English Grammar - "try to do" or "try doing"?
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Hi there, my name is Emma and in today's lesson we're going to look at the difference between
"try to do" and "try doing". We're going to look at other verbs other than "do" and "doing",
but we're looking at the difference between the gerund form of "try" and the infinitive
form of "try". So let's get started.
Okay, so first let's look at what's known as the infinitive. What do I mean by infinitive?
Well, I'm talking about when we have two verbs, so we have verb one which is "try" and we
have a second verb, so here's verb two, okay? So two verbs in the sentence and they're connected
with the preposition "to". Okay? So for example: "I tried to eat healthy." Okay? We're going
to compare this to: "try" + verb, and the verb ends with "-ing". This is called a gerund.
Okay, so again we have two verbs, verb one is "try" and we have a second verb which is
"verb + ing". So for example: "I tried eating healthy." All right, so what is the difference?
What is the difference between "try to" and "try verb + ing"? Well let's get started with
"try to". Okay, when we "try to do" something it means we make a very big effort, we attempt
to do something that's very difficult. So we're not doing something that's easy, we're
doing something that's hard; we're trying to do it. And often times, even though we
try our best, we often fail, meaning we don't do what we want to do. We try hard, but we
don't do it. So let's look at some examples of this.
Okay, example number one: "Maria tried to climb Mt. Everest." Well first of all, notice
we have verb one, we have "to", and then we have verb two. Okay? So it's the infinitive
form after "try". Now is Mount Everest something easy to climb? Is it an easy mountain, can
anyone do it? No. It's something difficult, so that's our first clue. Our second clue
is that Maria, she tried her best, okay? Maria tried to climb Mount Everest. This sentence
indicates she probably failed, meaning she probably wasn't successful. She tried her
best, but she probably didn't climb Mount Everest.
Let's look at another example. "I tried" -- so here we have verb one again - "to" -- verb
two - "watch" -- this is a really scary movie - "Paranormal Activity." I don't know if you've
heard of it. So I tried to watch Paranormal Activity, but the whole time I had my eyes
like this because it was too scary! So I tried to watch it, but it was too scary. So for
me, this is something difficult. Watching this movie is very difficult because I jumped
a lot, I just couldn't watch this movie; it was just so scary. So for me, it was difficult.
I tried to do it, I attempted this difficult action. Was I successful? No, the whole time
my eyes were covered. So I don't know what happens. I heard a lot of screaming. I can
imagine it was very bad... very scary movie.
Okay, our third example: "Deepak tried to study, but he was too tired." Okay? So for
Deepak, studying is a very difficult thing to do. Why is it so difficult? Because he's
tired. I don't know if you've ever tried to study when you're really tired, but it's not
easy. You look at the paper, you can barely see things, you read the same sentence again
and again and again. So for Deepak, he tried to study, it was too difficult. So again,
difficult action, he tried his best, he probably failed. I don't know about the test, but he
failed his attempt at studying. Okay? Now let's compare this to "try verb + ing". So
what does "try verb + ing" mean? And so we can put any verb we want here. Well it means
we're doing some sort of experiment. By experiment I don't mean you're a scientist and you're
in a lab doing an experiment. I mean you're doing something you haven't done before, so
something new. It's something that's not really difficult. Here we had a