Choose the correct answers:
- My manager announced to the employees yesterday, “I regret __________ (to inform, informing) you that the company is going to let go ten of the workers.”
- I told the news to my family after work, “I regret __________ (to tell, telling) you that I might be one of the employees to lose the job.
- I did not know the company had not been performing well. I regret __________ (to turn down, turning down) the job offer from another company six months ago.
The verb “regret” can be followed by “to + base verb” (an infinitive) or “verb-ing” (a gerund), with very different meanings.
regret + to + base verb (infinitive):
It is usually used to announce bad news. It is the same as “I am sorry to tell you…”
regret + verb-ing (gerund):
It is usually used to show regret about things that have already happened.
- In Sentence #1, the manager is sorry to tell the employees the bad news.
- In Sentence #2, I am sorry to tell my family the bad news.
- In Sentence #3, I turned down a job offer from another company six months ago. It already happened. Now I am sorry that I turned it down.
In our lives, we often reflect on past experiences and feel sorry about what has already happened. Once while visiting my aunt, I broke her favorite dish. I had to tell her, “I regret __________ (to tell, telling) you that I just broke this plate. ” I regret __________ (to run, running) around the dining table with my cousin for fun. My aunt was very gracious. She comforted me, “It’s OK. Don’t worry!” I think that she regretted __________ (to place, placing) the plate near the edge of the table.
to inform; to tell; turning down
to tell; running; placing