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  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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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.


    Do you mean avoiding splitting them or splitting them?

  2. #12
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    [The native speaker] is suggesting [to be clearly understood] is correct. He says that the whole thing ("to be understood") is a unit and cannot be split.
    Coincidentally, The American Heritage Dictionary cites your very example:

    . . . the split infinitive—an infinitive that has an adverb between the to and the verb.

    . . . infinitive phrases in which the adverb precedes a participle, such . . . to be clearly understood, . . . , . . . not split . . . .

  3. #13
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Welcome.
    Tuangpi is a welcome sight on any site. A great poster:

  4. #14
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Do you mean avoiding splitting them or splitting them?

    I mean splitting them so often. By writing so some people *think* their knowledge in English is better than the ones who write in simple English.

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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    Interesting, Tuangpi. Could you elaborate?
    Why not.

    My first teacher said it was important to fully understand the grammer, but she liked to not correct the grammer mistakes the students made. Anyway, she was the perfect teacher who used to willingly apply any new methods in order to enormously improve her students' grammer knowledge.


    To me, putting adverbs between the infinitive seems unnecessary. So why confuse people whose English is not that good.


  6. #16
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Welcome.
    Thank you for the warm welcoming. I like to come here, too.

  7. #17
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tuangpi
    I mean splitting them so often. By writing so some people *think* their knowledge in English is better than the ones who write in simple English.
    I tend to avoid splitting, except when it might make things clearer, or change the meaning- I see 'not to do' and 'to not do' as different. I agree that there is a tendency to oversplit.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: grammer

    Quote Originally Posted by tuangpi
    Why not.

    My first teacher said it was important to fully understand the grammer, but she liked to not correct the grammer mistakes the students made. Anyway, she was the perfect teacher who used to willingly apply any new methods in order to enormously improve her students' grammer knowledge.


    To me, putting adverbs between the infinitive seems unnecessary. So why confuse people whose English is not that good.

    Grammar is a stellar grade. It has two A's.

  9. #19
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I tend to avoid splitting, except when it might make things clearer, or change the meaning- I see 'not to do' and 'to not do' as different. I agree that there is a tendency to oversplit.
    But do you see "to be totally understood", for example, as a split infinitive?

  10. #20
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    Default Re: What isn't a split infinitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    But do you see "to be totally understood", for example, as a split infinitive?
    Semantically, there's a marked difference between, say, A. and B.

    A. To be perfectly clear (linking verb + adjective)
    B. To be perfectly understood (verb + participle)

    In A. the adjective is not part of the verb proper ([ . . . ]), whereas in B. the participle is part of the verb proper:

    A. [to be] perfectly clear
    B. [to be perfectly understood]

    Now the verb proper happens to be an infinitive, and its structural integrity
    hasn't been violated in A., and it hasn't been violated in B. The adverb doesn't come between the infinitive marker (to) and its base verb (be). If it did, we'd be looking at a split infinitive.

    With our examples, the adverb is outside the verb proper (A.) and inside the verb proper (B.), but not inside the infinitive itself:

    A. [ to be] perfectly clear
    B. [ to be [perfectly understood] ]

    If you want to agrue that B. is an example of a split, I'd be the first to agree with you, but you'll have to use a different term because "split infinitive" B. is not.

    Now if we moved the adverb out of the verb proper ([ . . . ]), then it would serve to modify the verb proper:

    C. [ to be understood ] perfectly

    With structural change comes a change in meaning, so C. and B. don't express exactly the same thing:

    B. [ to be [perfectly understood] ]
    C. [ to be understood ] perfectly

    In short, B. is not a split infinitive; no "infinitive" has been split.

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