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Most readers prefer to ascertain the plan and contents of a book by simply turning over its leaves ; but the following features of this treatise are some of those which the author has endeavored to make worthy of special notice:
1. The simple and scientific nature of the general plan, and the methodical arrangement of matter throughout the book.
2. The clearness, brevity, and uniformity of the definitions. 3. The abundance and appropriateness of the illustrations and exercises.
4. The careful development of every part in proportion to its importance; so that the book is unusually symmetrical and comprehensive.
5. The introduction of the historical element of our language; and the careful regard for those laws which underlie the fabric of language, and make it what it is.
6. The treatment of infinitives and participles.
9. The system of Analysis, and the progressive development of sentences according to its principles.
10. The classification of False Syntax; and the lessening of so great a number of little rules, which are seldom learned and always soon forgotten.
11. The critical remarks on syntax, punctuation, and capital letters. 12. The superior mechanical execution of the work.
The relative importance of the matter has been carefully distinguished by different sizes of type; and what is designed only for reading or reference, has been placed at the end of each Part, or so distinguished from the portions to be committed to memory as not to embarrass the learner or distract his attention. The pages to be studied make thus but a comparatively small book. Yet for those pupils who may need a smaller or an introductory treatise, a book called “First Lessons in English Grammar,” and made on the same plan as this work, has been expressly prepared.
If any teacher wishes his pupils to “analyze and parse" as soon as possible, he can require them to commit the Rules of Syntax to memory, and he can then drill them, as they advance from the commencement of the book, on the sentences which begin page 241.
Brevity has been constantly studied; and great care has been taken to make this grammar as simple, progressive, and interesting as such a book can be made without injuring its scientific value.
In closing this Preface, the author desires to express his grateful acknowledgment for valuable suggestions received from the Masters of the Boston Public Schools ; of whom he would especially mention Daniel C. Brown, Joshua Bates, and James A. Page, as the gentlemen to whom he is mostly indebted.
Paragraph, . . . . . . . 228
cises, . . . . . . . 241-275 Persons,. . . . . 11, 85, 142, 309
Properties of Verbs, · · · 129
Rules, ..... 50, 190, 222, 292
| Sentences, how contracted or
Subjects, · · · · ..
. . . 34, 58 Tenses, . . . . . 15, 136, 306
Ol, . . . . . 140
. . . 334
For nice points, see Observations, pp. 68, 209, 311, 346.
Part I. - An Outline for Beginners. This Part shows the connection between thought and language, and how the latter is developed from a few great or fundamental ideas. It contains a familiar explanation of the chief ideas in grammar, which is followed by a series of exercises that show the general construction of sentences. For a niode of using these exercises, the teacher may consult Kerl's “ First Lessons.”
Part II. — Words Uncombined. This Part begins with a presentation of the subject and its divisions; it then treats of letters, elementary sounds, accent, pronunciation, syllables, spelling, and derivation, or it teaches what can be learned about words before they are combined in sentences.
Part III. – Words Grammatically Combined. This Part shows what we must learn about words in order to know how they should be put together to make sentences. It treats of the parts of speech and their properties, the rules of syntax, and parsing; or it shows into what classes we must divide words, and what jointings we must make, or by what ideas we must be governed, in order to put words rightly together in sentences.
Part IV.- Words Logically Combined. This Part supposes that the jointings and small combinations of words are already made; and that we are now ready to put the larger parts together so as to get sentences for all kinds of thoughts. It therefore treats of phrases and clauses, as well as of words; of subjects, predicates, modifiers, connectives, simple sentences, complex sentences, and compound sentences.
Part V.-Words Improperly Combined. · This Part treats of the errors which can arise under both the preceding Parts. It implies that there may be some excess, deficiency, wrong choosing, or improper arrangement, in regard to the words which are to show precisely what we mean.
Part VI.- Ornament and Finish. This Part supposes that we have already learned to express thoughts intelligibly and correctly, but that we now seek to express them in the most interesting and impressive manner; or it shows by what means thoughts are imparted to the best advantage. Hence it treats of figures, versification, utterance, and punctuation.
Remarks.- denotes separation. = is placed between equivalent expressions.
The few technical or difficult words which we have been obliged to use, the teacher should explain; or he should give out a number of them to the pupils from time to time, and require them to learn the meanings in some large dictionary.
properties; Gender, Person, Number, Case, Voice, Mood, Tense, and Comparison.
9. These classes of words, and their properties, are based mainly on the following ten things or ideas : 06jects, Actions, Qualities, Sex, Number, Relation,* Manner, Time, Place, and Degree.
Let us now see by what natural process we shall get thoughts, and then words to express them.
Parts of Speech.
NOUNS. When we look around us, we naturally first notice objects. The words John, Mary, tree, house, street, man, horse, apple, flower, rose, chair, desk, book, paper, pencil, are, all of them, words that denote objects, and such words are called nouns.
10. A Noun is a name.
Tell what trees grow in the woods. What flowers grow in gardens ? What animals are on farms ? What things can boys eat? What things do children play with? What objects did you see this morning, on your way to school ? Who are your classmates ? What would you call the words you have mentioned ?
You can generally tell whether a word is a noun or not, by considering whether it denotes something that you can see, hear, taste, smell, or feel, or think of as being a person or thing.
When objects are near to us, or already known by having been mentioned, we do not always use their names, but cer
* Considered here chiefly as applied to Case and Person.