General Writing and Grammar Help/Unrequited love

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Question
1. My sister used to have an unrequited love with a man next door.
2. My sister used to love a man next door unrequitedly.
3. My sister used to unrequitedly love a man next door.

- Dear Ted! Are these three sentences grammatical?

Many thanks.

Answer
Dear Steven:

Question:
1. My sister used to have an unrequited love with a man next door.
2. My sister used to love a man next door unrequitedly.
3. My sister used to unrequitedly love a man next door.

*** The first two are correct.  The third is a problem.  Many grammarians believe that splitting and infinitive is not good writing.  In the third sentence, you have the infinitive "to love" with the adverb "unrequitedly" dividing the "to" from the "love."  That is NOT a good practice.
 
However, other grammarians recognize that "split infinities" have become COMMON USAGE in the English languages.  Rather than trying to uphold the standards, they have chosen to ignore the rule and ACCEPT split infinitives.

Thus, the first two sentences are GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT, and the third sentence is correct, from the standpoint of COMMON USAGE.

My opinion -- Use #1 or #2.

Ted Nesbitt

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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