Split Infinitives

You may see “Split Infinitive” appear in Microsoft Word’s spell-check option.  A split-infinitive is when an adverb comes between the word “to” and its accompanying verb in its infinitive word (e.g., the unconjugated verb).  For example, infinitives include “to see,” “to hear,” “to run,” and “to think.”  Split infinitives, then, will be “to closely watch,” “to intently listen,” “to quickly run,” and “to strongly think.” 

The split infinitive is a minor grammatical error, but correcting it is vital not only to follow proper grammar rules in the portfolio, but to make your writing more concise.  After all, look at those split infinitives and how to revise them:

“To closely watch” = You are already watching, and “to watch” is already an in-close activity, so just delete “closely.”

“To intently listen” = Again, you are listening, so you are intent.  Therefore, delete “intently,” and if “listen” is not strong enough, get a thesaurus to find a stronger verb. 

“To quickly run” = Get a thesaurus—sprint, dash, take off.

“To strongly think” = Again, get a thesaurus—ponder, consider, meditate.