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    #1

    Question Split infinitives

    Hi!

    Is it ever appropriate to use split infinitives (in writing or orally)? It seems that nowaday, it has become a way to put the emphasis on whatever point is made, but is it proper English?

    Thanks,
    Carol_0222

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    #2

    Re: Split infinitives

    The rule about it comes from a rather strained synthesis of Latin grammar, though Latin infinitives are single words. It has always been done, so I would say it's OK. In formal writing, it is probably better to play safe and avoid them where possible, but otherwise I see not problems with them. Also, a split infinitive can provide an additional meaning:
    I decided to not do it.
    I decided not to do it.
    To me, the first sentence carries extra volition and rejection, rather than simply not doing it, so I think there's a perfectly good case for it. I have also noticed that many people nowadays split infinitives to keep an adverb near the verb rather than right at the end of the sentence, which is presumably done for reasons of clarity.

    Here's a common sense article from a newspaper copy editor on the subject:
    http://www.theslot.com/split.html
    Last edited by Tdol; 06-Jan-2006 at 05:22.


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    #3

    Re: Split infinitives

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    The rule about it comes from a rather strained synthesis of Latin grammar, though Latin infinitives are single words. It has always been done, so I would say it's OK. In formal writing, it is probably better to play safe and avoid them where possible, but otherwise I see not problems with them. Also, a split infinitive can provide an additional meaning:
    I decided to not do it.
    I decided not to do it.
    To me, the first sentence carries extra volition and rejection, rather than simply not doing it, so I think there's a perfectly good case for it. I have also noticed that many people nowadays split infinitives to keep an adverb near the verb rather than right at the end of the sentence, which is presumably done for reasons of clarity.

    Here's a common sense article from a newspaper copy editor on the subject:
    http://www.theslot.com/split.html
    Thanks again (and again)!
    The article is very interesting and quite edifying, so was your example.
    I'll strive to use common sense and to not be such a stickler for the "rules"

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    #4

    Re: Split infinitives

    I was taught that splitting an infinitive is wrong and rarely do it myself, but that is more conditioning than anything else. Someone said 'a good book' must, by the same logic, be a split nominal, which really puts it in perspective for me.

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    #5

    Re: Split infinitives


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