No quiz with this lesson.
Video (from Youtube): Chalking Points | To boldly split infinitives by Artie Q. Pebbleton at LSRSGames (new tab). (Watching time: 3m:15secs)
the "to" infinitive - what it looks like
The infinitive is the base form of the verb. Take the verb [go]: It can appear as "went" "going" or "gone", but [go] is the base form. The to-infinitive is the base form of the verb with "to" in front of it. E.g. "to go"
The to-infinitive of a verb is to + [verb]. For example: to read is the to-infinitive of the verb read. Some people believe that it is wrong to put anything between to and the verb. They call this splitting the infinitive.
Modern grammarians are comfortable with this, but there are times when it is better not to split your infinitive.
You should avoid splitting the infinitive with a modifying phrase or dependent clause. Look at the problems created in the following sentences.
* We decided to, after much deliberation, watch a play instead of going to the party. * (Note: Asterisks signal examples of poor constructions.)
* The students tried to at the conclusion of the tutorial agree to a time to meet. *
Can you put an adverb in the middle of your infinitive
Adverbs are words like "quickly", "boldly", "totally". You must decide where they should go in your sentence.
Splitting an infinitive with an adverb: A classic example (as you saw on the video) is from the Star Trek series when Captain Kirk's voice can be heard saying
To boldly go where no man has gone before
. In this famous quote [to go] is the infinitive, and Kirk splits it with "boldly".
This is now common and acceptable, but probably safest to avoid putting adverbs in the middle of your infinitive; at the very least you should be aware of this aspect of your writing and any of your split infinitives should be deliberate rather than accidental.
PS: Adverbs are words which describe how a verb action is performed and as such they have every right to be located adjacent to their verb. (Note: often adverbs end with ~ly.)
We eventually decided to watch the play and then go immediately to the party
The students tried to agree quickly on a time to meet.
Moving your adverb around your sentence to see what happens
If you ever hear a rule that "you should not split your infinitive" you know that sometimes you have to.
Sometimes you have to split your infinitive a bit because that's what we all say.
Which of the following sentences do you think is best?
I want you to gently remove the cap to the primary and secondary water cooling reservoirs next to the inlet hose.
I want you to remove the cap to the primary and secondary water cooling reservoirs next to the inlet hose gently.
I want you gently to remove the cap to the primary and secondary water cooling reservoirs next to the inlet hose.
I want you to remove gently the cap to the primary and secondary water cooling reservoirs next to the inlet hose.