1. It is no good to cry over spilt milk.

  2. It is no good crying over spilt milk.

The phrase is cry over spilt milk. Then grammatically, why is crying over spilt milk correct?

| improve this question | | | | |
  • 1
    The phrase is: It's no use crying over spilt milk. – Joe Dark Oct 8 '15 at 19:51
  • Where did you get the idea that "the phrase is cry over spilt milk"? Did you find that in a dictionary or something? Dictionaries often list variations of idioms, with the verbs listed a bit differently from how they are usually spoken in conversation. – J.R. Oct 8 '15 at 22:54

You don't use to-infinitive after it's no good, it's no use, and there's no point.

You use the -ing form of a verb instead. You can also use the preposition "in" in front of the -ing form such as it's no use/good (in) arguing with him. There's no point (in) arguing with him.

| improve this answer | | | | |

"Crying over spilt milk" is itself a noun phrase.

This is difficult to imagine because the sentence is in a clipped, unusual format. It's made a little clearer with punctuation and the addition of a clarifying "that is" to show what we're talking about:

It's no use -- crying over spilt milk, that is.

"It" refers to "crying over spilt milk." The phrase is placed parenthetically at the end of the sentence, but the idiom is so common that proper punctuation isn't really used because the meaning is understood anyway.

@Khan's use of "in" and turning it into a prepositional phrase makes it more clear, but we need to change the first word to "there" instead of "it's:"

There's no use in crying over spilt milk.

In this sentence, "crying over spilt milk" is the object of the prepositional phrase. To break it down more, you could simply say:

There's no use in crying.

"Over spilt milk" qualifies "crying," but does nothing by itself. So they are joined together as one noun phrase.

| improve this answer | | | | |

It is just a convention that after certain formulas beginning with "It is" the gerund is preferred. Gerund is used after

1 It is useless doing sth

2 It is no use/not much use doing sth

3 It is no good/not much good doing sth

4 It is worthwhile doing sth

If we say "It's no use crying over spilt milk" the underlying structure was: The crying over spilt milk is of no use.

| improve this answer | | | | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.