To chalk it up to experience

to chalk it up to experience meaning

Photo credit: cybertoad

OK, so yesterday I didn’t pass my driving test first time, but I’ll chalk it up to experience, take some more driving lessons, conquer all the roundabouts in the area and pass next time!

Strangely enough, my driving instructor said he didn’t know this expression, but this surely doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  In fact, at the university I was quite often marked down for using phrases that I picked up from English films or books simply because my Russian ‘English’ teachers had never heard of them. I always thought this wasn’t a good enough excuse 🙂

To chalk it up to experience means ‘to consider something bad that happens to you as an experience that will help you deal better with similar situations in the future’ (MacMillan Dictionary). I think it was invented for learner drivers like me!

More examples:

– “So your new job didn’t work out very well?” “No, it didn’t, but never mind – chalk it up to experience.” (Cambridge Dictionaries)

– Sonia did all the right things – she realised what had happened, confided in an older friend, got a pregnancy test (negative) and then chalked it up to experience (The Guardian).

– Until now, victims have had to take their often huge losses on the chin and chalk them up to experience. Some have committed suicide as a result.

PS. What my driving instructor did say, was ‘Better luck next time‘. But I’m sure you don’t need me to go over the meaning of this one.

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