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There appear to be multiple ways in Japanese that would translate to "try" in English. These are:

Verb + te miru

Tamesu (verb)

Kokoromiru (verb)

Verb + to suru

What is the difference between these?

  • This may be a duplicate of several other "try" topics on the site, although none (that I could find) address either 試す or 試みる. – istrasci Dec 18 '15 at 21:13
  • What about トライする? – Earthliŋ Dec 19 '15 at 7:26
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-てみる - used for trying something out, like a food you've never had before.

私の作った料理を食べてみてください。 Please try the food I made.

試す - used for trying something out, but it's usually used with a noun like a machine or food rather than an action.

新しい方法を試しています。 We are trying out a new method.

しようとする - used for an attempt to do something.

彼女に近づこうとした。 I tried getting close to her.

試みる - Pretty close in meaning to 試す and -てみる. In general, it means to try something to see the effect, but it depends on context. Unfortunately, you're going to need some Sprachgefühl to really understand this one.

説得を試みた。 I tried to persuade him.
抵抗を試みる。 To (try to) resist.

  • 1
    "Sprachgefühl" is a wonderful word! Thank you for introducing me to it. – senshin Dec 19 '15 at 0:27
  • ^同感です (^^♪ (minchars) – Sjiveru Dec 19 '15 at 3:39
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    Aren't you trying to say "an action rather than a machine or food"? – broccoli forest Dec 19 '15 at 5:52
  • The to-suru construction has a connotation where we are trying to do something and it is not succeeding. Is that true? Then how would it change if it is made into past (to-shita) or negative (to-shinai) or past-negative (to-shinakatta) form? Our is it that or is never used in those ways? – quantum231 Dec 20 '15 at 14:44
  • It may hint that it was unsuccessful, but that's probably because otherwise you might not use it in the first place. But I don't think you can say conclusively that it was unsuccessful just because ようとする was used. Same thing as English "try"- "I tried getting close to her" hints that it was unsuccessful, because otherwise you would just say "I got close to her", but we don't know for sure and will need more info. – Blavius Dec 20 '15 at 16:59

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