The verb "Try" followed by a gerund/infinitive.

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
#1
I've learned that the verb "TRY" can be followed by a verb either in infinitive or gerund.

Here are the examples I have on my English book

"I tried to move the table, but it was too heavy so I couldn't move it"

"I didn't like the way the furniture was arranged, so I tried moving the table to the other side of the room"


I think I perfectly understand the differences between those two. In the first the effort is over (that's why it should be used the infinitive). In the second the effort is not over yet, that's why it should be used the gerund).


Now I'm taking additional exercises on a website and here's one of the questions:

1.Try __ there as fast as you can.

a. getting

b. to get

c. got

d. get


In my opinion, the right answer would be "getting" but the website told me it's "to get" because it should be done an effort.

But according what I've learned, during the effort we use gerunds.


Sounds contradictory.
 
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ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#2
In colloquial American English, both, "try getting there as fast as you can," and "try to get there as fast you can," are used. If one's more grammatically correct than the other, it's news to me. Then again, I'm no grammar expert. :)
 

ExpectantlyIronic

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#4
Well, I asked some friends just now, and they said "to get" is right, because "getting" is the present participle of "to get"; so since "try to get" is not referring to something being done, "getting" is not proper. Don't know if that helps, but it's what I've been told.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
#5
Then why my English book tells me the opposite?

This is what I'm using - it's a self-study practice book.


What to believe? Your friends and the practice website or my English book? :lol:
 

ExpectantlyIronic

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#6
I polled the internet, and "let's try to get" gives 7,070,000 results, whereas "let's try getting" gives 17,300 results (in a google search).

One thing I noticed from the example in your book, is that it uses the past tense "tried", as opposed to the present tense "try". So I think that's what makes the difference. So "tried getting" is right, but "try getting" is wrong. I think.
 
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EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
#7
Here are a few other examples my book mentions:

A: The photocopier doesn't seem to be working.
B: Try pressing the green button.
___________________________

A: I've got a terrible headache. I wish it would go.
B: Have you tried taking an aspirin?
____________________

"I rang the doorbell, but there was no answer. Then I tried knocking on the door, but there was still no answer".

*******
In all these examples, the effort hasn't finished yet. There are still chances to repair what they couldn't.

*******
Please, try to be quiet when you come home. Everyone will be asleep.
_____
I was very tired. I tried to keep my eyes open, but I couldn't.
***************
While in the last two, the action seems to be a completed one and there's nothing you can do.

That's why In my exercise I chose "try getting" because there's still some effort to be done.
 
#8
I'm not going off any grammar knowledge here, but just as an English speaker, 'try to get' is different than all the other 'try to' examples you gave. I understand your rationale in that, yes, there's still effort to be done, however just thought I'd mention it anyway. Try to get sounds 'right' to me, despite all the other examples, 'try moving/pressing/knocking' being correct.

Sorry, that was no help at all since I can't explain why it sounds correct to me.
 
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