made a mistake

azz

Senior Member
Persian
a. He made a mistake to lose the game.
b. What mistake did you make to lose the game?


I think in (a) he makes the mistake intentionally. Is that correct?

Does (b) imply that the speaker thinks that the addressee made the mistake deliberately? I don't think it does,

Many thanks.
 
  • Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Sentence A doesn't make much sense to me.

    B seems to be asking "how did you lose?" but it's a bit of an odd way to ask that question.
     
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    azz

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thank you all so much.

    The sentences are mine, but they were modeled after this headline:

    Zakaria identifies the ‘real sin’ Trump committed to lose some GOP support


    Source:
    Zakaria identifies the 'real sin' Trump committed to lose some GOP support - The Global Herald

    Obviously, Trump did not intend to lose any support, but is the headline well-phrased?

    I think you can make a deliberate mistake to lose a game. Let's say I am playing chess and for some reason, I want to lose. I deliberately make a mistake. I don't think that is incorrect.

    Many thanks.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Your attempt is not the same. It doesn’t work, in my view. If you’d said, for example, “what offence did he commit to be sent off?”, then it would be comparable.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    a. He made a mistake to lose the game.
    The trouble with this is that it is too easily misunderstood as being an incorrect way of saying that he lost the game as a result of making a genuine (unintentional) mistake. If you want to get across the meaning that he made a deliberate mistake in order to lose the game, you should be more clear, such as by adding either "deliberate" or "in order" or both.
    Does (b) imply that the speaker thinks that the addressee made the mistake deliberately? I don't think it does,
    Neither do I. It seems just to be asking what mistake caused him to lose.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you added “in order to lose”, that would imply intention. But even then, the word mistake is really not natural to mean an intentional foul.
     
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