To regret something is to feel unhappy about a decision that was made in the past. A person feels sorry about what he or she has done. This verb is often used in the present tense:

  • Mirna regrets leaving her job to work for a new company.
  • Mario regrets moving to California. He thought it would be great, but he hates it there.
  • They don’t regret their decision to move back to Honduras.
  • I regret not traveling more when I was younger.
  • You’d better not do that. You’ll regret it. (This last sentence is in the future tense.)

Use "regret" in the past tense (regretted) if the unhappy feelings or sorrow change over time:

  • At first they regretted their decision, but gradually they became used to it.
  • Tony regretted his decision to get married at such a young age, but now he accepts it.
  • Ellen never regretted having so many children. She has eight kids.
  • Tori has always regretted not learning how to play the piano as a child. (This sentence is in the present perfect tense. The regret still exists.)

You can also use "regret" as a noun:

  • Jim has many regrets about working for that company.
  • Sheila has no regrets when it comes to her work as a doctor.
  • Do you have any regrets?

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January 29, 2013