How can I express that someone "screwed [something] up?" For example:

"They really screwed up the code with the last changes they made"

"I gave him one little task and he still managed to screw it up"

"I can't believe I screwed that up."

I would like it to not be vulgar, and as in the English, it is a casual/informal expression that might be used between colleagues or friends.

2 Answers 2


"Screw up" is a slang for "to blunder"

搞砸 /gǎo zá/ : blunder

弄糟 /nòng zāo/ : blunder ; mess up

How can I express that someone "screwed [something] up?"



: break; smash; shatter

: [slang] fail; fall through; flop

  • One could also use 弄砸; it takes one character from each of the examples above.
    – Frenzy Li
    Jul 5, 2018 at 4:23

screw up: 使成螺旋状;挤成一团弄糟,搞乱,弄乱,弄糟:

to screw up something


Dictionary definition above can help you. Basically, screw up: 把...搞砸了; 把...搞糟;etc; For example,

I can't believe I screwed that up: 很难想象我(竟然)把那件事情搞砸了.

  • 1
    I think it is 搞砸 /gǎo zá/ ; not 搞杂 (搞雜) /gǎo zá/
    – Tang Ho
    Jul 4, 2018 at 4:49
  • @TangHo, 搞砸 looks more correct, but I think 搞杂 is also grammatically correct. It's because 搞xxx is a common phrase. E.g. 搞坏了,搞糟了,搞好了, 搞乱了. So, 搞杂了 can mean 把...搞得很复杂 or 把...搞得很杂乱. 搞杂了 is more like mess up, while 搞砸了 is more like screw up. I am not sure how much difference between mess up and screw up in English. So, I will edit my answer to make it 搞砸了.
    – dan
    Jul 4, 2018 at 8:07

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