Confusing words in English: Try vs Challenge

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

Listen: Have you ever tried taking an English exam like the TOEIC or TOEFL? If so, then you know how tough these exams can be. I think it is a great idea for all students to try one of these standard exams once a year. Doing so will help keep your English studies on focus and give you some objective feedback about your progress. I challenge you to try them!

Did you notice how I used try and challenge above? A lot of English learners confuse these two words.


We only use challenge to talk about challenging another person. For example, I challenge you to a game of golf. You can’t challenge a thing, so “Next week I will challenge the TOEIC exam” doesn’t work.


We use try to talk about trying something, like an exam, a sport, etc. For example, I tried playing golf for the first time last week.

So keep this basic idea in mind: Challenge a person, try a thing!

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If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them.

Thanks for studying today!