Wednesday, 27 February 2013

WISE WEDNESDAY GRAMMAR: SYNTAX (INFINITIVES)

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Part 3.


SYNTAX.


INFINITIVES.

Adverb between to and the infinitive.


451. There is a construction which is becoming more and more common among good writers,-the placing an adverb between to of the infinitive and the infinitive itself. The practice is condemned by many grammarians, while defended or excused by others. Standard writers often use it, and often, purposely or not, avoid it.
The following two examples show the adverb before the infinitive:-
The more common usage.
He handled it with such nicety of address as sufficiently to show that he fully understood the business. -Scott.
It is a solemn, universal assertion, deeply to be kept in mind by all sects. -Ruskin.
This is the more common arrangement; yet frequently the desire seems to be to get the adverb snugly against the infinitive, to modify it as closely and clearly as possible.


Exercise.

In the following citations, see if the adverbs can be placed before or after the infinitive and still modify it as clearly as they now do:-
1. There are, then, many things to be carefully considered, if a strike is to succeed. -Laughlin.
2. That the mind may not have to go backwards and forwards in order to rightly connectthem. -Herbert Spencer.
3. It may be easier to bear along all the qualifications of an idea ... than to first imperfectly conceive such idea.- Id.
4. In works of art, this kind of grandeur, which consists in multitude, is to be very cautiously admitted. -Burke.
5. That virtue which requires to be ever guarded is scarcely worth the sentinel. -Goldsmith.
6. Burke said that such "little arts and devices" were not to be wholly condemned. - The Nation, No. 1533.
7. I wish the reader to clearly understand. -Ruskin.
8. Transactions which seem to be most widely separated from one another. -Dr. Blair.
9. Would earnestly advise them for their good to order this paper to be punctuallyserved up. -Addison.
10. A little sketch of his, in which a cannon ball is supposed to have just carried off the head of an aide-de-camp. -Trollope.
11. The ladies seem to have been expressly created to form helps meet for such gentlemen. -Macaulay.
12. Sufficient to disgust a people whose manners were beginning to be stronglytinctured with austerity.- Id.
13. The spirits, therefore, of those opposed to them seemed to be considerably dampedby their continued success. -Scott.

Reference

An English Grammar 1896 by W. M. Baskervill & J. W. Sewell

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