What is preferable to use: verb + gerundive or verb + infinitive?

For example:

I tried checking it


I tried to check it

if both are possible then what's the difference? Are there any specific use cases for both gerundive and infinitive in such a construction?

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


Try + gerund means to experiment with an action that might be a solution to your problem.

If you have problems sleeping, you could try doing some yoga before you go to bed, or you could try drinking some warm milk.

Try + to-infinitive means to make an effort to do something. It may be something very difficult or even impossible:

The surgeons tried to save his life but he died on the operating table.

You can find info on usage of try and other verbs that can take gerund/infinitive in different sources, e.g. here, or here.

  • 2
    @RuslanGerasimov Note, however, that these interpretations are specific to the verb try. Other verbs use gerunds and infinitives differently. Aug 7, 2014 at 11:23
  • 1
    @StoneyB yes, that's clear from your answer, because links you provide shows that. Thanks for that. Aug 7, 2014 at 11:24
  • 1
    @RuslanGerasimov Not my answer - Vilmar's. And a very good one, too! Aug 7, 2014 at 11:26
  • 1
    @StoneyB correct. Aug 7, 2014 at 11:27
  • Is it sleeping problems? or problems sleeping!
    – Maulik V
    Aug 7, 2014 at 11:56

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