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  1. Newbie
    Retired English Teacher
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    #1

    Question Using 'regret'

    This is from a Chinese exam on English and I have had a hard time expressing the differences in two of the multiple choices:

    I never regretted _____ the offer, for it was not where my interest lay.
    A. not to accept
    B. not having accepted
    C. having not accepted
    D. not accepting

    'D' is the correct answer but to my ear, 'B' is perfectly acceptable. My problem is explaining why. I can see that 'not accepting the offer' would be a gerund phrase as well as special features of the verb 'to regret.' Is 'not having accepted the offer' a verb tense?

    Thanks,

    Chinagene

  2. SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Using 'regret'

    I would say it's "D" as well.

    That said, "not accepting" is a little awkward here. Double negatives tend to sound odd in English. I would say it like this:

    "I never regretted turning down the offer, for it was not where my interests lay."

  3. shannico's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Using 'regret'

    D is the correct option. With regret you don't have to reinforce the past by saying "not having accepted". "Accepting" is enough to convey the past in this case.

    That is because "regret" is one of those verbs that change their meaning depending on whether it is followed by a gerund or an infinitive.

    For you to express regret about something that happened in the past you just add a verb in the ing- form

    e.g. [I]I regret turning down the offer[I] (it means you have already refused the offer).

    Whereas for you to express regret about something that still has to happen you use the infinitive after regret.

    I regret to inform you (it means that you are going to say something that won't make you or the person you are speaking with happy).

    Also remember and forget behave in the same way.

    I hope this will help a little.

    I hope it helps

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