“weep" or "cry"?

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PeachYoghurt

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hello all! Can you tell me the difference between "weep" and "cry"? Besides, in the following context, which one should be picked? Thank you in advance!

Tom's father spent a fortune on his education, but he failed to graduate, much less to say found a well-paid job. Tom often_____(cry/weep)alone because he couldn't satisfy his father.
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I think you can use either.

    I found this definition and note about usage for WEEP in the OED:

    a. To manifest the combination of bodily symptoms (instinctive cries or moans, sobs, and shedding of tears) which is the natural, audible, and visible expression of painful (and sometimes of intensely pleasurable) emotion; also, and in mod. use chiefly, to shed tears (more or less silently).In mod.English somewhat rare in non-literary use, being superseded by cry; recently a sense of the inappropriateness of that verb as applied to silent manifestations seems to have in some degree revived the colloquial currency of weep in the sense ‘to shed tears'

    The verb cry is a bit tricky in the sense that it has lots of meanings related to calling out, so you avoid any ambiguity if you choose weep in your context.
     

    PeachYoghurt

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I think you can use either.

    I found this definition and note about usage for WEEP in the OED:

    a. To manifest the combination of bodily symptoms (instinctive cries or moans, sobs, and shedding of tears) which is the natural, audible, and visible expression of painful (and sometimes of intensely pleasurable) emotion; also, and in mod. use chiefly, to shed tears (more or less silently).In mod.English somewhat rare in non-literary use, being superseded by cry; recently a sense of the inappropriateness of that verb as applied to silent manifestations seems to have in some degree revived the colloquial currency of weep in the sense ‘to shed tears'

    The verb cry is a bit tricky in the sense that it has lots of meanings related to calling out, so you avoid any ambiguity if you choose weep in your context.
    Thank you very much!
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Tom's father spent a fortune on his education, but he failed to graduate, much less to say found a well-paid job. Tom often_____(cry/weep) alone because he couldn't satisfy his father.
    Please tell us where you found this text. Was it part of an exam? If it was in a book, please tell us the title and author. The first sentence is not grammatically correct; was the author a native speaker of English?
     
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