Weekly Grammar Question: Regret

So often we do things we instantly regret. Just the other day I agreed to help my friend move house…this was a bad idea. When I got there his house was filthy and we had to clean up before we could even start packing. It took us hours and hours to get all of his stuff into boxes. He’d lived in London for 10 years and had gathered so much rubbish and the worst part was, he really wouldn’t throw anything out. So many times throughout that day I thought:


I really wish I hadn’t agreed to this.

I really shouldn’t have agreed to this.

I really regret agreeing to this.

Let’s have a closer look at the form and pronunciation in the situation below.

OMG! I feel awful today, I have a terrible hangover. I really shouldn’t have had that tenth pint of beer last night.

– Form: shouldn’t + have + past participle (3rd form)

– Pronunciation: /ʃədəntəv/ – notice the weak form of “have” – /əv/


one too many


Awwww, I wish I hadn’t called my ex-girlfriend last night. It’s really embarrassing.

– Form: wish + past perfect (had+past participle)


I really regret going to that club last night. I didn’t get home till about 4:00 in the morning. It was far too late.

– Form: regret + verb(ing)


I really regret not going out last night. I just stayed in by myself and it was ridiculously boring.

– Form: regret + not + verb(ing) – notice how we can put “not” in to make the sentence negative.

– We could also say the following: I wish I had gone out last night / I should have gone out last night.


So, get out there and play around with some regrets.