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    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 30
    #1

    regret doing vs regret having done

    I know the difference in the meaning between “regret + gerund” and “regret + infinitive”

    (A) regret + doing: feel sorry about what I did in the past.
    (B) regret + to do: feel sorry about what I will do now.

    However, I don’t exactly understand what difference exists in the below two sentences.
    Could you please explain it to me?

    (A) I regret not working harder.
    (B) I regret not having worked harder.


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 248
    #2

    Re: regret doing vs regret having done

    The only real difference between them is that (A) is one word shorter, and therefore better. (Conservation of energy....)

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    #3

    Re: regret doing vs regret having done

    Quote Originally Posted by yun View Post
    I know the difference in the meaning between “regret + gerund” and “regret + infinitive”

    (A) regret + doing: feel sorry about what I did in the past.
    (B) regret + to do: feel sorry about what I will do now.

    However, I don’t exactly understand what difference exists in the below two sentences.
    Could you please explain it to me?

    (A) I regret not working harder.
    (B) I regret not having worked harder.
    B is strictly more correct if you are referring to the past.
    I regret not having worked harder, because now I am poor, and my children did not receive an education.
    You must use A for the present (and you can use it for the past):
    I regret not working harder, because I can hardly afford my daily beer and cigarettes any more. (Present habitual)
    Many people, Americans especially, would use A in place of B, as gabber has illustrated.

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