見る (miru) as a verb means to see, but used with another verb it means "try to do something".
theres a similar phrase in english: "try it and see"
used with the -te form of the previous verb 書いてみる - try and write it 食べてみる - try and eat it (taste a bit of it to see what its like)
miru itself can be converted to a -te form to keep the sentence flowing... like
食べてみたけど、、、 I tried to eat it, but... (-ta is past of -te)
Yeh I'm pritty sure my teacher was adamant that you never use the kanji when using て みる
Yeah that book is really awesome, Basic Connection - Making your Japanese Flow, by Kabuko Shoji. Give it a try
I am still reading the Basic Connections book, but I can already say it is excellent. It was written "to provide helpful information about Japanese expressions and usages that facilitate the flow of ideas and thought in written and spoken Japanese...The book focuses on those grammatical items, idiomatic expressions, and set phrases that have proven to be most problematic to students." It is an inexpensive, small paperback that I highly recommend. Ref: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/4770028601/
When I learnt this grammar for the first time, my teacher said not to think of it in terms of 見る/see. I have never seen the kanji 見 used for this grammar. Checking google 行ってみる - 3,400,000 results. 行って見る - 179,000 results. Howerver many results were out of this context. yookoso, thanks for that explanation. That textbook sounds very helpful. I think it is about level 3 too.
this entry is currently marked level 0 (unknown) - my guess is Level 3 - anybody else agree?
Success and Failure: According to the book Basic Connections by Kakuko Shoji, 〜てみた indicates that the subject actually tried and achieved the result. When the speaker tried or intended to do something but failed, 〜うとした (volitional verb form + toshita) is used. example: 一所懸命、納豆を食べようとしたのですが、やっぱりだめでした。 (Isshoukenmei, nattou o tabeyou to shita no desu ga, yappari dame deshita)
this is a good grammar point to have added, but some of the examples are not relevant: 映画館にいってみるか？ is 見る as in "go to see a movie" not "see about doing something"