General Writing and Grammar Help/A "split" or "the splits"


How would you describe the act of doing a "split" or "the splits"?   I am trying to settle an argument and am wondering which way is grammatically correct?


Hi Mike,

Great question. I had to do some quick research on this one. I have heard thise one usually referred to as "the splits", but I never thought much about it before.

Based on my analysis of how it's used, it seems that both are correct, under certain circumstances.

From a technical perspective. it seems as though "a split" is a usually a noun, whereas "the splits" is usually an adverb, but not always.

In a purely technical perspective, and in gymnastic terminology, it is always listed as a "split"; Front Split, Side Split, etc.

It is certainly acceptable, and correct, to say "Can you do a Front Split?" as the "front split" would be a proper noun in this case.

However, I have that in most of the time, at least when I hear it in general conversation people often ask "Can you do the splits?", which, in this is case is a general term not describing any specific type or style of split, but rathter all/any of them collectively.

Technically speaking, "split" seems to be more correct, although "the splits" seems to be more popular in everyday use.

I hope this helps.
Kind Regards,

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Johnathan Clayborn


I can answer a broad range of questions about both academic and creative writing. I can answer questions about APA format, research and references, essay structure and more. I am particularly helpful in the areas of character development, storyline development, etc. and I can provide authors with an array of tools to help them organize their work.


I minored in English for my Bachelor's degree. I have also written several books and I run a small publishing company (before you ask, we're not accepting submissions at this time). I have written both fiction and non-fiction books and I have been published in newspapers and written articles for major internet websites.

Alpha Chi, Psi Chi, Kappa Delta Pi, APA

MS, Educational Psychology, BS Psychology (English minor)

©2016 All rights reserved.