"attempts for decontamination" and “steps to decontamination”

Please, What is the difference between" attempts to decontamination" and “attempts for decontamination” on one hand and “steps to decontamination” and “steps for decontamination” on the other hand ? In my opinion, “attempts for decontamination” is the right one, and the meaning is attempts for achieving decontamination as a general, “steps to decontamination” means “step by step to reach to complete decontamination or to reach decontamination finally, Please, could you correct my opinion?


I think these three are possible:

  • attempts at decontamination
  • attempts at decontaminating
  • attempts to decontaminate

Hello, sir Torsten Daerr
Thank you very much for your reply. Please, What about " attempts for decontamination" ? Is it not correct? If the answer is “yes”, why?


The noun ‘attempt’ is followed by the preposition ‘at’.


Oh my God! Many thanks, sir. Excuse me, sir, What about the following sentence “You can allow students to submit more than one attempt for an assignment.” at https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Assignments/Multiple_Assignment_Attempts
and the following sentence" [

A Modest Attempt for Healing the Present Animosities in …

](A Modest Attempt for Healing the Present Animosities in England: Occasion'd ... - كتب Google)

and this sentence " [

Matt and Kim - In a thirsty attempt for likes this post is

and this sentence,too " [

Thin-film-transistor array: an exploratory attempt for high …


and this " Enzymatic delignification: An attempt for lignin degradation from lignocellulosic feedstock " at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282954683_Enzymatic_delignification_An_attempt_for_lignin_degradation_from_lignocellulosic_feedstock.............and
" Sequoia China Says Reuters Article is Nonsense and an Attempt for Defamation" Sequoia China Says Reuters Article is Nonsense and an Attempt for Defamation - Pandaily
and others like United kingdom sites and online Polish and Spanish dictionaries and so on?


I would be interested in hearing what @Alan, @Anglophile and @Andrea think on this topic.


The lexical entry for attempt in the ELBS & OUP dictionary carries the following examples.

  • The prisoner attempted to escape but failed.
  • You have attempted a difficult task.
  • His first attempt at English composition was poor.
  • Another meaning (attack): (Don’t) make an attempt on somebody’s life.
  • Even an attempt upon (the liberty of people) is possible but not ‘attempt for’.

Nevertheless, we need to consider the tendency of users to choose prepositions as they like on the basis of the postulation that language is for communication, and that when the idea is unambiguously conveyed, there is no imperative need for checking the grammar and usage from the prescriptive angle.


Many thanks, Sir Torsten Daerr and Sir Anglophile.

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‘Attempt at’ suggests that this is something that is being tried without necessarily a hope of success. It’s important to remember that ‘attempt on’ is often used with the word ‘life’ to describe an attempted assassination as in - Throughout her long reign several attempts were made on Queen Victoria’s life.


Many thanks, sir Alan, but what about “attempts for decontamination”, and “steps to decontamination” sir?


Hi Mona,

How are you these days? For me in most cases I would suggest that ‘attempt’ on its own would usually be followed by the infinitive as In - attempts to decontaminate,


I 'm fine. Thank you very much,sir. It is " For me in most cases".