regret - be sorry

regret - be sorry
Regret and be sorry are both used to say that someone feels sadness or disappointment about something that has happened, or about something they have done. Regret is more formal than be sorry.
You can say that you regret something or are sorry about it.

I immediately regretted my decision.

I'm more sorry about losing Pat.

You can also say that you regret or are sorry that something has happened.

Pisarev regretted that no real changes had occurred.

He was sorry he had agreed to stay.

You can also say that you regret doing something.

None of the women I spoke to regretted making this change.

You do not say that you `are sorry doing' something.
When you are apologizing to someone for something that has happened, you can say that you are sorry about it.

I'm sorry about last night.

You do not say that you are `sorry for' something.
In conversation, you do not apologize by saying that you `regret' something. Regret is only used in formal letters and announcements.

London Transport regrets any inconvenience caused by these delays.

For information on other ways of apologizing, see entry at ↑ Apologizing.
giving bad news
When you are giving someone some bad news, you can begin by saying `I'm sorry to tell you...'. In a formal letter, you say `I regret to tell you...'.

I'm sorry to tell you this, but the Board have changed their opinion of you.

I regret to inform you that your application has not been successful.


Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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  • regret — re|gret1 [rıˈgret] v past tense and past participle regretted present participle regretting [T] [Date: 1400 1500; : Old French; Origin: regreter] 1.) to feel sorry about something you have done and wish you had not done it ▪ I ve never regretted… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Sorry — Sor ry, a. [Compar. {Sorrier}; superl. {Sorriest}.] [OE. sory, sary, AS. s[=a]rig, fr. s[=a]r, n., sore. See {Sore}, n. & a. The original sense was, painful; hence, miserable, sad.] 1. Grieved for the loss of some good; pained for some evil;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • regret — [n] upset over past action affliction, anguish, annoyance, apologies, apology, bitterness, care, compunction, concern, conscience, contrition, demur, disappointment, discomfort, dissatisfaction, dole, grief, heartache, heartbreak, lamentation,… …   New thesaurus

  • sorry — Day, first held on the 26th of May 1998, is a public expression of regret for the treatment of the stolen generations, those Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their parents by white authorities. In Aboriginal English, however,… …   Australian idioms

  • sorry — [sär′ē, sôr′ē] adj. sorrier, sorriest [ME sorie < OE sarig < sar,SORE] 1. full of sorrow, pity, or sympathy: also used as an expression of apology or mild regret 2. a) inferior in worth or quality; poor [a sorry exhibit] b) wretched; …   English World dictionary

  • regret — [ri gret′] vt. regretted, regretting [ME regretten < OFr regreter, to bewail the dead < re + Gmc base as in OE gretan, ON grata, Goth gretan, to weep] 1. to feel sorry about or mourn for (a person or thing gone, lost, etc.) 2. to feel… …   English World dictionary

  • sorry — ► ADJECTIVE (sorrier, sorriest) 1) feeling distress or pity through sympathy with someone else s misfortune. 2) feeling or expressing regret or penitence. 3) in a poor or pitiful state. 4) unpleasant and regrettable: a sorry business. DERIVATIVES …   English terms dictionary

  • regret — I verb apologize, be disturbed over, be penitent, be remorseful, be sorry for, bemoan, bewail, blame oneself, cry over, deplore, disapprove of, feel conscience stricken, feel uneasy about, fret, grieve at, have a bad conscience, have qualms about …   Law dictionary

  • sorry about it — regret it, feel badly because of it …   English contemporary dictionary

  • regret — 1 verb (T) 1 to feel sorry about something you have done and wish you had not done it: regret doing sth: She deeply regretted losing her temper. (+ that): He regrets that he never went to college. | regret sth: It s a great opportunity, Mr Jarvis …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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