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james_chew_84

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I tried to pull him out of the car.
I tried pulling him out of the car.

could anyone explain it to me?

To my understanding I tried to pull is an event that has not been actualized(an unsucessful attempt).therefore saying i tried to pull him out of the car and it took me 15 minutes is wrong(this sentence is wrong because the pharse "it took me minutes 15 minutes shows that it's an actulized event, am i right?)So, saying i tried pulling him out of the car but he held on the steering wheel is wrong because tried pulling shows that it's an actualized event. In short

i tried pulling and it took me 15 mintues=correct
i tried to pull and it took me 15 minutes=incorrect
i tried to pull but he held on to the steering wheel=correct
i tried pulling but he held on to the steering wheel=incorrect

Did what I say make any sense?Sorry if my explanation is hard to understand.
 

MikeNewYork

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james_chew_84 said:
I tried to pull him out of the car.
I tried pulling him out of the car.

could anyone explain it to me?

To my understanding I tried to pull is an event that has not been actualized(an unsucessful attempt).therefore saying i tried to pull him out of the car and it took me 15 minutes is wrong(this sentence is wrong because the pharse "it took me minutes 15 minutes shows that it's an actulized event, am i right?)So, saying i tried pulling him out of the car but he held on the steering wheel is wrong because tried pulling shows that it's an actualized event. In short

i tried pulling and it took me 15 mintues=correct
i tried to pull and it took me 15 minutes=incorrect
i tried to pull but he held on to the steering wheel=correct
i tried pulling but he held on to the steering wheel=incorrect

Did what I say make any sense?Sorry if my explanation is hard to understand.

Your question is understandable. This is a difficult area of English. In many cases, there is a difference in meaning between an infinitive and a gerund. This difference can range from subtle to dramatic. There are many cases, however, in which the difference is very slight to nonexistant.

I would put your sentence in the latter category. Often an infinitve is used for an action that is only a potential and a gerund gives the feeling of real concrete action. However, the verb "try" tends to eliminate the difference in many cases. It already suggests that the attempt was not successful, but was actually attempted. :wink:
 
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james_chew_84

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MikeNewYork said:
james_chew_84 said:
I tried to pull him out of the car.
I tried pulling him out of the car.

could anyone explain it to me?

To my understanding I tried to pull is an event that has not been actualized(an unsucessful attempt).therefore saying i tried to pull him out of the car and it took me 15 minutes is wrong(this sentence is wrong because the pharse "it took me minutes 15 minutes shows that it's an actulized event, am i right?)So, saying i tried pulling him out of the car but he held on the steering wheel is wrong because tried pulling shows that it's an actualized event. In short

i tried pulling and it took me 15 mintues=correct
i tried to pull and it took me 15 minutes=incorrect
i tried to pull but he held on to the steering wheel=correct
i tried pulling but he held on to the steering wheel=incorrect

Did what I say make any sense?Sorry if my explanation is hard to understand.

Your question is understandable. This is a difficult area of English. In many cases, there is a difference in meaning between an infinitive and a gerund. This difference can range from subtle to dramatic. There are many cases, however, in which the difference is very slight to nonexistant.

I would put your sentence in the latter category. Often an infinitve is used for an action that is only a potential and a gerund gives the feeling of real concrete action. However, the verb "try" tends to eliminate the difference in many cases. It already suggests that the attempt was not successful, but was actually attempted. :wink:

So, is saying I tried pulling him out of the car but he was holding on to the steerig wheel.Correct or incorrect?
 

MikeNewYork

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james_chew_84 said:
So, is saying I tried pulling him out of the car but he was holding on to the steerig wheel.Correct or incorrect?

I would say it is fine. I would accept either version. :wink:
 
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james_chew_84

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MikeNewYork said:
james_chew_84 said:
So, is saying I tried pulling him out of the car but he was holding on to the steerig wheel.Correct or incorrect?

I would say it is fine. I would accept either version. :wink:

i have to accept English as it is
 

Tdol

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Many native speakers refuse to accept it as it is. However, here it is as it is.;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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james_chew_84 said:
MikeNewYork said:
james_chew_84 said:
So, is saying I tried pulling him out of the car but he was holding on to the steerig wheel.Correct or incorrect?

I would say it is fine. I would accept either version. :wink:

i have to accept English as it is

Indeed! :wink:
 
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james_chew_84

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MikeNewYork said:
james_chew_84 said:
MikeNewYork said:
james_chew_84 said:
So, is saying I tried pulling him out of the car but he was holding on to the steerig wheel.Correct or incorrect?

I would say it is fine. I would accept either version. :wink:

i have to accept English as it is

Indeed! :wink:

i think i have an idea on the usage of pulling and to pull.
i think you'll have a hard time trying to understand since i haven't done much research on english grammar and their techinal name
1)i tried to pull but he was holding on to the steering wheel.
(1st sentence) ( second sentence )


i think the usage of tried to pull and pulling are only applicable when the second sentence agrees. the sentence "he was holding on to the steering wheel" shows that it's near impossible that action could have been completed.In general,to pull( an action that hasn't been completed) pulling ( an action that has been completed)And because the seconds sentence shows that it was impossible for that action to be completed, tried to pull is used.It's just like mixed tenses.for example

doctor samuel examined the patient and calls the nurse.(wrong)
doctor smauel examines the nurse and calls the nurse.(right)
 

MikeNewYork

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james_chew_84 said:
i think i have an idea on the usage of pulling and to pull.
i think you'll have a hard time trying to understand since i haven't done much research on english grammar and their techinal name
1)i tried to pull but he was holding on to the steering wheel.
(1st sentence) ( second sentence )


i think the usage of tried to pull and pulling are only applicable when the second sentence agrees. the sentence "he was holding on to the steering wheel" shows that it's near impossible that action could have been completed.In general,to pull( an action that hasn't been completed) pulling ( an action that has been completed)And because the seconds sentence shows that it was impossible for that action to be completed, tried to pull is used.It's just like mixed tenses.for example

doctor samuel examined the patient and calls the nurse.(wrong)
doctor smauel examines the nurse and calls the nurse.(right)

Yes. As I said, the verb "try" there tends to suggest that the attempt failed. Otherwise, the speaker would have said: I pulled him out of the car.

I don't agree with the rest "pulling" has a prgressive/continuous feel to it because it is in the form of the present participle. It does not indicate a completed action. With either form, the action has not been accomplished, but that is due to the verb "try". I don't think the analogy to mixed tense works here at all. Let's look at other uses of [try] + infinitive/gerund.

Golf instructor:

Try keeping your left arm straight when you hit the ball.
Try to keep your left arm straigth when you hit the ball.

I don't see any difference there.

Boyfriend:

I tried to call you last night, but your line was busy.
I tried calling you last night, but your line was busy.

Any difference there?
 
S

Susie Smith

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MikeNewYork said:
james_chew_84 said:
i think i have an idea on the usage of pulling and to pull.
i think you'll have a hard time trying to understand since i haven't done much research on english grammar and their techinal name
1)i tried to pull but he was holding on to the steering wheel.
(1st sentence) ( second sentence )


i think the usage of tried to pull and pulling are only applicable when the second sentence agrees. the sentence "he was holding on to the steering wheel" shows that it's near impossible that action could have been completed.In general,to pull( an action that hasn't been completed) pulling ( an action that has been completed)And because the seconds sentence shows that it was impossible for that action to be completed, tried to pull is used.It's just like mixed tenses.for example

doctor samuel examined the patient and calls the nurse.(wrong)
doctor smauel examines the nurse and calls the nurse.(right)

Yes. As I said, the verb "try" there tends to suggest that the attempt failed. Otherwise, the speaker would have said: I pulled him out of the car.

I don't agree with the rest "pulling" has a prgressive/continuous feel to it because it is in the form of the present participle. It does not indicate a completed action. With either form, the action has not been accomplished, but that is due to the verb "try". I don't think the analogy to mixed tense works here at all. Let's look at other uses of [try] + infinitive/gerund.

Golf instructor:

Try keeping your left arm straight when you hit the ball.
Try to keep your left arm straigth when you hit the ball.

I don't see any difference there.

Boyfriend:

I tried to call you last night, but your line was busy.
I tried calling you last night, but your line was busy.

Any difference there?

Try + infinitive = make an effort, as in
I'm trying to learn English. (I'm making an effort to learn English.)

Try + gerund = experiment with a new or different approach to see if it works, as in
A) The baby was crying. I tried holding him, but that didn't help. I tried feeding him, but he refused the food and kept on crying. I tried burping him. I even tried changing his diapers. Nothing worked. The baby wouldn't sop crying. :cry:

B) The room was hot. I tried opening the window, but that didn't help. So I tried turning on the fan, but I still felt hot. Finally, I turned on the air conditioner. Then I felt very comfortable. :lol:

Does that help? :D
 

blacknomi

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MikeNewYork said:
Your question is understandable. This is a difficult area of English. In many cases, there is a difference in meaning between an infinitive and a gerund. This difference can range from subtle to dramatic. There are many cases, however, in which the difference is very slight to nonexistant.

Hi,
May I interrupt? I can think of three verbs that cause dramatic changes in meaning.
I forgot mailing the letter./ I forgot to mail the letter.
I stop smoking./ I stop to smoke.
I'll remember to tell you./ I remember telling you.

Is there any other verbs that belong to this catagory?
 
S

Susie Smith

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blacknomi said:
MikeNewYork said:
Your question is understandable. This is a difficult area of English. In many cases, there is a difference in meaning between an infinitive and a gerund. This difference can range from subtle to dramatic. There are many cases, however, in which the difference is very slight to nonexistant.

Hi,
May I interrupt? I can think of three verbs that cause dramatic changes in meaning.
I forgot mailing the letter./ I forgot to mail the letter.
I stop smoking./ I stop to smoke.
I'll remember to tell you./ I remember telling you.

Is there any other verbs that belong to this catagory?
 
J

james_chew_84

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Golf instructor:

Try keeping your left arm straight when you hit the ball.
Try to keep your left arm straigth when you hit the ball.

I don't see any difference there.

Boyfriend:

I tried to call you last night, but your line was busy.
I tried calling you last night, but your line was busy.

Any difference there?[/quote]

Well, to be honest I don't really see any differences between the sentences above.In fact I say them without the thought of any difference s in the meaning.Speak naturally!Woudn't you agree mike?I'm arguing this just the sake for arguing.Lol.Sometimes it all depends on the verb.Assume that he's a stranger. For example,I tried to play(unsucessful attempt, therefore i don't know whether he's good or not)And i think it's wrong to say i tried to play with him and he's good.On the other hand, I tried playing with him and I know he's good.INg form here shows that I have experienced playing with him before and for that reason whether he's good or not has been known. Good or not is not an issue her. I'm just using it as part of my sentence.As i said sometimes there isn't any difference in meaning and sometimes it does.In short it all depends on the verbs that we use.
 
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Susie Smith

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Susie Smith said:
blacknomi said:
MikeNewYork said:
Your question is understandable. This is a difficult area of English. In many cases, there is a difference in meaning between an infinitive and a gerund. This difference can range from subtle to dramatic. There are many cases, however, in which the difference is very slight to nonexistant.

Hi,
May I interrupt? I can think of three verbs that cause dramatic changes in meaning.
I forgot mailing the letter./ I forgot to mail the letter.
I stop smoking./ I stop to smoke.
I'll remember to tell you./ I remember telling you.

Is there any other verbs that belong to this catagory?

Are there any other verbs that belong to this category? Good question!
Yes...

come, dread, regret, and of course, try
 

MikeNewYork

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Susie Smith said:
MikeNewYork said:
james_chew_84 said:
i think i have an idea on the usage of pulling and to pull.
i think you'll have a hard time trying to understand since i haven't done much research on english grammar and their techinal name
1)i tried to pull but he was holding on to the steering wheel.
(1st sentence) ( second sentence )


i think the usage of tried to pull and pulling are only applicable when the second sentence agrees. the sentence "he was holding on to the steering wheel" shows that it's near impossible that action could have been completed.In general,to pull( an action that hasn't been completed) pulling ( an action that has been completed)And because the seconds sentence shows that it was impossible for that action to be completed, tried to pull is used.It's just like mixed tenses.for example

doctor samuel examined the patient and calls the nurse.(wrong)
doctor smauel examines the nurse and calls the nurse.(right)

Yes. As I said, the verb "try" there tends to suggest that the attempt failed. Otherwise, the speaker would have said: I pulled him out of the car.

I don't agree with the rest "pulling" has a prgressive/continuous feel to it because it is in the form of the present participle. It does not indicate a completed action. With either form, the action has not been accomplished, but that is due to the verb "try". I don't think the analogy to mixed tense works here at all. Let's look at other uses of [try] + infinitive/gerund.

Golf instructor:

Try keeping your left arm straight when you hit the ball.
Try to keep your left arm straigth when you hit the ball.

I don't see any difference there.

Boyfriend:

I tried to call you last night, but your line was busy.
I tried calling you last night, but your line was busy.

Any difference there?

Try + infinitive = make an effort, as in
I'm trying to learn English. (I'm making an effort to learn English.)

Try + gerund = experiment with a new or different approach to see if it works, as in
A) The baby was crying. I tried holding him, but that didn't help. I tried feeding him, but he refused the food and kept on crying. I tried burping him. I even tried changing his diapers. Nothing worked. The baby wouldn't sop crying. :cry:

B) The room was hot. I tried opening the window, but that didn't help. So I tried turning on the fan, but I still felt hot. Finally, I turned on the air conditioner. Then I felt very comfortable. :lol:

Does that help? :D

Yes, that is very good and it is the classical decription of the differences. I find, however, that the actual difference changes with the task at hand. I don't think the telphone example, is easily explained by "attempt" versus "experiment. In both cases, the subject dialed a phone and received a busy signal. It works a little better with the golf line, but, in truth, both are attempts and experiments. In your examples, the difference is clearer. In the original question, both readings lead to me to a thwarted attempt rather than to an experiment.
 

MikeNewYork

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blacknomi said:
MikeNewYork said:
Your question is understandable. This is a difficult area of English. In many cases, there is a difference in meaning between an infinitive and a gerund. This difference can range from subtle to dramatic. There are many cases, however, in which the difference is very slight to nonexistant.

Hi,
May I interrupt? I can think of three verbs that cause dramatic changes in meaning.
I forgot mailing the letter./ I forgot to mail the letter.
I stop smoking./ I stop to smoke.
I'll remember to tell you./ I remember telling you.

Is there any other verbs that belong to this catagory?

Very good. Yes, the verb makes a great deal of difference. Your examples are excellent for verbs that maximize the difference.

Another set is watch, see, observe, etc.

I saw her making a quilt. (She was in the process)
I saw her make a quilt. (I saw the entire process)
 

blacknomi

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Susie Smith said:
blacknomi said:
Hi,
May I interrupt? I can think of three verbs that cause dramatic changes in meaning.
I forgot mailing the letter./ I forgot to mail the letter.
I stop smoking./ I stop to smoke.
I'll remember to tell you./ I remember telling you.

Is there any other verbs that belong to this catagory?

Are there any other verbs that belong to this category? Good question!
Yes...

come, dread, regret, and of course, try

Let me rewrite my question,
Is there any other verbs that belong to the catagory that will change meanings dramatically if I change infinitive to gerund?

In your list, I think the verb "try" belongs to the catagory that causes slight defference if infinitive is changed to gerund.

:wink:
 

MikeNewYork

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blacknomi said:
Susie Smith said:
blacknomi said:
Hi,
May I interrupt? I can think of three verbs that cause dramatic changes in meaning.
I forgot mailing the letter./ I forgot to mail the letter.
I stop smoking./ I stop to smoke.
I'll remember to tell you./ I remember telling you.

Is there any other verbs that belong to this catagory?

Are there any other verbs that belong to this category? Good question!
Yes...

come, dread, regret, and of course, try

Another is "go on".

He went on telling his story. (He continued telling it)
He went on to tell his story. (He began to tell it)

Let me rewrite my question,
Is there any other verbs that belong to the catagory that will change meanings dramatically if I change infinitive to gerund?

In your list, I think the verb "try" belongs to the catagory that causes slight defference if infinitive is changed to gerund.

:wink:
 
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