Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 6: 15/16

To try to

Verb[て]+ みる
Verb[て]+ みます
Register Standard
使用域 一般
In order to express that you will (or someone else should) try something, the conjunction particle will be paired with 見(み)る (almost always without kanji). While this is translated as ‘to try to (A)’, the actual meaning is closer to ‘to do (A), and see (whether the result is good or not)’.
This grammar construction is usually only used when someone tries something for the first time.
  • 本当(ほんとう)においし?今度(こんど)食(た)べてみる
    Is it really delicious? Next time I'll try it!
  • これ飲(の)んでみる?
    Do you want to try this drink?
As mentioned above, this phrase is also used when suggesting that someone else should try something. In these situations, (A) + てみて, or more formally, (A) + てみてください will be used.
  • だまされと思(おも)っ食(た)べてみ
    Try and eat it as if I tricked you into eating it. (Believe it or not, this tastes good)
  • もう一度(いちど)電源(でんげん)切(き)ってみてください
    Please try to turn it off once more.
Sometimes, in very casual situations, even the will be dropped, and (A) + てみ will be used by itself. This usually has the nuance of ‘come on, just give it a go!’
  • このボール投(な)げてみ
    Try and throw this ball.
When てみた appears in the past tense, it will imply that the attempt was successful, unless specifically stated otherwise by the speaker.
  • あの新(あたら)しショッピングモールに行(い)ってみ!すご良(よ)かった
    I went to that new shopping mall! It was so good!
  • タケルにもら靴(くつ)履(は)いてみけど、俺(おれ)足(あし)デカすぎるから入(はい)らなかった
    I tried to wear the shoes that Takeru gave me, but my feet were too big so they didn't fit.
Fun Fact
While the kanji for 見(み)る may be used in this grammar point, it will result in the ‘see’ meaning being heavily stressed (rather than ‘try’). This may cause a misunderstanding on the part of the person listening/reading.
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I will try playing baseball this weekend.
I want to try swimming with dolphins.
From tomorrow, I intend to try learning French.
Genki II 1st Edition
Page 14
みんなの日本語 II
Page 96 [CH 40]
Genki II 2nd Edition
Page 34
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 167