Word Choice – Try to Versus Try and

Ketta’s question: “Could you please provide some examples of the proper usage for ‘try to’ and ‘try and’?”

BizWritingTip response: According to the Oxford Dictionary, try means to “make an effort with a view of success.” Traditionally, when the first verb is a strong request, it is followed by the word “to” and the verb.

Please try to arrive on time.
I would like you to try to complete the work this afternoon.

However, the dictionary does go on to say that when communicating informally try and is now acceptable.

Example (for informal communication)
Please try and respond this afternoon.
I will try and run 5 km today.

I use “try to” when writing technical reports or speeches. When writing emails and most letters, I may use “try and.” However, if you stick with “try to” on all occasions, you will always be correct.