to moan and groan about something

GandalfMB

Senior Member
Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
Hello,
I realize that "moan and groan" is pretty much a set phrase, but can we leave "moan" out without changing the meaning?
- Why is he always groaning about his salary?
The sentence makes sense to me, but it probably looks a little unusual.

Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Groaning" is enough for me although it isn't part of a set phrase. I see no difference in meaning if you choose to drop "moaning". However, I've noticed that some of our members are extremely critical of any slight variation invented by people who aren't native speakers. Those rigid types might insist on "moaning and groaning.":rolleyes:
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Sometimes you just have to be bold enough to make up your own mind, Gandalf. We native speakers can offer you opinions and tell you what sounds absolutely wrong, but your opinion is as good as ours concerning little things like whether "groaning" is okay in your sentence about somebody's annoying behavior. You should probably forget about greatness and settle for intelligibility.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    1 He moans about his salary.
    2 He moans and groans about his salary.
    3 He groans about his salary.

    (1) and (2) are unremarkable. As for (3), if you want to say that this person literally groans when talking about his salary, it might be an amusing way of referring to that.

    Otherwise, if you mean that "he" just complains vociferously, a native speaker will naturally assume that you wanted to say "he moans"....but didn't get it quite right.:)
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    "Groaning" is enough for me although it isn't part of a set phrase. I see no difference in meaning if you choose to drop "moaning". However, I've noticed that some of our members are extremely critical of any slight variation invented by people who aren't native speakers. Those rigid types might insist on "moaning and groaning.":rolleyes:
    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: Some of the most beautiful English I've ever read has been by authors whose native language was not English. They look at the language through different eyes and tend not to use the same old tired phrases most natives use.
     
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