When you are attempting to do something, especially for the first time, are you giving it a trial or try? At times, you also want to advise others to take a similar step. What do you tell them? To give it a trial or try?
Although many use ‘trial’ in this situation, it is not appropriate. You can do something by ‘trial and error’, but you give that thing a try, not a trial:
I have not never travelled to the North alone, but I will give it a trial next week. (Wrong)
I have never travelled to the North alone, but I will give it a try next week. (Correct)
The boy says he hasn’t eaten fufu before but he wants to give it a trial. (Wrong)
The boy says he hasn’t eaten fufu before but he wants to give it a try. (Correct)
A big shot
Other words that can be used instead of ‘try’ in this context are ‘shot’ and ‘whirl’, with a ‘a big shot’, however, meaning to do something as well as one can:
The boy says he hasn’t eaten fufu before but he wants to give it a shot. (Correct)
I have never travelled to the North alone, but I will give it a whirl next week. (Correct)
The reality show will soon start soon and the contestant is ready to give it a big shot. (Correct. They (He or she) not only want to give it a try but also want to try as much as they can.)
Perhaps some fall into the ‘give it a trial’ trap because they think ‘try’ is always a verb. For instance, it performs the function of a verb in the following:
- Between precedent and precedence
- Spot the error: El-Rufai is my senior brother
- Franking face? No! You either frown at or frank upon
I will try to see him.
Let’s try to go early.
They often try to be polite.
But it is a noun in:
He secured visa to the UK on his first try.
I learnt the company has called for application letters. Is it worth giving it a try?
A try/trial will convince you?
Here is another context the two words do clash. What is your option? A trial will convince you or a try will convince you? The first is the answer:
The soup is very delicious. A try will convince you. (Wrong)
The soup is very delicious. A trial will convince you. (Correct)
Many people use our product. A try will convince you too. (Wrong)
Many people use our product. A trial will convince you too. (Correct) ,
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