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v. try for, fight for, strive for
Discussion of 争取/爭取
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In the first example sentence, "我争取今年考上研究生，why is the time period , 今年，not placed before 争取？
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We have two sentences here:
a. 我争取今年考上研究生。 I will try my best to pass the graduate student entrance examination this year.
b. 我今年争取考上研究生。 This year I will try my best to pass the graduate student entrance examination.
Both a and b are correct. It depends on what you want to say.
今年 refers to the part of the sentence that comes after it.
In Sentence a, 今年 modifies 考上研究生.
In Sentence b, 今年 modifies 争取考上研究生.
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