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For example, I want to do something, but I don't know how to do it even I had tried.

A real example, I'm using an open-source library, and I want to add some of my own functions:

I may want to add a until() and trimLeft(..) and trimRight(...), that I can write it as:


But I don't find a way to do it.

Here I'm using "find a way", but I don't know if it's good. Or "find a solution"? Or "find a method"? Or some other words?

In other case, e.g. I don't know how to open a box, is there any other way(right?) to express "I don't know how to do it"?

There may be a lot of mistakes in this question, I'll be very appreciate if you can point them out.

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You may find English Language Learners useful. ¶ For the current question, consider “I don't see how to do it”, “I haven't figured out how”, and “It isn't clear what to do” – jwpat7 Jul 3 '13 at 2:52
This is a programming naming question, which is expressly forbidden in the FAQ. – Robusto Jul 3 '13 at 3:00
@Robusto It's not a programming question. The real-word application is his attempting describing his making an effort to achieve an end; That that end is related to programming is incidental. – user867 Jul 3 '13 at 3:56
Find a way (meaning identify a means of doing this) is fine. The interesting part of your question, which you may want to edit to focus on, is why English does not use I don't find but can use I don't know. – Andrew Leach Jul 3 '13 at 6:12
In your example, you should use "I can't find a way to do it" rather than "I don't ...". But there is nothing wrong with "find a way to do it". – Peter Shor Jul 3 '13 at 13:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, it sounds wrong, but the problem isn't with "find a way", it's with "don't". That suggests that not finding a way to do it is a habitual thing. Replace it with "can't". "But I can't find a way to do it." Perfectly idiomatic, and seems to express what you wanted.

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solution noun
1a means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation

The way you are looking for is called a solution in the context -- "a way to solve".

But I can't find the right solution.

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