Does trial and error have to be in gerund form for parallelism in the sentence below? If so what would be the gerund form of trial and error?

Instead I self taught myself by playing with others who have been formally taught, watching youtube videos, and trial and error.

  • 'I taught myself', not 'I self taught myself'. Your sentence is otherwise OK, except I would write 'and by trial and error', and also YouTube is written thus. Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


To answer your question, there isn’t really a gerund form of the phrase “trial and error.” Unlike other “method” words (e.g. guess + guessing, try + trying), “trial and error” is an idiomatic phrase. It’s more like a noun.

The phrase is pretty much always used as

Use trial and error to complete this question.

I used trial and error to get to this answer.

That answer can only be reached through careless trial and error.

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