"Provò ad aprire la porta."
Translation:He tried to open the door.
10 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
Feedback from a native would be nice here. I think this means "he tried opening the door." That is, he opened the door to see whether he liked it. I think it excludes the possibility that he attempted to open the door but was unable to.
Conversely, "he tried to open the door" implies (in English) that he did not succeed. Therefore, I think the Italian should be either Tentò di aprire la porta or cercò di aprire la porta.
In italian, if you say "Provò ad aprire la porta", it means that you don't know if he actually succeeded. You could use this sentence for example in a horror book, to create a cliff-hanger.
On the other hand, "Cercò di aprire la porta" means more likely that he did not succeed.
Meanings do not overlap perfectly here. "Provò ad aprire la porta" means "he tried to open the door", but unlike english, it does not determine the outcome of his attempt. "Tentò" and "Cercò" give a stronger nuance of failure, but yet he could succeed.
On the other hand, I've never heard of "Provò a farlo" meaning "he tried doing it to see whether he liked it". You could use the noun instead of the verb, to underline the certainty of the outcome.
I.e.: "Provò l'apertura della porta" - "He tried (checked) the door opening"