Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 22:53:50 +0000 From: Bill Spruiell <3lfyuji[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CMUVM.CSV.CMICH.EDU> Subject: Variation in "try"-complements? This is one of those topics that may have already been discussed; if so, please accept apologies -- In my grammar class yesterday, I was engaged in presenting the unit on verbs that take gerundial or infinitival objects. I checked to see if anyone used the "enjoy to X" pattern; as I expected for my Michigan class, no one did. However, when I got to the class of verb constructions that change meaning depending on whether the object is an infinitive or gerund ("forgot to lock the door" vs. "forgot locking the door"), I got a surprise. None of my students could detect any difference between "tried opening the door" and "tried to open the door", even when I supplied extensive contexts, different verbals, etc. Assuming that they really do use the gerund and infinitive objects interchangably with "try" -- i.e. that it's not an artifact of my presentation of the subject -- I was wondering what the dialectal status of this "reassignment" is. Is it common over a wide area, or have I stumbled into a Central Michigan shibboleth? I'm considering it as being in varience with "standard" since textbooks (particularly ESL textbooks) class "try" with "forget"; as a southerner, I'm a bit leery of trusting my instincts on things like this (I was 23 before I found out that "fixing to" was nonStandard). Thanks --- Bill Spruiell ------------------------------------------------- Opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily represent those of Central Michigan U. Bill Spruiell Central Michigan University Dept. of English Language and Literature