There Is No Try…


The Japanese language is different than English. Crazy, right?!?!!
But really, the biggest difference is the SVO – SOV difference. English is [Subject-Verb-Object] as you all know, but Japanese is [Subject-Object-Verb].
I could get into details of gerunds and infinitives, but that’s silly grammar talk. Let’s keep it simple. Let’s talk about the difference in ideas.

There is no “try” in Japanese. There is “Verb and See” [Vてform + みます].
For example, in English we would say “I’ll try”, but literal Japanese is “I’ll do and see(what happens).”
This isn’t so important grammatically as it is for mindset.

In some cases when we say try, it means our first time doing something.
“I’m going to try that new pizza tonight.”
“I’m going to give wakeboarding a try.”

Other times, when we say “I’ll try to ______” it means we’ll do it half-heartedly, if even at all.
“Are you coming to the party Saturday?” “I’ll try to go…”
“I tried to buy a ticket.”

Imagine the difference in mindset if you just stopped “trying” and instead just “did” and then talked about or saw what happened next.
Or if instead of half-heartedly putting things on your schedule, you dedicated time to them, or was just honest and let your friends down in a nice way.

As you go into the day and week, I want you to eliminate try from your vocabulary. English is flexible enough that you have plenty of alternatives.
“I’m going wakeboarding this weekend. I’ll see if I like it.”
“I don’t think I’ll make it to the party, but thanks for the invite.”

So as Yoda said. “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Until next time, STAY AWESOME!

PS: Watch out for seagulls:

PPS: I know that many Japanese use “-tte mimasu” in the same way we use try, but I think the mindset is overall different, so many Japanese will just refuse to do something「無理です」 or say it’s too difficult「それはちょっと難しい」 rather than saying “I’ll try to do it”.



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