Are split infinitives considered incorrect? What is a ‘split infinitive’? The answer to the first question is, yes. They are correct, although some hard-core grammarians don’t consider them to be correct, but in today’s society they are abundantly used without issue. Secondly, a ‘split infinitive’ is formed when an adverb or an adverbial phrase is inserted between the ‘to‘ and the ‘verb‘. For example: To boldly go where no one else has; to finely tune your engine; to kindly illustrate.
Examples of split infinitives
- To carefully write an article, you need to sit down and spend some time.
- I would like you to nicely tell us about yourself.
- He would get up and tell us to calmly speak about the problem.
- To promptly arrive is important.
- I expect you to slowly move the price up.
As cited above, the split infinitive only consists in inserting an adverb or an adverbial phrase between ‘to’ and the ‘verb’. Examples to follow.
Modal auxiliary verbs:
- Articles (a/an, the, zero article)
- Pronouns: subject, object and possessive
- Question tags
- English conditionals
- Interrogatives in English
- Phrasal verbs
- Prefixes and suffixes
- Reported and direct speech
- Punctuation: apostrophes, colons, semi-colons, commas, dashes, full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, and quotation marks
- Numbers: cardinal, ordinal, and Roman numbers
- The verb: “get”
- ‘Get’ vs. ‘go’ and ‘got’ vs. ‘gotten’
- Copular verbs
- Cleft sentences
- Subjunctive in English
- Vulgar and taboo in English
- Emphasis with inversion
- Gerunds in English
- To + infinitive
- Bare infinitive
- British and American spelling