"try and", "be sure and", "go" + verb(Usage Disputes)
These colloquial constructions are synonymous, or nearly so, with "try to", "be sure to", and "go and" respectively, those equivalents being undisputedly acceptable in both formal and informal style. They are syntactic curiosities in that they can only be used in conjugations identical to the infinitive: we can say "to try and do it", "try and do it" (imperative), "I'll try and do it", "if I try and do it", and "he did try and make the best of it", but not "if he tries and does it" or "he tried and did it" with the same sense. Some commentators maintain that there is no semantic difference whatever between "try and" and "try to"; certainly in many contexts they are interchangeable: "I will try to/and attend the party tonight." But in other contexts "try and" seems to imply success: "Do try and behave" suggests that the only reason the listener is not behaving is that he is not trying to. Then there are the ironic contexts where "try and" implies failure: "Try and make me move." Here, "try to" would not be idiomatic. WDEU suggests that "try and" may actually be older than "try to"; both are first attested in the 17th century. "Go" + bare infinitive was used by Shakespeare ("I'll go see if the bear be gone"; "I'll go buy spices for our sheep-shearing") but is now nearly confined to informal American usage, and elsewhere to a few fixed expressions ("hide and go seek", "He can go hang for all I care"). Most handbooks disapprove of these expressions in formal style; even the permissive WDEU admits of "try and" that "most of the examples are not from highly formal styles". Fowler wrote, "It is an idiom that should not be discountenanced, but used when it comes natural"; but he also wrote that it is "almost confined to exhortations and promises", and these are more common in informal than in formal contexts.
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