V about n
II.1 The 'talk' groupThese verbs are concerned with speaking or writing. This includes:
verbs that indicate the function of what is said e.g. argue, ask, complain
verbs that indicate how something is said e.g. mutter, wail
verbs that indicate the feeling of the speaker e.g. enthuse, fulminate
All the phrasal verbs (as well as some of the ordinary verbs) indicate that someone speaks for longer than you consider acceptable, and sometimes that there is something else that you dislike about what they are saying, for example that it is boring or stupid. The prepositional phrase indicates the topic involved.
He seemed to have forgotten that I had asked about his car.
She's not complained about the conditions or anything.
I have not heard her enthuse about a resort so enthusiastically ever before.
Some of them could be heard muttering about the high prices of the clothes.
He talked about all kinds of things.
He witters on about how rising paper and print costs have made this regrettable increase unavoidable.
Argue, bicker, chat, dicker, fight, haggle, quarrel, row, squabble, and talk always or often have a plural Subject with this pattern because they are reciprocal verbs concerned with having an argument or discussion (see Chapter 6).
My parents were quarrelling about me though I could not quite tell why.
With most of the verbs in this group, the preposition about is sometimes followed by an '-ing' clause.
He had boasted about stabbing a woman.
With some of these verbs, particularly complain, joke, and go on, the preposition about is sometimes followed by a noun group and an '-ing' clause. This pattern is V about n -ing.
Terrified residents complained about aircraft flying low over their homes.
In the case of the following verbs, the preposition about is sometimes followed by a wh-clause: argue, ask, bicker, chat, chatter, equivocate, fight, haggle, inquire, joke, lie, quarrel, quibble, row, squabble, talk, waffle.
argue ask bellyache bicker bitch blab blather bleat boast brag burble carp chat chatter complain crow dicker discourse email enthuse equivocate fight fulminate generalize gripe groan grouse grumble gush haggle inquire joke lie moan mutter pontificate preach protest quarrel quibble rant rap rave rhapsodize row sing snigger speak squabble swank talk testify text trumpet tut-tut tweet twitter waffle wail whine whinge whisper witter write yak yap babble on bang on blather on bleat on burble on carry on drone on go on harp on keep on prattle on rabbit on ramble on rant on rattle on sound off spout forth spout off waffle on witter on
He and Patra argued about what to wear.