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WITH COPIOUS EXERCISES.
BY WILLIAM SMITH, D.C.L., LL.D.,
, , ,
THEOPHILUS D. HALL, M.A.,
FELLOW OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON.
A FIRST ENGLISH GRAMMAR for Elementary Schools.
Uniform with the Present Work. THE STUDENT'S LATIN GRAMMAR. By WM. SMITH,
D.C.L., and THEOPHILUS D. HALL. Post 8vo. A SMALLER LATIN GRAMMAR. Abridged from the
above. 12mo. 38. 6d. THE STUDENT'S GREEK GRAMMAR. By PROFESSOR
CURTIUS and WM. SMITH, LL.D. Post 8vo. A SMALLER GREEK GRAMMAR. Abridged from the
above work. 12mo. 38. 6d.
ACCIDENCE OF THE GREEK LANGUAGE: Extracted
from the above work. 12mo. 28. 6d.
LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET,
AND CHARING CROSS.
NOTWITHSTANDING the numerous English Grammars that have recently appeared, it is acknowledged that a more practical one is still wanted for general use in upper and middle schools; which should exhibit concisely and clearly the existing grammatical forms and chief syntactical rules of the language, and, without entering into philological details suitable only for advanced students, should yet give the subject a fuller treatment than is consistent with the design of a purely elementary Grammar. This want the authors of the present Work have endeavoured to supply—with what success it is for the intelligent teacher to determine.
Attention may be directed to the following distinctive features in the Work:
1. The writers have aimed throughout to make it a really serviceable working school-book. To this end, all rules and definitions have been presented in the simplest terms, and examples freely added dealing with all the principal difficulties attending their application. A strictly historical treatment appeared ill adapted to the use of boys and girls, needing first to be well grounded in the rules
principles of English as it exists. At the same time the essential unity of the language has been constantly borne in mind; and characteristic forms adduced from its earlier stages, whenever they appeared calculated to throw light upon its present condition. A very copious body of Exercises and Questions has been added, intended to form a complete praxis of grammatical Etymology, Syntax, Parsing, Analysis of Sentences, and Punctuation. A Key is furnished, to Teachers only, to facilitate the somewhat tedious process of correcting written exercises.
2. It presents a more complete and systematic treatment of English Syntax than is to be met with in other works of the kind. It is hoped that no important use of any one of the Parts of Speech has been overlooked, and each has been illustrated by carefully selected examples. Some uses are, it is believed, here noticed for the first time in a work of the kind; such as the regular employment by Elizabethan writers of adjectives as adverbs-without the addition of ly—before other adjectives ($ 226, obs. 2); the use of the Impersonal Passive by Milton ($ 120, obs. 2); and some others. Under the head of the Subjunctive Mood some valuable sections have been in part derived from the admirable Skakspearian Grammar of Mr. E. A. Abbott.
Explanations of idioms and uses of less frequent occurrence are given in small type; and these portions of the work may with advantage be omitted by younger students.
3. The use of examples manufactured for the occasion has been studiously avoided. It is difficult to coin such as shall be neither inane nor affected ; and even when coined, they lack authority. On the contrary, the citation of illus trative words and passages from such authors as Shakspeare, Milton, Pope, Gibbon, Goldsmith, Scott, Thackeray, not only serves to establish rules, but is also fitted to relieve any dryness inherent in the mere theory of grammar: and it is believed that the committal of such quotations to memory will prove a valuable help towards the formation of a correct and elegant style. The examples have been expressly selected for this work; a few only having been adopted, after careful verification, from other critical and grammatical works.
4. It deals with the English language as something existing, the laws of which are to be ascertained by careful consultation of its greatest masters, instead of being prescribed by grammarians. At the same time, care has been taken to distinguish the sound and deliberate usage of classical writers, from the mere loose and careless modes of expression so frequently to be met with even in authors of acknowledged position.
5. In addition to Grammar strictly so called, chapters have been added treating of the Analysis of Sentences (with numerous illustrations)-the Relations of English to other Languages - Prosody - and Punctuation. The chapter on the Relations of English to other Languages has been strictly limited to the statement of the elementary facts of the subject. So much as is here given appears needful to any completeness of general instruction : pursued beyond these limits, the subject expands into Philology proper, and must be pursued with the help of works specially devoted to it.
The authors would specially express their indebtedness to the learned and critical works of Mätzner, Koch, and Fiedler and Sachs; Mr. Earle's Philology of the English Language ; Dr. Morris's Historical Outlines of English Accidence; Messrs. Abbott and Seeley's English Lessons for English people; Sir George Head's Shall and Will; with Bishop Lowth's and other English Grammars, of which a list is given below (p. vi).