split infinitive
Definition - An infinitive that has an adverb between the to and the verbal part.

Example -
In the phrase to boldly go, the infinitive is to go and boldly is the adverb that splits it.


1. Feel free to split infinitives any time you feel like it, unless doing so is going to make you sound like an idiot.

Oxford English Dictionary -
The term's first citation is from 1897:
"Are our critics aware that Byron is the father of their split infinitive? ‘To slowly trace’, says the noble poet, ‘the forest's shady scene’."
(Academy 3 Apr. 371/2)

Quotation -
Henry Fowler wrote in 1926, "No other grammatical issue has so divided English speakers since the split infinitive was declared to be a solecism in the nineteenth century: raise the subject of English usage in any conversation today and it is sure to be mentioned."
(Source: Fowler's Modern English Usage s.v. split infinitive )

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