Forum Rocket Italian Italian Vocab The use of the "Cercare" to mean "To try"

The use of the "Cercare" to mean "To try"



I was just doing some revision with lesson 4.3 
In the conversation Maria says "Allora riposa e cerca di dormire" which translates to "Ok then, have a rest and try to sleep".
In the extra vocabulary section you have "Cercare" means "to try". This is also in the Rocket Reinforcement Activities section. I always thought "Cercare" means "to find", "to search for" or "to look for" and the word for "to try" is "provare" or "tentare" 
So I looked for Cercare in the Collins Italian-English dictionary and in the intransitive verb section it has following examples: 
cercare di fare = to try to do
cerca di non far tardi = try not to be late  (Is "far"this correct of is this a typo and should be "fare" ?)

Am I correct so assume that "cercare di" means "to try to" and "cerca di" means "try to"? Or is it just the when "cercare" is used a an intransitive verb it can mean "to try"?


Hi Mark, 

Thanks for your question and for the additional research you did!

Concerning your question "is "far"this correct of is this a typo and should be "fare"  related to "cerca di non far tardi". This is actually correct: "far" stands for "fare", it's an abbreviated form of the word.

Concerning your question about "cercare": one of its meaning is "to try", as you correctly found out. 

Here are some examples:
Ho cercato di aprire la bottiglia. = Ho provato ad aprire la bottiglia.
I tried to open the bottle. 

Cerca di mangiarlo tutto. = Prova a mangiarlo tutto.
Try to eat it all.

I'd say that cercare implies that there was an additional will to succeed, meaning that you really tried your best to achieve something, while provare could imply that it was only a mere attempt.

Hope this helps!


Hi Caterina,
Thanks for explaining the use of cercare to mean to try
Also that cercare implies that there was an additional will to succeed. I guess it could also mean to try hard



Hi Mark, 

It could indeed imply to try hard, correct!


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