Split Infinitives in English: Not Actually Wrong, but Unwise

Jerz > Writing > Grammar and Syntax >

In English, an infinitive verb fufills the function of a noun and is formed with “to” and the verb “be” — thus, “to take,” “to laugh,” and “to be.”

You may have been warned (by stern but well-meaning eighth grade English teacher Sister Mary Knucklewhacker, or by fussy but thorough high school guidance counselor Mr. Nerdbody) that it’s bad form to “split an infinitive” by inserting a modifying word between “to” and “be”.

The following are examples of split infinitives: “to greedily take,” “to enthusiastically laugh,” “to finally be.”

to boldly go where no man has gone before.
boldly to go (or to go boldly) where no man has gone before.

More on split infinitives.

See Also