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Strong vs WeakI was about to fire off a post about my pet peeve when people say “try and” rather than “try to.” “Try to” carries a different meaning than “try and.” Let’s look at two examples . . .

I try and find value in Robin’s blog.

The above sentence means you find value here. You are welcome.

However, if you mean you tried but failed miserably to find any value here, the sentence should read:

I try to find value in Robin’s blog, but it is a vast wasteland of rubbish.

See the difference?

Given my recent misuse of the word “gerund,” I thought I should do my due diligence and research the “try and/try to” issue on Smarty-Pants Google.

What I found by consulting Mr. Know-It-All was a firestorm of controversy over the so-called “and vs to” grammar rule. I’m glad I didn’t trip over my panties on that one.

The rule is mushy and it is a matter of style preference. There are cases where “and” and “to” work equally as well in sentences, but “and” comes across more folksy.

Come to see me after cooking class.

Ooh, what are we making?

Come and see me after the cooking class where I use teaching as my excuse for overeating.


Watch to learn how I make potpie.

Yeah! Potpie! I love potpie!

Watch and learn how I make a potpie with more calories than your recommended daily allowance.


Exercise hard to work off your potpie induced weight gain.

Damn you. I hate exercising.

Exercise hard and work off those extra pounds caused by our caloric orgy.

Brilliant writing here? Nope. Not even close.

But I hope it makes you think about when you want to use “to” as opposed to “and.” Each has their place, but if you aren’t careful, using the wrong one changes what you are saying.