‘I was trying to eat hot food, but I didn’t eat the hot food’

I was trying to eat hot food, but I didn’t eat the hot food

Isn’t it contradictory? There are ‘eat’ and ‘didn’t eat’ in this structure. However, in informal, I think people use this kind of contradictions, especially when it comes to sentences including ‘to’s. Ex) I wanted to eat food, but I didn’t eat the food. I want food when I’m in the car, but I’m not in the car.

I think ‘maybe’ it can be related to philosophy. Ex) Unicorns help people, but the unicorns doesn’t exist. Though I think there must be a linguistic name. After I make a picture, I describe it or after I make a statement, I make a picture, (but actually, in this case, there’s no picture to referred). I want to know related linguistic terms. Something like ‘top-down or bottom-up processing’



There is no contradiction because you have used the word "trying".

If the sentence had been, ‘I was eating hot food, but I didn’t eat the hot food’, that would be a contradiction.

Let’s look at a particular situation.

‘Someone gave me a phaal curry. I kept trying to eat the phaal, but I didn’t eat the phaal because, it was too hot to keep in my mouth.’

Source : Link , Question Author : Iamgay , Answer Author : chasly – supports Monica

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