Saturday, 18 August 2012

Tell Me, Do You Have Any Regrets?


SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You are talking about a current events. Perhaps you have done something which has rebounded on you. The other person wants to know if you have any regrets and says to you something like: "tell me, do you have any regrets?".

In Spanish, he/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿lamentas algo?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say to you:
Dígame, ¿lamenta (usted) algo?


OUR TIP
The question is an invitation for you to talk about regrets that you may have. When talking about your regrets like this, you DO NOT need to be concerned about the level of formality in the other person's question. Your main concern should be about communicating your regrets. Perhaps you want express your regrets as:
  • Statements of fact-like information;
  • Statements displaying emotion - regret;

Here are some examples of how you could reply:
  • Sí, lamento lo ocurrido (I regret what has happened);
  • Sí, lamento no haber actuado a tiempo (I regret not having taken timely action);
  • No, no lamento nada (no, I don't regret anything);
  • Es una pena que haya ocurrido eso* (it is a pity/ shame that has happened);
  • ¡Que pena que haya ocurrido eso!* (what a pity/ shame that has happened!);
  • ¡Que lástima que haya ocurrido eso!* (what a pity/ shame that has happened!);

Now you should practise further replying to someone who says to you:
Dime, ¿lamentas algo?

*Please see grammar below

Grammar-Subjunctive
Please note these are typical examples of the use of subjunctive mood. As a rule, the subjunctive mood should be used when expressing sorrow, as in:
  • "I regret that something {has happened/ is happening/ will happen}”
  • "I regret that something {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”
  • "I regret that someone – other than I {has done/ is is doing/ will do} something”
  • "I regret that someone – other than I {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”
  • "It is a pity that something {has happened/ is happening/ will happen}”
  • "It is a pity that something {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”
  • "It is a pity that someone – other than I {has done/ is is doing/ will do} something”
  • "It is a pity that someone – other than I {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”
  • "What a pity that something {has happened/ is happening/ will happen}”
  • "What a pity that something {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”
  • "What a pity that someone – other than I {has done/ is is doing/ will do} something”
  • "What a pity that someone – other than I {has been/ is/ will be} in a particular way”

In order to express this in Spanish, you could use:
  • "es una pena que <subjuntivo>..."
  • "es una lástima que <subjuntivo>..."
  • "¡qué pena que <subjuntivo>...!"
  • "¡qué lástima que <subjuntivo>...!"

An example of this is the reply above:
  • "es una pena que haya ocurrido eso".

Some other examples of expressions of this type in Spanish are:
  • Es una pena que esté lloviendo (it is a pity it is raining);
  • Es una lástima que me hayas contado mentiras (it is a shame that you have told me lies);
  • Es una pena que Pedro no me llame (it is a pity that Pedro won't call me);
  • ¡Qué pena que no vayamos a poder viajar juntos! (what a shame that we won't be able to travel together);
  • ¡Qué lástima que no queráis eso! (what a pity that you don't want that);
  • Es una pena que Pedro y María no estén bien (it is a pity that Pedro and María are not well);

Now you should practise this use of the subjunctive with some more sentences of your own

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