split infinitive

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


A 1968 publicity photograph of actors Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner as Spock and James T. Kirk in the TV series Star Trek (1966–1969). The introductory voiceover by Shatner at the start of each episode included the phrase “to boldly go where no man has gone before”, which is often cited as an example of a split infinitive.




split infinitive (plural split infinitives)

  1. (grammar) An infinitive with one or more modifiers inserted between the to and the verb.
    • 2001, R. L. Trask, Mind the Gaffe: The Penguin Guide to Common Errors in English, Penguin Books, page 17:
      Such fetishes as insisting on It's I, not ending sentences with prepositions, and avoiding split infinitives are all dismissed as the nonsense they are.


Further reading[edit]