I would like to ask about the usage of the verbs "to try out" and "to try".

For example, when we say:

I am going to try a diet out this month and I hope it is going work to help me lose 10 kg in a month.

I am going to try a diet this month and I hope it is going work to help me lose 10 kg in a month.

Is there a difference in terms of meaning? I have heard there could be regional differences in usage as well; is that true? (I mean is one or the other maybe ok in the US but less common in the UK?)

When I look up "to try out" in an online dictonary it says "to test or use somebody/something in order to see how good or effective they are". So I noticed that we need there to be a thing to try out. But, I reckon, another verb must follow if we only use "try", for example:

I am going to try to run 10 miles today.

I would like to ask you to check if my other sentences below are ok in this sense.

  1. Hey, have you heard? A famous kebab shop chain has launched a new branch in town. The restaurant itself is pretty big and the prices are 50% off for today. So I am going to try it (out) today.

  2. I am planning on buying new stuff for learning English. I found out there is a video series which is provided by Oxford University. But before I buy the whole DVD set, I am going to try out the demo in order to see if they are useful to me.

  3. I will try out a new antivirus software as the last one I bought was not able to prevent viruses from infecting my computer.

  4. I have bought new chemical-proof work clothes so the workers can be protected from hazardous materials in the factory. Have every worker try them out, and make a report if it works for us.

  5. I will try out the LG3 smart phone to see if it is worth buying.

  6. I will try to use this grammar book for my dissertation this time because the old one is pretty out-of-date.

(I am aware that there is another thread on this topic on this site. I wrote this down after reading that thread, because it doesn't fully answer my questions. This question is not a duplicate, more like an extended version of the existing one.)

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    I only edited #1-#5. "Try out" is a phrasal verb. Try to avoid splitting phrasal verbs with several words ("try the LG3 smartphone out" -> "try out the LG3 smartphone"), but "try it out" is okay. I made other edits for non-related errors, but you are using "try out" correctly!
    – miltonaut
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 13:44
  • For the first example both sentences are acceptable, aren't they?I can say " I am going to try or try out the new restaurant" and " I am going to try or try our a new diet" , can't I?
    – Mrt
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 20:30
  • You're welcome! This same question came up in a conversation the next day (yesterday). Answering you helped me answer that person, so thank you, too! And yes, 'try' and 'try out' are interchangeable for test/evaluate.
    – miltonaut
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 1:59

4 Answers 4


In this case, "try" and "try out" both mean "to test/examine".

You have to look at what comes after the "try":

  1. try + noun = test: Shall we try the new restaurant?
  2. try out + noun = test: I want to try out the new Mercedes.
  3. try out + for = attempt: I'm going to try out for the football team.
  4. try + on = test clothing/accessories: Try on this perfume and see if you like it.
  5. try + infinitive = attempt: Let's try to get seats close to the stage.

Check your question to see how I edited your example questions.


The verb to try X often has two partially overlapping senses. From dictionary.com...

1: to attempt to do or accomplish (sense #1 in link)
2: to endeavor to evaluate by experiment or experience (sense #3 in link)

In something like "I'm trying a new diet, either or both senses might apply (I'm going to attempt to follow this diet, and/or evaluate it).

But for most native speakers, to try out X (or to try X out - both sequences are equally valid) would normally be understood to convey only the second (evaluate) sense.

There's also to try X on (where X is an item of clothing, or something you can put on [yourself]), which always has sense #2 above (you're performing the "trial" in order to evaluate whether the clothing fits, for example). Except in the idiomatic special case...

3: to try it on

This (chiefly BrE usage, sense #18 in the link above) can either mean to put on airs (adopt a haughty demeanour), or to be forward or presumptuous (especially, to make unwanted sexual advances). I'd say these are both variants of the first definition given above.


All of your examples work both with and without the word "out," except for #6 in which you correctly left it out.

The phrase "try out" is strongly associated with judgment. It might be a helpful memory device to know that when someone wants to be recruited onto a sports team, they "try out for the team." When recruitment is held as an event where multiple candidates are trying out, the event is often called a "tryout" or "tryouts," as in "Joe is going to the football tryouts after school."

  • Thanks for extra information.I think tryouts are like audiotions for sport teams
    – Mrt
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 21:14
  • 1
    @Murat Basically, yes! "Audition" is a formal word, almost never used in sports. Also, you can use "tryout" in casual conversation to describe an audition for a musical or theatrical production, but some people in the performing arts will consider that to be unsophisticated and amateurish.
    – Jesse
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 21:29
  • I get what you mean exactly.
    – Mrt
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 21:35

"try out" implies that there is no question of your ability to do a thing, only that choosing to continue doing/using a thing will depend on your enjoyment of the results of your trial.

Try can apply to the subject or the object of a sentence. Try out(as a verb) only applies to the object.

You must log in to answer this question.

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