(a) This puppy will make him a good companion.

How often do you native speakers use 'make' in this way? Is it a common usage? What kind of difference do you native speakers detect between (a) and 'This puppy will be his good companion'? No difference whatsoever between the two?
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Comments  (Page 2) 
I would say that (b) implies that the puppy, as it is now, will automatically be a good companion, while (a) implies that, given the right environment, the puppy will develop into a good companion.

Great-and insightful-analysis! I feel the same: in "She will make a good wife", for example, I somehow detect her effort, or gradual development to be a good wife. In other words, the process might not be really easy and smooth. On the other hand, I don't really find the same kind of hard-working process in 'She will be a good wife', relatively speaking.

Personally, I haven't seen so often 'S+make+O+O' used to mean the same thing, so I posted the question to see if the sense was the same as 'S+make+O.'

'Is there any difference whatsoever?' probably always has to be answered, 'Yes'. The next question perhaps should be, 'Does the difference make a difference?'

Right. And to know such difference is the key to be proficient in language arts, one step further from superficial, mechanical ways of understanding it. If you want to express your subtle feelings, or if you want to be sensitve to others' feelings, you have to be sensitive to the language, I think.

Thank you!