Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Oct 16 2008   2:38PM GMT

Quiz: Writing for business — split infinitives

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

thought-cloud.jpg Which is correct?
Organizations are using Web-based mechanisms to _________ towards cloud computing environments.
a. move incrementally
b. incrementally move

Answer: a

According to formal standards, to move — like to go, to be, to see — is an infinitive and should not be split by another word.

Yes, Trekkies, this does mean that to boldly go is not strictly grammatically correct. (Bones might say: “Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a grammarian.”)

All things being equal, you should keep your infinitives together. However, sometimes following this standard will make a sentence awkward — in which case you have my permission to boldly ignore the rule.

2  Comments on this Post

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  • DP2000
    According to the explanation given, the answer should be "a," not "b" because that is the one that does not split the words "to" and "move," correct?
    0 pointsBadges:
  • 1rabella
    Oh, you're absolutely right. Thanks for pointing that out -- I'll fix it.
    35 pointsBadges:

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