Complain

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Oros

Senior Member
Korean
He is a man who always complain about the untidy nature of the gym.

He complained to us about the untidy nature of the gym.

Are both fine?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Your first sentence needs a small change to the verb: He is a man who always complains about the untidy nature of the gym. The second sentence is fine, though perhaps a little formal. Here's an informal variation: He always complains that the gym is a mess.
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    He is a man who always complains ...

    What is the subject of the above sentence?
    Is it the word 'man' or 'who'?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    No. Your verb needs to agree with your subject:

    I,you,we, they complain
    He, she, it complains.

    So: There are some people (they) who always complain.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    No. Your verb needs to agree with your subject:

    I,you,we, they complain
    He, she, it complains.

    So: There are some people (they) who always complain.
    Just to clarify, in There are some people who always complain, the subject is the noun phrase some people.

    The following is from the Cliffnotes.com article "Subject following predicate":

    In the construction there is or there are, there is never the subject.... If you do use a there is or a there are, however, remember that your subject will follow the predicate. Choose is if the subject is singular, are if the subject is plural.

    There are millions of people who would rather be poor than ask for government help.
    In the sentence we are considering, the verb following the pronoun who must agree in number with the subject some people and so is plural.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Just to clarify, in There are some people who always complain, the subject is the noun phrase some people.

    The following is from the Cliffnotes.com article "Subject following predicate":



    In the sentence we are considering, the verb following the pronoun who must agree in number with the subject some people and so is plural.
    I think I agree with you here, Ray. However, I would never say "There are some people who always complains. That was my point, and I don't think you disagree.
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thanks everybody
    The verb complain is both transitive and intransitive.
    It seems 'complain of', 'complain about', 'complain to' and 'complain that' are correct.

    The gym is untidy today. A person complained.
    Is the above fine?
    If it is fine, it is intransitive.
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thanks Solid for the reply.

    I train 3 times a week at the gym. I do circuit-training. Today I have trained 90 minutes. It is good for my cardiovascular system. My blood pressure is (125/75) thanks to the training. You have such an excellent value when you are under 25.

    Sometimes the gym is untidy. I complain to the instructors at the gym when it is untidy.


    The word complain is intransitive too.

    Therefore just to say ' I complained' or 'He complained' should be fine.

    My questions is on the intransitive case of the word 'complain'.

    When do I use it intransitively?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    My questions is on the intransitive case of the word 'complain'.

    When do I use it intransitively?
    "Complain" is always intransitive, to my mind, Oros.

    You can say who you complained to - but you don't have to. You can say what you complained about (or of) - but you don't have to.

    It's perfectly fine to say He complained.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    The subject is "man". Here "who" is a relative pronoun that introduces a defining clause.
    I tend to see it otherwise, owlman.

    "Who" is definitely a relative pronoun that introduces a subordinate clause. After introducing it, however, it is also the subject of the respective subordinate clause.

    He is a man who always complains ....

    1. Main clause
    He - subject
    is - link verb, predicate
    a man - should be an object, but that is a questionable affair with link verbs, so you could say it's also subject

    2. Subordinate clause
    Who - subject
    complains - predicate
    and so on...

    http://www.englishlanguageguide.com/english/grammar/relative-pronoun.asp
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thanks everybody for the replies.

    Loob, how did you know offhand that the verb 'complain' was intransitive?


    I am surprised because there are thousands and thousands of verbs.
    If someone tells me a verb is only transitive or intransitive, I am shocked.

    I must look at dictionaries. Still it doesn't help. Some or verbs rather the majority of verbs are both transitive and intransitive.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Loob, how did you know offhand that the verb 'complain' was intransitive?
    It's because of the way I use it, Oros - the patterns I use it with.

    I say :tick:"I eat chocolate" and :tick:"he likes computer games", so I know that "eat" and "like" are transitive.

    I don't say :cross:"I complain chocolate" or :cross:"he complains computer games", so I know that "complain" is intransitive.

    It's much easier when you're a native speaker!:)
     
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