Which is more appropriate in the following sentence?

"I asked him to not judge her according to (or: based on) her beauty"


"I asked him not to judge her according to (or:based on) her beauty"

or maybe you wouldn't choose either of the above, but something else?


This is a matter of style. Both constructions are correct. But it's better to not split the infinitive(as what I've been taught in school). Ngram also shows that not to do is more common than to not do.

  • 2
    You mean it's better not to split the infinitive, don't you? – jarmanso7 May 7 '20 at 16:06

While I agree with user178049's response that this could just be an issue of style, I do believe that there is a subtle difference between the two.

I asked him to not judge her according to her beauty, but rather, to judge her according to her intelligence."


"I asked him not to judge her at all, especially not according to her beauty."

The words in italics are implied depending on where you had placed the "to" in the sentence.

What do you think? Do you feel that there is a difference between the two?

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