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  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    not opening/not to open/to not open

    Which are correct:

    1-The best solution is not opening the door.
    2-The best solution is not to open the door.
    3-The best solution is to not open the door.

    I think all work. The third one does have a split infinitive, but it has the advantage of not being ambiguous.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. #2
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: not opening/not to open/to not open

    (though I think 1 is on the borderline of acceptability - in collocation with 'solution').

    b

    PS BNC has only 3 cases of 'solution is <verb>ing', and two of those are present progressives with 'solution' as subject. The remaing one is this:

    Surgery can sometimes assist, but again, the only long-term solution is screening of breeding stock.
    Last edited by BobK; 11-May-2013 at 13:01. Reason: Added PS

  3. #3
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Re: not opening/not to open/to not open

    Thank you very much Bob.


    Surgery can sometimes assist, but again, the only long-term solution is screening of breeding stock.

    That sentence sounds a bit odd to me. Shouldn't it be:

    a. Surgery can sometimes assist, but again, the only long-term solution is the screening of breeding stock.

    or:

    b. Surgery can sometimes assist, but again, the only long-term solution is screening breeding stock.

    The best way to say would probably be "to screen breeding stock" of course. "b" sound pretty bad, I would think.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: not opening/not to open/to not open

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    The third one does have a split infinitive.
    Many sentences do. A split infinitive is not an error in itself- they're may be a better rewrite, but there are plenty of cases where it's best IMO.

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