Functions: Expressing Regret:

How to express regret

Expressing regret means having a feeling of sadness about something that you did or did not do. To express regret in English, you may use many different structures. Here are some of them.

  wish / if only

You can express regret by using wish or if only:
wish if only + Past perfect

wish had worked harder.
If only I hadn't eaten so much.

  Conditional type 3

You can also express regret by using a conditional sentence type 3.
If past perfect + would have past participle

If had worked hard, I would have passed the exam.
If hadn't eaten so much, I wouldn't have been sick.

  should have

Regret may also be expressed by using a modal should:
Should have + Past Participle

should have sent him an invitation.
He should have done the work.

  I regret...

You can express regret by using:

regret + Verb ing


regret + Noun

He doesn't regret leaving her.
I regret the things I didn't do.

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