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Dear teachers,

When do you use the gerund and when do you use the infinitive after the verb "regret"?

examples:

1) I regret to tell you that you order has been cancelled. = regret about a present (or future) action ? polite statement ?

2) I regretted to have told you that... = possible?
Would you please give me an example with the perfect infinitive?

3) I regretted having told you that your order had been cancelled. = a regret about a past action ?

Thanks a lot,
Hela
Comments  
regret+inf = something you are going to do
"I regret to inform you that you have failed the exam" (I am going to inform you)

regret+gerund = something you did or didn't
"I regret not telling you the truth" = I didn't tell you the truth
Thanks Maripinky,

and what about if we put "regret" in the past = "I regretted"? How would your examples be constructed ?

See you,
Hela
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Hi Hela

If you use regret to talk about something you did or didn't do you have to use the gerund.

for example:
"I regretted lying to you / having lied to you."

If you are talking about something you're going to do next or you were going to do in the past, you have to use the infinitive:

for example:
"I regretted to inform my students that all of them had failed the test"
By the way if "to have written" is the perfect infinitive what is the "thense" (?) in "having written" ?

All the best.
It's more a form than a tense, I'd call it "perfect gerund" or " past gerund"...
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"To have done" is used to indicate the "do"-event happened at one step more past than the event expressed by the main event.
The Mexican hero was believed to have fled to a mountainous region in South America.
The boy pretended to have been studying when his mother entered his room.
"To have done" is also used to imply the "do" event did not actually happen.
The game expected to have taken place on Monday, but it was postponed due to bad weather.
We were to have met at 8:00 yesterday evening, but he cancelled it at the last minute.

I have never come across a sentence where "regret" is used in a combination of "to have done". The "do"-event in the phrase "regret to do" is to take place in a point of "more future" than the "regret"-event in the time sequence.

paco
Hela Dear teachers, When do you use the gerund and when do you use the infinitive after the verb "regret"? examples: 1) I regret to tell you that you order has been cancelled. = regret about a present (or future) action ? polite statement ? 2) I regretted to have told you that... = possible? Would you please give me an example with the perfect infinitive? 3) I regretted having told you that your order had been cancelled. = a regret about a past action ? Thanks a lot, Hela
Hi Hela,

I regret doing sth = I feel sorry about sth that I've done before.
If you feel regret afterwards, it's regret + ing.
I regret telling you the truth= I feel sorry about the truth I have told you before.

I regret to do sth = I feel sorry about sth that I'm going to do.
If you feel regret before you do it, it's regret + infinitive.
I regret to tell you the truth= I feel sorry about the truth I'm going to tell you .
Thanks a lot. I get it now.
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