I made a mistake ..

…or …

I was wrong .

Which of the above do you use , when the fault is yours ?

Why ?

Depends on whether I made a mistake, or was wrong.

I bought the wrong kind of coffee, or I drove the wrong way down a one-way street, or I accidentally threw away a priceless work of art: I made a mistake

I told someone it would rain today, or I thought I had more money in my account than I actually do, or I imagined I was a great and widely-respected leader of world politics: I was wrong.

There are situations where the two terms are interchangeable, but less often than they’re not.

I agree with Mangetout - the two do not mean the same thing. Sometimes mistakes are made, but sometimes not.


Now, there are some people that won’t admit that they’re wrong…ever. If caught, they might admit they made a mistake… but they won’t admit they were wrong.

But that’s a thread about denial, not diction.

I don’t think I say either. I would say, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have [action], I should have [alternate action].”

I suppose there is an overlap - you can be wrong because you made a mistake (my bank account example), but generally, ‘I made a mistake’ is talking about a wrong action, and ‘I was wrong’ is talking about a wrong opinion or point of view.

If I am talking to my husband I use, “You must have misunderstood me” or “You are wrong/mistaken”. :wink: Just kidding.

I use either depending on what the mistake was or the level of wrongness. If I misstated a fact, then I was “wrong”, but if I substituted salt for sugar or something like that, then I “made a mistake”.

Or having a defective memory.

I for one rarely say “Sorry, I was wrong/mistaken” if it turns out I really was in a discussion (and I always check the facts afterwards) because I think it’s unnecessary. I merely shrug my shoulders, adapt to my new knowledge/insight and go on with my life. Likewise there is no way I would say “Ha, I told you so!” if it turns out I was right.

Just thinking about it… I might also use ‘I was wrong’ in an action-related context where I acted assertively, but mistakenly on something.

Guess I have a foul mouth. “Looks like I F*cked up”, is my usual lament regardless of specifics of the situation.

When one of those actually happens to me, I’ll let you know.

They are the same and I don’t care which I use. I screw up all the time. The statement is likely to make no sense no matter how I try to state it.

I screw up a lot and I’ll admit it if I’m wrong or make a mistake, but I will use “I was wrong” and “I made a mistake” interchangeably. But most of the time I’ll just say, “Oops. Sorry.” Or “My bad,” depending on my level of familiarity with the other person and whether I made a big or a small mistake.

I thought I was wrong once…

I was mistaken.

Huh, I use them together, as in;

I’m sorry, I was wrong, I made a mistake, please forgive me.

Most often either “I screwed up” or “that was my fault”.

“Sorry, that’s my fault.”

There’s always the colloquial favorite, “my bad”.

It totally depends on the context, but generally I say, ‘‘I was wrong, I’m sorry.’’ If it was an honest mistake (like at work or something) I’ll say, ‘‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realize…’’ or ‘‘I’m sorry, now I understand that…’’ to show that I know what needs to be done to prevent the error in the future.

I feel pretty strongly that when I am wrong it is important to acknowledge that fact. Pretty much everything to do with my nightmare of a family stems from the inability of certain family members to recognize that their behavior or thinking is not right. I think the fastest way to solve your own problems is acknowledge when you’re the one screwing up.

Ugh… I hate “my bad.” I can’t hear it without hearing Alicia Silverstone’s annoying voice cooing “my bad!” as she hits things with her car. It gives me the nails on a chalkboard willies.