1- You ought to seriously consider the problem.
2-You ought to consider the problem seriously.
I would like to know which one has a more common use in written English. Thank you
1 2
Single word adverbs are generally placed in the medial position, often between the subject and the verb. So, usuing this guideline, 1 would be best.
Hello abbie,

Thank you very much, I am sure that you are right as I was right, but now I am quite sure that, there is a sort of international secret pact among the native speakers to push me into all kinds of confusions; last week I gave five miserable pages to this fellow, an Irish friend of mine to correct the possible mistakes, and yesterday, I got them back with 22 linguistic inconsistencies underlined, among them like what I am not allowed to break the unity of the infinitive in formal writing. Do you see any reason for that. Cheers
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Ah- the old split infinitive! How we hate it. "To boldly go ..." Informally, this is becoming more acceptable, but it is guaranteed to get hackles rising in some quarters!


This page postulates that the rule derives from the time when grammarians were trying to formulate rules for English grammar, based upon rules for Latin grammar.In Latin (and French) the infinitive is only one word, and therefore cannot be split! So the grammarians decided to subject the Eng. two-word infinitive ('to go') to the same rule.

On the same page you will find Fowler's opinions, whch make a good read!

"The English-speaking world may be divided into (1) those who neither know nor care what a split infinitive is; (2) those who do not know, but care very much; (3) those who know and condemn; (4) those who know and approve; and (5) those who know and distinguish. "

Re: Pact - yes - it is secret, so my lips are sealed! How else could Br. E speakers show their superiority, other than by shouting very loudly in their own language to non-English speakers!
Hello abbie,

Thanks again, I'll get to that site right now, hop I can get some arguments to make him shut his mouth, you are great. Cheers
I think you'll find plenty in Fowler!
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I find the second the most neutral and least likely to generate controversy.
I'm not sure that the objection with the first would be the split infinitive, because one alternative for avoiding the split infinitive is to say "You ought seriously to consider the problem" which, to my ear, is downright peculiar, and I wouldn't advise it. So in order of acceptability, most acceptable first, I would say:

1. You ought to consider the problem seriously.
2. You ought to seriously consider the problem.
3. You ought seriously to consider the problem.
4. You ought to consider seriously the problem. (Splitting the verb from its complement is even more awkward than the structures with other placements of the adverb.)

Hello CalifJim,

So, it is better to give it up to the advise of that big mouth, I was dreaming of the day, when I could magisterially snare him, well it's not today. Thank You Calif
If it's any consolation to you, it's really quite possible to lose the battle and still win the war! Your chance is yet to come! Emotion: smile
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