split infinitive

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A construction consisting of an infinitive with an adverb or other word inserted between to and the verb, e.g. she seems to really like it. Although it is still widely held that such a construction is wrong, the dislike of it is not well-founded, being based on an analogy with Latin, where infinitives consist of only one word.

In English, the placing of an adverb may be extremely important in giving a particular emphasis; in some cases, splitting an infinitive can only be avoided at the cost of losing such emphasis.

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