Writing Essentials - Tips and Techniques

Utilise this movella to aid your writing needs from punctuation to correct verb usage! You will review important mechanics of writing in order to create sentences that express coherence and fervour. Each chapter in this movella will discuss various writing tools that have the ability to turn any piece of writing into a magnificent work of art.


5. Infinitives

You may not notice that you actually use infinitives whenever you write a sentence. That is because an infinitive is basically the verb. Run, walk, talk, jump, hear, eat, go, come, return, allow, deny, attack, write, read... You get the idea.

In this chapter, I will explain to you briefly about each kind of infinitive and how to use them effectively... or if you should use them at all.

Full Infinitive

A full infinitive is basically the dictionary form of a verb. To go, to come, to eat, to sleep, to drink are all full infinitives. To identify a full infinitive, locate the to that precedes the verb.

Kevin left to go with his family.

I did not want to buy too much food.

Now to get serious.

Split Infinitive

A split infinitive is when the to is detached from the verb. An adverb will usually squeeze in between to and the verb, creating an awkward sentence.

I want to quickly go to the grocery store before it closes.

He is unable to silently work on his homework without loud music.

You should never consider writing with split infinitives in your sentences, regardless how redundant you may sound. If you find yourself sounding repetitive, then consider revising altogether. Instead, keep the full infinitive together and place the adverb after the verb.

I need to leave quickly before the grocery store closes.

He is unable to work silently on his homework without loud music.

Notice that some sentences will need certain arrangements to have a full infinitive and an adverb work cooperatively.


When is a split infinitive good?

Hardly ever. No, if you want to split an infinitive, the given context should indicate the importance about the severity of the verb. If the verb has a certain degree of action dealt, then a split infinitive is perfect here because it is explaining how exactly the verb was done.

The fact that you needed to purposely act that way just makes me angry!

The verb "to act" was done "purposely", which gives more insight on the situation. It was not just that the person acted in such a way that made the other person angry, but it was done purposely.



Rule of thumb:

Never split a full infinitive. Very rarely will you come across a correctly used split infinitive, but ultimately avoid this style of writing. It will create messy sentences and draw attention away from the story.

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