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  1. #1
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    Question try v-ing / to-infinitive

    Dear teachers,

    I'd like to know when to use to-infinitive or gerund after try. I've read from some grammar books that when it is making an attempt, then use an infinitive; and when it is making an experiment, use a gerund. But I don't know the difference between making an attempt and making an experiment. Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    aggelos is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: try v-ing / to-infinitive

    Try + -ing: to do something in order to see what happens, to see if it can help you to succeed in doing something, eg. "She didn't want to work for me any more, so I tried giving her more money; I hoped that this would make her change her mind about leaving", "If the baby doesn't like his cream, try putting some sugar in it". In the above examples, we do something as an experiment, that is to see if in this way we can get what we want. We don't have to make an effort.

    Try + infinitive: to make an effort in order to get what you want: "I tried to lift the box but I couldn't because it was too heavy", "The prisoner tried to escape by filing the window bars", "We must try to attract new customers".

    I hope you can see the difference. If not, try reading my explanations again. If you still don't get it, I'll try writing some more examples for you later on. I'll try to write better examples next time, but please try to understand that it's not always easy to explain everything.

    So, here's a little test. Why don't you try doing it and see if you get your answers right. All you have to do is try to find the correct form (-ing or infinitive) to use:

    -It was too hot in the room, so I tried (open) the window hoping that cooler air from outside could make things better.
    -The old window was stuck and it wouldn't move no matter how hard I tried (open) it.
    -They're trying (get) a loan from the bank, but their bad credit doesn't leave them much hope.
    -If you want your girlfriend to come back, try (invite) her to dinner at a nice restaurant?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: try v-ing / to-infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by aggelos View Post
    Try + -ing: to do something in order to see what happens, to see if it can help you to succeed in doing something, eg. "She didn't want to work for me any more, so I tried giving her more money; I hoped that this would make her change her mind about leaving", "If the baby doesn't like his cream, try putting some sugar in it". In the above examples, we do something as an experiment, that is to see if in this way we can get what we want. We don't have to make an effort.

    Try + infinitive: to make an effort in order to get what you want: "I tried to lift the box but I couldn't because it was too heavy", "The prisoner tried to escape by filing the window bars", "We must try to attract new customers".

    I hope you can see the difference. If not, try reading my explanations again. If you still don't get it, I'll try writing some more examples for you later on. I'll try to write better examples next time, but please try to understand that it's not always easy to explain everything.

    So, here's a little test. Why don't you try doing it and see if you get your answers right. All you have to do is try to find the correct form (-ing or infinitive) to use:

    -It was too hot in the room, so I tried (open) the window hoping that cooler air from outside could make things better.
    -The old window was stuck and it wouldn't move no matter how hard I tried (open) it.
    -They're trying (get) a loan from the bank, but their bad credit doesn't leave them much hope.
    -If you want your girlfriend to come back, try (invite) her to dinner at a nice restaurant?
    Thank you very much for the detailed explanation!

    Please see if my answers are correct:
    1. opening
    2. to open
    3. to get
    4. to invite

    What about these two sentences?
    1. John tried (work) harder last term, but he still failed in the examination.
    2. The children wanted to get the kite back from the tree. They tried (climb) up the tree, but no one dared. They tried (shake) the tree, but it didn't work.

    I think the answer is [to work] for the first sentence and [to climb] and [shaking] for the second one.

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