"You try to drink the soup."
Translation:Tu essaies de boire la soupe.
"to" is kind of a preposition as well, isn't it, so you can consider that "try to drink" = "essaies de boire".
"essayer de + infinitive" simply mirrors "try to + verb".
there is a group of verbs that behave like English modals (can do, may do...) but "essayer de" is not one of them: pouvoir faire, devoir faire, savoir faire, sembler faire, aimer faire, préférer faire, vouloir faire...
Thanks as always. I learned about some of these verbs which require a specific preposition when followed by the infinitive in my class. It is very confusing to try and figure out these rules duo style.
To my eye this is a very weak part of French. There is no general rule and saying "à verb" when verbs already mean "to xxx" is repetitive and to say "de verb" when the verb is "to xxx" means the final meaning is "of/from to verb" and that's nonsense.
It's just an inconsistent mess.
It is not a weak part of French, but a tough part of learning any language.
Prepositions often don't match and it is the same apparent nonsense for people learning English.
Is it common in French to talk about drinking soup, rather than eating it?
My dictionary says both "essayes" and "essaies" are correct. Is there any reason why Duo doesn't accept the y-version?
They just forgot to include it, so if you can report it, they may list it as correct as well.
Are there any sort of rules to employ when trying to decide whether to use «de» or «à» ?
Or is it just a matter of getting accustomed ?
Essayer de + infinitive is fixed, similarly to "try to + verb".
S'essayer à (reflexive) is more rarely used, and means "to try one's hand at doing something".
Letting this marinade a few hours the best way I can think of to make sense of the "to" which is stuck in the middle of this sentence is this:
essayer = "to try" or "to try to"
boire = "to drink"
Sometimes the leading "to" is ignored. "Je bois" = "I drink" (no "to" in there).
So, perhaps the sentence "Tu essaies de boire la soupe" means "You try" place-holder "de" (with no meaning except to say another verb phrase is coming up) "to drink some soup".
Why the French need the "de" in the middle of so many things is as inexplicable to me as why they use "du" or "de la" or "des" for "some" when we Americans get along without it quite easily by making the assumption that when "we drink milk" we aren't ever going to drink ALL the milk in the world and so it is always "we drink some milk" by default.
I'm sure that I've seen this translated as "vous essayez de boire de la soupe" in earlier DL exercises - however this time it KO'd me but isn't this also correct?
"vous essayez de boire de la soupe" = you are trying to drink (some) soup
"vous essayez de boire la soupe" = you are trying to drink the soup
I put tu essaie de boire la soupe; marked wrong said i used wrong verbe. Apparently for this wuestion to only way to say you try is tu tentes....tu tentes de boire la soupe works but never tu essaie or vous essayez. Someone please explain why i cant use essayer for to try here.
essayer ... drop the 'er'
essai .... change the 'y' to 'i'
essaies ... append 'es' ending for tu
There is at least one "--oyer" or "--ayer" verb which keeps the 'y' rather than changing it to an 'i'.
Who can check me on this please? Vous is a real subject so i know i should use à but i understand that essayer de is kinda fixed. So i should use de. Is it like that? Merci!
"Essayer de" is fixed to mean "to try to".
Yet, the reflexive "s'essayer à" is possible to mean "give stg a try".