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  5. "Ella intentó alcanzar el tre…

"Ella intentó alcanzar el tren."

Translation:She tried to catch the train.

June 3, 2013


  • 2056

She intended to catch the train, why not?


My very smart spouse says the difference is between thinking about something and taking action to accomplish it. Sounds reasonable enough.


Was he reading over your shoulder as you typed?


Common mistake. INTENTAR = to try, not to intend .The English meaning of "to intend" is best translated with tener la intención.


This was my answer as well.


But it is of course more credible when you can find support in the authority that is your wife, right! ;) Thanks for a good answer!


DL accepts: "She tried to catch the train."


intento vs tratar?


I read somewhere that they basically mean the same thing, but "intentar" tends to be used a little bit more than "tratar de." Intentar seems to be used more like "to try," while tratar de seems to be used more like "to attempt"


Now could you explain to a non-native English speaker what's the difference between "to try" and "to attempt"? I never realized there was one.


Well, try and attempt can both mean the same thing. But try can mean other things that attempt wouldn't work with. For example, try can mean to test something out or to sample something.


Same uses/ interchangeable

  • I'm going to try to wake up 1 hour earlier every morning and work out.
  • I'm going to attempt to wake up 1 hour earlier every morning and work out.

  • My girlfriend is going to try to learn Spanish.

  • My girlfriend is going to attempt to learn Spanish.

  • You should try to quit smoking.

  • You should attempt to quit smoking.

Non-interchangeable (when try means to sample or test something out. Usually clothing or food)

  • Let me try(test out) your shirt and see if it fits.
  • let me attempt your shirt and see if it fits -- this just... no. This doesn't work

  • Would you like to try(sample) some of my baked ziti?

  • Would you like to attempt some of my baked ziti? -- Icky. This doesn't work.

Now TECHNICALLY you still could rearrange those sentences and actually use attempt but it can sound either rude or just weird.

  • "I'd like to try(sample) your baked ziti" - fine
  • "I'd like to attempt to eat your baked ziti" - weird and awkward and rude
  • "I'd like to make an attempt at eating your baked ziti." - rude lol

  • "let me attempt to wear your shirt and see if it fits" - this is not wrong but it's just weird. No one's gonna say that lol.

So there are the differences between the two words. Try can fit wherever attempt is used, but attempt can't fit wherever try is used.


Thank you a lot!


Yes, but you are going by the word (try) and not the meaning. Useful for English if that is what you are explaining (i suddenly realise!) but irrelevant to Spanish. So not attacking you Huck but general point nof meaning is paramount. **** EDIT: Can't reply to you, Huck, below so adding it here: Nicely expressed as for residual guilt - have a lingot!


hahaha @ the "I suddenly realise" bit.

No worries, I didn't feel attacked ;).

You make a very good point though. Since the person I was replying too did ask for an explanation as to the difference between the two in English for non-native speakers, I went ahead with the explanation not considering the ramification.

However, I'm in 100% agreement with you and often chime in with the same advice/warning when people get their knickers in a twist(You're British right? I nailed that one, did I not? :p ) about "why doesn't ~this translation~ work??" or "this word means this in English, therefore... yadda yadda weak rationalization."

Spanish and English are similar, but not the same. Don't get hung up on "this word gets used in English to mean this, therefore the same verb shall be used for the same scenario in Spanish." Which is decidedly not the case lol.

Any prolonged exposure with the verbs llevar, poner, tener and several other basics should make any English speaker step back and go "whoa, they just... wow, they don't express things nearly as close to ours as I thought. To have hunger? To carry hair? To put an injection? Ridiculous!"

But that's just the way it is shrug.

Kudos and cheers and all that.


Huck. See my explanation.


Tor "try on" something" or "try out" or "sample" something would be "probar."

Also, see Hucklebeary.

I believe he is distinguishing "probar" from "intentar" .


I'm wondering the same. Any help?


is that the same as "She tried to catch the train."


It is now accepted, this looks like a case where they started with a literal translation and then added the parallel English phrase.


Alcanzar means to catch according to my dictionary when taking about autobús, tren or ládron (thief). She tried to reach the train sounds a bit odd to me. I am not even sure what it means. It makes me think of someone trying to reach towards a train to pass something to someone through a window.


In English, to catch or not catch the train/bus/plane etc can specify a concern that you could miss it by arriving late. I'm trying to catch the train but it leaves in 10 minutes and I'm still 4 miles away. You could also just say it idiomatically. I caught the train and went to see my friend Dave.

To reach the train or to reach the train station (or any destination) would signify more that you are arriving there but without any implication of time being significant. When I reached the train station there was already a long line to buy tickets. Along the same lines as saying get to/got to.


What about "She tried to make the train"? It's not make in the sense of creating, but it is a common way to say catch or reach a train in English-more common than reach, in my experience.


Agreed, buhitos, but it seems to me more often used in the negative: "She failed to make her flight."


I thought "She tried to catch the train" was the right translation, but I didn't want to risk it. "She tried to reach the train" sounds most odd.


This: http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/3377/tratar-vs.-intentar may help when it comes to understanding the difference between intentar and tratar. Tratar with a preposition is essentially the same as intentar


In English, it's more common to use "she tried to reach the station (place) but she couldn't catch the train (vehicle)."


she tried to catch up to the train - marked incorrect - what is the difference between "up to the train" and " up with the train" ?


Catch the train = you got there before it left.

Catch up with the train = it left before you got there and you chased it and got on.


Also: "She tried to get to the train." Or: "She tried to catch up with the train" (It better be moving slowly.)


My English teacher always taught, you can never catch a train (unless you're the Hulk). You can either take a train or board a train, according to the situation.

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