Mess up: make a mistake

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Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

Does "mess up" meaning "make a mistake" sound natural/correct in the examples I made below?

a. I messed up. I lied and cheated on my girlfriend. I really shouldn't have done that.
b. I think I messed up when I told my co-worker she was going to be fired. I should have waited for our boss to do that.

*I'm not sure if mess up interacts well with "lie", "cheat" and "say things that aren't nice".

Thank you in advance!

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    Both sound idiomatic and are correct. They are quite informal, however.


    Senior Member
    Inglés británico
    As LVRBC says, both are correct, and it is an informal way to say it (though I think most speech where you would be talking about this would be informal/personal).

    "Mess up" works just fine with "lie" etc. in your context - it's another way of saying "I was foolish", "I made a mistake", "I did something bad" etc.
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