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In English, we often use a syntax of the following structure:

"I have to stop with all these regrets"

It's an interesting phraseology, especially since it feel almost idiomatic because "stop with" followed by a noun phrase feels awkward syntactically, at least to me. But still, at least in my experience, it is the most common way I have heard that sentiment expressed in spoken dialogue (not written text) by someone truly fed up with some activity (Another example in the imperative form would be "Enough with all this whining!", etc.)

The more structured way to say this would be "I have to stop feeling so much regret" or "I need to stop wasting time feeling regret".

I tried my own hand at this and I thought I had come up with something straight forward:

"Ich muss bereuren aufhören"

Thinking this meant "I must stop regretting", but this appears to actually translate to "I must regret to stop". (If anyone can explain why it resolves to "regretting to stop" instead of "stopping regret" a comment would be great).

There is of course the literal translation:

"Ich muss mit all dieser Reue aufhören"

But I very rarely trust my own literal translations to German since German is so specific in its verb, noun, and adjective usage across different functional contexts.

So, in everyday German conversation, what is the equivalent way to say something that expresses the same feeling as "I have stop with all these regrets!"? With the specific context being that someone has just realized they are spending way too much time listing and dwelling on their regrets, and it's time to just end the useless practice.

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A common phrase in German is:

Ich muss [damit] aufhören, mir Vorwürfe zu machen.

Often this is directed to another person:

Du solltest [damit] aufhören, dir Vorwürfe zu machen.

This is often used in situations where someone feels guilty of something for which s/he is actually not responsible.

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  • An answer I could also have written; frequently the noun is even the more specific Selbstvorwürfe. – guidot Aug 6 '19 at 8:22
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In a situation in which I realize that I am spending too much time regretting things I've done, I would probably say

Schluss mit dem Bedauern!

That is like a command to myself. That could be directed at another person as well. If it has to be clear that I talk to myself, I might say

Ich muss aufhören, alles (was ich mache) zu bedauern.

That would express a general realization and not the regret of a specific action.

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You have stop with all these regrets.

I am not even sure what that should mean. How can someone stop with regrets? That's not an action, so you can't stop doing it. Someone could stop whining. That's

Du musst mit dem Gejammer aufhören.

(Ach,) hör mit dem Gejammer auf.

(Ach,) hör (doch) auf zu jammern.

All are pretty idiomatic. The variant with the noun focuses on the fact there's even a name for that what you are doing. The variant with the verb focuses on the action.


If you really wanted to express you had to stop regretting something, you need an infinitive clause for that.

Ich muss (damit) aufhören, diese Dinge zu bereuen.

This is because putting diese Dinge bereuen is a thought too complicated to be put into a noun.

Ich muss mit dem Dingebereuen aufhören.

is valid German but sounds incredibly clumsy.

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    "I am not even sure what that should mean." - actually, the OP writes in the question it is supposed to be synonymous with "I have to stop feeling so much regret". The OP also explicitly points out it is indeed unusual to use "to stop" with a noun. – O. R. Mapper Aug 6 '19 at 7:39
  • I nitpicked on that fact. That's why I continued with the whining. Also mentioned in the question. And finally gave the answer about Reue or bereuen. – Janka Aug 6 '19 at 12:24
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In a conversation you could also say

Hör auf so viel darüber nachzudenken!

or

Ich muss damit aufhören soviel darüber nachzudenken.

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