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  • How to Talk About Regret in English – Videos and Exercise

    If you’ve been studying English for some time, you’ve probably noticed that it’s not so hard to talk about basic ideas, like what you ate for breakfast, where you are from, or what your name is. But as we get into deeper conversations, it gets harder to talk about more complex ideas. Regrets are one of them. How do you talk about the bad decisions you made when you were a teenager? You need to learn how to talk about regret in English. We’ve got some videos and exercises here to help.

    Talking About Regret In English Grammar Structure

    with + past perfect

    I wish I had/hadn’t gotten this tattoo!

    Along with the videos and exercises, our teachers have a special lesson they can give about regret. Click here to register for a class.

    How to Talk About Regret in English – Video


    Rewrite the sentences below so that they express regret.

    1. Since we hadn’t booked a hotel, it took us three hours to find a room for the night.

    If we ___________________________________________spent three hours looking for one.

    2. It was silly to have said to your sister that I hated her.

    I regret that I told ________________________.

    3. You shouldn’t have cheated on the test!

    I can’t believe __________________!

    4. Oliver messed up his interview, so he didn’t get the job.

    If __________________________________________ the job.

    5. I regret buying that watch.

    I wish __________________________.

     

    Watch the first 3 minutes of the TED video below about regret, then answer the listening questions.

    Listening Exercise:

    1. What year was Johnny Depp engaged to Winona Ryder?

    2. How old was she when she got a tattoo? When did she regret it?

    3. Do you have a tattoo? Do you regret it?

    4. Do you have a lot of regrets in your life?

    I had drunk the cultural coolaid of our time.

    What tense is this? Why does she use this tense?

    Watch the next 3 minutes of the video and answer the questions below:

    1. Basically telling her husband to stop being such a _____for feeling bad about murding people. (Do you know what the word in the blank means?)

    2. Regret is the emotion we experience when we think that our present situation could be better or happier if we _____ _______ something different in the past. What tense is this?

    3. Why do you experience more regret if you miss your flight by 3 minutes rather than 20?

    4. Do you think this is true? Do you have an example of this? A decision that came out badly but almost came out well?

    Watch the next 3 minutes of the video and answer the questions below:

    1. What does she identify as the top regrets? Do you have regrets about these things?

    2. What are the components of regrets?

    3. How can we “make our peace” with regret?

     

    • Nelly Neko

      Hi, its really too good and thanks for this viedo, but if I do these
      exercises is it possible you correct the mistakes? or it’s only
      exercises ? :))))

      • LOIEnglish

        Nelly,

        If you write your answers here in comments, we will correct them for you 🙂

    • Nelly Neko

      1. Since we hadn’t booked a hotel, it took us three hours to
      find a room for the night.

      If we had booked the hotel we would not have spent three hours looking
      for one.

      2. It was silly to have said to your sister that I hated her.

      I regret that I told you that I had hated your sister

      3. You shouldn’t have cheated on the test!

      I can’t believe that you had cheated on the test!

      4. Oliver messed up his interview, so he didn’t get the job.

      If Oliver had not missed up his interview he would have got the
      job.

      5. I regret buying that watch.

      I wish I had not bought that watch

      Listening
      Exercise:

      1. What year was Johnny Depp engaged to Winona Ryder? (in
      1990)

      2. How old was she when she got a tattoo? When did she regret it?
      (she was 29, she regreted that she had a tatto
      just coming out from tattoo place )

      3. Do you have a tattoo? Do you regret it? (I
      do’t have tattoo, but I am sure if I had I would regret, because
      sometimes you are getting bored of the same thing and after a while
      you want to change someting)

      4. Do you have a lot of regrets in your life? (not
      a lot, but like evryone I have some regrets)

      I had drunk the cultural coolaid of our time.

      What tense is this? Why does she use this tense? (past
      perfect) telling the truth I can’t guess

      Watch the next 3 minutes of the video and answer the
      questions below:

      1. Basically telling her husband to stop being such a _____for
      feeling bad about murding people. (Do you know what the word in the
      blank means?) (Unfortunately no )

      2. Regret is the emotion we experience when we think that our
      present situation could be better or happier if we ___had_done_
      _______ something different in the past. What tense is this? (pasf
      perferc)

      3. Why do you experience more regret if you miss your flight by 3
      minutes rather than 20?()

      4. Do you think this is true? Do you have an example of this? A
      decision that came out badly but almost came out well?

      Watch the next 3 minutes of the video and answer the
      questions below:

      1. What does she identify as the top regrets? Do you have regrets
      about these things?(education, Carrer, Romance, parenting an so on)

      2. What are the components of regrets? 1. denial- make it go away.
      2. Bewilderment -How could I have done that ?! 3. Punishment- I could
      kick myself. 4 preservation. 5.

      3. How can we “make our peace” with regret? 1. to take some
      comfort in its universality. 2. tell off ourselves. 3. passage of
      time

      P.S thanks too much 🙂

      • LOIEnglish

        Nelly,

        Thanks for answering! I hope you enjoyed the lesson. You have a couple mistakes using the past perfect tense.

        Number 3: I can’t believe you HAD CHEATED on your test. In this case you do not need to use past perfect you can use past simple: I can’t believe you CHEATED on your test.

        Number 3: Do you have a tattoo? When you answer this you say, “I
        do’t have tattoo, but I am sure if I had I would regret, because
        sometimes you are getting bored of the same thing and after a while
        you want to change someting”

        There are some spelling problems but more importantly is: but I am sure if I had ____ I would regret___, because… You need objects after these verbs. Can you fill in the objects?

    • nelly neko

      if I had _tattoo___ I would regret_it__ (is it correct? ) thanks 🙂

    • Linh Lino

      If we booked the hotel before, we would not have spent three hours looking for one.

      I regret that I told your sister that I hated her.

      I can’t believe you cheated on your test

      If Oliver didn’t mess up on his interview, he would have gotten his job.

      I wish I hadn’t bought that watch.

    • Linh Lino

      1. What year was Johnny Depp engaged to Winona Ryder?
      In 1990, with Winona, a writer.
      2. How old was she when she got a tattoo? When did she regret it?
      She got a tatoo when she was 29 years old and she regretted it immediately.
      3. Do you have a tattoo? Do you regret it?
      I don’t have one but if I had, I would have regretted it.
      4. Do you have a lot of regrets in your life?
      Sure, we have. I am one of 32% of people who regret about education (at most). I wish I had read more books.

      I had drunk the cultural coolaid of our time.

      What tense is this? Why does she use this tense?

      It’s past perfect tense. but I don’t really get the meaning of “coolaid”.

      1. What does she identify as the top regrets? Do you have regrets about these things?
      Education with 32%.
      2. What are the components of regrets?
      First, we try to deny it then a feeling of “bewilderment” (need a dictionary for this word), then we wanna punish ourself for what we have done and repeat it for the rest of our life (perseveration ?!)
      (to be honest, I had to look the video again)
      3. How can we “make our peace” with regret?

      What’s done is done. It might be the most embarrassing moment you have had in your life and you badly want to change it but leave it in the past. It could be your experience that helps you to not repeat the same mistake but don’t look it back.

      • LOIEnglish

        Linh Lino,

        Great job. Thanks for responding. Have a look at your answer to Number 4. The question is: DO you have a lot of regrets? Because the question starts with ‘DO’ if you respond it should be: Yes, I DO or Yes, we DO rather than have. We match the auxiliary questions with the auxiliary responses.