Past Tense Of Try: Is It Try, Tried Or Both?

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of Try?

The past tense for try is tried. The word “try” is a regular verb, so we form its past tense by adding “-ed” to the base form. 

Besides, with the base form that ends in a consonant followed by “y,” the “y” is changed to “i” and then “ed” is added to the end to form the V2.

The past participle of try is also tried. You can check out the table below to get more English verb conjugations of try:

Base/Infinitive Form (V1) try
Present Form/3rd Person/Singular Form tries
Past Form (V2) tried
Past Participle Form (V3) tried
Present Participle/Gerund trying

How To Pronounce “Try” And “Tried” Properly? 

The verb try is pronounced as /traɪ/, and tried is spelled as /traɪd/ in both British and American English. The table below may give you more details:

Verb Forms Pronunciation 
British English language American English language
try /traɪ/ /traɪ/
tried (V2) /traɪd/ /traɪd/
tried (V3) /traɪd/ /traɪd/
trying /ˈtraɪɪŋ/ /ˈtraɪɪŋ/

How to say “try” and “trying” as naturally as English native speakers? You can practice with the videos below:

Try pronunciation:

Tried pronunciation:

What Are The Definitions Of The Verb Try? How To Use Tried?

The past tense and base form of try share the same meanings, as follow:

  • To attempt or make an effort to do something

Example 1: she tried to lift the heavy box but didn’t succeed.

Example 2: He tried to learn how to cook last month but gave up because it was too difficult.

  • To test or evaluate something to see if it works or is effective

Example 1: We tried this recipe yesterday and found it suitable for the restaurant’s main course.

Example 2: He tried the key in the lock, but it didn’t work.

  • (often passive) To put someone on trial in a court of law to decide whether they are guilty or not

Example 1: The defendant was tried for his crimes last month in front of more than 300 people.

Example 2: The suspect was tried for his murder and found guilty by a jury.

Exercises

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Created on By Benjamin Essek

Past Tense Of Try

Choose the correct answer to fill in the blanks:

1 / 7

The chef had ____ several recipes before finding the perfect one.

2 / 7

I ______ to learn French last year, but I didn't stick with it.

3 / 7

The new software was ____ and evaluated by the IT department.

4 / 7

The court ____ several cases each day.

5 / 7

The company _____ several marketing strategies last year, but none of them were successful.

6 / 7

They are _____ out the new product to see if it's worth investing in.

7 / 7

He _____ to fix the car yesterday, but he couldn't figure out what was wrong.

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FAQs

What Are The Synonyms And Antonyms Of The Verb Try?

According to the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, some common synonyms of the verb try are: push, test, stretch, bother, strain, annoy, tax, irritate, pressure, get (to), harass, attempt, seek, endeavor, hope, struggle, work, shoot at, essay, aim, shoot for, and strive.

(See past tense of strive here)

The antonyms of the verb try are: quit, drop, and give up.

What Are The Idioms And Phrasal Verbs Of Try?

Idioms:

  • Try your damnedest: Try as hard as you possibly can, even if the task is difficult or seemingly impossible.

Example: Even though she wasn’t sure she could win the race, she tried her damnedest to cross the finish line first.

  • Try your level best: To try as hard as you can using all of your ability and resources.

Example: He knew the exam would be difficult, but he tried his level best to study and prepare for it.

  • Not for want/lack of trying: refers to a person that made a great effort, even though they did not succeed in the end.

Example: She didn’t get the job she applied for, but not for lack of trying – she spent weeks preparing her resume and practicing her interview skills.

  • These things are sent to try us: You should accept difficult situations and challenges as a natural part of life as you cannot change them.

Example: Even though she was going through a tough time, she reminded herself that these things are sent to try us.

  • Tried and tested/trusted: you’ve used something that proved to be effective or reliable in the past.

Example: Even though newer models were available, he chose the tried and tested car that he knew would be durable

Phrasal Verb:

  • Try (out) for: To attempt to achieve something, usually a goal or a position.

Example: She’s going to try for the lead role in the school play.

  • Try on: To test or sample an item of clothing or accessory to see how it looks or fits.

Example: I need to try on these shoes before I buy them. (See past tense of buy here)

  • Try out: To test something to see if it works or is effective.

Example: We need to try out this new recipe before serving it to guests.

Is Try A Transitive Or Intransitive Verb?

Depending on its meaning, it can be an intransitive or transitive verb. If it means to make an effort, you can use it as transitive and intransitive. With the other meanings, try can be used as a transitive verb.