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I'm trying to express this idea in German:

I would like to try to write it.

Since würde doesn't typically require zu in the infinitive, I'm confused about whether I need to have zu in this sentence. That is, I think it is one of these three options:

Ich würde es gern zu schreiben versuchen.
Ich würde es gern schreiben versuchen.
Ich würde es gern versuchen, zu schreiben.

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    You're right that "würde gern"does not call for a "zu". But look at your sentence and ask yourself, which verb is connected to that. And then ask yourself to which verb the third verb is connected. And then ask yourself whether that one needs a "zu" or not. It doesn't matter what verbs are in a sentence. There can be hundreds. What matters is, which verb something is connected to directly. That determines what you need. Give it a try. You can do it.
    – Emanuel
    Apr 22, 2015 at 16:26
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    Since I would write: Ich versuche zu schreiben I need zu because schreiben is attached to versuchen. Thus, both Ich würde es gern zu schreiben versuchen and Ich würde es gern versuchen, zu schreiben should be acceptable. Am I correct?
    – Phil Braun
    Apr 22, 2015 at 17:22
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    Perfectly correct!
    – Emanuel
    Apr 22, 2015 at 17:30
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    Another suggestion: Ich würde gern versuchen, es zu schreiben.
    – hellcode
    Apr 22, 2015 at 19:38

2 Answers 2

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As a translation word by word I would prefer:

Ich würde gerne versuchen, es zu schreiben.

because the "it" in "I would like to try to write it" means that there is something specific you want to write about.

Even better sounds:

Ich würde gerne versuchen, es aufzuschreiben.
(I would like to try to write it down.)

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    Duden explicitly allows a variant they call "Verschränkung" of the form: "Ich würde es gern zu schreiben versuchen." This is intellegible, but I've never used it and can't remember reading it anywhere other than in grammar example sentences. Apr 23, 2015 at 8:19
  • Yes, "Ich würde es gern zu schreiben versuchen." is perfectly correct, but as you say: ... can't remember reading it anywhere other than in grammar example sentences. Germans don't often use that kind of construction.
    – zork media
    Apr 23, 2015 at 8:30
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    Aufzuschreiben and zu schreiben slightly differ in meanings, though. Take calligraphy, I would never use aufschreiben when trying to write a chinese character calligrapicly.
    – Jan
    Apr 23, 2015 at 9:25
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Referring to Emanuel's comment above both:

Ich würde es gern zu schreiben versuchen.

Ich würde es gern versuchen, zu schreiben.

are acceptable. This is because schreiben is connected to versuchen (rather than würde) so it requires a zu.

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