An English Grammar by William Moran Baskerville - HTML preview
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AN ENGLISH GRAMMAR
FOR THE USE OF
HIGH SCHOOL, ACADEMY, AND COLLEGE CLASSES
PROFESSOR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE IN VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY NASHVILLE, TENN.
OF THE FOGG HIGH SCHOOL, NASHVILLE, TENN.
Of making many English grammars there is no end; nor should there be till theoretical scholarship and actual practice are
more happily wedded. In this field much valuable work has already been accomplished; but it has been done largely by
workers accustomed to take the scholar's point of view, and their writings are addressed rather to trained minds than to
immature learners. To find an advanced grammar unencumbered with hard words, abstruse thoughts, and difficult
principles, is not altogether an easy matter. These things enhance the difficulty which an ordinary youth experiences in
grasping and assimilating the facts of grammar, and create a distaste for the study. It is therefore the leading object of
this book to be both as scholarly and as practical as possible. In it there is an attempt to present grammatical facts as
simply, and to lead the student to assimilate them as thoroughly, as possible, and at the same time to do away with
confusing difficulties as far as may be.
To attain these ends it is necessary to keep ever in the foreground the real basis of grammar; that is, good literature.
Abundant quotations from standard authors have been given to show the student that he is dealing with the facts of the
language, and not with the theories of grammarians. It is also suggested that in preparing written exercises the student
use English classics instead of "making up" sentences. But it is not intended that the use of literary masterpieces for
grammatical purposes should supplant or even interfere with their proper use and real value as works of art. It will,
however, doubtless be found helpful to alternate the regular reading and æsthetic study of literature with a grammatical
study, so that, while the mind is being enriched and the artistic sense quickened, there may also be the useful acquisition
of arousing a keen observation of all grammatical forms and usages. Now and then it has been deemed best to omit
explanations, and to withhold personal preferences, in order that the student may, by actual contact with the sources of
grammatical laws, discover for himself the better way in regarding given data. It is not the grammarian's business to
"correct:" it is simply to record and to arrange the usages of language, and to point the way to the arbiters of usage in all
disputed cases. Free expression within the lines of good usage should have widest range.
It has been our aim to make a grammar of as wide a scope as is consistent with the proper definition of the word.
Therefore, in addition to recording and classifying the facts of language, we have endeavored to attain two other objects,
—to cultivate mental skill and power, and to induce the student to prosecute further studies in this field. It is not
supposable that in so delicate and difficult an undertaking there should be an entire freedom from errors and oversights.
We shall gratefully accept any assistance in helping to correct mistakes.
Though endeavoring to get our material as much as possible at first hand, and to make an independent use of it, we
desire to express our obligation to the following books and articles:—
Meiklejohn's "English Language," Longmans' "School Grammar," West's "English Grammar," Bain's "Higher English
Grammar" and "Composition Grammar," Sweet's "Primer of Spoken English" and "New English Grammar," etc.,
Hodgson's "Errors in the Use of English," Morris's "Elementary Lessons in Historical English Grammar," Lounsbury's
"English Language," Champney's "History of English," Emerson's "History of the English Language," Kellner's "Historical
Outlines of English Syntax," Earle's "English Prose," and Matzner's "Englische Grammatik." Allen's "Subjunctive Mood in
English," Battler's articles on "Prepositions" in the "Anglia," and many other valuable papers, have also been helpful and
We desire to express special thanks to Professor W.D. Mooney of Wall & Mooney's Battle-Ground Academy, Franklin,
Tenn., for a critical examination of the first draft of the manuscript, and to Professor Jno. M. Webb of Webb Bros. School,
Bell Buckle, Tenn., and Professor W.R. Garrett of the University of Nashville, for many valuable suggestions and helpful
NASHVILLE, TENN., January, 1896.