English Grammar


Please try not --- please don't try

What is good English?


Gymglish suggests: Please try not to shoot any more bears....


That sounds strange to me. I would prefer: Please don't try to shoot any more bears...
Which form is correct?

6 comments

  • Both of these sentences are correct, but have slightly different meanings.


    'Try not to shoot any more bears' is the same construction as 'Try not to fall over' or 'Try not to be late for the meeting'. These sentences encourage you to make an effort to avoid something happening.


    'Don't try to shoot any more bears' is like 'Don't try to fall over' or 'Don't try to be late for the meeting'. Here, we're telling someone not to attempt something!


    I hope that helps, and that you can see the subtle difference!
  • From Hannah Benedict:
    Both of these sentences are correct, but have slightly different meanings.


    'Try not to shoot any more bears' is the same construction as 'Try not to fall over' or 'Try not to be late for the meeting'. These sentences encourage you to make an effort to avoid something happening.


    'Don't try to shoot any more bears' is like 'Don't try to fall over' or 'Don't try to be late for the meeting'. Here, we're telling someone not to attempt something!


    I hope that helps, and that you can see the subtle difference!

     


    oh, i find that your explaination is very good. it is easy to understand. actually, i didn't pay much attention to this. i usually think they are the same. but now i will use them more carefully.
    thank you so much !!
  • Typo corrected:


    I thought about it and came and an epipany occured to me:


    This is the first time ever, the famous quote "To be or not be - that is the question"
    has a practical befenit (or, slighty altered "to do or not to do").


    Had young, desperate Hamlet knew his line would be used in a grammar discussion one of these days - he
    would have contrived something else to comptemplate suicide.


    to be: Please don't try to be/to do
    or not to be: Please try not to be/to do


    Isn't that a great mnemonic or what?
  • P.S. Before the typical guys chime in (I don't mention (nick)names):
    Yes, my (nick)name is program - I am whacky - the comment is
    whacky - and that's what it is supposed to be.
  • Shade of meaning! Very subtle?
    Maybe in the first case the rifle is into yours hands, and in the second one ,you've got no rifle yet, this is just an advice
  • I would take this one step further and say eliminate the word 'try' completely. It weakens the request. You can ask a young child to try not to spill a glass of milk, but asking a gun-wielding adult to try not to shoot any more bears is a bit demeaning to the adult if you think about it. Or worse, it implies your understanding (and by extension, your approval) of the fact that they might actually 'accidentally' shoot more bears. ;-)


    "Please do not shoot any more bears."

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