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.


    Senior Member
    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.