When writing a book you should avoid inserting split infinitives as this is one of the keys to great writing.
And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before – and thus was the Empire forged.
Splitting an infinitive means inserting a word or phrase between the word to and the verb. A split infinitive is when the word to is separated from the infinitive by an adverb. The most famous example we can use, which sounds clumsy, is from Star Trek:
- To boldly go where no man has gone before.
Notice how ‘to go’, the infinitive, has been split by the insertion of the adverb, ‘boldly’; ‘boldly to go’ or ‘to go boldly’ would be more correct, but again these don’t sound natural.
Generally, you will do this automatically and it will be correct, but if this area is one of your weaknesses, you should be extra vigilant. Some agree that this rule is now obsolete. Below, we have given you an example of a split and un-split infinitive within a sentence:
- I decided to leisurely view the landscape (split infinitive).
- I decided to view the landscape leisurely (un-split infinitive).
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