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It is important to carefully read

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,

Would anyone help me with English?

(a) It is important to read carefully.
(b) It is important to carefully read.

Are both (a) and (b) used?

Hirashin
 

nice gaijin

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both are grammatically ok, but with different meanings:

1) in general
2) a specific document in question (would usually be identified at the end of the sentence), ex: It's important to carefully read this contract
 

Mike Cash

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They're not both grammatically okay; the second sentence contains a split infinitive.
 

nice gaijin

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split infinitives are not uncommon, and are generally accepted in grammar guides as well, as long as they don't hinder the reader's understanding.
 

Mike Cash

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I gleefully use split infinitives myself. But in the context of that problem I feel certain they were checking for the ability to spot a split infinitive.

It's one of the grammar points that native speakers are increasingly becoming unable to recognize. It very seldom causes any trouble regarding comprehension. And since English grammar is in large descended from German grammar....which has split verbs....the rule about split infinitives has always been somewhat arbitrary and unnatural.
 

nice gaijin

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Yes I agree, though in response to the phrasing of the original question, both a) and b) are used, regardless of their relative grammatical correctness.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for your reply, nice gaijin san.

>It's important to carefully read this contract.

I think your example sentence is a typical split infinitive sentence.
But in this case of (b), the verb "read" does not have its object.

Do you ever use this type of sentence?

Hirashin
 

Mike Cash

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We use split infinitives so much that we almost never even notice them.
 
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