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serve someone right

This page is about the idiom serve someone right


If you say "it serves you right", you're telling someone that their problem is the result of their own bad behaviour, and they deserve it.

For example

  • You knew it was illegal to smuggle drugs, and now you're in jail. All I can say is it serves you right.

  • They're so lazy that it'd serve them right if they failed their exams.

Quick Quiz

If something bad happens to someone, and you say "serves you right" to them, you think that

a. it's their own fault

b. they don't deserve it

c. you can help them
a) it's their own fault b) they don't deserve it c) you can help them

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Common English Idioms

Contributor: Matt Errey