posted by rfvv .
1. Wilma tried very hard to succeed as an athlete.
2. Wilma tried to succeed as an athlete very hard.
(Do both sentences have the same pattern and the meaning? Is the verb 'tried' a transitive verb, and take an object the to infinitive? Or is the verb 'tried' used as an intransitive verb and is the to infinitive used as an adverbial phrase?)
Both sentences have the same meaning, but not the same pattern. The first sentence is phrased more smoothly. The adverb phrase "very hard" needs to be as close to what it modifies (in this sentence, the verb) as possible.
Yes, "tried" is transitive and "to succeed as an athlete" is the infinitive phrase serving as the direct object.