What's the difference between "try to do" & "try doing"? english grammar


The verb ‘try’ can be followed by either an infinitive (to) verb or a gerund (-ing) verb, but the two constructions have different meanings. So, how do you know whether to use try to vì chưng or try doing in any given sentence?

Here we’ll take a look at what it means when you try to bởi something vs try doing something. The example sentences we have included should help make everything clear for you with these commonly confused words.

Bạn đang xem: What's the difference between "try to do" & "try doing"? english grammar


As with other easily mixed-up words such as stop to do vs stop doing and lượt thích to vị vs like doing, there is a clear difference in meaning between try lớn do và try doing.

Let’s look at how to lớn use each of these correctly.

Try to vì something

The structure try to vị something, using an infinitive verb, describes an attempt or effort khổng lồ do, get or achieve something. For example:

I must try khổng lồ complete this report by the over of the day.Have you ever tried lớn learn a musical instrument?You should try not lớn drink alcohol more than twice a week.He likes lớn try to beat his sister at chess, but she always wins.The children tried lớn put up the tent by themselves, but in the kết thúc they needed khổng lồ ask their parents for help.

When you use ‘try to lớn do’, it suggests that you may fail or you may succeed in your attempt (or, if in the past, you had the possibility of failing or succeeding).

Try doing something

The structure try doing something describes an experiment or test khổng lồ achieve a particular outcome. When you try doing something, you always succeed in that kích hoạt but it may or may not help you achieve your overall goal.

Use this structure when you’re doing something in order to lớn solve a problem. Have a look at these examples:

I’ve tried altering this recipe so many ways, but the cake never comes out quite right.My phone stopped working, so I tried turning it off và on again.My colleague doesn’t seem to lượt thích me very much, even though I’ve tried inviting him khổng lồ our social events.If you have a sore throat, try drinking honey and lemon mixed with warm water.Tomorrow I’m going to try waking up early khổng lồ meditate. I heard it will keep me feeling calm all day.

Xem thêm: Báo Giá Đá Granite Trắng Suối Lau Làm Mặt Bếp Cầu Thang & Mặt Tiền

So, lớn summarise the difference between try lớn do & try doing something:

‘Try khổng lồ do’ is about an attempt or effort; ‘Try doing’ is about an experiment or trial to lớn achieve a higher goal.

Try & do something

You may sometimes see or hear the structure try và do something. For example:

Let’s try và finish cooking dinner before our friends arrive.Can you try and fix the printer for me please?I’m going to try và get some flowers on the way home.

This is used in casual English as a replacement for ‘try to do’ but it’s not strictly correct so should certainly be avoided in formal speech, và in most writing.

Also cảnh báo that it can’t be used with past tense structures; only to lớn talk about something that will be attempted in the future. If in doubt, stick to lớn using just try to lớn do or try doing.

Try to vày or try doing?

With the above explanations in mind, it should be easier lớn work out why we use try to do or try doing in the following sentences:

I have tried lớn talk khổng lồ Lynn but her assistant keeps telling me she’s unavailable. (I have been unable to lớn talk to her.)I have tried talking khổng lồ Lynn but she’s still angry with me & doesn’t want to listen. (I have talked to her, but it hasn’t resolved the problem.)

If you’re having trouble sleeping, why don’t you try going khổng lồ bed earlier?I tried going to lớn bed earlier but I still couldn’t sleep until midnight.

Sasha’s computer is not working. She is trying to fix it by herself.Has she tried updating her software?She said she has tried everything!

We hope this has helped you understand whether to use try to bởi or try doing in any particular situation. If you have an example you’re unsure about, please leave a phản hồi below to mô tả it.