What does this sentence mean?

What a fool I was to do it!

I think it means either of them below according to context.

1.I was a fool that I was going to do it!

2.I was a fool that I did it!


2 Answers 2


Your recastings are not idiomatic

What a fool I was to do it

is a very emphatic way to say

I was a fool to do it


I was foolish to do it


It was foolish of me to do it.

All are simply admissions of having done something foolish.

  • Does that my recastings are not idiomatic mean they are also grammatically incorrect? I don't see what's wrong and have no ideas why you think of them as not idiomatic. I can find some similar sentences used by authors who seem to be native speakers.
    – GKK
    May 30, 2019 at 23:13
  • @Floret Yes, it means they are grammatically inaccurate. There is also: I was such a fool to do it, which I am sure Jeff will agree with.
    – Lambie
    May 30, 2019 at 23:24
  • @Lambie actually, your revised version sounds way better than mine. But I still can't see anything wrong in them.
    – GKK
    May 30, 2019 at 23:27
  • 1
    Or, “I was a fool for doing it.”
    – Mixolydian
    May 30, 2019 at 23:28

The second one is correct in the past tense, the infinite phase does not affect the tense.


"What a fool I am to do it since I know he's lying."


"What a fool I'll be to do it if he continues to lie."

  • By the way, are my recastings grammatically incorrect? I don't see what's wrong.
    – GKK
    May 30, 2019 at 22:55
  • No, they are grammatically correct, but your question was asking which tense was correct in describing "what a fool I was to do it".
    – Karen927
    May 30, 2019 at 23:14
  • But are they not idiomatic even to you?
    – GKK
    May 30, 2019 at 23:16

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