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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    I try (doing

    The answer of this question of a workbook is only "to do", but I suspect doing as well. What do you think?

    100)I try (doing, to do) my best all the time.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I try (doing

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    The answer of this question of a workbook is only "to do", but I suspect doing as well. What do you think?

    100)I try (doing, to do) my best all the time.
    Because the verb "try" means to attempt but not always succeed, the infinitive form is more natural because it is more theoretical than the gerund form.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I try (doing

    1. I try to do my best - I make the attempt to do my best, but I may not succeed,

    2. I try doing my best - I do my best in the hope that it will change the current situation in some way
    .

    If i tried hard enough I suppose I could come up with a context for #2. I don't need to try for #1 - it makes sense in most natural contexts.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I try (doing

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Because the verb "try" means to attempt but not always succeed, the infinitive form is more natural because it is more theoretical than the gerund form.
    Sorry, Mike, but that just does not work for me. If you try to do something, you make the attempt but you may not succeed. If you try doing something, you actually do it , though the result may not be what you hoped for.

    The room was very stuffy. I tried to open the window, but failed.
    The room was very stuffy. I tried opening the window (and succeeded in opening it), but it made no difference.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I try (doing

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Sorry, Mike, but that just does not work for me. If you try to do something, you make the attempt but you may not succeed. If you try doing something, you actually do it , though the result may not be what you hoped for.

    The room was very stuffy. I tried to open the window, but failed.
    The room was very stuffy. I tried opening the window (and succeeded in opening it), but it made no difference.
    I understand, but "I tried doing my best" is different from opening a window. At least, that's the way I see it.

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    #6

    Re: I try (doing

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    The answer to this question in a workbook is only "to do", but I suspect "doing" is correct as well. What do you think?
    Please note my amendments to your post.

    Rover

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    #7

    Re: I try (doing

    In my experience 'try' is the most challenging of all verbs to explain the difference between the infinitive and the -ing form. Would the following make sense to you?

    try doing smth - do/practise smth as one of other, somewhat equal possibilities, usually in order to see if it's suitable or not

    try to do smth - put one's energy into the activity that is thought to be rather important

    Either way, the result is not discussed, implied or could be inferred (without context, naturally)?

    ps. In all sincerity, I'm struggling to accept the infinitive after 'try' as more theoretical than the -ing form.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I try (doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Esgaleth View Post
    In my experience 'try' is the most challenging of all verbs to explain the difference between the infinitive and the -ing form. Would the following make sense to you?

    try doing smth - do/practise smth as one of other, somewhat equal possibilities, usually in order to see if it's suitable or not

    try to do smth - put one's energy into the activity that is thought to be rather important

    Either way, the result is not discussed, implied or could be inferred (without context, naturally)?

    ps. In all sincerity, I'm struggling to accept the infinitive after 'try' as more theoretical than the -ing form.
    I think my use of the word "theoretical" was a poor choice. There is, however, a difference between try + infinitive and try + gerund.

    In general, try + infinitive means to put effort into an attempt, and try + gerund means to experiment with possible solutions. In the original sentence, there is an attempt, not an experiment.

    This was the subject of a discussion here in 2003.

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/g...ve-gerund.html
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 13-Aug-2013 at 21:28. Reason: typo

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