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会ったのを今は後悔してる。

I was baffled as to what を was doing here. After some research, I figured it could be a combination of nominalizer "の" and object marker "を," the action being 後悔する. Is this understanding correct? If so, could I do either of the following:

  1. Omit を
  2. Throw in お前を and so on to step up my syntactic confusion: お前を会ったのを今は後悔してるのなんだ! ('Cuz I'm regretting having met ya!)

*I had trouble identifying を, since the verb was sort of concealed by its noun appearance. Additionally, with 今は in the way, it was all the more perplexing for me.

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I figured it could be a combination of nominalizer "の" and object marker "を," the action being 後悔する

Your understanding is correct.

To break this down a little further:

会ったの is a noun meaning something along the lines of the English "having met (you)" or "that I met you". We can reasonably assume the subject is the speaker, and the object is probably the person that said speaker is speaking to, although we would need more context to be sure of that.

今は means "now", but because this is a contrastive は, the important thing here is that the speaker is emphasizing that they regret meeting someone now, as opposed to some previous point in time when they didn't regret it.

後悔してる 後悔 is a straightforward する verb meaning regret, and the してる (している) just means that the speaker is currently doing said regretting.

In short, if we assume the object of 会う is the person being spoken to, the sentence means:

Now I'm regretting having met (you)

To answer your questions:

  1. In a lot of casual speech particles (including ) are dropped, but I assume that's not what you're asking. Grammatically, there's no basis for you to drop here.
  2. You could make the object of 会った explicit, but the correct particle is not , it's . It would be お前に会ったのを.
  3. Incidentally, if you want to use のだ for emphasis/explanatory purposes, it would be 後悔してるんだ, not 後悔してるのなんだ, which is unnatural.

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