I had the same question. I guess some verbs just require the "de" and some do not. Take a look at this lesson. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/preposition_de_2.htm
I mostly use the DL app, so links are not very helpful to me because, in order to understand something I visit the commentary section and look for explanations, in there I prefer info rather than links. So this is what the FrenchAbout link says:
The French preposition de is required after certain verbs and phrases when they are followed by an infinitive. Note that the English translation may take an infinitive (to agree to do something) or a gerund (to be afraid of flying).
- accepter de: to accept, agree to
- achever de: to finish ___-ing
- accuser (quelqu'un) de: to accuse (someone) of
- s'agir de: to be a question of ___-ing
- (s')arrêter de: to stop ___-ing
- avertir (qqun) de: (ne pas) to warn (someone) (not) to
- avoir peur de: to be afraid of ___-ing
- blâmer (qqun) de: to blame (someone) for ___-ing
- cesser de: to stop, cease ___-ing
- choisir de: to choose to
- commander (à qqun) de: to order (someone) to
- conseiller de: to advise to
- se contenter de: to be happy ___-ing
- continuer de: to continue ___-ing
- convenir de: to agree to
- craindre de: to fear ___-ing
- décider de: to decide to
- défendre (à quelqu'un) de: to forbid sbd to do sth
- demander (à quelqu'un) de: to ask sbd to do sth
- se dépêcher de: to hurry to
- déranger quelqu'un de: to bother sbd to
- dire (à quelqu'un) de: to tell sbd to do sth
- s'efforcer de: to endeavor to
- empêcher de: to prevent, keep from ___-ing
- s'empresser de: to hurry to
- ennuyer quelqu'un de: to bother/upset sbd to
- essayer de: to try to
- s'excuser de: to apologize for ___-ing
- féliciter de: to congratulate for ___-ing
- finir de: to finish ___-ing
- gronder de: to scold for ___-ing
- se hâter de: to hurry to
- manquer de: to neglect, fail to
- mériter de: to deserve to
- offrir de: to offer to
- oublier de: to forget to
- (se) permettre de: to allow (oneself) to
- persuader de: to persuade to
- prendre garde de: to be careful not to
- prendre le parti de: to decide to
- se presser de: to hurry to
- prier de: to beg to
- promettre de: to promise to
- proposer de: to suggest ___-ing
- refuser de: to refuse to
- regretter de: to regret ___-ing
- remercier de: to thank for ___-ing
- rêver de: to dream of ___-ing
- risquer de: to risk ___-ing
- se soucier de: to care about ___-ing
- se souvenir de: to remember ___-ing
- supplier de: to be / beseech
- tâcher de: to try to
- venir de (faire quelque chose): to have just (done sth)
You are right, the version "tu essayes" was missing, so I added it.
Here are the rules:
Verbs ending in -ayer (like "essayer") have two possibble conjugations with je, tu, il/elle/on and elles/ils. So, you can, interchangeably, use the "i" version (essaie/s), or the "y" version (essaye/s).
That difference is meant to accommodate pronunciation which can be different in various French speaking areas: [ ε ] ou [ εj ] ("essè" ou "esseille").
So you can use:
"J'essaie" or "j'essaye" - "tu essaies" ou "tu essayes" - "il/elle/on essaie" or "il/elle/on essaye" - "ils/elles essaient" or "ils/elles essayent"
However, with "nous" and "vous", you should use "y" because the sound [ j ] is maintained:
nous essayons [ εjõ ] vous essayez [ εjé ]
For verbs in -oyer ("nettoyer"= to clean), you have no choice, the "i" version prevails. Je nettoie, tu nettoies, il/elle/on nettoie [ netwa ]
Thank you, Sitesurf, for this and all your other helpful comments. They are sooooooo useful. When I got to this section, I realised that I needed a more solid grammatical grounding, and started checking grammar rules and conjugations for the different verbs. So I was pretty sure that that part of my answer was correct, but not confident enough to just report it.
True. To tell someone to drink their soup in English would be taken as some sort of ironic comment on the nature of the soup. Like maybe you are in a prison or something and the soup is mostly water, when you complain someone might say "never mind, just drink your soup."
Between Duo's use of this example and Sitesurf's comment I take it that in French you sometimes do actually drink your soup.
As a bit of an addendum, the operative word here is "try". I can try to jump over a 2 metre wall, I probably won't have much luck but I can definitely try.
Also, some people have a tendency to drink any liquid remains of their soup after consuming the solid portion and of course we have the 'potage' type of soup as Sitesurf mentioned which is intended to be drunk.
Ah, the world of linguistic possibilities.
Yeah, "you try to drink the soup but have trouble with chewier bits". And I am one of those people who like to drink the remains of the soup if I have it in a bowl (plates of course are harder to manage). And e.g. from over the border, gazpacho is sometimes served in a tall glass to be drunk...
Unfortunately, French is not a translation of English. So, you have to learn each verb with its preposition(s).
- demander à manger quelque chose (the one who will eat is the same as the one asking for something to eat)
- demander de faire quelque chose (he one doing something is not the person asking for something to be done)