Whine - Wail


In the spaces of the two sentences:
1. The child kept .... that she had a smaller cake than her sister.
2. When the little girl's icecream dropped into the gutter, she started to .... in distress.

can we use whine and wail interchangeably?
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    You can insert them interchangeably, but by doing so you will have changed the meaning. Use the dictionary search above to see the differences.


    English - England
    No. To whine (of a person) usually means that the noise is made in a pleading, complaining, dissatisfied, manner. It is usually considered to be forced and unnecessary. It is also seen as annoying. It is always negative.

    To wail (of a person) is usually caused by sorrow/grief, or pain.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    Whine also has a second meaning: "to complain in a self-pitying way" (WRD) so the girl could be whining,"Why does she always get more than me? It's not fair. I like cake more than she does. ..." rather than making a whining noise.
    < Previous | Next >