Aïe, mon cou... Ça m’apprendra à lever la tête comme ça pour admirer la Skytree.

I said this sentence after looking up Skytree long enough to get a stiff neck. Since my French-speaking co-worker didn’t correct my phrasing, I assume I was right in using it ironically instead of phrasing it logically:

Aïe, mon cou... Ça m’apprendra à ne pas lever la tête comme ça pour admirer la Skytree.

So... Suppose you had a massive hangover from drinking three bottles of champagnes, how would you use this expression? Would you invariably use it ironically instead of a logical turn of phrase?

On a side note: Can you also say « ça t’apprendra à » or « ça lui apprendra à » if it is not you but someone else who could use a lesson?

  • Just saying you could use that form without any irony in some context, but you are right, it's mostly use ironically.
    – Destal
    Dec 29, 2016 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


In such a case, I think I would say:

Ça m'apprendra à boire trois bouteilles de champagne.

You are totally correct. In such contexts, using this formulation is ironical nearly all the time. Or, at least, I never heard anyone using it the other way around, or at least not with the "ça m'apprendra" formulation.

And you are also correct for the side note. If it was someone else who drunk all those champagne bottles, you could say:

Ça t'apprendra à boire trois bouteilles de champagne !

Ça lui apprendra à boire trois bouteilles de champagne !

People will understand it as "I made this mistake, that's what I get for doing it".

  • I prefer "à" over "de", are both correct?
    – Destal
    Dec 29, 2016 at 16:59
  • @SimonDéchamps I do agree, I wonder why I put "de" in the first place. I edited the answer.
    – Izuka
    Dec 29, 2016 at 17:00
  • Merci. If someone has fainted due to an excessive diet, can you say: "Ça t'apprendra à ne manger rien toute la journée !"? Dec 30, 2016 at 1:26
  • @Ahalone-zee The exact sentence would be "Ça t'apprendra à ne rien manger pendant toute la journée !". But yes, you definitely can.
    – Izuka
    Dec 30, 2016 at 1:28

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