1

Is one of them more correct, or is one of them even wrong?

I found >"Can easily be" vs. "can be easily" — what's the difference?< which sounds pretty much like the same question (which suggests can be easily), still its answers only rely on google search counts.

Does anyone have a more profound answer?

Example:

The predefined set can further be extended by user-defined data.

The predefined set can be further extended by user-defined data.

Thanks for your help!

  • 1
    What are you trying to communicate? That, further, the set can be extended, or that the set can be further extended? Has it already been extended at least once? – Davo Oct 13 '17 at 13:26
  • Following on from Davo's question, another context where 'further be extended' fits and 'be further extended does not' is one where the manner of addition to the set changes, as 'be further extended' implies extension in the same manner as previously. – Sam Oct 13 '17 at 13:31
  • What I try to communicate: It is about software, and there is a predefined (already existing) set of X (e.g. pre-generated data), and the user is free to add additional user-defined X (e.g., manually collected data) to the set. – Markus Weninger Oct 13 '17 at 13:39
3

There is a complication with 'further'.

One usage is the 'furthermore' sense

  1. In addition; furthermore: He stated further that he would not cooperate with the committee.

[AHD]

The question with ambiguous cases is which sense is intended.

With

The predefined set can further be extended by user-defined data.

one possible reading is the pragmatically marked

Furthermore (/In addition), the predefined set can be extended by user-defined data.

Whereas with

The predefined set can be further extended by user-defined data.

there is obviously a reference to an increased extension.

So with your second sentence, further must be modifying extended, while with your first sentence, it is unclear rather further is a verb-modifier or a sentence-modifier.

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