Tratar vs. Intentar
Hello, everyone, I am very new to the world of learning Spanish. what turned the page for me was working with a group af spanish speaking people. I found it very interesting and wanting to learn.
When I was trying to speak to someone and say somthing like I " try" to learn spanish and used the word " intentar" , I was corrected and was told the correct word to use is "tratar". According to the dictionary "tratar " means to treat, to handle, and intentar means to try. Any help please'
Intentar means "to try (to)", "attempt"
Tratar has several meanings: (1) Without preposition it can translated as "treat", "use", "handle", "regard",... (2) With preposition "de" it is practically identical to "intentar":
Intentar ayudar = tratar de ayudar
Intento aprender español = trato de aprender español
English has similar verbs, like "apply". You say "apply a cream", but not "apply a job" (apply FOR a job". The preposition changes its meaning.
some of the difference is less in the denotation (dictionary definition) than in the connotation (the usage and associations of the words). when i was first learning spanish, several spanish speaking friends of mine had an argument over this very topic when i wasn't sure which to use. my understanding of their points is that the two are nearly identical in meaning, but intentar is used much more frequently.
consider in english the words try and attempt. they mean pretty much the same thing, but in everyday conversation, you are much more likely to pull out 'try' while 'attempt' is going to show up when you want to sound more formal/precise/educated. a similar relationship exists between 'intentar' (informal, everyday) and 'tratar de' (more elevated/formal).
This "de" is only used when you mean "tro try/attempt", The supression of this preposition for this meaning is incorrect Spanish everywhere in the world. The standard in Guatemala in public schools follows the recommendations of the Academia Guatemalteca de la Lengua, and (I've checked) they say the preposition should be used.
Do they really say: "Estoy tratando aprender"'''''
OK, thank you," tratar de" it is. I will "tratar de" this on my co-workers!!
Tratar is not followed by "de" if it means "to treat", though.
And make sure you write español with lower case in Spanish.
All the explanations given before are great. I'm a Spanish native speaker. Let me give you some examples in Spanish. Both verbs are correct. You can say:
Estoy tratando de aprender Español or Trato de aprender Español
Estoy intentando aprender Español or Intento aprender Español
("Tratar" is always followed by the preposition "de")
I'm glad I found this. I was working on some Spanish homework and I came across tratar with the preposition de. Of course, trying to find out what it meant brought me here.
I've been using "intentar" to mean try, and "tratar" to mean treat, as in "¿Por qué me tratas tan malo?" Not sure if I'll change now, but at least now I know its an option.
What about probar?
I know it's used as in to try something on or to taste something. But I have used it to say "I try" (pruebo) as in " I try to speak Spanish" but I've never been corrected.
So now I'm confused.
Intentar. Tratar. Probar.
Any natives de castillana care to comment?
When speaking to my co-workers the "de" was never used. Could this be an "understood" preposition when one speaks fluent spanish? Most of my co-workers are from Guatamala.
Natasha, Thanks for your reply. What was confusing to me was the dictionary meaning of both words on this site but since you learned this ( tratar ) to mean "try" I'll feel more comfortable using it.
As far as the origional context, I'm so new to spanish I don' recall. Thanks again.
You're right. Thanks!
You need to post both the sentence and the context.
In my (very limited) experience, intentar usually means "to attempt," but that might not always be the case.
In school, I learned that tratar is "to try," as you mention; but perhaps there are some variations on how this is used. If you post the context, some native speakers will be able to help.