There is a dialog between two persons, and they are discussing some book owned by third person. There are 2 versions of phrase:

  • To read this book later -- ask John.
  • To later read this book -- ask John.

There are two question regarding these examples:

  • Which version is grammatically correct: first, second, or both?
  • If both versions are grammatically correct, then what is the difference in their meaning?
  • 1
    Neither is a complete sentence as written, which makes it impossible to answer authoritatively. Please edit your question to provide the context of this line (i.e., the preceding four or five lines in the dialogue and preferably also a description of what they’re talking about in general) so that we know what the reader is supposed to know. At first blush, both would be grammatical, though the first is more natural than the second – but context may change this! – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 3 '19 at 15:14
  • "...to later read" is a split infinitive, a subject that is widely discussed on the 'Net and this site. You may as well start here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/2117/… – remarkl Mar 3 '19 at 15:19
  • This is a cross-post of the same question asked at ELL. – Jason Bassford Mar 3 '19 at 23:14
  • @JasonBassford It depends on your opinion. I haven't really get answer from ELL. It was implicitly stated there, that such question should be asked from native speakers and isn't really suitable for ELL. – john c. j. Mar 3 '19 at 23:53
  • @johnc.j. But you accepted the answer there. And such cross-posting, unless the question is sufficiently different to make it unambiguously different at each site, is not appropriate. – Jason Bassford Mar 4 '19 at 0:03

Neither is ungrammatical, but the second would be an unlikely thing for anyone to say. I think you would only put later first in the sentence if it was in opposition to something else that happened earlier. "First I'm going to watch the film, and later read the book."

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https://getitwriteonline.com/articles/split-infinitives/ The link herein above deals exhaustively and adequately about this issue of splitting infinitives. Prescriptive grammarians are against placing an adverb in between TO < Adverb> ROOT VERB as they like to adhere to the Latin Precedent. But we have walked a long way since. Now split infinitive is a matter of ease, style and lucidity. If by doing so we add to the beauty of the garland ( word flowers ) or, at least, don't mar it's beauty, it is always welcome. We don't provide any examples for fear of repetition of what is succinctly enumerated in the link.

Suffice it to say , split or no split both are grammatically correct, and since adverbs ( loving kitten of sentence structure) have almost free mobility within the sentence, place them Where they are conveniently appropriate.

Both of your phrases mean the same.

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