30. Regret

Regret can be expressed as follows:

I wish I/ we had/ hadn’t… - emphatic

If only I had/ hadn’t… - emphatic

It’s a pity I didn’t… - emphatic

I wish I could… - emphatic

It’s a pity I/we can’t… -emphatic

Regret about other people having things or qualities you don’t can be expressed in the following ways:

Some people have all the luck.

You were born lucky.

I wish I/ we had… (+ a noun)

I wish I/we could…

You lucky thing/ beggar! – informal. Beggar is more informal than thing.

The most usual response to regret is either reassurance and consolation or agreement.

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