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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    try to vs try ~ing?

    Can we say try to in this example or not?

    If she won't take your calls, try sending her an email that says how sorry you are.

    I think try to send also makes sense. "try to" is about making a serious endeavor or effot, and "try ~ing" is about checking out if something is suitable or possible to do.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: try to vs try ~ing?

    'Try to send' does also make sense, but a different sense. If you 'try to' do something you fail. 'Try sending' is the one you want here - it's an option that might lead to success.

    b

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: try to vs try ~ing?

    Thanks, it seems try to do means doing something you want to achieve, so you may succeed or fail, and this is not the type of the thing to try to do. Just trying it will make it work out or not.
    Am I right?

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: try to vs try ~ing?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Thanks, it seems try to do means doing something you want to achieve, so you may succeed or fail, and this is not the type of the thing to try to do. Just trying it will make it work out or not.
    Am I right?
    Well, in your mind you hope to succeed (that's what trying is), but in fact you fail - maybe only temporarily: 'I tried several times to reach him last week, but he was always out of the office. I'll keep trying though.'

    Sometimes the failure is more permanent: 'He tried to reach it, but he couldn't.'

    Try to implies some degree of failure: 'I try to eat the right things, but I always put on weight.'

    (In practical instructions, the failure is not strongly implied: 'Try to apply the glue carefully, but don't worry if you make a bit of a mess'. The instructions want you to get it right, but the 'but' implies that success isn't guaranteed.)

    'Try <verb>ing' is a suggestion:

    A: 'I always seem to put on weight.'
    B: 'Try eating the right things.'

    b

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: try to vs try ~ing?

    Sorry, I tried to understand your explanation so hard, but it wasn't easy. I've been using "try to" to make success without any implication of failure so far, and "trying" for the nuance of "doing something for a test or trial", but your explanation is all confusing.
    Could you please make me understand more easily? Sorry!!!

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: try to vs try ~ing?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Sorry, I tried to understand your explanation so hard, but it wasn't easy. I've been using "try to" to make success without any implication of failure so far, and "trying" for the nuance of "doing something for a test or trial", but your explanation is all confusing.
    Could you please make me understand more easily? Sorry!!!
    That's a talent of mine! Perhaps some other teacher would have a crack (=try explaining!)

    b

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: try to vs try ~ing?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    That's a talent of mine! Perhaps some other teacher would have a crack (=try explaining!)
    I share your (lack of) talent, but I'll try to explain.

    If I try to do something, I make some sort of physical or mental effort to do it. I do not know whether my effort will be successful.

    1. I will try to learn Czech again next year.
    2. I am trying to learn Czech.
    3. I tried to learn Czech last year.

    The implication of #1 is that I fear that I may not succeed.
    The implication of #2 is that I am not succeeding - if I were, I would say, "I am learning Czech ".
    The implication of #3 is that I did not succeed. If I had succeeded, I would have said, "I learnt Czech last year".

    If you try doing something, you actually do it, in order to see if the doing of it will bring a about a more satisfactorysituation in some way.

    A: I find Czech people very unhelpful.
    B: Try learning their language. = Do it. You may find that they become more friendly if you speak to them in their own language.

    Because we do not know the results of present or future efforts, the difference may not always be clear-cut.

    Because we do know the results of past efforts, the difference is very clear:

    I tried to open the window. This suggests that I made the efort but did not succeed in opening the window.

    I tried opening the window. I did open the window (possibly because I wanted to see if the air in the room would become fresher.

    If trying to do something does succeed, then this is made clear:
    I tried to open the window, and eventually managed it, but Luke had to help me.
    Note that the success was only achieved with some difficulty.
    Last edited by 5jj; 26-Jan-2011 at 15:58. Reason: typos

  8. keannu's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: try to vs try ~ing?

    fivejedjon!
    Your explanation is clear-cut, hundred percent clear. You are definitely my best master here.
    I didn't have to try to understand more!

  9. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: try to vs try ~ing?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    fivejedjon!
    Your explanation is clear-cut, hundred percent clear. You are definitely my best master here.
    I didn't have to try to understand more!
    Thank you.

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