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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #129312: Expressing regrets
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Frequent mistakes | Plu-perfect | Present perfect [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Present perfect simple - Placement test beginners: Check your spelling - Past simple or present perfect - Present perfect simple - Past perfect - Pluperfect - Although / in spite of / despite - Present perfect
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    Expressing regrets



    There are many ways to express regrets... 

    - I'm sorry/ I regret/ I wish/ I'd like [I'd have liked]/ should/ shouldn't/ are the main ones! 

    These expressions may change meanings, depending on the tenses which accompany

    them, and on the negative forms which are in the sentence, or not! 




    1) Regrets concerning the present which isn't always similar to what was expected... 

    * I'M SORRY+ clause or with for

    - I'm sorry she isn't here. 

    - I'm sorry to be late./ I'm sorry for being late. 



    * I REGRET+ clause (more formal)/ I regret+ gerund. 

    - I regret I can't do it. / I regret doing it. 




    * TO WISH+ modal preterite (to be: 'were' all along)

    - She wishes she weren't so shy. 

     She wishes: she would like NOT to be so shy, hence the regret.


    2) REGRETS concerning the past, which hasn't been what would have been expected.  

    - I'm sorry that you didn't tell me the truth.

    - I wish you had told me.../ If only he told me the truth./ If only he had told me the truth. 




    - SHOULD/ SHOULDN'T: regret of what should have been done, or not done.  

    - I should really have listened to your advice./ I shouldn't have believed what the man had said. 




     What is conditional type 3?  would have + past participle (would have passed)


    PLEASE REMEMBER: in order to express a REGRET using I WISH: 

    I WISH + past perfect: [had all along+ past participle]

    - I wish he hadn't come to the party. He made such a fuss.





    The students who insist on translating mentally from French before speaking English  are often

    making mistake on the uses (or not...) of negation. The solution becomes easy to find if you use

    (mentally) IF ONLY... or WHY did he/ didn't he?... 

    - If only he hadn't come to  the party!/ Why did he come to the party? 

    I wish he hadn't come to the party! 

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    1. I wish you to the manager. He is furious and stormed at me.

    2. I regret you that we shall not be able to deliver your order before next month.

    3. He wishes they them about it... Now everybody knows.

    4. Your mother wishes you them the truth before the meeting;

    5. 'Oh dear ! I what you had told me… What a liar you are!'

    6. I’m sorry to go to the country with you next weekend.

    7. 'I a raincoat and my boots. Because of my pretty little shoes, I couldn’t go where you went.'

    8. I wish fun of me in front of all our friends. What a shame!

    9. If only she it, it would have remained a secret.

    I really regret this dress. It doesn’t suit me, yet it was quite expensive.

    End of the free exercise to learn English: Expressing regrets
    A free English exercise to learn English.
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