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Try to/Try and
By Vanessa Finaughty


Many writers write ‘try and’ when they mean ‘try to’ – this literally makes no sense.

The word ‘try’ means ‘attempt’ or ‘endeavour’.
The word ‘to’ means ‘in the direction of’.
The word ‘and’ means ‘in addition to’, ‘plus’ or ‘as well as’.

So let’s see how some of the synonyms work with regards to clarity of meaning:

John said he would try and pass the test.
John said he would try in addition pass the test.
John said he would try plus pass the test.
John said he would try as well as pass the test.

As you can see, none of the above sentences convey the intended meaning. Rather, they are confusing and nonsensical.

Think of it this way: you don’t use the form ‘trying and’ – it sounds wrong to most people – so the form ‘try and’ is wrong, too.


~ Extract from the Editors’ Bible.


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