1. I try to ride a bike.
  2. I try riding a bike.
  3. I try ride a bike.

What is the difference between above three sentences? Please, tell me about it.


2 Answers 2


Try takes either a to-infinitive complement or a nominal complement.

I try {to do something}.

I try {something}.

I try to climb over the fence.

I try a spicy dish.

When try is complemented by a to-infinitive phrase, the basic meaning is "attempt". "I attempt to ride a bike".

When try is complemented with a nominal, the basic meaning is "to experience something by sampling it or by doing it for a bit".

"I try riding a bike" falls into the nominal complement category, and it means: "I experience what riding a bike is like for me by riding it briefly."

So, let's imagine a choirmaster with a group of expert singers. He says to one of them: "You try singing the alto part this time". The choirmaster is not saying "Let's see if you are able to sing the alto part". Rather, he is saying "Let's hear how this piece sounds with you singing the alto part" or "Let's have you experience what it is like to sing the alto part."


The sentence #1 and 2 are correct grammatically, but the #3 is not.

You use try + to-infinitive to mean to make an effort to do something. The sentence #1 means that I make an effort to ride a bike.

You use try + -ing form of a verb to mean to test or use something in order to know if it is useful, effective, or enjoyable. The sentence #2 means that I use/test whether it is useful, effective, or enjoyable to ride a bike.

The sentence #3 isn't correct; it needs the indefinite article 'a' before the noun ride and the preposition 'on' after it as follows:

I try a ride on a bike.

I think it conveys almost the same sense as the sentence #2.

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