What's the difference between "try something" and "try something out"?

I read them in the following context and did not find any difference between them:

"That will do," he said, and the tape measure crumpled into a heap on the floor. "Right then, Mr. Potter. Try this one. Beechwood and dragon heartstring. Nine inches. Nice and flexible. just take it and give it a wave." Harry took the wand and (feeling foolish) waved it around a bit, but Mr. Ollivander snatched it out of his hand almost at once. "Maple and phoenix feather. Seven inches. Quite whippy. Try --" Harry tried -- but he had hardly raised the wand when it, too, was snatched back by Mr. Ollivander. "No, no -here, ebony and unicorn hair, eight and a half inches, springy. Go on, go on, try it out." Harry tried. And tried. He had no idea what Mr. Ollivander was waiting for. The pile of tried wands was mounting higher and higher on the spindly chair, but the more wands Mr. Ollivander pulled from the shelves, the happier he seemed to become.

My intended meanings of "try" and "try out" (by Oxford):

try: 1.1 [with object] Use, test, or do (something new or different) in order to see if it is suitable, effective, or pleasant.

try something out: Test someone or something new or different to assess their suitability or effectiveness.

1 Answer 1


Although the two expressions overlap, there are many occasions when one fits better than the other.

For example, we tend:

to try a new drink/food/route/experiment/method

in the sense of seeing whether we like it or it offers us a solution.

to try out a new vehicle/appliance/item of sports equipment

in the sense of testing it.

to try on a new coat/hat/shoes

to see whether it/they fit.

but much of the time, both try and try out will do.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .