Last week’s grammar: Regret

Last week Georgia’s high-intermediate class studied grammar to talk about ‘regret’. Her students listened to a voicemail form her ex-boyfriend Max where he told her all the things he felt bad about doing during their relationship. Here is what he said:

“Hey Georgia, It’s Max again.

Look, I feel really bad about what happened and I just wanted to call you and have a chat. But, well, you’re obviously busy. Anyway, I just wish I hadn’t been so distant when we last saw each other. If only I’d listened to you a bit more, you know, all this wouldn’t have happened.

I know now that you needed more support and all that but, well, I couldn’t see it at the time. I regret not being more caring I suppose. It was my fault and I should’ve realised how upset you were at the time.

Anyway, I hope we can talk at some point so, um yeah, just give me a call when you get this.”

Georgia got students to listen and write down all the grammatical forms he used in the voice mail to say he felt bad about something in the past. Then everyone checked them against the transcript to see if they had written them down correctly.

Next the students looked at the differences in meaning and use of the structures and how to pronounce them. The teacher then showed the class some pictures of the things she regretted from the relationship with Max. They guessed what her regrets were and wrote sentences using If only I’d… I should have …I regret … I wish I’d etc. Here are the pictures they used:


Each student received a role card with a different situation on it, here are some of them below:

Role cards:

You are a chef who has just been fired from a restaurant for shouting at a customer.

Last night your friends encouraged you to get a tattoo on your face, it looks terrible.

You are a model who has just put on 25kilos in weight through stress eating.

You are a criminal who has just been sent to jail for 10 years for robbing a bank. You drank too much at a work party and told your boss how much you hated him.

Finally the students wrote some sentences about the situations using the grammar they had studied and discussed the regrets in groups.

For homework the students recorded themselves talking about their personal regrets and emailed them to their teacher to correct. Have a listen to one of their recordings….


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