0

I recently heard:

Try not to blink.

However I knew the following form:

Try to do not blink.

Is one of them wrong? What is the difference ?

  • The "do" is not grammatical. Did you mean to ask the difference between try to not blink and try not to blink? – Andrew Apr 6 at 16:36
  • 1
    DO as an auxiliary is always finite and so is never preceded by 'to'. This is the reason we reject the traditional terms 'verb to do', 'verb to be' etc. It's possible, however, to say "I tried to do the homework", in which case, DO is not an auxiliary, but a lexical verb. – user178049 Apr 6 at 16:57
  • @user178049 has given the right answer. – Anton Sherwood Apr 6 at 21:09
3

Google Books Ngram viewer indicates that the construction try not to... is about 100 times more common than try to not....

Try to not is a form that has appeared gradually over the past half century.

So you occasionally hear people say things like: Try to not cough so loudly. However, it's certainly more idiomatic to say try not to cough so loudly.

In your second example the insertion of the word do is simply wrong. Omit it.

You will find a similar question about the placing of not at the site below.

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/148335/try-not-or-do-not-try https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=try+not+to%2Ctry+to+not

  • +1. But "Do try not to blink" is grammatically correct. It has a formal tone, and is similar to a reprimand. – Jasper Apr 6 at 23:28
  • Absolutely! It was OP's example of Try to do not blink that I referred it. – Ronald Sole Apr 7 at 11:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.