"He tries going to the city."
Translation:Él intenta ir a la ciudad.
Should "Él trata ir a la ciudad" not be accepted. Both "trata" and "intenta" mean "he tries"...
Because tratar de means to try to. Without the de it means he treats, he handles something.
'Yendo' is the gerund for ir. It means going. I believe that in Spanish, gerunds are primarily used with estar for what's known as 'the continuous form' (eg, estoy yendo - I am going).
Note that it isn't a perfect match for 'going', since in Romance languages, gerunds are never used as nouns, as they are in English (e.g., going to the movies is my favourite pastime).
are they trying to say "tries going to" or "tries to go to"? is there a difference in spanish?
There's also no difference in English, right? Some English words take "to verb", some take "verbing", some take either(with different meanings), some take both(with identical meanings).
There is a difference in Spanish. You can't actually use a gerund (the -ing form) as a noun, so 'going' cannot be the object of try.
The difference in meaning in English (in which you can use the gerund as an object) is very subtle. The gerund is 'continuous' (ie, the ending is unspecified) and the infinitive is completely nonspecific in both it's start and end, so there is no conflict.
"de" is necessary after any use of the verbs "intentar" and "tratar." Unfortunately there is no comparison to English grammar, it's just one of many irregular rules in Spanish. Hope that helps!
1. Tratar means to treat, to handle while tratar de +infinitive means to try <to do something>.
2. You can't have two conjugated verbs in a row. Even in English, you can't say "he tries goes to the city".