1.We have either to study our lessons or to work out the sums.

2.We have to either study our lessons or work out the sums.

Which is suitable?

  • Both are fine. Some might have a preference for one or the other, but there is no actual rule against either one. I'd put this in an answer, but there's really not a lot more to say about it. – Andrew Oct 31 '16 at 4:34

It's a case of split or cleft infinitive. Some people object to separating 'to' from an infintive usually by putting an adverb such as either between the to and the infinitive. But there's no hard-and-fast rule about it; you can go either way.

But it's very common not to split an infinitive. So the OP's first sentence is better than the second one.

| improve this answer | |
  • Actually, it's not really a split infinitive, because the "to" in "have to" is not the marker for the following infinitive. "Have to" is a special case, neither fish nor fowl. It's not a phrasal, but it "acts like" one sometimes, and the "to" is, well, some kind of particle. See @StoneyB's answer here. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Oct 31 '16 at 20:40
  • Google Ngrams shows that use of 'have either to' has plummeted and 'have to either' has soared since 1960. – Sydney Feb 15 '17 at 2:39

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