Try to do versus Try doing

LANGUAGE FOCUS | Infinitive versus Gerund


In this lesson, we will focus on understanding the difference between trying to do something and try doing something. This is one of the trickier things to use correctly.



So, there is this meaning where if you try to do something, your objective is stated as the following:

I am trying to lose weight. This is what you are trying to achieve.

How are you trying to do this? (Remember that when you use 'trying' you have to use the infinitive.)


  • I tried exercising / exercise.

  • I tried dieting / a diet.

  • I tried being hypnotized / hypnosis.

Having said this, it is important to remember that sometimes, from what I can tell, we just use them interchangeably. Take a look at these examples and see which is more common: the infinitive, the gerund or a noun.

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©2019 by Rob Amo | Study ESL Online, Toronto, Canada

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