Split Infinitives


I have been told by students and some faculty - that split infinitives are no longer being covered in high school or college English classes. I'm old school...never split an infinitive...but I keep seeing evidence that I'm just old-fashioned. Opinions?



See example:

I am a very proud woman who refuses to be stepped on or bullied, and when necessary, I take the necessary action to not have my pride disparaged.
asked May 06 '11 at 01:37 Jeff Giraud New member

1 answer




I grew up splitting infinitives left and right.  In university, I had a number of professors who quickly pounded that habit out of my writing.  Now, however, I have seen and read numerous articles about how it is a grammar myth that splitting infinitives is bad.  Many articles point out that not splitting infinitives is a rule borrowed from the grammar of Latin and that, in English grammar, there is no reason not to do so.


I really like what  our friend Grammar Girl has to say about Grammar myths.


My personal opinion, and that which I share with my students, is that splitting an infinitive and breaking the grammar myths are fine when you are in a informal setting or you know that the grammar expectations of your audience do not demand complete infinitives.  If, however, you are in a new professional setting or an academic setting, you should take care not to break such rules so that you do not set a bad impression if your professor or new boss still follows these more traditional rules.


In the end, these rules should still be taught, but with the understanding that they are falling out of use.

link comment answered May 06 '11 at 13:05 Kimberly Expert

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