Rules: Read Me!
Admin: sue943
Legal / Conditions of Use

Topic Options
#1007579 - Thu Aug 29 2013 11:18 AM Try and answer this one
JanIQ Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Jul 09 2009
Posts: 560
Loc: Antwerp
Belgium
I've encountered various syntaxes with the verb "try".

Is there a slight nuance between "Try and answer" on the one hand, and "Try to answer" on the other hand? And if so, where does "try answering" come in?

Or maybe all three expressions have exactly the same meaning?
_________________________
I dreamt of spending a day riding a stallion. It was a nightmare.

Top
#1007587 - Thu Aug 29 2013 11:51 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
MotherGoose Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Apr 22 2002
Posts: 4183
Loc: Western Australia
There is no “slight nuance” – “try to answer” is the correct form. “Try and answer” is incorrect.

You try TO do something. If you try AND do it, it implies that first you will try and then you actually accomplish what you have tried; i.e. you will TRY to answer, AND then you will answer.

Alternatively, to try TO answer, implies one verb or one action. Using AND implies two verbs or two actions - to try (first verb/action) AND (then to) answer (second verb/action).

Try answering can also be used but is less common and would usually be utilised in the form of a command – e.g. “Try answering this question”.

[My boss drives me crazy because she uses "try and" frequently throughout her dictation. I always change it to "try to". So far she hasn't noticed]. smilee


Edited by MotherGoose (Thu Aug 29 2013 11:58 AM)
_________________________
Don't say "I can't" ... say " I haven't learned how, yet." (Reg Bolton)

Top
#1007593 - Thu Aug 29 2013 01:27 PM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11277
Loc: Western Canada
Yep, I'm with MG here. "Try and" is just straight out and out incorrect.

It's used a lot colloquially, and I doubt if anyone notices or cares in that context. It does not belong, at all, in anything written.

Top
#1007614 - Thu Aug 29 2013 03:56 PM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
jabb5076 Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Tue Apr 24 2012
Posts: 138
Loc: Georgia USA
I agree with Mother Goose and Agony. Many colloquial expressions are perfectly acceptable when used verbally--colloquial speech is informal in nature. However, written speech requires a degree of formality that you don't necessarily expect to hear in verbal form.

Top
#1007658 - Thu Aug 29 2013 06:58 PM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
sue943 Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 35236
Loc: Jersey Channel Islands        
Even as I was reading this and got as far as "Try and answer" I was shaking my head, that isn't correct.
_________________________
Many a child has been spoiled because you can't spank a Grandma!

Top
#1007733 - Fri Aug 30 2013 10:33 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
JanIQ Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Jul 09 2009
Posts: 560
Loc: Antwerp
Belgium
Thanks for your kind responses.
_________________________
I dreamt of spending a day riding a stallion. It was a nightmare.

Top
#1007741 - Fri Aug 30 2013 11:29 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11277
Loc: Western Canada
I would imagine this sort of thing is difficult for those for whom English is a second language. If you see a usage everywhere, it's reasonable to assume that it's correct.

Top
#1007810 - Fri Aug 30 2013 05:52 PM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: agony]
MotherGoose Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Apr 22 2002
Posts: 4183
Loc: Western Australia
I admire anyone who can learn English as a second language. It is a very difficult language to learn even in its "pure" form (if there is such a thing). But when you consider factors such as the fact that most of the "rules" have a high percentage of exceptions to those rules, that half the word are foreign in their origins, the prevalence of slang and neologisms that spread like wildfire thanks to social media, television etc, (e.g. twerking) - well, it's a wonder that anyone manages to learn it.

I use Facebook to keep in touch with my children, godchildren, nieces and nephews etc, and I can't understand half of what they post, particularly the American ones - I find myself googling definitions and ending up on websites like streetgangslang.com.
_________________________
Don't say "I can't" ... say " I haven't learned how, yet." (Reg Bolton)

Top
#1008948 - Thu Sep 05 2013 08:55 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
MadMartha Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 12682
Loc: Georgia USA
Don't feel alone MotherGoose! I live in the United States and still can't understand some regional dialects! crazy
_________________________
Thought for life: Be nice to all you meet on your way up, for you might meet them again on your way down!

Top
#1010266 - Thu Sep 12 2013 06:14 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
Chavs Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Fri Jul 15 2011
Posts: 834
Loc: Ireland
I'm in equal admiration. I got on okay with learning languages in school, did well and enjoyed them, at one stage I was learning Irish, French and German, but never continued with any of them after school and I regret that. I couldn't face the struggle of trying again now though.

I expect it's helpful that there are so many ways to immerse yourself in the English language, from music, TV and film culture to a site like this to the use of it in business - it's probably hard to avoid. Of course, a lot of that culture includes the errors, that's one of the reasons it's important that people who are sure of their grammar keep making the rest of us aware of the mistakes we are making.

When it comes to "try and see" I expect part of the issue is that sometimes it is correct to say "try and see".

"I don't think the key fits."
"Well, let's try and see."

Or am I wrong?

Top
#1010271 - Thu Sep 12 2013 07:15 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
flopsymopsy Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 2419
Loc: Northampton England UK      
Wrong. The response to "I don't think the key fits" should be "Well, let's try." There's a qualifier of the word 'try' which is "to see if it works" but there's no need to say that bit as it's superfluous. As is the word "Well" but I'll give you that as I'm always saying it. wink
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1010284 - Thu Sep 12 2013 08:04 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11277
Loc: Western Canada
"Well, let's try..........and, see? It did work, I told you it would!"

Top
#1010288 - Thu Sep 12 2013 08:17 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
TimBentley Offline
Explorer

Registered: Mon Apr 09 2012
Posts: 74
Loc: Indiana USA
"I'm putting the key in the lock, and I'm opening my eyes."

Top
#1010302 - Thu Sep 12 2013 09:40 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
flopsymopsy Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 2419
Loc: Northampton England UK      
Eats shoots, and leaves.

Rabbits do that. wink
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1010311 - Thu Sep 12 2013 10:48 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
Chavs Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Fri Jul 15 2011
Posts: 834
Loc: Ireland
What if it's "Let's try (the key) and (then we'll) see (if you're right)"?

Top
#1011714 - Sun Sep 22 2013 05:22 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
MadMartha Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 12682
Loc: Georgia USA
Punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence. Example:

Moses was the son of Pharaoh's daughter.
Moses was the son of Pharaoh's, daughter.
_________________________
Thought for life: Be nice to all you meet on your way up, for you might meet them again on your way down!

Top
#1011960 - Mon Sep 23 2013 11:19 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
JanIQ Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Jul 09 2009
Posts: 560
Loc: Antwerp
Belgium
So, Martha, do you mean that "Try, and answer" would be a correct sentence?
_________________________
I dreamt of spending a day riding a stallion. It was a nightmare.

Top
#1012061 - Tue Sep 24 2013 07:18 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
MadMartha Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 12682
Loc: Georgia USA
No, I'm just pointing out how "complicated" the English language can be. However, I believe "Try, and then answer" might be correct.
_________________________
Thought for life: Be nice to all you meet on your way up, for you might meet them again on your way down!

Top
#1017349 - Fri Oct 25 2013 05:18 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: MadMartha]
Snowman Offline
Prolific

Registered: Wed Oct 31 2007
Posts: 1558
Loc: London England UK            
Originally Posted By: MadMartha
Moses was the son of Pharaoh's, daughter.


Apologies if I'm being dumb but what does that mean?
_________________________
Editor: People and General

Top
#1017386 - Fri Oct 25 2013 07:06 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
mehaul Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 4845
Loc: Florida USA
I read that version as someone explaining to their daughter that Moses was the son of Pharaoh. It might have been easier to read if it was intimating son of Pharaohs (plural), i.e., "Moses was the son of Pharaohs, daughter", said Abdelon to his child.
_________________________
"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

Top
#1019083 - Mon Nov 04 2013 07:02 AM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: JanIQ]
Snowman Offline
Prolific

Registered: Wed Oct 31 2007
Posts: 1558
Loc: London England UK            
It just doesn't make sense to me as a sentence at all (at least not one that anyone would ever write or speak). If it had been as "was a son of Pharaoh's" then that would be more workable.

As it is it just reminds me of Chomsky's "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously". smile
_________________________
Editor: People and General

Top
#1019671 - Thu Nov 07 2013 12:37 PM Re: Try and answer this one [Re: agony]
Gheelnory Offline
Explorer

Registered: Wed Aug 07 2013
Posts: 65
Loc: Florida USA
Originally Posted By: agony
I would imagine this sort of thing is difficult for those for whom English is a second language. If you see a usage everywhere, it's reasonable to assume that it's correct.


Yes, and this is a growing problem as increasingly, those given a platform for public expression are lifelong non-readers. At the risk of sounding snobbish: such people are more likely to use non-standard English.

I'm thinking particularly of newsreaders in US cities. (Perhaps there is more rigorous vetting in other English-speaking nations; I hope that's the case!)
_________________________
I'm still excited about my first book being up on Amazon (about online forums)!

Top

Moderator:  TabbyTom