General English Level 5 V 3
UNIT 04 Crime and punishment TOPIC 03 She's sorry now
LANGUAGE FOCUS 05 Expressing regret and disappointment
In this activity we will learn ways to say we are sorry for our actions in the past.
Janis Steadman's lawyer says:
My client, Janis Steadman, is truly sorry for what she has done.
Janis Steadman's family have asked me to express their regret for her actions. They wish nobody had lost any money …


Chris Reynolds is talking about Janis Steadman and her family's feelings about her crime. They are sorry. They regret her actions. They wish she had not committed the crime, but it is too late now. She has already committed the crime.

We can use the following expressions when we want to apologise or express regret for something we have done or about something that has happened.

I am sorry for hurting you.
I am sorry (that) I hurt you.
I regret hurting you.
I regret that I hurt you.
I regret not telling you sooner.
I should never have stolen the money.
I should have known better.

I wish I hadn't stolen the money.
I wish I had been honest.
If only I hadn't stolen the money.

(Note: The last three sentences are similar to third conditional structures, because they are about an imaginary event - something that did not happen. This is why they use the past perfect tense.)

When we apologise, using "regret" is more formal than using "sorry".


1 Read the sentences.
2 Listen to the sentences.
3 Practise saying the sentences. Use the Pause button.
I'm sorry for coming late to class. It won't happen again.
I wish I had studied harder at school. I could have been a doctor.
If only I had been more careful. She wouldn't have had the accident.
I should have taken more notice of my parents when I was young.
I regret not travelling to Thailand when I was in Asia. I've heard it's beautiful.
I'm sorry I couldn't come to your party. Everyone said it was really good fun.
I wish we hadn't gone to see that movie. It was terrible!
I should never have forgotten her birthday! She was angry for a week.


Now go to the Activities menu and choose another topic.


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