English Expressions for Making Mistakes

Listen to the phrase »
To mess up

To make a mistake.

“I really messed up. I bought the wrong flavor of ice cream and now my wife is mad at me.”

Listen to the phrase »
To blow it

To miss an opportunity.

“The soccer player blew it. He had an open shot and he missed.”

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To botch something

To attempt a task and do poorly at it.

“I hired my brother to fix my roof and he really botched the job. There is now a big hole in my roof.”

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To screw up

To make a mistake.

“The nurse screwed up. She gave me the wrong pills.”

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To be batting a 1000

A sarcastic way to say that someone is doing everything wrong.

“Jon is batting a 1000 today. He lost his keys, broke the toaster oven and tripped over a chair.”

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My bad
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This is a slang term people use to admit that they made a mistake.

“My bad. I knocked over your drink. I’ll get you another one.”

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To slip your mind
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To forget something that you were supposed to remember.

“I was supposed to call my grandmother for her birthday. It totally slipped my mind. I hope she is not mad.”

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To make a blunder
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To make a stupid mistake.

“The police made a huge blunder. They arrested the wrong guy for murder.”

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To bomb something
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To do really poorly at something.

“She bombed the test. I think she only got one answer correct.”

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To let something slip out
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To say something that was not supposed to be said.

“I didn’t mean to tell Sandy that she was getting a raise, but it slipped out in the conversation. Now she knows.”

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miscalculate
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To make an error in judgement.

“It appears that Sam miscalculated on how many pizzas to buy for the party. There’s no more pizza left and the guests are hungry.”

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come up short
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To fail to achieve a goal.

“We tried to get the project in by the first, but we came up short. It won’t be in until the 15th.”

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oversight

To not notice something that you should have. This is an unintentional act.

“We didn’t make the payment to the floor cleaner. It was an oversight on my part. I’ll pay them today.”



More Exercises

  • ESL Listening Exercise for Describing People
  • Script for Descriptive Adjectives Listening Passage
  • English Listening Exercise For Prepositions
  • Script for English Listening Activity Using Prepositions
  • English Listening Activity for Present Tense
  • Script for English Listening Activity for Present Tense
  • Listening Activity for the Past Tense
  • Script for Past Tense Listening Passage
  • Script for English Listening Activity for Future Tense
  • English Conversation Activity for Mistake Expressions