Friday, October 2, 2009

Splitting Infinitives

To Split an Infinitive

An infinitive is a verb with the word “to” attached to it. To run, to walk, to argue, to discuss are all infinitives. Splitting an infinitive is interposing an adverb (a word that describes how a verb is done) in between the “to” and the verb. Examples of split infinitives are:

To swiftly run

To slowly walk

To vehemently argue

To loudly discuss

It is technically incorrect and infinitives should not be split, so, instead write:

To run swiftly

To walk slowly

To argue vehemently

To discuss loudly

These are considered to be more correct.

However, some more recent sources (this rule has been around since the 14th century!) suggest that splitting an infinitive is not a big problem. Some sources say it is OK to do when you are trying to emphasize the adjective. I would try to avoid splitting infinitives (I think it makes the verb seem “weaker” somehow) and wanted you to know what this is in the event you are told to NOT do it!

Keep writing!

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