AP Style Verbs

Split forms: In general, avoid awkward constructions that split infinitive form of a verb (to leave, to assist, etc.) or compound forms (had left, are found out, etc.). For example,

  • Awkward: She was ordered to immediately leave on an assignment.
  • Preferred: She was ordered to leave immediately on an assignment.
  • Awkward: There stood the wagon that we had early autumn left by the barn.
  • Preferred: There stood the wagon that we had left by the barn early last autumn.

Occasionally, however, a split is not awkward and is necessary to convey the meaning. For example,

  • He wanted to really help his mother.
  • Those who lie are often found out.
  • How has your health been?
  • The budget was tentatively approved.

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