While there are many threads on this site about whether to split an infinitive or not, I decided to open a new one. Yes, I know that sometimes it's ok to split an infinitive but, I have doubts regarding the construction of the phrase; "things to do to not look bad" whilst that sounds good to me I wonder if it should be; "Things to do not to look bad." I know this phrase can be rephrased to something different like "Things to do to look good." However, I am interested in this particular phrase since I think the meaning would change.


Things to do to not look bad

this is fine and will be understood. Perhaps some purists would object, but you can hear these sentences in spoken English.

You could improve somewhat and avoid the split infinitive, while keeping the same meaning:

  1. Things to do in order not to look bad
  2. Things to do to avoid looking bad

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