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English Grammar and Composition for Public Schools Cover










G. H. ARMSTRONG, M.A., B.Pæd.,

Principal Borden St. School, Toronto.






The Hunter, Rose Co., Limited, Temple Building.

 English Grammar and Composition for Public
Schools, by George Armstrong

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Title: English Grammar and Composition for Public Schools

Author: George Armstrong

Release Date: April 14, 2015 [EBook #48702]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by David T. Jones, Mardi Desjardins & the online
Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at

Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada in the year one thousand nine hundred and one, by G. H. Armstrong, M.A., B.Pæd., in the office of the Minister of Agriculture.


It is not considered necessary to offer an apology for the publication of a work on English grammar and composition for the Public Schools of Ontario.

The plan of the work is inductive and practical, and the author has endeavored to make the book a useful one for the purposes of teaching. Every principle is presented through the observation of examples of good English.

The study of grammar aids the student to master his mother-tongue, but its chief function is to secure mental discipline. For the development of the intellectual powers, the capable teacher, well furnished with rational methods, will find this study superior to all others. It is a study in recognizing similarities, in distinguishing differences, in making abstractions, in forming generalizations. The object of Parts I.-IV. of this book is to contribute something to the science of elementary English grammar.

Part V. treats of composition. The usual exercises in completing half-built sentences, in straightening out wrecks of sentences, in combining simple sentences into complex sentences, in expanding phrases into clauses, etc., will not be found therein. They have done quite enough towards fostering stupidity in our schools. The art of expression is acquired through steady practice, therefore pupils should write compositions not once a week, but during part of every period, about things which they understand. They should be taught good form in expression, and trained to correct their own exercises.

This part of the work, though brief, will be found suggestive. Teachers and pupils have not been deprived of the pleasure and profit of an independent examination of the construction of the prose selections.

This little volume owes something to several English grammars, and the debt is hereby acknowledged.


Table of Contents

Part First.—Sentences & Classes of Words
Lessons I—XII
Part Second.—Classes & Inflections of Parts of Speech
Lessons XIII—LV
Part Third.—Syntax
Lessons LVI—LXI
Part Fourth.—Analysis of Sentences
Part Fifth.—Composition
Lessons LXV—LXXV






Is there a complete thought expressed in each of the following groups of words?—

1.The maple leaf is an emblem of Canada.
2.Honor thy father and thy mother.
3.Who gathered these beautiful flowers?
4.How sweetly the birds sing in spring!

A group of words that expresses a complete thought is called a sentence.

Which of the foregoing sentences declares something, which expresses a command, which asks a question, and which expresses a sudden feeling?

A sentence that asserts or declares something is called a declarative sentence.

A sentence that expresses a command or request is called an imperative sentence.

A sentence that asks a question is called an interrogative sentence.

A sentence that expresses a sudden or strong feeling is called an exclamatory sentence.


State the use or office of each of the following sentences, and tell the kind of sentence:—

1.The sun rises in the East.
2.Every door opens to a smile.
3.Keep thy heart with all diligence.
4.Who is the author of that book?
5.How tenderly a mother cares for her child!
6.Every morn is the world made new.
7.Sharpen this pencil for me.
8.What bright uniforms the soldiers wear!
9.The plowman homeward plods his weary way.
10.How many lines have you written?


1.Write four declarative sentences.
2.Write four imperative sentences.
3.Write three interrogative sentences.
4.Write two exclamatory sentences.



Name the thing which is spoken of in each of the following sentences, and what is said about it:—

1.Gold is a precious metal.
2.Flowers grow in the fields.
3.The sailor’s home is on the sea.
4.The flag of England floats above the citadel.

The part of a sentence that expresses the thing spoken of is called the subject.

The part of a sentence that expresses what is said about the subject is called the predicate.

The subject of a declarative sentence is generally placed before the predicate, but it is sometimes placed after the predicate; as,

Sweet was the sound of the evening bell.

Over the swift rapids went the boat.


Name the subject and the predicate of each of the following sentences:—

1.The city of Ottawa is the capital of Canada.
2.Three wives sat up in the lighthouse tower.
3.All the children were gathering flowers.
4.Our friends have arrived in the city.
5.Home they brought her warrior dead.
6.John Cabot discovered Canada in 1497.
7.All along the banks were the skeletons of canoes.
8.Through this forest ran a beautiful river.
9.Colder and louder blew the wind.
10.Down sunk the bell with a gurgling sound.

The subject of an imperative sentence is thou, ye or you. It is seldom expressed; as,

   Listen to the singing of the birds.
   Carry these books for me.
   Praise ye the Lord.


Name the subject and the predicate and state the kind of sentence of each of the following:—

1.Who hath not lost a friend?
2.Gather up the fragments.
3.Here comes the train!
4.Why did you take away my book?
5.The shades of night were falling fast.
6.How lightly she trips along!
7.In one corner of the room stood my grandfather’s clock.
8.Send this note to the post.
9.How strange our old home looks!
10.At the dawn of day he ascended the hill.


1. Write four examples of an assertive sentence and name the subject and the predicate of each sentence.

2. Write four examples of an imperative sentence and name the subject and the predicate of each sentence.

3. Write four examples of an interrogative sentence and name the subject and the predicate of each sentence.

4. Write four examples of an exclamatory sentence and name the subject and the predicate of each sentence.



State the words that are used as names in the following sentences:—

1.The shoes worn by the soldiers were made in England.
2.Near this tree is the grave of a pioneer.
3.Chaucer is the father of English poetry.
4.Love had he found in huts where poor men lie.

A word used as a name is called a noun.


Name the nouns in the following sentences:—

1.There are seven provinces in Canada.
2.Then the fly lit his lamp of fire.
3.The bloom of that fair face is wasted.
4.The boy stood on the burning deck.
5.And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
6.He goes on Sunday to the church
And sits among his boys.
7.I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.
8.A violet by a mossy stone,
Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.


Write sentences containing—

1.The name of a place.
2.The name of a person.
3.The name of a tree.
4.The name of a metal.
5.The name of an article of food.
6.The name of an animal.
7.The name of a quality.
8.The name of an action.



Name the nouns for which the words printed in italics are used in the following sentences:—

1.The teacher went home when he finished the lesson.
2.The mother kissed her boy when she received him.
3.A baby was sleeping,
Its mother was weeping
For her husband was far on the wild raging sea.

A word used for a noun is called a pronoun.

By the use of the pronoun, a person or thing is referred to without naming it, and the too frequent repetition of the same noun is avoided.


Select the pronouns in the following sentences, and state the noun for which each is used:—

1.Men find plants where they least expect them.
2.The parents returned home when they found their child.
3.The king took the hand of his friend and pressed it to his heart.
4.A boy who is always grumbling will lose the friends that he has, and will not make many new ones.
5.The ball lies where you left it. 
6.The boy’s father was anxious to send him to college, and therefore he studied the Latin grammar till he could bear it no longer.
7.Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.
8.As John and Charles were walking by the river, they both fell into it.
9.Tell me what brings you, gentle youth, to Rome;
To make myself a scholar, sir, I come.
10.Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
That savèd she might be;
And she thought of Him who stilled the wave
On the Lake of Galilee.


1. Write a sentence containing a pronoun used for the speaker.

2. Write a sentence containing a pronoun used for the names of the speaker and others.

3. Write a sentence containing a pronoun used for the name of a person spoken to.

4. Write a sentence containing a pronoun used for the name of a person spoken of.

5. Write a sentence containing a pronoun used for the names of two or more persons spoken of.

6. Write a sentence containing a pronoun used for the name of a thing that has been previously spoken of.



Select the words in the following sentences that are used to describe or point out the things named by the nouns:—

1.A tall man gave me this book.
2.That little boy has a kind sister.
3.I bought two sweet oranges.
4.These grassy fields are owned by a rich man.

The word tall describes this particular man. The word this points out the particular book that is meant. Such words modify the nouns with which they are used.

A word used to modify a noun or pronoun is called an adjective.


Name the adjectives in the following sentences, and state the use of each:—

1.I found a rusty knife with a silver handle.
2.Wise ministers and brave warriors flourished during Elizabeth’s reign.
3.The sick girl was watched by a skilful nurse.
4.Otters are much prized for their soft, glossy black fur.
5.I lingered near the hallowed seat with listening ear.
6.His withered cheek and tresses gray,
Seemed to have known a better day.
7.Her aged hand on his strong young arm
She placed; and so, without hurt or harm
He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong.
8.His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate’er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Model.—The adjectives in the first sentence are a, rusty, a and silver. A points out or indicates the species of the thing knife. Rusty describes the thing knife.


Write sentences containing adjectives used to show:—

1.What quality of thing is spoken of.
2.How many things are spoken of.
3.Which thing is referred to.



Select the words in the following sentences that tell or assert something of the thing spoken of:—

1.Boys play.
2.The sun shines.
3.The snow melts.
4.Mountains are high.

A word that is used to make an assertion is called a verb.

Note.—The word verb is derived from the Latin word verbum, meaning a word, and this part of speech is so called because it is the word, the most important word in every sentence. There can be no sentence without a verb.


Name the verbs in the following sentences, and state what each tells or asserts:—

1.The girls gathered some water-lilies.
2.That house was built last century.
3.He slept for three hours.
4.The gardener fell from a high tree.
5.The coachman struck the horse, and it kicked him.
6.King Edward I. nearly conquered Scotland.
7.She must weep or she will die.
8.And still they rowed amidst the roar
Of waters fast prevailing:
Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore,
His wrath was changed to wailing.


Write sentences containing each of the following words used as subjects, and underline the verbs:—

Plants, rivers, paper, gold, pen, fish, birds, stars, flowers, money.



Name the words in the following sentences that modify the verbs, that show how, when or where actions were performed:—

1.The girls recited well.
2.The teacher often read a story.
3.I left my pencil there.

A word that is used to modify the meaning of a verb is called an adverb.

An adverb may also modify the meaning of an adjective, as, He is very quiet.

An adverb may also modify the meaning of another adverb; as, She writes more rapidly than you.

An adverb is a word that is used to modify the meaning of a verb, an adjective or another adverb.


State the adverbs in the following sentences, and name the word which each modifies:—

1.Here let us sit and talk of former times.
2.I never saw so clear a sky.
3.How proudly they strode along!
4.Now let me die in peace.
5.The grass is too damp yet.
6.The face of the country suddenly changed.
7.The next night it came again.
8.The storm came on before its time;
She wandered up and down,
And many a hill did Lucy climb,
But never reached the town.


1. Write four sentences each containing an adverb modifying a verb.

2. Write two sentences each containing an adverb modifying an adjective.

3. Write two sentences each containing an adverb modifying an adverb.



Name the words in the following sentences that express the relation of a noun or pronoun to some other word:—

1.We withdrew from the room.
2.The boys ran through the hall.
3.This box is made of paper.
4.I went to school with him.

A word that is used to express the relation of a noun or pronoun to some other word in the sentence is called a preposition.

The noun or pronoun which the preposition connects in sense with some other word in the sentence, is called its object; as, The men are in the field.


Select the prepositions, and state the words between which each shows a relation:—

1.He threw the ball over the fence.
2.An old man fell into a pond.
3.A stranger came within our gates.
4.From many lands comes the cry for help.
5.The boat went under the water.
6.This letter was written by my sister.
7.At noon I went home.
8.I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles.
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.


1. Write three sentences each containing a preposition expressing a relation between a noun and a verb. Underline the object.

2. Write three sentences each containing a preposition expressing a relation between two nouns. Underline the object of the preposition.

3. Write three sentences each containing a preposition expressing a relation between a noun and an adjective.



Name the words that connect sentences, or words or phrases, used in the same way in the following sentences:—

1.The sun shone out brightly and the mist cleared away.
2.You may go, but I must remain here.
3.Cold and damp was the maiden’s grave.
4.The grass grows in the valley and on the mountain side.

Note.—A phrase is a group of related words without a verb.

A word that connects sentences, or words, or phrases, used in the same way in a sentence, is called a conjunction.


Select the conjunctions in the following sentences, and tell what each connects:—

1.I went to school, but my brother did not.
2.My books are in my bag, or I have lost them.
3.The boys ran away because they were afraid.
4.Though I fail, I shall attempt to do it.
5.He was a king, yet he was not happy.
6.The rich and the poor meet together.
7.Iron is more useful than gold.
8.They had full warning, so that they are without excuse. 
9.I am sure that he did it. 
10.The morning came, the chaise was brought, 
But yet was not allowed 
To drive up to the door lest all 
Should say that she was proud. 


1. Write a sentence containing a conjunction connecting two sentences.

2. Write a sentence containing a conjunction connecting two phrases.

3. Write a sentence containing a conjunction connecting two adverbs.

4. Write a sentence containing a conjunction connecting two nouns.



Name the words in the following sentences that express sudden or strong feeling:—

1.Hurrah! the work is done. 
2.Alas! we were too late. 
3.Hush! she is sleeping now. 
4.Bravo! he has reached the boat. 

A word used to express some sudden or strong feeling is called an interjection.

An interjection is not related to any word in the sentence.

Interjections express a variety of feelings, such as joy, sorrow, surprise, pain, contempt and strong desire.


Select the interjections in the following sentences, and state the feeling expressed by each:—

1.Oh! my tooth is aching again. 
2.Alas! he heeded not my warning. 
3.Hark! what means that distant cry? 
4.Pshaw! it is nothing but the wind. 
5.Hurrah! for England’s Queen. 
6.Ho! breakers on the weather bow. 
7.But O! eternity’s too short 
To utter all Thy praise. 
8.Hold! if ’twas wrong, the wrong is mine. 


Write six sentences, each containing an interjection.

Underline the interjections.


We have now learned all the different classes of words in our language and the name of each class.

Since each class performs a certain office or part in the sentence, the different classes are called parts of speech.


State the office of each word in the following sentences, and tell what part of speech it is:—

1.A rolling stone gathers no moss. 
2.I live for those who love me. 
3.The man walked across the bridge. 
4.The cherries on this tree are ripe. 
5.I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers. 
6.This boy lost his kite in a tree. 
7.The village master taught his little school. 
8.Slowly and sadly we laid him down. 
9.Crash! a terrific cry broke from three hundred hearts. 
10.I never was on the dull, tame shore, 
But I loved the great sea more and more. 


The part of speech or grammatical value of words is always determined by their use or function in the sentence.


State the use or function of the italicized words in the following sentences, and tell the part of speech of each word:—

1.We have a quire of paper.
2.Our friends paper their walls every year.
3.He put his hat in a paper box.
4.It is a fine day.
5.Magistrates fine those who break the laws.
6.The penalty is a fine of twenty dollars.
7.I know that story.
8.He has the book that I require.
9.We know that he is just.
10.The word that is sometimes used to connect sentences.
11.Give him the iron pail.
12.The girls iron the clothes in the morning.
13.He has a piece of iron.


Show that the following words may have different grammatical values:—

Model:—Come in. An adverb.
My hat is in the room. A preposition.
The word in was omitted. A noun.

Note.—The foregoing example is printed in italics. Pupils will underline their examples.









Select in the following sentences the nouns that are names of particular persons or things, and the nouns that are names of all the members of a class of persons or things:—

1.These little girls live with their parents in Toronto. 
2.Mary and Harold are going to visit their friends. 
3.On a little mound, Napoleon 
Stood on our storming day.—Browning. 

A name of a particular or individual person or thing is called a proper noun; as, Mary, Saturday, Lake Ontario.

Proper nouns begin with capital letters.

A name that applies to all the members of a class of persons or things is called a common noun; as, girl, desk, river.


1. Write five sentences, each containing a proper noun, and underline the example in each sentence.

2. Write five sentences, each containing a common noun, and underline the example in each sentence.


Select in the following sentences the nouns that are names of objects which have a real and separate existence outside of the mind, and those which are names of things that have no real existence and are only thought of in the mind:—

1.Contentment is better than gold. 
2.Virtue is its own reward. 
3.Truth crushed to earth, shall rise again,— 
The eternal years of God are hers.—Bryant. 

A noun that is the name of an object which has a real and separate existence outside of the mind, is called a concrete noun; as, gold, water.

A noun that is the name of something which has not a real and separate existence outside of the mind, is called an abstract noun; as, truth, justice.


1. Write five sentences each containing a concrete noun, and underline the example in each sentence.

2. Write five sentences each containing an abstract noun, and underline the example in each sentence.

Note.—All nouns may be classified into (1) proper and common, (2) concrete and abstract, hence the two preceding classifications are perfect. The classifications which follow are imperfect, since they do not include all nouns.


Name the nouns in the following sentences that denote a collection of objects:—

1.His family live in England. 
2.The army advanced during the night. 
3.The verdict is given by a jury. 
4.A committee of six was appointed by the members. 

A noun of the singular form that stands for a collection or number of things is called a collective noun; as, He owns a herd of cattle.


Write five sentences each containing a collective noun, and underline the example in each sentence.


Select the nouns ending in ing that are derived from verbs and have lost all verbal function in the following sentences:—

1.That is good ploughing. 
2.His writing is very legible. 
3.The singing was admired by all. 

A noun ending in ing that is derived from a verb and has lost all verbal function, is called a verbal noun; as, There is good sleighing now.


Write five sentences each containing a verbal noun, and underline the example in each sentence.



Which of the following words denote males, and which denote females?


Sex is one of the two divisions of animals, male and female.

The distinction of sex is called gender.

A noun that denotes a male is of the masculine gender; as, father.

A noun that denotes a female is of the feminine gender; as, mother.

Some nouns are either masculine or feminine gender; as, friend, neighbor.

Nouns that denote things neither male nor female, have no gender; as, book, tree.

Gender is distinguished by different words; as,—

bachelor,maid or spinster,

Gender is distinguished by different endings; as,—


Gender is sometimes distinguished by prefixing words; as,—



Select the gender-nouns in the following sentences, and give the gender of each:—

1.Mary and her friend went for a sail on the lake.
2.The hero of this story is a young boy.
3.Great authors are seldom seen by the people.
4.Tell my mother that her other sons shall comfort her old age. 
5.He fled with his wife and child. 
6.My sister went home with her aunt. 
7.Both a prince and a poet were there.
8.Little Effie shall go with me to-morrow to the green,
And you’ll be there, too, mother, to see me made the Queen:
For the shepherd lads on every side ’ill come from far away,
And I’m to be Queen of the May, mother, I’m to be Queen of the May.—Tennyson.



Which form of the following words denotes one thing, and which more than one thing?—


The form of a word which names one thing is called singular, and the noun is said to be in the singular number. The form of a word which names more than one thing is called plural, and the noun is said to be in the plural number.

1. The plural is generally formed by adding s to the singular form; as pin, pins; book, books.

2. Some nouns form the plural by adding es to the singular form; as, match, matches; tax, taxes.

Note the following words:—fox, bush, glass, loss, hero, negro, cargo, echo, potato, tomato.

3. Nouns ending in y preceded by a vowel, form the plural by adding s to the singular form; as, day, days; valley, valleys.

Nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant, form the plural by changing the y into i and adding es; as, lily, lilies; copy, copies.

4. Some nouns ending in f or fe form the plural by changing f or fe to v and adding es; as, knife, knives.

Note the following:—wife, life, wolf, loaf, half, leaf, thief, shelf, calf, self.

5. A few nouns form the plural by adding en to the singular form; as, ox, oxen; child, children; brother, brethren.

6. Some nouns form the plural by changing the vowel of the singular; as, man, men; goose, geese.

7. Most nouns taken from foreign languages retain their foreign plurals:


8. Some compound nouns make the principal word plural, and some make both words plural; as, son-in-law, sons-in-law; man-servant, men-servants.


Write the plural of the following nouns:—

1.desk, woman, calf, foot, mouse, class. 
2.cargo, piano, sky, toy, crisis, potato. 
3.story, church, enemy, spoonful, chimney. 
4.lily, valley, mother-in-law, wolf, pencil. 
5.memorandum, sheaf, child, man-of-war. 


Note the following peculiarities:

1. Nouns used only in the plural:—


2. Nouns that have the same form in both numbers:—


3. Nouns with two plurals, differing in meaning:—

   Singular. Plural.Plural.
   penny,pennies (a number.)pence (a sum.)
   pea,peas (a number.)pease (a quantity.)
   brother,brothers (same family.)brethren (same society.)
   die,dies (for stamping.)dice (for gaming.)
   cloth,cloths (kinds of cloth.)clothes (garments.)
   index,indexes (to a book.)indices (in algebra.)
   genius,geniuses (men of talent.)genii (spirits.)

4. Nouns with a different meaning in the plural:—


5. Nouns with two meanings in the plural:—

   custom,customs (habits.)customs (revenue duties.) 
   letter,letters (alphabet.)letters (literature.) 
   number,numbers (in counting.)numbers (poetry.) 
   part,parts (divisions.)parts (abilities.) 



Which of the italicized words in the following sentences is used as the subject of the sentence, which to denote ownership, and on which does the action expressed by the verb end?

1.The boy is here. 
2.The boy’s book is on the table. 
3.He sent the boy with it. 

The word upon which the action expressed by the verb ends is called the object of the verb.

Point out in the following sentence a noun used as the subject of the verb, a noun used to denote ownership, a noun used as the object of a verb, and a noun used as the object of a preposition:—

   That girl’s father shot a bear in the forest.

The relation which a noun or pronoun bears to some other word in the sentence is called case.

A noun used as the subject of a verb is in the nominative case; as, The slate is broken. A noun used to denote ownership or possession is in the possessive case; as, Mary’s book is torn. A noun used as the object of a verb or a preposition is in the objective case; as, He left his pencil on the desk.


Name the case of all the nouns and pronouns in the following sentences, and state the reason for the case of each:—

1.I sailed a boat on the lake. 
2.This man’s hat was carried off by the wind. 
3.Eight horses drew the Queen’s carriage. 
4.On the deck stood the captain of the ship. 
5.Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray; 
    And, when I crossed the wild, 
I chanced to see at break of day 
    The solitary child.—Wordsworth. 


1. Write four sentences each containing a noun in the nominative case, and underline examples.

2. Write four sentences each containing a noun in the possessive case, and underline examples.

3. Write four sentences each containing a noun in the objective case, and underline examples.


Point out the nouns in the possessive case in the following sentences, and state how the possessive is formed:—

1.This is a girl’s hat. 
2.The girls’ yard is very clean. 
3.He found a woman’s shawl. 
4.The women’s waiting room is a large one. 

The possessive case of a singular noun is always formed by adding ’s to the word.

The possessive case of a plural noun that ends in s is formed by adding the ’ (apostrophe) only; as boys, boys’.

The possessive case of a plural noun that does not end in s is formed by adding the ’s; as men, men’s.


Form the possessive case, singular and plural, of the following nouns:—


Note.—Possession is sometimes expressed by the objective case with the preposition of; as, The eyes of children are bright, for children’s eyes are bright.


State the case of the italicized nouns in the following sentences:—

1.My hands are cold. 
2.He is a lawyer. 
3.Smith, the grocer, has moved away. 
4.John, shut the door. 
5.The storm having ceased, I went on. 

A noun that is used as the subject of a sentence is said to be in the subject nominative case, or briefly in the nominative case; as, The sun shines brightly.

A noun that is used in the predicate with the verb to be to make a statement, is said to be in the predicate nominative case to the verb; as, This man is a poet.

Note.—The verb to be (am, is, are, was, were, shall be, will be, have been, had been, etc.,) expresses being, never action, and hence cannot take a grammatical object.

A noun that is added to another noun to explain it, is said to be in the appositive (apposition) nominative case; as Brown, the merchant, is here.

A noun that is used as the name of a person or thing addressed is said to be in the nominative of address; as I wish you long life, my friend.

A noun that has no relation to any word in the sentence is said to be in the nominative absolute; as, The game being over, I withdrew.


Select all the nominatives in the following sentences, and state the class to which each belongs:—

1.Napoleon was a man of determination. 
2.My friend, the captain, is a citizen of Montreal. 
3.Good morning, Mr. Henry, will you come in? 
4.William the Norman, the enemy of Harold, crossed the Channel. 
5.The boat having disappeared, I turned my face homewards. 


How many grammatical objects has each verb in the following sentences?—

1.He taught me music. 
2.The tailor made him a coat. 
3.I asked them the way. 
4.He sent his sister a letter. 

The object which represents that which is directly affected by the action of the verb, is called the direct object; as, This man taught me drawing.

The object which represents that which is less directly affected by the action of the verb, and a relation which may be expressed by the prepositions to or for, is called the indirect object; as, This man taught me drawing.


Select all the objects in the following sentences, and classify them into direct and indirect:—

1.This girl brought me some flowers. 
2.The Queen gave him a present. 
3.I told him that story. 
4.My father bought me a horse. 
5.She sent my uncle a guinea. 



To parse a noun is to state the class to which it belongs, its gender, number, case, and its grammatical relation to other words in the sentence.

The changes in meaning and use which nouns undergo with or without a change in form, are called their inflections.

The inflections of the noun are number and case.


Parse all the nouns in the following sentences:—

1.John lost his brother’s book on the street. 
2.The boys have bought a new boat. 
3.This little girl’s doll fell into the water. 
4.His son is an excellent writer. 
5.Mr. Wilson, the tailor, has a fine shop. 
6.James, take this book to your sister. 
7.My father gave that boy a beautiful pony. 
8.Our friends are fond of driving. 
9.Sympathy is the greatest power in the moral world. 
10.But the half of our heavy task was done, 
    When the clock struck the hour for retiring; 
And we heard the distant and random gun, 
    That the foe was sullenly firing.—Wolfe. 

Model.John, a proper, concrete noun; masculine gender; singular number; nominative case, subject of lost.

Teacher’s, a common, concrete noun; masculine or feminine gender; singular number; possessive case, possessing book.

Book, a common, concrete noun; singular number; objective case, object of the verb lost.

Street, a common, concrete noun; singular number; objective case, object of the preposition on.



Name the pronouns in the following sentences, and state which denote the speaker, which the person spoken to, and which the person or thing spoken of:—

1.He asked me to go with him. 
2.You will be sorry when you see it. 
3.I asked her to come with us. 

A pronoun that shows by its form whether it denotes the speaker, the person spoken to, or the person spoken of, is called a personal pronoun.

A pronoun that denotes the speaker or any company of whom the speaker is one, is in the first person; as, I am here. We are going soon.

A pronoun that denotes a person spoken to, is in the second person; as, You look well.

A pronoun that denotes the person or thing spoken of, is in the third person; as, I found it.


First Person. 
Nom.Poss.  Obj.  Nom.Poss.   Obj. 
I,mine, or my,  me.we,ours, or our,  us. 
Second Person. 
Nom.   Poss.   Obj.   Nom.Poss.   Obj. 
thou,   thine, or thy,   thee.   you, or ye,   yours, or your,   you. 

The second person singular is used now chiefly in prayer and poetry.

The second person plural is used now in common speech in addressing one person.

Third Person. 
Nom.Poss.Obj.Nom.   Poss.   Obj. 
Masc.he,his,him.they,   theirs, or their,   them. 
Fem.she,hers, or her,her.they,   theirs, or their,   them.,its,it.they,   theirs, or their,   them. 


Select the personal pronouns in the following sentences, state the person of each, and the noun to which each pronoun of the third person refers:—

1.I visited my friend and helped him with his work. 
2.We bought some nuts and gave them to the children. 
3.This woman has lost her purse. 
4.I met two boys and they told me where to find you. 
5.I had a little daughter, 
    And she was given to me 
To lead me gently backward 
    To the Heavenly Father’s knee. 
That I by the force of nature, 
    Might in some dim wise divine 
The depths of His infinite patience 
    To this wayward soul of mine.—Lowell. 

Note.—The possessive forms my, thy, her, our, your and their are used with nouns, and the forms mine, thine, hers, ours, yours and theirs are used alone; as, That is my hat. That hat is mine.



Name the pronouns in the following sentences that point out or call attention to anything:—

1.This is a book, and that is a roll of paper. 
2.These are sheep, and those are goats. 

Pronouns which point out or call attention to the objects for which they stand, are called demonstrative pronouns.

The demonstrative pronouns are this, and that with their plurals these, and those.

This and these are used to refer to something nearer; that and those to something farther off. You is sometimes a demonstrative pronoun; as, You are the winner. The personal pronoun of the third person is sometimes classed as a demonstrative pronoun, because it is said to point out or call attention to the object for which it stands.

It is sometimes demonstrative, and sometimes personal in its use.

Compare: I am sure he did it. I saw your brother and he is going to come to-morrow.



Point out the pronouns in the following sentences, that are used to express emphasis, and those that are used as reflexives, that is, as objects denoting the same person or thing as the subject:—

1.I myself wrote that letter. 
2.He himself gave the cane to me. 
3.We often injure ourselves. 
4.They praised themselves. 

Pronouns that are used to express emphasis, and those that are used as reflexives, are called compound personal pronouns.

Compound personal pronouns are formed by adding self to the simple pronouns.

First Person.myself,ourselves,
Second Person.{thyself,
Third Person.{herself,themselves.



Select the pronouns that relate, or carry the mind back, to a noun going before, and join to that noun a modifying statement, in the following sentences:—

1.My brother found the ball which he lost. 
2.I saw the man who made that wheel. 
3.Mary has the book that I bought. 

A sentence that is part of a larger sentence is called a clause.

The clause that expresses the principal thought of a sentence is called the principal or independent clause; as, My brother found the ball which he lost.

The clause that depends on some other part of the sentence for its meaning is called a dependent or subordinate clause; as, My brother found the ball which he lost.

A word that relates to a preceding noun or pronoun, and connects a dependent clause with that noun or pronoun, is called a relative pronoun.

The word to which a pronoun relates is called its antecedent.

The relative pronouns are, who, which, that, what, as, and but.

1. Who is applied to persons; as, He knew the man who did it.

2. Which is applied to animals and to things without life; as This is the deer which he shot. I want the pen which you have.

3. That is applied to persons, to animals, and to things; as, This is the lady that was hurt. Here is the knife that I found.

4. What does not have its antecedent expressed; as, I know what [that which] you require.

5. When as is used as a relative it is generally preceded by such; as, We are such stuff as dreams are made on.

6. When but is used as a relative it has a negative force, equivalent to that not; as,

There is no fireside, howsoe’er defended,

But has one vacant chair.

Note.—Some relative clauses add another fact to the antecedent; as, He owns a farm, which he was given by his uncle.

Other relative clauses restrict the meaning of the antecedent; as, The boy that works succeeds.

Who and which are declined as follows:—


   Nom. Casewho,which,
   Poss. Casewhose,whose,
   Obj. Casewhom,which.


Pronouns that are formed by adding so, ever, and soever, to the simple pronouns, are called compound relative pronouns; as whoso, whichever, whatsoever.


Name the relative pronouns, their antecedents, the clauses they connect, and the case of each:—

1.I require the pencil that I lent you. 
2.Those who are down need fear no fall. 
3.He gave me what I desired. 
4.The men shot a bear which was roaming about. 
5.The long ranks on which I looked tramped steadily on. 
6.          Let the mighty mounds 
That overlook the rivers, or that rise 
In the dim forest crowded with old oaks, answer.—Bryant. 


Classify the relatives in the following sentences into those that add new facts to their antecedents, and into those that restrict or limit their meaning:

1.I live on the street which leads to the park. 
2.Those who live without a plan have never any leisure. 
3.A short distance from the house I discovered a box, which was made of iron. 
4.I met a policeman, who told me about the fire. 
5.We were the first that ever burst 
Into that silent sea.—Coleridge. 
6.There, at the foot of yonder nodding birch, 
        That wreaths its old fantastic roots so high, 
His listless length at noontide would he stretch, 
        And pore upon the brook that babbles by.—Gray. 



Point out the pronouns in the following sentences, that are used in asking questions:—

1.Who did this? 
2.What are you going to do next? 
3.Which of the boys lost his knife? 

A pronoun that is used in asking a question is called an interrogative pronoun; as, Who gave you the orange?

The interrogative pronouns are who, which, and what.

Who and which are declined like the relatives.

Who refers to persons; which refers to persons or to things; what refers to things.

Note.Which differs from who in being selective; as, Which of the books is yours?


Select the interrogative pronouns in the following sentences, and give the case of each:—

1.Who received the first prize in your class? 
2.Of what is this article composed? 
3.Which of the girls has the pencil? 
4.What are you going to do next? 
5.Whom did he send with the horse? 


Point out the pronouns in the following sentences that do not stand for any particular persons or things:—

1.Many went home before nine o’clock. 
2.Each has his work to do. 
3.All are here now. 

Pronouns which do not stand for particular or definite persons or things, are called indefinite pronouns; as, Few believed him.

The principal words used as indefinite pronouns are all, any, other, another, both, some, such, few, many, one, none, each, either, neither, and words made by joining some, any, every and no to the words one, thing and body.


Select the indefinite pronouns in the following sentences, and give the case of each:—

1.Some have gone home already. 
2.I knew both of the boys. 
3.He has not any to give to me. 
4.Everybody goes to the wharf in the evening. 
5.I told some one to bring it with him. 



To parse a pronoun is to state the class to which it belongs, its gender, person, number, case, and its grammatical relation to other words in the sentence.

Parse all the pronouns in the following sentences:—

1.I have the knife which you gave me. 
2.He saw the letter that I wrote. 
3.Who told you they did it? 
4.Few shall meet where many part.—Campbell. 
5.He is the freeman whom the truth makes free.—Cowper. 
6.There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough-hew them as we will.—Shakespeare. 
7.I have seen him buy such bargains as would amaze one.—Goldsmith. 
8.Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach your sons 
To love it too.—Cowper. 
9.I dare do all that may become a man, 
Who dares do more is none.—Shakespeare. 
10.Breathes there a man with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said, 
This is my own, my native land.—Scott. 

Model:—I have the knife which you gave me.

I, a personal pronoun; masculine or feminine gender; first person; singular number; nominative case, subject of have.

which, a relative pronoun; third person; singular number; objective case, direct object of the verb gave.

you, a personal pronoun; masculine or feminine gender; second person; singular or plural number; nominative case, subject of the verb gave.

me, a personal pronoun; masculine or feminine gender; first person; singular number; objective case, indirect object of the verb gave.




Point out the adjectives in the following sentences that express quality or kind in the objects named by the nouns with which they are used:—

1.This is a sweet apple. 
2.I bought an oak table and a silver tray. 
3.These girls are happy. 

Adjectives that express quality or kind in the objects named by the nouns with which they are used, are called qualifying adjectives; as, These kind girls took some fresh flowers to a sick woman.

Qualifying adjectives that are formed from proper nouns are called proper adjectives. They begin with capital letters; as, He gave her an English coin.


Select the qualifying adjectives in the following sentences, and state the nouns they qualify:—

1.A wise man considers his words. 
2.Gentle, loving Nell was dead. 
3.Her sleep was beautiful and calm. 
4.Wonderful animals are to be seen in African forests. 
5.With a slow and noiseless footstep 
Comes that messenger divine.—Longfellow. 
6.Like other dull men, the king was all his life suspicious of superior people.—Thackeray. 
7.O Caledonia! stern and wild, 
Meet nurse for a poetic child! 
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, 
Land of the mountain and the flood.—Scott. 



Point out the adjectives in the following sentences, that express the quantity or number of the objects named by the nouns with which they are used:—

1.This man has little strength left. 
2.I wish you much success in your studies. 
3.There are three boys in the yard. 

Adjectives that express the quantity or number of the objects named by the nouns with which they are used, are called quantifying adjectives; as, He won the second prize.


Select the quantifying adjectives in the following sentences, and state the noun each modifies:—

1.William has twenty marbles. 
2.Much study is a weariness of the flesh. 
3.My brother has the third place in his class. 
4.This poor man has little coal for the winter. 



Which of the italicized words are used as pronouns and which as adjectives?

1.This belongs to my brother. 
2.This book belongs to my brother. 
3.Which is your pen? 
4.Which pencil will you have? 
5.All are lying on the bank. 
6.All men are mortal. 
7.Mine are in the house. 
8.My slate is broken. 

Adjectives that are sometimes used as pronouns are called pronominal adjectives; as, These books are mine. All boys can learn.

There are five kinds of pronominal adjectives.

1. Possessive adjectives. These are the possessive forms of the personal pronouns used as adjectives. They are given in Lesson XXII., and are as follows:—my or mine, thy or thine, our or ours, your or yours, his, her or hers, its, their or theirs.

2. Interrogative adjectives. These are which and what when used with a noun to ask a question; as, Which poem will you recite?   What wrong have you done?

3. Relative adjectives. These are the words which and what used relatively with a noun; as, I know which pen you prefer. I see what course you are taking.

4. Indefinite adjectives. These are the words which, when used without nouns, are indefinite pronouns; as, Few persons believe his story. [See Lesson XXVII.]

5. Demonstrative adjectives. These are this, these; that, those; yon, yonder, when used with nouns; as, That tree is very tall. Yon ship is coming nearer.

To the foregoing list of demonstrative adjectives we may add a, an, and the, since they are demonstrative in their nature, that is they are used to point out, but they have no pronominal use; as, The man is well again. An apple is on the table.

Note.An is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound; as, An orange is yellow. An hour contains sixty minutes.

A is used before a word beginning with a consonant sound; as, A pencil is on the desk. Many a one has succeeded. (One begins with the consonant sound of w.)


Select the pronominal adjectives in the following sentences, give the kind of each and the word it modifies:—

1.Which way did he go? 
2.That lady explained my lesson. 
3.Any other pen will do. 
4.I do not know what work he did. 
5.Their father bought them some fruit. 
6.Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade, 
    Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, 
Each in his narrow cell forever laid, 
    The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.—Gray. 



In the following sentences what degree of quality do the different forms of the adjective large express?

1.John has a large ball. 
2.I have a larger ball than John’s. 
3.James has the largest ball in the yard. 

In sentence number 2, two balls are compared. In sentence number 3, three or more balls are compared. Hence the change of form of adjectives to express different degrees of quality is called comparison.

The form of the adjective, which merely expresses the quality, is called the positive degree; as, I have a small pen.

The form of the adjective that expresses a higher or lower degree of the quality, is called the comparative degree; as, Charles has a smaller pen than mine.

The form of the adjective that expresses the highest or the lowest degree of the quality, is called the superlative degree; as, The teacher has the smallest pen in the room.

Most adjectives of one syllable form the comparative by adding er to the simple form, and the superlative by adding est to the same form; as,

   Positive. Comparative.Superlative.

Note.—If the simple form ends in e, one e is omitted in the comparison.

Most adjectives of more than one syllable are composed by prefixing more and most, or less and least to the simple form; as,

   beautiful,more beautiful,most beautiful,
   worthy,less worthy,least worthy.

The following adjectives of two syllables are often compared by adding er and est: happy, pleasant, common, noble, able, narrow.

The following adjectives are compared irregularly:—

   bad, evil, or ill,worse,worst,
   much or many,more,most,
   (forth,)further,furthest or furthermost,
   near,nearer,nearest or next,
   late,later,latest or last,
   fore,former,foremost or first,
   old,older or elder,oldest or eldest.


Name each adjective in the following sentences, state its degree, and give the word it modifies:—

1.I never saw a brighter sky. 
2.It was a cruel and most unjust sentence. 
3.The shores of this lake are high and rocky. 
4.To-morrow’ll be the happiest time of all the glad New-year; 
Of all the glad New-year, mother, the maddest, merriest day.—Tennyson. 
5.I sat and watched her many a day, 
When her eyes grew dim and her locks were gray.—Eliza Cook. 
6.Small service is true service while it lasts; 
Of friends, however humble, scorn not one.—Wordsworth. 
7.Look. She is sad to miss, 
    Morning and night 
His—her dead father’s—kiss; 
    Tries to be bright, 
Good to mamma, and sweet. 
    That is all. “Marguerite.”—Dobson. 


Compare the following adjectives:—



Parse all the adjectives in the following sentences:

1.Wisdom is more precious than rubies. 
2.This is a wonderful scene. 
3.Let my little story answer this question. 
4.It was lazy, idle work, lying in the tent all day long. 
5.All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. 
6.From a shoal of richest rubies 
Breaks the morning clear and cold, 
And the angel on the village spire, 
Frost-touched, is bright as gold.—Aldrich. 
7.Every hour that fleets so slowly, 
Has its task to do or bear; 
Luminous the crown and holy, 
When each gem is set with care.—Adelaide Procter. 

Model. These kind girls brought me some flowers.

These, a pronominal adjective; demonstrative; modifying the noun girls.

kind, a qualifying adjective; positive degree; (kind, kinder, kindest), modifying the noun girls.

some, a pronominal adjective; indefinite; modifying the noun flowers.



Name the verbs in the following sentences that express an action or feeling that goes out from the agent or doer to something else, and the verbs that express an action or feeling that does not go out to anything, but remains with the doer:—

1.James broke his pencil. 
2.This boy found a knife. 
3.Our girls like literature. 
4.The sun shines brightly. 
5.The birds fly into the trees. 
6.The pupils feel cold. 

A verb that expresses an action or feeling that goes out from the agent or doer to something else, is called a transitive verb; as, He wrote a letter. We love our friends.

A verb that expresses being, a state, or an action or feeling that does not go out to anything, but remains with the doer, is called an intransitive verb; as, He is here. She sleeps now. The wind blows from the north. This man feels sick.


Classify the verbs in the following sentences:—

1.My brother sold his knife. 
2.The boys play ball in the yard. 
3.He ran across the street. 
4.This little girl cut her hand. 
5.That tree is very tall. 
6.The window was broken by a stone. 
7.Many birds build their nests in trees. 
8.He told them of the river whose mighty current gave 
Its freshness for a hundred leagues to Ocean’s briny wave.—McGee. 
9.We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone, 
But we left him alone in his glory.—Charles Wolfe. 
10.I see the wealthy miller yet, 
    His double chin, his portly size, 
And who that knew him could forget, 
    The busy wrinkles round his eyes?—Tennyson. 


Note.—The same verb may be used either transitively or intransitively; as, I see the house. I see through this paper.

Some verbs have only an intransitive use because they do not express action; as, be, seem, appear, remain, become, etc.

1. Write sentences using the following words as transitive verbs:—


2. Write sentences using the following words as intransitive verbs:—



Point out each verb that is used by itself to make a complete statement, and each verb that is not used by itself to make a complete statement:—

1.The boy sleeps. 
2.My task is done. 
3.This rose smells sweet. 
4.The girls are cold. 

When a verb by itself makes a complete statement, it is called a verb of complete predication; as, Birds fly.

When a verb by itself does not make a complete statement, it is called a verb of incomplete predication; as, This man is a merchant.


Select the verbs of incomplete predication, and state the word or words that complete the predication:—

1.This water is warm. 
2.He became a sailor. 
3.My brother studies in the evening. 
4.This man has been sick for a month. 
5.Some murmur when their sky is clear.—French. 
6.A soft answer turneth away wrath.—Bible. 
7.An idler is a watch that wants both hands.—Cowper. 
8.Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening’s close, 
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose.—Goldsmith. 



Is the same idea expressed by the sentences in each group?—

1.{I cut the paper.
{The paper was cut by me.
2.{John broke the window.
{The window was broken by John.
3.{He caught a bird.
{A bird was caught by him.

With a certain form of the verb, its subject names the actor; with another form of the verb, the subject names the thing acted upon. This change in the form of the verb is called voice.

A transitive verb that represents the person or thing named by its subject as acting is said to be in the active voice; as, James struck the horse.

A transitive verb that represents the person or thing named by its subject as being acted upon is said to be in the passive voice; as, The horse was struck by James.

Note (a).—The object in the active voice becomes the subject in the passive voice, so that only transitive verbs can properly be used in the passive voice. There are, however, some exceptions to this principle. When an intransitive verb is followed by a phrase made up of a preposition and noun, the intransitive verb may often be used passively with the preposition as an adverbial adjunct; as, I despair of success. Success is despaired of by me. He shot at a bird. A bird was shot at by him.

Note (b).—The agent in the passive voice is indicated by the preposition by.


Name the voice of each verb in the following sentences, and state the reason in each case:—

1.He found his knife under the table. 
2.This curious bird was brought from Africa by a traveller. 
3.My friend has written two letters. 
4.This ring was given to me by my mother. 
5.The bird flew away into the bush. 
6.The old man was sick and hungry. 
7.Near the moulded arch he saw low, dark grottos within the cavern. 
8.                                     These ample fields 
Nourished their harvests, here their herds were fed, 
Where haply by their stalls the bison lowed, 
And bowed his manèd shoulder to the yoke.—Bryant. 


Change the voice of each transitive verb in the preceding lesson.



Point out in the following sentences a verb that states something as a fact, one that is used in asking a question, one that mentions something merely thought of, and one that expresses a command:—

1.He knows his lesson to-day. 
2.Are you first in the class? 
3.I hope that he succeed. 
4.Put away your books. 

The manner in which the verb presents the idea is called the mode of the verb.

A verb that is used to state something as a fact, to ask a question, or to express a condition relating to an actual state of things, is in the indicative mode; as, He reads well. Does he read well? If he was guilty, his punishment was too light.

A verb that is used to express something merely thought of is in the subjunctive mode; as, I wish that he go. If he were present I would speak to him. Thy kingdom come.

Note.—The verb in conditional sentences is in the subjunctive mode only when it expresses something merely thought of.

A verb that expresses a command or request is in the imperative mode; as, Come into the house. Open your book.


Name the mode or mood of each verb, and give the reason in each case:—

1.Home they brought her warrior dead.—Tennyson. 
2.What sought they thus afar?—Hemans. 
3.If my standard-bearer fall, press where ye see my white plume—Macaulay. 
4.Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not.—Bible. 
5.If fortune serve me I’ll requite this kindness.—Shakespeare. 
6.The meteor flag of England 
Shall yet terrific burn, 
Till danger’s troubled night depart, 
And the star of peace return.—Campbell. 
7.Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years! 
I am so weary of toil and of tears— 
Toil without recompense—tears all in vain— 
Take them, and give me my childhood again.—E. A. Allen. 


1. Write three sentences each containing an example of the indicative mode.

2. Write three sentences each containing an example of the subjunctive mode.

3. Write three sentences each containing an example of the imperative mode.


The preceding lesson treated of verbs that are limited by their subjects as to number and person; as, I am here. John is here. The boys are here. Hence these verbs are called finite verbs.

This lesson will treat of verbs that are not so limited; hence they are called infinitive verbs.


Select from the following sentences forms of verbs that are used (1) as a noun, (2) as an adverb, and (3) as an adjective:—

1.I like to sing. 
2.I came to see the ship. 
3.Have you any water to drink? 

The form of the verb that does not make an assertion, and that is not limited as to person and number is called the infinitive.

The infinitive may be used as a noun; as, To forgive is divine.

The infinitive may be used as an adverb; as, I came to call you back.

The infinitive may be used as an adjective; as, He has no pen to write with.

The infinitive may be used as the complement of verbs of incomplete predication; as, He appeared to hesitate.

There are two infinitives, the simple infinitive with or without to, and the infinitive in ing; as, I like to row a boat. He may go. She is fond of writing letters.

The infinitive in ing is sometimes called a gerund.

The infinitive has a variety of uses. Its grammatical value in English is always determined by its function in the sentence.

Name the infinitives in the following sentences, tell the grammatical value of each, and state the reason:—

1.To read well is an accomplishment. 
2.I am glad to hear it. 
3.This man has a house to rent. 
4.There is little hope of finding him. 
5.To hesitate is to fail. 
6.She was about to leave. 
7.Poverty is hard to bear. 
8.When the rain ceased to fall, the wind began to blow. 
9.I prefer to starve first. 
10.There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray, 
To bless the turf that wraps their clay; 
And Freedom shall a while repair, 
To dwell a weeping hermit there.—Collins. 



Select the words in the following sentences that are used to modify nouns, and also imply action or being:—

1.On came the boy running lightly. 
2.Hearing the noise, I went to the door. 
3.I have a book written in Old English. 

A word that participates in the nature of the verb and the adjective is called a participle; as, Leaving the room, we walked into the garden. I found a treasure hidden in the ground.

A participle qualifies a noun or pronoun, like an adjective, and takes modifiers like a verb. A participle formed from a transitive verb takes an object.

A participle that is used to denote unfinished action is called a present or imperfect participle; as, Jumping the fence, I ran across the field.

A participle that is used to denote finished action is called a past or perfect participle; as, He gave me a pencil painted red.


Classify the participles in the following sentences and tell what each modifies:—

1.Onward they went, carrying death and ruin before them.—Lever. 
2.I heard my own mountain goats bleating aloft.—Campbell. 
3.The cuirassiers, repulsed, disordered, and broken, had retired beneath the protection of the artillery.—Lever. 
4.                       And, his chief beside, 
Smiling, the boy fell dead.—Browning. 
5.Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again; 
The eternal years of God are hers.—Bryant. 
Onward, through life he goes.—Longfellow. 
7.                  Poor lone Hannah, 
Sitting at the window binding shoes. 
                  Faded, wrinkled, 
Sitting, stitching, in a mournful muse.—Lucy Larcom. 


Determine the grammatical value of the italicized words in the following sentences, according to the use of each:—

1.Walking is good exercise. 
2.Seeing me coming, he came to meet me. 
3.This building cost one hundred thousand dollars. 
4.Every bleaching breeze chastens her purity. 
5.He gave up all hope of recovering his health. 
6.The fields are covered with growing grain. 
7.A miser gives up all the pleasure of doing good. 
8.Kneeling down, I kissed the little flower. 



State the time of the action in each of the following sentences, and point out the different forms of the verb:—

1.He writes a letter. 
2.He wrote a letter. 
3.He will write a letter. 

The change which takes place in the verb to mark this change of time, is called tense.

There are three natural divisions of time—present, past, and future, so that there are three corresponding tenses—present, past, and future.

A verb that denotes an action in the present time is in the present tense; as, I speak.

A verb that denotes an action in the past time is in the past tense; as, I spoke.

A verb that denotes an action in the future time is in the future tense; as, I shall speak.

Besides these three simple tenses, there are three perfect tenses, which denote action as completed.

Point out a verb in the following sentences that denotes an action completed in present time, one that denotes an action completed in past time, and one that denotes an action completed in future time:—

1.He has written a letter. 
2.He had written a letter. 
3.He will have written a letter. 

A verb that denotes an action as completed at the present time is in the present perfect tense; as, I have spoken.

A verb that denotes an action as having been completed before a certain past time is in the past perfect or pluperfect tense; as, I had spoken before you came.

A verb that denotes an action to be completed before a certain future time is in the future perfect tense; as, I shall have spoken before he will arrive.

The present and the past tenses are indicated by the form of the verb itself. The other tenses are formed by the aid of other verbs, called auxiliary verbs.


   Present.I see.
   Past.I saw.
   Future.I shall see.
   Present Perfect.I have seen.
   Past Perfect.I had seen.
   Future Perfect.I shall have seen.

Note.Shall is used in the first person, and will in the second and third persons to denote future action. Will is used in the first person, and shall in the second and third persons to denote determination.


Select the verbs, and state the tense of each:—

1.The sailor twitched his shirt of blue, 
And from within his bosom drew 
The kerchief. She was wild.—Alice Cary. 
2.The Christian princes felt that the scene which they had 
beheld weighed heavily on their spirits.—Scott. 
3.The boy stood on the burning deck, 
Whence all but he had fled.—Hemans. 
4.The nurse sleeps sweetly, hired to watch the sick, 
Whom sleeping, she disturbs.—Cowper. 
5.When kindness had his wants supplied, 
And the old man was gratified, 
Began to rise his minstrel pride.—Scott. 
6.He was a man, take him for all in all, 
I shall not look upon his like again.—Shakespeare. 



Point out the different forms of the verb that are used with the different subjects:—

   First Person.I write.We write. 
   Second Person.Thou writest.You write. 
   Third Person.He writes.They write. 

The different forms that a verb takes to agree with the person and number of its subject are called person and number forms.

Observe that there is no change in the action expressed by the verb; it has merely adapted itself to the person and number of its subject.

The third person singular has, in the present indicative, the ending s or es, and the old form eth; as, He walks; He goes; He dreameth.

The second person singular has the ending est or st in both the present and the past tenses; as, Thou lovest; Thou lovedst.

The first person singular and the plural forms for all the persons have no endings to mark person and number, with but one exception, the verb to be; as, I am; We are; I was; We were.


Write out the present tense forms, indicative mode, of the following verbs, using the personal pronouns for subjects:—




Point out how the past tense and perfect participle of the following verbs are formed:—

   Present.Past.Perfect Participle.
   wish,wished,    wished.
   love,loved,    loved.
   take,took,    taken.
   write,wrote,    written.

A verb that forms its past tense and perfect participle by adding ed or d to the present tense form, is a verb of the weak or new conjugation; as, look, looked, looked.

A verb that forms its past tense by changing the vowel of the present, and its perfect participle by adding n or en to the present, is a verb of the strong or old conjugation; as, fall, fell, fallen.

Note.—Verbs of the old conjugation are called strong because they form their past tense within themselves. Verbs of the new conjugation are called weak because they form their past tense by the aid of an additional syllable.

Weak verbs are called verbs of the new conjugation because the method of forming the past tense by the addition of ed or d is of more recent origin than the method of the strong conjugation.

If we know the present tense form, the past, and the perfect participle of any verb, we can tell to which conjugation it belongs, and can give all its inflections of person, number, tense, and mode, therefore the present tense form, the past and the perfect participle, are called the principal parts of the verb. When we give all the inflections of a verb, or indicate them by the principal parts, we conjugate it.



We have learned that regular verbs of the weak conjugation form their past tense and perfect participle by adding ed or d to the present tense form.

Point out how the following verbs form their past tense and perfect participle:

   Present.Past.Perfect Participle.
   mean,meant,    meant.
   sleep,slept,    slept.
   say,said,    said.
   cost,cost,    cost.

In some verbs the ed or d of the past tense is sounded like t, and in many cases the spelling has changed to t. A few verbs shorten the vowel of the present; as, feel, felt, felt. Other verbs of this conjugation change the vowel before adding d; as, tell, told, told; and a number that end in t or d make no change; as, set, set, set.


   Present.Past.Perf. Part.
   cleave (adhere),clave,[1]cleaved.
   pen (enclose),pent,[1]pent.

Sometimes conjugated regularly.



We learned in Lesson XLII. that regular verbs of the strong conjugation form their past tense by changing the vowel of the present, and their perfect participle by adding en or n to the present.

Note.—Sometimes one of these characteristics is wanting; as, chide, chid, chidden; sit, sat, sat.

   Present.Past.Perf. Part. 
   bid,bade, bid,bidden. 
   cleave, (split),clove,cloven. 
   eat,eat, ate,eaten. 

Also like the weak conjugation.


   Present.Past.Perf. Part. 
   can,could,    —— 
   may,might,    —— 
   shall,should,    —— 
   will,would,    —— 
   must,must,    —— 
   ought,ought,    —— 



We have learned in Lesson XL. that the verb has different forms of itself to express a difference between present and past time only, and when we wish to express that an act took place any other time, we use another verb to aid the principal verb.

State which of the italicized verbs in the following sentences is used independently, to express its own meaning, and which is used to aid another verb to express its meaning:—

1.I have a knife. 
2.I have written the letter. 
3.He was a good student. 
4.He was fined for doing wrong. 

A verb that is used to help to conjugate other verbs is called an auxiliary verb; as, We have found your book.

The auxiliary verbs that aid in distinguishing the time of an action are have, shall, will, do and be.




   1. I have,1. We have,
   2. Thou hast,2. You have,
   3. He has.3. They have.
   1. I had,1. We had,
   2. Thou hadst,2. You had,
   3. He had.3. They had.


   1. (If) I have,1. (If) we have, 
   2. (If) thou have,2. (If) you have, 
   3. (If) he have.3. (If) they have. 
   1. (If) I had,1. (If) we had,
   2. (If) thou had,2. (If) you had,
   3. (If) he had.3. (If) they had.


   Have (thou).Have (ye or you).

   (To) have,Imperfect—Having,

Have is used as an auxiliary with the perfect participle of a verb, to form the perfect tenses; as,

Present Perfect—I have written.

Past Perfect—I had written.

Future Perfect—I shall have written.

Perfect Infinitives—(To) have written; having written.

Perfect Participle—Having written.

When have denotes possession it is an independent verb; as My friends have a canary.


In which of the following sentences is have an independent verb, and in which is it an auxiliary:—

1.The wheelmen have their own road. 
2.I know that he has taken it. 
3.England had won the sources of the Nile!—Baker. 
4.Have then thy wish; he whistled shrill, 
And he was answered from the hill.—Scott. 
5.I have obeyed my uncle until now. 
And I have sinned, for it was all through me 
That evil came on William at the first.—Tennyson. 
6.Have you the heart? When your head did but ache, 
I knit my handkercher about your brows, 
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me,) 
And I did never ask it you again.—Shakespeare. 




   1. I shall,1. We shall, 
   2. Thou shalt,2. You shall, 
   3. He shall.3. They shall. 
   1. I should,1. We should,
   2. Thou shouldst,2. You should,
   3. He should.3. They should.


   1. I will,1. We will, 
   2. Thou wilt,2. You will, 
   3. He will.3. They will. 
   1. I would,1. We would, 
   2. Thou wouldst,2. You would, 
   3. He would.3. They would. 

The auxiliaries shall and will are used with the infinitive to form the future tense of a verb. To denote simple futurity shall is used in the first person, and will in the second and third persons; as, I shall go to-morrow; You will go again; He will go next year.

To make a promise or to denote determination, will is used in the first person, and shall in the second and third persons; as, I will get it for you; You shall not go; He shall do that work.

Should and would have the same uses as shall and will.


Tell how shall and will. are used in the following sentences:—

1.The expectation of the wicked shall perish.—Bible.
2.When ye come where I have stepped,
Ye will wonder why ye wept.—E. Arnold.
3.Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eyes
For all the treasure that thine uncle owns.—Shakespeare.
4.He that covereth his sins shall not prosper.—Bible.
5.But in my time a father’s word was law,
And so it shall be now for me.—Tennyson.
6.If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead:
Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch.—Shakespeare.
7.The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.—Gray.
8.“If you are not the heiress born,
And I,” said he, “the lawful heir,
We too shall wed to-morrow morn,
And you shall still be Lady Clare.”—Tennyson.





   1. I do,1. We do,
   2. Thou doest2. You do,
       or dost,
   3. He does.3. They do.
   1. I did,1. We did, 
   2. Thou didst,2. You did, 
   3. He did.3. They did. 


   1. (If) I do,1. (If) we do,
   2. (If) thou do,2. (If) you do,
   3. (If) he do.3. (If) they do.
   1. (If) I did,1. (If) we did, 
   2. (If) thou did,2. (If) you did, 
   3. (If) he did.3. (If) they did. 
   Imperative Mode.Infinitives.Participles.
   Do (thou or you).(To) do.Imperfect—Doing.

The present and past tenses of do are used as auxiliaries with the present infinitive, (1) to express emphasis; as, I do study every evening. (2) To express a denial; as, I did not do it. (3) To ask questions; as, Did you see him?

When do means to perform, it is an independent verb; as, He did his part.


Name the sentences in which do is used as an independent verb, and those in which it is used as an auxiliary, and explain the use of each auxiliary:—

1.Do they not err that devise evil?—Bible. 
2.All their works they do to be seen of men.—Bible. 
3.Stone walls do not a prison make.—Lovelace. 
4.                      And for that offense 
Immediately we do exile him hence.—Shakespeare. 
5.And everybody praised the Duke 
Who this great fight did win.—Southey. 
6.The evil that men do lives after them.—Shakespeare. 
7.So little they rose, so little they fell, 
They did not move the Inchcape Bell.—Southey. 
8.If I do so, it will be of more price, 
Being spoke behind your back, than to your face.—Shakespeare. 



   1. I am,1. We are, 
   2. Thou art,2. You are, 
   3. He is.3. They are. 
   1. I was,1. We were, 
   2. Thou wast,2. You were, 
   3. He was.3. They were. 


   1. (If) I be,1. (If) we be, 
   2. (If) thou be,2. (If) you be, 
   3. (If) he be.3. (If) they be 
   1. (If) I were,1. (If) we were, 
   2. (If) thou wert,2. (If) you were, 
   3. (If) he were.3. (If) they were. 
   Imperative Mode.Infinitives.Participles.
   Be (thou or you).(To) be.Imperfect—Being.

1. The verb to be is used as an auxiliary with the perfect participle of a transitive verb, to form the passive voice; as, I am hurt.

2. The verb to be is used as an auxiliary with the present participle of a verb, to form the progressive form; as, I am writing.

3. The verb to be, without the participle of another verb, is used to express (1) existence; as, Whatever is, is right. (2) To act as a copula (connecting word); as, Sugar is sweet. Whatever is, is right.


State the use of the verb be in each of the following sentences:—

1.“Alas,” said I, “man was made in vain!”—Addison. 
2.Brevity is the soul of wit.—Shakespeare. 
3.The waves were white, and red the morn, 
In the noisy hour when I was born.—Procter. 
4.It was a summer evening, 
Old Kaspar’s work was done, 
And he before his cottage door 
Was sitting in the sun.—Southey. 
5.It is my lady, O, it is my love! 
O, that she knew she were!—Shakespeare. 
6.When the heart is right there is true patriotism.—Berkeley. 
7.True worth is in being, not seeming.—A. Cary. 
8.                  We are such stuff 
As dreams are made on; and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep.—Shakespeare. 


1. Write four examples of the verb be used as an independent verb.

2. Write four examples of the verb be used in making the progressive form.

3. Write four examples of the verb be used in forming the passive voice.



In the last three lessons we have studied the auxiliaries used in distinguishing the time of an action. We shall now study the auxiliaries can, may, must, ought, should and would, which enable us to express other distinctions.


   1. I can,1. We can, 
   2. Thou canst,2. You can, 
   3. He can.3. They can. 
   1. I could,1. We could, 
   2. Thou couldst,2. You could, 
   3. He could.3. They could. 

Can is used to denote power or ability; as, I can sing. He could write very rapidly.


   1. I may,1. We may, 
   2. Thou mayest,2. You may, 
   3. He may.3. They may. 
   1. I might,1. We might, 
   2. Thou mightest,2. You might, 
   3. He might.3. They might. 

May is used to denote permission, possibility, or a wish; as, You may leave the room. He might succeed again. May you be there too.

Could and might are used sometimes in a conditional sense; as, They might stay here if we could help them.

The phrases made by the auxiliaries may and can with the infinitive of a verb are sometimes called potential verb-phrases, because they express that an action is possible from the subject having power to perform it.


Must has no other form. It is used to denote necessity or obligation; as, I must remain here.

Ought is the old past of the verb owe. It is used to denote duty or obligation; as, I ought to help him.

The phrases made by the auxiliaries must and ought, with the infinitive of a verb, are sometimes called obligative verb-phrases, because they imply obligation.


Should and would are the past tense forms of the auxiliaries shall and will.

Should and would are especially used with the infinitive of a verb to express a conditional statement; as, I should do so if I had the opportunity. He would come if I asked him.

Since the phrases formed by should and would with the infinitive of a verb imply a condition, they are called conditional verb-phrases.

1. Should and would are often used in expressing the condition itself; as, If he should be here, they would know it.

2. They have sometimes their more independent meanings of ought and be determined; as, I should go, I know. She would come, no matter what happened.


State the use of the verbs may, can, must, ought, should and would in the following sentences:—

1.For I can weather the roughest gale, 
That ever wind did blow.—Longfellow. 
2.She must weep or she will die.—Tennyson. 
3.We ought to obey God.—Bible. 
4.And when he next doth ride abroad 
May I be there to see!—Cowper. 
5.“Please, Brown,” he whispered, “may I wash my face and hands?”—Hughes. 
6.I would not for the wealth of all the town 
Here in my home do him disparagement.—Shakespeare. 
7.For men may come and men may go, 
But I go on forever.—Tennyson. 
8.If a storm should come and wake the deep, 
What matter! I shall ride and sleep.—Procter. 
9.It may be that Death’s bright angel 
Will speak in that chord again, 
It may be that only in Heaven 
I shall hear that grand Amen.—Procter. 


Write sentences containing the following verbs used correctly—can, may, must, ought, should, would. State the use in each case.




   1. I praise,1. We praise, 
   2. Thou praisest,2. You praise, 
   3. He praises.3. They praise. 
   1. I have praised,1. We have praised, 
   2. Thou hast praised,2. You have praised, 
   3. He has praised.3. They have praised. 
   1. I praised,1. We praised, 
   2. Thou praisedst,2. You praised, 
   3. He praised.3. They praised. 
1. I had praised,1. We had praised, 
2. Thou hadst praised,2. You had praised, 
3. He had praised.3. They had praised. 
   (Denoting Future Action.) 
   1. I shall praise,1. We shall praise, 
   2. Thou wilt praise,2. You will praise, 
   3. He will praise.3. They will praise. 

   (Denoting a Promise 
   or Determination.) 
   1. I will praise,1. We will praise, 
   2. Thou shalt praise,2. You shall praise, 
   3. He shall praise.3. They shall praise. 
(Denoting Future Action.) 
1. I shall have praised,1. We shall have praised, 
2. Thou wilt have praised,2. You will have praised, 
3. He will have praised.3. They will have praised. 
(Denoting a Promise 
or Determination.) 
1. I will have praised,1. We will have praised, 
2. Thou shalt have praised,2. You shall have praised, 
3. He shall have praised.3. They shall have praised. 


   1. (If) I praise,1. (If) we praise, 
   2. (If) thou praise,2. (If) you praise, 
   3. (If) he praise.3. (If) they praise. 
   1. (If) I praised,1. (If) we praised, 
   2. (If) thou praised,2. (If) you praised, 
   3. (If) he praised.3. (If) they praised. 


   Praise (thou).Praise (ye or you). 

   (To) praise,(To) have praised, 
   Praising.Having praised. 
   Present or Imperfect.Present Perfect or Perfect. 
   Praising.Having praised. 


The passive forms of a transitive verb are made by the aid of the auxiliary be.


   1. I am praised,1. We are praised, 
   2. Thou art praised,2. You are praised, 
   3. He is praised.3. They are praised. 
1. I have been praised,1. We have been praised, 
2. Thou hast been praised,2. You have been praised, 
3. He has been praised.3. They have been praised. 
1. I was praised,1. We were praised, 
2. Thou wast praised,2. You were praised, 
3. He was praised.3. They were praised. 
1. I had been praised,1. We had been praised, 
2. Thou hadst been praised,2. You had been praised, 
3. He had been praised.3. They had been praised. 

(Denoting Future Action.) 
1. I shall be praised,1. We shall be praised, 
2. Thou wilt be praised,2. You will be praised, 
3. He will be praised.3. They will be praised. 
(Denoting a Promise 
or Determination.) 
1. I will be praised, etc.1. We will be praised, etc. 
(Denoting Future Action.) 
1. I shall have been praised,1. We shall have been praised, 
(Denoting a Promise 
or Determination.) 
1. I will have been praised,1. We will have been praised, 


1. (If) I be praised,1. (If) we be praised, 
2. (If) thou be praised,2. (If) you be praised, 
3. (If) he be praised.3. (If) they be praised. 
1. (If) I were praised,1. (If) we were praised, 
2. (If) thou were praised,2. (If) you were praised, 
3. (If) he were praised.3. (If) they were praised. 


   Be (thou) praised. 

   (To) be praised,(To) have been praised, 
   Being praised.Having been praised. 
   Present or Imperfect.Perfect or Present Perfect. 
   Being praised.Praised or Having been praised. 



   Present Tense.Present Perfect Tense. 
   I am praising, etc.I have been praising, etc. 
   Past Tense.Past Perfect Tense. 
   I was praising, etc.I had been praising, etc. 
   Future Tense.Future Perfect Tense. 
   I shall be praising, etc.I shall have been praising, etc. 


   Present Tense.Past Tense. 
   (If) I be praising, etc.(If) I were praising, etc. 


   Present Tense.
   Be (thou) praising.


   (To) be praising.(To) have been praising, 
   Having been praising. 


Present or Imperfect.Perfect or Present Perfect. 
Praising.Having been praising. 


Fully conjugate the verb freeze in both voices.


Write out the progressive forms of the verb sing.



To parse a verb is to state its class, its conjugation, its voice, its mode, its tense, its person, and number, and its subject.

Model.—The boys have broken the window.

Have broken, a verb, transitive; strong conjugation (break, broke, broken); active voice; indicative mode; present perfect tense, third person; plural number, agreeing with its subject boys.

Model.—If they help my friend I shall be glad.

Help, a verb, transitive; weak conjugation (help, helped, helped); active voice; subjunctive mode; present tense; third person; plural number, agreeing with its subject they.

Shall be, a verb, intransitive; strong conjugation (am, was, been); indicative mode; future tense; first person; singular number, agreeing with its subject I.

Model.Being provided with tools, they planted a row of stakes within their palisade, to form a double fence.

Being provided, a present participle; passive form, modifying they.

Planted, a verb, transitive; weak conjugation (plant, planted, planted); active voice; indicative mode; past tense; third person; plural number, agreeing with its subject they.

To form, a present infinitive; active voice; used as an adverb to modify planted.


Parse the verbs, the infinitives, and the participles in the following sentences:—

1.They are fond of building castles in the air. 
2.On he comes, running lightly, with his hands in his pockets. 
3.Searching the pile of corpses, the victors found four Frenchmen still breathing.—Parkman. 
4.The former target was now removed, and a fresh one of the same size placed in its room.—Scott. 
5.When summoned to surrender, he fired at one of the leading assailants, but was instantly overpowered.—Warburton. 
6.If terror were the object of its creation, nothing could be imagined more perfect than the devil-fish.—Hugo. 
7.Madeleine ordered a cannon to be fired, partly to deter the enemy from an assault, and partly to warn some of the soldiers, who were hunting at a distance.—Parkman. 
8.I am told that it is the custom to collect the sap and bring it to the house, where are built brick arches, over which the sap is evaporated in shallow pans.—Warner. 
9.Lives of great men all remind us 
We can make our lives sublime, 
And, departing, leave behind us 
Footprints on the sands of time.—Longfellow. 
10.It was the schooner Hesperus, 
That sailed the wintry sea; 
And the skipper had taken his little daughter, 
To bear him company.—Longfellow. 



What does each adverb in the following sentences denote?—

1.Soon the cavalry arrived. 
2.Our friends live here. 
3.He walked slowly into the house. 
4.We had a very pleasant outing. 
5.Certainly, I believe it. 

Classes of Adverbs according to their meaning:—

1. Adverbs of time and succession; as, She seldom fails to call. We come next.

2. Adverbs of place and motion; as, John stood there for an hour. They are going back.

Note.—The word there is sometimes used merely to introduce a sentence, that the subject may follow the verb; as, There are two boys in the room. When it is used in this manner it is called an expletive.

3. Adverbs of manner and quality; as, You did it well. That man acts foolishly.

4. Adverbs of degree and measure; as, He is quite ill. She is a very industrious woman.

5. Model adverbs—those that express certainty or uncertainty; as, I shall surely come. You are probably right.


How is each adverb used in the following sentences?—

1.This river flows rapidly. 
2.I know how he acted. 
3.Where is your father? 

Classes of Adverbs according to their use:—

1. An adverb that simply modifies another word is called a simple adverb; as, Slowly and sadly we laid him down.

2. An adverb that not only modifies a word, but also connects the clause of which it forms a part with another clause, is called a conjunctive adverb; as, I shall go when he comes.

3. An adverb that is used to ask a question is called an interrogative adverb; as, Why did they take it away?

Note.—Some adverbs are compared like adjectives; as, Soon, sooner, soonest; swiftly, more swiftly, most swiftly.



To parse an adverb is to state the kind of adverb, its degree of comparison, if it has any, and what it modifies.

Model.Now you may read it.

Now, an adverb of time, modifying the verb-phrase may read.

Model.—I know where you put it.

Where, a conjunctive adverb, showing place. It modifies put and connects the clause, [where] you put it with the clause, I know.


Parse the adverbs in the following sentences:—

1.He could not ever rue his marrying me.—Tennyson. 
2.So those four abode within one house together.—Tennyson. 
3.The boys waited eagerly for further experiments on the doctor’s patience.—Anstey. 
4.Silently down from the mountain’s crown 
The great procession swept.—Mrs. Alexander. 
5.How closely he twineth, how tight he clings 
To his friend, the huge oak-tree!—Dickens. 
6.There was manhood’s brow serenely high, 
And the fiery heart of youth.—Hemans. 
7.Aim straightly, fire steadily! spare me 
A ball in the body which may 
Deliver my heart here, and tear me 
This badge of the Austrian away!—Mrs. Browning. 
8.Believe not each accusing tongue, 
As most weak people do; 
But still believe that story wrong 
Which ought not to be true.—Sheridan. 
9.Again I looked at the snow-fall, 
And thought of the leaden sky 
That arched o’er our first great sorrow, 
When that mound was heaped so high.—Lowell. 



What do the prepositions in the following sentences connect, and what relations do they express?—

1.I came during the night. 
2.He lives at home. 
3.Our friends came by train. 
4.The oar of the boat was broken. 

Prepositions express a great variety of relations. The most common relations are as follows:—

1. Time; as, The scholars go home after school.

2. Place or direction; as, He sat upon a stone.

3. Agency or means; as, John cut his finger with a knife.

4. Possession; as, The call of the shepherd was heard by his flock.

5. Separation; as, James took the book from his brother.

6. Association; as, A man with an axe in his hand came in.

7. Opposition; as, He is against me.

8. Object; as, The love of pleasure destroys many a life.

9. Cause; as, They did it through ignorance.

Note.—There are many phrases which have the use of prepositions and are treated as such; as, We stood in front of the building. A woman came out of the house. He lived according to his light.


Model.—I stood on the bridge at midnight.

On, a preposition, connecting the noun bridge with the verb stood, and showing the relation of place.

At, a preposition, connecting the noun midnight with the verb stood, and showing the relation of time.


Parse the prepositions in the following sentences:—

1.The old man was killed by a falling tree. 
2.The perfume of the rose is sweet. 
3.A child fell into the river. 
4.My brother went instead of me. 
5.Without a moment’s hesitation, he and his men dashed at the height. 
6.Now see him mount once again 
Upon his nimble steed, 
Full slowly pacing o’er the stones, 
With caution and good heed.—Cowper. 
7.Richard surveyed the Nubian in silence as he stood before him, his looks bent upon the ground, his arms folded on his bosom, with the appearance of a black marble statue of the most exquisite workmanship, waiting life from the touch of a Prometheus.—Scott. 
8.Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way, 
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay, 
There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, 
The village master taught his little school.—Goldsmith. 



Point out in the following examples conjunctions that connect sentences or parts of a sentence of equal rank, and those that connect sentences that are not of equal rank:—

1.Men may come and men may go. 
2.I have a pen and a book. 
3.Henry remained but we went home. 
4.My father knew that I did it. 

A conjunction that connects sentences or parts of a sentence of equal rank, is called a co-ordinating conjunction; as, The night is cold and clear. It was sold, but I did not want it. I know he came home, and took it away.

A conjunction that connects a dependent or subordinate clause to a principal clause, is called a subordinating conjunction; as, James said that he was sick. I cannot go unless he come.

Note.—Conjunctions used in pairs are called correlatives; as, bothand, eitheror, neithernor.


Model.—The teacher gave me a book, and I read it.

And, a co-ordinating conjunction, connecting the two principal clauses, The teacher gave me a book, and I read it.

Model.—The boy is strong but lazy.

But, a co-ordinating conjunction, connecting the adjectives strong and lazy.

Model.—His mother said that he might go.

That, a subordinating conjunction, connecting the subordinate clause, he might go, to the principal clause, his mother said.


Parse the conjunctions in the following sentences:—

1.                         He often looked at them, 
And often thought, “I’ll make them man and wife.”—Tennyson. 
2.The natives of the island supposed that the ships had sailed out of the crystal firmament, or had descended from above on their ample wings.—Irving. 
3.Here lies his head upon the lap of earth, 
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown.—Gray. 
4.By chance it happened that in Atri dwelt 
A knight, with spur on heel and sword in belt.—Longfellow. 
5.With a sword or a hatchet in one hand and a knife in the other, they threw themselves against the throng of enemies, striking and stabbing with the fury of madmen, till the Iroquois fired volley after volley, and shot them down.—Parkman. 
6.Cheerily, then, my little man, 
Live and laugh, as boyhood can! 
Though the flinty slopes be hard, 
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward, 
Every morn shall lead thee through 
Fresh baptisms of the dew.—Whittier. 


1. Write three sentences each containing a co-ordinating conjunction. Underline example.

2. Write three sentences each containing a subordinating conjunction. Underline example.

3. Write an example of correlative conjunctions. Underline them.



As an interjection bears no grammatical relation to the other words of a sentence, its parsing consists in naming the parts of speech, and the feeling expressed.

Model.—Hurrah! we have won.

Hurrah, an interjection—expresses the feeling of joy.


Parse the interjections in the following sentences:—

1.Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro, 
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress.—Byron. 
2.News of battle! News of battle! 
Hark! ’tis ringing down the street.—Aytoun. 
3.Oh! I’m thankful you are gone, Mary, 
Where grief can’t reach you more!—Lady Dufferin. 
4.But, hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell.—Byron. 
5.And, lo! from far, as on they pressed, there came a glittering band.—Hemans. 
6.“Alas,” said I, “man was made in vain!”—Addison. 
7.“Indeed!” said Uncle Tim, “pray, what do you make of the abstraction of a red cow?”—Haliburton. 
8.“Yet give one kiss to your mother dear! 
Alas! my child, I sinned for thee.” 
“O mother, mother, mother,” she said, 
“So strange it seems to me.”—Tennyson. 
9.Ho! breakers on the weather bow, 
And hissing white the sea; 
Go, loose the topsail, mariner, 
And set the helm a-lee.—Swain. 





Syntax treats of the relations which words bear to one another in sentences, and of the order in which the words are arranged. The relation of a word in a sentence is called its construction.

Note.—Many of the leading principles of syntax have been illustrated already. We shall now study them and others in a systematic way.



Examine the construction of the italicized nouns in the following sentences:—

1.Trees grow. 
2.This man is a carpenter. 
3.Mr. Brown, the merchant, has retired. 
4.Boys, close the doors. 
5.The wheel being broken, I walked home. 
6.John lost his knife. 
7.She lives in the city. 
8.I bought the boy a hat. 
9.We visited our mother’s grave. 
10.He lived here ten years. 
11.I was taught music by my mother. 
12.This boy ran a race yesterday. 
13.I told him to be a good boy. 
14.The people chose him ruler. 

1. Subject nominative. The noun may be used as the subject of a verb; as, Boys play. The subject of a verb is in the nominative case.

2. Predicate nominative. A noun that is used to form a complete predicate, and refers to the same person or thing as the subject, is in the nominative case after the verb; as, John became king. A noun so used is called a predicate noun or predicate nominative. The verbs be, seem, become, appear, look are followed by a predicate nominative.

3. Apposition. A noun added to another noun to explain its meaning is said to be in apposition to the first noun; as,

Mr. Henry, our principal, is sick. (Nominative in apposition.)

We like your sister Mary. (Objective in apposition.)

4. Nominative of address. A noun that is used in addressing a person or thing, is in the nominative case of address; as, Man, thy years are few.

5. Nominative absolute. A noun that is not related to any other word in the sentence is in the nominative absolute case; as, The day being bright, I went for a drive.

6. Object of a verb. A noun or pronoun on which the action expressed by a verb ends, is called the grammatical object of the verb; as, I broke my pen.

7. Object of a preposition. A noun or pronoun which a preposition connects in sense to some other word in the sentence, is called the object of the preposition; as, He came from the country.

8. Indirect object. A noun or pronoun that is used to show to or for whom or what something is done, is called the indirect object; as, He gave me a watch. The word watch is the direct object of gave.

9. Possession. A noun that is used to denote ownership is in the possessive case; as, My friend’s hat is missing.

10. Adverbial object. A noun that is used like an adverb to express time, distance, weight, or value, is called an adverbial objective; as, He walked five miles. It is worth eight dollars.

11. Retained object. When an active verb, taking two objects, is changed into the passive voice, one object becomes the subject of the passive verb, but the other is retained as object; as, He was forgiven his offence.

12. Cognate object. When the objective has a similar or cognate meaning to that of the verb, it is called a cognate object; as, She sung us a song.

13. Predicate objective. When a noun is in the predicate relation to an objective subject, it is called a predicate objective; as, I know him to be an honest man.

14. An objective predicate. A noun that completes the meaning of a transitive verb and describes its object, is called an objective predicate; as, They elected him president. The verbs call, make, appoint, choose, elect, and those of like nature, take the objective predicate.



What is the gender, person, and number of the italicized pronouns in the following sentences?—

1.A little girl gave me her book. 
2.The sword has dropped from its sheath. 
3.I saw the man of whom you speak. 
4.This is the woman that found your purse. 

A pronoun must agree in gender, number, and person with its antecedent.

Note.—1. The relative pronoun is not always expressed; as, I know the man (that) you admire so much.

2. The word it has sometimes an indefinite use without an antecedent; as, It rains. It will soon be dark. This is called the impersonal use.

3. The word it is sometimes used as a representative subject while the real subject follows the verb; as, It is certain that he did it. It is right to defend the truth.

The pronoun has the same case-relations as the noun.


Name the case and state the construction of each noun and pronoun in the following sentences:—

1.I travelled with Smith, the grocer. 
2.We helped the lady who lost her purse. 
3.It is wrong to deceive. 
4.The wind having fallen, I mounted my wheel again. 
5.                          Mary broke out in praise to God, that helped 
her in her widowhood.—Tennyson. 
6.Set the table, maiden Mabel, 
And make the cabin warm: 
Your little fisher lover 
Is out there in the storm.—Aldrich. 
7.My dear one!—when thou wast alive with the rest, 
I held thee the sweetest and loved thee the best.—E. B. Browning. 
8.But the Christian princes felt that the scene which they had beheld weighed heavily on their spirits, and although they assumed their seats at the banquet, yet it was with the silence of doubt and amazement.—Scott. 
9.By chance it happened that in Atri dwelt 
A knight, with spur on heel and sword on belt, 
Who loved to hunt the wild boar in the woods, 
Who loved his falcons with their crimson hoods. —Longfellow. 
10.There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats; 
For I am armed so strong in honesty, 
That they pass by me as the idle wind, 
Which I respect not.—Shakespeare. 



Name the adjectives in the following sentences, that are used to modify nouns directly, and those that are used to modify nouns as part of the predication or assertion made about them:—

1.She is a good girl. 
2.I have a soft pencil. 
3.He was ignorant of this fact. 
4.The water is cold. 

1. An adjective that modifies a noun directly is said to be in the attributive relation; as, A grand tree is the stately oak.

2. An adjective that modifies a noun as part of the predication or assertion made about it, is called a predicate adjective; as, This apple is sweet. I am glad you succeeded.

3. An adjective that is joined to a noun in a loose and indirect way is said to be used in the appositive relation; as, All history, ancient or modern contributes towards my theory.


State the relation of each adjective in the following sentences:—

1.A tremendous storm came on. 
2.My dear friend is ill. 
3.Young, and gay, she heeded not my warning. 
4.Full many a gem of purest ray serene, 
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear.—Gray. 
5.Along the crowded path they bore her now, pure as the newly-fallen snow that covered it.—Dickens. 
6.Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening’s close, 
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose.—Goldsmith. 
7.I met a little cottage girl; 
She was eight years old, she said; 
Her hair was thick with many a curl 
That clustered round her head.—Wordsworth. 



What person and number forms are the verbs in the following sentences, and why?—

1.The sun shines brightly. 
2.The boys are in the garden. 
3.I know thou lovest me. 

The verb agrees with its subject in person and number; as, The teacher has my pen.

Note.—In determining the number of the verb we must consider, not the form, but the meaning of the subject.

1. A collective noun requires a verb in the singular when it means the collection as a whole, and a verb in the plural when it means the separate individuals of which it is composed; as, The committee (as a whole) has decided it. The committee (as individuals) have decided it.

2. Two or more singular nouns connected by and take a verb in the plural; as, James and Mary are here. Music and drawing were taught during the term.

If two or more singular nouns connected by and are preceded by each, every, or no, the verb is in the singular, because they refer to things considered separately; as, Every man and woman was lost.

3. When two or more singular subjects are thought of as one thing, the verb is singular; as, Bread and butter is sufficient.

4. Two singular subjects connected by eitheror, neithernor take a verb in the singular, but if the subjects are plural, the verb is plural; as, Either a horse or a cow is in the field. Neither the boys nor the girls are here.


What is the person and number of the verbs in the following sentences, and give the reason in each case?—

1.Wellington and Nelson were heroes. 
2.The audience was dismissed. 
3.Her health and strength has failed. 
4.Either a pen or a pencil is required. 
5.The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea. 
6.Each boy and girl is to have a medal. 
7.Neither cries nor tears avail anything. 
8.No man and no animal was seen. 
9.The secretary and treasurer is present. 
10.The secretary and the treasurer are present. 
11.The enormous expense of governments has provoked men to rebellion. 
12.                                      From the ground 
Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice 
Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn 
Of Sabbath worshippers.—Bryant. 



Point out the use of the italicized adverbs in the following sentences:—

1.She walks rapidly. 
2.My brother is quite sick. 
3.He acted very honestly. 

An adverb is used to qualify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

An adverb is sometimes used with the value of a predicate adjective; as, The sun is up. We were there.

An adverb may even qualify a preposition; as, He went far beyond his instructions. The thorn ran deep into his foot.


Give the construction of each adverb in the following sentences:—

1.My sister is too sick to see you. 
2.We were treated very kindly. 
3.They acted more wisely than we. 
4.The moon went down behind the clouds. 
5.He jumped clear over the fence. 
6.I wind about, and in and out, 
With here a blossom sailing, 
And here and there a lusty trout, 
And here and there a grayling.—Tennyson. 
7.I’ve lived since then, in calm and strife, 
Full fifty summers a sailor’s life, 
With wealth to spend, and power to range, 
But never have sought, nor sighed for change.—Procter. 
8.Down came the storm, and smote amain 
The vessel in its strength; 
She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed, 
Then leaped her cable’s length.—Longfellow. 



Observe the order of the words in the following sentence:—

The woods tossed their giant branches against a stormy sky.

The logical order of the parts of a sentence is: 1. The subject (with its attributes); 2. The verb; 3. The object (with its attributes) or the complement; 4. The adverbial modifiers.

This order may be changed to secure greater emphasis, clearness or elegance.

A member of a sentence may be given prominence by taking it out of its logical position and placing it first. This causes the arrangement of the other members to be changed and the sentence thus acquires emphasis by the members being placed out of their ordinary positions.

1.The verb may be placed first; as, 
Flashed all their sabres bare. 
2.The object may be placed first; as, 
Knowledge I do not slight. 
3.The complement may be placed first; as, 
Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction. 
4.The adverbial modifier may be placed first; as, 
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace. 

The subject of the sentence may follow the verb:—

1. In interrogative sentences; as, Are you there?

2. In expressing a wish; as, May you succeed.

3. In imperative sentences; as, Seek ye not my face again.

4. In poetry; as,

Then off there flung in smiling joy,

And held himself erect

By just his horse’s mane, a boy.—Browning.

5. In subjunctive clauses without if; as, Had I your advantages I should improve them.

6. In introducing quotations; as, “Pardon!” said the Emperor.

7. In inversion for emphasis; as, Flashed all their sabres bare.

8. When the real subject is a clause, and the representative subject is it; as, It is well known that he received money.

The object may precede the verb that governs it:—

1. When it is an interrogative or relative pronoun; as, Whom did you see? I saw the man whom you want.

2. For emphasis; as, Honor and fame I seek not.

Attributes naturally precede the noun, but they may follow:—

1. When they consist of a phrase or clause; as, I love the song of birds. The book that I found is here.

2. When they consist of two or more adjectives; as, And fast through the midnight dark and drear, the vessel swept.

3. In poetry; as,

See how from far upon the eastern road

The star-led wizards haste with odors sweet!

The adjectives a, an and the always precede the noun. When the noun is qualified by another adjective, these adjectives generally precede it, but they stand between the following adjectives and the noun to which they refer:—

1.Such; as, One cannot admire such a man. 
2.Many; as, Many a poor man’s son would have lain still. 
3.Both; as, Both the boys came home. 
4.All; as, All the girls are in the room. 
5.What; as, What a trial it was. 

The relative is always the first word in its clause, but when it is governed by a preposition, the preposition generally precedes it; as, I found the knife which you lost. I know the person to whom you refer.

The adverbial modifier, when a phrase, generally follows the verb, or the object if the verb be transitive; as, James fell into the lake. He found an apple on the ground.

The adverbial modifier, when a single word, generally follows an intransitive verb, and either precedes a transitive verb, or follows its object; as, This river flows rapidly. He did his work well.

When there are a number of adverbial modifiers in a sentence, they should be distributed over the sentence; as, At the request of my father, I gladly left my studies, to accompany him.

An adverb may stand in any part of the sentence, but its meaning generally varies with its position, hence the adverb should be placed as near as possible to the word or words it modifies.

Observe the following example:—

He-only lost his book.(No one else lost a book.) 
He only-lost his book.(He did nothing else with it.) 
He lost only his book.(He lost nothing else.) 
He lost his only book.(His single book.) 

Certain adverbs and conjunctions are correlative (that is, having a mutual relation) to one another. Be careful to use the proper correlatives; as, He is esteemed not only for his accomplishments, but also for his piety.

The following is a list of correlatives:—

   not only,but also, 
   not,but, but only, 
   as, well, soon,as, 

The correlatives must be attached to the corresponding words and phrases; as, They gave me neither money nor shoes. I assisted only in the evening, not in the morning.

The preposition generally stands immediately before the word it governs; as, We live in Toronto.

1. When the noun has attributive adjectives, the preposition precedes the adjective; as, I walked through a beautiful park.

2. When the object of the preposition is a relative, the preposition sometimes stands at the end of the clause; as, My brother owns the building which he lives in, [in which he lives is preferable.]

3. In poetry the preposition often follows its object; as, The heavy night hung dark the hills and waters o’er.

4. When two verbs or adjectives in association are followed by different prepositions, the prepositions must be repeated after each; as, He found him a man whom he agreed with on a few subjects, and differed from on many; or, He found him a man with whom he agreed on a few subjects, from whom he differed on many.








Model I.—Many brave soldiers lost their lives in that war.

     Kind, a simple declarative sentence.

     Subject, soldiers.

     Adj. modifiers of subj., many, brave.

     Predicate, lost.

     Object, lives.

     Adj. modifier of obj., their.

     Adv. modifier of pred., in that war.

Model II.—Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace to silence envious tongues.

     Kind, a simple imperative sentence.

     Subject, [you.]

     Predicate, carry.

     Object, peace.

     Adj. modifier of obj., gentle.

     Adv. modifiers of pred., still, in thy right hand, to silence envious tongues.

Model III.—Having crossed the river, he ran into the adjoining wood.

     Kind, a simple declarative sentence.

     Subject, he.

     Participial mod. of subj., having crossed the river.

     Predicate, ran.

     Adv. mod. of pred., into the adjoining wood.

Model IV.—My pupils like to write stories.

     Kind, a simple declarative sentence.

     Subject, pupils.

     Adj. mod. of subj., my.

     Predicate, like.

     Object, to write stories.

     Object of to write, stories.

Model V.—The scholars gave their teacher a beautiful present.

     Kind, a simple declarative sentence.

     Subject, scholars.

     Adj. mod. of subj., the.

     Predicate, gave.

     Direct object, present.

     Adj. modifiers of direct obj., a, beautiful.

     Indirect object, teacher.

     Adj. mod. of indirect obj., their.

Model VI.—It is wrong to slight your work.

     Kind, a simple declarative sentence.

     Real subject, to slight your work.

     Representative subject, it.

     Predicate, { Verb of incomplete predication, is.

                      { Adj. complement of predicate, wrong.

Note.—When the predicate is completed by an adjunct describing the subject, the completing adjunct is called the complement.


1.My father gave me a fine pony. 
2.At this moment the noise grew louder. 
3.There are eight girls in the class. 
4.Seek the company of the good. 
5.It is a sin to deceive anyone. 
6.How could he mark thee for the silent tomb! 
7.Crossing the field, I found a knife, rusty and broken. 
8.On an eminence above the sea paces a strong, rough Cornishman. 
9.On the eastern side of the Nile lies the temple of Karnak. 
10.For their lean country much disdain,
We English often show.
11.Home they brought her warrior dead.—Tennyson. 
12.Bright-eyed beauty once was she.—Lucy Larcom. 
13.Do men gather figs from thorns?—Bible. 
14.The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea.—Gray. 
15.These are the gardens of the desert.—Bryant. 
16.Soon on the hill’s steep verge he stood.—Scott. 
17.The Indian knows his place of rest far in the cedar shade.—Hemans. 
18.Through all eternity, to Thee 
A joyful song I’ll raise.—Addison. 
19.The uncertain vacillating temper common to all Indians now began to declare itself.—Parkman. 
20.The fine English cavalry then advanced to support their archers, and to attack the Scottish line.—Scott. 
21.So saying, from the ruined shrine he stept.—Tennyson. 
22.Yet Fortune was bending over him, just ready to let fall a burden of gold.—Hawthorne. 
23.On the first day of his fasting, 
Through the leafy woods he wandered.—Longfellow. 
24.Raising his head, he looked the lustrous stranger in the face.—Hawthorne. 
25.At daybreak on the bleak sea-beach, 
A fisherman stood aghast, 
To see the form of a maiden fair 
Lashed close to a drifting mast.—Longfellow. 
26.Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace 
The day’s disasters in his morning face.—Goldsmith. 
27.All the livelong day, Oliver paced softly up and down the garden, raising his eyes every instant to the sick chamber, and shuddering to see the darkened window.—Dickens. 
28.By Nebo’s lonely mountain, 
On this side Jordan’s wave, 
In a vale in the land of Moab, 
There lies a lonely grave.—Mrs. Alexander. 
29.Wolfe had discovered a narrow path winding up the side of the steep precipice from the river.—Warburton. 
30.Along the cool sequestered vale of life 
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.—Gray. 
31.The silent influence of Shakespeare’s poetry on millions of young hearts in England, in Germany, in all the world, shows the almost superhuman power of human genius.—Müller. 
32.Now see him mounted once again 
Upon his nimble steed, 
Full slowly pacing o’er the stones, 
With caution and good heed.—Cowper. 
33.By comparing the words of these inscriptions with many others, the proper method of interpreting this peculiar language was ascertained.—Ontario Reader. 
34.Failing in this, they set themselves, after their custom on such occasions, to building a rude fort of their own in the neighboring forest.—Parkman. 
35.I heard a brooklet gushing 
From its rocky fountain near, 
Down into the valley rushing, 
So fresh and wondrous clear.—Longfellow. 
36.Up from the meadows rich with corn, 
Clear in the cool September morn, 
The clustered spires of Frederick stand 
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.—Whittier. 
37.No nightingale did ever chant 
So sweetly to reposing bands 
Of Travellers in some shady haunt 
Among Arabian sands.—Wordsworth. 
38.The French, blown and exhausted, inferior beside in weight both of man and horse, offered but a short resistance.—Lever. 
39.Looking, looking for the mark, 
Down the others came, 
Struggling through the snowdrifts stark, 
Calling out his name.—Lushington. 
40.A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard 
In spring-time from the Cuckoo bird, 
Breaking the silence of the seas 
Among the farthest Hebrides.—Wordsworth. 



The leading thought of a sentence is called the principal clause.

A clause that has the function of a noun, an adjective, or an adverb, is called a subordinate clause.

Select the principal clauses and the subordinate clauses in the following sentences, and state the function of each subordinate clause:—

1.They knew who did it. 
2.The book which you gave me, is here. 
3.I shall go when he returns. 

A clause that has the function of a noun, is called a noun clause; as, He said he knew his lesson. How I shall reach my destination is the question.

A noun clause may be used:—

1.As the object of a verb; as, He knew what I did. 
2.As the subject of a verb; as, What course he pursued is seen now. 
3.As the object of a preposition; as, My friend annoyed me by what he said. 
4.As a predicate nominative; as, The end of it all is (that) he receives his choice. 

A clause that has the use or function of an adjective, is called an adjective clause; as, He found the book which he lost.

A clause that has the use or function of an adverb, is called an adverbial clause; as, I shall go where they are. He will destroy it unless we hinder him.

A sentence that consists of one principal clause, and one or more subordinate clauses, is called a complex sentence; as, I have met the person of whom you speak.

A sentence that consists of two or more independent clauses, is called a compound sentence; as, James came home, but John remained there.

A compound sentence that is made up of complex sentences, or simple and complex sentences, is called a compound-complex sentence; as, We entered the building, and a man who was working there, gave us information about it.


Name the clauses in the following sentences, and state the kind and relation (if any) of each:—

1. Whilst I was thus musing, I cast my eyes towards the summit of a rock that was not far from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, with a musical instrument in his hand.—Addison.


Whilst . . . . musing is an adv. clause, mod. cast.


I cast . . . . a rock is a principal clause.


That . . . . . me is an adj. clause, mod. summit of a rock.


Where I . . . hand is an adj. clause, mod. summit of a rock.

2. King Harold had a rebel brother in Flanders, who was a vassal of Harold Hardrada, king of Norway.—Dickens.

3. Those who knew him best affirmed that this Mr. Toil was a very worthy character, and that he had done more good, both to children and grown people, than anybody else in the world.—Hawthorne.

4. Portia, when she returned, was in that happy temper of mind which never fails to attend the consciousness of having performed a good action; her cheerful spirits enjoyed everything she saw: the moon never seemed to shine so brightly before; and when that pleasant moon was hid behind a cloud, then a light which she saw from her house at Belmont as well pleased her charmed fancy.—Lamb.

5. Once upon a time, there lived a very rich man, and a king besides, whose name was Midas; and he had a little daughter, whom nobody but himself ever heard of, and whose name I either never knew, or have entirely forgotten. So, because I love odd names for little girls, I choose to call her Marygold.—Hawthorne.

6. I rose and prepared to leave the Abbey. As I descended the flight of steps which lead into the body of the building, my eye was caught by the shrine of Edward the Confessor, and I ascended the small staircase that conducts to it, to take from thence a general survey of this wilderness of tombs.—Irving.

7.All things that love the sun are out of doors; 
The sky rejoices in the morning’s birth; 
The grass is bright with rain-drops;—on the moors 
The hare is running races in her mirth.—Wordsworth. 
8.I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn 
Where a little headstone stood; 
How the flakes were folding it gently, 
As did robins the babes in the wood.—Lowell. 
9.Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone, 
And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him; 
But little he’ll reck if they let him sleep on 
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.—Wolfe. 
10.The humble boon was soon obtained; 
The Aged Minstrel audience gained. 
But, when he reached the room of state, 
Where she, with all her ladies, sate, 
Perchance he wished his boon denied: 
For when to tune his harp he tried, 
His trembling hand had lost the ease 
Which marks security to please.—Scott. 



Model I.—Love had he found in huts where poor men lie.

     Kind, a complex sentence.


            Analysis of (A.)

     Kind, a principal clause.

     Subject, he.

     Predicate, had found.

     Object, love.

     Adv. mod. of predicate, in huts where poor men lie.


            Analysis of (B.)

     Kind, an adj. clause, mod. huts.

     Subject, men.

     Adj. mod. of subj., poor.

     Predicate, lie.

     Adv. mod. of pred., where.


Model II.—Tell me who did it.

     Kind, a complex sentence.


            Analysis of (A.)

     Kind, a principal clause.

     Subject, [you.]

     Predicate, tell.

     Direct object, who did it.

     Indirect object, me.


            Analysis of (B.)

     Kind, a noun clause, direct obj. of tell.

     Subject, who.

     Predicate, did.

     Object, it.


Model III.—He goes home when I return.

     Kind, a complex sentence.


            Analysis of (A.)

     Kind, a principal clause.

     Subject, he.

     Predicate, goes.

     Adv. modifiers of pred., home, when I return.


            Analysis of (B.)

     Kind, an adv. clause, mod. goes.

     Subject, I.

     Predicate, return.

     Adv. mod. of pred., when.


Model IV.—It doth appear you are a worthy judge.

     Kind, a complex sentence.


            Analysis of (A.)

     Kind, a principal clause.

     Real subject, you are a worthy judge.

     Representative subject, it.

     Predicate, doth appear.


            Analysis of (B.)

     Kind, a noun clause, real subj. of doth appear.

     Subject, you.

     Predicate, { verb incomplete predication, are.

                      { complement of predicate, a worthy judge.


Model V.—The boy does not know this part of the wood, but he runs on.

     Kind, a compound sentence.


            Analysis of (A.)

     Kind, a principal clause.

     Subject, boy.

     Adj. mod. of subj., the.

     Predicate, does know.

     Object, part.

     Adj. modifiers of obj., this, of the wood.

     Adv. mod. of pred., not.


            Analysis of (B.)

     Kind, a principal clause.

     Subject, he.

     Predicate, runs.

     Adv. mod. of pred., on.


Model VI.

   From yonder ivy-mantled tower

   The moping owl does to the moon complain

   Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,

   Molest her ancient, solitary reign.—Gray.


     Kind, a complex sentence.


            Analysis of (A.)

     Kind, a principal clause.

     Subject, owl.

     Adj. modifiers of subj., the, moping.

     Predicate, does complain.

     Adv. modifiers of pred.,

            from yonder ivy-mantled

            tower, to the moon,

            of such as, wandering . . . .

            . . . . reign.


            Analysis of (B.)

     Kind, an adj. clause, mod. such.

     Subject, as.

     Adj. mod. of subj., wandering near her secret bower.

     Predicate, molest.

     Object, reign.

     Adj. modifies of obj., her, ancient, solitary.


Model VII.—Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.—Bible.

     Kind, a compound-complex sentence.


            Analysis of (A.)

     Subject, [you.]

     Predicate, train.

     Object, child.

     Adj. mod. of obj., a.

     Adv. modifiers of pred., up, in the way he should go.


            Analysis of (B.)

     Kind, an adj. clause, mod. way.

     Subject, he.

     Predicate, the verb-phrase, should go.


            Analysis of (C.)

     Kind, an adv. clause, mod. will depart.

     Subject, he.

     Predicate, { verb of incomplete predication, is.

                      { complement of predicate, old.

     Adv. of mod. of pred., when.

            Analysis of (D.)

     Kind, a principal clause.

     Subject, he.

     Predicate, will depart.

     Adv. modifiers of pred., not, from it, when he is old.


1. The evil that men do lives after them.—Shakespeare.

2. An idler is a watch that wants both hands.—Cowper.

3. If sinners entice thee, consent thou not.—Bible.

4. “I have it ready,” said Bassanio; “here it is.”—Lamb.

5. I think of those upon whose rest he tramples.—Bryant.

6. It is a great day when the sled is loaded with the buckets, and the procession starts for the woods.—Warner.

7. Meantime the French had given way, and were flying in all directions.—Warburton.

8. I believe there is no permanent greatness to a nation except it be based upon morality.—Bright.

9. Gilliatt had thrust his arm deep into the opening; the monster had snapped at it.—Hugo.

10. The things we have described occupied only a few minutes.—Hugo.

11. The Turks spread gradually over the battlefield below us, slaughtering as they advanced.—Forbes.

12. There were many boys in the room by whom that little scene was taken to heart before they slept.—Hughes.

13. General Brock, who had risen as usual before day-break, hearing the cannonading, galloped from Niagara to the scene of action.—Miss Machar.

14. In walking one day up the mountain behind Montreal, I leaned over a paling which enclosed the water reservoir of the city.—Argyle.

15. Then was committed that fearful crime, memorable for its singular atrocity, memorable for the tremendous retribution which followed.—Macaulay.

16.She was a phantom of delight 
When first she gleamed upon my sight.—Wordsworth. 
17.He that died at Azan gave 
This to those who made his grave.—Arnold. 
18.He sendeth the springs into the valleys, 
Which run among the hills.—Bible. 
19.Thy dress was like the lilies, 
And thy heart as pure as they.—Longfellow. 
20.A pound of that same merchant’s flesh is thine; 
The court awards it, and the law doth give it.—Shakespeare. 

21. Happy is the man whose good intentions have borne fruit in deeds and whose evil thoughts have perished in the blossom.—Scott.

22. There was one tall Norman knight who rode before the Norman army on a prancing horse, throwing up his heavy sword and catching it, and singing of the bravery of his countrymen.—Dickens.

23. This dashed the spirits of the Iroquois, and they sent a canoe to call to their aid five hundred of their warriors, who were mustered near the mouth of the Richelieu.—Parkman.

24. The parent who sends his son into the world uneducated, defrauds the community of a useful citizen and bequeaths to it a nuisance.—Chancellor Kent.

25. The smoke which hung upon the field rolled in slow and heavy masses back upon the French lines, and gradually discovered to our view the entire of the army.—Lever.

26.As o’er the verdant waste I guide my steed, 
Among the high, rank grass that sweeps his sides, 
The hollow beating of his footsteps seems 
A sacrilegious sound.—Bryant. 
27.Scarcely the hot assault was staid, 
The terms of truce were scarcely made, 
When they could spy, from Branksome’s towers, 
The advancing march of martial powers.—Scott. 
28.I made a footing in the wall, 
It was not therefrom to escape, 
For I had buried one and all, 
Who loved me in a human shape.—Byron. 
29.So the storm subsides to calm; 
They see the green trees wave 
On the heights o’erlooking Grève; 
Hearts that bled are stanched with balm.—Browning. 
30.He who from zone to zone 
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight 
In the long way that I must tread alone 
Will lead my steps aright.—Bryant. 

31. Columbus tried to pacify them with gentle words and promises of large rewards; but finding that they only increased in clamor, he assumed a decided tone.—Irving.

32. Wolfe and the troops with him leaped on shore; the light infantry, who found themselves borne by the current a little below the intrenched path, clambered up the steep hill, staying themselves by the roots and boughs of the maple and spruce and ash trees that covered the precipitous declivity.—Bancroft.

33. The boys, who were twelve and ten years old, aided by the soldiers, whom her words had inspired with some little courage, began to fire from the loop-holes upon the Iroquois.—Parkman.

34. She had told Tom, however, that she would like him to put the worms on the hook for her, although she accepted his word when he assured her that worms couldn’t feel.—George Eliot.

35. The beadle, who performed it, had filled his left hand with yellow ochre, through which, after every stroke, he drew the lash of his whip, leaving the appearance of a wound upon the skin, but in reality not hurting him at all.—Cowper.

36.On a rock whose haughty brow 
Frowns o’er old Conway’s foaming flood, 
Robed in the sable garb of woe, 
With haggard eyes the Poet stood.—Gray. 
37.Between the dark and the daylight, 
When the night is beginning to lower, 
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations 
That is known as the Children’s Hour.—Longfellow. 
38.The gallant youth, who may have gained, 
Or seeks, a “Winsome Marrow,” 
Was but an infant in the lap 
When first I looked on Yarrow.—Wordsworth. 
39.She told me all her friends had said; 
I raged against the public liar; 
She talked as if her love were dead, 
But in my words were seeds of fire.—Tennyson. 
40.The dwarf, who feared his master’s eye 
Might his foul treachery espy, 
Now sought the castle buttery, 
Where many a yeoman, bold and free, 
Revelled as merrily and well 
As those that sat in lordly selle.—Scott. 






1. The first word of every sentence should begin with a capital letter.

2. The pronoun I and the interjection O should be written in capitals; as, O father! I hear the church bells ring.

3. A proper noun should begin with a capital letter; as, Toronto is in Ontario.

4. A proper adjective should begin with a capital letter; as, We speak the English language.

5. The first word of every line of poetry should begin with a capital letter; as,

    If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,

    Go visit it by the pale moonlight.

6. The names of the days of the week and the names of the months of the year should begin with capital letters; as, Saturday, August.

7. Titles of individuals, and titles of books and newspapers should begin with capital letters; as, Lord Aberdeen, Governor-General of Canada. Harper’s Round Table.

8. All names of the Deity, and words standing for His name, should begin with capital letters; as, Creator, Supreme Being.

9. Names of peoples and languages should begin with capital letters; as, Italians, Greek.

10. The first word of a direct quotation should begin with a capital letter; as, She answered, “This shall never be.”

In all your reading, note carefully how capital letters are used.



1. A declarative or assertive sentence, and an imperative sentence should be followed by a period; as, Your friend gave me a book. Open the door.

2. An interrogative sentence should be followed by the interrogation mark; as, When did you come?

3. An exclamatory word or sentence should be followed by the exclamation mark; as, But hush! hark! A deep sound strikes like a rising knell!

4. Every abbreviated word should be followed by a period; as, Mr., Rev.

5. The title of a composition, the address and the signature of a person, should be followed by a period.

6. Words that are in the same grammatical relation should be separated by commas; as, He is honest, capable, and sympathetic.

Two words that are in the same grammatical relation and connected by and, or, or nor, should not be separated by a comma; as, She is kind and good.

7. Words or phrases in apposition should be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas; as, Lady Aberdeen, the wife of the Governor of Canada, has gone on an ocean voyage.

8. A transposed phrase or clause, not closely united with the sentence, should be separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma; as, In their large cities, the Egyptians built massive temples.

9. Words or phrases placed between closely related parts of a sentence should be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas; as, Their whole army, in fact, did not exceed thirty thousand men.

10. The name of a person addressed should be separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma; as, James, hand me the brush.

11. The clauses of a compound sentence, when short and closely connected, should be separated by a comma; as, I finished my work, and then came home.

12. The clauses of a compound sentence, if they are contracted, or are long, or are not closely connected, should be separated by a semicolon; as, Man counts his life by years; the oak, by centuries. His left hand only was free; his open knife was in this hand.

13. A direct quotation should be enclosed by quotation marks; as, He said, “I shall go.” “He is a tall and stately king,” said Harold; “but his end is near.”

14. If a quotation is short, it should be separated from the preceding part of the sentence by a comma; as, He replied, “I am a Briton born.”

15. If a quotation is long, or if it is formally introduced by as follows, these words, etc., it should be separated from the preceding part of the sentence by a colon; as, He replied in these words: “I am a Briton born, and a Briton I shall die.”

16. When an unexpected break, pause, or turn occurs in a sentence, it should be indicated by a dash; as,

To-night will be a stormy night

You to the town must go.

17. Explanatory words which are not necessary to the sense of the passage, should be enclosed in marks of parenthesis; as,

Know, then, this truth (enough for man to know),

Virtue alone is happiness below.

18. The parts of a compound word when they have not become united into one word, are connected by a hyphen; as, to-day, wind-organ.

A hyphen is also used at the end of a line when a word is divided into syllables.



Every one who desires to become a good speaker or writer must acquire a knowledge of words; he must possess a large vocabulary, and be master of the significance and application of the words of which it is composed.

To this end he should read the best authors, converse with the educated, and use the words he thus acquires in his own conversation. The dictionary should be in daily use to learn the exact meaning and force of new words.

1. Select the words that are familiar to the educated, and that are used by good writers.

2. Employ words in the sense they are used by the best writers and speakers. This knowledge is obtained from the dictionary and from observation in reading the best authors.

3. Use the word that expresses the exact meaning intended to be conveyed. A knowledge of the distinction of synonyms is best acquired by keeping a list of words of nearly the same meaning, and carefully studying the sense in which each is used.


Distinguish the meaning of the following words, and write sentences in which they are accurately used:—

Sit, set; may, can; think, guess; expect, suspect; lie, lay; hanged, hung; teach, learn; stop, stay; fly, flee; among, between; each other, one another.



A complete thought expressed in words is called a sentence. In a single sentence every part should be subordinate to one principal assertion.


Sentences are classified into Periodic, Loose, Balanced, Short and Long.

A sentence that is so constructed that the complete meaning is delayed till the close, is called a periodic sentence; as, From many lands, comes the cry for help. Even on the driest day this vapor is never absent from our atmosphere.

A sentence that is so constructed that it may be stopped before the end, sometimes in several places, and still be complete in sense, is called a loose sentence; as, Those scenes, rude and humble as they are, have kindled beautiful emotions in his soul, | noble thoughts, and definite resolves; | and he speaks forth what is in him, not from any outward call of vanity or interest, but because his heart is too full to be silent.Carlyle.

A sentence that is so constructed that the different elements are made to answer to each other and set each other off by similarity of form, is called a balanced sentence; as, In peace, children bury their parents; in war, parents bury their children. He defended him when living, amidst the clamors of his enemies; and praised him when dead, amidst the silence of his friends.

A short sentence is more easily understood and more animated than a long sentence.

A long sentence gives more scope than a short one, for the addition of particulars, and for the expansion of the main thought.

Note.—The loose sentence is adapted to ordinary composition, being simple and clear. The periodic sentence is suitable to compositions of a forcible nature; the balanced sentence to compositions in which characters or subjects are compared. Variety is secured by the due alternation of long and short sentences.

Emphatic places of the Sentence. The natural emphatic places of a sentence are the beginning and the end. If we wish to give special distinction to some particular word or phrase, it must occupy one of these positions. Since the beginning and the end of a sentence are the natural places for the subject and predicate respectively, the subject is made emphatic by placing it at the end, and the predicate by placing it at the beginning of the sentence; as, Flashed all their sabres bare.



A connected series of sentences dealing with a single topic is called a paragraph. It is a whole composition and is complete in itself.

Note.—A paragraph begins on a new line and the opening word is withdrawn towards the middle of the line.


1. Every paragraph should possess unity, that is, it should have a definite subject or topic to which all parts of the structure are related, forming elements, in its development.

2. The sentences that compose a paragraph should follow one another in natural order, showing a logical progress of thought. This principle is called continuity.

3. The connection of each sentence in the paragraph, with the preceding one, should be made clear, and also the connection between the paragraphs themselves.

This connection or explicit reference is secured in the following ways:—

1.By conjunctions and adverbs. 
2.By demonstrative words and phrases. 
3.By a clear and unmistakable connection in sense. 


He kept his course westward taking advantage of the trade wind which blows steadily from west to east between the tropics. (Topic sentence). With this favorable breeze (Explicit reference) they were wafted gently but speedily over a tranquil sea, so that for many days they did not shift a sail.

Nevertheless the situation of Columbus was daily becoming critical; his crews began to grow extremely uneasy at the length of the voyage; they were already beyond the reach of succor, and beheld themselves still borne onward over the boundless wastes of what appeared to them a mere watery desert. They were full of vague terrors, and harassed their commander by incessant murmurs, or fed each other’s discontents, gathering together in little knots, and stirring up a spirit of mutiny. There was great danger of their breaking forth into open rebellion, and compelling Columbus to turn back. In their secret conferences they exclaimed against him as a mad desperado, and even talked of throwing him into the sea.—Irving.

1. What is the topic sentence of the second paragraph?

2. How does the author make connection or attain explicit reference between the two paragraphs?

3. Show that the sentences of the second paragraph follow one another in a natural and logical order.

4. In the second paragraph, point out the means by which the author relates each sentence to the preceding one.

5. Is there any statement in this paragraph that does not bear on the topic?



The two great divisions of composition are prose and poetry. The grand distinction in form is metre or measure. The chief object of prose is to instruct, to convince, or to persuade; while the chief object of poetry is to give pleasure or inspiration. Both kinds of composition employ figurative or representative language to please, to adorn, to illustrate, or to explain.

1. An expressed comparison is called a simile; as, He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax.

2. An implied comparison is called a metaphor; as, She is an angel. This news was a dagger to his heart.

3. When the name of one object is put for some other, so related that one naturally suggests the other, the figure is called metonymy; as, The pen shall supersede the sword. No man reveres the crown more than I do.

4. When life and mind are attributed to inanimate objects, the figure is called personification; as, The mountains looked on Marathon, and Marathon looked on the sea. The smiling spring comes round once more.

5. When two unlike things are contrasted, that each may appear more striking, the figure is called antithesis; as, Go or stay, whichever you will. Success wins attention; failure wins neglect.

6. When the mind is aroused by a contradiction between the form of the language and the meaning really intended, the figure is called an epigram; as, The favorite has no friend. Genius is an immense capacity for taking trouble.

7. When something absent is addressed as if present, the figure is called apostrophe; as, O, death, where is thy sting?

8. When the language expresses the contrary of what is meant, the figure is called irony; as, No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom will die with you.Job.


Name the figures in the following passages, and state what is gained by the use of each:—

1.Some people are too foolish to commit follies. 
2.Youth and beauty must be laid in the grave. 
3.A true friend, like a mirror, will tell us of our faults. 
4.War flings his blood-stained banner to the breeze. 
5.The light of the Constitution shines in the palace and the cottage. 
6.Though gentle, yet not dull; 
Strong, without rage; without o’erflowing, full.—Denham. 
7.There is a tide in the affairs of men, 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.—Shakespeare. 
8.Sweet friends! What the women lave 
For its last bed of the grave, 
Is a hut which I am quitting, 
Is a garment no more fitting.—Arnold. 
9.Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore, 
O’erhung with wild woods, thickening green; 
The fragrant birch and hawthorn hoar 
Twined amorous round the raptured scene.—Burns. 
10.And, as a bird each fond endearment tries 
To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies, 
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay, 
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.—Goldsmith. 



The skilful adaptation of expression to thought is called style. The essential qualities of style in composition are clearness, force, and beauty.

Some of the means by which clearness is secured are:—(1) by discrimination in the choice of words; (2) by explicit reference; (3) by contrast; (4) by the orderly arrangement of phrases and sentences.

The quality of force is gained by means of—(1) brevity; (2) suggestive words; (3) illustrations and comparisons; (4) the use of interrogation and exclamation; (5) the employment of contrast; (6) the repetition of words; (7) the order of words; (8) the use of the particular instead of the general term.

The quality of beauty is secured by means of—(1) good taste in the use of words; (2) alliteration; (3) happy phrases; (4) balanced structure; (5) rhythm. The composition must possess elevation of thought withal.

Other qualities of style sometimes present in good writing are:—simplicity, pathos, picturesqueness, humour, satire, and harmony.



. . . The ground was white in spots with half-melted snow. A few whirls of snow had come down in the night, and the air was too cold to change to rain. Some green leaves, in sheltered nooks, had accepted the advances of the sun and were preparing for the summer. But that which I came to search after was trailing arbutus, one of the most exquisite of all Nature’s fondlings.

I did not seek in vain. The hills were covered with it. Its gay whorls of buds peeped forth from ruffles of snow in the most charming beauty. Many blossoms, too, quite expanded, did I find; some pure white, and a few more deliciously suffused with pink. For nearly an hour I wandered up and down, in pleasant fancies, searching, plucking, and arranging these most beautiful of all early blossoms.

Who would suspect by the leaf what rare delicacy was to be in the blossom? Like some people of plain and hard exterior, but of sweet disposition, it was all the more pleasant from the surprise of contrast. All winter long the little thing must have slumbered with dreams, at least, of spring. It has waited for no pioneer or guide, but started of its own self and led the way for all the flowers on the hillside.

Its little viny stem creeps close to the ground, humble, faithful, and showing how the purest white may lay its cheek in the very dirt without soil or taint.

The odor of the arbutus is exquisite, and as delicate as the plant is modest. Some flowers seem determined to make an impression on you. They stare at you. They dazzle your eyes. If you smell them, they overfill your sense with their fragrance. They leave nothing for your gentleness and generosity, but do everything themselves.

But this sweet nestler of the spring hills is so secluded, half-covered with russet leaves, that you would not suspect its graces, did you not stoop to uncover the vine, to lift it up, and then you espy its secluded beauty.

If you smell it, at first it seems hardly to have an odor. But there steals out of it at length the finest, rarest scent, that rather cites desire than satisfies your sense. It is coy, without designing to be so, and its reserve plays upon the imagination far more than could a more positive way.

Without doubt there are intrinsic beauties in plants and flowers, and yet very much of pleasure depends upon their relations to the seasons, to the places where they grow, and to our own moods. No midsummer flower can produce the thrill that the earliest blossoms bring, which tell us that winter is gone, that growing days have come!—Henry Ward Beecher.


1. Are all the essential or cardinal qualities of style illustrated in the foregoing extract? By what means does the author secure each of the qualities found in this composition?

2. What other qualities of style do you find in this selection? Give examples of each.



The chief varieties of prose composition are Letters, Narrations, Descriptions, and Expositions.


Letters are of two kinds, familiar letters or letters of friendship, and business letters.

Note.In letter-writing of all kinds, the style should be simple, and the manner of expression natural. Neatness and correctness are essential.


The parts of a letter are the heading, the address, the salutation, the body, the conclusion, and the signature.

The heading should show where and when the letter was written. It should include the address of the writer in full, and the date.

Every important part of the heading should begin with a capital letter. Every abbreviated word should be followed by a period, and the parts of the heading should be separated by commas. A period should be placed at the close of the heading.

The heading should be placed about an inch and a half from the top of the page, and should begin about the middle of the sheet. It may occupy a part of a line, or of two lines.

The address shows to whom the letter is written and his place of residence. It may be placed at the beginning or at the close of a letter. In business letters the best place is at the beginning, and in familiar letters at the close. The address, when placed at the beginning of a letter, should begin near the left margin of the sheet and one inch below the last line of the heading. It should not occupy more than two lines.

The salutation is the greeting with which we begin the letter. There is a variety of forms in keeping with our different relations. The most formal salutation is “Sir.” If our relations are somewhat familiar, we use “Dear Sir,” “My dear Sir,” “Dear Mr. Williams,” etc. In addressing a business firm the salutation is “Gentlemen.”

The body of a letter begins one space below the salutation, and just where the salutation closes. A margin of one-half inch, at least, should be left on the left-hand side of the sheet. Each succeeding paragraph should begin in line with the first word of the first paragraph.

The conclusion consists of the complimentary close and follows the body of the letter. It depends upon the relation of the persons. The closing words in business letters are:—Yours truly, Yours respectfully, Very truly yours, etc. The closing words in letters of friendship are:—Yours sincerely, Your loving friend, Your affectionate niece, etc.

The signature follows the complimentary close, in the next space and to the right. It should end at the right-hand side of the sheet.


Note.—In social letters the address is omitted.


Note.—Invitations are usually written in the third person.





Note.—Fold a letter-sheet from the bottom forward, bringing the lower edge to the top, and then break the fold. Next fold twice the other way, beginning at the left edge. Measure these folds so as to fit the envelope. Fold a note-sheet twice, from the bottom forward. If the envelope is nearly square, a single fold of the note-sheet is sufficient.


Note.—In social correspondence, the envelopes and paper should be white and plain. Always use black ink.


1. Write a social letter to a friend, describing a holiday that you have had.

2. You are clerking for a bookseller. Write a letter to a publisher, ordering a stock of books.

3. Write an invitation to a friend to attend your birthday party.

4. You have been absent from school for some days. Write your teacher a note of explanation.



A detailed account of incidents, real or imaginary, is called narration.

Narrations of fact include history, biography, and travels. Narrations of imaginary incidents are called fiction or stories.


1. The order in which the events occurred must be followed.

2. Every event must grow out of a preceding one.

3. When possible, the whole narration should centre in one principal event.

4. When there is more than one important event, one is brought up to a certain point, then dropped until the others reach this particular place in the narrative.

5. The scene and the actors should seldom change, and never without intimation.

6. Only the prominent points are related, the reader will infer the rest.


Personal Incidents.


The father of James Barry, the Irish painter, was a sailor, who was disgusted with his idle, dreamy, good-for-nothing son. His mother perceived his natural ability, but tried to dissuade him from study for the sake of his health. He had therefore to prosecute his art studies in the face of the greatest difficulties. At length, while yet a boy, he ventured to send to a public exhibition in Dublin his first matured production—“St. Patrick’s Arrival on the Coast of Cashel.”

When the exhibition opened, Barry with beating heart entered it with the crowd. To his infinite delight, it quickly gathered around his picture, and murmurs of approval arose on every side. Suddenly the throng made way for one whose judgment none might dispute—the orator, statesman, and philosopher, Edmund Burke. Having examined the composition closely, he praised it warmly, ungrudgingly. “Who is the painter?” he asked; “Where is he?”

Then the unknown stranger, the ill-dressed, pallid little boy, could contain his fierce delight no longer. “I am the painter!” he exclaimed from amid the crowd. “You, a boy; impossible!” was the reply from many lips. But when Edmund Burke advanced to congratulate him, he was overpowered. He burst into a sudden gush of tears, covered his face with his hands, and rushed from the room.—Royal School Series.


There is a pretty story told of Queen Victoria and Jenny Lind. It belongs to the year 1848, and shows how the modesty of two women—the Queen of England, and the Queen of song—made a momentary awkwardness which the gentle tact of the singer overcame.

It was on a night when Jenny Lind was to sing at her Majesty’s Theatre that the Queen made her first appearance after the memorable Chartist day. For the great artist, too, this was a first appearance, for it was the beginning of her season at a place where the year before she had won unparalleled fame.

It happened that the Queen entered the royal box at the same moment that the prima donna stepped upon the stage. Instantly a tumult of acclamation burst from every corner of the theatre. Jenny Lind modestly retired to the back of the stage, waiting till the demonstration of loyalty to the sovereign should subside.

The Queen, refusing to appropriate to herself that which she imagined to be intended for the artist, made no acknowledgment. The cheering continued, increased, grew overwhelming, and still there was no acknowledgment, either from the stage or the royal box.

At length, when the situation became embarrassing, Jenny Lind, with ready tact, ran forward to the footlights and sang “God Save the Queen,” which was caught up at the end of the solo by the orchestra, chorus and audience. The Queen then came to the front of her box and bowed, and the opera was resumed.—Youth’s Companion.


Examine carefully the construction of the foregoing incidents. How far do they illustrate the principles of narration?


Write a composition of about six paragraphs on one of the following subjects:—

1.Our Sunday School Picnic. 
2.A Visit to Niagara Falls. 
3.Learning to Swim. 
4.A Snow-balling Match. 
5.A Drowning Accident. 
6.On the Way Home from School. 
7.A Sail Down the St. Lawrence. 
8.A Scene in School. 
9.A Fishing Excursion. 
10.An Apple-Bee. 

Note.—Before writing, make an analysis of your subject, and draw up a plan showing the chief topics of your composition, arranged in natural order.

A plan for the first subject:—


Introduction.{Time and place of picnic. 
{The journey to the appointed place. 
{The arrival. 
The Story.{The amusements. 
{How lunch was served. 
{The return home. 
Conclusion.{Pleasure derived from the outing. 

Historical Narratives.


It was on Friday morning, the 12th of October, that Columbus first beheld the new world. As the day dawned he saw before him a level island, several leagues in extent, and covered with trees like a continuous orchard. Though apparently uncultivated, it was populous; for the inhabitants were seen issuing from all parts of the woods and running to the shore. As they stood gazing at the ships, they seemed by their attitudes and gestures to be lost in astonishment. Columbus made signal for the ships to cast anchor, and the boats to be manned and armed. He entered his own boat, richly attired in scarlet, and holding the royal standard; two other boats followed with the captains and other officers, each with a banner of the enterprise emblazoned with a green cross, having on either side the letters F. and Y., the initials of the Castilian monarchs Ferdinand and Ysabel, surmounted by crowns.

As he approached the shore, Columbus, who was disposed for all kinds of agreeable impressions, was delighted with the purity and suavity of the atmosphere, the crystal transparency of the sea, and the extraordinary beauty of the vegetation. He beheld, also, fruits of an unknown kind upon the trees which overhung the shores. On landing, he threw himself on his knees, kissed the earth, and returned thanks to God with tears of joy. His example was followed by the rest, whose hearts, indeed, over-flowed with the same feelings of gratitude. Columbus then rising, drew his sword, displayed the royal standard, and assembling around him the two captains, with the rest who had landed, he took solemn possession in the name of the Castilian sovereigns, giving the island the name of San Salvador.—Washington Irving.


While Robert Bruce was gradually getting possession of the country, and driving out the English, Edinburgh, the principal town of Scotland, remained with its strong castle in possession of the invaders. Sir Thomas Randolph, a nephew of Bruce, and one of his best supporters, was extremely desirous to obtain this important place; but, as you well know, the castle is situated on a very steep and lofty rock, so that it is difficult, or almost impossible, even to get up to the foot of the walls, much more to climb over them. So, while Randolph was considering what was to be done, there came to him a Scottish gentleman named Francis, who had joined Bruce’s standard, and asked to speak with him in private. He then told Randolph that, in his youth he had lived in the Castle of Edinburgh, and that his father had then been keeper of the fortress. It happened at that time that Francis was much in love with a lady who lived in a part of the town below the castle, which is called the Grassmarket. Now, as he could not get out of the castle by day to see the lady, he had practised a way of clambering by night down the castle crag on the south side, and returning up at his pleasure; when he came to the foot of the wall he made use of a ladder to get over it, as it was not very high on that point, those who built it having trusted to the steepness of the crag. Francis had come and gone so frequently in this dangerous manner that, though it was now long ago, he told Randolph that he knew the road so well that he would undertake to guide a small party of men by night to the bottom of the wall, and as they might bring ladders with them, there would be no difficulty in scaling it. The great risk was that of being discovered by the watchmen while in the act of ascending the cliff, in which case every man of them must have perished.

Nevertheless, Randolph did not hesitate to attempt the adventure. He took with him only thirty men (you may be sure they were chosen for activity and courage), and came one dark night to the foot of the crag, which they began to ascend under the guidance of Francis, who went before them on his hands and feet, up one cliff, down another, and round another, where there was scarce room to support themselves. All the while these thirty men were obliged to follow in a line, one after the other, by a path that was fitter for a cat than a man. The noise of a stone falling, or a word spoken from one to another, would have alarmed the watchman. They were obliged, therefore, to move with the greatest precaution. When they were far up the crag, and near the foundation of the wall, they heard the guards going their rounds to see that all was safe in and about the castle. Randolph and his party had nothing for it but to lie close and quiet, each man under the crag as he happened to be placed, and trust that the guards would pass by without noticing them. And while they were waiting in breathless alarm, they got a new cause of fright. One of the soldiers of the castle, wishing to startle his comrade, suddenly threw a stone from the wall and cried out, “Aha, I see you well!” The stone came thundering down over the heads of Randolph and his men, who naturally thought themselves discovered. If they had stirred or made the slightest noise they would have been entirely destroyed, for the soldiers above might have killed every man of them merely by rolling down stones. But being courageous and chosen men, they remained quiet, and the English soldiers, who thought their comrade was merely playing them a trick (as, indeed, he was), passed on without further examination.

Then Randolph and his men got up, and came in haste to the foot of the wall, which was not above twice a man’s height in that place. They planted the ladders they had brought, and Francis mounted first to show them the way. Sir Andrew Grey, a brave knight followed him, and Randolph himself was the third man who got over. Then the rest followed. When once they were within the walls there was not much to do, for the garrison were asleep and unarmed, excepting the watch, who were speedily destroyed. Thus was Edinburgh Castle taken in the year 1313.—Scott’s Tales of a Grandfather.


Make an analysis of the foregoing extracts. What principles of narration are illustrated in each?


Write a composition of five or six paragraphs on one of the following subjects:—

1.The Discovery of America. 
2.The Massacre of Glencoe. 
3.The Death of Sir Isaac Brock. 
4.The Capture of Quebec. 
5.Laura Secord’s Brave Deed. 
6.The Taking of Detroit. 
7.The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. 
8.The Relief of Ladysmith. 
9.The Canadian Rebellion (1837). 
10.The Invasion of Russia by Napoleon. 

A plan for the first subject:—

Introduction.{ Columbus and party set sail; time; place. 
{ Incidents of the voyage. 
{ The sighting of land. 
The Story.{ The landing. 
{ The natives; appearance and actions. 
{ What the Spaniards saw. 
Conclusion.{ How Europe received the news. 



It was a bright morning in the old city of Rome many hundred years ago. In a vine-covered summer-house in a beautiful garden, two boys were standing. They were looking at their mother and her friend, who were walking among the flowers and trees.

“Did you ever see so handsome a lady as our mother’s friend?” asked the younger boy, holding his tall brother’s hand. “She looks like a queen.”

“Yet she is not so beautiful as our mother,” said the elder boy. “She has a fine dress, it is true; but her face is not noble and kind. It is our mother who is like a queen.”

“That is true,” said the other. “There is no woman in Rome so much like a queen as our own dear mother.”

Soon Cornelia, their mother, came down the walk to speak with them. She was simply dressed in a plain white robe. Her arms and feet were bare, as was the custom in those days; and no rings nor chains glittered about her hands and neck. For her only crown, long braids of soft brown hair were coiled about her head; and a tender smile lit up her noble face as she looked into her sons’ proud eyes.

“Boys,” she said, “I have something to tell you.”

They bowed before her, as Roman lads were taught to do, and said, “What is it, mother?”

“You are to dine with us to-day, here in the garden; and then our friend is going to show us that wonderful casket of jewels of which you have heard so much.”

The brothers looked slyly at their mother’s friend. Was it possible that she had still other rings besides those on her fingers? Could she have other gems besides those which sparkled in the chains about her neck?

When the simple outdoor meal was over a servant brought the casket from the house. The lady opened it. Ah, how those jewels dazzled the eyes of the wondering boys! There were ropes of pearls, white as milk, and smooth as satin; heaps of shining rubies, red as the glowing coals; sapphires as blue as the sky that summer day; and diamonds that flashed and sparkled like the sunlight.

The brothers looked long at the gems.

“Ah!” whispered the younger, “if our mother could only have such beautiful things!”

At last, however, the casket was closed and carried carefully away.

“Is it true, Cornelia, that you have no jewels?” asked her friend. “Is it true, as I have heard it whispered, that you are poor?”

“No, I am not poor,” answered Cornelia, and as she spoke she drew her two boys to her side; “for here are my jewels. They are worth more than all your gems.”

I am sure that the boys never forgot their mother’s pride and love and care; and in after years, when they had become great men at Rome, they often thought of this scene in the garden. And the world still likes to hear the story of Cornelia’s jewels.—Fifty Famous Stories.


It was New Year’s Eve. An aged man was standing by a window. He raised his mournful eyes towards the deep blue sky, where the stars were floating like white lilies on the surface of a clear calm lake. Then he cast them on the earth where few more hopeless beings than himself now moved towards their certain goal—the tomb.

Already he had passed sixty of the stages which lead to it, and had brought from his journey nothing but errors and remorse. His health was destroyed, his mind vacant, his heart sorrowful, and his old age devoid of comfort.

The days of his youth rose up in a vision before him, and he recalled the solemn moment when his father had placed him at the entrance of two roads—one leading into a peaceful, sunny land, covered with a fertile harvest, and resounding with soft, sweet songs; the other leading the wanderer into a deep, dark cave, whence there was no issue, where poison flowed instead of water, and where serpents hissed and crawled.

He looked toward the sky, and cried out in his agony:—“O youth, return! O, my father, place me once more at the entrance to life, that I may choose the better way!” But the days of his youth, and his father, had both passed away.

He saw wandering lights float away over dark marshes and then disappear. These were like the days of his wasted life. He saw a star fall from heaven and vanish in darkness. This was an emblem of himself; and the sharp arrows of unavailing remorse struck home to his heart. Then he remembered his early companions who entered on life with him, but who, having trod the paths of virtue and of labor, were now honored and happy on this New Year’s Eve.

In the midst of these thoughts, there sounded suddenly from the church-tower the music of the New Year, like distant holy hymnings. The tones falling on his ear recalled his parents’ early love for him, their erring son; the lessons they had taught him; the prayers they had offered up on his behalf. Over-whelmed with shame and grief he dared no longer look toward that heaven where his father dwelt; his darkened eyes dropped tears, and with one despairing effort he cried aloud, “Come back, my early days, come back!”

And his youth did return, for all this was but a dream which visited his slumbers on New Year’s Eve. He was still young, his faults alone were real. He thanked God fervently that time was still his own, that he had not yet entered the deep, dark cavern, but that he was free to tread the road leading to the peaceful land where sunny harvests wave.

Ye who still are young, lingering on the threshold of life doubting which fate to choose, remember that when years are passed and your feet stumble on the dark mountains, you will cry bitterly, but cry in vain, “O youth, return! O, give me back my early days!”—Jean Paul Richter.


Make an outline for a story which you have heard and reproduce it.

Note.—In connection with this exercise the teacher is advised to make use of the following books: Fifty Famous Stories (American Book Co.), Hawthorne’s Twice Told Tales, Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare, and Stories from Canadian History by T. G. Marquis and Miss Machar.


Write a story on one of the following themes:—

1.The History of a Kite. 
2.The Biography of a Pen. 
3.How Harry Won the Prize. 
4.The Autobiography of a Bicycle. 
5.Lost in the Woods. 
6.The Story of a Newsboy. 
7.How Ben Earned a Jack-knife. 
8.The History of a Cent. 

Note.—A story may or may not be true, but it must be pleasing. All the incidents of the story should lead up to a final event.



Composition that presents a picture of an object or a place is called description.

The three classes of objects that we most frequently desire to describe are (1) material objects, as buildings, (2) natural scenery, and (3) persons.


1. A general plan of the whole should be included with the enumeration of the parts. The form and magnitude of objects often furnish this plan.

2. The object or scene should be described from the most favorable point of view.

3. The most striking and interesting features should be selected and arranged so that they will easily combine into a whole. Aim to give the reader a distinct and vivid picture of the subject.



As soon as you get inside the belt of wood, and begin to go down to the pond, the damp, and the dusk, and the scent of the dead leaves make you feel as if you were in a very old church. Plenty of wake-robin also grows in the wood, with its leaves like spotted spearheads, and its stumpy red and purple pencils wrapped up in faded green satin (“lords and ladies,” I think we used to call them when I was a youngster). The sweet flag grows all about the pond, and in it too. The corn-flag brightens up its banks with great yellow flowers; and the iris nods its purple blossoms on them, looking a great deal nicer than it smells. Big tangled sheaves of bright green forget-me-not, dotted with tiny stars of blue and gold, bulge over and into, and straggle along, the water. A great part of the pond is choked and carpeted with crow-silk and water-flannel, and moor-ball, spangled with glassy air-bubbles and bright-backed little beetles. White water-lilies, and yellow water-lilies spread a splendid service of china and gold on glossy green table-cloths, for the water-fairies to take supper off by moonlight; and yet, for all that, the great pond is a melancholy place. Big fish mope motionless in its corners, as if they had something on their minds. Little fish leap through its duck-weed, almost covered with the green scum, not as if they did it for the fun of the jump and splash, but to keep for a moment out of the jaws of the shark-like pike that is waiting for them. The pond’s great pike—it has only one, according to village report—is said to have dragged into its waters a dog that came to lap them. No one ever bathes in the pond. Steel-blue dragon-flies zig-zag over the water on their gauzy wings, and two or three kingfishers flash backwards and forwards across it like streaks of variegated lightning.—Anon.


Then we went down to Derwentwater. It was a warm and clear twilight. Between the dark green lines of the hedges we met maidens in white, with scarlet opera cloaks, coming home through the narrow lane. Then we got into the open, and found the shores of the silver lake, and got into a boat and sailed out upon the still waters, so that we could face the wonders of a brilliant sunset.

But all that glow of red and yellow in the north-west was as nothing to the strange gradations of colour that appeared along the splendid range of mountain-peaks beyond the lake. From the remote north round to the south-east they stretched like a mighty wall; and whereas, near the gold and crimson of the sunset they were of a warm, roseate, and half-transparent purple, as they came along into the darker regions of the twilight they grew more and more cold in hue and harsh in outline. Up there in the north they had caught the magic colors, so that they themselves seemed but light clouds of beautiful vapor; but, as the eye followed the line of twisted and mighty shapes, the rose color deepened into purple, the purple grew darker and more dark, and greens and blues began to appear over the wooded islands and shores of Derwentwater. Finally, away down there in the south, there was a lowering sky, into which rose wild masses of slate-colored mountains, and in the threatening and yet clear darkness that reigned among these solitudes we could see but one small tuft of white cloud that clung coldly to the gloomy summit of Glaramara.

That strange darkness in the south boded rain; and, as if in anticipation of the wet, the fires of the sunset went down, and a gray twilight fell over the land. As we walked home between the tall hedges, there was a chill dampness in the air; and we seemed to know that we had at last bade good-bye to the beautiful weather that had lit up for us the blue water and green shores of Grasmere.—William Black.


Examine each of these selections for the leading principles of description.


Describe the scene in a picture hanging in your school-room, or an incident that it suggests.


Write a description of one of the following:—

1.Sunrise at Sea. 
3.A Wet Day in the Country. 
4.The Phases of the Sky. 
5.A Waterfall. 
6.A Moonlight Scene. 
8.A Snowstorm. 
9.A Scene in Autumn. 
10.An Inland Lake. 

A plan for the first subject:—

Introduction.{The occasion, vessel, party, arrangements the night before.
{Coming on deck next morning.
{Sky and water before dawn.
Details.{Indications that the eye of day is coming.
{The sun appears.
{Sky and water afterwards.
Conclusion.{General effect of scene.



Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail or tapping of a woodpecker is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.

I recollect that, when a stripling, my first exploit in squirrel-shooting was in a grove of tall walnut-trees that shades one side of the valley. I had wandered into it at noon-time, when all nature is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of my own gun, as it broke the Sabbath stillness around, and was prolonged and reverberated by the angry echoes. If ever I should wish for a retreat, whither I might steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this little valley.

From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of Sleepy Hollow; and its rustic lads are called the Sleepy Hollow boys throughout all the neighboring country. A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere.

Certain it is that the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvellous beliefs; are subject to trances and visions; and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions. Stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country; and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols.

It is remarkable that the visionary propensity I have mentioned is not confined to the native inhabitants of the valley, but is unconsciously imbibed by everyone who resides there for a time. However wide awake they may have been before they entered that sleepy region, they are sure, in a little time, to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow imaginative—to dream dreams, and see apparitions.—Washington Irving.


Lisbon, like ancient Rome, is built on at least seven hills. It is fitted by situation to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Seated, or rather enthroned, on such a spot, commanding a magnificent harbor, and overlooking one of the noblest rivers of Europe, it might be more distinguished for external beauty than Athens in the days of her freedom. Now, it seems rather to be the theatre in which the two great powers of deformity and loveliness are perpetually struggling for the mastery. The highest admiration and the most sickening disgust alternately prevail in the mind of the beholder. Never was there so strange an intermixture of the mighty and the mean—of the pride of wealth and the abjectness of poverty—of the memorials of greatness and the symbols of low misery—of the filthy and the romantic. I will dwell, however, on the fair side of the picture; as I envy not those who delight in exhibiting the frightful or the gloomy in the moral or natural world. Often after traversing dark and wretched streets, at a sudden turn, a prospect of inimitable beauty bursts on the eye of the spectator. He finds himself, perhaps, on the brink of a mighty hollow, scooped out by nature amidst hills, all covered to the top with edifices, save where groves of the freshest verdure are interspersed; or on one side a mountain rises into a cone far above the city, tufted with woods, and crowned with some castellated pile, the work of other days. The views fronting the Tagus are still more extensive and grand. On one of these I stumbled a few evenings after my arrival, which almost suspended the breath with wonder. I had labored through a steep and narrow street almost choked with dirt, when a small avenue on one side, apparently more open, tempted me to step aside to breathe the fresher air. I found myself on a little plot of ground, hanging apparently in the air, in the front of one of the churches. I stood against the column of the portico absorbed in delight and wonder. Before me lay a large portion of the city—houses descended beneath houses, sinking almost precipitously to a fearful depth beneath me, whose frameworks, covered over with vines of delicate green, broke the ascent like prodigious steps, by which a giant might scale the eminence. The same “wilderness of buildings” filled up the vast hollow, and rose by a more easy slope to the top of the opposite hills, which were crowned with turrets, domes, mansions, and regal pavilions of a dazzling whiteness. Beyond the Tagus, on the southern shore, the coast rose into wild and barren hills, wearing an aspect of the roughest sublimity and grandeur, and in the midst, occupying the bosom of the great vale, between the glorious city and the unknown wilds, lay the calm and majestic river, from two to three miles in width, seen with the utmost distinctness to its mouth, on each of which the two castles which guard it were visible, and spread over with a thousand ships—onward, yet further, far as the eye could reach, the living ocean was glistening, and ships, like specks of purest white, were seen crossing it to and fro, giving to the scene an imaginary extension, by carrying the mind with them to far distant shores. It was the time of sunset, and clouds of the richest saffron rested on the bosom of the air, and were reflected in softer tints in the waters. Not a whisper reached the ear. “The holy time was quiet as a nun breathless with adoration.” The scene looked like some vision of blissful enchantment, and I scarcely dared to stir or breathe lest it should vanish away.—Talfourd.


June 22nd, 1897.

Riding three-and-three, came a kaleidoscope of dazzling horsemen, equerries, aides-de-camp, attaches, ambassadors and princes, all the pomp of all the nations of the earth—scarlet and gold, azure and gold, purple and gold, emerald and gold, white and gold—always a changing tumult of colors that seemed to live and gleam with a light of their own. It was enough. No eye could bear more gorgeousness. No more gorgeousness could there be, unless princes are to clothe themselves in rainbows and the very sun.

The prelude was played, and now the great moment was at hand. Already carriages were rolling up full of the Queen’s kindred, full of her children and children’s children, but we hardly looked at them. Down there, through an avenue of eager faces, through a storm of white, waving handkerchiefs, through roaring volleys of cheers, there was approaching a carriage drawn by eight cream-colored horses. The roar surged up the street, keeping pace with the eight horses. The carriage passed the barrier; it entered the churchyard; it wheeled left and then right. It drove up to the very steps of the Cathedral.

We all leaped up. Cheers broke into screams, and the enthusiasm swelled to delirium. The sun, watery until now, shone out suddenly, clear and dry, and there was a little, plain, flushed old lady, all in black, with a silver streak under her black bonnet, and with a simple white sunshade, sitting quite still, with the corners of her mouth drawn tight, as if she was trying not to cry; but that old lady was the Queen and you knew it. You did not want to look at the glittering uniforms now, nor yet at the bright gowns and young faces in the carriages, nor yet at the stately princes, though by now all these were ranged in a half-circle round her. You could not look at anybody but the Queen, so very quiet, so very grave, so very punctual, and so unmistakably every inch a lady and a Queen.

It was almost pathetic, if you will, that small, black figure, in the middle of these shining cavaliers, this great army, this roaring multitude, but it was also very glorious. When other kings of the world drive abroad, an escort rides close at the wheels of their carriages. The Queen drove through her people quite plain and open, with just one soldier at the curbstone between her and them. Why not? They are quite free. They have no cause to fear her. They have much cause to love her. Was it not all for her; gala trappings of the streets, men, horses, guns and the living walls of British men and women? for the Queen summed up all that had gone before—all the soldiers and sailors, the big-limbed colonials, and the strange men from unheard-of islands over the sea. We know now what that which had come before all stood for. We know as we had never known before what the Queen stands for. The Empire had come together to revere and bless the mother of the Empire; the mother of the Empire had come to do homage to the one Being more majestic than she.

There were the archbishops, bishops and deans, in gold and crimson caps, and white, orange and gold embroidered vestments, waiting on the steps. There, through gaps in the pillars and scaffoldings, you could see all her Ministers and great men, a strange glimpse of miniature faces, as in some carefully labored picture, where each face stands for an honored name.

All stood, and the choir sang the Te Deum. Next rose up a melodious voice intoning prayers. The Queen bowed her head, and then the whole choir and the company outside the Cathedral and the whole company in the stands, at the windows, on the house tops, and away down the street, all standing, all uncovered, began to sing the One Hundredth Psalm: “Come ye before Him and rejoice.” The Queen’s lips were tight, and her eyes, perhaps it was fancy, looked dim; but then, “Three cheers for the Queen,” and the Dean, pious man, was wildly waving that wonderful crimson cap, and the pillars and roofs were ringing as if they must come down. Then “God Save the Queen,” a lusty peal, till you felt drowned in sound.

The Queen looked up and smiled, and the Queen’s smile was the end of it all—a smile that broke down the sad mouth—a smile that seemed half-reluctant, so wistful, yet so kind, so sincere, so motherly.—G. W. Steevens in London Daily Mail.


Examine each of the foregoing passages for principles of description. Notice the way in which the theme is introduced, the selection and arrangement of details, and the effective conclusion.


Write a description of one of the following:—

1.A Funeral in the Country. 
2.A Shipwreck. 
3.Trusty—Our Dog. 
4.A Pasture Field. 
5.A Castle in Ruins. 
6.Laying the Foundation-stone of a Church. 
7.A Village Churchyard. 
8.Arbor Day. 
9.An Old Man. 
10.Early Settlement Life in Canada. 

A plan for the first subject:—

Introduction.{A brief account of the dead. 
{The gathering of the people at the house. 
{Leaving the house. 
{The procession to the village church. 
Details.{The service in the church. 
{Scene at the grave. 
{How the people withdrew. 
Conclusion.{Reflections on life and death. 



A composition in which the subject is explained, interpreted, discussed, proved, or illustrated, is called exposition.

This division of prose composition includes essays, speeches, sermons, lectures, and debates.

In narrative and descriptive composition, the materials are obtained through the senses, but in exposition they are derived from general and abstract thought. Since the manner in which two minds will approach the treatment of any subject will be as diverse as the minds themselves, no definite rules can be laid down for the guidance of the learner, but the following hints may be given:—

(1) Having selected his subject, the pupil should think over the exact force and meaning of the terms in which the subject is proposed, so as to have a clear conception of the ground it covers.

(2) In the next place, he should determine the mode in which he will treat his subject. He may commence with the general statement and proceed to prove and illustrate it, or he may commence with the examination of particulars, and proceed to the general truth.

(3) The pupil’s attention must now be given to the division of his subject. The logical order of the several parts should be preserved.

(4) Having decided on his plan or frame-work, the pupil has now to obtain the necessary information under each head. This he may derive from reflection, from conversation, and from reading. As thoughts are obtained he should note them down.

(5) After the composition is written out, the pupil should review it carefully to see if his thoughts have been expressed in the proper place, and in the most suitable manner. After a careful criticism by himself, he should write out his composition again.



Experience amply shows that nothing valuable is to be attained without labor. Exceptional cases apart, the rule of life is that what costs us nothing is little worth, and that what is esteemed among men is the prize of effort and self-denial. The rich harvest which rewards the husbandman is the fitting sequel to a year of watchful and provident exertion; the successful merchant reaches his envied fortune by the closest vigilance combined with the most skilful calculation; whilst the splendid structure of knowledge which the student aspires to rear is only built up by long years of patient and sustained devotion.

Yet it is possible that labor may end in disappointment. Mere capacity of working carries with it no guarantee of ultimate success. For one may be always working, and yet may achieve little. “One thing to-day, another to-morrow,” indicates a fickleness of temper which has rendered many an active life well-nigh useless. Labor to be effective must be steady. Energy must be under the guidance of purpose. It is the resolute concentration, and not the fitful ebullition of effort, which surmounts all obstacles. The fabled contest of speed between the hare and the tortoise expresses in a homely way the truth which is patent to general observation, that the cause of failure in any pursuit is more commonly to be found in want of perseverance than in want of ability.

Most readers are familiar with the incident in the life of Robert Bruce, strongly illustrative of the virtue of perseverance. The King, almost despairing of success in his efforts to restore freedom to his country, was lying one day in his little cabin, when his attention was caught by a spider. The little animal, hanging at the end of a long thread of its own spinning, was trying to swing itself from one beam in the roof to another, for the purpose of fixing the line for its web. Not till the seventh attempt did it succeed; but its success encouraged the King to make one effort more. His perseverance met with its reward; for, as he had never before gained a victory, so he never afterwards suffered any serious defeat.

If, then, perseverance is the secret of success in life, it is surely worth while for all to cultivate this virtue. The effort may be trying and painful at first, but repetition gradually makes it easy, and even pleasant. We should enter on the path of effort betimes, too, before habits of self-indulgence have been acquired, which renders perseverance impossible. Nothing is more certain than that this virtue is amongst the most precious legacies which maturer years can inherit from a laborious and well-spent youth.—James Currie.


Advices, I believe, to young men—and to all men—are very seldom much valued. There is a great deal of advising and very little faithful performing. And talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether. I would not therefore go much into advising; but there is one advice I must give you. It is, in fact, the summary of all advices, and you have heard it a thousand times, I dare say; but I must, nevertheless, let you hear it the thousand and first time, for it is most intensely true, whether you will believe it at present or not—namely, that above all things the interest of your own life depends upon being diligent now, while it is called to-day, in this place where you have come to get education.

Diligent! That includes all virtues in it that a student can have; I mean to include in it all qualities that lead into the acquirement of real instruction and improvement in such a place. If you will believe me, you who are young, yours is the golden season of life. As you have heard it called, so verily it is the seed-time of life, in which if you do not sow, or if you sow tares instead of wheat, you cannot expect to reap well afterwards, and you will arrive at, indeed, little, while in the course of years, when you come to look back, and if you have not done what you have heard from your advisers—and among many counsellors there is wisdom—you will bitterly repent when it is too late.

At the season when you are in young years the whole mind is, as it were, fluid, and is capable of forming itself into any shape that the owner of the mind pleases to order it to form itself into. The mind is in a fluid state, but it hardens up gradually to the consistency of rock or iron, and you cannot alter the habits of an old man, but as he has begun he will proceed and go on to the last.

By diligence, I mean among other things—and very chiefly—honesty in all your inquiries into what you are about. Pursue your studies in the way your conscience calls honest. More and more endeavor to do that. Keep, I mean to say, an accurate separation of what you have really come to know in your own minds, and what is still unknown. Leave all that on the hypothetical side of the barrier, as things afterwards to be acquired, if acquired at all; and be careful not to stamp a thing as known only when it is stamped on your mind, so that you may survey it on all sides with intelligence.

There is such a thing as a man endeavoring to persuade himself, and endeavoring to persuade others, that he knows about things when he does not know more than the outside skin of them, and he goes flourishing about with them. There is also a process called cramming—that is, getting up such points of things as the examiner is likely to put questions about. Avoid all that as entirely unworthy of an honorable habit.

Be modest and humble, and diligent in your attention to what your teachers tell you, who are profoundly interested in trying to bring you forward in the right way, as far as they have been able to understand it. Try all things they set before you, in order, if possible, to understand them, and to value them in proportion to your fitness for them. Gradually see what kind of work you can do; for it is the first of all problems for a man to find out what kind of work he is to do in this universe. In fact, morality as regards study is, as in all other things, the primary consideration, and overrides all others. A dishonest man cannot do anything real; and it would be greatly better if he were tied up from doing any such thing. He does nothing but darken counsel by the words he utters. That is a very old doctrine, but a very true one; and you will find it confirmed by all the thinking men that have ever lived in this long series of generations of which we are the latest.

One remark about your reading. I do not know whether it has been sufficiently brought home to you that there are two kinds of books. When a man is reading on any kind of subject, in most departments of books—in all books, if you take it in a wide sense—you will find that there is a division of good books and bad books—there is a good kind of book and a bad kind of book. I am not to assume that you are all ill-acquainted with this; but I may remind you that it is a very important consideration at present. It casts aside altogether the idea that people have that if they are reading any book—that if an ignorant man is reading any book, he is doing rather better than nothing at all. I entirely call that in question. I even venture to deny it. It would be much safer and better, would he have no concern with books at all than with some of them. There are a number, an increasing number, of books that are decidedly to him not useful. But he will learn also that a certain number of books were written by a supreme, noble kind of people—not a very great number—but a great number adhere more or less to that side of things. In short, as I have written it down somewhere else, I conceive that books are like men’s souls—divided into sheep and goats. Some of them are calculated to be of very great advantage in teaching—in forwarding the teaching of all generations. Others are going down, down, doing more and more, wilder and wilder mischief.

And for the rest, in regard to all your studies here, and whatever you may learn, you are to remember that the object is not particular knowledge—that you are going to get higher in technical perfections, and all that sort of thing. There is a higher aim lies at the rear of all that, especially among those who are intended for literary, for speaking pursuits—the sacred profession. You are ever to bear in mind that there lies behind that, the acquisition, of what may be called wisdom—namely, sound appreciation and just decision as to all the objects that come round about you, and the habit of behaving with justice and wisdom. In short, great is wisdom—great is the value of wisdom. It cannot be exaggerated. The highest achievement of man—“Blessed is he that getteth understanding.” And that, I believe, occasionally may be missed very easily; but never more easily than now, I think. If that is a failure, all is a failure.—Carlyle.


Examine carefully the foregoing expositions. Notice the definite plan on which each is constructed.


Write an expository composition on one of the following subjects:—

2.The Pleasures of Conversation. 
3.The Value of Time. 
5.The Power of Conscience. 
6.Peace and War. 
8.Advantages of Travel. 
9.A Taste for Reading. 

A plan for the first subject:—

Introduction{Definition of commerce. 
{Origin of commerce. (Tell who were the first to engage in it and when). 
Discussion.{Its history. (Show the growth in the means of transportation). 
{Great discoveries of other lands that have extended commerce. 
Conclusion.{Advantages arising from commerce. (Distributes the productions of the earth, helps to educate and to civilize). 


A.B. or B.A.Bachelor of Arts. 
A.D.In the year of our Lord. 
A.M.Before noon (ante meridian). 
A.M.or M.A. Master of Arts. 
B.C.Before Christ. 
B.C.British Columbia. 
B.C.L.Bachelor of Civil Law. 
B.D.Bachelor of Divinity. 
B. Pæd.Bachelor of Pedagogy. 
C.E.Civil Engineer. 
C.O.D.Cash on Delivery. 
D.C.District of Columbia. 
D.C.L.Doctor of Civil Law. 
D.D.Doctor of Divinity. 
do.The same (ditto). 
D. Pæd.Doctor of Pedagogy. 
e.g.For example (exempli gratia). 
etc.And others; and so forth. 
F.R.S.Fellow of the Royal Society. 
inst.Instant—the present month. 
Jr. or Jun.Junior. 
L.I.Long Island. 
LL.B.Bachelor of Laws. 
LL.D.Doctor of Laws. 
M.B.Bachelor of Medicine. 
M.D.Doctor of Medicine. 
Messrs.Gentlemen (Messieurs). 
M.L.A.Member of Legislative Assembly. 
M.P.Member of Parliament. 
M.P.P.Member of Provincial Parliament. 
N.B.Note well (nota bene). 
N.B.New Brunswick. 
N.C.North Carolina. 
N. Dak.North Dakota. 
N.H.New Hampshire. 
N.J.New Jersey. 
N.S.Nova Scotia. 
N.Y.New York. 
per cent.By the hundred. 
Ph.B.Bachelor of Philosophy. 
Ph.D.Doctor of Philosophy. 
P.M.Afternoon (post meridian). 
P.M.Post Master. 
P.O.Post Office. 
Pro tem.For the time being (pro tempore). 
prox.Next month (proximo). 
P.S.Postscript (post scriptum). 
R.I.Rhode Island. 
Rt. Rev.Right Reverend. 
Sr. or Sen.Senior. 
S.C.South Carolina. 
S. Dak.South Dakota. 
ult.Last month (ultimo). 
U.S.United States. 
U.S.A.United States Army. 
U.S.A.United States of America. 
Vs.Against (versus). 


Abbreviations, 156, 157

Adjectives, 7

  classes of, 36-38

  clauses, 98

  comparison of, 39

  parsing of, 41, 42

Adverbs, 9

  classes of, 74

  clauses, 98

  comparison of, 75

  parsing of, 76

Adverbial objective, 83

Analysis, 2, 93, 94, 100, 101, 102, 103

  exercises for, 94, 95, 96, 97, 104, 105, 106, 107

Apposition, 83

Auxiliary verbs, 58-67

Capitals, 108

Case, 23

Clauses, 97, 98

Colon, 110

Composition, 108-155

Compound sentence, 98

Complex sentence, 98

Complement, 94

Comma, 109, 110

Conditional verb-phrases, 66

Conjugations of the verb, 53

  weak or new, 53-56

  strong or old, 53, 56-58

Conjunctions, 12

  classes of, 78

  parsing of, 79

Dash, 110

Defective verbs, 58

Different values of words, 14, 15

Different kinds of sentences, 1

Description, 139

  models of, 139-147

  exercises in, 141, 142, 148

Emphatic verb-phrases, 63

Exclamatory sentences, 1, 2

Exclamation mark, 109

Exposition, 149

  models of, 150-154

  exercises in, 154-155

Figurative language, 115

Gender, 18

Gender-nouns, 18, 19, 20

Hyphen, 110

Imperative mode, 46

Indicative mode, 46

Infinitives, 47, 48

Interjections, 13

  parsing of, 80

Interrogation mark, 109

Irregularities of conjugation, 54, 55

It, 28, 94

Letters, models, 121-127

Letter-writing, 119-120

  exercises in, 128

Mode, 46

Narration, 128

  models of, 129-138

  exercises in, 130-131, 134-135, 138

Nominatives, different kinds of, 25

Nouns, 4-5

  classes of, 16-18

  clauses, 97

  parsing of, 26-27

  predicate, 83

Number, 20-21

Object, 23

  direct, 26

  indirect, 26

  of a preposition, 11, 83

  retained, 83

Objective predicate, 84

Obligative verb-phrases, 66

Order of words, 89

Paragraph, 113

  principles of, 113

Parts of speech, 4-14

Participles, 49-50

Parenthesis, 110

Period, 109

Person, 28

Potential verb-phrases, 66

Predicate, 2

  complete, 44

  incomplete, 44

Prepositions, 10, 11

  parsing of, 77

Progressive verb-phrases, 72

Pronouns, 5-6

  classes of, 27-34

  parsing of, 34, 35

Prose, varieties of, 119

Punctuation, 109

Quotation marks, 110

Relations of the noun, 82-84

   “      “  pronoun, 84-85

   “      “  adjective, 86

   “      “  verb, 87

   “      “  adverb, 88

Representative subject, 94

Semicolon, 110

Sentences, 1

  simple, 93-96

  compound, 102-107

  complex, 101-107

  loose, 112

  balanced, 112

  periodic, 112

  short and long, 112

  emphatic places of, 113

Style, 116-117

Subjunctive mode, 46

Syntax, 82-89

Use of words, 111

Verbs, 8-9

  classes of, 4-43

  tense of, 50-52

  voice of, 44-45

  mode of, 46-47

  person of, 52

  number of, 52

  conjugation of, 53-58

  of complete predication, 43

  of incomplete predication, 44

  parsing of, 73-74

Verbal nouns, 18

Transcriber’s Notes:

Punctuation has been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted below.


Page 30, Added Third Person. to bottom of first column of table.

Page 159, abverb, 88 ==> adverb, 88


End of  English Grammar and Composition for
Public Schools, by George Armstrong


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