Consider this scenario, of two people talking:

A: Did you go to the shops?
B: No, it was closed even though you said it would be open
A: Oh no, I misled you!
B: No, you didn't mislead me, you just _____ me.

'A' was mistaken, but they didn't mislead 'B' (intentionally), but made a genuine mistake in trying to help out. I want 'B' to imply the help was appreciated even if it didn't help out in the end.

To be extra clear, I am only looking for single word answers. Suggestions of rewording the entire exchange are not valid for this question.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – tchrist
    Sep 2, 2021 at 19:11

5 Answers 5


In the context, especially given that the rest of the sentence clarifies that there was no malicious intent, the one-word solution "misinformed" would work well. One can use "misinform" in a context that implies intentional misdirection, but it doesn't have to carry that connotation.

  • Would B say "You misinformed me" ? Given the situation I think it would make sense for B to say "You were misinformed" (A didn't know the shop was closed). Sep 1, 2021 at 21:59

I would say:

You just made an honest mistake. or
You just made a well-intentioned mistake.

Those seem more appreciative than

You just made an unintentional mistake.

  • I think 'I don't think there is an answer' answers should be restricted to comments. OP does not solicit a string longer than a single word. 'Put on the wrong track', 'send on a wild goose chase', 'give someone a bum steer' get progressively less friendly-sounding. Aug 31, 2021 at 18:27
  • I removed the comment; however, my answer does not fit the sample the OP provided.
    – DjinTonic
    Aug 31, 2021 at 18:33
  • I always feel compelled to stick to a 'comment' unless I think there is a very important point to be brought out (when with a reasonable question I'll ask OP if an edit is possible, or with a muddled question just edit). Aug 31, 2021 at 18:41
  • I tend to think “my statement was well-intended, my mistake was unintentional” A well-intentioned mistake seems incongruous.
    – Jim
    Aug 31, 2021 at 21:46
  • 1
    Wouldn't an unintentional mistake be redundant? If something is a mistake, you didn't intend to do it.
    – Phil Perry
    Sep 2, 2021 at 2:29

I'd say that the framing of the question is, er, misleading.

"A: Oh no, I misled you!". A is feeling guilty or insecure, and needs some reassurance. Implictly, A knows that they did mislead you and is admitting to it. What B says will depend a lot on the relationship of B to A. It's not a matter of fitting something into the framework of "No, you didn't mislead me, you just _____ me.".

In fact the heavily downvoted "Australian English" example has this best, but obviously only to a good mate who won't mistake your intent and who shares your vernacular.

In a more formal context, maybe "Don't worry about it" or "No problem".


I personally would say in a casual conversation that "you acted in good faith and to the best of your knowledge", although that would probably strike many as overly formal.

  • You could shorten that to "you acted in good faith" without losing any real meaning. Sep 2, 2021 at 20:55
  • That is the sentiment I'm after, but condensed down into a single word. Sep 2, 2021 at 21:49
  • Very informal, and almost exclusively American English, but how about "goofed". "I went to the shops since you said they'd be open, but it seems you goofed, oh well, I'll go tomorrow!"
    – Mark Allen
    Feb 7, 2022 at 19:33

As you're looking for a single word, try "mistaken". Thus "You didn't mislead me, you were just mistaken" And, as everyone knows, we all make mistakes.

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