Don’t worry… It will be after I’m done with it. 😉
These two phrases (followed by some verb) are VERY often mistaken. This is largely because in British English, it is much more common to say, “Try and…”.
. Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a “British vs American” thing here. There are plenty of people all over the world who say it either, or BOTH ways.
“Okay, so what’s the problem? Both of those sound good. I hear people say it both ways all the time.”
Basically, the difference is… To express something in the way which both of these phrases are most often used, the phrase, “Try and…” is, grammatically, incorrect.
. This is because, when this phrase is used in a sentence, the main verb is, “Try”. But then there is also a verb following the word “And” – so then there are two separate actions happening.
If one were to say…
…then this means that there are two things happening here:
The Problem With This Is — First Of All…
But more importantly
If there are, indeed, two actions happening here, then the first clause (with, “try” as the main verb) is incomplete. So if we separate the actions (“trying” and “explaining”) then one of yet two more things is happening:
So the only way that is grammatically correct (despite the fact that very well-educated people may say otherwise) is to say…
It is not possible to both “TRY” something and “DO” something. If a person “Tries” something, and is successful, then that person actually “Did” it.
. Both situations (despite what Schrodinger and his cat may say) can NOT exist at the same time… At least not in this dimension… yet… talk to Cern, they are probably working on this.
There is another way to think about “Try To…” that I didn’t previously make clear when originally writing the blog post above. And That is that “Try to…” is not a phrase — and it is wrong to think of it in that way.
. The word, “Try” is the main verb of the sentence. The particle “To” is actually part of the Infinitive Form of the verb that follows. Therefore, it is functioning as the subject of the sentence, rather than as a verb.
(And that’s Why “Try and…” Is Wrong)
Have An Excellent Day!