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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    complain of/about

    Here's a dictionary definition of complain of/complain about. Can't we use of in 1 and about in 2?



    complain
    1. 'complain about' If you complain about something, you say that it is wrong or unsatisfactory.
    Mothers complained about the lack of play space.
    She never complains about the weather.

    Be Careful!
    Don't use 'over' or 'on' after complain. Don't say, for example, 'Mothers complained over the lack of play space' or 'She never complains on the weather'.

    2. 'complain of'

    If you complain of a pain, you say that you have it.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: complain of/about

    It wouldn't work for me.

  3. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: complain of/about

    How can we understand when we should use "of" and when "about"?
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  4. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: complain of/about

    It depends on the context as in the dictionary definitions above. With "pain" and diseases "of" is used.
    But it would be great to get some more examples for both usages from the native speakers.

    And I have found that complain of is a phrasal verb:
    complain of something

    phrasal verb


    to say that you feel ill or have a pain in a part of your body:Dan's been complaining of severe headaches.

    It still seems to me that there are some examples where you can use both prepositions. Are there?

    Last edited by englishhobby; 23-Nov-2014 at 11:59.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  5. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: complain of/about

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It wouldn't work for me.
    Thank you, Bhaisahab, I asked this question because I was told, like you say, that we can't use "of" in the first meaning of "complain". And I am still in doubt. Can't we say "He complained of slow service in the restaurant"?

    Here's what else I've found:
    Users complained of slow website response times. (It's written under the picture here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/2937922.stm)
    Is the above sentence wrong? Or is it because it's Scottish news?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 23-Nov-2014 at 12:00.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: complain of/about

    But WHY are you still in doubt? The answer's NO, although it sounds just odd rather than totally meaningless.

    b

  7. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: complain of/about

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    But WHY are you still in doubt? <...> it sounds just odd rather than totally meaningless.
    Because I have found this:
    Users complained of slow website response times. (It's written under the picture here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/2937922.stm)

    Is it odd?

    And this:
    complain (to somebody) (about/of something)
    I'm going to complain to the manager about this.
    The defendant complained of intimidation during the investigation.

    (See http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie...glish/complain)

    Is it also odd?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 23-Nov-2014 at 12:49.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: complain of/about

    To complain of = to state that something annoying is happening
    To complain about = to make a complaint regarding something annoying which has happened

    Dad complained of headaches = Dad said he had been having headaches (he was stating a fact, he wasn't necessarily "moaning"!)
    Dad complained about poor service = Dad contacted a company to specifically complain/moan about their poor service.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: complain of/about

    With this in mind, can we complain of bad weather? (just stating a fact)?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  10. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: complain of/about

    No, that doesn't work for me. I should have been more specific. I would only use it how I quoted it when a person is talking about something which is happening specifically or exclusively to them. Weather affects lots of people at the same time.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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