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  1. #1
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    infinitive or gerund?

    Hello everybody.........

    I tried to open the door.

    I tried opening the door.

    Is there any difference in meaning??

    Thank you,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :wink:

  2. #2
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    Re: infinitive or gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by ESL-lover
    Hello everybody.........

    I tried to open the door.

    I tried opening the door.

    Is there any difference in meaning??

    Thank you,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :wink:
    It is possible that the two sentences mean different things, but it is unlikely. The first sentence suggests that the person made an effort and failed at it. The second sentence suggests (possibly) that the person chose that particular action over another.

    8)

  3. #3
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    Re: infinitive or gerund?

    There is a difference between the two, and you said it Ronbee.
    Try to do = to make an effort to do something difficult (very often unsuccessfully). - The little boy tried to reach the biscuit jar but he wasn't tall enough. (he made an effort to reach the jar and failed)
    Try doing = to do something as an experiment to see what will happen. There's a terrible traffic jam in the city centre, I'm going to try going by the ring road. (I'll go by an alternative route to see if there is less traffic).

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    "try"

    The difference between the phrases "try to do something" and "try doing something" is an interesting one. If a person says he is going to "try to do something" he is indicating his lack of confidence in his success. Similarly, if a person says he tried to do something he is saying he failed at the attempt. Nobody says they "tried" if they succeeded. In that case, they simply say they did it.

    Let's look at the sample sentences.

    1) I tried to open the door.
    2) I tried opening the door.

    First, let's try using the present tense. (1) "I'll try to open the door, but I don't know if I can." (2) "I'll try (opening) that door to see if what I want is in there."

    Now, let's try using the past tense. (1) "I tried to open the door, but it was locked. I rang the doorbell." (2) I tried opening the door. When that didn't work I broke the window."

    What do you think?

    8)

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Try + infinitive = attempt
    Try + gerund = experiment

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    Re: infinitive or gerund?

    Ok……….

    What about these:

    Ali stopped to talk to Bob.


    Ali stopped talking to Bob.

    Thanks……………..

  7. #7
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    Re: infinitive or gerund?

    Quote Originally Posted by ESL-lover
    Ok……….

    What about these:

    Ali stopped to talk to Bob.


    Ali stopped talking to Bob.
    "Ali stopped to talk to Bob" means that Ali stopped with the intention of engaging Bob in conversation. "Ali stopped talking to Bob" means that Ali ceased speaking to Bob.

    8)

  8. #8
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    Stop + infinitive involves two actions.
    Stop + ing involves one action.

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