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  1. Over the top's Avatar
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    #1

    not to or to not

    Which one is correct?

    How not to be ... (adjective)
    How to not be ... (adjective)

    How not to ....( verb)
    How to not ....(verb)

    Thank you

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    #2

    Re: not to or to not

    Not to, always. Remember:

    To be or not to be, that is the question. -- Shakespeare.

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    #3

    Re: not to or to not

    Over the top, try searching for "split infinitive".

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    #4

    Re: not to or to not

    I'm not entirely against split infinitives. The question, however, is not about them in general, but about the word "not" with an infinitive. I don't think "to not" is at all necessary. Not to be, not "to not be". How not to, not "how to not".

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    #5

    Re: not to or to not

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    I'm not entirely against split infinitives. The question, however, is not about them in general, but about the word "not" with an infinitive. I don't think "to not" is at all necessary. Not to be, not "to not be". How not to, not "how to not".
    As far as I know, split infinitives with "not" are less common than other kinds and many more people object to them, but some use them. (I don't.) I just wanted to give Over the top more search options.

  2. Over the top's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: not to or to not

    My friend, who is native English speaker from London, always use 'to not'. What does this mean? Is he wrong?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: not to or to not

    Quote Originally Posted by Over the top View Post
    My friend, who is a native English speaker from London, always uses 'to not'. What does this mean? Is he wrong?
    I would not say it's wrong, but it's not common. COCA has over 36,000 citations for 'not to verb' and only 24 for 'to not verb'.

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    #8

    Re: not to or to not

    always not to + infinitive
    It is unacceptable to say to not + infinitive, but instead, you should say not to + infinitive

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: not to or to not

    It is not unacceptable, merely uncommon.

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