not to greet/not greeting

Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hello, everyone

If there is a sentence like:

"It was very rude not to greet me"

Could I change it into "not to greet me was very rude"? Or should it be "not greeting me was very rude"?

Thank you
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Hello, everyone

    If there is a sentence like:

    "It was very rude not to greet me"

    Could I change it into "not to greet me was very rude"? Or should it be "not greeting me was very rude"?

    Thank you
    All of these are reasonable. So I'm being picky here, just to offer more detail

    Adding "not" onto "to xxx" verbs is alway tricky. In theory the rule is "never split infinitives", that is, never put a word between "to" and "xxx".

    But it hurts our logic bump. "it is rude to xxx" we understand, "it is rude not to xxx" is confusing. How can I be rude by NOT doing something? How long do I have to continue not doing anything before it suddenly becomes rude?

    Changing to using "greeting" instead of "to greet" makes things easy. "not greeting me was very rude" is good.

    Or make the verb a positive one like "avoid". Then "rude to" works. "It was very rude to avoid greeting me." or "It was very rude to snub me."
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top