Author Topic: Infinitive verb form  (Read 623 times)

Offline Natalia

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Infinitive verb form
« on: February 28, 2017, 10:16:32 AM »
I've come across two ways in which idioms are written (including infinitive verbs). For example:

1) to not see eye to eye with sb - to not agree with someone
2) not to see eye to eye with sb - to not agree with someone

Can you tell me which form is more correct?



Offline Daniel

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Re: Infinitive verb form
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 11:44:39 AM »
Neither is more "correct".

Generally the "to not" form sounds more natural, while prescriptivists tend to prefer the "not to" form to avoid the so-called 'split infinitive' to make English look more like Latin.

Both are used frequently, and preferences vary somewhat based on the specific construction. You could search a corpus (or just Google) to get a sense of frequencies for a particular usage, but either should be fine in almost all cases.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Infinitive verb form
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 09:47:37 AM »
Yes, I agree that 'to not' sounds more natural.
However, if I wrote down the idiom 'not to see eye to eye with sb' on the blackboard, should I also change the form in definition from 'to not agree with someone' to 'not to agree with someone' (for the sake of consistency)?
I mean:

1) not to see eye to eye with sb - not to agree with someone

Or it is fine to say:

2) not to see eye to eye with sb - to not agree with someone
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 01:13:26 PM by Natalia »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Infinitive verb form
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 05:55:42 PM »
They're equivalent, so it's your choice.
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