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Split Infinitives and Verb Phrases

Chapter:
Grammar
Author(s):

Stacy Christiansen

Split Infinitives and Verb Phrases

Although some authorities may still advise the avoidance of split infinitives, this proscription—a holdover from Latin grammar, wherein the infinitive is a single word and cannot be split—has been relaxed. In some cases, moreover, clarity is better served by the split infinitive.

Ambiguous:

The authors planned to promote exercising vigorously. [Is it the exercising or the promotion of exercising that is vigorous?]

Clearer:

The authors planned to vigorously promote exercising.

or

The authors planned to promote vigorous exercise.

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