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This question already has an answer here:

  1. Entrepreneurs try to delay taking money from investors as long as possible.

  2. Entrepreneurs try delaying taking money from investors as long as possible.

Assuming (2) is correct, is there any difference in meaning between the two sentences?

ELL contributors have already answered a question about the difference in meaning between "try to open," and "try opening," but I'm not sure if it applies to the two sentences in my question because why would one try to delay taking money for its own sake (not to achieve something else)? And why, for that matter, would one try to open a door if not to achieve something else (to leave a building, to see what's behind the door ...)?

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Glorfindel, Andrew, Catija, shin Apr 4 '17 at 2:33

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The question that you referred to hit the spot, but maybe the explanation is not very clear.

The infinitive version is used where you are not sure that you can achieve the verb activity itself (or for the past, you know that you failed):

I tried to run, but I only made it to the end of the road.
I tried to switch off the computer, but the switch didn't work

The gerund version is used where you are sure that you can achieve the verb activity, but you are unsure whether doing so will achieve the overall objective.

I tried running, but I didn't lose any weight.
I tried switching off the computer, and that fixed the problem.

  • @TimS. My bad. Cut and paste error: thanks for pointing it out. – JavaLatte Apr 3 '17 at 12:22

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