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A little bit of context, I read the sentence below after the system - a computer application - has been subject to a certain kind of update:

The system will be able to not create a record of that movement anymore.

I think they are trying to stress the new behavior of the system compared to the previous one, hence that sentence construction.

Firstly, would it sound better if we changed the sentence for something like this where we get rid of the split infinite:

The system will be able not to create a record of that movement anymore.

At least for me that sentence construction seems a little bit odd and something an English native speaker would not say, do you agree with me or is it perfectly acceptable?

marked as duplicate by tchrist, David M, choster, aedia λ, Brian Hooper Mar 10 '14 at 22:31

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    The first one does seem stilted. I though it probably means "The system will no longer be able to create a record of that movement." – GEdgar Mar 8 '14 at 14:47
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    It depends on what you want to say. If you mean to say that the system used to have to make a record, and may now be set not to make a record (in all or some cases) in addition, then one of the first two will suffice, though both need additional information to resolve that "in all cases" vs "in some cases" ambiguity. And anymore doesn't help, either. If, on the other hand, you mean that it never creates a record any more, at all, in any case, then the place for the not is right after will, and it should probly be contracted to won't. – John Lawler Mar 8 '14 at 14:48
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    Because of the potential for confusion with can and not, it might be better to sidestep the issue and say the system will (or can if it's optional) suppress recording of that movement. – FumbleFingers Mar 8 '14 at 16:08
  • Actually, this old post with its links might be better: english.stackexchange.com/a/2122/57102 – F.E. Mar 8 '14 at 20:16
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The rule is to use the order "not to" see Order of "not" with infinitive

However your sentence sound horribly unnatural no one would say "he's able not to hesitate / trip / fall", it is kind of contradictory to say "able" with a negative.

You should definitely rephrase it, why not something like:

The creation of a record of that movement will be made optional.

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The system will be able to not create a record of that movement anymore.

This what the sentence means to me:

Previously the system always created a record of that movement (though sometimes you didn't want it to).
Following the update, the system will be able to:
- create a record of the movement (if abc)
- not create a record of the movement (if xyz)

Whether that's what the original writer meant is another matter entirely. (I'm also troubled by the use of 'anymore'.)

And whether or not my interpretation is correct, your second sentence construction doesn't make much sense.

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The system will be able to not create a record of that movement anymore.

no

The system will be able not to create a record of that movement anymore.

Why not?

The system will not be able to create a record of that movement anymore.

It depends what you want to say. But if you want to say it will be unable after the update to create a certain record anymore. Then use unable or not able. To stress that the ability is lost.

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