When we fail, we often say we’ll try and do better. Damn! We just failed again. The correct expression is “try to”, not “try and”.
Picture: Getty Images/Matt King
Consultant and fellow tech scribe Justin Warren summed the reason why neatly in a recent tweet:
Grammar tip: You should "try to" not "try and" because you can "try not to" but you can't "try not and". #petpeeve
— Justin Warren (@jpwarren) March 24, 2015
The reasoning here is a good way to remember the rule: you can’t “try not and”, so you shouldn’t write “try and” either. You “try to”, or you “try not to”. Simple.
I’ll admit that I have frequently been guilty of this error in the past. I will try to do better. Accuracy matters.
Lifehacker’s Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.