infinitive n (Grammar) a form of the verb not inflected for grammatical categories such as tense and person and used without an overt subject. In English, the infinitive usually consists of the word to followed by the verb
infinitively, infinitivally adv
n (Grammar) a word or affix occurring with the verb stem in the infinitive, such as to in to make
n (in English grammar) an infinitive used with another word between to (the infinitive marker) and the verb itself, as in I want to really finish it this time
The traditional rule against placing an adverb between to and its verb is gradually disappearing. Although it is true that a split infinitive may result in a clumsy sentence (he decided to firmly and definitively deal with the problem), this is not enough to justify the absolute condemnation that this practice has attracted. Indeed, very often the most natural position of the adverb is between to and the verb (he decided to really try next time) and to change it would result in an artificial and awkward construction (he decided really to try next time). The current view is therefore that the split infinitive is not a grammatical error. Nevertheless, many writers prefer to avoid splitting infinitives in formal written English, since readers with a more traditional point of view are likely to interpret this type of construction as incorrect
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