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"try and" vs. "try to" Options
EllieMae
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:05:47 PM
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It would be great to hear forum users' opinions on this:
Is it proper grammar to say "try and" as in "I am going to try and swim ten laps today."
Or is this the correct usage: "I am going to try to swim ten laps today."
Personally, I think the second is correct but I have read the first usage in some fairly highly regarded articles and the like, so I am seeking your opinions.
Thanks!
Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 3:07:22 PM

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Shame on you "Do, or not do, there is no try." Yoda
Seriously though, "try and do" in the sense of "attempt and accomplish" seems somehow wrong, like maybe a divergent/redundancy?
I will attempt 20 laps.
I will swim 20 laps.
I will try to do 20 laps.
The use of "try and do", IMO definitely has problems
EllieMae
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 4:54:19 PM
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Epiphileon wrote:
Shame on you "Do, or not do, there is no try." Yoda
Seriously though, "try and do" in the sense of "attempt and accomplish" seems somehow wrong, like maybe a divergent/redundancy?
I will attempt 20 laps.
I will swim 20 laps.
I will try to do 20 laps.
The use of "try and do", IMO definitely has problems


Thanks Epiphileon---especially liked the Yoda quote! Applause I also liked your comparison of the "try and do" with "attempt and accomplish".
valenarwen
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 5:25:14 PM
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I once used the "try and..." form while talking to an Irish friend of mine. His answer was: "don't speak American to me". Could that be the difference? I've heard it a lot on the telly
doubutsuMother
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 7:26:43 PM
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Your Irish friend will have to try and make due.

witchcraft
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 7:43:12 PM
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Location: Tasmania Australia
doubutsuMother wrote:
Your Irish friend will have to try and make due.

Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing Dancing
valenarwen
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 8:20:05 PM
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What I meant is that the difference could be American v. other English varieties... Didn't mean to make my friend look like a chauvinistic a***, which he isn't
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11:18:26 PM
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Valenarwen - The correct form of the verb to try IS try to. Try AND would suggest two different activities (I'm going to try. And... I going to swim).

However, your friend (who I am sure is not a chauvinistic a.h)was probably referring to the fact that the Try And form is purely American - or at least we are told it is now accepted usage in America.

Having said that...due to the influence of American media I have come across people from Australia who sometimes use this form too. So maybe that should read "...the Try And form WAS purely American"?
EllieMae
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:12:43 PM
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Romany wrote:
Valenarwen - The correct form of the verb to try IS try to. Try AND would suggest two different activities (I'm going to try. And... I going to swim).

However, your friend (who I am sure is not a chauvinistic a.h)was probably referring to the fact that the Try And form is purely American - or at least we are told it is now accepted usage in America.

Having said that...due to the influence of American media I have come across people from Australia who sometimes use this form too. So maybe that should read "...the Try And form WAS purely American"?


Applause Romany, you explained the correct usage wonderfully --- it is good to have the confirmation of what one knows to be incorrect, is in fact incorrect. Thank you.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:21:38 PM
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No worries. Glad it helped.
AccidentalPolyglot
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:30:14 PM
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EllieMae, Romany is most emphatically correct. "Try and" is one of my pet peeves.

AccidentalPolyglot
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:46:35 PM
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valenarwen wrote:
I once used the "try and..." form while talking to an Irish friend of mine. His answer was: "don't speak American to me". Could that be the difference? I've heard it a lot on the telly


Valenarwen, I've heard LOTS of things on the telly! Doesn't make them correct, though, LOL. I've even read many incorrect words/word usages/spellings/statements in more highly regarded mediums, written by supposedly educated persons. I've even come across a mistake or two in this forum. I know, unbelievable, isn't it? And one of them was mine! [blush]

Kidding aside, television can be entertaining and even informative, but like the internet, books, and elsewhere, there are a lot of mistakes made.

I understood perfectly your Irish friend's intention, whether "try and" is truly an American blunder, or just a general misusage.
valenarwen
Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2009 11:12:11 AM
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doubutsuMother wrote:
Your Irish friend will have to try and make due.



One more thing, since this is a p2p-helping forum, I wanted to point out that the correct expression would be "make do"... I found this misspelling to be a common mistake, though :-)
mangchilo
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010 1:22:16 AM
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I know this topic is more ancient than the hills in forum years, but I couldn't just let this one rest when I stumbled across it. People from other English-speaking countries just seem to love blaming anything they think is non-standard English on Americans, but the other posters in this thread (and my own original assumption) were wrong, as it turns out. We had it backwards.

This study (and others) actually found that "try and" is about three times more common in spoken British English than in American English, and also nearly five times more common in written British English than in written American English. In fact, they even found that "try and " is much more common than "try to" in colloquial British English. Read it for yourself if you don't believe it! I was surprised myself. Looks like you can't foist this one off on us, after all, Brits and Aussies! Also according to the study linked, the correctness of "try and" is often considered to be somewhat dubious in all forms of English, but the form has been around for quite some time, apparently, and appeared in American English significantly later than in British English. It's hard to argue that something said so commonly is really non-standard usage in spoken English, if you ask me. Just don't write it in a formal article or paper in any country if you don't want the Grammar Preservation Police down your necks.

Well, you learn something new every day.
RuthP
Posted: Monday, May 31, 2010 10:35:12 AM

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mangchilo wrote:
I know this topic is more ancient than the hills in forum years, but I couldn't just let this one rest when I stumbled across it. People from other English-speaking countries just seem to love blaming anything they think is non-standard English on Americans, but the other posters in this thread (and my own original assumption) were wrong, as it turns out. We had it backwards.

This study (and others) actually found that "try and" is about three times more common in spoken British English than in American English, and also nearly five times more common in written British English than in written American English. In fact, they even found that "try and " is much more common than "try to" in colloquial British English. Read it for yourself if you don't believe it! I was surprised myself. Looks like you can't foist this one off on us, after all, Brits and Aussies! Also according to the study linked, the correctness of "try and" is often considered to be somewhat dubious in all forms of English, but the form has been around for quite some time, apparently, and appeared in American English significantly later than in British English. It's hard to argue that something said so commonly is really non-standard usage in spoken English, if you ask me. Just don't write it in a formal article or paper in any country if you don't want the Grammar Preservation Police down your necks.

Well, you learn something new every day.

Hi mangchilo,

Welcome to the forums and do not worry about reactivating old threads; we specialize in long-term conversation. I loved your link! (Especially as an American Dancing )
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 5:14:55 PM
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Interesting paper, Mangchilo - haven't finished reading it all yet. Thank you so much for posting it.
savagepriest
Posted: Friday, June 4, 2010 12:55:37 AM
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try and try until you succeed
try to achieve your goals
xKeVyOx
Posted: Friday, June 4, 2010 11:08:18 AM

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What about:

I'm going to run out and get a news paper. As opposed to:

I'm going to run out to get a news paper.

Seems to me like either one is acceptable. The first is sort of like listing two things you're goiing to do.
Where as the the second is stating an action with the result.

If anyone can clear this up for me I would appreciate it.
RuthP
Posted: Friday, June 4, 2010 2:37:33 PM

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xKeVyOx wrote:
What about:

I'm going to run out and get a news paper. As opposed to:

I'm going to run out to get a news paper.

Seems to me like either one is acceptable. The first is sort of like listing two things you're goiing to do.
Where as the the second is stating an action with the result.

If anyone can clear this up for me I would appreciate it.

I think that in this case, you have actually listed two things you are going to do, so "and" can be appropriate.

It is perfectly acceptable to say "I am going to run out now." That is one action; the other is getting your newspaper.
Romany
Posted: Friday, June 4, 2010 11:09:13 PM
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I expect I'm going to come off like a pedant here but: - if someone told me they were going to run out to get a newspaper I would think that their main purpose in leaving was to get a newspaper.

If they told me they were going to run out and get a newspaper I would assume they simply wanted to get out of wherever they were for a while and getting a newspaper was incidental, or provided a destination in the absence of any other.

OK - a fairly unimportant distinction except that, if I thought they were just going out expressly for a paper I wouldn't hassle them. If I thought they just wanted out for a while I might ask if they could take the dog with them for a walk, or pick me up some bread and milk from a destination further than the newsagent.

(yeah, ok, living with me might not be easy!)
gradyone
Posted: Saturday, June 5, 2010 2:55:50 AM

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mangchilo wrote:

This study (and others) actually found that "try and" is about three times more common in spoken British English
than in American English, and also nearly five times more common in written British English than in written American English.
In fact, they even found that "try and " is much more common than "try to" in colloquial British English.


Excellent study, mangchilo -- thanks for posting it. I think what chaps the grammarian in us is the absolute ignorance,
not casual disregard, of the correct infinitive form. What is it about infinitives that is so infinitely ignorable? The use of "try and"
is so rampant that it apparently will gain the same acceptance as split infinitives, i.e., She wanted to quietly sit and enjoy her coffee . . .

Romany, no need to defend your tough love of the language. In my brief time as a Freedelfian, I have come to hold in
high regard the wit and wisdom of your stated locale, Limbo. Life on earth as human beings is defined by the choices we make
to either work hard to wise up or embrace the eternal descent of the unreflective life. I like your side.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, June 5, 2010 8:34:17 PM
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gradyone,

Thank you.
wordspunsandshoes
Posted: Friday, September 2, 2011 8:23:14 PM
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Location: I gotta get outta this town, FL
Romany wrote:
I expect I'm going to come off like a pedant here but: - if someone told me they were going to run out to get a newspaper I would think that their main purpose in leaving was to get a newspaper.

If they told me they were going to run out and get a newspaper I would assume they simply wanted to get out of wherever they were for a while and getting a newspaper was incidental, or provided a destination in the absence of any other.

OK - a fairly unimportant distinction except that, if I thought they were just going out expressly for a paper I wouldn't hassle them. If I thought they just wanted out for a while I might ask if they could take the dog with them for a walk, or pick me up some bread and milk from a destination further than the newsagent.

(yeah, ok, living with me might not be easy!)


Resurfacing again!

I hope you don't mind this:

Quote:
except that, if I thought


One should write that without a comma. (I don't know why we speak a pause, but pauses do not mean commas, in case you didn't know.)

I would love to live with you though! I am constantly trying to speak so as to be better understood, and it is not easy work, yet my boyfriend (with whom I DO live) doesn't "get it". He is simpler, more casual, and broad. He is not good with English and he wants things to be easier and is more forgiving, yet it's not like he's easy to understand (sometimes I ask him to clarify due to our "grammar" differences alone). I don't speak the way most do, so some find THAT more difficult.

That chaps me!!

By the way, I LOVE this thread. Such gems here.

Also, we don't have grammar in common, but he is the kindest, most giving, most respectful, "classiest" (non slut) man! We speak well together from our hearts, usually, with just some other issues I'd have with many who are less interested in English or less intelligent. I found intellectual compatibility does not actually matter like I thought it did.

I'm just adding that because I didn't make us sound well-matched, but our values and personalities are spot on. Most of our differences are just Mars and Venus things.
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