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下の方は努力して見ようとしないと、見えないのだ。 (From line 4: https://www.docdroid.net/847v2dg/img-20170413-0001-new.pdf.html) According to my understanding of the sentence, it says: "Concerning the lower area,

...if you don't want to see it with effort... or ...if you don't make an effort while making an effort to see it...

...,you can't see it."

The problem lies with the relation between 努力して and 見ようとしないと. As far as I understood the "intentional form + とする" constructions, when expressing that someone intentionally makes an effort or doesn't make an effort, another 努力して to emphasize that someone's making an effort isn't required, since this effort is already contained in the respective verb.

Of course this problem is somehow eliminated when using "want" instead of "making an effort" in the translation of said form. But it doesn't change that the same thing is kind of expressed twice here. I guess it's just there to put more emphasis on it, but I wanted to ask about it in case I've missed something.

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努力して見ようとする is not redundant. 見ようとする is simply "to try to see" and it does not necessarily mean you make an effort. If you move your head and eyeballs with the purpose of seeing something, that is already called 見ようとする.

努力する is a word that explicitly means you make a considerable amount of effort. Without this, the phrase does not mean someone tries hard to see the lower part.

  • Many Japanese as a second language resources specifically state that ~ようとする implies "make an effort" (usually this is mentioned when comparing it to ~てみる). Would it be possible for you to elaborate on how that might not be correct or provide a more accurate way of thinking about it? – G-Cam Apr 14 '17 at 15:39
  • I think ~ようとする just means "to attempt to ~", "to try to ~" or "to be about to ~". See this, for example. You can use this in combination with 頑張って, 努力して, 一生懸命, 真剣に or such to explicitly say you make an effort. – naruto Apr 14 '17 at 15:48
  • @G-Cam It certainly can imply. But possible implication is not necessarily the meaning of the word. And it's misleading that they regard that point as major difference between ~てみる. (It's if it's actually done or not.) – user4092 Apr 14 '17 at 22:12
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I think you understand the numerical formula:

努力して見る ≒ 見ようとする < 努力して見ようとする

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