Why You Try To Do Something, Not Try And Do It

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:

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.


    Maybe they are just being confident when they say they are going to try AND do something. As in I am going to 'try and eat that hamburger'; I tried and then I did it.
    But I guess as a paraphrased Yoda once (kind of) said, I will either eat, or not eat that hamburger; there is no try.

      That makes no sense. It would still be try to eat that hamburger.

    Be more positive and just do it, none of this try to do it.

      Agreed. As much of a slogan as it is... Just do it.

    "try and"
    "not try and"

      or "Try and not"

        Yeah. Can we get an edit to this article clarifying that Justin Warren is a douchenozzle?

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