Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 07:46:00 -0400 From: "David A. Johns" Subject: Re: Variation in "try"-complements? At 10:53 PM 4/10/97 +0000, Bill Spruiell wrote: > 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. I don't get "forgot locking the door" at all -- can't imagine what it means. With _try_, I sense an aspectual difference that has pragmatic consequences in certain contexts: "Would you try to open the door" implies that I think it will be hard, while "Would you try opening the door" suggests that I want to see if it has some effect, such as cooling the house down. But I don't feel any difference in "He walked up onto the porch and tried [to open | opening] the door, but when he found it was locked, turned around and left." I don't think I've noticed any unfamiliar gerunds since being in Georgia, although I may have lost them in the sea of unexpected progressives ("I'm needing a new notebook," etc.). I'll have to listen. David Johns Waycross College Waycross, GA (originally from real Yankee country, though not a real Yankee myself, since my family hadn't lived there for umpteen generations. And weren't farmers. But we did eat "rat cheese" with apple pie.)