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Look at these two statements involving indirect (reported) speech:

He advised me to speak the truth always.

or

He advised me to always speak the truth.

Here, I am confused about setting the adverb "always".  Please give grammatical explanation.

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  • The other option would be always to speak the truth. There sre still native speakers who find split infinitives inelegant.
    – KarlG
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 17:00

2 Answers 2

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In this case both are entirely correct sentence structures. I would consider the first sentence to be an archaic formal phrasing not often seen today although it still makes sense in modern English. The second phrasing would be the more common way to structure the sentence in modern English.

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  • It’s not archaic per se, but it may seem like that because in the days of yore they did not split the infinitive, or rather they didn’t feel that it was grammatically correct to do so. Therefore, people in those days would put the adverb or adverbial phrase after the infinitive.
    – user305707
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 6:10
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Some would tell you to put “always” at the end of the sentence so as to avoid splitting the infinitive. However, the Chicago Manual of Style holds that “it is now widely acknowledged that adverbs sometimes justifiably separate the to from the principal verb...Sometimes it is perfectly appropriate to split an infinitive with an adverb to add emphasis, clarify meaning, or produce a natural sound.”

Think of the famous line from Star Trek: “To boldly go where no man has gone before” uses a split infinitive. To go is split by the adverb boldly. This sentence is, not in the least bit, grammatically incorrect.

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