Favourite mark vs. favourite make

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: I often buy sports clothes. My favourite mark is Adidas.
RIGHT: I often buy sports clothes. My favourite make is Adidas.

This week’s mistake is a common one, and alarmingly so among students who work in fashion retail. The confusion arises from the use of the word trademark.

A trademark is a license that gives one company the sole right to publish or produce under a given name. But when we are talking casually about our favourite fashion companies, we do not use the shortened word ‘mark’. It sounds strange.

The word we use is ‘make’ or perhaps, more commonly across global English, the word ‘brand’.

Here are both used interchangeably and completely correctly:

A: I love your t-shirt. What make it is?

B: It’s Armani actually, but I don’t generally buy designer brands. This was a present.