I wonder which of the following is correct.

It is believed to still be efficiently solvable.


It is believed to be still efficiently solvable.

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    Out of those two choices I would favor Door #3: "It is still believed to be efficiently solvable."
    – Robusto
    May 30, 2019 at 14:05
  • @Robusto: I would argue that your construction subtly changes the meaning: It is still believed to be efficiently solvable implies that there are those who believe it was never efficiently solvable, while OP's 2 versions implies that everyone believes that, at some point, it was efficiently solvable (even if it is no longer).
    – Zack
    May 30, 2019 at 14:29
  • @Zack: I take your point. If the intended meaning is that the solvability window is in danger of closing, then my Door #3 doesn't work. But that is only true in that one instance. In the more likely case that still governs the belief, Door #3 works better.
    – Robusto
    May 30, 2019 at 14:34
  • @Robusto: Fair enough. And I think your construction certainly sounds better. :)
    – Zack
    May 30, 2019 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


I disagee with @RogerK - sentence #1 is best:

It is believed to still be efficiently solvable.

First, it's 100% correct. No problem there. Second, it avoids the "be still" combo in the other sentence. And that's a little weird sounding, to be honest. All those b's one after another, and the expression "be still" is a thing too, so the reader needs to unconsciously disambiguate.

Regardless, I'd do whatever I could to substitute that passive voice "It is believed..." for active voice: Who believes this? In a weak research paper, passive voice is often used to cover up a lack of research...

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