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I regret saying that I hate you.

I regret saying that I hated you.

I regret to say that I hate you.

I regret to say that I hated you.

Which of the above four versions sound right to you? Which ones are identical in meaning? Thanks.
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I was taught that "regret to say" and "regret saying" had different meanings.

Regret to say X = You are sorry to say X
Regret saying X = You wish you hadn't said X

Anyway, you'd better wait for a native Emotion: smile
I regret saying that I hate you. (I have remorse that I said I hate you in the present)

I regret saying that I hated you. (I have remorse that I said I hated you (in the past and in the present)

I regret to say that I hate you. (I am sorry to say that I hate you in the present)

I regret to say that I cannot take you to the dance (I am sorry to say (in the present) that I can't do this in the future)

I regret to say that I hated you. -- not grammatcially correct.
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AngliholicI regret saying that I hate you.

I regret saying that I hated you.

I regret to say that I hate you.

I regret to say that I hated you.

Which of the above four versions sound right to you? Which ones are identical in meaning? Thanks.Hi Angliholic,

I regret to say I'd probably use only the first one. There's no reason to put "hate" in the past tense, unless there's some contextual evidence that I had stopped hating you at the time I said it. It's quite messy, because there's the time of the hating, the time of the saying, and the time of the regretting.

The main verb regret is simple present tense in all four examples. If you said, "I enjoy saying that I hate you," it would be much easier. It would have the flavor of present progressive simply because of the context - like, "I'm enjoying saying that I hate you." "I enjoy saying that I hated you," would have a very clear meaning.

Pucca is probably right about "saying" vs "to say." I personally would use the present participle with the verb (I regret saying) and save the infinitive for the adjective (I'm sorry to say.) But I know people say, "I regret to say that I hated you," meaning, "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but I used to hate you," as Pucca suggests.

- A.
AnonymousI regret to say that I hated you. -- not grammatcially correct.

Not true. In the past I hated you, although I'm sorry I felt that emotion.

I was jealous of your success, of your beauty, of the fact that you were sleeping with my husband. Yes, I hated you. As a Christian, I know I should have simply forgiven, but I couldn't. I regret to say I hated you with a burning passion. And frankly, those fantasies about carving out your heart and feeding it to the crows were quite enjoyable.
I regret saying I hate you - it means you're sorry that you've told him/her those words.
I regret to say - it means you're sorry that you have to say those words now.
Other forms are not correct.
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AngliholicI regret saying that I hate you.
I regret saying that I hated you.
I regret to say that I hate you.
I regret to say that I hated you.

Which of the above four versions sound right to you? Which ones are identical in meaning? Thanks.
I wouldn't use the second one, but if someone said it, I'd take it to mean the first. The other three are fine. The meanings have already been discussed above, so there's no need to repeat those remarks.

CJ
I regret saying that I hate you.
I regret saying that I hated you.
CalifJimI wouldn't use the second one, but if someone said it, I'd take it to mean the first.
Is this an example of backshifting in reported speech?
If so, why wouldn't the second one be the "preferred" rendition of the first's meaning?

Learners manage to find all kinds of examples in their endless exercises on reported speech,
including "What does/did the sign say?"
AvangiIs this an example of backshifting in reported speech?
It's a very unusual case if it is. The mention of backshifting in this context opens another can of worms, to wit:

I regret saying that I hate you.
I regret having said that I hate you.
I regretted saying that I hate you.
I regretted having said that I hate you.

I regret saying that I hated you.
I regret having said that I hated you.
I regretted saying that I hated you.
I regretted having said that I hated you.

CJ

Or was that just an April Fool's question you asked? Emotion: surprise
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