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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicholasRa573825

Split Infinitives

Hi there!

I only have experience with Romance languages (other than English, my native language) and you can NEVER split your infinitives. Hablar in Spanish could never be split into two separate words as in "to talk" like we do in English.

My question is, are there other languages that split infinitives into "to" and then the verb (or something similar) other than English?

Thanks!

September 29, 2017

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/writchie4

In Norwegian, infinitive verbs are prefixed with the word "å":

  • to study = å studere
  • to eat = å spise

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr_Eyl

Swedish (att äta), Danish (at spise), Icelandic (að borða) and Faroese (að eta) do it as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ID-007
  • 1784

Regarding Romance languages, yes it exists! In Romanian (a Romance language) the infinitive is formed, as in Norwegian!, with adding "a" in front of the verb form:

to study = a studia

to drink = a bea

In Hebrew (ancient and modern) the "ל" is attached in front of the word (as many other prefixes) which in my mind is the same as having two different words... This is so, since the prefix is not inflected.

Most important is to keep in mind that the English Infinitive is not equivalent to 'those' in other languages and/or other languages don't have the infinitive at all. Greek (Ancient and Modern) are two such examples...

NOTE: edited to clarify that Greek (Ancient and Modern) are two languages. Thanks slogger!

BTW, according to some sources, English does not always use the "to" to express the infinitive. For example, the "eat" in "You may eat all day!" is considered the infinitive form.

Regards, Daniel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicholasRa573825

Oh that's really cool! I shouldn't have grouped all Romance languages because I have zero experience with Romanian. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/judith458282

Apparently, it was a Victorian rule, to not split the infinitive. It was acceptable 800 years ago, and is commonly done nowadays.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/shortcuts/2017/sep/25/to-boldly-go-split-infinitive-grammatical-error-research


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Merrowmic

Afrikaans splits infinitives all the time.

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