Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right, But… [10 Response Proverbs]

“Two wrongs don’t make a right” is a common idiom in English. It’s great to use, but you can use some fantastic responses to cancel out the meaning. This article will look at the following proverbs in response to “two wrongs don’t make a right:”

  • Three lefts do
  • They make a good excuse
  • It makes us even
  • I’ll be damned if I don’t put up a fight
  • Evil prospers when good men do nothing
  • All’s fair in love and war
  • The ends justify the means
  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good
  • Two rights make an airplane
  • Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it

The best proverbs in response to “two wrongs don’t make a right” are “three lefts do,” “they make a good excuse,” and “it makes us even.” These are excellent to add after “but” to show that you don’t care about doing something “wrong.” It shows you feel vindicated.

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right, But

1. Three Lefts Do

“Three lefts do” is a jokey response showing that you can turn left three times to go right. It’s a fun reply that highlights the serious situation where “two wrongs” might come up.

You should only use jokey responses like this when you know the recipient won’t mind them. This works best informally or when talking to friends with a similar sense of humour to you.

  • Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do. I don’t care what you think of me. What’s done is done.
  • Three lefts do, Matt. I’m not going to change my mind, and I’m not going to apologize. I’m glad you said what you did.
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2. They Make a Good Excuse

“They make a good excuse” suggests that doing things “wrong” gives you an excuse you can use later. It’s a witty response that shows you do not mind doing things wrong occasionally as long as you know you’re heading in the right direction.

This response can be quite flippant. Many people will take offence to this if you’re using it formally to respond to the original proverb.

  • Two wrongs don’t make a right, but they make a good excuse. I can’t ask for anything more than that. See you later.
  • Well, they make a good excuse. Remember, I’m not here to try and please you. I’m happy just doing what I want.

3. It Makes Us Even

“It makes us even” is a good response if you were responding to someone’s original action. If someone did wrong to you, you might want to get even by doing wrong by them.

We do not encourage this kind of behaviour. However, if you decided to do “wrong” to even the score, you can use a response like this to let someone know why you acted the way you did.

  • Okay, it makes us even, at least. I’m not going to apologize. You wronged me. I wronged you. Now, we can move on.
  • Two wrongs don’t make a right, but it makes us even. I’ll let you know that I could have done much worse.

4. I’ll Be Damned if I Don’t Put up a Fight

“I’ll be damned if I don’t put up a fight” is a good response if you’re into hip-hop culture. A hip-hop song called “Imma Dog Too” by Toni Romiti features these lyrics to talk about doing wrong but going down fighting.

It’s a fairly common response, even if you don’t know the song. It’s common for people to use a similar response when they don’t want to give up just because they did something wrong.

  • Two wrongs don’t make a right, but I’ll be damned if I don’t put up a fight. You’re not better than me. I’ll tell you that now.
  • I’ll be damned if I don’t put up a fight. Why do you think you can get away with saying those awful things about me?

5. Evil Prospers When Good Men Do Nothing

“Evil prospers when good men do nothing” is a great response. It suggests that evil will always win if people aren’t willing to do things “wrong” every now and then. This implies that “good men” have to act and do things “wrong” to keep the balance between good and evil.

It’s common to use this when quoting the bible and learning about doing “good” things and “correct” things. While some things might not be morally correct, they might be the lesser of two evils, meaning you have to do them to keep balance in your life.

  • Evil prospers when good men do nothing. Would you prefer I sit back and not act on it to improve things?
  • 2 wrongs don’t make a right, but evil prospers when good men do nothing. I refuse to sit back and let things fail as a good man.

6. All’s Fair in Love and War

“All’s fair in love and war” shows that anything goes, and people shouldn’t worry about “two wrongs” occurring. You can use this proverbial response to show that you do not mind that “two wrongs” occurred, and you wouldn’t mind if they happened again.

It suggests that you’ve come to terms with the current situation. Even if it is not “right,” you still believe that everything is “fair” and as it should be.

  • Look, you do know all’s fair in love and war. That’s why I was happy to stoop to his level. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
  • All’s fair in love and war. I will not stop you from doing what you do best, but I won’t sit by while it happens.

7. The Ends Justify the Means

“The ends justify the means” is a great proverbial response. It suggests that anything goes as long as you have an “end” goal that is more morally correct or “good” than the “wrong” you might have to do to get there.

The “means” refers to what you had to do. This might mean you have to do something wrong. If someone has judged you by saying, “two wrongs don’t make a right,” this might be a good way to shut them up.

  • Two wrongs don’t make a right, but the ends justify the means. If I get what I want from a situation, I will do what I can.
  • I’m sorry you don’t agree with me. The ends justify the means, and that’s all that matters. Do you need a handkerchief?

8. Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” is a great phrase to use as a reply. It shows that you can’t always be “perfect,” and there is nothing wrong with doing things “wrong” sometimes as long as you still aim to be “good.”

It’s a great way to refer to people’s moral fibre. It suggests that everyone strives for perfection, but there’s no way to get there authentically. To truly be “good,” you will always need to do some things wrong.

  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I can make a few bad calls in my time, as long as it helps us in the long run.
  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We all have flaws and must do something to make things work.

9. Two Rights Make an Airplane

“Two rights make an airplane” is a great witty response related to the Wright brothers, who created the first airplane. You can use this as a play on words, where “two rights” refers to the two Wright brothers who created the first plane.

You should only use a funny reply like this when you’re confident the audience won’t mind it. It’s not wise to be witty if you’re in a formal situation where you’re worried about the reception of the quote.

  • Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two rights make an airplane. That’s a little something I learned in college.
  • Two rights make an airplane. Don’t come to me with your stupid proverbs when you can’t take a joke about it.

10. Don’t Dish it Out if You Can’t Take It

“Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it” is a great response you can use. It suggests that you admit you’ve done something wrong, but you also know the person using the proverb started doing something wrong.

The implication is that you are reacting “wrong” because of their initial “wrong” action. If they can’t handle that you’ve done the same thing as them, they shouldn’t have done it in the first place.

It’s a good way to remind them that they started it without sounding childish for pointing it out.

  • Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. I don’t think you should be acting all high and mighty now that someone has called you out.
  • Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. There’s no reason for you to pretend you’re better than me. You’ve committed wrongs too.

What Does “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right” Mean?

“Two wrongs don’t make a right” means you should not stoop to someone else’s level. Even though someone else might have done something wrong or unjust, you should not repeat their behaviour because it shows a lack of character in yourself.

You should avoid doing something bad just because someone else did so. It does not give you the right to do something you otherwise wouldn’t do.

It can be easy to forget your morals when someone else has done something unjust. However, the mark of a truly great character comes from those who can ignore someone else’s poor decisions or choices in favour of doing the right thing.

Origin of “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right”

The first known use of “two wrongs don’t make a right” was in 1783 in a letter by Benjamin Rush. The phrase “two wrongs don’t make one right” shows that you cannot cancel out one wrong decision with another.

It has since become a very popular fallacy in English. It’s used to remind people that they cannot do things wrong just because someone else did it wrong first.