make a mess of or mess up

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sleek85

Member
Russian
Hi everybody!

I think the both following sentences are correct and mean the same. Am I right?


I know I've really made a mess off that test.

or

I know I've really messed up that test.


Thank you in advance!
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    For American English:
    "I messed up on that test." - I made a lot of mistakes.
    "I messed up that test." - I physically damaged the paper.
    "I made a mess of that test." - I think either the teacher or the student could say this.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    For American English:
    "I made a mess of that test." - I think either the teacher or the student could say this.
    If a teacher says it, does it mean he damaged the paper physically?
    If a student says it, does it mean either he made lots of mistakes or he damaged the paper?

    Thank you!
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It is a colloquial expression.
    It is not something a teacher is likely to say to a student.

    The literal meaning is 'to put something into a state of disorder'.
    The expression is not normally used in the literal sense.

    In the metaphorical sense, it means 'perform some task very badly'.
    'I made a mess of that test' means 'I did very badly on that test'.
     
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