Blog - Proofreading and Copy Editing

Split Infinitives

What are split infinitives?

Split infinitives occur when an adverb is placed between the two components of the infinitive: to and the verb.

Infinitives are: to go, to walk, to speak, to love, etc.

Examples of split infinitives are:

Paul loved to unashamedly flaunt his skill at football.

The children crept along the path to secretly observe the wild rabbit.

Are split infinitives incorrect?

This has been a subject of debate over the years. Some believe the construction is grammatically incorrect and should be avoided at all costs. However, it is a construction that has been in use for centuries.

Today, it is generally regarded as acceptable. To appease the sticklers out there, I suggest you avoid using it in formal writing unless changing it would alter the meaning of your sentence or result in one that is clumsily formed.



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