1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Tried [infinitive] or Tried [present tense]

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lostinwebspace, Apr 3, 2011.

    Sorry. That confusing title was the only way I knew to explain my question here.

    I have a question about the word "tried." Here's an example to illustrate:

    "He tried to convince the others of his point of view."

    "He tried convincing the others of his point of view."

    Which tense do we use? Do we follow the word "tried" with a present tense verb (or gerund) or an infinitive? Or is it an either-or situation? Also, let me know if I'm wrong about them being a present tense verb and an infinitive.

    Or if this is a really convoluted question.
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    it depends what tense you want. The first is in past tense, the other in present. Someone will probably come along and argue with me if they know grammar better, but that is basically how I would use them, in context. So "Which tense do we use?" depends on which one the rest of the piece is in. That's the beauty of tenses. :p
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    actually, both are in past, since the determining verb in both is the past tense 'tried'... the confusion seems to be the ongoing 'convincing' which was still being done in the past, not necessarily the present... and either one can be used, depending on which the writer likes best...
     
  4. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Good. I like either-ors. More options. Thanks.
     
  5. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    The first makes it sound like he tried it, it didn't work, it's a done deal. End of story (figuratively). The second option sounds like someone is saying it and there should be a "but" at the end. ("He tried convincing the others of his point of view, but...")
    That's just how I read it.
     

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