“Verb+ing” or “to + verb” 2

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Welcome to your “Verb+ing” or “To + Verb” 2 lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• “Try”
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“Try to + verb” means “attempt to + verb”. Have a look at these examples:

“I tried to fix the car, but I couldn’t.”

“I tried to finish the crossword, but it was too hard!”

“Try” can also mean “do something as an experiment”:

Her cake is delicious, you should try it!

I’ve tried every restaurant in town.”

If you want to use “try” with this meaning, and put it with a verb, we use “try verb+ing”:

“If the phone isn’t turning on, you should try charging it!”

“If you think a marathon is hard, you should try competing in Ironman.”

Compare these two sentences:

“I tried to move the chair but it was too heavy.”
(so I didn’t move it)

“I tried moving the chair, but I couldn’t find a good place for it.”


“I need to do something” means “it is necessary for me to do it”:

I need to fix the car.”

We really need to move house.

“Something needs doing” means “something needs to be done”:

“The lightbulb needs changing, can you do it?”

“I think my trousers need dry-cleaning.”


You can say “help to do” or “help do”. They mean the same thing:

I had to help clean the house this morning.”

Could you help to make dinner please?

“I can’t help verb+ing” means “I can’t stop myself doing something”:

“I can’t help feeling sorry for homeless people.”

“I’m sorry that I’m so sad. I can’t help it.”
(I can’t stop being sad)

“There was too much chilli in the dinner, I couldn’t help coughing!”

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