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TO THE SEVENTH EDITION.* The Author of this volume of Exercises, perceiving that it has been well received by the public, and that the demand for it still continues to increase, has felt it incumbent upon him to give the seventh edition every improvement in his power, without enhancing the price of the book.
Besides expunging some obscure and uninteresting sentences; inserting a number of examples adapted to the latest improvements in the grammar; and adding to the Syntax many useful exercises, he has subjoined to the part designed to promote perspicuous and accurate writing, a whole chapter (twelve pages) of promiscuous exercises, peculiarly adapted to this subject. As every other general division of the book was provided with a chapter of this nature, it is presumed that teachers and private students will approve of an addition so necessary to complete the plan of the work. It is calculated, at once, to confirm the learner in perspicuous and accurate writing, and to improve his taste for elegant composition.
In all the additional exercises to this part of the book, the author has beeg careful to exhibit no inaccuracies but such as are frequently found in respectable-writings. The display of vulgar and glaring errors, which no persons of education ever commit, would not be proper for a work of this nature, and could not fail to produce disapprobation and disgust..
TO THE TENTH EDITION. One of the chief improvements, made in the tenth edition of this work, consists in the abaptation of it, throughout, to an objective case of nouns. This case was adopted in the twelfth edition of the Grammar; and it is therefore indispensable, that the Exercises shonld conform to the alteration.*
As there are some teachers, who doubt the propiety of presenting exercises of bad English to youth of the junior classes, it seems proper in this place, to make a few observa. tions on the subject.
* The improvements in the cighth edition, consist, chiefly, of “General Directions for using the Exercises, and of a new, enlarged system of Exercises in Parsing.
* See the rensons in favour of an Objective case for English nouns, at page 50, 51, of the Twelfth, or any subsequent edition of the Grammar.
The author is persuaded, that exercises of this nature cannot be too soon engaged in, by the student or grammar. Simple rules, and examples of rectitude, make light impression, compared with the effect of contrast, in which errors and corrections are opposed to each other. A child generally sees and hears so many instances of erroneous construction, that, unless he is early taught to distinguish and correct them, his imitative powers will be more influenced by error than by rectitude. Besides, children, in detecting and amending errors, feel their own powers; and however small the exercise may be, it is a most pleasing and animating incentive to application and study. What they learn in this way, will not only gratify them: it will also improve their indgment and sagacity, and be long and accu rately remembered.
On these grounds, it is evident, that the practice of cor recting errors, should be introduced into the early stages of grammatical studies. Instead of exposing children to “the danger of evil communication,” as some ingenious persons have supposed, it seems to be the best means of teaching them, first, to discover the irregularities, and then, to avoid the contagion, of bad examples.
Critical Discussions has been inserted in appropriate parts of the Exercises and the Key. This was occasioned by the Grammar's having been set up, and not admitting of enlargement without an advance of its price. The author has, however, taken care to make proper references, under the correspondent rules in the Grammar, to all those additional notes and discussions. To this mode of supplying improvements, the reader will have the less objection, when he considers, that the Exercises and the Key are necessary appendages to the Grammar; and serve to illustrate and enforce, as well as to extend, its rules and positions. The three volumes are indeed intimately connected; and constitute one uniform system of English Grammar.,
To the Tenth edition of the Key, the Author has added an Apologetical Preface, accounting for the additions and variations, which are to be found in the different editions of his grammatical works. He has also annexed to that edition of the Key, a copious Alphabetical Index to the Grammar, the Exercises, and the Key; a work which he flatters himself will be generally useful; and particularly accept. able to students who have made some progress in the knowledge of grammar.
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 employment, by occasionally parsing the promiscuous exercises, 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 memory, the correspondent exercise in parsing, should be performed. Then the sentences of false syntax, under the rule, should be corrected, in writing. In this manner, 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, occasionally, employed in correcting the promiscuous exercişes in orthography.
6. The preceding directions (except those upon orthogra phy) 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 attentively, 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.* 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, principal or subordinate, by which he conceives the correction ought to be made.
8. After this progress, the learner will he qualified to enter on the exercises respecting perspicuous and accurate writing. In this part, he is to proceed in a manner 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: “ The man is prudent who speaks little."
* The pupil ought to review every leading rule, and again rectify a few of the sentences under it, before he enters on its subordinate rules and their correspondent exercises.
“ After I visited Europe, I returned to America." 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 corrected 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 grammatical 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.