To Boldly Go Where You Should Not…The Split Infinitive

Posted: November 21st, 2013, 10:07 pm   By: brittany.corners

Can you tell what makes the title of this post incorrect according to the Midwest style guide? If you cannot, after reading this post, the ability to identify a split infinitive and how to correct it are skills you can add to your writing arsenal.

To know if you have incorrectly spilit an infinitive, you must first know exactly what one is. So, what is an infinitive?

Infinitives actually take two forms: bare and full. Bare infinitives are verbs like go, trickle and cut. Given that these consist of only one word, regardless of how much you try, you cannot split one. Feel free to incorporate them boldly into your writing.

On the other hand, full infinitives consist of two words, one of which is usually a bare infinitive. The other is almost always “to.” To use full infinitives correctly, avoid placing an adverb between the bare infinitive (the verb) and “to.” Here are few examples.

Bad: To successfully write for Midwest, it is important to follow the style guide.
Good: To write successfully for Midwest, it is imporant to follow the style guide.

Bad: You must learn the style guide well to consistently produce quality work.
Good: You must learn the style guide well to produce quality work consistently.

Take the information here, and use it to go boldly where you should, instead of boldly going where you should not, by successfully avoiding split infinitives. Good luck!