- Come over here and look at these lovely flowers.
- I'll just go and get something to write with.
- Run and get me a tissue, will you darling?
- Are you going to stay and have lunch with us?
- Make sure and let us know how you get on.
- He wants to try and find a new job.
Acceptability in writing - Part 1
Most frequent uses of try and + verb
- Do try and stop coughing
- I will try and have it ready for you
|Netspeak||Random 50 at BNC|
|try and||6.1 million||3|
|to try and||2.9 million||9|
|will try and||792,000||5|
|and try and||215,000||4|
|going to try and||209,000||3|
|Just the Word|
|try and get||437||526||441||54|
|try and find||167||150||277||35|
|try and do||146||156||201||44|
|try and make||133||159||364||30|
|try and see||100||47||80||37|
|try and keep||80||83||209||28|
What about other forms: tries and, trying and, tried and?
- tried and - in all the examples I could find in the British National Corpus for try and get / find / do etc, and had its normal meaning, for example - some of the schemes that have been tried and could be improved
- trying and - in all the examples of trying and where trying was a verb rather than an adjective, it had its standard meaning, for example - keep trying and you will eventually succeed
- tries and - there were three examples in the sort of construction we're looking at, and in the second of those, and could in fact have its normal meaning, but the other two are very unusual, although the third one actually sounds OK to me:
- when its like that it tries and pulls you down
- so Honey goes and tries and gets it (a job that's been mentioned)
- if the government tries and gets rid of urban unemployment
An infinitive-like structure
- OK, he didn't come first, but he did try and do the best he could.
- Don't you try and get clever with me!
- Try not to wake up the whole house when you come in tonight!
Is there any difference between try and do something and try to do something?
But isn't this is a recent thing?
Acceptability in writing - Part 2
(George Eliot - Silas Marner 1861)
(W.M.Thackary - Vanity Fair 1847-8)
(Samuel Butler - The Way of All Flesh 1903)
So is try and correct?
Make sure and / be sure and
- Make sure and have dinner here
- now that we have got this far we want to make sure and win
- Be sure and come to the party tomorrow, won't you?
- Don't do anything gratis; be sure and get paid for everything.
- Bonanza boasted to me that with his organisation he'd be sure and locate Connie himself within that time.
- Mrs Pigdon had left the room, with a parting injunction to the unwanted guest to be sure and hurry.
- A non-purposeful and - go and etc
- Dictionary.com - usage advice
- WSU Common Errors in English Usage - usage advice (for academic writing)
- alt.Usage.English - discussion
- World Wide Words - discussion
- Macmillan Dictionary Blog - discussion by Stan Carey (of Sentence First)
- Netspeak - Collocations (before)
- Just the Word - Collocations
- BNC - try and
- Grammaticalisation - Linguistics book at Google Books
- Pain in the English - A web forum on English
- Literal Minded - Make Sure and What?
- BNC - make sure and
- Infinitive (Wikipedia)