Which of these sentences are correct?
1.Young people must gain rounded education to positively contribute to society or Young people must gain rounded education to contribute positively to society. The adverb must go after the verb contribute and not before the verb contribute. The first sentence has appeared in today's Times of India paper. Please clarify with reasons.
The second sentence sounds better to me. The issue is the word to. It is an infinitive, and apparently must be part of a verb. Think of "to contribute" as one word. If you add other words between them, that is a split infinitive. They can make sentences more confusing since it is hard to tell what part of the sentence if modifies. Usually, the modifier would go before the infinitive verb phrase, but there is no other place to put it but after in this instance.
|link comment||answered Mar 23 '12 at 09:47 Courtney Contributor|
As Courtney states, the introduction of the adverb positively between to and contribute creates a split infinitive. On its own, to isn't an infinitive, though. Without a verb, to is a preposition.
I agree that the second sentence sounds better, but I don't see anything confusing in the sentence containing the split infinitive.
Latin infinitives can't be split because they're one word. Many people believe the English infinitive should be treated as one word and not split. This "rule" isn't followed as strictly as it used to be. Nevertheless, some people tend to strongly object to split infinitives. While it might be best to avoid them in formal writing, in informal writing and spoken English, I say "Split away!"
|link comment||answered Mar 23 '12 at 15:40 Jody M. Expert|
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