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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    I detest to say it

    Hi,

    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/d...e-to-say-admit

    Hate: used for showing that you are sorry about what you are going to say, because you think it is unpleasant or you wish it was not true:

    I hate to admit it, but Sam may be right.
    I hate to say it, but I don't think their marriage will last.

    I'd like to ask if we can use 'detest' or 'abhor' instead of 'hate' in the above sentence before an infinitive. I am asking because I could not find ant entries for that usage in any dictionaries such as Ofxord: http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie...etest?q=detest

    I detest/abhor to admit it, but Sam may be right.
    I detest/abhor to say it, but I don't think their marriage will last.

    Thanks.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I detest to say it

    Quote Originally Posted by ademoglu;1292726

    I [B
    detest/abhor to[/B] admit it, but Sam may be right.
    I detest/abhor to say it, but I don't think their marriage will last.
    These are not natural.

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #3

    Re: I detest to say it

    Near synonyms are often different, and these are cases where simply substituting a synonym does not work as well. As a basic source of advice, always choose what most people use- trying to ram things from thesauruses in texts rarely works.

  4. Skrej's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I detest to say it

    Also, while 'hate' can take either a gerund or infinitive, 'detest' and 'abhor' take only the gerund. That's why 'detest/abhor to say' don't sound natural.

    If you want to substitute 'detest' or 'abhor' for 'hate', you'll need to use a gerund instead of an infinitive. "I detest/abhor saying it, but ...."
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