Archive for December 17, 2014

grammatical expression: to serve someone right

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This time, I’d like to write about the grammatical expression “serve someone right”. We use this when someone receives something bad and we think that they deserved this because they did something bad before. Let me give you some example sentences using this expression.

Tom Clark lost reelection for mayor. It serves him right because he did such a bad job as mayor before.

I didn’t get a good score on my test. I guess it serves me right because I didn’t study at all.

A: I didn’t get the promotion at work!
B: Well, it serves you right. You didn’t work very hard on your last project.

Bill’s wife just left him and she’s filing for divorce. It serves him right. He was constantly cheating on her with other women.

We usually use this to talk about other people who are not in the room. Sometimes, we use it about ourselves when we feel that we did something stupid. It’s also possible to use it directly to another person, as in my third example, but please note that this is not polite and the other person could get angry or upset if you say something like that to them. We would usually say this to someone we know very well and have a close relationship with.

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