What is the difference between I haven't tried to go there and I haven't tried going there?


In one of these (I haven't tried to go there), you're using the word "try" in the sense of "attempt", like "I tried to tell him, but he wouldn't listen".

In another (I haven't tried going there), you're using it in the sense of "experiment", like "I tried these shoes on".

  • Right. The explanation is here. – John Lawler Apr 19 '13 at 17:15
  • Huh, never seen that question before. – Joe Z. Apr 19 '13 at 17:17

Well, the difference is that, while both are heard, "I haven't tried to do that" is correct English, and the other variant is substandard, but sometimes found in informal English. (Note: it is useless to ask an American any question about English grammar, as they only recognise the slang register of English owing to deficiencies in the education system in the US.)

  • Agreed. Emphatically. Anglophone students are taught nothing about their language except a catechism of shibboleths. Most of them feel that grammar is a subject like race that should not be discussed in polite company because feelings will be hurt. – John Lawler Apr 19 '13 at 19:57

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