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rate writing. It has not indeed been usual, to make Grammatical Exercises, in our language, very numerous and extensive : but if the importance and usefulness of them be as great as they are conceived to be, no apology will be necessary for the large field of employment, which the following work presents to the student of English Grammar. It he be detained longer than is com mon in this part of his studies, the probable result of it, an accurate and intimate knowledge of the subject will constitute an ample recompence.
The reader will perceive that some of the rules and observations, under the part of Syntax, contain a much greater nuinber of examples than others. This has ari. sen from the superior importance of those rules, and from the variety requisite to illustrat them properly. When a few instances afford sufficient practice on the rule, the -student is not fatigued with a repetition of examples, which would cast no new light on the subject.
In selecting the instances of false construction, the Compiler has studied to avoid those that are glaringly erroneous, and to fix upon such only as frequently occur in writing or speaking. If there be any of a different complexion, it is presumed that they are but few, and that they will be found under those rules only, which, from the nature of them, could not have been otherwise clearly exemplified to young persons. The examples applicable to the principal notes and observations, are carefully arranged under the respective rules of Syntax; and regularly numbered to make them correspond to the subordinate rules in the Grammar.
As many of the examples contain several errors in the sa me sentence, and some of them admit of various constructions in amending them, it has been thought proper to publish a Key for ascertaining all the corrections: and this has been the more expedient, from the work's being designed for the benefit of private learners, as well as for the use of schools. The Key to the part of Orthography might have been omitted, had not some of the sentences contained so many words erroneously spelled, as to render it probable that several of them would, in that case, have been inadvertently passed over ; especially by persons who may not have the advantage of a tutor. In
torming the Key, it appeared to be more eligible, to repeat the sentences at large, with their corrections, than simply to exhibit the amendments by themselves. In the mode adopted, the work lias a more regular and uniform appearance; the correspondent parts may be more readily compared ; and the propriety of the corrections will be more apparent and striking.
In a work which consists entirely of examples, and with which the learners will, consequently, be much occupied and impressed, the Compiler would have deemed himself culpable, had he exhibited such sen. tences as contained ideas inapplicable to young minds, or which were of a trivial or injurious nature. He has, therefore, been solicitous to avoid all exceptionable matter ; and to improve his work, by blending moral and useful observations with Grammatical studies. Even sentiments of a pious and religious nature, have not been thought improper to be occasionally inserted in these Exercises. The understanding and sensibility of young persons, are much underrated by those who think them incapable of comprehending and relishing this kind of in straction. The sense and love of goodness are early and deeply implanted in the human mind; and often, by their infant energies, surprise the intelligent observer: --why, then, should not these emotions find their proper support and incentives, among the elements of learning Congenial sentiments, thus disposed, besides making permanent impressions, may serve to cherish and expand ihose generous principles ; or, at least, to prepare them for regular operation, at a future period. The importance of exhibiting to the youthful mind, the de. formities of vice ; and of giving it just and animating views of piety and virtue, makes it not only warrantable, but our duty also, to embrace every proper occasion to promote, in any degree, these valuable ends.
In presenting the learner with so great a number of examples, it was difficult to preserve them from too much uniformity. The Compiler has, however, been studious to give them an arrangement and diversity, as agreeable as the nature of the subject would admit; and to render them interesting, as well as intelligible and instructive, to young persons,
Holdgate, near York, 1797.
FOR USING THE EXERCISES.
1. AS soon as the learner has committed to memory, the definitions of the article and substantive, as expressed in the grammar, he should be employed in parsing those parts of speech, as they are arranged in this volume of the Exercises.
2. The learner should proceed, in this manner, through all the definitions of the parts of speech, contained in Etymology, regularly parsing the exercises on one definition, before he applies to another.
3. As the pupil will then be able to understand all the rules in Orthography, he should be directed to correct, in regular order, the orthographical exercises attached to the particular rules.
4. In this stage of his progress, he may vary his entployment, by occasionally parsing the promiscuous exer cises, contained in the ninth section of the chapter of Etymological Parsing, and by writing the plurals of nouns, &c. in the eighth section of the same chapter.
5. When the first rule of Syntax is committed to me mory, the correspondent exercise in parsing, should be performed. Then the sentences of false syntax, under ihe rule, should be corrected, in writing. In this man. ner, both as to parsing and correcting, all the rules of Syntax should be treated, proceeding regularly according to their order. The pupil may now be, occasional. ly, employed in correcting the promiscuous exercises in Orthography.
6. The preceding directions (except those upon Or. thography) respect only the leading rules of the grammar, which are printed in the larger type. When the exercises on those general rules are completed, and not before, the learner is to apply to the first subordinate rule, contained in the smaller type. He is to read it very
at. tentively, assisted by the teacher's explanations; and afterwards correct, in writing, the false construction of the
exercises belonging to it. Thus, he is to proceed, rule by rule, till the whole is finished.t The learner should now be, occasionally, employed in parsing the promiscuous exercises, contained in the eighth section of the chapter on Syntactical Parsing.
7. When the student has corrected all the exercises appropriated to the particular rules, he should regularly proceed to rectify the promiscuous Exercises, in syntax, and punctuation. In this employ, he should write over each correction, the number of the rule, by which he conceives the correction ought to be made.
8. After this progress, the learner will be qualified to enter on the Exercises respecting perspicuous and accurate writing. In this part, he is to proceed in a nianner as similar to the preceding directions, as the subject will admit.
9. When all the Exercises have been regularly corrected, in writing, it would tend to perfect the pupil's, knowledge of the rules, and to give him an habitual dexterity in applying them, if he were occasionally desired to correct, verbally, erroneous sentences purposely selected from different parts of the book; to recite the rules by which they are governed ; and, in his own language, to detail the reasons on which the corrections are founded. The following examples will give the student an idea of the manner, in which he is to make the verbal corrections.
“The man is prudent which speaks little.”
This sentence is incorrect ; because which is a pronoun of the neuter gender, and does not agree in gender with its antecedent man which is masculine. But a pronoun should agree with its antecedent, in gender, &c. according to the fifth rule of Syntax. Which should therefore be who, a relative pronoun agreeing with its antecedent man ; and the sentence should stand thus : is prudent who speaks little.”
“After I visited Europe, I returned to America."
+ The pupil ought to review every leading rule, and again rectify a few of the sentences under it, b fore he enters on its subordinate rules and their correspondent ex. ercises,
- The man
This sentence is not correct ; because the verb visited is in the imperfect tense, and yet used here to express an action, not only past but prior to the time referred to by the verb returned, to which it relates. By the thirteenth rule of syntax, when verbs are used, that in point of time, relate to each other, the order of time should be observed. The imperfect tense visited should, therefore, have been had visited, in the pluperfect tense, representing the action of visiting, not only as past but also as prior to the time of returning. The sentence correct. ed would stand thus ;
“ After I had visited Europe, I returned to America.”
“ This was the cause, which first gave rise to such a barbarous practice.
This sentence is inaccurate. The words first and rise have here the same meaning ; and the word such is not properly applied. This word signifies of that kind: but the author does not refer to a kind or species of barbarity. He means a degree of it: and therefore the word so, instead of such, ought to have been used. The words cause and gave rise, are also tautological : one of them should, consequently, be omitted. The sentence corrected would stand thus : “ This was the original cause of so barbarous a practice ;" or, of a practice so barbarous."
10. As parsing is an exercise of great importance to the pupil, it should be continued, regularly, through the whole course of his gramniatical instruction.
11. To the learner who has not the aid of a teacher, the Key is indispensable. But it should, on no occasion, be consulted, till the sentence which is to be rectified, has been well considered, and has received the learner's best correction.
As the latter editions of the Grammar, Exercises, and Key, contain many corrections, additions, and other improvements, it is proper to observe, that the eleventh edition of the Exercises corresponds exactly to the fifteenth of the Grammar; and the tenth edition of the Key, to the eleventh of the Exercise.