complain or are complaining or have complained

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brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Hi, everyone.

Here’s a multiple choice question.

More and more students ____ about too much homework and they are really tired of it.

A. complain

B. care

C. learn

D. hear


The answer key is A. But I think the answer should be ‘are complaining’ or ‘have complained’. What do you say?

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • brian&me

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thanks, heyprsto.

    As I understand, ‘more and more’ structure are always used with the progressive and perfect tenses. From what heyprsto pointed out, the structure can also be used with the simple present. I wonder if ‘more and more’ structure could be used with all kinds of tenses.
     

    Liffey

    New Member
    English - Ireland
    More and more students ____ about too much homework and they are really tired of it.
    Another suggestion; "... complain of receiving too much homework..."
    or
    "complain that they (get/receive/are given/are expected to do) too much homework."
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Is it idiomatic to say "are complaining" here?

    More and more students are complaining about too much homework and they are really tired of it.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thank you.:) But what is the difference between the progressive "are complaining" and the present simple "complain" in that sentence?
    It's a difference in aspect, which, given the context, isn't all that important.

    In general, the simple form (complain) looks at the totality of the action, without focusing on any single point. It's an external view of the verb action. the -ing form (complaining) focuses on the middle point, so that we see the action in progress. It's an internal view of the verb action. From the "totality" view, we get the idea of "habitual action:" students complain (it's what they always do). From "action in progress," we get the idea of a specific event at a particular point in time: students are complaining ("now," a particular point in the present); students were complaining ("then," a specific point in the past).

    In our multiple choice question, "more and more" suggests "incremental progression" (an increase in number), while "are" in "they are tired of it" signals "present time, now." With all that information/context, the aspectual difference between "complain" (totality) and "complaining" (in progress), for all practical purposes, cancels out. In other words, in the given sentence, you can use "complain" or "are complaining;" the message is the same. I suspect the simple form is used for simplicity's sake: complain is shorter than are complaining.
     
    Last edited:

    nowt000

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thanks, heyprsto.

    As I understand, ‘more and more’ structure are always used with the progressive and perfect tenses. From what heyprsto pointed out, the structure can also be used with the simple present. I wonder if ‘more and more’ structure could be used with all kinds of tenses.
    Lots of textbooks written by Chinese teachers are defective; don't stick to those artificial rules too hard.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    It's a difference in aspect, which, given the context, isn't all that important.

    In general, the simple form (complain) looks at the totality of the action, without focusing on any single point. It's an external view of the verb action. the -ing form (complaining) focuses on the middle point, so that we see the action in progress. It's an internal view of the verb action. From the "totality" view, we get the idea of "habitual action:" students complain (it's what they always do). From "action in progress," we get the idea of a specific event at a particular point in time: students are complaining ("now," a particular point in the present); students were complaining ("then," a specific point in the past).

    In our multiple choice question, "more and more" suggests "incremental progression" (an increase in number), while "are" in "they are tired of it" signals "present time, now." With all that information/context, the aspectual difference between "complain" (totality) and "complaining" (in progress), for all practical purposes, cancels out. In other words, in the given sentence, you can use "complain" or "are complaining;" the message is the same. I suspect the simple form is used for simplicity's sake: complain is shorter than are complaining.
    Thanks so much for your answer.:)
     
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