitous "like", with out which all teenage English speakers would not be able to complete a single sentence. – Wayne Cheah Feb 18 '20 at 4:23

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