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  1. MaiT
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    #1

    "try to write" or "try writing"

    What is the difference between these 2 sentences
    1. Try to write a paper of 20 pages
    2. Try writing a paper of 20 pages
    Thanks, Mai

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    #2

    Re: "try to write" or "try writing"

    As a native English speaker, I notice a very subtle difference between the two sentences.

    1. "Try to write...." implies that the speaker doesn't think that the listener will be able to accomplish the task.

    2. "Try writing..." has the implication that the speaker expects that the listener can accomplish the task.


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    #3

    Re: "try to write" or "try writing"

    Hi,
    AFAIK, try+infinitive = attempt, effort
    try+gerund = experiment.

  2. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #4

    Re: "try to write" or "try writing"

    Thanks for the responses. Since we're on the subject of participle, I'd like to know when to use past participle vs. present participle as an adjective. Some people say to use past participle for events in the past, ie. grown man and use present participle for events in the present, ie. growing baby. If that is true, there are verbs don't fall in that category, then what should I do. Thanks a lot, Mai

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    #5

    Re: "try to write" or "try writing"

    "Try to" is the formal idiom.


    Quote Originally Posted by MaiT View Post
    Thanks for the responses. Since we're on the subject of participle, I'd like to know when to use past participle vs. present participle as an adjective. Some people say to use past participle for events in the past, ie. grown man and use present participle for events in the present, ie. growing baby. If that is true, there are verbs don't fall in that category, then what should I do. Thanks a lot, Mai
    One simple rule is to decide whether the modified noun or pronoun is CAUSING or EXPERIENCING what the participle describes. In the 1st case, use the present participle; in the 2nd use the past participle.

    In He is a grown man, the man experiences what his modifier (grown) describes - growth; so the past participle is used. The meaning of this sentence is He is no longer a young man; he is a grown ( ~ old, older) man now.

    In She is a growing baby, the baby causes what its modifier (growing) describes; so the present participle is used. The meaning of this sentence is The baby is growing (older, bigger); she is not fully grown yet.

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 2
    #6

    Re: "try to write" or "try writing"

    Thanks. Mai

  4. #7

    Re: "try to write" or "try writing"

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Hi,
    AFAIK, try+infinitive = attempt, effort
    try+gerund = experiment.
    Good to see you here Humble

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