V at n
II.5 The 'grumble' groupThese verbs are concerned with speaking, usually to express an opinion. The prepositional phrase indicates what is being talked about.
We include here hint, which indicates that someone mentions something indirectly.
The council also hit out at incompetence among the officials in charge of distribution.
Some girls couldn't resist moaning at the ten-minute wait but I was just glad it wasn't raining.
The councillor scoffed at government claims that sufficient funds are unavailable for programmes for the aged.
In the case of grumble, hint, and protest, the preposition at is sometimes followed by an '-ing' clause.
We threw the burnt and blackened cakes out to the hens and our mother grumbled at wasting good food.
In the case of grumble, hint, and protest, the preposition at is sometimes followed by a noun group and an '-ing' clause. This pattern is V at n -ing.
carp cavil cluck coo exclaim fume grumble hint laugh moan protest rage rail rant scoff sneer snipe hammer away hit out lash out strike out
It is understandable that many women have protested at money being spent on sex offenders.