Consider the following sentences.

A: 昨日たこ焼きを作ってみた。

B: 昨日たこ焼きを作ろうとした。

A means that "I tried to make takoyaki and I really made it."


Does B always mean that "I tried to make takoyaki but I (did not)/(failed to) make it." ?

  • A doesn't mean "I tried to make" but "I tried making". – user4092 Oct 25 '15 at 4:08
  • @user4092, what's the difference? – dainichi Oct 29 '15 at 4:14

No, B just says "I tried to make it", and it says nothing about the result, whether or not "I" was able to actually make it.

But as you might guess, a sentence like B is usually followed by something that prevents the speaker from doing so smoothly. Ultimately, the speaker may or may not succeed.


昨日たこ焼きを作ろうとした。おいしいたこ焼きができた。: Huh?

昨日たこ焼きを作ろうとした。だけど近所の店でタコが売られていなかった。車で1時間走ってタコを買ってきて、最終的にはおいしいたこ焼きができた。: OK

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  • Doesn't B include a situation when you just intended to do something (thought about doing something), but "failed" (or resigned because of some condition) even before trying? – macraf Oct 24 '15 at 11:34
  • If you just thought of doing something, "~しようと思った" is mainly used. "~しようとした" is different, and usually means you actually attempted to do it at least for a moment (eg ネットで作り方を調べる、立ち上がって冷蔵庫の中身を見る、…) – naruto Oct 25 '15 at 6:25
  • Does 宿題をしようとしたとき、友達が来た indicate that I actually did something? Or just intended to do my homework? – macraf Oct 25 '15 at 6:34
  • Somewhere between you decide to do your homework now, and walk to your desk, open a textbook and actually start your homework. A lazy boy may say to his mother "今、宿題をしようとしてた!" for hours, though. – naruto Oct 25 '15 at 6:45

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