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  1. #1
    M56 Guest

    Default What isn't a split infinitive?

    Do you agree with this statement:

    http://www.yaelf.com/aueFAQ/mifsplitinfinitive.shtml

    Phrases consisting of "to be" or "to have" followed by an adverb
    and a participle are *not* split infinitives, and constitute the
    natural word order. "To generally be accepted" and "to always have
    thought" are split infinitives; "to be generally accepted" and "to
    have always thought" are not.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    Do you agree with this statement:

    Phrases consisting of "to be" or "to have" followed by an adverb
    and a participle are *not* split infinitives, and constitute the
    natural word order. "To generally be accepted" and "to always have
    thought" are split infinitives; "to be generally accepted" and "to
    have always thought" are not.
    Yes. "infinitive" refers to the verb, not to its object:

    Infinitive verb: [to be]
    Object: [accepted]
    Verb phrase: [ [to be] [accepted] ]

    The adverb can go anywhere outside the verb boundary ([. . .]) or the verb phrase boundary, but never inside the verb boundary. If that happens, it splits the integrity of the infinitive structure:

    [to be] generally [accepted]
    generally [to be] [accepted]
    [to be] [accepted] generally

    [to generally be] [accepted] (split infinitive)

  3. #3
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Yes. "infinitive" refers to the verb, not to its object:

    Infinitive verb: [to be]
    Object: [accepted]
    Verb phrase: [ [to be] [accepted] ]

    The adverb can go anywhere outside the verb boundary ([. . .]) or the verb phrase boundary, but never inside the verb boundary. If that happens, it splits the integrity of the infinitive structure:

    [to be] generally [accepted]
    generally [to be] [accepted]
    [to be] [accepted] generally

    [to generally be] [accepted] (split infinitive)
    I agree. Thanks for the swift reply.

    What do you think of this written by a NS who claims to be an authority on English grammar?

    to be understood - passive infinitive
    to clearly be understood - split infinitive
    to be clearly understood - split infinitive
    to be understood clearly - no split
    Last edited by M56; 12-Feb-2005 at 00:52.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    I agree. Thanks for the swift reply.
    You're welcome, M56.

    What do you think of this written by a NS who claims to be an authority on English grammar?

    1. to be understood - passive infinitive
    2. to clearly be understood - split infinitive
    3. to be clearly understood - split infinitive
    4. to be understood clearly - no split
    Let's check it out:

    1. For us to be understood, we have to. . . . (passive infinitive)
    2. For us to clearly be understood, we have to. . . . (split infinitive)
    3. For us to be clearly understood, we have to. . . . (split infintive)
    4. For us to be understood clearly, we have to. . . . (no split)

    Clearly, there's a split in 2.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Is the NS suggesting that #3 is incorrect or needs rewriting because of the alleged split? If so, I disagree.

  6. #6
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Is the NS suggesting that #3 is incorrect or needs rewriting because of the alleged split? If so, I disagree.
    He is suggesting it is correct. He says that the whole thing ("to be understood") is a unit and cannot be split.

  7. #7
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    They are all okay with me. Split all you like. In my humble opinion, split infinitives are not something to worry about.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    To me split infinitive seems to be pedantic, especially when overused.



  9. #9
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tuangpi
    To me split infinitive seems to be pedantic, especially when overused.


    Interesting, Tuangpi. Could you elaborate?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tuangpi
    To me split infinitive seems to be pedantic, especially when overused.
    Welcome.

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