Expressing regret means having a feeling of sadness about something that you did or did not do. To express regret in English, you may use many different structures. Here are some of them.
wish / if only
You can express regret by using wish or if only:
I wish / if only + Past perfect
- I wish I had worked harder.
- If only I hadn't eaten so much.
Conditional type 3
You can also express regret by using a conditional sentence type 3.
If + past perfect + would + have + past participle
- If I had worked hard, I would have passed the exam.
- I f I hadn't eaten so much, I wouldn't have been sick.
Regret may also be expressed by using a modal should:
Should have + Past Participle
- I should have sent him an invitation.
- He should have done the work.
You can express regret by using:
regret + Verb + ing
regret + Noun
- He doesn't regret leaving her.
- I regret the things I didn't do.