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THE SUBSTANCE OF ALL THE MOST APPROVED ENGLISH GRAMMARS
EXTANT, BRIEFLY DEFINED, AND NEATLY ARRÁNGED;
Price 1s. 60.--Analysis of Sentences sold separately, price 3d.
MAIN It is probable, that the original design and principal motive of every teacher, in publishing a School-Book, is the improvement of his own pupils. Such, at least, was the immediate object of the present compilation; which, for brevity of expression, neatness of arrangement, and comprehensiveness of plan, is, perhaps, superior to any other book of the kind. 'My chief end has been to explain the general principles of Grammar as clearly and intelligibly as possible. In the definitions, therefore, easiness and perspicuity have been sometimes preferred to logical exactness."
Orthography is mentioned rather for the sake of order than with a view to instruction ; for the pupil may be supposed to have mastered its practical details before he commences the study of Grammar.
On Etymology I have left much to be remarked by the teacher, in the time of teaching. My reason for doing this is, that children, when by themselves, labour more to have the words of their book imprinted on their memories, than to have the meaning fixed in their minds; but, on the contrary, when the teacher addresses them viva voce, they naturally strive rather to comprehend his meaning, than to remember his exact expressions. In pursuance of this idea, the first part of this little volume has been thrown into a form more resembling Heads of Lectures on Grammar than a complete elucidation of the subject. That the teacher, however, may not be always under the necessity of having recourse to his memory to supply the deficiencies, the most remarkable Observations have been subjoined at the bottom of the page, to which the pupils themselves may occasionally be referred.
The desire of being concise has frequently induced me to use very elliptical expressions ; but I trust they are all sufficiently perspicuous. I may also add, that many additional and critical remarks which might have, with propriety, been inserted in the Grammar, have been inserted rather in the Key; for I have studiously withheld everything from the Grammar that could be spared, to keep it low-priced for the general good.
The Questions on Etymology, at pages 174 and 175 will speak for themselves : they unite the advantages of both the usual methods, viz. that of plain narration, and that of question and answer, without the inconvenience of either.
Syntax is commonly divided into two parts, Concord and Government; and the rules respecting the former, grammarians in general have placed before those which relate to the latter.
4 I have not, however, attended to this division, because I deem it of little importance; but have placed those rules first which are either more easily understood, or which occur more frequently. In arranging a number of rules, it is difficult to please every reader. I have frequently been unable to satisfy myself; and therefore cannot expect that the arrangement which I have at last adopted will give universal satisfaction. Whatever order be preferred, the one rule must necessarily precede the other; and since they are all to be learned, it signifies little whether the rules of concord precede those of government, or whether they be mixed, provided no anticipations be made which may embarrass the learner.
In connexion with the Rules of Syntax, I have introduced “ Exercises to be corrected” as well as “Exercises to be parsed and construed ;” and in the case of the former I have generally compressed into a single page as many faulty expressions as some of my predecessors have done into two pages of a larger size. Hence, though the book seems to contain but few exercises on bad grammar, it really contains so many that a separate volume of exercises is quite unnecessary.
Whatever defects were found in the former cditions in the time of teaching have been carefully supplied.
On Etymology, Syntax, Punctuation, and Prosody, there is scarcely a Rule or Observation in the largest grammar in print that is not to be found in this ; besides, the Rules and Definitions, in general, are so very short and pointed, that, compared with those in most other grammars, they may be said to be hit off rather than made. Every page is independent, and though quite full, not crowded, but wears an air of neatness and ease invitingly sweet, ,-a circumstance not unimportant. But, notwithstanding these properties, and others that might be mentioned, I am far from being so vain as to suppose that this compilation is altogether free from inaccuracies or defects; much less do I presume that it will obtain the approbation every one who may choose to peruse it; for, to use the words of Dr. Johnson, “ He that has much to do will do something wrong, and of that wrong must suffer the consequences; and if it were possible that he should always act rightly, yet when such numbers are to iudge of his conduct, the bad will censure and obstruct him by malevolence, and the good sometimes by mistake."
PER Those pupils that are capable of writing, should be requested to write the plural of nouns, &c., either at home or at school. The Exercises on Syntax should be written in their corrected state with a stroke drawn under the word corrected. THE K. means Key; the figures refer to the No. of the Key, not the page.
ENGLISH GRAMMAR is the art of speaking and writing the English Language with propriety.
It is divided into four parts ; namely, Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody.
ORTHOGRAPHY. ORTHOGRAPHY treats of Letters, Syllables, and
the spelling of Words. THERE are twenty-six letters in English. Letters are either Vowels or Consonants.
A Vowel is a letter, the name of which makes a full open sound.
A Consonant is a letter that has a sound less distinct than that of a vowel.
The Vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes and
y. The Consonants are b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z. W and
y are consonants when they begin a word or syllable; in every other situation they are vowels.
A Diphthong is the union of two vowels; as, ou in out.
А proper Diphthong is one in which both the Vowels are sounded; as, oy in boy.