It seems that whenever I use one, I'm told to use the other :)

3 Answers 3


Both of these words may be used in sense of trying something, making attempts to do something. Although, word пытаться emphasizes that this process is difficult to a person involved.

Я попытаюсь научиться танцевать танго. - I'll try to learn how to dance tango.

Пробовать, when used as "to try something" means that a person doesn't make a big effort to achieve result, just "tastes" a new action. This is because the other meaning of the word "пробовать" is actually "to taste something".

Я попробую сходить на занятие по танцам. - I'm going to try dance classes


Пытаться-попытаться means "to make an effort to do something if you are not sure of the result":

Я попытаюсь устроиться на работу, но не уверен, что мне удастся.

The synonym of пытаться-попытаться is стараться-постараться.

Пробовать-попробовать means "to try", "to taste" or "to test" It doesn't have the meaning of making a big effort.

Я попробую устроиться на работу.

Я хочу попробовать шоколад.

Учёные пробуют новый прибор в действии.

  • Пытатся - To make an attempt
  • Пробовать - To sample something (try a new dish), also to make an attempt.

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