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215 N. RAND.a! I A"" 

MADISOr^' " ' ■''^•' 











Copyrifirht, 1899. by The Collikrv Engineer Company. 

Copyright, 19a5, by International Textbook Company 

Entered at Statiooers' Hall. London. 

Bofflish Grammar. Parts 1, 2, 8, 4. 5. 6: Copyrigrht. 1899, 1900, by The Colliery 
Engineer Company. Copyright. 1905, by International Textbook Com- 
pany. Entered at Stationers' Hall, London. 

English Grammar, Parts 7 and 8: Copyright, f905, by International Textbook 
Company. Entered at Stationers' Hall, Loiidon. 

Punctuation and Capitalization: Copyright, 1899. by The Colliery Engineer 

Letter Writing: Copyright, 1899, by The Colliery Engineer Company. 

All rights reserved. 

Printed in the United States. 04 


MAR 3 1907 

S B 




The International Library of Technology is the outgrowth 
of a large and increasing demand that has arisen for the 
Reference Libraries of the International Correspondence 
Schools on the part of those who are not students of the 
Schools. As the volumes composing this Library are all 
printed from the same plates used in printing the Reference 
Libraries above mentioned, a few words are necessary 
regarding the scope and purpose of the instruction imparted 
to the students of — and the class of students taught by — 
these Schools, in order to afford a clear understanding of 
their salient and unique features. 

The only requirement for admission to any of the courses 
offered by the International Correspondence Schools, is that 
the applicant shall be able to read the English language and 
to write it sufficiently well to make his written answers to 
the questions asked him intelligible. Each course is com- 
plete in itself, and no textbooks are required other than 
those prepared by the Schools for the particular course 
selected. The students themselves are from every class, 
trade, and profession and from every country; they are, 
almost without exception, busily engaged in some vocation, 
and can spare but little time for study, and that usually 
outside of their regular working hours. The information 
desired is such as can be immediately applied in practice, so 
that the student may be enabled to exchange his present 
vocation for a more congenial one, or to rise to a higher level 
in the one he now pursues. Furthermore, he wishes to 
obtain a good working knowledge of the subjects treated in 
the shortest time and in the most direct manner possible. 

• • • 


In meeting these requirements, we have produced a set of 
books that in many respects, and particularly in the general 
plan followed, are absolutely unique. In the majority of 
subjects treated the knowledge of mathematics required is 
limited to the simplest principles of arithmetic and mensu^ 
ration, and in no case is any greater knowledge of mathe- 
matics needed than the simplest elementary principles of 
algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, with a thorough, 
practical acquaintance with the use of the logarithmic table. 
To effect this result, derivations of rules and formulas are 
omitted, but thorough and complete instructions are given 
regarding how, when, and under what circumstances any 
particular rule, formula, or process should be applied; and 
whenever possible one or more examples, such as would be 
likely to arise in actual practice — together with their solu- 
tions — are given to illustrate and explain its application. 

In preparing these textbooks, it has been our constant 
endeavor to view the matter from the student's standpoint, 
and to try and anticipate everything that would cause him 
trouble. The utmost pains have been taken to avoid and 
correct any and all ambiguous expressions — both those due 
to faulty rhetoric and those due to insufficiency of statement 
or explanation. As the best way to make a statement, 
explanation, or description clear, is to give a picture or a 
diagram in connection with it, illustrations have been used 
almost without limit. The illustrations have in all cases 
been adapted to the requirements of the text, and projec- 
tions and sections or outline, partially shaded, or full-shaded 
perspectives, have been used, according to which will best 
produce the desired results. Half-tones have been used 
rather sparingly, except in those cases where the general 
effect is desired rather than the actual details. 

It is obvious that books prepared along the lines men- 
tioned must not only be clear and concise beyond anything 
heretofore attempted, but they must also possess unequaled 
value for reference purposes. They not only give the 
maximum of information in a minimum space, but this infor- 
mation is so ingeniously arranged and correlated, and the 


indexes are so full and complete, that it can at once be 
made available to the reader. The numerous examples and 
explanatory remarks, together with the absence of long 
demonstrations and abstruse mathematical calculations, are 
of great assistance in helping one to select the proper for- 
mula, method, or process and in teaching him how and when 
it should be used. 

The question whether or not a volume containing our trea- 
tises on English grammar and faulty diction, pimctuation, 
and letter writing should be added to the International 
Library of Technology is one that has received most care- 
ful consideration and has been decided in the affirmative. 
These . treatises were written for the student who is not in 
touch with a teacher. The objects to be realized, therefore, 
were that they should be so presented as to be easily under- 
stood and easily applied; that the subject of grammar espe- 
cially, which is ordinarily so unattractive and difficult, should 
be divested of its dulness and be made an instrument of 
practical use. The grammar. includes a treatise on faulty 
diction, in which nearly every species of error in composi- 
tion is illustrated and the method of avoiding or correcting 
it is explained. This section on faulty diction, taken in con- 
nection with the punctuation and capitalization, so enlarges 
the scope of the grammar as to make with it a very satis- 
factory Course in grammar, composition, and rhetoric. The 
volume concludes with Letter Writing, which is, perhaps, the 
best practical treatise on the subject in print. We consider 
the volume, as a whole, to be one of the most useful of 
reference books, and one which engineers, business men, 
and others can consult regarding any difficulties arising 
when writing or speaking the English language. 

The method of numbering the pages, cuts, articles, etc. 
is such that each subject or part, when the subject is divided 
into two or more parts, is complete in itself; hence, in order 
to make the index intelligible, it was necessary to give each 
subject or part a number. This number is placed at the top 
of each page, on the headline, opposite the page number, 
and to distinguish it from the page number it is preceded by 



the printer's section mark (§). Consequently, a reference 
such as § 16, page 26, will be readily found by looking along 
the inside edges of the headlines until § 16 is found, and 
then through § 16 until page 26 is found. 

International Textbook Company. 



English Grammar Section Page 

Language and Grammar 14 1 

The Sentence 14 5 

Sentential Elements 14 10 

Classes of Words 14 16 

Parts of Speech Grouped 14 33 

Functions of Sentential Elements .... 15 1 

Phrase Elements 15 10 

Clause Elements 15 13 

Forms of Sentences 15 20 

Sentential Analysis 15 28 

The Noun 16 1 

The Adjective 17 1 

The Pronoun . . .* 17 19 

The Verb 18 1 

The Adverb 18 69 

The Preposition 18 79 

The Conjunction 18 83 

The Interjection 18 89 

Correct and Faulty Diction 19 1 

Punctuation and Capitalization 

General Considerations 20 1 

Grammar in Punctuation 20 6 

Rules for Punctuation 20 8 

The Comma 20 9 

The Semicolon 20 22 

The Colon 20 24 

The Period 20 27 

The Interrogation Point 20 29 

• • • 



Punctuation and Capitalization — Cont'd Section Page 

The Exclamation Point 20 31 

The Dash 20 32 

Marks of Parenthesis - . . 20 35 

Brackets 20 36 

Quotation Marks 20 37 

The Apostrophe 20 39 

Letters and Characters 20 40 

Systems of Type 20 40 

Miscellaneous Marks 20 43 

Use of Capital Letters 20 45 

Letter Writing 

Historical Introduction . - 21 1 

Definitions: Importance of Letter Writing 21 8 

Framework of the Letter 21 10 

Materials 21 11 

Parts of a Letter ' . . 21 14 

Titles: Forms of Address and Salutation 21 38 

Abbreviations and Contractions 21 61 

Postal Information 21 73 

Composition of Letters 22 1 

Invention and Expression 22 2 

Style in Letter Writing 22 19 

General Suggestions 22 23 

Analysis of Business Letters 22 29 

Analysis of Social Letters 22 54 

Model Business Letters 23 1 

Telegrams 23 15 

Model Social Letters 28 21 

Notes and Cards 23 41 

Public Letters 23 49 


(PART 1) 




1. The word language comes from the Latin word lingua^ 
meaning: **the tongue.'* Ages ago, the only language used 
by man was spoken, but in course of time, need arose for 
some means by which thought could be recorded and pre- 
served. This need slowly led to better and better forms of 
writing, and centuries later to printing. 

At first, writing was a mere succession of rude pictures, 
called hieroglyphics. Later, letters were invented. Most of 
those letters were, at first, imitations of the pictures that 
had been used in the earliest efforts to record thought. 
These letters represented sounds, and when placed together 
in certain ways, they formed words. When the sound repre- 
sented by each letter in a word was known, the word could 
be spoken or pronounced; and if words were arranged together 
in certain orders, they could be made to represent the thoughts 
of men. When words are so arranged, we have written or 
printed language ^ and when pronounced in the order in which 
they are arranged, we have spoken language. 

Definition. — liang^ua^e is the body^ of uttered and written 
signs used by man to express thought. 

2. Lietters and Words. — A letter may be regarded as 
the visible symbol of a sound, and a written or printed word 

For notice of copyright, see Page immediately following the title Page 



does for the eye exactly what a spoken word does for the 
ear. Consider what happens when the ear hears a spoken 
word, or the eye sees one that is written or printed. Sup- 
pose that the word horse is heard or seen. At once some- 
thing like a pictured horse is formed in the mind; this mental 
picture or image is called an idea — a word that means "an 
appearance** or **a thing seen.*' 

These mind pictures of things that we see often, such as 
cat, dog, boy, house, moon, seem almost as real to us as the 
things themselves. Not every word, however, whose mean- 
ing and uses we know causes so clear a mental picture as do 
the names of things familiar to us, yet every word produces 
some effect in the mind, and this effect is called an idea. 

Definition. — A letter is the symbol or representation of an 
oral sound. 

Definition. — A word is the symbol or representation of an 
idea or mental image. 

3. Definition of Sentence. — When words are arranged 
in proper order, and when all the words that are needed to make 
a complete meaning are taken together, we have a sentence. 
In a properly constructed sentence, the mental pictures or 
ideas expressed by its words follow in a kind of procession, 
and form a complete thought. A sentence is, therefore, the 
symbol of a thought, just as a word is the symbol of an idea. 

Definition. — A sentence is a collection of spoken or written 
words so arranged as to express a thought or a complete meaning. 

Or, putting the definition in a form to correspond with the 
definitions of letter and word, we have the following: 

Definition. — A sentence is the oral or written symbol 
of a thought or a complete meaning. 


4. When a person tmdertakes the study of any subject, 
it is important that he should know exactly what the 
subject is about — what it is. The study or science called 
English Grammar really includes everything that is known 


about English letters, words, and sentences. But no gram- 
mar contains all this information; most of it is found in 
books having other names — spellers, dictionaries, etymolo- 
gies, rhetorics, etc. 

Definition. — Eu^^lisli Grammar is the science that treats 
of the correct use of the English laiiguagCy oral and written, 

5. Divisions of Eni^lisli Grammar. — The subject of 
the grammar of our language was formerly divided into four 
general heads: 

1. Orthography: the grammar of letters, spelling, and 

2. Etymology: the grammar of words — their origin, his- 
tory, composition, and the changes or modifications in form 
and use that they undergo. 

3. Syntax: the grammar of the sentence — its forms, 
varieties, and the dependence and relation among themselves 
of the parts that compose the sentence, as well as the 
arrangement of those parts. 

4. Prosody: the grammar of verse, including everything 
relating to poetical composition. 

6. Unit of Thoujjrht in Grammar. — Every subject has 
some central point of interest — some object or matter of con- 
sideration that is of higher importance than any other and 
to which everything else is secondary. Thus, in orthography 
the word is the central idea; in geography it is man — where 
he is, his surroundings, his wants and how they are supplied; 
everything belonging to the science gets its importance 
from its relation to the central figure, man. So in grammar 
there must be some leading idea or unit of greatest interest 
and importance. What is it? Let us consider. 

In orthography and etymology it is the word that fixes the 
attention. But these divisions of grammar are only prepar- 
atory to the study of a very much more important branch of 
the subject — syntax, the science of the sentence. Grammar 
deals primarily with thought and the forms in which thought 
is expressed by speech and writing. It is true that words 
are necessary to the expression of thought; but about words 


there is nothing fixed or constant. The words we use have 
been divided into classes, and although there are in the 
English language nearly or quite 250,000 words, they have 
all been placed in eight classes. Now, there are many 
thousands of words that cannot be classified until it is known 
what office or function they perform in particular sentences. 
The same word may be used in several different ways, and 
it will then belong in as many different grammatical classes. 
Consider the word school in the following sentence: 

When in school you should school yourself to obey the school teacher. 

The word school is here, first the name of a place or building; 
secondly, it denotes action; and in its third use, it describes — 
tells what kind of a teacher is meant. For each different use 
or function, the word belongs in a different grammatical class. 

It is clear, then, that words cannot be grouped in classes 
or studied in relation to one another until they take their 
places in sentences. It is in the sentence, therefore, that 
words perform the functions for which they were devised; 
it is in the sentence that they have their usefulness, their 
interest, and their full significance. They are the materials 
of which men construct the wonderful edifice of thought. 
The sentence is, therefore, the unit of thought in grammar. 

7. The Domain of Grammar. — The principal function 
of grammar, therefore, is to investigate the sentence. This 
includes the consideration of its nature, varieties, forms, the 
parts of which it is made up, the relations of these parts to 
one another, and the laws and principles by which the cor- 
rect forms of sentences are regulated. 

Sentences combined give the many varieties of composi- 
tion in prose and poetry. The various questions arising 
with reference to the best possible construction of these com- 
binations of sentences are discussed in other branches of 
grammar, such as Composition, Rhetoric, Philology, and 
Linguistics in general. The student should carefully note 
that, in the sense in which the word grammar is here 
employed, the science deals mainly with the sentence. 




8. The Arrangrement of Words. — There are two ways 
in which words may be arranged: 

1. Independently y or out of relation to one another. 

2. Dependent ly, or in relation to one another. 

Thus, we may utter or write a number of words so that 
they shall convey no thought: 

the the of in its lays some nest bird cuckoo other one egg 

Here, whatever meaning the words may have separately, 
they are all used independently, just as much so as a column of 
words in a spelling book. They are entirely out of relation; 
that is, the meaning of no word has any influence on that of 
any other. They do not help one another to express a thought. 

Let us now place them in relation; that is, so that each 
one shall do its share in expressing a thought. 

The cuckoo lajrs its one egg in the nest of some other bird. 

The words used here are the same as those above, but the 
result is different. The words are now in relation, and they 
have a meaning, not only individually, but collectively. 
They are joined in such a way as to express a thought, 
and the thought is complete. Words, therefore, are arranged 
in relation when by their union they help one another to 
express some meaning different from any of the meanings 
expressed by the words taken separately. 


Arrange the following words in such order that each group will 
express a thought, and will be therefore a correct sentence: 

(a) The one of of the is rose flowers loveliest 

(b) August 5 telegram the Atlantic first the ocean was sent 1858 across 

(c) May 24 to the the Bridge public was opened Brooklyn 1883 


(d) Albany from New York arrived 1809 first the August 9 
steamboat at 

(e) You exactly the when century tell twentieth can began? 

(/) More beautiful in spring in the fall the are colors than 
trees of the 

{^) To sing birds rose the the all sun began when 

9. Words Implied or Understood. — Sentences some- 
times seem to consist of but one word; as, Look, Come, The 
student will observe that these words express action. Now, it 
is clear that every such word requires us to think of an or/or, 
although the word denoting the actor is not expressed. 
Words not expressed, which are necessary to the com- 
pleteness of a thought, are said to be understood. If, in the 
one-word sentences just given, every necessary word were 
expressed, the sentences would be. You look. You come. 

In order, therefore, that a sentence may express a com- 
plete thought, it must consist of words arranged in proper 
relation; and that this shall be possible, at least two words 
are required. Of these two words, one may be understood, 
but it must be clearly implied. 

10« Different Uses or Funettons of Sentences. — In 

the communication of thought among men, there are only 
three different uses or purposes that are served by sentences: 

1. To Make a Statement or Declaration, — If a person has 

some knowledge or information that he wishes to convey to 

others; that is, if he wishes to tell something, he makes use 

of a form of sentence called a statement or declaration. 

The earth and the moon are both spherical. 

An honorable boy is likely to become an honorable man. 

I slept and dreamed that life is beauty; 

I woke and found that life is duty. 

2. To Ask a Question, —A person may desire some infor- 
mation that he believes another person can furnish. In order 
to obtain it, he employs a form of sentence called a question 
or interroj^ation. 

Does every man really meet his Waterloo at last? 

Is it possible to obtain too much of a good thing? 

Are you always able to say no when you ought to say no? 


3. To Express a Command or aii Earnest Wish or Entreaty, 
A person may wish to impose his will on others, or to 
have it known that he has a strong desire that something 
shall or shall not be or be done. To accomplish this object 
he expresses his thought so as to indicate that it is a com- 
mand or a wish. 

Study your lessons. 

Do not abandon me here to my enemies. 

Pity the sorrows of a poor old man. 

Sentences, then, may be used to tell or declare^ to inquire 
or question^ and to comma?id or entreat. 

W* Sentences Defined With llespect to Use. — The 

fact that there are three ways in which sentences are used 
has led grammarians to divide sentences with respect to use 
into three great classes: 

l>efinitiou. — A declarative sentence is a sentence used to 
tell or declare somethinj^. 

Definition. — A71 interrogative sentence is a sentence used 
to ask a question. 

Definition. — An imperative se^itcTice is a sentence used to 
express a command ^ a wishy or an earnest entreaty. 


Write sentences as directed below: 

(a) Five declarative sentences. 

(b) Five interrogative sentences. 

(c) Five imperative sentences. 

12, Kxelamatory Sentences. — The thought expressed 
in a sentence may be so mingled with strong feeling or 
emotion of some kind as to give the sentence an appearance 
of serving an entirely different use from those described 
above. Thus, a person may make a statement, ask a ques- 
tion, or express a command under the influence of such 
earnestness, anger, sorrow, or other emotion that the sentence 


becomes an exclamation. But feeling in uttered thought 
does not change a statement, a question, or a command into 
something else, for the emotion affects the sentence only in 
the manner of utterance. The use made of the sentence is 
still the same. 

Some grammarians, however, have divided sentences with 
respect to their use into four kinds — the fourth being the 
exclamatory sentenc^e. Others have given them double 
names; as, exclamatory-declarative, exclamatory-interroga- 
tive, and exclamatory-imperative. Others again have taken 
no account of the feeling expressed, and have classified sen- 
tences only as expressing thought. 

This last is clearly the best; for a sentence shows feeling 
not so much by the words composing it as by the manner in 
which they are uttered. But the manner of utterance is 
dependent entirely on circumstances. A printed sentence 
becomes exclamatory only when the manner and tones of 
the person that reads it betray emotion. Moreover, there is 
nothing constant about the extent or degree in which this 
exclamatory quality of sentences is indicated by their utter- 
ance. For example, every variety of excitement may be 
shown in speaking such sentences as the following: 

The Kremlin is on fire, sire. 

Do you imagine that I will submit to such extortion? 

Leave the city and the country at once. 

But in whatever manner these sentences are uttered, 
they are still respectively a statement, a question, and a 

13. Punctuation and Capitalization of Sentences. 

Besides the words that compose sentences, certain points, 
or marks of punctuation, are necessary. These points, or 
marks, are just as necessary to the completeness of a 
sentence as the words are. If a sentence is very long, one 
or more of these marks of punctuation may be needed 
within the body of the sentence to separate some of its 
parts from one another; but whether it be long or short, 
some kind of point must be placed at its end. One of the 


following: three marks of punctuation should be used at the 
end of every sentence: 

The period (.) 

The mark of interrogation (?) 

The mark of exclamation (!) 

Every sentence, whether long or short, must begin with a 
capital letter. 

14.- Rules for Punctuating: Sentences. — The follow- 
ing rules should be carefully observed in punctuating at the 
end of sentences: 

Rule. — Place a period at the end of every declarative and 
every imperative sentence^ unless it is very strongly exclamatory, 


Rule. — Place a mark of Interrogation at the end of every 
question unless it is very strongly exclamatory. 

Rule. — Plcue a mark of exclamation at the end of every 
sentence intended to be uttered with very strong emotion. 

There is a growing practice of using a period or a question 
mark at the ends of sentences, and of avoiding the mark of 
exclamation as much as possible. When there is doubt con- 
cerning what mark should be used, the student must decide 
for himself. 


1. Of the following twelve sentences, four are declarative, four 
interrogative, and four imperative. Copy and punctuate them prop- 
erly and write *'Dec.** after the declarative sentences and **lmp.*' 
after the imperative sentences. 

(a) Please do not forget the teacher's advice 

(b) A white tiger was recently killed in India 

(c) Should a man ever forget the mother that loved him so well 
(</) In your dealings with others always observe the Golden Rule 
(^ ) 1 wonder whether the expedition to the south pole will ever return 
(/) Will there be a total eclipse of the sun in 1920 

{g) Remember always to chide with kindness the erring 
(A) How many miles wide is the Amazon at its mouth 
(i) If you would have your secrets kept you must keep them 


(/) Why should the spirit of mortal be proud 
(k) Trust in the Lord but keep your powder dry 
(/) Perhaps no one will ever know what t>ecame of Andr^e the 

2. Copy and punctuate the following exclamatory sentences and 
tell which are declarative, which imperative, and which interrogative: 

{a) O where shall rest be found 

{d) Strike for the green graves of your sires 

{c) My very soul in deep disgust is stirred 

(d) Up guards and at them 

{e) How glad I am that we escaped with our lives 

(/*) You should be very much ashamed of yourself sir 

{^) Is thy servant a dog that he should do this thing 

(h) How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood 

3. Write two declarative, two interrogative, and two imperative 

4. Write two exclamatory-declarative sentences, two exclamatory- 
imperative sentences, and two exclamatory-interrogative sentences. 
Punctuate them properly. 

5. Write two sentences that must be punctuated with marks of 

6. Write two exclamatory sentences that do not require marks of 

7. Write two declarative sentences aud then change them into 
interrogative sentences by merely rearranging the words. Thus, 
A good soldier will always do his duty. Will a good soldier always 
do b's duty? 



15. Essential Parts of a Sentence. — We m^y say 

of nearly everything that it is capable of beinj^: or doing 
something or other; or, we may deny that it has any such 

Thus, of the things denoted by the words iAe earth and 
the boyy many things may be stated. 

I is round. f is not studious, 

turns on its axis. y,^^. ^^^^ I loved his teacher, 
is the abode of man. I can swim, 

is lighted by the sun. twill not come. 


These are declarative sentences; by some slight and easy 
changes they may be made interrogative. 

I round? 
turn on its axis? 
the abode of man? 
lighted by the sun? 

not studious? 
love his teacher? 
not come? 

In the imperative sentence, words are used in such way as 
to denote that some person or thing is ordered or entreated 
to do or be, or not to do or be, something or other. 

{Vou) Be quiet. (Vou) Do not go. (Vou) Give the poor fellow 
some food. 

In each of the sentences given above there are two parts. 
The part printed in Italics represents something that is 
capable of being or doing something or other; the part 
printed in Roman type tells what this being or action is. 
As long as these parts stand alone, they represent only ideas, 
or groups of related ideas that declare, ask, or command 
nothing completely; but when they are properly joined they 
express thoughts — they form sentences. 

The first of these parts, when used in a sentence, is the 
subject of the sentence; the second part is the predicate. 

In the declarative and interrogative sentences given above, 
the subjects are the earth and the boy; you, understood, is 
the subject of the imperative sentences. The predicates in 
all the sentences are in Roman type. 

16. Subject and Predicate. — It is extremely difficult, 
if not impossible, to give a perfect definition of these two 
necessary parts of every sentence, because there are several 
kinds of sentences, and the functions of the subject and the 
predicate are not the same in all. The definitions usually 
given refer only to the declarative sentence, and while, in 
different grammars, they are nearly all slightly different, they 
are in substance about as follows: 


Definition. — The subject of a declarative sentence is the 
word or words denoting that of which something is affirmed 
or denied. 

Definition. — Tfie predicate of a declarative sentence is 
the word or words denoting what is affirmed or denied of that 
which the subject denotes. 

Although it is impossible to give faultless definitions of 
subject and predicate, the student may learn to recognize them 
without difficulty; and that, after all, is the important matter. 
The subject and predicate of a sentence are called its prin- 
cipal parts. 


1. As shown in (<z), copy and underscore the subjects of the fol- 
owing declarative sentences and dou biy underscore the predicates: 

(a) Dogs bark . (/) Clothing protects 

(d) Water fr^^s. <f) Spring will come. 

(c) Birds sing. <*> . Pl<>«'e'^ have bloomed, 

(rf) Boys study. ^^ Men have been killed. 

{.e) Horses neigh. ^ Parents should be obeyed. 

2. Copy the sentences given below; underscore the subjects and 
doubly underscore the predicates as in the example above. Supply the 
missing subjects of imperative sentences. 

(a) Listen. (g) Is honesty practiced? 

{b) Do you hear? (h) Were you instructed? 

(c) Does time fly? (/) Could they come? 

(</) Make. haste. (/) May we be seen? 

(e) Has war beg^n? (/t) Has he been elected? 
(/*) Can Jupiter be seen? (/) Should he have gone? 

17« Questions, Exclamations, and Inverted Sen- 
tences. — It is sometimes not easy to pick out the principal 
parts — the subject and predicate — of interrogative, inverted, 
and exclamatory sentences. But if the question or the 
exclamation be changed into a statement, and if the inverted 
sentence be restored to the regular order, the difficulty will 
disappear. How this is done is shown below: 

Is the lion the king of beasts? 


Changing this sentence to the declarative form, the subject 
is easily seen to be the part in Italics; thus, 
The lion is the king of beasts. 


How sweetly the birds are singing! 
The birds are singing how sweetly. 

How quiet and beautiful is the night! 
The night is how quiet and beautiful. 

Bright shone the light over fair women and brave men. 
The light shone bright over fair women and brave men. 


Change into the interrogative form the first ten sentences in 
Examples for Practice following Art. 16; then enclose the subject in 
marks of parenthesis and the predicate in brackets. 

Model. — Declarative. — Years pass. Interrogative,— [JDo] (years) 

18. What Modifiers Are and What They Do in 
Sentences. — The words modify ^ modifier^ and modification 
are so much used in grammar that the student should under- 
stand their exact meaning. These terms all contain the 
JLatin word modus^ **a measure." We may conclude, then, 
that they all have in them some idea of measuring, not as 
Strain is measured, but as thought is measured. 

When we hear a class name like animal^ there comes to us 
at once a mental picture or idea of a vast unmeasured class 
that includes every creature, dead or living, or yet to live. 
Now join to the name a measuring word — a modifier — such 
as four-footed. Consider what has happened to our idea or 
mental picture. An immense number of animals are shut 
out, and the class is much smaller and more definite. Let 
us add another modifier, Sdiy grass-eating^. Again the class is 
reduced. All animals that eat flesh are now shut out from 
the class of four-footed grass-eating animals. Thus, each 
added modifier reduces the measure of the class, and we 
may continue adding modifiers until the animal meant is 
separated from every other in the great class of animals. 


Definition. — A modifier is any word or expression used 
with another word to narrow its application and to denote its 
meaning more exactly — to reduce or lessen the measure or extent 
in which its sense is to be taken. 

MoDiFiBRS Modified Word Modifiers 

for cooking. 

from a tree in the orchard. 

Red \ 

Large red [apples. 

Large, red, sweet 
Very large, red, sweet 

bought in the market, 
.that you gave me yesterday. 

Other words besides class names may take modifiers. 
Thus, with glad ox sour we may use very^ extremely^ moderately ^ 
always, too, never, and many others. 

So, also, a person may swim well, fast, slowly, in the 
ocean, up stream, for life, when he goes to the seashore, if 
the day is pleasant, etc. 

19. The Modified Subject. — In speaking or writing, 
we usually employ more than one word to denote the subject 
of a sentence. Descriptive words are added, so that the thing 
denoted by the subject may not be mistaken for something 
else. As has been explained, these added words are called 
modifiers. Without modifiers, the subject is simple or unmod- 
ified; or more briefly, it is the subject. With the modifiers, 
the subject is called the entire or modified subject. For 
example, modifiers such as those shown below, might be 
used with such subjects as boy and horse. 

The, my, a, 
good, studious, 
bright, diligent 


That, his, our, 
boy learns the grocer's black, 

sorrel, young 

horse runs 

With these modifiers we can form such sentences as the 

The diligent studious boy learns. 
The grocer's young sorrel horse runs. 



Copy the following sentences, and aft shown in (a) below, enclose the 
simple subject in marks of parenthesis and underscore the modifiers of 
the subject: 

(a) A studious (boy) will succeed. 

(d) A beautiful black horse neighs. 

{c) My pretty little blue-eyed sister is calling. 

(d) Will the far-off icy pole ever be reached? 

(e) Can an idle, careless, uneducated man succeed? 
(/) A gentle, loving, little fairy came. 

{^) A beautiful, high-stepping, black horse led the herd. 
(A) A large piece of buttered bread made his breakfast. 

20. The Modified Predicate. — By means of modifiers, 
the predicate of a sentence may be made to denote differences 
of many kinds in what it declares or asks or commands con- 
cerning the subject. When such modifying words are added, 
we have the entire or modified predicate; without them, there 
remains only the simple predicate^ or more briefly the predicate. 

These modifiers denote time^ place, manner, direction, and 
various other circumstances. 

I swiftly f diligently 

5^*^*""^ We should study 1^""""^ 
today I frequently 

now I systematically 


1. Copy the following sentences; underscore modifiers of the 
predicate, and decide what each modifier denotes, whether time, place, 
manner, etc. ; enclose the simple predicate in brackets and the simple 
subject in marks of parenthesis. 

{d) Pronounce your words distinctly and correctly. 

(b) Never speak angrily or hastily, 

(r) My book lay here yesterday. 

(d) Do you now know clearly and precisely ray meaning? 

(e) He frequently strokes the cat's fur gently and lovingly. 
(/) Gayly and sweetly sang the little bird today. 

{^) You should act promptly, wisely, and firmly. 

(A) Yesterday a vicious dog attacked me fiercely and suddenly. 

(/) When and why do you leave us? 

{j) Where will you go tomorrow? 


2. Copy the following sentences, and as in (a) below, enclose the 
simple subjects in parentheses and the simple predicates in brackets. 
Then underscore the modifiers of the subjects and overscore the modi- 
fiers of the predicates. 

(a) [Will] the beautiful (birds) [return] to us again in the spring? 

(d) Many dark clouds of threatening appearance gathered along 
the mountain. 

{c) Did you ever read about the Sleeping Beauty? 
{d) All the idle boys of the village roamed about with Rip Van 

(e) Great quantities of gold have been found in Alaska. 

(/) The natural fear of children is greatly increased by ghost 

(^) How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood. 

(A) The President of the United States will certainly come to the 
city tomorrow in the morning. 

(/) At last her pretty pleasure boat was seen far away at sea. 

(j) The two windows on the west peeped down between the 
willow branches into the orchard. 


21. Eli^ht Parts of Speech. — All the words in our lan- 
guage are included in eight classes called parts of speech. 
These classes of words correspond to the eight ways in 
which words are used in expressing thought. The class in 
which a word belongs cannot generally be known until that 
word is actually used in a sentence. Even then we can 
know only what part of speech the word is in that particular 
sentence, for it may be used in some other way the next 
time we meet it. One of the chief things that the student 
must learn to do quickly and with certainty is to tell what 
each word does in the sentences he studies — to determine 
its use or hiJiction, When he has rightly decided this in the 
case of any word, he can be sure in which one of the eight 
classes the word belongs; that is, he can say what part of 
speech the word is. It is this necessity for constantly and 
carefully discriminating the functions of words — what they 
do and how they are related — that makes the study of 
grammar so valuable a means of mental discipline. 



22. Function of the Noun. — We cannot look in any 
direction without seeing things that have names. All words 
that are used as the names of things are called nouns. Some 
names of things that we can see are sky^ tree^ house^ star^ boy. 
Some other things we learn about by touching, or feeling; as, 
coldnesSy heat^ air^ weighty warmth^ dampness. The sense of 
hearing enables us to learn about other things that have 
names; as, musiCy laughter^ conversatio7iy singings speech. In 
like manner, by tasting and smelling we become acquainted 
'with sweetness,, bitterness ^ fragrance y odor^ and many other things. 

Besides the thousands of things that we may learn about 
by using our eyes and our other senses, there is a multitude 
of things that we cannot touch or hear or see; we find out 
about them by thinking. Some examples are truths honor ^ 
love^ kindnesSy hatred. 

Most nouns consist of but one word, but many others are 
made up of two or more words taken together; as, railroad^ 
steamboat y sky -rocket y paper-weight. Indeed, any collection of 
two or more words that can be used as the subject of a 
sentence may be regarded as a noun, for it is the name of 
something. Thus, in the following sentences the expres- 
sions in Italics are used as nouns: 

Sawing wood made him tired. 

To have tried and failed was no disgrace. 

Why he went was a great mysteiy. 

To do one*s duty is sometimes not easy. 

Definition. — A noun is any word or expression used as the 
name of something y and capable of being the subject of a sentence. 


1. Make lists of nouns as follows: 

(fl) Five names of things good for food. 

(b) Five names of trees. 

{jc) Five names of tools used by workmen. 

(d) Five names of flowers. 

(^) Five names of animals. 


(f) Five names of parts of the human body. 

(^) Five names of parts of a house. 

(A) Five names of objects that you have seen on the dinner table. 

[i) Five subjects that are studied in school. 

(J) Five names of trades or occupations. 

2. Write two sentences, each of which shall contain three nouns. 

3. Write sentences, each of which shall contain three of the 
following words used as nouns: wagon, window, watch, lesson, 
honesty, snow, milk, sky, city, patience, life, sport, village, light, 
crowd, diflBculty, success, fort. 

4. Make a list of the thirty-five nouns in the following sentences: 
{a) Some animals sleep all through the winter in a tree or a cave 

and wake up in the warm days of spring. 
(d) Kind hearts are more than coronets. 

(c) I see the lights of the village gleam through the rain and mist, 
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me that my soul cannot 

A feeling of sadness and longing that is not akin to pain, 
And resembles .sorrow only as the mist resembles the rain. 

(d) We should not lose courage from failure, nor should success be 
followed by boasting; for life is too short for any kind of fortune 
to have long continuance. 

{e) Laziness goes so slowly in the race of life that poverty is sure 
to be ahead long before the end is reached. 

5. Write a list of the fifty-two nouns to be found in the following 

(a) Great thoughts, like great deeds, need no trumpet. 

(d) The truth, the real life and sunshine, lay far out in regions 
beyond the horizon. 

{c) Tell me not, in mournful numbers, life is but an empty dream. 

{d) That divine unrest, that old stinging trouble of humanity, that 
makes all high achievement and all miserable failure, inspired and sup- 
ported these barbarians on their perilous march. 

(e) "They are worlds like ours," said the young man; "and some 
of the least sparkles that you see are not only worlds, but whole clusters 
of worlds turning about one another in the midst of space. In them 
is perhaps the answer to all our difficulties or the cure of all our 
sufferings; and yet we can never reach them; not all the skill and craft 
of men can fit out a ship for the nearest of these our neighbors, nor 
would the life of the most aged suffice for such a journey." 

(/) "I am a natural law," the visitor replied, "and people call me 
Death. I am a physician; the best healer that ever was, for 1 cure 
both mind and body with the same prescription. I take away all pain 
and forgive all sins, and where my patients have gone wrong in life, 
I smooth out all complications and set them free again upon their feet." 



23. Functiou of tlie Pronoun. — Little children just 
learning to speak refer to themselves aUd to others whom 
they know by using nouns: 

Katy's mama is a good mama. 
Katy's mama gave Katy a penny. 

Speaking of strangers they use bay^ girl, lady, gentleman^ 
and they repeat the names of things as often as the objects 
are referred to: 

The lady gave Katy an apple. 

The apple was on a tree by the lady's house. 

But children soon learn the use of certain words that take 
the place of nouns, such as /, we, he, it, they, etc. These 
are called pronouns, a word that means **for nouns.** Pro- 
nouns enable us to avoid the awkward and frequent repetition 
of nouns. With their help we can talk to persons, and about 
persons and things without knowing their names. Thus, 
meeting a stranger, we may say: 

Will you be good enough to tell jne whether / am in time for the 
train ? 

/ do not see it, and they told me at home that you would inform me 
when it leaves. 

If the student should make the experiment of using nouns 
instead of these little words that take their place, he would 
see how serviceable pronouns are. 

Definition. — A pronoun is a word used to denote persons 
or things without naming them. 

24. Tlie Antecedent of a Pronoun. — The antecedent 

of a pronoun is the word for which the pronoun stands or to 
which it refers: 

Mary said to her brother that she would help him with his lessons 
if he would help her with hers. 

Here Mary is the antecedent of her, she, and hers;, while 
brother is the antecedent of him, his, and he. 


The word antecedent means going before.** The word 
referred to by a pronoun usually comes in the sentence before 
the pronoun does. In asking questions, Jiowever, the pro- 
noun is generally found in the question and the antecedent 
in the answer following. 

Who is he? He is the doctor. 
What is that? That is an orange. 
Which is the prettier? The violet. 

Here doctor is the antecedent of who and he^ orange^ the 
antecedent of what and thaty and violet is the antecedent 
of which. 

Some pronouns denote the speaker; as, /, we^ me, us; some 
denote the person spoken to, or addressed; as, you, thou, thee, 
yours; but most of the pronouns are used to denote that 
which is spoken of; as, he, him, she, her, it, they, them, who, 
which, etc. 


1. Improve the following sentences by substituting pronouns for 
nouns used awkwardly and write the amended sentences: 

(a) Harvey saw Harvey's sister fall into the river, and Harvey 
saved Han^ey's sister from drowning. 

Model. — Harvey saw his sister fall into the river, and he saved 
her from drowning. 

{b) Mary hurt Mary while Mary was jumping Mary*s rope. 

(r) Susie and Susie's brother took Susie's and Susie's brother's 
skates to school. 

(</) My sister was sewing and my sister pierced my sister's finger 
with the needle. 

(^) Louis said, "Give Louis Louis's ball and bat." 

(/■) The children ate the children's lunch under a tree that threw 
the tree's pleasant shade over the children. 

(g) The teacher complained to Willie's mother that Willie's lessons 
were neglected although Willie had been asked to study Willie's lessons. 

2. Write a list of the pronouns and their antecedents in the follow- 
ing sentences: 

(a) "I'm not so haughty as you," said a violet to a daffodil, "but 
many people tell me that they think me prettier and sweeter than you." 

(b) "How selfish you are," said the ox to the dog; "you will not 
cat the hay yourself, nor will you permit me to eat it." 


{c) The sun did his very best to make the sea as bright as it 
^vranted to be. 

(d) Narcissus was a beautiful youth. He dearly loved to stand on 
the bank and admire himself as he appeared in the image reflected 
from the mirror-like surface of the water. Venus saw him, and in her 
anger she changed him into a flower condemned always to stand, just 
as he was then standing, and admire his own beauty. 

(e) Volcanoes get their name from Vulcan, who was fabled to 
have his forge far down among the roots of the mountain. Here, 
with a Cyclops to help him, he forged the thunderbolts used by Jove 
when he wished to smite the earth. 

(/) "Where are you going, my pretty maid?** 

**Vm going a-milking, sir," she said. 

(^) There lies the sea as flat as my hand and as innocent as a 
child; but they say that when the wind blows it gets up into water 
mountains bigger than any of ours, and it swallows down great ships 
bigger than our mill, and makes such a roaring that you can hear it 
miles away on the land. 

(A) They told me that they saw the fair girl sitting in a boat with 
its head pointed toward the falls, and that as she drifted past her lover 
watching her from the cliffs, she waved her hand to him and smiled. 


25. Function of the Verb. — In our langfuage, the 
most important class of words is the verd; for without this 
part of speech, no statement or question or command can be 
fully expressed. Every sentence must contain at least one 
verb. The noun names things about which statements may 
be made or questions asked, but nothing can be stated or 
asked about things without the help of a verb. Thus, s/ars, 
birdsy John, are names, but they tell us nothing. Now, if 
suitable verbs are used with them, thoughts are expressed — 
sentences are formed. 

Stars shine. Birds can fly. Will John come? 

Such expressions as shine, can fly, will come, when they are 
used in forming complete sentences, are verbs. 

26. Meaning of Predication. — Grammarians say that 
the verb predicates being or action of the person or thing 
named by the subject of the sentence. The word predicate 
comes from a Latin word that means **to say'* or **tell,'' 



to declare in public.'* But as predicate and predication are 
used in grammar, they mean much more than this. The 
fact is that there is much need of a word that has all of the 
following meanings: to assert, to deny, to question, to com- 
mand, to wish, to entreat; for the verb is the chief word in 
sentences that express all these forms of thought. The fol- 
lowing are examples: 

To assert: John runs. Birds were sinf^np^. We did fio. 
To deny: Mary did not ^o. We have not been walking. 
To question: Have you seen him? When did the hoys, f^of 
To cofnmand: Study your lessons. Sit erect at your desk. 
To wish: Would he were here. May he soon succeed. 
To entreat: O, do not be so cruel! Forgive the poor fellow! 

All the different uses of the verb in these sentences are. 
expressed by the one word predication. Of course the Latin 
word from which predicate is derived does not have all these 
meanings; but as the word is used in grammar, it must be 
understood to have them all. 

Definition. — A verb is the predicating^ word or words in a 

27. Verb Phrases. — The simple or unmodified predi- 
cate may consist of one word, or of as many as four words. 
When the verb or predicate contains two words or more, it 
is called a verb phrase. The following are some examples 
of sentences in which the predicates are verb phrases: 

The fire will not bum. May he not soon f!^of 

He might be killed. You had not been suspected. 

The child should not have been punished. 


1. Copy the following sentences; then underscore the subjects and 
doubly underscore the verbs. 

(a) Did the teacher accept your excuse? 

{b) Better things might have been expected of so sensible a boy. 

(c) In three days, the city will fall into our hands. 

(d) The mists on the banks of Newfoundland are caused by the 
warm waters of the Gulf Stream. 

(e) No army so large had ever before been assembled. 

Model. — A small boy- 


(/) White light may be separated into a band of different colors. 

(j^) A ship had long been seen on the horizon. 

{A) An honest man may be benefited by the advice of a knave. 

(/) Was ever a man so abused before? 

{/) I will, with patience, hear your story. 

2. As in the model, fill each of the blanks with three suitable verbs, 
(a) A small boy . . . down the hill. 

ran ] 

coasted [down the hill. 

walked J 

{d) The general . . . the soldier for bravery, 
(r) The teacher . . . the work of the pupil. 
(d) Beautiful flowers ... in the meadows. 
(^ ) . Mary ... at school until her brother . . . his lessons. 
. (/) The children . . . their teacher very much indeed. 
(x) The kitten ... on the rug until Susie . . . 
{/i) The policeman ... by the mayor of the city. 

3. Construct sentences containing the following used as verbs: 
{a) Send, comes, surprise, loved, wander, wonder 

(d) Believed, saw, delayed, lingered, hurried, stayed, went 

{c ) Will repay, has depended, were relieved, can promise, have gone 
(</) Has been tried, will be rescued, should have obeyed, may have 

(e) Should have been presented, might have been expected, could 
have been seen, will have been finished, may be trusted 


28. Function of the Adjective. — When the noun apple 
is used, it may mean any apple wrhatever. But it is often 
necessary to indicate some particular apple as the one meant. 
This may sometimes be done by pointing to it, touching it, 
or by some similar act. This, however, is not often con- 
venient and cannot be done at all in writing; but the thing 
intended can be pointed out easily and exactly by means of 
language. This is done by joining to the name of the thing 
meant, words that describe it in some way — that tell some 
quality it has. Thus, apples may be described by the use of 
such words as sweety large^ redy pretty; their number may be 
indicated by manyy severaly somey six; and we may do some- 
thing very much like pointing to an object by using thisy thaty 
thesey those, they yonder. 


When words are used for this purpose — to modify the mean- 
ing of a noun or a pronoun — they are adjectives. The word 
originally meant ** thrown near/* and this part of speech is so 
named because it is usually placed beside the noun: 

sour apples, happy children, several days, the boy, an ^%% 

Sometimes, however, the adjective stands at some distance 
from the noun or pronoun to which it belongs. 

The APPLE is extremely sour. 

Mary sat in the shade of a beautiful tree, happy and contented. 

Even in such cases, it is easy to decide with which noims 
or pronouns the adjective modifiers belong. 

Most adjectives denote qualities. Thus, an honest boy is a 
boy that has the quality of honesty; a strong man is a man 
that has the quality of strength. Adjectives that denote 
qualities are called gualifyiftg adjectives. 

Many adjectives are used to denote the material of which 
an object is made. Some examples are: 

Si gold watch, a leatlier apron, a cotton dress, a silver simoon 

Definition. — An adjective is a word used to modify the 
meaning of a noun or a pronoun. 

29. Compound Adjectives. — Adjectives are often com- 
posed of two or more words joined by hyphens. 

Sweet-scented flowers, rosy-fingered morning, a never-to-lfe-forgotten 


1. As shown in the model below, write in sentences each of the fol- 
lowing words, preceded by two or more adjectives. 

Model. — Rain — A cool refreshing rain fell in the evening. 

tree, wind, flower, time, ocean, health, grove, storm, road, rest, 
forest, soldier, stream, dog, day, house, picture, business, cloud, bird, 
work, city, orange, fortune. 

2. Copy each sentence following, and then underscore the adjec- 
tives and doubly underscore the words they modify. 

Model. — (a) My father brought twelve beautiful sweet oranges 
from the city market. 


{d) The arbuttts is a fragrant delicate flower that blooms daring 
the early days of spring. 

{c) A beautiful butterfly spread its wide fragile wings fn the 
golden sunlight. 

(d) Once there lived in the bottom of the deep dark sea a 
beautiful goddess whose home was a wonderful silver palace. 

{e) A cunning fox stole up to a lazy careless goose one still 
dark night and found her in a deep dreamless slumber. 

(/) The whirling snowflakes covered with a soft white blanket 
the saddening nakedness of the autumn landscape. 


30. First Function of Adverbs. — The word adverb 
means **to a verb** (ad, **to**). This part of speech is so 
named because it is usually placed near the verb. Its use 
as a modifier of a verb is to denote when, where, why, or in 
Tvhai manner the action expressed by the verb takes place. 
The adverb does for a verb exactly what the adjective does 
for a noun or a pronoun — modifies its meaning. Thus, 

ADjBCTrvBS Advbrbs 




speech He spoke 




Besides showing the time, the place, the cause, or the man- 
ner of an action, the adverb may denote any one of a great 
many circumstances relating to the action. Whenever we 
find in a sentence any word that modifies a verb, any word 
that makes us know more exactly the manner in which the 
action was performed, we may be sure that the word is an 
adverb. The following are examples of adverbs that modify 
the meaning of verbs, which is the first and most important 
function of this part of speech: 

The clock runs 

quietly When "l 

regularly Where I 

always Why "« y«« going? 

.slowly How J 

31. Second Function of Adverbs. — Adjectives are 
mostly words that denote qualities. There are numerous 
degrees of most qualities, and in order to denote these 




different degrees, adverbs are joined to the adjective so as 
to show in what measure or degree the quality is to be 
understood. Thus, different degrees of goodness among 
good boys might be indicated by using with the adjective good 
various adverbs of degree ^ such as very, extremely^ quite ^ and 
many others. We should then have expressions like the 
following, in which the meaning of the adjective is modified 
by the adverb that precedes it: 

VKVi^ good boys, extremely good boys, remarkably good boys 

This is the second function of adverbs — to modify the 
meaning of adjectives. The following are additional illus- 

The banker was - 






rich The apple is- 

too, quite 






32. Third Fiiiictlou of Adverbs. — Adverbs are some- 
times used to modify the meaning of other adverbs. Not 
many adverbs are used in this way; a few of the most com- 
mon are so, too, not, just, almost, most, very, more, less, quite. 

so nearly done, almost completely open, somewhat sourly told, 
NOT entirely happy, i^xni'e. recently arrived, very prettily said 

Defiiiitiou. — An adverb is a word used to modify the 
mea?iing of a verb, a7i adjective, or anotfier adverb, 

33. Phrase Adverbs. — There are many adverbial 
expressions consisting of two or more words that are called 
plirase adverbs; these are easily recognized from the use 
made of them in sentences. Some examples are the follow- 
ing: by and by, sooTicr or later, time and again, far and near, 
to and fro, backward and fonvard, again and agaiyt. 

The end will come sooner or later. 

Time and ai^ain he was reprimanded for misconduct. 

The italicized phrases in these sentences are phrase 
adverbs denoting time. Such expressions should be treated 
as if they consisted of but one word. 



1. Write a list of the adverbs used in the following sentences, and 
tell what each adverb modifies: 

(a) The rain fell steadily and heavily yesterday. 

{d) Why should one man judge another hastily or harshly? 

(c) Speak slowly and distinctly, and you will be more easily 

(d) **Do your work neatly and carefully,*' the teacher always said. 
(^) 1 never before saw a rainbow quite so brilliant. 

(/) Why did you go there, and where had you worked before? 

Of) He walked much faster than I, but 1 was not so very much 

(A) When we go to the beach I sometimes find very great pleasure 
in collecting the exquisitely beautiful shells. 

2. Write five sentences in each of which two or more of the follow- 
ing words shall be used as adverbs: once, then, sooner, brightly, 
sometime, presently, never, thus, early, lightly, otherwise, everywhere, 
ever, most, lately, steadily, afterwards, somehow, soon, rather, 
yonder, strongly, eastwards, occasionally, always, forward, nowhere, 
perhaps, probably, frequently. 

3. Write sentences in which shall occur the following words used 
as adverbs: rightly, gladly, kindly, openly, frequently, occasionally, 
sweetly, gleefully, gracefully, beautifully, neatly. 

4. Use in sentences the following words as adverbs: entirely, often, 
vrhen, where, how, why, however, whence, whither, so, as, very, quite, 

5. Use the following as adverbs: today, tomorrow, yesterday, for- 
ever, one by one, in groups, side by side, back and forth, up and down, 
now and then, by and by, as .soon as possible. 

6. Construct five sentences in which adverbs modify adjectives, and 
five in which adverbs modify adverbs. 


34. Word Bridges. — Words may stand tojj^ether without 
bearing to one another any relation in meaninjj — without 
helping one another to become useful in expressing thought. 
The words in a list for spelling are of this kind; they are 
without connection or relation in meaning. 

But words may be so arranged that, if their meanings are 
suited to one another, they seem to belong together. They 
form what may be called a compound idea, and without 
rearrangement may enter a sentence as one of its elements. 




This is the case when suitable modifiers are joined to nonns, 
adjectives, or adverbs; as, good boy, very sorry y quite soon. 

Again, ideas may seem to be so widely separated — so 
unlike — that nothing could ever bring into relation the words 
denoting these ideas. Yet they may often be joined and 
brought into relation by means of a kind of word bridge 
between them. Examples of this are shown below: 


A palace ^ 







► the sea Write • 






> the Indians 

These word bridges are called prepositions. They are 
so named because they are nearly always placed before 
(pre, before) the noun or pronoun to which they connect some 
preceding word. The work done in sentences by preposi- 
tions is twofold: (1) they connect words; (2) they bring 
words into relation. 

The preposition, with the noun or pronoun joined to it, 
forms a prepositional phrase. The noun or the pronoun in a 
prepositional phrase is called the object of the preposition. 

Phrases of this kind are used as modifiers, just as if they 
were adjectives or adverbs consisting of only one word. 
Thus, in the expressions a silk dress and a dress of silk, silk 
and of silk are both adjective modifiers of the noun dress. 
Again, in Examine with care and Examine carefully, the verb 
examine is modified in meaning both by the adverb carefully 
and by the prepositional phrase with care. The functions of 
these two modifiers are the same — they are both adverbial 
in the work they do. 

The number of prepositions is considerably less than one 
hundred, but they form a very useful class of words. Indeed, 
it is not easy to see how we could get along without them, 
for some of the shortest of them, such as, to, for, in, with, 
from, by, at, on, of, occur in nearly ever sentence. 

Definition. — A preposition is a word used to conruct 
words and bring them into relation. 


Just as adverbs sometimes consist of two or more words 
used as one word, so also do prepositions. In the follow- 
ing, the expressions in Italics are phrase prepositions: 

The Gospel according to St. Mark; done in spite of opposition; 
respected in proportion to his wealth; acted with respect to his interests; 
decided in accordance with the evidence. 


1. By several suitable prepositions establish a relationship in mean- 
ing between each of the following: rode . . . the forest, sailed . 
the ocean, spoke . . . him, died . . . sunrise, acted . . . the enemy, 
lived . . . the sea. 

2. Find prepositional phrase modifiers of the following words used 
as adjectives: hopeful, polite, disobedient, confident, courageous, 
revengeful, faithful, sorry, smooth, sad. 

Model. — Every father should be hopbful of the success of his 

3. Construct ten sentences in each of which appear two nouns 
connected by a preposition. 

Model. — My sister gave me a book of poems ^ 

4. Construct sentences containing the following used correctly as 
prepositions: from, before, against, below, under, around, opposite, 
toveard, within, without. 

5. Make a list of the prepositional phrases contained in the follow- 
ing stanzas: 

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, 
Tears from the depth of some divine despair 
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes. 
In looking on the happy autumn fields, 
And thinking of the days that are no more. 

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail 
That brings our friends up from the under world, 
Sad as the last which reddens over one 
That sinks with all we love below the verge; 
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more. 

Dear as remembered kisses after death, 

And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned 

On lips that are for others; deep as love, 

Deep as first love, and wild with all regret, 

O Death in Life, the days that are no more. — Tennyson. 





35. Fuuctlon of Coujuuctious. — Like the preposition, 
the canjutution is used for connectinj^. Between these two 
parts of speech there are some differences that are easily 

1. Conjunctions usually connect clauses; prepositions 
never do. 

Mary went to the picnic, but Kate remained at home. 

Here the conjunction but connects the two clauses of the 
sentence, in each of which there is a preposition connecting 
words. In the first clause, to connects went with picnic; in 
the second at connects remained with home, 

2. Conjunctions connect words belonging to the same 
part of speech or words used in the same way; prepositions 
usually connect different parts of speech and words used 
differently. This may be seen from the illustrations below: 

Conju nctiofts . — bread 

Noun Noun Adj. 


or \ butter poor 

yet I 

but [proud 




of, by, from, 

because of, 

in consequence of 



in, by, near, 
inside, under, 
on, upon, beside 

the house 

3. A conjunction does not take after it a noun or a pro- 
noun to form phrases that modify the meaning of other 
words; a preposition forms with its object an adjective or 
adverbial modifier, or an expression used as a noun. Thus, 
in the examples under 2 above, of play, by play, etc. are 
adverbial modifiers of tired. No such use can be made of 
the conjunction and the word that follows it. 


The most important work of conjunctions is to connect; 
that of the preposition is to bring words into relation. 

The conjunction a7id is used more, perhaps, than all the 
other conjunctions taken together. This word has been 
called the plus sign of language; for when it is placed between 
two words or phrases or sentences it denotes that the sum of 
their meanings is to be understood. Other conjunctions that 
are much used are but, if, unless, yet, though, although, 
bccnnse, therefore, however, moreover, henee, lest, whether, pro- 
vided ^ for (meaning herojtsr) . 

Some conjunctions go in pairs: not only . . . but also, both 
. . . and, neither . . . nor, or , . , or, nor , . . 7tor, either 
. . . or. 

Conjunctions used in pairs are called eorrelative eonjunctimis. 

definition. — A conjunction is a word used to eonnect 
elauses, or sentential elements that are used alike. 

Conjunctions frequently stand at the beginning of sen- 
tences; they are then said to introdtue rather than conneet. 

And I have loved thee, ocean. 


1. By using five diflferent conjunctions, form five sentences of the 

He trusted in me ... I had no confidence in him. 

2. Separate each of the following sentences into three others that 
shall together be equivalent to the separated sentence: 

(a) Cherries, plums, and pears succeed well in the United States. 
(^) The boy can read, write, and cipher very well indeed. 
{c) The drover purchased sheep, calves, and oxen from the farmers, 
(rf) The President spoke of a government of the people, by the 
people, for the people. 

3. Construct sentences in which shall occur the following words 
used as conjunctions: because, hence, or, notwithstanding, unless, 
except, although, if, yet, whereas. 

4. By tistng conjunctions, make one sentence of each of the follow- 
ing groups: 

. . I Rome was not built in a day. 
\A fortune is not made in a vcar. 




The Spani^ fleet entered the harbor of Santiago. 

The Spanish fleet tried to escape to the ocean. 

The Spanish fleet was destroyed by the blockading vessels. 

The great prizes of life are won by ability. 

The great prizes of life are not won by trickery. 

The great prizes of life are not won by indolence. 


36. In addition to the seven classes of words already 
described, there is another class commonly reckoned by gram- 
marians as forming the eighth part of speech. Some exam- 
ples are the following: oh! alas! hark! ha! While it is 
convenient and perhaps better that words of this kind should 
be regarded as forming another part of speech, it should be 
remembered that they have no place in sentential structure. 
They are thrown among {inter^ among, and jecius^ thrown) 
sentences to indicate feeling only, not thought. In language, 
they are as much out of grammatical relation with the real ele- 
ments of sentences as the figures that are used in numbering 
chapters and paragraphs. Some authorities say that interjec- 
tions represent entire sentences condensed into single words. 
By this they mean \}[iz\, pshaw ! for example, is a kind of equiva- 
lent for What you say is absurd, and hist! for Be quiet and listen^ 
for I hear a strange noise, or the like. A sigh or a groan is, in 
a sense, an interjection, and while these generally convey a 
hint of the thought appropriate to them, they do not express 
thought in the precise way required in the sentences of which 
grammar takes account. We often hear imitations of the 
noises made when we cough or sneeze or laugh or weep, and 
these sounds may be represented in print; and the cries of 
certain animals are indicated by such words as mew! bow-wow! 
cluck! baa! whippoorwill! These may be classed as interjec- 
tions when so used. Since we do not need such words as oh! 


alas! ugh! ha! fie! fudge! hem! heigh-ho! he! etc. in expressing 
thought, an interjection may be defined as follows: 

Definition. — An interjection is a word that has no 
relation to other words in a sentence, and is used to express 
feeling or emotion. 





37. The parts of speech, considered with respect to the 
importance of the work each does in expressing thought, 
may be placed in two groups: 

1. The Indispensable Parts of Speech. — These are 
the verby the nou7i, and its substitute, the pronoun. With 
the verb and the noun or the pronoun, a complete sentence 
may be formed; but these are the only parts of speech with 
which this can be done. 

2. The Auxiliary or Helping Parts of Speech. 
These include the five remaining classes of words: 

(a) The Modifiers, — The adjective and the adverb. 

(b) The Connectives, — The preposition and the conjunction. 
{c) The Interjection. — These words serve to indicate the 

feeling intended to be associated with expressed thought. 

It will hereafter appear that words are sometimes used in 
such manner as to make it difficult to decide in what class they 
belong; also, that some words do double duty in the sentence. 
Thus, there are many words that modify in the manner of 
adjectives and at the same time have the function of pronouns; 
others again modify as adverbs and connect as conjunctions. 
These cases, however, will be considered in the proper places. 

c8 ^ 

* E 


GO ^ 



1. Modifiers 


1. Noun — Names something. 

2. Pronoun — Refers to names. 

3. f^r^— Expresses what is or is done. 

{a) Adjective — Modifies 

meaning of nouns and pro- 
(b) Adverb — Modifies mean- 
ing of verbs, adjectives, and 
'(a) Preposition — Brings 
words into relation with 
noun or pronoun. 
( b ) Conjunction — C o n n e c t s 
similar elements. 
3. Interjection — Colors thought with feeling. 

2. Connectives* 


(PART 2) 




1. Various Uses of Nouns and Pronouns. — So far 

as has yet been considered, the only work done in sentences 
by nouns and pronouns is to stand in the relation of subject. 

Nouns as Subjecis: The fPioon lights the earth. William was hurt. 
Pronouns as Subjects: We saw the President. Who inquired for me? 

But besides filling the office of subject, nouns and pronouns 
have other uses in sentences. Their most important func- 
tions are as follows: 

1. As Absolute y or Independent, — We have seen that the 
interjection is used apart from, and independent of, the sen- 
tence with which it occurs. In a similar way, a noun or 
a pronoun, with its modifiers, used independently, may be 
omitted without destroying the grammatical completeness of 
the sentence. There are several varieties of the independent 
use of nouns and pronouns: 

{a) With a verbal to express a cause or an independent 
fact. (A verbal is a word derived from a verb, but not used 
with predicating force; that is, to make assertions, agk ques- 
tions, or express commands. Verbals may be used as nouns 
or as adjectives, but they retain some of the characteristics 
of the verb in that they may have subjects, objects, and 
adverbial modifiers. When used with an independent noun 

For notice of copyr(g^Ai. see Page immediately following the title Page 



or pronoun, verbals are generally used as adjectives. The 
following are types of verbals that are often found in inde- 
pendent constructions: beings loving^ having been, having 
finished^ having been suspected, etc.) 

The earth being round, it can be circumnavigated. 
He being the older, they gave him the preference. 
The clerk having been suspected of dishonesty, an investigation was 

The example hamng been solved, the teacher read another to the class. 

Here earth, he, clerk, and example are independent or abso- 
lute, for the phrases in which they occur might be omitted 
without destroying the grammatical completeness of the 
sentence. The subject and predicate would still remain. 

It can be circumnavigated. 
They gave him the preference. 

(b) Nouns and pronouns may be independent by direct 

Go home, my child. 

Come here, you. 

Friends, /Romans, countrymen ^ hear me for my cause. 

As before, the sentences here make complete sense when 
the independent words with their accompanying modifiers 
are omitted; as, Go home. Come here. Hear me for my cause. 

(r) Nouns and pronouns may be independent h^ pleonasm. 

The boy, O where was he? 
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 
Shakespeare; he was the greatest poet that ever lived. 
The sea; it is the greatest thing God ever made. 

This construction is used for the purpose of emphasis. It 
consists in the separate mention of that concerning which an 
impressive complete statement or question is to follow. 
The word pleonasm is derived from the Greek word pieon, 
meaning **more.'' The notion is that more words are used 
than are needed. 

( d) Nouns and pronouns may be independent by apposition. 

Socrates, the philosopher, drank poison hemlock. 
Did you see him, the savior of his country? 


Here philosoplur and savior are independent by apposition. 
A noun in apposition denotes the same person or thing as 
the word it explains. Thus, Socrates and philosopher mean 
the same person, as do also him and savior. The word 
appositio7i means * 'placed near." The name implies that 
the appositive is placed close to the word it explains. 
This is usually, but not always, the case. 

(e) Nouns and pronouns may be independent by 

O liberty! How many of earth's oppressed have yearned for thee. 
Poor fellow! The paw he holds up there has been frozen. 

2. As Predicate Complement, — A complement is something 
added to complete or fill out something else. In nearly 
every sentence the predicate has with it a noun or a pronoun 
to complete its meaning. A noun or a pronoun so used is 
called the predicate complement. There are two varieties of 
this construction: 

{a) The predicate noun ox pronoun, after such verbs as be 
(am, is, are, was, etc.), seem, appear, become, etc. 

He was a scholar. It was she, 

John became an engineer. He seems 2i gentleman. 

The earth is a planet. He has been mayor, 

A predicate noun or pronoun always denotes the same 
person or thing as the subject. Thus, in the sentences above, 
he and scholar represent the same person. The same is 
true of John and engineer, of earth and plariet, of it and she, 
of he and gent lent a7t, ot he and mayor, 

(^) The object noun or pronoun — usually called the object 
of the verb. The object of a verb is the noun or the pronoun 
that answers the question What? or Whom? Thus, 

The boy obeyed his father. The boy obeyed whom? His father. 

The dog ate the meat. The dog ate what? The tneat. 

The boy ate his dinner. 

William sawed the wood. 

Did you see the elephant? 

We met him by the schoolhouse. 

He whom they trusted has deceived them. 

In the last sentence the pronoun whom precedes the verb 


trusted, of which it is the direct object. The usual place of 
the direct object is after the verb, but the position is some- 
times reversed. 

Her they loved but him they hated = They loved her but they 
hated hitn. 

3. As the Object of a Preposition, 

We rowed across the lake. 

The babe is asleep in the arms ot its mother. 

Can you throw the ball over the steeple? 

The preposition is often understood; as, 

The teacher gave John a book = The teacher gave a book to John. 
Mary's father bought her a kitten = Mary's father bought a kitten 
for her. 

A noun or a pronoun used as the object of a preposition 
generally follows it, but sometimes in poetry it precedes. 

The rattling crags among, leaps the live thunder. 

The prose order of this sentence would be, 
The live thunder leaps among the rattling crajs^s. 

4. As Fcutitive Object, — After certain verbs, a noun may be 
used as a complement of the direct object; that is, to com- 
plete the direct object. Verbs that in this way take two 
objects are such as mean to make, to name, to choose, to call, 
to think, to cotisider, and some others. The following are 
examples of this construction: 

Washington called Lafayette his friend. 

Pharaoh made Joseph governor of Egypt. 

The people elected McKinley President. 

The boys nicknamed him Tom. 

The President appointed Grant general of the army. 

They deemed him a coward but they found /r/w a hero. 

Every one thinks war a dire calamity. 

In these sentences, the factitive object is in small capitals 
and the direct object in Italics. 

The word factitive comes from the Latin word facere, mean- 
ing **to make.** The term implies that the necessity for 
using a second object is made or caused by the verb; that is, 


the meaning expressed by the verb is completed by the 
factitive object. 

Some authorities regard this use of a noun as a mere case 
of apposition with the direct object. It differs, however, 
from an ordinary appositive in that it is not an independent 
element, although, like an appositive, it stands near the 
word it explains, and it denotes the same person or thing. 
An ordinary appositive with its modifiers may be omitted 
without destroying the complete sense of the sentence, but 
the factitive object must usually be expressed or the sentence 
becomes meaningless. 

Grant, the silent soldier^ became President. 

Omitting the appositive we still have complete sense: 

Grant became President. 

The French called Napoleon the little corporal. 

If the factitive object with its modifiers is omitted, there 
remains only, The French called Napoleon — an expression that 
means nothing. The factitive object is therefore not a true 

5. As a Modifier Denoting Possession or Origin, 

the boy's shoes, our horses, the world's productions, the sun's heat 

The first two modifying words boy's and our denote posses- 
sion; the last two indicate the source or origin of the things 
denoted hy productions and heat. Unlike words in apposition, 
a possessive modifier denotes something different from the 
meaning of the word that is modified. 

6. As the Equivalent of an Adverbial Phrase, 

He is six feet tall = He is tall by six feet. 

The meat weighed five pounds = The meat weighed to the extent 
of fiv^ pounds. 

The book is worth a dollar. 

The enclosure is a mile long. 

He studied his lesson a whole hour. 

Here the adjective tall is modified by feet used as an 
adverb; and the verb weighed is modified in a similar manner 
by pounds^ used as the equivalent of an adverbial phrase. 


A noun so used is merely the remnant of a prepositional 
phrase used as an adverbial modifier; it usually denotes 
measure of some kind — quantity, height^ distance^ time, 
value, etc. 

7. As the Equivalent of an Adjective. 

My soldier cousin is taller than your sailor lover. 
The labor leader and the merchant tailor live on the same village 

In these sentences the nouns in Italics have the value of 
adjective modifiers. Nouns used in this way often become 
permanently joined to the nouns they modify, forming solid 
or hyphenated compounds; as, steamboat, railroads sky-rocket ^ 

The foregoing are the principal uses of nouns and pronouns. 
It is important that the student should learn to recognize them 
quickly and with certainty. This subject will be resumed 
later in connection with the Cases of Nouns. 


Tell in which of the foregoing ways each noun printed in Italics in 
the following sentences is used: 

(a) She was the pet of her class in school. 

(b) Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again. I hold to you 
the hands that once I held to show they still are free. 

(c) Had I but served my God with half the zeal 
I served my king, he would not in mine age 
Have left me naked to mine enetnies. 

{d) Of earthly goods, the best is a good wife; a bad, the bitterest 
curse of human life. 

(e) Loud wind, strong wind, sweeping o*er the mountains, pour 
forth from airy fountains, drafts of life for me. 

(f) Experience and reason show that affairs confided to many 
persons rarely succeed. 

(;?•) They carried us five miles, and for the service we paid fifty 

(A) Time, you thief, who love to get sweets into your list, put that in. 

(/) Wealth; that is a burden carried by human donkeys; it is gener- 
ally supposed to be of great value. 

(j) There are two worlds; the world that we can measure with 
line and rule, and the world that we feel with our hearts and 



2. Functions of the Adjective. — As we have seen, the 
adjective is a word used to modify the meaning of a noun or 
a pronoun; that is, to measure, restrict, or narrow its applica- 
tion. In doing: this work, the adjective has the following 
varieties of position and use: 

1. The Adjective May Be Used Attributively, — In this use 
the adjective precedes the word it modifies and is a mere 
adjunct or epithet. 

Cf7£w/ weather; blue-eyed ^x\\ several persons; wise, earnest, thought- 
ful citizens 

The word attribute means ** ascribed to.'* To say thab a 
word is used as an attribute means that the quality it denotes 
belongs to the person or thing named by the modified word. 
Thus, in the expression honest boy, the word honest denotes 
that the quality or attribute honesty is possessed by the per- 
son denoted by the word boy. 

Several attributive adjectives may modify the same noun 
or pronoun, and some of them may be compound. 

Long-winded, tedious, ratnbling speaker; left-handed penman 

2. The Adjective May Be Used Appositively, — Adjectives 
may be used in a way similar to nouns in apposition. They 
are then said to be used appositively. 

A lady, graceful, beautiful, and ivinning conducted the party. 
Young, chartning, and talented, the girl was a general favorite. 
We saw him busy, contented, hopeful. 

In these examples, the adjectives are said to be used 
appositively because they are joined to the nouns or pro- 
nouns in much the same way that an appositive noun is 
joined to the word it explains. 

3. The Adjective May Be Used as the Complement of the 

The merchant was honest, shrewd, and successful. 
Great is Diana of the Ephesians. 
I am sorry that you have been so ill. 


This use of the adjective is common after the various 
forms of the verb be (am, is, was, has been, will be, etc.). 
So used, it expresses a state or condition of the person or 
thing named by the subject. 

4- The Adjective May Be Used as a Noun, 

The flood are said to die young. 
The gay will laugh when thou art gone. 

The beautiful is not always the best^ neither is the ugly or defortned 
the worst. 

Some understood word may usually be supplied after adjec- 
tives used as above; for example, persons after good and gay^ 
and thhij^ or object after the adjectives in the other sentence. 

5. The Adjective May Be Used Factitively, 

They made her happy. 
The lightning struck him dead. 
The teacher considers John truthful. 
The Athenians thought Socrates ivise. 
The evidence proved him innocent. 

<< 1 • It tti 

The word factitive means doing'* or bringing about." 
In this construction, the action expressed by the verb has an 
effect on the person or thing named by the direct object, and 
this effect is denoted by the adjective. It is a use of the 
adjective similar to that of the noun as factitive object. 

3. Functions of tlie Adverb. — The usual function of 
the adverb is to modify or restrict the meaning of the follow- 
ing sentential elements: 

1 . Verbs, 

Walk slowly. 

Softly and tenderly he spoke her name. 

In the first sentence the adverb slowly tells the manner in 
which the walking is to be performed. It is therefore said 
to modify the meaning of the verb walk. In the second 
sentence there are two adverbs, softly and tetiderly, and they 
both modify the verb spoke, 

2. Adjectives, 

I have been seriously ill. 

He showed us his extremely beautiful captive. 


Here, seriously modifies the adjective ///, and extremely 
modifies the adjective beautiful. These modifiers are adverbs, 
because they modify adjectives. 

Even when an adjective is used as a noun, it may be mod- 
ified by an adverb. 

There is not so much difference as is generally supposed 
between the exceedingly good and the extremely bad. 

3. Other Adverbs, 

They came very early, and stayed so long, that quite gladly we saw 
them depart. 

Here the adverbs very, so, and quite are modifiers, respect- 
ively, of the adverbs early, lojig, and gladly. It will be seen, 
therefore, that any modifier of a verb, an adjective, or an 
adverb must be an adverb. 

The forms and the usual functions of the other word ele- 
ments of sentences have already been explained. 


1. Pick out the adjectives in the following sentences and tell what 
each adjective modifies; ' 

(fl) She is pretty to walk with, and witty to talk with, and pleasant 
to think about. 

(b) These things we know are neither rich nor rare. 

(c) *Tis sweet to find that where'er we rove, we are sure to find 
something blissful and dear. 

{d) Young men are fitter to invent than to judge; for new projects 
than for settled business. 

(/•) A lucky man is as rare as a white crow. 

(/") Be not a generous man to yourself and a parsimonious man to 
your friends. 

2. Mention the adverbs in the following sentences and tell what 
each adverb modifies: 

(a) Too much of anything is nearly always bad. 

(b) You should never permit yourself to speak ill of the absent, 
(r) Money that is easily obtained is usually very soon squandered. 
{d) Sweetly but sadly the bell was tolling in the distance. 

(e) Nothing is said nowadays that has not often l)een said before. 
(/)^ The more virtuous a man is, the less easily does he suspect 
that others are vicious. 




4, Phrases With Respect to Use.— In sentences we 
very often find groups of two or more words that seem to 
belong together, very much as if they were parts of a com- 
pound word. They consist of several closely related ideas 
expressing a compound idea, and this does the duty of 
a single word in the sentence where it occurs. This duty or 
function is to modify like an adjective or an adverb, or to 
name some object or some action in the way that nouns do. 
Although the uses of prepositional phrases as adjectives and 
adverbs have already been touched on, the importance of 
the general subject of phrases is so great as to require fur- 
ther consideration. 

There are two special marks by which a group of words 
may be known to form a phrase: 

1. It must do the work that is usually done by one word. 

He was busy in his oflfice during the whole day. 
Reading good books is a profitable method of passing the time. 
To have visited Paris seemed to the speaker a reason for boasting. 
Seeing the multitude, he went up into a mountain. 

The nine phrases in these sentences are used exactly as if 
each were a single word. Two of them, readijig good books 
and to have visited Paris, are iiowi phrases because each is the 
subject of the sentence in which it occurs. Both phrases in 
the first sentence are adverbial phrases, being modifiers of the 
adjective busy, hi his office tells where he was busy and 
during the zvhole day tells how lojtg he was busy. Other 
adverbial phrases are to the speaker, which modifies the verb 
seemed, and into a mountain, which modifies the verb went. 
The adjective phrases are of passing time, modifying the noun 
method; for boasting, modifying the noun reason; and seeing 
the multitude^ modifying the pronoun he, 

2. It must not contain a verb that predicates; that is, a 
verb that actually asserts, denies, etc. 


In the sentences above, the expressions readings passings 
to have visited^ boastings and seeing are verbals^ since they are 
derived from verbs; but they are not in a full sense verbs. 
It is impossible with them alone to make a statement or ask 
a question. Predication by verbals is only assumed or taken 
for granted — not actually made. This will be more fully 
explained in another place. 

Definition. — A phrase is a group of words used as a single 
part of speech^ but containing no word of real predication, 

5. Plirases Witli Respect to Form. — We have seen 
that when phrases are considered with respect to the work 
they do in sentences, they are of three kinds: nouny adjective, 
and adverbial phrases. When they are examined with regard 
to their form or structure, the three kinds of phrases men- 
tioned above can be reduced to two general classes: 

1. Prepositional Phrases. — Such as begin with a prepo- 
sition. The following are examples: 

in the morning, by the seashore, above the falls, against the evidence, 
according to the best dictionary, in spite of good counsel 

Prepositional phrases may contain verbals: 

for being present, of passing counterfeit money, in having disobeyed 
the teacher, against wasting words 

2. • Verbal Phrases. — Such, as are introduced by a verbal. 
The following sentences have verbal phrases in Italics: 

Fearing a riot, the mayor called out the police. 
Having been elected President, he promptly took the prescribed oath 
of office. 

He was reported to have resigned his position. 

Verbal phrases are of two kinds: participial and iyifinitive. 
The verbal phrases in the first two sentences above are parti- 
cipial phrases; the phrase in the third sentence is an infinitive 
phrase. The meaning of these names will be explained later. 

Infinitive phrases begin with the preposition to. The 
following are some examples: 

to study his lesson, to have written a letter, to be loved, to have 
been seen, to be walking, to have been walking 


The student should notice the diflference between the 
infinitive phrase and the prepositional phrase consisting of to 
followed by an object noun or pronoun. Some examples 

to a good boy, to the city, to church, to them 


1. Construct sentences in which shall occur the following phrases: 
during the rain, upon the hill, over the sea, according to law, by an 
honorable life, through a dark wood, of the people, beside his sister, 
behind the wagon, across a wide river. 

2. Separate the following compound phrases into the simple 
phrases of which they are composed: at the bottom of the sea, with 
his sister by his side, in a boat on the river, during a trip through 
Europe in vacation, earning money by the hardest kind of labor, 
observing the time by the clock in the steeple of the old church 
on the hill. 

3. Use the following phrases in sentences, and decide what is the 
function of each; that is, tell which you use as nouns, which as adjec- 
tives, and which as adverbs: to study, to be answered, to have been 
chosen, seeing a procession, eating an apple, to write a letter, to earn 
his living, having built a home, having been sick. 

4. Write sentences and use in them the following words each of 
which is modified by a phrase: loaf, kind, caught, fun, black, skate, 
run, river. 

5. Use each of the following as the first part of a phrase: against, 
between, without, upon, pushing, having reached, in reply to, with 
regard to, down, to earn. 

6. Pick out the noun, the adjective, and the adverbial phrases in 
the following sentences: 

(a) Years steal fire from the eyes as vigor from the limbs. 

(b) Know when to speak; for many times it brings 
Danger to give the best advice to kings. 

{c) . But I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs, 
And the thoughts of men are widened by the process of the suns. 

(d) He drew his bridle in the shade 

Of the apple trees, to greet the maid. 

And ask a draft from the spring that -flowed 

Through the meadow, across the road. 

(e) If wisdom's ways you wisely seek. 

Five things observe with care: 
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak, 
And how, and when, and where. 


(/) You must get int6 the habit of lookinjjj intensely at words, and 
of assuring yourself of their meaning syllable by syllable — nay, letter 
by letter. 

(j^) Being entirely right and adhering to your opinion in spite of 
all temptation to do otherwise, will be found more difficult than being 
a hero in battle. 



6. How Sentences Become Clauses. — Two or more 
sentences may be made into one by means of conjunctions. 
After the union of these elements, they are no longer 
sentences, but clauses of a sentence. Thus, take the two 

The earth is round. 

Men can sail around the earth. 

These two sentences may be united into one sentence by 
using as a conjunction any one of the following and making 
some slight changes in the wording: and, if, so, then, because, 

for, since, inasmiich as, seeing that, etc. 


The earth is round, for men can sail around it. 

Here we have a sentence consisting of two clauses con- 
nected by the conjunction for, each clause having a subject 
and a predicate. 

When separate sentences are united, slight changes are 
usually necessary. This happens in such cases as the 

1. When subjects in two or more of the sentences denote 
the same person or thing. 

The sun rises in the east. The girls stayed at home. 

The sun moves across the sky The girls did the housework. 

The sun sets in the west. The boys went to the picnic. 

The sun rises in the east, moves across the sky, and sets in the 

The girls stayed at home and did the housework, but the boys went 
to the picnic. 


Here we still have three statements, in which the omitted 
subjects are clearly implied. 
2. When two or more of the predicates are alike. 

Spring returned once more. The day is dreary. 

The birds returned once more. The world is dreary. 
The flowers returned once more. My life is dreary. 
Spring and the birds and the flowers returned once more. 
The day and the world and my life are dreary. 

In such cases the predicate usually appears but once in the 
final sentence, making a structure without clauses. It being 
impossible to say anything completely without using a predi- 
cate, this element is the most important part of a sentence. 
A sentence is considered to have only as many clauses as it 
has different predicates; for, if it be rightly constructed, the 
subjects that are not expressed are plainly implied. More- 
over, the imperative regularly omits the subject, but the 
predicate cannot be omitted without destroying the sentence. 

Definition. — A clause is otie of the Predicating parts of a 
sentence that has two or more such parts or elemefits. 

7. Varieties of Clause Connectives. — Besides being 
joified by regular conjunctions, clauses may be united by 
adverbs and by certain pronouns. An adverb used for this 
purpose is called a conjunctive adverb^ and a pronoun so 
employed becomes a relative br conjunctive pronoun. 

Adverbs that are much used as connectives are wheny 
where, while^ why, how, as, since, and many others. The 
following are some examples: 

He left for the city when the clock struck ten. 

They buried him on the field where he had fought so well. 

One half the world does not know how the other half lives. 

No one has been here since you went away. 

It was easy to understand why he left so suddenly. 

Conjunctive adverbs may be distinguished from regular 
conjunctions by the fact that they connect and at the same 
time denote place, time, or mariner, while conjunctions con- 
nect and nothing more. The following will illustrate: 


{I shall leave tomorrow if the day is fine. 
You will succeed provided you are faithful . 
You may go unless you prefer to stay. 
. fl shall leave tomorrow after I have dined. 

^dv^bs\ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ y^" ^®'*® sitting. 
I You should have done as you were told. 

The pronouns who^ which ^ what^ whose ^ whom^ and that are 
frequently used as connectives. 

Can you tell me who solved this example? 
I cannot imagine whom you mean. 
Do you know whose horse ran away? 
Yonder stands the house that my father built. 
Who committed the crime was not known. 

When pronouns are used as connectives they always per- 
form some other work in the sentence. Thus, who in the 
first sentence connects, and besides, is the subject of the 
second clause. In the next sentence whom is the direct 
object of the verb mean — You mean whom. The pronotm 
whose is a modifier of horse^ denoting possession or owner- 
ship; that is the object of the verb built — My father built 
that; in the last sentence, who is the subject of the verb 
committed^ and at the same time it introduces the sentence. 
Sentences consisting of clauses connected by conjunctive 
adverbs may often have their clauses inverted so as to place 
the connective at the beginning. In this position the con- 
junctive adverb has the same connective effect that it has 
when in the body of the sentence. 

When the clock struck ten he left for the city. 
Since you went away no one has been here. 


Decide what clauses compose the following sentences, and mention 
the connectives: 

(a) The days were warm, but the nights were very cold. 

(^) Be very quiet and listen attentively to the teacher's explanations. 

(c) The wild geese fly north when the days become warm in the 

{d) The Cossack prince rubbed down his horse and made for him 
a bed of leaves. 



{e) The man was thoroughly honest although he was very poor 

(/) Spend the days of youth wisely, or you may in age regret your 

(^) The Tartar's horse looked as if the speed of thought were in 
his limbs. 

(A) I had heard that voice l)efore though I could not have told where. 

(i) Byron died in Greece when he was only thirty-six years old. 

(j) Sir Isaac Newton proved that the path of every planet must be 
an ellipse. 


8. Dependent clauses do a work in sentences exactly like 
that done by phrases; that is, they are used as nouns, adjec- 
tives, or adverbs. 

1. A Clause May Be Used as a Noun, — When used as a 
noun a clause may be: 

{a) The subject of a sentence. 

What became of Henry Hudson was never ascertaiKed. 

After the horse has been stolen is not the time for locking the stable. 

That the prisoner was j^uiily appeared very doubtful. 

The clauses in Italics are the subjects, respectively, of the 

verbs in small capitals. 

(h) The predicate noun. 

The place to study music is where nothinf^ but tnusic is taught. 
The critical moment for Caesar was when he crossed the J^ubicon. 

In the first sentence, the clause beginning with where 
denotes the same thing as place; that is, it is the predicate 
noun. The same is true of the italicized clause in the next 

(^) The object of a verb. 

Do you know when the train leaves for Boston? 
He did exactly what he was told. 

Here the verbs have as direct objects the clauses in Italics. 
{d) The object of a preposition. 

The child wondered about why the sky is so blue. 
He spoke of what causes the tides. 

Why the sky is so blue is the object of the preposition about ^ 
and what causes the tides is the object of the preposition of. 


(e) In apposition with a noun or a pronoun. 
The FACT, wAo had done the damage, was soon known. 

The clause in Italics is in apposition with the noun in 
small capitals; that is, the clause explains what is meant by 
the noun fact. 

2. A Clause May Be Used as an Adjective, 

The island that we discovered was inhabited by savages. 

The spot where John Brown* s body rests is in the Adirondacks. 

The clause, that we discovered is an adjective modifier of 
the noim island^ and the clause, where John Brown's body rests 
modifies the noun spot, 

3. A Clause May Be Used as an Adverb, 

They buried him where he fell. 

Busy when he called, I could not see him. 

Exactly when the clock struck, our train started. 

The first dependent clause modifies the meaning of the 
v^xh buried; the second, that of the adjective ^wjy/ the third 
modifies the meaning of started. 


Of the italicized clauses in the following sentences, state in which of 
the classes illustrated in the preceding article each clause belongs. 
Mention the connectives and tell to what parts of speech they belong. 

(a) Peggotty diedyW/ as the tide went out. 

{b) The steamer reached her destination before she was expected. 

(c) The government that has been established in f^yrto Rico is the 
best that has ever existed in that island, 

(d) His firm belief was that all men are created equal. 
(^) Have you ever ascertained why the sky is bluef 

(0 The land where oranges flourish must be a sunny land. 
(g) It is an ill wind that blows no man good, . 
(h) He that is convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still, 
(t) Time was when the little toy dog was new, , 
And the soldier was passing fair; 
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue^ 
Kissed them and put them there. 
(/) He knew whose gentle hand was at the latch, before the door 
was opened. 




9. With respect to rank, there are two relations in which 
clauses may stand to one another. 

1 . Clauses May Be of Equal Rank, — When two or more 
sentences are united into one, the relation of the clauses in 
the resulting sentence is entirely dependent on the kind of 
conjunction or other connective word used. If such words 
as and^ or^ but, also^ moreover^ yet, still, and others of the class 
called C0ordtnatm£ conjunctions are used, the resulting sentence 
will consist of clauses equal in rank — each clause being of just 
as much importance as any other. Clauses connected by con- 
junctions of this kind are coordinate clauses. 

He finished his work and then he received his pay. 

The moon is not very distant, but we shall never succeed in reach- 
ing it. 

Helen Keller is deaf and blind; yet she has become a fine English 

2. Clauses May Be of Unequal Rank, — Clauses may be so 
joined in a sentence as to have unequal importance as sen- 
tential elements. For example, a clause may be nothing 
more than a noun in the function it fills, or it may be a mere 
modifier, doing the work of an adjective or an adverb. 

Noun Clause: He told me how I should enter a room. 
Adjective Clause: The castle that we now own was built during 
the period when Queen Elizabeth ruled England, 

Adverbial Clause: Do not strike until the iron is hot. 

In the first sentence, the clause is the object of the verb told, 
just as secret would be in the sentence. He told nte a secret. In 
the next sentence, the first clause modifies the noun castle, and 
the second, the noun period. These are therefore adjective 
clauses. In the last sentence, the verb do strike is modified 
by until the iron is hot, an adverbial clause denoting time. 

Clauses so used may often be omitted without destroying 
the main sense of the sentence, for they usually serve only 
to add some circumstance or explanation to the meaning of 
a more important element. Such are called subordinate, 
dependent, or secondary clauses, because of their inferior 




importance as sentential elements. The clause that expresses 
the main thoug^ht and has attached to it one or more helping 
or subordinate clause elements has been called by various 
names; as, principal^ leadings primary^ or independent clause. 
Subordinate clauses may be of equal rank, but in order to 
be so they must be connected by coordinating conjunctions. 

After the sun has set and the moon has risen, we shall take our 


10. The words used to unite independjent with dependent 
clauses are of the three kinds mentioned in Art. 7; conjunc- 
tions, conjunctive adverbs, and relative or conjunctive 
pronouns. Some examples of these connectives are the 

1. Subordinating conjunctions; as, z/, unless^ except^ pro- 
vided^ lest^ because, whether, etc. 

2. Conjunctive adverbs; as, when, while, why, where^ 
whither, whence, after^ before, as, how, since, etc. 

3. Relative or conjunctive pronouns; as, who, whose, whom^ 
which y that^ what^ whoever, etc. 


We shall depart for practice 

1. By using suitable subordinating conjunctions or conjunctive 
adverbs, unite the following so as to form ten sentences, each con- 
taining an independent clause and one or more adverbial dependent 

'the sun rises 
the day is fine 
we are not welcome 
our money is all gone 
the game has been killed 

2. Make sentences of the following, and let each contain three or 
more clauses; state also the office of each dependent clause: 

whose word had been doubted 
that the officer arrested 
that smiled so pleasantly 
that caught the burglar 
that we met yesterday 

3. Mention the independent and the dependent clauses in the fol- 
lowing sentences, and describe fully the function of each dependent 

The traveler^ 

was allowed 
to proceed. 


(a) I concluded from what he said that he had never been to Europe. 

(d) When we were sailing up the Hudson we noticed the Palisades. 

(c) Tell me what kind of company you keep and I will tell you how 
much you value a pure life and a good name. 

{d) Work while the day endures, for a night is coming when no 
man can work. 

{e) *'What Will He Do With It?" is the title of one of Bulwer's 

(/) She sang a song that was called *'Comin* Thro' the Rye.** 

^) Pleasure, with a winning smile, said, *'Come with me and 1 
will make thee happy.** 

(h) He was glad when he noticed how the fish kept their heads up 

(0 Very soon the young philosopher finds that things which roll 
so easily are very apt to roll into the wrong comer and get out 
of his way when he most wants them. 



!!• Twofold Classification of Sentences. — We have 
seen that sentences considered with regjard to the use that 
is made of them are divided into three classes. If used to 
make statements, they are declarative: if they express a 
question, they are inter roj^ative; if used in commanding, 
entreating, or wishing, they are imperative. We have .seen 
too that any one of these three classes may become exrlam- 
atory. Various combinations of two or more of these uses 
may occur in one sentence, as is shown in {c) above. 

We come now to consider another and very important 
classification — one that has no regard to the use that sen- 
tences serve, but is based on their form or structure. 

12, The Simplest Sentential Strnetiire. — The sim- 
plest possible structure that a sentence can have is the 
form composed of two words: one the subject, the other 
the predicate. 

Birds fly. Water flows. Perseverance succeeds. Who caibe? They 




In the imperative sentence, the subject is generally omitted, 
but if it were not clearly implied there could be no thought 
expressed, and therefore no sentence. 

( You) Come. ( TAou) Behold, or Behold thou. ( Ve) Go, or Go ye. 

I>efliiitlon. — A simple sentence ts a sentertce composed 
of one subject^ expressed or clearly implied^ and one predicate, 

13« Otlier Ulemeuts in a Simple Sentence. — The 

simple sentence without modifiers is not often met with in 
actual use; some other elements are usually added to the 
subject, or to the predicate, or to both. These elements may 
be words or phrases, but not clauses. When clauses enter, 
the sentence is no longer simple. 

Subject Modifibrs Prbdicatb Modifiers 
raany rcontiDually 

beautiful in the tropical forests 

of varied colors from tree to tree 

of sweetest song I of Central Africa 

In the tropical forests of Central Africa many t>eautiful birds of 
varied colors and sweetest song fly from tree to tree continually. 

Subject Modifiers Predicate Modifiers Object Modifiers 


from the city 


with care, 
always, before 
school time, 
in the morning 


for that 

In the morning before school time that thoughtful student from the 
city always learned with care his hardest lessons for that day. 

When a sentence contains many modifiers, especially if 
some of them are phrases, the arrangement and punctuation 
of its various parts require both care and taste. 


1 . Using such connectives as are required , fit the following modifiers 
to the principal parts so as to form simple sentences. Endeavor to 
get the best possible arrangement and punctuation. 

our ring, promptly, 

i \ ^^ 1 (pretty, a. with blue eyes,l [to 

(a) Girl{ f.,^, ^ , ' \ came \ . 

' ihttle, very, charming J I in 

!of our country, 
many, wild, 

{playing in captivity, hy 
the river, on pleasant 




, . . f for children, thel . f wh 

(c) Lesson<,.^ ,. ' f»s{. 
I difficult, most J I to 

risely, to learn, 
use, bow, time 

(/i\ PI ■ 1 /"°<i®r tb® autumn sky, with its great cities, 
Ithe, with its silver river, before him, broad 

{with an iron constitution', with a friendly voice, 
down, six feet three in his stockings, a kind, 
young man, talkative 
2. By adding word and phrase elements, as in the preceding 
examples, expand the following simple sentences. The expanded sen- 
tence must still be simple. 

{a) The song died. The days passed. The roses faded. The 

time will come. The leaves have fallen. The work has been finished. 

(d) Who discovered? Did Crusoe live? Does his heart beat? 

Should nobody praise? (You) Come. (You) Continue. (You) Be. 

14. Compound Members. — Two or more simple sen- 
tences may often be contracted into one sentence, which is 
itself simple. This is done by joining their like members 
by means of conjunctions. 

John goes to school. 

His sister goes to school 

Is the earth round like a 

Is its moon round like a 

Are all the other planets and 

their moons round like a 



{John and his sister go to 

Are the earth and its moon 
and all the other planets 
and their moons round 
like a ball? 

The foregoing 

are simple sentences with compound 

We gathered walnuts. 
We gathered chestnuts. 
We gathered beechnuts. 


We gathered walnuts, chest- 
nuts, and beechnuts. 

Here we have a simple sentence with a compound object 

Mr. Blaine was an orator. 
Mr. Blaine was a statesman. 
Mr. Blaine was a patriot. 
The boy has been honest. 
The boy has been truthful. 
The boy has been industrious. 


Mr. Blaine was an orator, a 
statesman, and a patriot. 

{The boy has been honest, 
truthful, and industrious. 


In the first of these sentences, the predicate noun is com- 
pound; in the next, the predicate adjective is compoimd. 

Modifying words and phrases, either adjective or adver- 
bial, may be compounded in the same manner as the more 
important members. If a sentence that contains compound 
elements has only one predicating verb, it is* a simple 

The cunning and treacherous znsitor arrested by the guard strongly 
and earnestly insisted upon his innocence. 

That handsome doy and his sister arb alwa3rs polite and respectful 
in their bearing toward others. 

Simple sentences are often very long. There is one con- 
dition necessary in order that a sentence may be simple — it 
must contain J)ut one predicating verb: 



15. A sentence may be composed of two clauses of 
unequal rank, one being the principal or independent clause 
and the other used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. 
A sentence of this kind is called a complex sentence. 

Cotne when you have time. 

IVAo believes that the earth is flat? 

Lucy was the sweetest child that ever brightened a home. 

He quoted the proverb, "Honesty is the best policy." 

**Who are you?" he inquired. 

In these sentences, the principal clauses are in Italic, and 
the subordinate clauses in Roman, type. When you have time 
is an adverbial clause modifier of the verb come; that the 
earth is flat is a noun clause used as the direct object of the 
verb believes; and that ever brightened a home is an adjective 
clause modifier of the noun child. The clause, Honesty is 
the best policy ^ is used as a noun in apposition with the noun 
proverby the meaning of which it explains; in the last sen- 
tence, Who are you f is the object of inquired. 


A sentence may contain several subordinate clauses. In 
such case, if there is only one principal clause, the sentence 

is still complex. 

{when the sun has gone down, 
while the air is damp. 
While youth lasts 

and let us be happy ^ if we can. 

our friends are many, 

In the first sentence. // is dangerous to be abroad is the 
principal or independent clause. This clause standinjj alone 
would make complete sense, but neither of the two on the 
right would do so. They are adjective clauses modifying 
to be abroad^ and are for this reason subordinate. The sen- 
tence is therefore complex. In the second sentence the 
imperative clause in Italics is the principal or independent 
clatise. The subordinate clauses. While youth lasts, (while) 
our frie7ids are manyy and // ive can are mere modifiers. While 
is understood before the second subordinate clause. The 
coordinating conjunction and connects the two dependent 
clauses. While youth lasts and {while) our friends are many. 

Definition. — A complex sentence is a sentefice coTisist- 
ifig of 07ie principal clause and one or more subordinate clauses. 


1. Combine the following groups of simple sentences into complex 
sentences, and underscore the principal clause. Change as few words 
as possible. 

(a) The birds go south. The snow falls. The weather becomes cold. 

Model. — When the weather becomes cold and the snow falls, the 
birds go south . Or^ The birds go south when the weather becomes 

cold and the snow falls. 

The conjunctive adverb when is expressed before the first sub- 
ordinate clause and understood before the second. These two 
subordinate clauses being of equal rank are connected by the coordi- 
nating conjunction and. 

{b) The sky falls. We shall catch sparrows. We are alive at 
that time. 

(r) "Who killed Cock Robin.J»" The school assembled. The 
master inquired. 


(d) He might become a scholar. He was seventeen years old. 
Harry's father sent him to college. 

{e) The foolish man became angry. The goose laid golden eggs. 
He killed the goose. 

2. Write complex sentences as follows, and underscore the subor- 
dinate clauses. 

(a) Two sentences, each of which has an adjective clause. 

Model. — No one ever saw the house that Jack built . 
The exact time when gunpowder was invented is not known. 

(d) Two, each of which has an adverbial clause. 

(c) Two, each of which has two or more clause modifiers. 

(d) Two, each of which has for its subject a noun clause. 

(e) Two, each of which has for its object a noun clause. 

(/) Two, each of which has a noun clause as the predicate noun. 
Or) Two that have noun clauses in apposition. 
(h) Two that have clause objects of prepositions. 



16. If by the use of subordinating: connectives clauses 
be joined in such relation that one of them is more important 
than any of the others, the sentence is, as we have learned, 
complex. But if coordinating connectives be used, the 
clauses thus joined will be of equal rank. If these clauses 
do not stand in an inferior or dependent relation to some 
more important clause, the sentence is coin pound. 

The simplest possible form of the compound sentence 
consists of two imperative clauses of which- the subjects are 

Go and see. Cotm: or /j'o. Call or Tvrite. Sleep and rest. 

Other and longer compound sentences having two clauses 
of equal rank are as follows: 

Sit still and study your lesson. 

Who fnet and repulsed the enemy? 

I neither know nor do I care. 

The farmer plowed the field and sowed it with wheat. 

The farmer pioived and so7ved in the sprinp. 

Dare to do right, dare to be true. 


In the last sentence the conjunction is omitted and its 
place filled by a comma. 

Compound sentences may be lengthened by the addition 
of subordinate clauses: 

The rain was falling when we started, but the sky was clear before 

we reached our destination. 

The good die young is an old saying, but the saying is not true. 
Do not trust him that makes many promises, nor doubt him too 

much that makes few. 

In all the foregoing sentences the independent clauses are 
in Italic, and the subordinate clauses in Roman, type. When 
we started is an adverbial clause modifying the verb was fall- 
ing; before we reached our destination also is an adverbial 
modifier of clear. The good die young is a noun clause, the 
subject of the verb is; that makes many Promises is an adjec- 
tive modifier of him; and that makes few modifies him in 
the last principal clause. 

Definition. — A compound sentence is a sentence com- 
posed of two or more independent clauses, with or without subor- 
dinate clauses. 

Such sentences as the following are by some grammarians 
clashed as simple senterues with compound predicates: 

The winds blew and beat upon that house. 

The children rode, walked, drove, or played in the park every day. 

Mary washed the dishes, polished the silver, and dusted the furniture. 

In this work, however, such sentences are regarded as 
compoimd. The reason for this is that the verb is by far 
the most important element in every sentence. It can never 
be omitted from a simple sentence, but any other element 
may be lacking. The subject of an imperative sentence is 
regularly omitted, while, without a verb, there can be no 
sentence — no expressed thought. A sentence is therefore 
regarded as containing as many clauses as there are in it 
verbs that predicate. 

17. Connectives May Be Understood. — When we 
wish to unite words into a series, it is common to omit 


some of the connectives when they may easily be under- 
stood and supplied. 

Apples, pears, peaches, and other fruits are found in the market. 
Busy, happy, contented, charming, were those children. 

In a similar way, the connectives between clauses are often 
omitted; or, the arrangement of the clauses may be such that 
the connective serves to introduce rather than to connect. 

I promised him I would visit him = I promised him that I would 
visit him. 

Should he come I would go = I would go // he should come. 

While we live let us live = Let us live while we live. 

Where do you think he has gone? Whom do you imagine I saw? 


1. Write the following compound sentences, underscore the verbs 
of the independent clauses, and mention the connectives. 

(a) Sorrow was dead indeed in her, but peace and perfect happi- 
ness were born. 

(b) Once upon a time a good many years ago, there was a traveler, 
and he set out upon a journey. 

(r) When it rained, they remained within doors; but when it was 
fine weather, they wandered all day long in the woods. 

(d) The sky was so blue, the sun was so bright, the water was so 
sparkling, the leaves were so green, the flowers were so lovely, and 
they heard so many singing birds and saw so many butterflies, that 
everything was beautiful. 

(e) He called many times but there was no reply, and when he 
passed out of the wood and saw the peaceful sun going down upon a 
wide purple prospect, he came to an old man sitting upon a fallen tree. 

(/) The whole journey was through a wood, only it had been open 
and green at flrst, like a wood in spring; and now it began to be thick 
and dark, like a wood in summer. 

(g^ I consider the noble savage a prodigious nuisance and an 
enormous superstition; and his calling rum **flrewater'* and me a 
* 'paleface" wholly fail to reconcile me to him. 

(h) The day is done, and the darkness falls from the wings of night 
As a feather is wafted downward from an eagle in his flight. 

2. Tell which of the following sentences are simple, which com- 
plex, and which compound; tell also the kind of clauses, and mention 
^he connectives. 


(a) When I die, put near me something that has loved the light, 
and had the sky above it always. 

(d) In the preface to his collected works, De Quincey has fully 
defined his own position and claim to distinction. 

(^r) While William of Orange lived, he was the guiding star of a 
whole brave nation; and when he died, the little children cried in the 

(d) The place where shining souls have passed imbibes a grace 
beyond mere earth. 

{e) With smoking axle hot with speed, with steeds of fire and steam. 
Wide- waked Today leaves Yesterday behind him like a dream; 
Still, from the hurrying train of Life, fly backward far and fast 
The milestones of the fathers, the. landmarks of the past. 

(/") '*To do the best for yourself is finally to do the best for others," 
said the lecturer on political economy. 

{g) To him who in the love of nature holds communion with her 
visible forms, she speaks a various language. 

{k) Death is the end of life; then why should life all labor be? 



18. The Meauing: of **Analysls." — The word analysis 
means **a taking apart**; it is the opposite of synthesisy **a 
putting together.*' With regard to sentences, analysis is any 
scheme of representing the relations and functions of their 
words, phrases, and clauses. This is usually done by means 
of diagrams, and of these, many systems have been devised 
by different authors. 

19. Dismemberment of Sentences in Analysis. 

The most serious objection that has been urged against 
analysis by diagrams is that nearly all methods of analysis 
so separate the sentential elements that the student is 
unable to put them together again. This objection is obvi- 
ated in the scheme that will now be explained. 

20. Subject and Predicate. — The subject of a sen- 
tence is enclosed in marks of parenthesis (); the predicate 
verb is enclosed in brackets []. When the subject or any 


other element is to be represented as understood, the fact is 
indicated by a caret A . 

(Birds) [fly]. (A) [Make] haste. 

(A) [Tell] A me the truth. A (storm) [is coming]. 

In a complex sentence, the marks of parenthesis and the 
brackets should be heavier in the principal clause than in 
the subordinate clauses. 

The (tree) [must lie] where (it) [fell]. 

(What (he) [thinks] about it) [concerns] me not. 

When the predicate is a verb phrase with intervening 
modifiers, the brackets should be as in the following sentences: 

The (clouds) [will] soon [have rolled] away. 
The (result) [might] easily [have been foreseen] . 

21. Ppo<1 lento Coniplomonts. — That a noun or a pro- 
noun is th? direct object of a verb is indicated by two 
parallel lines below it, =. If this object is a phrase 

or a clause, the parallels are extended to include it. 

(They) [counted] the stars. 

My (sister) [means] to return . 

(He) earnestly [desired] to be thought honest . 

The (boy) [cried] , " The (wolf) fis comingt" ] 

** [Can) the (leopard^ [change] his spots? " ( he) [asked]. 

In the last sentence, the predicate verb asked is preceded 
by a noun clause used as the object of the verb. 

A predicate noun or pronoun is denoted by two parallel 
lines above it, and a predicate adjective by a straight line 
above a wavy line, . . The lines denoting a predi- 
cate adjective may be either above or below the adjective. 

The (stranger) [was] assuredly a gentleman. 
(Cherries) [are] ripe. 

The (roses) [were] in bloom. 

The (battle-ship) [wa.s] about to he tested. 


22. Modifying: Elements. — A modifier is connected by 
an arrow wi£h the element it modifies. 

( ^__ 

(He) [was) a manly, intelligent boy. 

T — T— I t 

Here hey is the predicate noun. 

\ — -^ 

X — * 
My (dog) [is] by no means vidoua 

Vicious is the predicate adjective. 

I ~:e=^ n= _ . 

(liberty), within doe limits, [is] an inherent right of all mea 

i I T \ f 1 

Right is the predicate noun, and denotes the same thing 
as liberty — is only another name for the subject. 

23. Independent Elements and Connectives. — Inde- 
pendent elements are indicated by a wavy line, .%xn..w>.^^, and 
connectives by the plus sign +. If a connective has any 
other function, this fact may be indicated as already explained. 
The following analysis will illustrate these points: 

The king, (he) [can do] no wrong. 


(Jack), the Giant Killer, [performed] some wonderful exploits, 
t ^^^^^^^ t ^= 

-^■^^^ 71 _1 L_ J I 

John, lean] (you) [explain] to me the true cause of the tides? 
t t ""^ ^P= ~«=^-* 

* + V. __xz:— f + 3= 

The (warp) and (woof) of man's life [are! past and future time. 

^ * + 

[Did] (I) not, sir, carefully [explain] to you what (I) [wanted]? 

I T -r t - ^=^ — ' 


In the first sentence, king is independent by pleonasm; in 
the second, Giant Killer is independent by apposition; in the 
third, John is independent by address. 


Besides being a connective, what, in the last sentence, is 
the object of wanted; what I wanted is the object of did 

t —J— ♦ ^ i i 1 

In every deed of mischief^ (he), the Spirit of Malevolence, [had] 

I * I i I I . 1 * I 

a httid to contrive^ a heart to resolve, and a hand to execute. 


24. If the student finds any of the following analyses 
difficult, he should review them frequently. He will see 
their difficulties clear away as he reconsiders them in the 
light of what he learns after first studying them. The abil- 
ity to solve all doubtful questions concerning the functions 
and relations of sentential elements is the best evidence of 
thorough grammatical knowledge. Analysis of sentences, 
therefore, should be persisted in as the best possible prep- 
aration for understanding and writing good English. 

X 1 ^_ 

1. Sydney Smith's (namej (is] a synonym of wit; but (he) [has left] 

' t I t I t 

! IT 

14= 1 

behind him evidences of far higher powers. 

1 1 -f I IL--i I 

2. (Bi^teqiwiieea) [exalteth] a nation, bat (am) [is] a reproach to any people. 

-i= — T \ — ;; 1 

3. Now [fades] the glimmering (landscape) on the sight. 

"T I _ J ni t 

^ _n * 

And all the air a solemn (stillness) fholdsl. 

TTT -L=IIll-J " ' 

Note. — The author's meaning may have been that air holds still- 
ness, or it may have been the reverse, as in the diagram. 



(l) then fletl myself down and\' [swam] acroes the channel 

^ c 

(which) [lay] between the ship and the sands. 

f nz t "iz — J 

I I 


5. (He) [spoke] of Bums : (men) rude and rough 


[Pressed] round to hear the praise of one 

Whose (heart) [was made] of manly, simple stuit 

— ^~~ — * T ■ ' ^ 

. 1 1 -:^=r — 1 

o. Oft when the (wine) in his glass [was] red. 

i \ — ' . — I 

(He; [longed] for the wayside well instead; 

t ■ — ' — 

+ ( ) -H"^ 1 t ^ - — 1 

And ^ [closed] his eyes on his garnished rooms, 

t "1= I 


To dream of meadows and clover blooms. 

t I i 

Instead has of the wine understood after it. This word is in 
reality a prepositional phrase, in stead, written as one word. 
There are many such; as, iiideed, aboard^ astern, toward, etc. 
When so written, they are commonly used as adverbs. 

-f ' ^ — — I 

7. The .(world) [will] little [note] nor [a] (a) long [remember] what (we) [say] here; 

"T= — t t_^rz — t. n=_ t =F= f 

+ + I — —1 

but (it) [can] never [forget] what (they) [did] here. 


The first what is the object of say — we say what; the 
second is the object of did — they did what, InMike manner, 
what we say here is the object of will note and (will) remember y 
and what they did here is the object of can forget, 

8. (She) [retired] within the wails of her capital, 

t I "C t 

(a) [made] every preparation for a v^rous resistance, and (a) [declared], 

♦ = ! , T I 1 I 


th the intrepidity of a heroine, that the last (moment) of her reign 

+ r^ =c 

and of her life, [should be] the same. 

9. The old (manj, as (he) C nods J over the solemn verse of Wordsworth, 

I ,jr— T 

[will recognize] the affinity between the singer and the calm sheet 

t .^= -^^-^ - ^-^ t 

(that) [lay] before him as Qie) [wrote]. 


10. A wandering harper, scorned and poor, 

r~T Tin — ; 

(He) [b^sged] his bread from door to door ; 
t =T= I 

And ItunedJ, to please a peasant's ear, 

tt -TT~ 3= 

— d — I J. X — I 

The harp T a (king) [had loved] to hear. 

3r t — =j—_ 






11. A litde (learning) [is] a dangerous thing; 


(a) [Drink] deep, or w [taste] not the F 


lenan spring. 

=D — 

Deep is usually an adjective, but here it is an adverb. 

12. But (grief) [should be] the instructor of the wise; 



(Sorrow) [is] knowledge : (thej) (who) [know] the roost 

1 ^ ^= 



[Must mourn] the de^>e8t o^er the fatal truth, 




The (Tree) of Knowledge [isj not that of life. 

- r- t \ -n t — I — 


Make detailed diagrams for the following sentences: 

(a) Habit is the memory of the bodily organs. 

(b) Indian summer is caused by the decay or slow combustion of 
the leaves. 

(c) We read of the age of stone, of gold, and of iron; the world is 
now entering the age of electricity. 

(d) I am monarch of all I survey, my right there is none to dispute; 
From the center all round to the sea, I am lord of the fowl 

and the brute. 
{e) If you should talk to him of Jacob's ladder, he would ask how 
many rounds it had. 

(/) A little child will place a shell to his ear and will hear in it the 
roar of the distant ocean. 

{g) It is not linen you are wearing out, but human creatures* lives. 
(A) Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll; 

Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain, 
(f) Upon this hint I spake; 

She loved me for the dangers I had passed, 
And I loved her that she did pity them. 


(J) And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor, 

Shall be lifted nevermore. 
{k) The reward for discharging one duty is the power to perform 

(/) Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; 

I come to bury Csesar, not to praise him. 
The evil that men do lives after them; 
The good is oft interred with their bones. 
(m) Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control, 

These three alone lead life to sovereign power, 
(if) As Ceesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, 
I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him; but as he was ambi- 
tious, I slew him. 

{o) On a lone barren isle, where the wild roaring billows 
Assail the stern rock, and the loud tempests rave, 
The hero lies still, where the dew-dropping willows 
Like fond weeping mourners lean over his grave. 


(PART 3) 



1 • Classes of Nouns. — Any word or expression, whether 
long or short, that is used in speech or writing as the name of 
something, is a noun. Nouns are divided into two great 
classes: (1) common nouns and (2) proper nouns. 


2. Generic, or Class Names. — Most of the nouns in 
our language are class names; that is, names applied in 
common to classes of things, each class being made up of 
objects of the same kind. The word common is derived from 
two words meaning **bound together.*' The things denoted 
by a common noun are united or bound together in one 
group or class by certain likenesses — certain common qual- 
ities. Thus, the word 'boy is not a name given to one 
particular thing and to no other; it is a name of any one of 
a great class composed of millions of objects that are alike 
in certain particulars. These class names are common nouns; 
as, stone y tree^ cloudy day. 

Definition. — A common noun is a noun tised to name a 
class of things, 

3« Varieties of Common Nouns. — Common nouns 
have been variously subdivided, but all of them may be 
included in two great classes: 

For nolict of copyright, see Page immediately following the title Page 



1. Names of Things Sensible. — This class comprises the 
names of things that may be perceived by the senses of 
sig:ht, hearing, etc. Some examples are: 

tree, desk, noise, thunder, sweetness, brightness, odor, weight, 
roughness, music 

2. Names of Things Rational, — This class of nouns 
includes the names of things that cannot be perceived by 
the senses — things that arp merely conceived or thought of 
as existing: 

goodness, truth, fear, hatred, patriotism, ambition, absence, neat- 
ness, thought, candor, loss 

4. Some of the common nouns included in the two 
classes mentioned above have been grouped as follows: 

1. Collective Nouns, — These are sometimes called nouns 
of multitude, because they denote many things united in one 
group. Some examples are: 

army, jury, congress, flock, assembly, tribe, nation, regiment, 
family, drove, covey 

2. Abstract Nouns, — These are words that name qualities, 
conditions, or states considered ai art from the persons or 
things that have the qualities, conditions, or states. Such 
nouns are called abstract, because they name something that 
is drawn away or abstracted from the real things that have 
the quality named. Thus, we may think and talk about 
happiness or bravery or weariness or sorrow without giving 
any thought or attention to the persons or things that are 
happy or brave or weary or sorrowful. Other examples of 
abstract nouns are: 

rudeness, thought, anger, solidity, drowsiness, truth, honesty, 
weight, emptiness 

Many abstract nouns end in ness. For nearly every 
adjective denoting quality there is a corresponding abstract 
noun. The following pairs of words are illustrations, the 
first word of each pair being an adjective, and the second, 
a noun: 


ang^ — anger brief — brevity 

heroic — heroism witty— wit 

beautiful — beauty agile — agility 

true — truth spherical — sphericity 

high — height stupid — stupidity 

3. Verbal Nouns. — Some words derived from verbs are 
called verbal nouns and are used to name actions, just as 
tree and moon name real things. In the following sentences 
the expressions in Italics are verbal nouns: 

Walking is better exercise than riding. 

Seeing is believing. 

His having worked counted in his favor. 

His having been convicted led to his discharge from work. 

Sewings cookings and dressmaking are now taught in some schools. 

Verbal nouns are really abstract nouns, for they name action 
apart from the actor, just as goodness is the name of something 
that may be thought of as separated from things that are good. 

5. other Nouns Regr^rded as Cominon. — A common 
noun has been defined as a name applied to a class of things, 
but there are many nouns that do not name classes and yet 
are usually regarded as common nouns. Such are: 

1. The names of the sciences; as, chemistry^ astronomyy 
physics, mathematics. 

2. The names of diseases; as, cholera, pneumonia, scarlatiyia. 

3. The names of drugs and chemicals; as, quinine, bromine, 

Indeed, there is much confusion among authors in classi- 
fying nouns, but it is a matter of little practical consequence. 
The only really important matter is that the student shall be 
able to know with certainty that a certain word, on account 
of the work it does, is a noun. 


Classify the fifty-one common nouns in the following sentences as 
sensible, rational, collective, abstract, and verbal. 

(a) The pain suflfered in the act of dying is not usually of great 

(^) The swiftness of the blow permitted no dodging or running 


{c) Books are the treasured wealth of the world » the rich inherit- 
ance of generations and nations. 

' {(f) When I think what that land was and what its condition is now, 
a shade of sadness steals over me; my mind reverts from the degrada- 
tion of the present to the glory of the past. 

{e) Reason is the mistress and queen of all things. 

(/) Power acquired by crime was never used for a good purpose. 

(^) Worth makes the man, and want of it, the fellow. 

(A) A small degree of wit accompanied by good sense is better in 
the long run than a great amount of it without judgment. 

{i) The atmosphere of home breathes rest and comfort and its 
chambers seem full of welcomes. 

(j) How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood, 
When fond recollection recalls them to view. 


6. Nearly all the objects that we think and talk about 
belong in some class or other, and when we wish to refer to 
them, their class names are generally definite enough. If 
for any reason it is necessary to specify more particularly a 
thing that belongs to one of these classes, we may do so by 
giving its name and pointing to it, or by joining modifying 
words to its name. Thus, we may say, i/tat large red apple, 
ilie tall MAN with black hair^ the largest city in the world. 
But this is not always satisfactory. We may wish to send a 
letter, money, or other object to some person living and 
moving about among millions of other persons in some great 
distant city. In such cases the class name would be of little 
use, for it is necessary to distinguish the person or other 
object we mean from every other. This can be done better 
than in any other way by using a name given only to that per- 
son or thing; as, Boston, Ohio, Henry Clay, William McKinley, 
Such names are proper nouns; they are so called from the 
Latin word propriiis, meaning **one*s own.'* A proper 
noun is usually set apart for naming one person or thing; 
and if its work is to be done perfectly, the name must be 
used for no other purpose. A common noun distinguishes one 
class from every other class, while a proper noun is intended 
to distinguish one individual or thing from every other. 


In both writing and printing, a proper noun should always 
begin with a capital letter. 

Definition. — A proper nonn is a noun used to mark or 
distinguish some particular person ^ place ^ or thing. 

Each country has a name of its own; so also has each city, 
town, village, and street, as well as most rivers, mountains, 
lakes, etc. 

Germany, Paris, Broadway, Hudson, Ontario 

The names of the months, the days of the week, the 
planets, and the most conspicuous stars are proper nouns. 

June, Monday, Satarn, Sinus, Lyra 

7. Proper Nouns Used as Common Nonns. — A 

noun strictly proper cannot be preceded by a or an, for these 
modifiers imply that the word before which one of them is 
placed names an entire class of things. Thus, a Clay, a 
Lincoln, a Boston, denotes that there is a class of Clays^ of 
Lincolns, and of Bostons, When preceded by a or an, these 
words should be called common nouns. The following sen- 
tences illustrate this usage; and the nouns, although really 
common, retain their capitals: 

A Daniel come to judgement. 

Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest. 

He is a veritable Hercules. 

The sometimes precedes proper nouns used as common 

The Shakespeares have done more good than the Napoleons. 
The Smiths have gone to visit the Browns. 


8. Definition of Inflection. — The word inflection is 
much used in grammar. It comes from two Latin words that 
mean **in** and **a bending"; it implies that something is 
bent or changed from one form or condition into another. 
Thus, we speak of the inflections of the voice, meaning its 


changes from certain tones to others that are higher or lower. 
As used in grammar, inflection signifies those changes in the 
form of a word that come from changes in its use or meaning. 
Generally, but not always, inflections are variations or addi- 
tions at the end of a word. The simplest or most common 
form of a word may be called its inflectional base. 

The followmg will illustrate what is meant by the inflec- 
tion of nouns: 

Unin fleeted: The boy ate. The child ran. The mouse plays. 
The goose flies. 

Inflected: The boy^ ate. The childr^w ran. The mice play. The 
^eese fly. 

The("'?''r'nfur The|2°°^'n wings 

\xmce^s J \%eese^s J ** 

Definition. — Inflection is a change in the form of a word 
made in consequence of some change in its meaning or use, 

9. Tliree Noun Inflections. — Nouns are inflected for 
three purposes: 

1. To Denote Number, — That is, to show whether a noun 
signifies atu of the objects it names, or more than one of them: 

norse, horses; church, churches; ox, ox^/; die, dir^ 

2. To Denote Sex, — Many nouns have one form for males 
and another for females. This, however, is not an inflection, 
for there is no inflectional base. Some examples are: 

man, woman; boy, girl; colt, filly; drake, duck; wizard, witch 

When the distinction of sex is made by a true inflection, 
the inflectional base denotes the male sex and the inflected 
or changed form denotes the female sex. 

Thus, lion^ actor^ count, marquis, negro, are uninflected 
forms, and they name males; the inflected forms, lioness^ 
actress, couittess, marchioness^ 7iegress, denote females. 

3. To Denote Case, — Case is the relation in which a noim 
or any substitute for a noun stands to other words in a 
sentence. While there are several different relations that 


nouns may have in sentences, and therefore several cases, 
there is only one case in the English language that is shown 
by inflection. This is the one that denotes possession; as, 
John's hat. There are several different relations that are 
shown by this case. Among them are origin; as, the sun's 
rays, my father's confidence; attachment or adjunct; as, man's 
duty, the earth's weight. 

10. Another Function of Nouns. — When a noun is 
so used in a sentence as to name or denote the speaker^ the 
person or thing spoken tOy or the person or thing spoken ofy it is 
sometimes said to be inflected for person. This, however, 
is not an inflection at all, for an inflection is a change of form. 
This function of nouns is shown by other words in the sen- 
tence — the context. The noun itself remains unchanged, 
whether it denotes the speaker, the person addressed, or the 
person or thing spoken about in the sentence. Thus, 

Speaking: I, John^ saw it. 
Addressed: John^ come here. 
Spoken of: I met John, 

For convenience, however, it is usual to say that nouns 
have four inflections, the fourth being for person. 

!!• Special Names of Inflections. — Of the eight 
parts of speech, five either really have inflection or are said 
to have it. When some or all of the inflections of any part 
of speech are arranged in an orderly way, the arrangement 
has, for that particular part of speech, a special name. 

1. Nouns and pronouns have declension — they are 

2. Adjectives and adverbs have comparison — they are 

3. Verbs have conJuKAtlon — they are conjugated. 

The remaining parts of speech — prepositions, conjunctions, 
and interjections — are not inflected; they have forms that 
never vary whatever change may occur in the way they are 
used in sentences. They are said to be unlnflected or 


12. Kinds of Inflection. — There are three methods of 
g:rammatical inflection: 

1. By Suffixes. — This is the method most in use in inflect- 
ing English words. 

boy, hoy*s; ox, onen; god, ^o^dess; child, chxX^en 

Inflection by suflfixes often requires some change in the 
inflectional base. 

tiger, iigress\ duke, duchess; calf, calves 

2. By Change Within the Body of the Word. — This variety 
of inflection is much less common than the first, and it occurs 
most frequently among certain verbs. 

run, ran; sing, sang, s»ng 

Of nouns, we have examples in 

man, ni^n; mouse, m/re; tooth, t^^th; foot, ieet 

A combination of the first and second methods is frequent, 
slay, sl^2«/, slain; brother, brethren 

3. By Different Words. 

witch, wizard; boy, girl; he goat, she goat; man servant, maid 
servant; ^m, is, was; I, we 

As has been said, this is not inflection; but, as a matter of 
mere convenience, most grammarians treat it as a real 


13. Definition of Number. — Whether a noun means 
one, or more than one, of the objects it names, is known 
from one or both of two facts: 

1. Its form. 

man, men; house, houses; mouse, mice; goose, geese 

2. Its use. 

The SHBBp is black. The sheep are mine. 
My FISH is a trout. Your fish are salmon. 

Here the form of the verb shows the number of the noim. 


Deflnition. — The nmnber of a word is that form or use 
of it by which it denotes one or more than one. 

Definition* — The singrular number of a word is that form 
or use of it by which it denotes one* 

Definition* — Tlie plural number of a word is that form or 
use of it by which it denotes more than one. 

14. Rules for Forming the Plural of Nouns. — Many 
nouns form their plurals irregularly, but the followinfi: rules 
include most English nouns: 

General Rule. — Most nouns form their plural by adding j 
or es to the singular. 

star, stars; box, boxes; church, churches 

The ear is nearly always a reliable guide in determining 
whether s should be added or whether es is required. The 
following cases should be noted: 

Special Rules, — 1. Nouns ending {a) in 5, sh, Xy Zy ch soft, 
and some ending {b) in o after a consonant, are pluralized 
by adding es; as, masSy masses; lashy lashes; seXy sexes; topaz y 
topazes; larch y larches. 

Some examples of (^) are calico y tornado y torpedo y innuendoy 
viragOy mulattOy stilettOy wOy potatOy mangOy cargOy echOy herOy 
negrOy embargOy buffalOy etc. 

Many words of this kind take only s; as, cantOy juntOy solOy 
guartOy tyrOy octavOy nunciOy embryOy foliOy etc. 

2. Nouns ending in y preceded by a vowel add s to form 
the plural; as, chimney y valley y money y keyy playy joyy viceroy, 
alley y monkey y guy, etc. 

3. Nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant are plural- 
ized by changing y into / and then adding es; as, //y, allyy 
cityy etc. 

4. Some nouns ending in / or fe change the / or fe into Vy 
and then add es to form the plural; as, thief y wife, life, wolfy 
sheaf y beefy loafy calfy halfy leaf. Wharf and staff have in the 
plural wharves or wharf Sy and staves or staffs. Others in / and 
fe add s alone; as, fifey gulfy etc. 


5. Compounds generally pluralize the modified part; as, 
brothers-in-law ^ corner-stoneSy wagoyi-loads^ etc. When the 
elements of the compound are closely associated, the j is put 
at the end; as, graveyards ^ pineapples y forget-me-nots ^ spoonfuls. 

6. Letters, numerals, and arbitrary characters are gener- 
ally pluralized by taking 's; as, 9^Sy A's, +'^, V *s. 

7. The plurals of proper nouns are generally formed 
regularly; as, the Dr. Browns, But we may say, the Messrs. 
Howardy the Doctors King^ the two Miss Joneses^ or the two 
Misses Jones. The names of two or more persons each of 
whom has the same title are pluralized thus: Generals Grant 
and Sherman; the Misses Jones, Smith , and Brown (if unmar- 
ried); Mesdames Jones, Smith, and Brown (if married); Messrs. 
Bray and Martin. 

8. Nouns that have been taken unchanged from other lan- 
guages, usually retain their foreign plurals. The following 
are examples: 

Phenomenon, phenomena; analysis, analyses; stratum, 
strata; genius, genii; focus, foci; cherub, cherubim; beau, 
beaux; index, indices; radix, radices. 

Some words of this class form their plurals as if they were 
English words; as, seraphs, cherubs, focuses, indexes, geniuses^ 
formulas, radixes. 

9. Many nouns, on account of their meaning, have no 
plural. Some of them are darkness, laziness, sloth, honesty^ 
eloquence, pride, meekness, gold, silver, quinine, galvanism. 


1. Use in sentences the plurals of the following words: money, 
dwarf, hero, tomato, gas, roof, checker-board, penny, fish, grouse. 

2. Write five sentences each containing a noun shown by its form 
to be plural. 

3. Write five sentences each containing a noun shown by its use to 
be plural. 

4. Copy the following, then underscore the singulars and doubly 
underscore the plurals: news, wages, politics, means, riches, alms, 
measles, victuals, scales,' dregs, scissors, committee, audience. 

5. Write the plural of handful, knight-templar, rose-tree, mother- 
superior, court-martial. Miss Alexander, postmaster-general, Mrs. 



15. How Words Denote Sex. — The distinction of sex^ 
whether real or imagined in the things denoted by nouns, 
is made, when made at all, in the following ways: 

1. By the form, or by the meaning, of words. 

empress, girl, ruffian, witch, woman 

2. By the use made of other words in the sentence; that 
is, by the context. 

When the sun exerted his power, the fnoon shed her beams in vain. 
The ship spread her white wings and soon faded in the distance. 

This giving of gender to the names of sexless things is 
called personification. 

Animals alone have sex in the usual sense. With the 
exception of the highest classes of these, their sex is not 
generally regarded as of sufficient importance to be noted in 
language. The young of human kind, and even adults, are 
often spoken of in terms that do not show their sex. Thus, 
we say: 

The child had finished its sleep. 

The members of the party enjoyed themselves at the picnic. 

The students were dressed in their holiday clothes. 

16. Sex and Gender. — The student must carefully dis- 
tinguish between sex and gender. The former is a character- 
istic of living beings^ the latter of words. Thus, the word 
man has gender, and the object named by the word man 
has sex. We may therefore speak of the male sex, the 
female sex, the masculine gender, or the feminine gender, 
but not of the masculine sex, the feminine sex, the male 
gender, or the female gender. 

Definition. — The li^ender of a word is that form or use of 
it by which sex is denoted. 

Definition. — The masculine gender is that form or use of 
a word by which the male sex is denoted. 

Definition. — The feminine ^^wflVr is that form or use of 
a word by which the female sex is denoted. 


Definition. — The neuter ^^ender is that form or use of a 
word by which the absence of sex is denoted. 

Definition. — The eoinmon j^endcr is that form or use ol 
a word by which the sex of the thing fiamed is left uncertain. 

The sheep were grazing on the hillside. 

The employees received their pay on Saturday. 

17. Gender by Form or Meaning?. — There are two 
methods by which gender is denoted by the forms of words: 

1. By Gaider Suffixes. — The endings esSy ine, triXy and a 
usually denote that the word is of the feminine gender. 
When these suffixes are added to the masculine form, some 
modification in spelling is usually necessary. 

Masculine: Baron-, actor, master, executor, hero, signor 
Feminine: Baroness, actress, mistress, executrix, heroine, signora 

2. By Gender Prefixes, — By the use of prefixes or separate 
modifiers, such as man^ woman ^ male, female, he, she, expres- 
sions denoting gender are formed. 

Masculine: Man servant, cock robin, he goat, menfolk 
Feminine: Maid servant, hen robin she goat, womenfolk 

By their meaning, without resoect to form, words may 
denote sex. 

Masculine: Man, monk, nephew, husband, wizard, uncle 
Feminine: Woman, nun, niece, wife, witch, aunt 

18. Gender by Use or Context. — There are two prin- 
cipal varieties of this method of denoting gender: 

1. The gender of words is often denoted by other words 
in the sentence; that is, by the context. The following are 
some examples: 

The ^/^^A(7«/ performed his task. 
The robin attacked nnk enemies. 
The govertior married one of his clerks. 

2. Things without sex are often personified; that is, they 
are spoken of as if they were persons. This usage is fre- 
quent in poetry. Objects characterized by energy, strength, 


great size, or violence are represented as masculine; those 
conceived of as tender, refined, weak, beautiful, or gentle 
are treated as feminine. Thus, 

Masculine: The sun, the ocean, winter, a flood, a river during a 
flood, a mountain, anarchy, the various vices, actions characterized by 
rage, energy, or violence, such as murder, war, riot, rapitte 

Feminine: Spring, a ship, a balloon, the moon, many of the more 
delicate and beautiful flowers, such as the lily, violet, rose, etc., cities 
and countries, science, the gentler virtites, nature 

When abstract qualities are personified in exclamations, 
the nouns denoting them may be capitalized. Thus, 

Lay thy soft hand upon my brow and cheek, O p>eaceful Sleep! 

O Liberty! Liberty! how many crimes are committed in thy name! 

19. Omission of Feniiulnc Distinctions. — There is 
an increasing tendency among writers to omit the distinc- 
tions that mark the feminine gender. This is especially the 
case with prefixes and suffixes. Thus, we apply to both 
males and females such words as servafit, doctor, author, 
writer, teacher, artist, pod, clerk, executor, minister, citizen. 

Indeed, the inflection for gender is of very little impor- 
tance in grammar; and, with the lapse of time, it is being 
more and more ignored. As illustrations of the truth of 
this statement, it may be remarked that most grammarians 
reject the common gender, and many, the neuter gender. 

20. Gender of Proper Names. — There are many 
pairs of proper names similar in form for the two sexes: 

Julius, Julia; Charies, Caroline or Charlotte {I.atin, masc. Carolus, 
fern. Carolina); William (German, Wilhelm), Wilhelmina; Henry. 
Henrietta; Francis, Frances; John, Johanna; Joseph, Josephine 


1. Write the feminine forms of the following nouns: abbot, gander, 
Joseph, master, bachelor, marquis, John, count, heir, testator, Paul, 
sir, czar, sultan, horse, king, Augustus, earl, drake, colt, hart, 
Lucius (Luke); buck, ram, shepherd, Louis, monk, friar, widower, 
priest, Cornelius, lad, bridegroom, beau, merman, male, peacock, 
landlord, tiger. 


2. Compose sentences personifying the following words in such 
way as to show gender: Rome, Columbia, ** Maine*' (battle-ship), 
Spain, ocean, Tiber, moon, sun, winter. May, December, and the 
names of the planets Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. 

3. Write sentences in which the following are personified and the 
gender is indicated by the context: sun, mountain, Rhine, New York 
City, England, hope, sleep, fame, death, hate. 

M.oiicl.—Boslon is proud of the achievements of ker gifted sons. 
Let faU do /ter worst; I care not. 


Definition. — Persons in grammar are those relations and 
uses of words by which the speaker, the hearer , and the person or 
thing spoken of are distinguished from one another. 

21. Three Persons of Nouns. — A noun is said to be 
in the first person when it names the speaker. 

I, William McKinley, do hereby appoint etc. 
We, the undersigned, agree to pay etc. 

A noun is said to be in the second person when it names the 
person or thing addressed. 

Thou, God, seest me. 

Ye crags and peaks, I*m with you once again. 

Come, John; let us go. 

A noun is said to be in the third person when it names the 
person or thing spoken of or mentioned. 

The people told the sexton and the sexton tolled the bell, 

22. Person Not a Real Inflection of Nouns. — Some 
authorities assert that nouns have no distinction of person, 
because they undergo no change of form to denote the 
speaker, the hearer, or the person or thing mentioned. They 
would say that in the sentence given above, William McKinley 
mentions his own name — speaks of himself — merely to explain 
who is meant by the pronoun /. 

Nouns in the first and second persons are always used 
independently. A noun in the first person is independent 
by apposition, and a noun in the second person is inde- 
pendent by address. 


23. Person of a Subject Noun. — Strictly a noun used 
as the subject of a verb is in the third person, even though it 
names the speaker or the hearer. For one may speak about 
himself or his hearer as if each were a third party and absent. 

Thus, Brown may say of himself, **If Brown is summoned, 
he will surely go.*' **Is my old friend [addressing him], 
the doctor, still enjoying life?** Here Brown, friend,' and 
doctor are in the third person. 


Tell the person of each italicized word: 

(a) Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet 'tis early mom: 
Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle- 

(b) O, mother, your boy is so sorry; forgive him, and he will never 
vex his dear mother in the same way again. 

(c) We are such stuff 
As dreams are made of, and our little life 

Is rounded with a sleep. 

(d) And I have loved thee, ocean; and vay joy 
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be 
Borne like thy bubbles onward; from a boy 
I wantoned with thy breakers — they to me 
Were a delight; * * * 

{e) Who noble ends by noble means obtains. 

Or, failing, smiles in exile or in chains, 
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed 
Like Socrates, that f9tan is great indeed. 


24. Meaning of the Word Case. — The student has 
already learned that a noun or a pronoun may be related in 
a number of different ways to other words in a sentence — 
that it may fill various uses or functions. For example, a 
noun may be the subject of a sentence, it may be the predicate 
noun, it may be the object of a verb or of a preposition, and 
it may fill other offices. These several uses of nouns and 
pronouns in helping to express thotfght make up the cases 
in grammar. 


Among all the cases of English nouns, there is found only 
one real inflection or change from the ordinary simple form 
of the word — from the inflectional base. This is in the form 
by which ownership, origin, or adjunct is denoted; such as, 
a boy's hat, the girVs story, Rome's greatness. Of the case 
relations of the noun, this is the only one that may be 
known by its form; all other cases must be inferred from the 
way the noun is used — from its relation to other words. 

The word case is from the Latin casus ^ which means **a 
falling.** In that language there were formerly seven cases. 
Of these, there was one case that depended for its form on 
no other. This was the nominative, the form that merely 
names. Since this case form could stand alone, as if erect 
and independent, while the others appeared only in senten- 
tial structure and in dependence on other words, the nomina- 
tive was called the erect or upright C2ise {casus rectus). From 
it the others — the oblique cases — were formed. From this 
notion that the other cases decline (lean away) from the 
nominative, came the word declension, which in grammar 
means an orderly arrangement showing the nominative or 
erect form and the oblique or declined cases. 

In the sense that case is a falling, the nominative is not a 
case at all; but this curious use of the word case has been 
extended in grammar to include all the relational forms and 
uses of nouns and pronouns. 

Definition. — Case in grammar is that form or use of a 
noun or a pronoun by which its relation to other words in a 
sentence is shown, 

25. Number of Cases. — Most grammarians consider 
that English nouns have three cases: the nominative, the 
possessive, and the objective. These include all the functions 
or relations that are filled by nouns and pronouns in English 

26. The Nominative Case. — The word nominative 
means **naming.'* The singular of every noun in the nom- 
inative case is the forrn that is always given in dictionaries 
where the word is to be defined, or where we merely mention 


the word; as, man^ iree^ mountain. From this singular 
nominative, the plural nominative is formed by the rules 
already given. Thus, mai^ trees ^ mountains^ are plural 

But since the objective forms of nouns are exactly like the 
nominative forms, both in the singular and in the plural, 
these cases must be recognized, not by their forms, but by 
their work or function in sentences. 

The most frequent and important use of the noun is in the 
relation of subject to a verb that predicates; that is, those 
verb forms that are called finite — the verb forms that state, 
question, or command. 

[There are certain forms, not finite, called infinitives, par- 
ticiples y and verbal nouns; such are, to see ^ Jo be seen, to have 
seen, havinj^ seen, seeing, etc. These verbals are not used by 
themselves to predicate, but they do duty as adjectives, 
adverbs, and nouns.] 

When a noun stands in a sentence as the subject of a finite 
verb, it is said to be in the nominative case. The nominative 
subject of a verb is the word that answers the question Who? 
or What? 

The boy can swim. Who can swim? The boy. The word boy is, 
then, the subject of the sentence. 

Does the earth rotate? Does what rotate? The earth. 

All the trains will have gone. What will have gone? The trains. 

Dcfiuition. — The noiniuative case is the form or use of 
a word in tlie relation of subject of a finite verb. 

It should be understood that the nominative case, although 
defined above as if employed in only one way, has several 
other uses besides that of standing as the subject of a finite 
verb. These, however, are of much less importance than the 
use as subject. The other uses of nouns in the nominative 
case will be explained later. 

Definition. — The possessive case is tfie form or use of a 
word by which it denotes possession, origin, or adjunct. 

Possession: The girl's book. The book belongs to the girl — is her 


Origin: The sun*s light. The light has its origin in the sun— comes 
from the sun. The poet*s lines. The sailor's story. 

Adjunct: The boy's height. Height is a quality or an adjunct of 
a boy. The earth's size. The river's depth. 

27. Remarks on the Possessive Case. — Besides the 
three relations mentioned above, there are several others 
that are denoted by the possessive case. The possessive 
case being a real inflection, however, there is no difficulty in 
knowing the case by its form. 

The inflected form is used mostly with the names of living 
beings. Thus, we may say, the horse*s owner, but not the 
tree's foliage; the snail's speed, but not the train's speed; 
etc. For inanimate objects, it is better to use the uninflected 
noun with the preposition of: as, the top of the tree, the 
owner of the land, the speed of the train, not the tree^s top, 
the land's owner, the train's speed. 

We very frequently speak of inanimate things as if they 
were real living agencies; in other words, we personify 
them. In such cases the inflected form of the noun is to be 
preferred to the prepositional phrase. 

the torrent's fury, the storm's progress, the fire's hunger 

There is, however, some authority for the use of the pos- 
sessive case with the names of inanimate things. 

In the above expressions a noun in the possessive case 
takes the place of a prepositional phrase; the latter being 
in function an adjective, it is clear that a noun in the possess- 
ive case has the value of an adjective modifier. 

Some nouns ending in s, x, ce, and es, in order to avoid too 
many hissing sounds, take only the apostrophe in the pos- 
sessive singular; as, Moses* laws, .Socrates' death, for Jesus* 
sake, for conscience* sake, Demosthenes* safety, Xerxes* army, 
the Sioux* defense, Bnllions* grammar, the Ganges* side. 

The possessive should be formed in the usual way unless 
the offensive sound is very noticeable. 

Compound nouns add the sign of the possessive to the 
last element; as, the Emperor of Germany's tour, Smith and 
Brown's store. In the case of long compounds, however, it 
is usually better to avoid such possessives. For example, 


by the order of the commander-in-chief should be preferred to 
by the commander-in-chiefs order; and the tour of the Emperor 
of Germany y to the Emperor of Germany* s tour, 

28. The Objective Case. — The objective case is so 
named because its most frequent use is in the relation of the 
object of a verb or a preposition. A noun or a pronoun used 
as the object of a verb names that which receives the action 
performed by some actor. 

The boy struck the dog. 

The policeman arrested the burglar. 

The teacher praised her pupils. 

When a noun or a pronoun is brought by a preposition 
into relation with some other word, the relation begins with 
the one word and ends with the other, very much as action 
begins with an actor and ends with that which receives the 
action. The preposition specifies and directs the relation, 
just as a verb specifies and directs the action. Hence, the 
word in which the relation ends that is specified and directed 
by a preposition, is in the objective case. 

The object of a verb or of a preposition is the word that 
answers the question Whomf or Whatf 

I saw the teacher. I saw whom? The teacher. Teacher is there- 
fore the object of the verb saw. 

Mary crossed the ocean. Mary crossed what? The ocean. 

The boy went with his father. The boy went with whom? His 

He leans against the tree. He leans against what? The tree. 

There are ^ome other uses of nouns and pronouns in which 
they are said to be in the objective case. These will be 
explained later. The foregoing are, however, the most 
frequent uses of the objective case, and are usually referred 
to in the definition of this case. 

Definition. — The objective case is the form or use of a 
word in the relation of object of a verb or of a preposition. 

Object of a Verb: We visited the show. The boy recited a poem. 
Object of a Pref>osition: H« leaned against the fencb. The moon 
looked into his bedchamber. 


29. Declension of Nouns. — The declension of a noun 

is an orderly arrangement of its cases in both the singular 

and the plural number. The declension of the common 

nouns girl and mouse, and that of the proper noun Mary are 

given below. Mary; like all nouns strictly proper, has no 


Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular 

Nmninative: girl girls mouse mice - Mary 

Possessive: girl's girls* mouse's mice's Mary's 

Objective: girl girls mouse mice Mary 


Write expressions containing the possessive case singular of the 
proper nouns, and the same case in both numbers of the common 
nouns in the following list: 

Model. — the horse's strength, the horses' strength; D. Appleton 
& Co.'s publications 

comrade, goose, deer, man servant, Jones the hatter, chitd, calf, 
robin, boy preacher, Cyrus the Great, lady, hero, fish, childwife, 
Claflin & Co., fly, ox, witness, shipmaster, Grant and Lee, woman, 
mouse, brother, woman servant, Jack the Giant Killer, man, mother, 
thief, brother-in-law, John of Anjou, chief, wolf, conscience, aide-de- 
camp, Arnold the traitor 


30. Use of the Noiuliiatlve Case. — The various uses 
that may be made of nouns in expressing thought have 
already been explained* and illustrated. We come now to 
the consideration of the cases assumed by nouns when they 
are employed in particular relations. 

The nominative case has five principal uses or functions 
in sentences. 

1. A noun used as the subject of a finite verb is in the 
nominative case. This function of nouns has already been 

The teacher is sick. 

The horse drew the load. 

The soldier may have been killed. 


2. A noun used as a predicate noun is in the nominative 
case. The predicate noun always denotes the same person 
or thing as the subject. The most frequent use of nouns in 
this way is after some form of the verb be. Some of these 
forms are am^ is, are, was, were, has been, have been, had been, 
will be, etc. 

The diamond is a precious stone. Grant looked a hero. 
That boy will be president, Jones was chosen speaker. 

He seemed a scholar. She walks a queen. 

In these sentences, the same person or thing is denoted 
by each of the following pairs of words: diamond, stone; boy, 
president; he, scholar; Grant, hero; Jo7ies, speaker; she, queen. 
The verb placed between each pair unites them so as to 
form an assertion. 

Diamond is carbon. Grant looked a hero. 

Because is, am, and are so often serve this purpose of 
connecting a subject with a predicate nominative, they are 
called copulas — something that couples, joins, unites. 

3. A noun in apposition with another nominative is itself 
in the nominative case. This function of a noun is very much 
like that of an adjective — it is explanatory and modifying. 

Grant the general ended the war. 
Cicero the orator was a Roman. 

4. A noun may be used independently in the nominative 
case. In this construction, the nominative fills the office for 
which it is named — its nominating or naming function. A 
word so used has no grammatical relation to other words. 
It stands in an independent relation and has no other use 
than merely to name some person or thing. This independ- 
ence is of three varieties: 

(a) By Address, 

And, Saxon t I am Roderick Dhn. 
Study your lessons, children, 

(b) By Exclamation, 

Fire! See the fire! 

O Sleep/ it is a gentle thing, beloved from pole to pole. 


(c) By P/eoTtasm. — Strictly speaking, any noun or pro- 
noun that overfills a construction is pleonastic; for this is 
what the word means. But pleonasm is the mere mention 
of a noun or a pronoun, not in the way of address or 
exclamation, but as suggesting that about which the sentence 
treats more fully. It is a use for the sake of emphasis; the 
pleonastic noun or pronoun is not the subject or object of 
a verb. 

The sea — it is the greatest thing God ever made. 

The boy^ oh, where was he? 

Tears y idle tears ^ I know not what they mean. 

5. A noun used absolutely is in the nominative case. 
This also is a kind of independent construction. It consists 
of a noun or a pronoun used with a verbal to form a phrase 
that is usually the equivalent of a dependent clause. This 
phrase, although it is not a necessary part in the sentential 
structure, generally adds some modifying circumstance. 

Dawn having appeared, we departed = When dawn appeared 
=a At dawn we departed. 

Our destination having been reached, we went ashore. 
Autumn coming on, the nights grew colder. 

31 . Use of the Possessive Case. — The possessive case 
is generally regarded as having but one function in grammar. 
This is to denote possession or some similar relation. Its 
real use is to modify the meaning of a noun or a pronoun; 
for, when we say John's hat, the effect produced on the 
meaning of hat by the word John's is exactly similar to that 
which would be produced if an adjective such as black were 
used with hat, 

32. Use of the Objective Case. — The objective case 
has a variety of uses each of which the student should be 
able to recognize. 

1. A noun is in the objective case when it is the direct 
object of a verb. 

They sang a hymn. 
He wasted his money. 
We saw the moon. 


2. A noun is in the objective case when it is the indirect 
object of a verb. 

They taught the boy arithmetic — that is, to the boy. 
I bought the GIRL a book — (or the girl. 

A noun so used is generally equivalent to a prepositional 
phrase used as a modifier and consisting of a noun or a 
pronoun preceded by to or for. More exactly, the indirect 
object, with to or for understood, forms an adverbial phrase 
modifying the meaning of the verb. It is not an object of 
the verb, but of an understood preposition. 

3. A noun is in the objective case when it is used in 
apposition with another word in the objective case. 

He struck John, his brother. 

We visited New York^ the metropolis of America. 

He killed the fawn, our pet. 

Paul appealed to Rome, the mistress of the world. 

A noun or a pronoun may have an appositive to explain 
or modify its meaning. As is the case with an appositive 
nominative, the explaining word and the word explained 
always denote the same person or thing, and are always in 
the same case. 

4. A noun is in the objective case when it is used as a fac- 
titive object after certain verbs. The following sentences 
illustrate this construction: 

They made him teacher. 

The people elected Washington president. 

The convention appointed the mayor chairman. 

The troops considered their general a coward. 

The parents named their baby RuTrt. 

I think lying a detestable habit. 

The jury deemed the prisoner a criminal. 

The president appointed him postmaster. 

In these sentences, the factitive object (in small capitals) 
denotes the same person as the direct object. 

Factitive and appositive objectives are grammatically 
independent elements, although, logically, they are closely 
related to the direct objects they explain. In diagraming 
they should be indicated by wavy lines drawn above them. 


The following diagrams will show the similarity of this con- 
struction to an ordinary appositive and to a predicate noun: 

Factitive Objective: (Tbe^ [choee] her queen. 

Predicate Noun: 

\ 3= 

(She) [was chosen] queen. 

I 3= 

. (She) [was] queen. 

Appositive Objective: ^He) (showed] his weiyon, a knife . 

t ~T~ IZJ- 

5. Another variety of the objective case is that called the 
adverbial objective. Certain words denoting time, measure, 
weight, distance, value, etc. are used in the objective case to 
modify like adverbs. 

We went hmne and stayed a week. The river is a mile wide. 

He was six feet high. He wanted a farm fifty acres 

The hat is worth a shilling. larger. 

The ship sailed last night. It will be forgotten a hundred 

She weighs one hundred pounds. years hence. 

We waited an hour. 

These adverbial objectives are generally remnants of prep- 
ositional phrases. Thus, the foregoing may be regarded as 
shortened forms of the following: 

We went (to) home and stayed (through or during) a week. 

He was high (by or to the extent of) six feet. 

It cost (to the amount of) a dollar. 

The hat is worth (to the extent of) a shilling. Etc. 

6. A noun used as the object of a preposition is in the 
objective case. As we have seen, prepositions are used with 
nouns and pronouns to form phrases. The noims and 
pronouns in such phrases are in the objective case. 

They live in the country. 

He believed in government of the peoplb, for the people, and by 
the PEOPLE. 

He that is not with me is against mb. 


7. A noun used as the object of a verbal is in the objec- 
tive case. As has already been explained, verbals are 
certain verb forms that cannot by themselves predicate, but 
are used as adjectives or nouns. They preserve their verbal 
character enough to be modified as verbs are, and to take 
objects after them. Such objects are nouns or pronouns in 
the objective case, or expressions used as equivalents of 
nouns or pronouns. 

Seeing the multitude, he went up into a mountain. 

He was engaged in studying his lbsson. 

The man was accused of robbing a bank. 

He was arrested for having stolen some fruit. 

Earning money is hard work; spending money is very easy work. 

Multitude is the object of seeing^ and the whole phrase, 
seeing the multitudcy is a modifier of he. 

8. A noun used as the subject or object of an infinitive is 
in the objective case. Verbals that begin with to are called 
infinitives. Examples of their various forms are: 

to see, to be seeing, to be seen, to have been seen, to have seen, 
to have been seeing 

In these verbals to is called the sig^i of the infinitive. The 
following sentences illustrate this use of the objective case: 

I told HIM to go. 

They persuaded the boy to accompany them. 

We expected the house to be finished before last December. 

It is hard for natives of the tropics to endure a cold climate. 

They sent the boy to cut corn. 

It will be noticed that these subjects of the infinitive are at 
the same time objects of prepositions or of predicating verbs. 


1. State the case of each noun in the following, and tell its use 
or function: 

(a) His father was a hero of the Revolution. 
(^) Pizarro plundered and murdered the Inca of Peru, 
(r) Believing in his innocence, the lawyer defended him. 
(d) O that I were the viewless spirit of a lovely sound. 
V) Gold is by no means the most costly metal. 


(/) The diamond is mere crystallized carbon. ^ 

(g) Her vacation over, she returned at once to resume her work. 

(A) Death, the great leveler, comes to knock at every door. 

(i) *'Time, I have lost it; ah, the treasure*'; and he died. 

(/) He brought his game, a deer, on his back. 

{k) "My home; I never had a home at any time in my life." 

(/) The committee found him dictating letters to his secretary. 

(m) They thought him a hero; they found him a coward. 

(«) To follow the path of duty, to obey the monitor conscience, 
should be the aim of all. 

{o) Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight, 

Make me a child again, just for tonight. 

(p) The cottage contained seven rooms, including a laundry. 

(g) The judge having learned the facts, sent the merchant a sum- 
mons to appear in court. 

2. Construct sentences each containing one of these verbs followed 
by a predicate nominative: was, seemed, appeared, became, was 

3. By using the following as verbs, make sentences containing a 
direct and a factitive object: name, thought, call, choose, consider. 

4. Write a sentence containing a nominative case absolute. 

5. Illustrate by sentences a nominative and an objective appos- 

6. Write two sentences each containing the adverbial objective 

7. Make two sentences, each containing an appositive objective 
and two each containing a factitive objective. 

8. Write sentences containing nouns used as the objects of the 
following infinitives: to write, to have seen, to have known. 


33. Oral Parsinjf. — A noun is parsed orally by stating 
in an orderly way its classification, its inflections, its func- 
tions, and its relations. To illustrate, let it be required to 
parse the nouns in the following sentence: 

The visitor was Richelieu, the minister of France. 

Visitor: it is a noun, common, third, masculine, singular, 
nominative, subject of was, 

Richelieu: it is a noun, proper, third, masculine, singular, 
nominative, predicate noun, agrees in case with visitor, and 
denotes the same person that is indicated by the subject. 




Minister: it is a noun, common, third, masculine, singular, 
nominative, in apposition with RichelieUy the meaning of 
which it explains. 

France: it is a noun, proper, third, neuter, singular, objec- 
tive, object of the preposition of, with which it forms an 
adjective phrase modifying the meaning of minister. 

In oral parsing, the reasons should at first be fully given; 
later, they may be omitted as above; and finally, it is enough 
to give only the most important facts. For example, with 
respect to the nouns parsed above, the pupil may say: 

Visitor: it is a common noun, nominative, subject of was, 

Richelieu: it is a proper noun, the predicate nominative. 

Minister: it is a common noun, nominative, in apposition 
with Richelieu. 

France: it is a proper noun, object of the preposition of. 

34. Written Parsingr* — ^A form for the written parsing 
of nouns is shown below. 

Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony, who, though he 
had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place 
in the commonwealth. 




• ber 








subject of comes 

Mark Antony 





obj. of prep, by 






obj. of verb had 






obj. of prep, in 






obj . of verb shall receive 






obj. of prep, of 






independent by app. 






obj. of prep, in 


Parse the nouns in the following sentences: 

(a) Can you tell me, John, whether there are lions in India? 

{b) Money, the root of all evil, is, however, the power that makes 
success and failure. 

(r) Columbus, fearing a mutiny, promised his men to return to 


(d) There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, 
leads on to fortune. 

(e) The book cost a dollar and was sold for two dollars. 
(/) I had got home to my little tent where I lay all night. 
Ig) They call him king of the coral isle, 

The lord of the tropic seas. 
(h) A man beyond middle age entered, wearing the look of one that 
knew the world and was sure of his own course in it. 

(f ) The woman's cause is man's; they rise or. sink together. 
(j) There stands not by the Ganges' side 

A house where none has ever died. 
(k) A man naturally feels himself superior to him that turns 
somersaults, whether literal or literary. 

(/) The unwearied sun from day to day 

Does his Creator's power display. 
And publishes to every land 
The works of an Almighty hand. 



35. In order that the student may become familiar 
with the various case constructions and with the method 
of representing them by diagrams, some model analyses 
are here given. 

■J 1 ^ I T f I ' = ^^r>Ur» 

I. Oar midnight (visitor) I was I O'Gonnell, the great orator 

t 1 T" * 

aid .efonner. 

JZ — } * ^3k^ 

2. (Lazarus) [sail, a beggar at the gate of Dives, the rich man. 

^ * ♦' T t 1 — t 1 [ — r i 


/*T1 1 ' * — =5 — 

3. (He) |looked| a gentleman from head to foot 

The words de^ar and gentleman in 2 and 3 are, like 
O'Connell in 1, predicate nominatives. 


. . , I \ — I n — \ r" — » 

4. The boy*8 (abeenoe) [causedj ^ his mother, poor ^jn^ much grief. 

In 4, the preposition to or for is understood before his 

&. _II — \ -E — ^ 

The (vesad) fsunk] ^ last night . ten miles iro m shore. 

-[z_i ^ 4 ^ I "^ I ♦ \ 

Night and miles are adverbial objectives modifying sunk. 
The carets indicate the usual place of the preposition in 
adverbial phrases. 

6. Your sister, John; (yon) Iresemblel your sister. 

Sister is in the nominative case by pleotiasm^ and y<c?^« in 
the nominative case by address. 


Analyze the followinp^ sentences by diagram, and parse the nouns: 

(a) Heaven from all creatures hides the book of fate. 

(b) She was thinking then of her former lord, good soul that he was. 

(c) 'The sleek and shining creatures, — we hunt them for the beauty 
of their skin. 

(ct) Wild natures need wise curbs. 

(e) I know the way by which she went home yesterday. 
(/) The storm having passed, the sea became peaceful. 

(g) Are you ray cousin of whose exploits I have so often heard? 
(h) If a mad dog bit your hand, my Lord, would you not chop off 
the bitten member? 

(f ) England; it is the land where might made right eight hundred 
years ago. 

(/) They sang of what is wise and good and graceful. 



Proper /^* ^^^^^^^^^^ Natnes — Henry, Boston 

12. Used as Cofnmon— The Miltons, the Ciceros 

, ^, .r fia) Sensible — Tree, bird 
1. Class NainesK ,.[ r^ ,. . ^ 

I \b) Ratwnal — Rest, condition 

Common \2, Collective — Army, flock, convention 

3. Abstract — Redness, honesty, discordance 

,4. K^rr^a/^ Writing, seeing, hearing 




' Gbndbr 




(1. Masculine — Man, John, stag, Caesar 
2. Feminine — Girl, Dora, filly, Cleopatra 
3. Neuter — Book, Boston, day 
4. Comtnon — Parent, wolf, fish 

«j fl. Singular — Boy, child, Danube 

WUMBER|2 Plural—Boys, children, 6*s 

1. First — I, Johnf am going. 

Person \ 2. Second— Comet James , let us go. 

3. Third— The earth is a planet, 

1. Nominative — John came. The boy is a scholar. 

Case \ 2. Possessive — Mary^s hat. The woman's hope. 

.3. Objective — I saw the clouds from the door. 


(PART 4) 


1. Function of the Adjective. — The adjective has 
been defined as a word used to modify the meaning of a 
noun or a pronoun. When, as the name adjective implies, 
this element is joined directly to a noun, the effect in each 
case is to restrict or limit to a particular number, or kind, 
or other group, the objects named by the noun. This is to 
modify or measure the noun in the extent of its application. 

Thus, every object answering a certain description is 
included by the noun tree. But when modifiers are joined 
to the noun, the number of denoted objects is reduced by 
including only such as are: 

1. Of a certain kind or quality; as, tall trees, green trees , 
oak trees, evergreen trees, forest trees. 

2. For some particular use; as, lumber trees, shade trees, 
fruit trees, sugar trees, 

3. Of a certain niunber, definite or indefinite; as, six 
trees, several, some, many, few trees. 

4. In a certain condition of change or action; as, dying 
trees, living, growing, standing, fallen, leaning trees, 

5. Definitely pointed out; as, the, those, yonder, my trees. 
In these and many other ways, the adjective enables us to 

separate the object or objects we wish to consider from all 
others named by the noun. '^ 

2. Tlie Place of the Adjective. — The adjective does 
not always directly precede the noun as a mere modifier; it 

For notiu of copyright, see page immediately following the title Page 



is often widely separated from the word to which it belongs. 
In every position, however, its function is to modify the 
meaning of a noun or a pronoun. The placing of an adjec- 
tive at a distance from its usual position has the effect of 
emphasizing its meaning; but, although when so placed it is 
still a modifier, it is something more, as is explained below. 
Considered with respect to position, adjectives are: 

1. Adjunctive or attributive — ^joined directly to the noun 
and preceding it. 

good weather, six tons, some money, that house 

Here the adjective modifies — denotes some quality or 
attribute in that which is named by the noun. 

2. Appositive— 'placed near, but used like a noun or a pro- 
noun in apposition. 

5a^*and silent^ the traveler sat by the roadside. 
He was condemned for crimes, real and supposed. 
Hopeful^ coftfident, the boy left home. 

3. Predicative — performing a direct part in predicating, 
and called, therefore, sl predicate adjective. 

The tree \s green. 

The sun is bright and shining. 

The boy looks pale and seems sick. 

In (3), the predication is actually made — that is, there is 
formal assertion that a certain object possesses some quality; 
in (2), predication is strongly implied; and, in (1), it is 
merely assumed or taken for granted. Thus, in the expres- 
sion good and trtie stories, we assume, as something not 
disputed, that the qualities goodness and trueness character- 
ize the stories of which we speak; in stories, good and true, 
the qualities are more than assumed. It is as if we said, 
stories that are good and true; only we do not quite say it. 
But in The stories are good and true, the predication is actually 
made — we declare that the qualities are really possessed by 
the things named by stories. 

This distinction between actual predication and assumed 
predication is one of great importance, as will be more clearly 
seen when the detailed treatment of the verb is taken up. 



Make a list of the adjectives used adjunctively, a second list of those 
used appositively, and a third list of those used predicatively. 

{a) A body of men, patriots good and true, marched against the 
ruthless invaders. 

(d) A pretty "blue-eyed girl sat silent and despondent in the pleas- 
ant shade of a beech tree. 

(c) The old tower, gray and ruined with time, had covered its 
hoary nakedness with clambering vines. 

(d) A stately oflBcer, steadfast comrade of the wounded man, visited 
the hospital with faithful regularity. 

(e) Maud Muller on a summer's day, 

Raked the meadow, sweet with hay. 

(/) The elder man was grave and silent while his younger com- 
panion sat abashed and speechless. 

0?') My recollections of Spain are of the most lively and delightful 

(h) The village was beautiful and the surrounding country was 
the most charming and picturesque that we had seen. 

(/) The evening was calm and lovely and the stars stole out one 
by one, radiant and beautiful. 

(j) Injustice swift, erect, and unconfined. 

Sweeps the wide earth, and tramples o'er mankind. 

3. Adjectives Classified Witli Respect to Form, 

When considered with respect to their form, adjectives 
may be: 

1. Proper or Common, — (a) A proi>er adjective is one 
that is formed from a proper noun; as, Freiich^ Miltonic, 
Parisian, Rhenish y Franco- Prussian, (b) A com in on adjec- 
tive is one that is not derived from a proper noun; as, true, 
fresh, lively, soiil-stirring. Some adjectives derived from ' 
proper nouns are now treated as common adjectives, being 
written without initial capitals; as, herculean from Hercules, 
tantali^^ing from Tantalus, titanic from Titan, stentorian from 
Stentor, romantic from Roma, Platonic from Plato, 

2. Simple of Compound, — (a) A simple adjective is one 
that consists of but one word element; as, sweet, lonely, high, 
narrow, Spanish, {b) A compound adjective is one that is 
composed of two or more word elements forming either a 


solid or a hyphenated compound; as, lifelike^ homesick^ rosy- 
fingered y all-wise y self-confident, all-seeing, never-to-be-forgotten, 
Russo- Japanese, Spanisfi-Americafi . 

3. Primitive or Derivative, — (a) A primitive adjective 
is one that is not derived from a simpler word in actual use 
in our language; as, true, thin, sificere, sweet, (b) A deriv- 
ative adjective is one that is derived from a simpler word 
used in the language; as, truthful, homely, thinnest, insituere, 
sweetish, chaiigeable. These adjectives come from the simpler 
forms true, home, thin, sincere, sweet, change, 

4. . Derivation of Adjectives. — Adjectives are formed 
from simpler elements by means of prefixes and suffixes. 
Suffixes may be joined to several classes of words as follows: 

1. To Nouns, — Adjectives are formed from nouns by the 
addition of al, able, ous, ic, ish, ful, y, en, ed, some, less, ly. He, 
aft, ane, and many others. Examples are: 

nationa/, lovable, Ivltwus, ton/V, child wA, faith/iv/, hearty, vfooden, 
timbered, hwrdensome, \\ic\iless, mother/y, infant//^, etc. 

2. Suffixes Joined to Other Adjectives, — The most com- 
monly used suffixes by which adjectives are formed from 
other adjectives are er, est, ish, fold, some, teen {ten), ly, th, 
ty (ten). The following are examples: 

sounder, sadd^5/, sweetwA, three/<7/rf, lonesome, thirteen, kindly, 
aUh, ninety 

3. Suffixes Joined to Verbs, — Many adjectives are derived 
from verbs. Some of these are verbals used unchanged or 
with prefixes. 

growing, shorn, shaven, unfed, unloved, cultivated, foredoomed, 
prepaid, countersigned, interviewed 

Others are formed from verbs or verb stems by adding 

v/akeful, exhaustless, iiresotfte, blow>', eatable, credible, urgent, 
considera/^, credulous, compos//^, active, stat/V, etc. 

5. Compound Adjectives. — The number of compound 
adjectives is very great, and is constantly increasing. 


Classified with reference to the elements of which they are 
composed, they are as follows: 

Adjective H- - 

Adjective; as, pale-blue, white-hot, red-orange 
Verbat; as, slow-moving, high-stepping, good-looking, 

Noun; as, red-headed, keen-sighted, sharp-tongued, 

rapid-fire, rosy-fingered 

Noun -h < 

Adjective; as, heart-whole, fancy-free, love-lorn, air- 
tight, sky-blue 

Verbal; as, foot- worn, heart-breaking, hand-made, 
home-brewed, ivy-covered 

Noun I as, lion-hearted, cherry-lipped, ox-eyed, Krag- 

(Adjective; as, all-powerful, over-honest, truly-good, 
Verbal; as, never-ceasing, so-called, swiftly-flying, well- 
dressed, fast-fleeing, early-rising 

Verb ■\- Noun; as, breakneck, do-nothing, .killjoy, breakbone 

There are compomid adjectives consisting of combina- 
tions other than the foregoing, but these include the most 
important. Most compound adjectives are written with 
hyphens, but such as are of old and frequent use have 
acquired the solid form. When the student is in doubt 
whether or not to use a » hyphen, he should consult a 
generally approved dictionary. 

6. Adjectives Classified With Respect to Use. — All 

adjectives modify, but most of them do so by expressing 
some quality or other in the thing denoted by the modified 
word. The others consist of several small groups that are 
known by special names. 

Divided according to use or function, adjectives are: 

I. Qualitative Adjectives. — These denote quality, and, 


for that, reason, they are sometimes called qualifying 
adjectives. The number of this class of adjectives is 
immense, including all that denote qualities perceived 
directly by the senses, — sensible qualities, and qualities 
inferred by the mind from something perceived by the 
senses, — rational qualities. 


1. Sensible; as, redy sweety fragrant y loudy heavy y longy 
rough y left-handed y English y living y Caucasiayi, 

2. Rational; as, honesty truCy gentky lovingy thoughtfuly 
well'belovedy affectionate. 

Each of the foregoing classes may be divided into 
proper or common adjectives and verbal or participial adjec- 
tives; and these may be simple or compound, as already 

II. Quantitative Adjectives, — These are such as denote 
quantity, either definite or indefinite; some of them relate to 
mass as well as to number. 

1. Definite; as, bothy ally nOy fivey whole, 

2. Indefinite; as, anyy feWy somCy severaly divers, many, 
morCy niosty muchy little. 

These words are quantitative adjectives only when they 
are used to modify as adjectives do; as, both boys, all per- 
sons, no pardon, several mistakes. The same words are often 
used alone; as, FeWy few shall part where many meet. 
Some was good but 7niich was spoiled. 

In these sentences, the words in italics are pronouns. 

Adjectives of quantity that denote number are called 
numeral adjectives. Of these there are two classes: 
cardinal'y as, oney twOy three y etc., and ordinal; as, first y 
second y third y etc. 

III. Demonstrative Adjectives, — These are adjectives used 
to point out; in the case of some of them, the effect is much 
the same as when one points with the finger. This class is 
named demonstrative from the fact that the Latin word 
demonstrare means **to point out/* or *' indicate.** 

The demonstratives are subdivided as follows: 
1. Articles, — Of these there are two: a or any called 
the indefinite article, and thCy the definite article. A is 
used before consonant sounds; as, a many a house; an is used 
before voivcl sounds; as, an armyy an eggy an irony an oniony 
a7i urn. It should be observed that a word may begin with 
a vowel sound, but not with a vowel; as, herby heir, 
honesty y etc. Before words thus beginning with silent hy 
ail is used; as, an houry an ho7iest mauy an honorable person. 


2. Pronominal Adjectives, — The student has already 
learned that words are sometimes used with double functions. 
The name, pronominal adjective^ denotes that this class of 
words does duty both as pronouns and as adjectives. As 
adjectives, they modify the meaning of nouns; as pronouns, 
they represent, refer to, or take the place of, nouns. Thus, 
in the expression, his hat, the word his points out which hat 
is meant, and at the same time stands for the name of the 
owner of the hat. If, for example, the hat belongs to John, 
his hat = John's hat; and his and John's are alike in 
function— they are modifiers. 

Again, nearly all of these words may stand alone instead 
of nouns; that is, they may be used z,'& pronouns. 

This is a tree. 

Sotne are living, but many are dead. 

It is only when they are joined to a noun and modify its 
meaning that they are pronominal adjectives. 

That hat was formerly my property. 
Each man owes something to every man. 

The pronominal adjectives, sometimes called adjective 
pronouns, have been arranged in the following classes: 

(a ) Demonstrative. — These are called pro7iominal adjectives 
only because they are often used as pronouns. But when 
they are joined to a noun to modify its meaning, they are 
really nothing more than adjectives in function. Still, even 
then, they are called pronominal adjectives. They are this, 
that, these, those, yon, yonder, former, latter, same, and such. 

This field is large; that field is small. 
Tftese teachers have charge of those children. 

We have cherries and grapes; the former fruit is fine, but the tatter 
fruit is not so good. 
" Yonder tree is a larch. 
Yon house is my home. 
Snch conduct is inexcusable. 

In all the foregoing sentences the italicized words are 
pronominal adjective modifiers. 


(^) Interrogative, — There are only three words now used 
in this class: which ^ whose ^ and what. 

Which book have you read? 
Whose hat are you wearing? 
What amount of money have you? 

These words are used also without interrogative value as 
mere demonstrative adjective modifiers. 

Tell me which book you want. 

I do not know whose fault it was. 

I cannot say at what hour the train leaves. 

(r) Possessive, — In this class are included my, our, thyy 
your, his, its, their, and whose. The last may be used either 
interrogatively or relatively. 

Whose house is that? 

He is the man whose letter came yesterday. 

In the first sentence whose is used interrogatively; in the 
second sentence, relatively. 

{d) hide finite. — Such pronominal adjectives as point out, 
but not definitely, belong in this class, which includes about 
fifty words. Some of them are certain, another, few, less, 
more, other, sundry. 

The following, when used with nouns, are called distribu- 
tives, because they imply separate and individual attention to 
the persons or things named by the nouns they modify: each, 
every, either, neither, 


1. Mention the adjectives in the following sentences, g^ve the class 
of each as determined by its use or function, and tell what each 
adjective modifies: 

(a) The way was long, the wind was cold; 

The minstrel was infirm and old. 
(^) At last my eyes could see a woman fair, but awful as this 
round white moon o*erhead. 

(c) The gray sea, and the long black land. 

And the yellow half moon, large and low, 

And the startled little waves that leap 

In fiery ringlets from their sleep; 

Then I gain the cove with the pushing prow, 

And quench its speed in the slushy sand. 


(d) The youth with many a merry trick goes singing on his 
careless way. 

(^) Look — how round his straining throat 

Grace and shifting beauty float; 
Sinewy strength is in his reins, 
And the red blood gallops through his veins — • 
Richer, redder, never ran 
Through the boasting heart of man. 
(/) Sweet bird that sing*st away the early hours 
Of winters past or coming, void of care; 
Well pleased with delights which present are, 
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers. 
2. By using suflBxes, convert the following nouns into adjectives: 
friend, fog, virtue, truth, home, burden, year, awe, brass, flax, sense, 
child, feather, fear, demon. 

^ 3. By annexing sufiixes to the following adjectives form other 
adjectives: clear, sick, lone, nine, black, comic, glad, weak, blithe, 
g^m, scant, droll. 

4. Form compound adjectives, three of each, by combining words 
as follows: (a) two adjectives; id) an adjective and a noun; (c) an 
adjective and a verbal. 

5. Illustrate the following by three compound adjectives for each: 
(a) noun + adjective; (d) noun + verbal; (c) noun + noun. 

6. Form three compound adjectives for each of the following: 
(a) adverb -|- adjective; {d) adverb + verbal. 



7. The pronominal demonstratives ihis and tAai take the 
inflected forms these and ihose to denote the plural number. 

Singular: this man, that mountain 
Plural', these men, Ihose mountains 

With these exceptions, adjectives have but one inflection, 
which is called comparison. Qualitatives — adjectives that 
denote quality either sensible or rational — are, most of them, 
inflected for degrees of the quality denoted. The qualities 
by means of which we distinguish one thing from another 
usually exist in different degrees or amounts among the 
things having those qualities. Thus, we may say of one 


thing that it is large, or pretty, or beautiful; of another, that 
it is the larger, the prettier, or the more beautiful of two; of 
a third, that it is the largest, the prettiest, or the most 
beautiful of three or more. 

Such adjectives as are compared or inflected for quality 
have three degrees of comparison: the positive^ the compara- 
tive, and the superlative. The following are some examples 
of the three degrees of comparison: 

Positive: bright early beautiful 

Comparative: brighter earlier more beautiful 
Superlative: brightest earliest most beautiful 

But many adjectives that denot9 quality are not capable 
of different degrees. These of course are not inflected — 
they are incomparable. These may, in general, be known 
by their meaning. Some of them are: 

1. Some adjectives denoting shape, position, direction, 
etc.; as, round y square y cubical y circular y triangular y central y par- 
allel y erect y perpendicular y linear y equilateraly spherical y straight. 

If, for example, anything is really round or square or tri- 
angular or cubical it cannot be any more or any less so. 
Such words then cannot, in strictness, be compared, yet it 
is often done by careless writers, and often by classical 
authors, and sometimes for apparently good reasons. 

2. Adjectives with a negative prefix or suffix; as, mcon- 
ceivabky VKseeUy AtomiCy Ada?na?ttiney lUmaturCy iLlegiblCy 
hopeiMSSy harmiMSSy non -existent. 

All these prefixes and suffixes denote the absence of the 
quality expressed by the rest of the word. Thus, less as a 
suffix means without; as homelesSy without a home; /«, /w, //, 
nouy ay and un each means not. (/«, /w, and it as prefixes 
sometimes mean in, into, or on.) 

3. Adjectives denoting quality not capable of increase 
or diminution cannot, in strictness, be compared. The fol- 
lowing are examples: perfect, complete, absolutCy infinitCy ever- 
lasting y deady asleep, satisfied, celestial, divine y human y material y 
golden, weekly y eternal, endless. 

It should be noted, however, that many adjectives of this 
kind are often inflected. Thus, such forms as the following. 


though not good, are of frequent occurrence both in speech 

nnH ^wrifincr? 

compleiCy perfect^ divine^ hopeless^ satisfied^ etc. 

and writing: 




The same usage is common with adjectives having nega- 
tive prefixes or suffixes; as, mo^ unexpected^ most ignorant^ 
most hopeless^ more innocent^ etc. 

4. Latin comparatives used as ordinary English adjectives 
cannot be compared; as, anterior^ superior^ infeTior, seyiior, 
junior y Prior ^ exterior^ interior , etc. 

In comparisons, these Latin words are usually followed 
by to^ while ordinary English comparatives require than. 
Thus, prior to^ earlier than; inferior to, worse than; pmior to 
or ofy younger than, 

8. Tlie Distinguishing? of One Object From 
Another. — ^We become acquainted with the objects we 
know and have names for, either through their qualities or 
by observing their relations to other objects. Thus, when 
we say or see the word orange y it calls up in the mind ideas 
of certain qualities ; as, color ^ taste y smelly sizCy shape; or it 
calls up ideas of certain relations; as, value y position y weighty 
utility. Thus, we know an orange or any other object by its 
sensible qualities or by its relations. 

Again, honesty is a rational quality distinguishing the 
conduct of men in their dealings with one another. If a 
man habitually acts so and sounder particular circumstances, 
his conduct illustrates some quality, as honesty y justicCy truth- 
fulnesSy loyalty y and we speak of him as an honesty justy truth- 
ful y or loyal man. , 

Thus, it is by means of qualities, sensible and rational, and 
by the various relations among things, that we are able to recog- 
nize objects and distinguish them from one another. By their 
differences and resemblances and by their relations, and in no 
other way, we become acquainted with the things around us. 

9. The Positive Dejjrree. — Before we can say that 
anything is large, for example, we must have a notion of 


the usual size of objects of that kind. This notion we get 
by experience in comparing many things of that class. When 
one says, a large houses tree^ animal^ the expression implies 
that he has seen and compared many houses, many trees, 
many animals, and that he has in his mind a general notion or 
type with respect to the size of each kind of thing mentioned. 
This type is not often the ^me with different persons, for it 
is derived from experience,, and this is of many varieties. 
The wider the experience, the more valuable the type. 

This typical notion of any quality is the positive degree of 
that quality. It is expressed by the simple uninflected form 
of the adjective; as, wise^ sorry ^ red, pale. 

Definition.. — The positive degrree of an adjective is the 
form or use of it that implies the comparison of one thing or 
group of things with many others of the class, 

A zvise son raaketh a glad father. 

His face, red and paU by turns, showed his deep emotion. 

10. The Comparative Degrree. — In the use of an 

adjective in the positive degree, the comparison is only 
implied or taken for granted; in the comparative degree, the 
comparison of one thing with another must actually be 
made; and only two objects or two groups of objects are 
considered — one having a certain quality, and the other 
having it in a higher or lower measure or degree. Thus, of 
two things, one may be sweet or pretty or long or small, and 
the^ other sweeter, prettier, loyiger, or smaller than the first. 
An adjective so used is in the comparative degree. 

Definition. — The comparative degri'^c of an adjective is 
the form or use of it by which a comparisoyi with respect to some 
quality is actually made between two things or groups of things, 

A girl prettier than my cousin accompanied us. 

{less 1 
\ valuable house of the two was sold. 
more \ 

{less 1 
\ satisfactory QoW^Qiion than mine cannot be found. 
more \ 

!!• The Superlative Degrree. — When the superlative 
degree of an adjective is used, the least number of objects 


or groups of objects considered is three. One of them, as 
compared with the others — two or more — is seen to have the 
hig^hest or lowest degree of some quality; and, to denote 
this, a form or use of the adjective known as the superlative 
degree is required. This degree, also, like the comparative, 
requires an actual comparison. At least three pretty or good 
or little objects must be compared before we can say that 
one of them is the prettiest^ the best^ the least. The word 
superlative means ^'surpassing,'* **above or beyond all others.'* 

Definition. — The superlative degree of an adjective is 
the form or use of it by which a comparison with respect to 
some quality is actually made among three or more, things 
or groups of things. 

{ least \ 
\ valuable house. The prettiest girl. 

12. Rnles for ComparinK Adjectives. — Adjectives of 

one syllable are compared as follows: 

er = comparative; as, bright ^ brightRK 
est = superlative; as, stnoothy smoothiLST 

Adjectives of two or more syllables usually take the 
adverbs more or less before the positive to form the compara- 
tive, and most or least to form the superlative. 

> + positive = comparative; as,| , \ beautiful 

> + positive = superlative; as,< \ beautiful 

Special Rule, — Adjectives of two syllables ending in y, 
and many in ow and ^, usually add er and est to the positive 
to form, respectively, the comparative and the superlative. 


Positive H- \ 

angry J 







{comparative; as, loveliKB.y holiEKy sorriRR, 
easiRKf angriEK 
superlative; as, IovcUkst, holiKST, sorrtRsrr, 
" eastBST, angriBST 


> + 

{comparative; as, politBKf me/loTtfUK, nar- 
rowuK, simplKK, nob/RR 
{superlative; as, politRST^ melloTtmsT, natTOZv 
EST, simpiRSTf noblRST 


13. General Principle. — Many other adjectives of two 
syllables are compared with er and esf^ when to do so does 
not offend the ear. 

The preferable form of comparison is largely dependent 
on usage, and in nearly all cases this may be determined by 
the ear. Harshness of sound or difficulty of pronunciation 
is always sufficient cause for rejecting the regular com- 
parison — that by er and est — and using more and most or 
less and least. 

It should be added that the sentential use of an adjective 
has much to do. with its comparison. If an adjective is 
joined directly to a noun, the preferable comparison is 
by er and est, if euphony permits; but if the adjective 
is used in the predicate or like a noun in apposition, com- 
parison by more and most or by less and least is to be pre- 
ferred, especially in poetry. 

A form more fair and a face more sweet. 
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil. 
The wind breathes low with viellower tone. 
He stooped to touch the loftiest thought. 

More and most are preferable to er and est when not 
comparison, but only a high or a low degree of a quality is 
intended; as, Most weary seemed the sea = Very weary, etc. 
This is known as the intensive use of the adjective, — a use 
by which the force or emphasis is greatly increased. Some 
other examples follow. 

His actions were most despicable = extremely despicable. 
A fearsome sound was heard, most wierd and (most) strange = i^eiy 
wierd and very strange. 

He should have been less careless = not so careless. 

14. Modifications In Spelling. — 1. Adjectives ending 
in e silent omit the e before er and est; as, able, abler, ablest. 

2. Final y preceded by a consonant is changed into /; as, 
gaudy, gaudier, gaudiest. 

3. A final consonant preceded by a short accented vowel 
is doubled before er and est; as, slim, slimmer, slimmest; sad^ 
sadder, saddest. 




15. Irregrular Comparison.- 

adjectives are of frequent use, 

-Most of the following 
and are irregular in 



bad, ill, evil 


good, well 






many, much 



older, elder 

forth (adv.) 





later, latter 





[neath] (prep.) 


[out] (adv.) 

outer, utter 

[up] (prep.) 


[in] (prep.) 








oldest, eldest 


foremost, first 

latest, last 


nighest, next 


{outmost, outermost 
utmost, uttermost 
upmost, uppermost 
inmost, innermost 

16. Parsing: the Adjective. — To parse an adjective, 
the student should mention: 

1. Its Class, — This involves stating its class as qualita- 
tive, quantitative, or demonstrative. If it is qualitative^ it 
may be sensible or rational; if quayititativcy it may be definite, 
indefinite, or numeral; if numeral ^ it may be cardinal or ordi- 
nal. If it is demonstrative y it may be an article either definite 
or indefinite; or it may be a pronominal ^ and if so, it is ordi- 
nary, interrogative, possessive, or indefinite. 

2. Its Comparison , — State whether or not it is compared. 
If it is compared, give its comparison, and say in what degree 
it is found. 

3. Its Use. — State what it modifies, and whether it is an 
adjtmctive, a predicative, or an appositive adjective. 

17. Oral Parsing of tlie Adjective. — In order to 
illustrate the oral parsing of the adjective, let it be required 
to parse the adjectives in the following sentence: 

But he thought of his sister, proud and cold. 
And his mother, vain of her rank and gold. 


His: an adjective, demonstrative, pronominal, not com- 
pared, and, as a mere adjunct, modifies sister. 

Proud: an adjective, qualitative, rational; compared by 
er and est; it is in the positive degree, and is an appositive 
modifier of sister. 

Coldy vain: parsed exactly \\\ie proud. 

Her: parsed like his. 

18. Adjective Equivalents. — As has already been 
explained, the adjective function may be filled by sentential 
elements other than ordinary adjectives. 

1. By a verbal; as, a tree standing by the door, coal to 
selly a STORY to be believed^ etc. 

2. By a prepositional phrase; as, a letter from homey a 
CURE ior lisping^ a day for planting trees^ the apples in the 

3. By a clause; as, a tree that is alive^ a story that 
should be believed^ a man whose father was iiuthe Revolution ^ 
a voter that {ailed to register. 

4.' By a noun in the possessive case; as, John^s hat, a 
mother's care. 

5. By an uninflected noun used as a modifier; as, gold- 

MINE, apple blossoms, Ai^tt^^-PAINTER, iron-ORE, /«^-WELL, 

19. Expansion of Adjective Elements. — Almost any 
adjective word element may be expanded into a phrase or 
even into a clause. 

a summer day = a day in summer 
a kind act = an act of kindness = an act that was kind 
a memorable event =» an event to be remembered = an event that 
should be remembered 

It is evident, therefore, that phrases and clauses used as 
adjective modifiers may generally be condensed into single 
words; and, inasmuch as force is gained by brevity, we 
should prefer the shorter forms unless there are good 
reasons for using the longer. 

20. Uses of Adjective Plirases. — We have seen that 
an adjective may be a mere adjunct, a complement of the 


predicate, and that it may be used appositively to add some 
fact or circumstance, or to explain the meaning: of some- 
thing that precedes. 

Phrases and clauses when used as adjectives are usually 
predicative or appositive. 

Appositivb or Rkstrictivb Prbdicativb 


very reasonable. 

beyond our means. 

demanded I 

in New York >was' 
that was demanded I 

He was never where he was needed. 

The price< 

more than we could pay. 


1. In the following, parse the adjectives, and point out the phrases 
and clauses. 

(a) This murderous chief, this ruthless man, 

This head of a rebellious clan. 

Hath led thee safe. 
{6) Gentleness, the characteristic mark of the true gentleman of 
the old school, distinguished his every act, even the most trifling. 

(c) The church that stood by our old-time schoolhouse is in ruins. 

(d) In their ragged regimentals, stood the old Continentals, yield- 
ing not. 

(e) The three stood calm and silent, and looked upon their foes, 
And a great shout of laughter from all the vanguard rose. 

(f) The emperor there, in his box of state, 

Looked grave; as if he had just then seen 
The red flag wave from the city gate. 
Where his eagles in bronze had been. 

(g) He that gives up the smallest part of his secret has no control 
over what remains. 

(k) The experience that teaches us to govern our own spirits is the 
best of all training. 

2. Determine, by the ear or from a dictionary, the approved com- 
parison of the following words, and write the comparisons in full: dry, 
wry, sly, spry, sincere, haughty, common, lovely, noble, curious, 
precious, wealthy, swarthy, remote, awkward, wholesome, tardy, faith- 
ful, morose, discreet. 

3. Write the comparison of such of the following adjectives as 
admit comparison, and explain why each of the others does not: 
golden, entire, English, spherical, empty, final, prone, dead, ultimate, 
erect, false, extreme, perfect, wooden, universal, eternal, humane, 
unanswerable, friendless, infallible. 


21. other Methods of Comparison. — The regular 
comparison by annexing er and est is usually regarded as a 
true inflection; but the method by means of the adverbs more^ 
mosty and less, least, is in no sense an inflection. There seems 
to be no very clear reason why grammarians should have 
selected these particular adverbs to use in comparing adjec- 
tives; for there are a great many other adverbs that modify 
with more definiteness; as, somewhat, slightly, very, quite, 
extremely, exceedingly , positively , decidedly, barely, merely, only, 
rarely, occasionally, temporarily, etc. All these are useful, 
and the student should have a ready command over a good 
variety of them. Not only are adverbs used for this purpose 
of comparison, but adverbial phrases and clauses also, when 
greater precision of degree is required. 



pretty, exceptionally, tolerably, very, excessively, 
charmingly, surprisingly, extremely, delightfully, } cordial 
guardedly, entirely, refreshingly, truly 

in school, in manner, at dinner, toward the aged, 
in speech, at times, from early training, in taking ^^lUg 
leave, by instinct, from policy, to excess, with an 
object, from habit 


if he is in the mood, when he can afford to be so, 
although he is poor, when he chooses to be, 
where there is merit, when he should be other- 
wise, when his ship comes in, as his means allow 


By using such adverbial modifiers as those given above, it 
is possible to express a great variety of degrees of the 
quality denoted by an adjective. These degrees of quality 
range all the way from the positive, in such expressions as 
barely alive, scarcely polite, to the superlative. By means of 
some of these intensive adverbs it is possible to express 
quality even higher than the superlative in est or with the 
adverb most. 

Thus, such expressions as indescribably vai?t, exceedingly 
mean, inconceivably cruel, absolutely wretched, and hopelessly 
stupid are all regarded as much stronger than the regular 
forms of comparisons vainest, meanest, cruelest, most ivretched, 
and stupidest. 










Comtnon i^^^P^^' S^od, wise, happy 

\ Compound: four-handed, blue-eyed 
(Simple: Russian, English 
^ I Cbw^^7««i/.* Anglo-American 

p .- .. / (Simple: amusing, pleasing 

^ [Compound: Hfe-giving, wool-gathering 












Pronominal * 

{Coinmon: whole, no, enough, both, all 
^ . (Cardinal — one, six 

\Ordinal — first, sixth 
{Common: some, much, little, any 
Numeral: any, few, some, several, divers 

(Definite: the 
Indefinite: a, an 

(a) Common: this, these; that, those; 

(b) Interrogative: which? what? 

(c) Indefinite: each, either, certain, 

(d) Possessive: my, thy, his, her, their 




22. Function of the Pronoun. — The pronoun has 
been described as a word used instead of a noun or as a sub- 
stitute for a noun. This description comes from the literal 
meaning of the vior^ pronoun {pro, **for,'* 7iojin, **a name*^, 
but this definition is not exactly true of all the pronouns. 
When John says of himself, / see, the meaning is somewhat 
different from what it would be if he should say John sees. 
In the former case, / represents the speaker, and shows by 
its form that it does so; in the latter example, John may 
denote the speaker, but nothing about the form of the word 
shows that it does, as is the case with /. 

When of himself and Henry, to whom he speaks, he says 

Weseey it is not equivalent to John and Henry see. But if the 

pronoun were an exact substitute for a noun, these pairs 

of sentences would be exact equivalents, By its form^ / 

denotes the speaker but gives no hint of who he is — it shows 


only that somebody, present and known without being 
named, is speaking. The pronoun, however, would serve 
equally well if the name of the speaker were unknown, 
or even if he had no name. 
In like manner, 

We = / -\-you (the speaker + the listener), and. 

We = I ■\-you H- he (the speaker -f the listener + Henry), etc. 

In this last case, he is a real substitute for a noun, but you 
and / are not. Hence. 

/ denotes that some one, whose name is unknown or does 
not need to be known, is speaking. 

We denotes that some one is speaking for himself and for 
others that have been referred to or are present. What their 
names are is generally a matter of no importance. 

You denotes some one in the relation of listener to some 
one speaking, and it is equally satisfactory whether the 
listener's name is known or not. 

He, she, they, etc. are real substitutes for names. 

It appears, therefore, that the definition usually given for 
the pronoun is objectionable from the fact that it does not 
exactly describe the functions of all the pronouns. Doubt- 
less, however, it is the best that can be devised. Perhaps 
the definition already given is somewhat less open to objec- 
tion than that usually met with in grammars. 

Definition. — A pronoun is a word that denotes Persons 
and things without naming them, 

23. The Antecedent of a Pronoun. — Every pronoun 
denotes some person or thing, or it is a substitute for the 
name of some person or thing. This name is the ante- 
cedent of the pronoun. The name antecedent means ** going 
before,** the implication being that the name denoted, that 
is, the antecedent, occurs in the sentence before the pronoun 
that denotes it. Such is usually, but not always, the case. 
Thus, in the sentence, John resolved that he would earn his 
money before he would spend it, the pronouns he and his follow 
their antecedent John, and it follows its antecedent money. 
But in the sentence. Who discovered the Pacific Ocean? the 



antecedent of who is inquired for and must be found in an 
answer to the question — Balboa discovered it. Ocean, the 
antecedent of it, is really antecedent in position. 

Moreover, the pronouns /, we, me, us, you, and all others 
denoting the speaker or listener, can scarcely be said to 
have antecedents, since, as we have seen, they are not 
strictly substitutes for nouns; they denote persons or things 
rather than take the place of names, and an antecedent is a 
word or an expression, not a person. or thing. In the sen- 
tence, I hurt myself, neither of the pronouns has an antece- 
dent word; each represents a person, but so far as the reader 
knows or the sentence indicates, the person denoted by the 
pronouns has no name, or, if he has, it need not be known. 



24, Function of tlie Personal Pronoun. — Although 
the number of pronouns is small, they are divided into several 
classes, which are usually grouped under five heads: personal, 
relative, interrogative, demofistrative, and indefinite. The per- 
sonal pronouns are those that by their form indicate /^r^^w5 — 
the speaker, the hearer, or the person or thing spoken about. 

The personal pronouns that by their form denote the 
speaker are the following: /, my, me, we, our, us. 

The personal pronouns that denote the listener or person 
addressed are: thou, thy, thifie, thee, you, ye, your, yours. 

The personal pronouns that denote the person or thing 
spoken of are: he, she, it, his, hers, its, him, her, they, their, 
theirs, them^ 

The words my, thy, our, your, his, her, its, and their, when 
followed by a noun whose meaning they modify, are gener- 
ally called pronotftinal adjectives, 

my work, its safety, his neglect, thy duty, her mother, their haste, 
our home 

25. Absolute Possessive Pronouns. — The pronoims 
mine, thine, his, hers, ours, yours, and theirs, when used as 


equivalent to a noun with a pronominal modifier, are called 
absolute possessive pronouns. 

Mine and yours are better than his and hers. 

These pronouns, although they denote possession, are 
never in the possessive case; they are always in the nomi- 
native or the objective case, and are either singular or plural. 
Thus, I may speak of my boy or my boys as mine. 

The boy is mine. 
The boys are mine. 

By absorbing the possessive effect of my^ thy, etc. these 
pronouns take into their meaning the idea of possession, 
but their function is always nominative or objective. 

If mine were yours, yours would exceed theirs in value. 
She gave hers for his and ours together. 

In the first sentence, the italicized pronouns except the 
last, are nominatives; the last, and all in the next sentence 
are objectives. However, because they denote possession, 
these forms are given as possessives in the declension of 
the personal pronouns. 

26. Compound Personal Pronouns. — Certain of the 
personal pronouns annex seli or selves to form compound per- 
sonal pronouns: 

my himl our 1 

thy her >self your [selves 

your it J them J 

These pronouns, in either the nominative or the objective 
case, are usually in apposition with some other word; or 
they are intensive and have the effect of emphasis. When 
in apposition, they are usually set off by commas. 

I, myself, will go. 

They attacked the king himself. 

They are used reflexivcly also; that is, as the objects of 
verbs whose subjects denote the same person or thing as the 
pronouns. Thus, 

He cut himself. 

They saw themselves in the great parlor mirror. 


Any of these reflexive pronouns may be used as the object 
of a verb or preposition, or as a predicate nominative. 

I hurt myself. 

A house divided against itself cannot stand. 

Richard is himself eL%Vi\n, 

Both the nominative and the objective case are shown in 
the following from Tennyson: And /, myself, sometimes 
despise myself. 

The personal pronouns also are sometimes used reflexively, 
especially in poetry; as. 

Get Ihee gone. 

1 did repent me. 

1 do remember me that in my youth, etc. 

Self or selves may be used as a noun preceded by the pro- 
nominal modifier own; as, 

To your own selves be true. 
We saw the giant's own self. 

In the first sentence selves is a noun, the object of to; in 
the second, self is the object of the verb saw. 


Singular Plural 

f Nominative: I we 

Person I ^^^^^^^^^'^' ™y» mine our, ours 



Objective: me us 

{Nominative: thou, you you, ye 

Possessive: thy, thine, your your, yours 

Objective: thee, you you, ye 

Masculine Femfnine Neuter 

{Nominative: he she it they 

HiRD Possessive: his her, hers its their, theirs 


Objective: him her it them 


27. Function of the Uelatlvo Pronoun. — The rela- 
tive or conjunctive pronouns have double functions in 
sentences: they stand for a noun or an equivalent of a noun, 
and they connect clauses. 



My father died yesterday. . ,, ^ ^t. » j- ^ ^ ^ 

^ 1 I _ My father, who died yesterday, was a 

My father was a lawyer. I lawyer. 

This dog is for sale. 

This dog gained the first 

This man owns the house 

Jack built the house. 

__ This dog, which gained the first prize, 
~ is for sale. 

}^ This m 

man owns the house thai Jack 

In the first sentence who stands for father ^ and it connects 
the two clauses; it is, besides, the subject of the verb died. 
In the second sentence the function of the relative pronoun 
which is exactly similar to that of who in the first sentence. 
That^ in the last sentence, connects the clauses and is the 
object of hdlt; this is because it takes the place of house 
in the second of the united clauses. The words father^ 
dogy and house y to which the pronouns relate, are antecedents; 
father being the antecedent of who; dog^ of which; house ^ 
of that, 

28. The Simple Relative. — The simple relative pro- 
nouns are who^ which ^ what, and that. 

Wlio is used for persons, and for animals and things per- 
sonified —things that are addressed or spoken of as if they 
were persons. It is inflected for case, but has the same form 
in both the singular and the plural. 

Nominative t who: Julius Caesar, who invaded Britain, soon returned 
to Gaul. 

Possessive, whose: Alexander, whose father was Philip, was taught 
by Aristotle. 

Objective, whom: Napoleon, whcnn all France loved, died at 
St. Helena. 

Which is used for animals and for things without life. It 
was formerly used for persons; as, Our Fat her y which art in 
Heaven, Which is not inflected either for number or case, but 
whose is sometimes used as its possessive case; as, The 
jewelSy whose value was great , were seized by the sheriff. This 
use of whose is condemned by many authorities, who prefer 


of which to whose when the reference is to anything^ without 
life, but the usagfe has been fully established. 

Nominative y which: The telephone, which was once merely curious, 
is now indispensable. 

Possessive t [whose] : We heard a noise the cause of which we could 
not determine {whose cause). 

There were many horses whose owners had been killed. 

Objective, which: This celebrated problem, which the teacher 
found too difficult, the boy solved with ease. 

(The teacher found which. Which is the object of found.) 

That is the most useful of all the relatives, being: a sub- 
stitute for either who or which. It is used in both the singu- 
lar and the plural, and represents both living beings and 
things without life. 

The man that hath no music in him must not be trusted. 

The ships that pass in the night escape notice. 

The cat that killed the rat that ate the malt was our old tabby. 

This relative differs from who and which by not being 

used immediately after a preposition. Thus we may say, 

{WITH whotn I went was my father. 
BY whom it was done was arrested. 
THROUGH whose agency the fight was won was promoted. 
{IN which we delighted 1 

BY whose music we were charmed >was Cowper*s. 
AGAINST which objections were urged) 

The relative that cannot be substituted for any of the 
italicized relatives in the examples above. 

29. Relatives in Restrictive and In Coordinate 
Clauses. — There is an important distinction in the use of 
who^ which ^ and that in relative clauses. Many of the best 
writers observe it, and it is strongly insisted on by a large 
number of the highest authorities in grammar. 

Professor Bain states the principle in the following 
language: **The adjective clause, in its fundamental 
restrictive application, should be introduced by the restrictive 
relative ihat,'^ 

A restrictive clause is one that does the work of a mere 


A coordinate clause is a clause of equal rank with a 
leading or principal clause. It usually adds some circum- 
stance and may be in its nature appositive, explanatory, or 
a mere afterthought; its rank in the sentence is the same as 
that of the principal clause — coordinate with it in importance. 

Restrictive Clauses: The rope that was made of cotton (cotton rope) 
was not so strong as the cable that was made of steel (steel cable) . 
The man that hesitates (hesitating man) is lost. 

Clauses so used are mere adjectives in function — they nar- 
row, restrict, modify, the meaning of a noun or a pronoun. 

The connective that introduces a restrictive clause is not 

always that. Many other words may have this function. 

Any clause becomes restrictive when it has the value of a 

mere adjective or adverb. 

Strike when the iron is hot. 

I know a bank whereon the wild thyme grows. 

The city in which we found ourselves was the capital of the country. 

Here the first clause is a mere adverb in function; the 
second and third are adjectives. All these are therefore 
restrictive or modifying clauses. 

Coordinate Clauses: The officer, who is my cousin ^ was very 

His wealth, which was greats did not surpass that of his partner, 
who was his brother. 

Ice, which is frozen water ^ forms at 32° Fahrenheit. 

Here which = aiid it^ and who = a^id he, 

30. The following analyses will aid the student in under- 
standing the distinction between restrictive and coordinate 

1. The (president), (who) Fis] the head of the army, [ordered] an advance. 

nz 1 lir T^i I ♦ — ^ — 

2w [Did] (you) [return] the book that (you) [borrowed] from me ? 

\ i Z] [Z ^ I 

In 1, who is equivalent to and he. The sentence is there- 
fore compound, for it consists of two independent coordi- 
nate clauses. In 2, the clause, that you borrowed from me^ 
is an adjective modifier of book. The sentence is complex. 


The relative that connects the two clauses and is at the 
same time the direct object of the verb borrowed — you bor- 
rowed that from me. 



\ ^ 

(Words) ( that ) [have been uttered] fcan] never [be recalled]. 

t I t ~r- t 

* 1 

('nme). (who)ps| a thief, [robs] us of our choicest treasures. 

L_zr "L-^ t =F I 

5. (Time) ( that )[i8] wasted sooner or later [brines] remorse. 

31. The student must not understand that this use of 
who and which solely as coordinating and of that solely as 
restrictive is fully approved by all the latest and best author- 
ities. It is merely a very valuable distinction, actually 
made by many eminent authorities, and strong^ly urged for 
general adoption. That the usage will soon be fully 
accepted, there can be little doubt, for it enables us to avoid 
ambiguity and to escape an undesirable frequency in the«use 
of who and which. The student is advised to give particular 
care and thought to the sentences in example 2 of the 
Examples for Practice that follow Art. 36. 

32, The Double Relative. — What, called the double 
relative, is so named because it does the work of both ante- 
cedent and relative. The word is equivalent to that which, 
or the thing which^ in which that or thing is the antecedent 
of which. This relative never represents persons, and the 
clause introduced by it usually has the value of a noun. 

When what is compounded with ever and soever, it is called 
a compound relative pronoun, as are also the similar 
compounds of ever and soever with who, which, and whose. 

The uses of what are illustrated in the following sentences: 

{that which, 
the thing which, 
the thing that. 
Explain what caused the trouble. What = that which, etc. 
From what he said, he is willing. What = that which, etc. 


In the first sentence, what fills the double relation of object 
of both describe and found; in the second sentence, what may 
be resolved into that which; in such case, that would be the 
object of explain and which the subject of caused. Gram- 
marians so explain the function of the double relative for 
the reason that no word can be at the same time in two cases. 
In the last sentence, what is the object of both from and said. 

In all these uses, what may be decomposed into an ante- 
cedent followed by a relative: that whichy the tMngr which. 

I* The (result) fwasi different from what(he) [expected]. 

-iz_j T — J . ^ 

2. iTou) [could] never rguessi (what) [did] the mischief. 

t 11 J ^ t ■ 

— I 

In 2, the object of the verb could guess is the entire clause, 
what did the mischief y used as a noun. 

33. Substitutes for Relatives. — The words cls^ hut^ 
when, where y whence , w hit her y and why, as well as some of 
their compounds with ever and soever, are frequently used as 
substitutes for a relative pronoun or for a prepositional 
phrase in which the object of the preposition is a relative 
pronoun. The following are some examples: 

As, preceded by such or same. 

Select such men as you need. Such men as a the men that, or 
those men that. 

Here m€7t is the antecedent of as. 

You have the same failingsj * }^^ ^^ shown. 

But, after a negative clause, where but = that + not. 
There is no one but sometimes blunders (that does not). 

When, in cases where a noun denoting: time is the 

There is a time \^ ... imen must, etc. 

I at which J 


Where, wWen the antecedent denotes pltue. 

He fell on the field { , . , >he fought. 

ton wnicnj 

Whither, after a clause denoting motion to a place. 
We telegraphed to the office < h* h i ^® ^^^ gone. 

Why, — The clause introduced by why as a relative is 
always an adjective modifier; as, 

There is no reason 

{for which}' ^"""^ K**- 

Why I should go is an adjective modifier of reason^ the 
antecedent of why. 
Usually, why is a conjunctive or an interrogative adverb. 

Explain why (conj. adv.) you failed. 

Why (int. adv.) is the earth flattened at the poles? 


34. The interrogative pronouns are who, which, and 
whaty when used in asking; questions. 

Who inquires for persons, is either singular or plural, and 
is entirely indefinite — the person inquiring; is in ignorance of 
the persons for whom he inquires; as, 

Whof'^^ jhurt? 
I were J 

Interrogative who is declined in the same way as rela- 
tive 7vho: Nominative, who? Possessive, whose? Objective, 

Whose, although it denotes possession, may, like the 
absolute possessives mitie, thine, etc., be used in either the 
nominative or the objective case; strictly, it is never in 
the possessive case. 

Nominative: Whose is it? It is Mary's. 

Objective: Whose did you send him ? I sent him yours. 

Here the antecedent of whose may be booky for example. 
Which inquires for persons or things, either one or 


more, of a class; it may therefore be either singular or plural 
without change of form; as> 

Which of the men< > ready? Which < >the best? 

larej ^ larej 

What applies only to things; as, 

What do you want? 
What is truth? 

Whether was formerly used as an interrogative with the 
force which of two? as, 

Whether is greater, the gold or the temple? 

Whether as an interrogative pronoun is no longer used. 


35. Function of the Demonstrntive Pronoun. 

When ihis and thaiy with their plurals these and those, and 
former and latter^ stand alone and have the functions of 
pronouns, they are called demonstrative pronouns. 

This is mine if that is yours. 

These are good, but those are bad. 

He punished the former and rewarded the latter. 

We have seen that when these words are joined to a noun 
to modify its meaning they are pronominal adjectives. 

This hat is old; that hat is new. 

These men are idle; those women are industrious. 

The demonstratives are used. both of persons and things, 
and they are not inflected for case. 

This and these refer to what is near; that and those refer 
to the more distant. 

His work is better than< ., . , ,. , ^^ >of yours. 

\that (distant) j ^ 

You may take these; I prefer those. 

Some other words are employed as demonstrative pro- 
nouns. Words so used may always be known by the office 
they fill in a sentence; such is one of them. 

You are a gentleman; behave as such. 


The antecedent of a demonstrative names that which is 
referred to by the pronoun. This may be a wordt a phrase^ 
or a clause. 

This is very interesting. (A book, for example.) 

To bet or not to be; that is the question. 

When it was that he went away, that was never known. 


36. Function of the Indefinite Pronoun. — As its 

name indicates, the Indefinite pronoun stands for names, 
but denotes the things themselves with vagueness and 
uncertainty. Some of them have something of the pointing- 
out, or demonstrative quality, but not enough of it to put 
them among the demonstratives. It is their indefiniteness 
in denoting the persons or things intended that is most 

Most of the indefinite pronouns are used also as adjec- 
tive modifiers, and in some of their uses a few of them 
ate regarded by many grammarians as mere nouns. But, 
inasmuch as all of them in some measure do the work of 
pronouns, it is better to call them such. 

One and other are the best examples of indefinite pro- 
nouns. This is because their antecedents are perfectly 
indefinite, and because they are inflected for number and case. 

Singular Plural Singular Plural 
Nominative: one ones other others 

Possessive: one's ones' other's others' 

Objective: one ones other others 

One cannot help loving one^s little ones. 

Others* wrongs impress us less than do our own wrongs. 

One can do what one likes with one^s own. 

Other pronouns belonging among the indefinites are the 
following when used without an associated noun: noyie^ any^ 
some^ eack^ every, either^ neither, 7nany, few, several^ aught^ 
naught, enough, such, somewhat, sundry, certain, 

Ecuh, every, either, and neither are generally classed as 
distributives, or distributive linlefliiite pronouns. 


This is owing to the fact that, although they imply a whole 
group, they- require that the units making up the group shall 
be considered separately. 

Each decided to make the voyage. 
Everybody has erred at some time. 

Siich and other are called comparatives, because they are 
nsed in comparing. 

This is such as will please you. 
That is other than it should be. 

Here, that which suck denotes is something that has been 
compared with other things that may not please. 

Each other and one another are called reciprocals — they 
have a mutual sense. 

They hate each other = The former hates the latter and the latter 
the former = They hate; e(uh hates the other. 

There must be only two persons or things referred to 
when each other is used. 

They helped one another = They helped; one helped another. 
There are always more than two referred to by one another. 


1. Arrange in lists and classify the pronouns in the following 

(a) They and I visited the park yesterday and we were much pleased 
with its fine appearance. 

(b) Children learn early to distinguish between mine and thine. 

(c) At last, like one who for delay seeks a vain excuse, he rode away. 
{d) One must not expect many to be right when all are liable 

to be wrong. 

(e) These are such as our fathers used long before we were born. 
(/) It is said that people ought to guard their noses, 

Who thrust them into matters none of theirs. 
{g) Few, few shall part where many meet. 
(A) Nor is a true soul ever born for naught: 

Wherever any such hath lived and died, 
There hath been something for true freedom wrought. 

And all stood back, and none my right denied, 
And forth we walked. 

§17 fiNGLISri GRAMMAR t& 

(j) I saw the boy, who was taking a ride on the pony that I 
{[ave him. , 

(k) What in me is dark, illumine. 
(/) "Shall I have naught that is fair?'' saith he; 

**Have naught but the bearded grain?** 
(iff) The earth yearns toward the sun for light, 

The stars all tremble toward each other, 
And every moon that shines tonight 
Hangs trembling on an elder brother. 
(«r) Whatsoever a ipan soweth, that shall he also reap. 
2. Copy the following, and use the proper relative. Notice the 
difference in meaning when the relative clause may be taken either as 
restrictive or as coordinating. Punctuate properly by setting off with 
commas clauses that begin with who or which. Prom those that are 
restrictive omit the commas. 

{a) The evilj . . . [men do lives after them. 

(b) The best boy< , [you have is the one] . >I want. 

{c) The soldier I >is his country's defender should be ready 

to die for her. 

(d) These documents < u- u } ^ commit to your care are very 

(e) The teacher < . ♦ [ ^^ ^^^ omits punishment { . j^ ^ [is 


>came into the country through Canada 

was arrested as soon as he crossed the line< [separates the two 


ig) The earth I , [is a sphere < , [is flattened at the poles 

is nearly 8,000 miles in diameter. 

(h) In manners] . [characterizethegentlemanhe was superior 

{who 1 
which [was out for an airing, 
that J 

> keeps such excellent time was the property 

of my grandfather! . [died a year ago. 


, >his father greatly dis- 

(/) Libraries <, [are destined to destruction by fire always 

. ,. f which! 

contain literary treasures <, >cannot be replaced. 

, >were built of stone are still in a good 

state of preservation. 

, > accompanied the senator from Utah was his 

wife< ^ }he had married a year before. 
I whom] 

3. By means of diagrams, analyze the following sentences: 

(a) As he sowed, some fell by the wayside. 

(d) What did you pay for the horse that you sold to me? 

(c) One cannot always obtain one's just dues in this world. 

{cf) Words that are primitive have no other form that is simpler. 

{e) His own father would not have known him in that guise. 

(/) I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke. 

{/^) They that have done this deed are honorable. 

(A) I am no orator, but a plain blunt man that loves my friend. 

(i) The usher sat remote from all, a melancholy man. 

{/) I have done the state some service, and they know it. 

{k} I knew that my secret was one that the earth refused to keep. 

(/) Joy went with my children one and all, and tuned their 
voices with song. 

(tn) We, the people of the United States, do hereby ordain and 
establish this Constitution. 

(;/) Know then this truth — enough for man to know — 
Virtue alone is happiness below. 

{o) Judged by their manner of governing children, most men 
have never themselves been children. 

37. Parsliip: the Pronoun. — To parse the pronoun, 
the student should state the following: 

1. The class and subclass in which it. belongs. It may be 
personal (simple or compound), relative (simple, double, or 
compound), interrogative^ demonstrative ^ indefi^iite (distrib- 
utive, comparative, reciprocal). The antecedent should be 
mentioned, and reasons given for each statement. 

2. The inflection if there is any — gender^ person ^ number^ 
case, and why. 




3. Its use and relations in full. 

38. Model for Written Parsing:. — The following model 

can be made very useful for written parsing. 

Only to a few of us did the master reveal the secret that he had so 
long concealed. 

Can you tell me what you wish him to do? 






















d. rel. 






























sing, or 








Relation or Syntax 

obj. of prep, to 
obj. of prep, of 
obj. oi had concealed 

Connects secret with 

he hady etc. 
subj. of had concealed 
sub. of can tell 
obj. of to understood 
_ thaty which: obj. of 
~ can tell and to do 
sub. of wish 
obj. of wish and sub. 

of to do for practice 

Parse, in writing, all the pronouns given in the first twelve sen- 
tences in example 3 of the Examples for Practice following Art. 36, 





r Classes 



1. Personal |,^'"P'^ ^ 


3 . In terrogative 

4. Demonstrative 



(PART 5) 


!• Importance of the Verb. — We have already learned 
that in every sentence the verb is the predicating word. By 
this is meant that the verb is the word that enables us: 

1. To say, tell, or declare. 

The earth is a sphere. The storm will rage fiercely. 

2. To ask a question. 

Is he a scholar? Has the boy arrived? 

3. To command, entreat, or wish. 

Be quiet. Excuse me. 

Proceed, Pity the blind. 

Walk slowly. Thy will be done. 

Every word in a statement is, or should be, necessary to 
the completeness of the statement; the same is true of the 
words in a question or a command. But the verb is the one 
word that cannot be omitted without making nonsense of 
what remains — without destroying the completeness of the 
sentence. It is impossible to express a complete thought 
unless some word in the sentence has the office of a predi- 
cating verb. From this fact, grammarians were led to call 
this part of speech the verby from the Latin word verbum, 
meaning **a word.'* The name implies that the verb is the 
word — the all-important element in speech. 

The verb is named, therefore, from considering the impor- 
tance of the part it fills in the sentence. The usual definition 
of the verb, however, refers to its use in the sentence rather 

For notice of copyright ^ see Page immediately followinz the title Page 



than to its importance. Considered, then, with respect to 
the office it fills, — its hinction^ — the verb tells\ it questwfis, 
it commands — in one word, it predicates. 

Definition. — A verb is the Predicating word or words in a 

The dog barks. 

A bird was singing in the cherry tree. 

The. time for our departure will soon arrive. 

Can John solve the example? 

The man is a scholar. 

2. Wtiat Verbs Express. — In order that the student 
may understand the real nature of the verb, and the reasons 
for the classifications that are to follow, it is necessary to 
consider more fully just what this part of speech does in the 

The most important matter with which langfuage can be 
concerned is action — the various changes and movements- 
and doings of things material and immaterial. In the expres- 
sion of thought many words are required, but the most useful 
of them all is the verb — the action word. Now, action is of 
many kinds, and it is sometimes not easy to see that a 
certain verb really does express action. 

Physical action is recognized without difficulty, generally 
by the aid of the senses. Examples of verbs denoting this 
kind of action are walk^ push^ write, skate , build, sing, eat. 

Mental and emotional action is almost as readily recog- 
nized as that expressed by verbs denoting sensible motions. 
Such are think, remember, admire, consider, judge, decide. 

It is less easy to see that real action or change is indicated 
by such verbs as rest, lie (to recline), sleep, decay, grow, and 
many others like them; but, most difficult of 'all are a few 
verbs called neuter verbs, such as seem, appear, feel, and 
especially be in its various forms — am, is, was, were, have 
been, will be, etc. 

The neuter verbs are thought by many not to express 
action at all, but to denote a state or condition of that which 
is named by the subject. A little reflection, however, will 



make it clear that they express action and at the same time 
denote a state or condition of the actor. 

When it is said, He seems sick, there are certain changes in 
the usual appearance of the person in question, sig^ns that 
speak as plainly to the eye as the tongue can to the ear. In 
other words, certain parts of a man*s body, by doing some- 
thing, seem or look or appear in a manner that reveals 
some state or condition of the man himself. For example, 
his general bearing, his movements, the color of his skin, 
the luster of his eyes, and many other agencies are by a kind 
of action making known that he is in a state described by 
the word sick, 

3. Action and State. — Every verb, then, indicates some 
kind and degree of activity. But this is not all. It is true 
also that every verb expresses or implies a state or con- 
dition of the actor. Thus, when it is said, The boy walks, 
thinks, sleeps, and grows, each of the verbs denotes a special 
kind of activity as well as a certain accompanying state. 
The boy not only performs the act of walking, but he is in 
a state or condition such that he may be called a walking 
boy. He is in a condition of walking, of thinking, of sleep, 
of growth. When the boy walks, we notice the action, but 
the state is scarcely ever considered; when he sleeps, we 
notice the state rather than the action. If, however, we say. 
The boy is good, the verb is denotes the species of action that 
we call being or existence, but this action is not even thought 
of; our attention is engaged only by a state or condition of 
goodness in the boy. 

Hence, all verbs might be arranged in a series beginning 
with verbs that make action prominent and state slight or 
unnoticeable, and ending with those in which state is the 
conspicuous feature and the action is obscure or unnoticed. 

























4. Verbs Active and Verbs Neuter. — It is evident 
that all verbs may be divided into two great classes — active 
verbs and neuter verbs. The dividing line between these 
two classes cannot be fixed with any definiteness, for it is 
sometimes difficult to determine whether it is the action or 
the state that is the more prominent. Besides, a verb may 
he used as active in one sentence and neuter in another. 
The following are some examples: 

{He sleeps nofsily. 
We felt our way carefully. 
Keep your promise loyally. 

{The babe sleeps safe in its mother's arms. 
The poor woman felt sad. 
Keep quiet. 

When a verb is neuter, it is accompanied by an adjective 
to denote the state expressed; when active, the action 
denoted by the verb may be modified by an adverb. This is 
illustrated in the sentences given above. 

A verb that expresses both action and state in nearly equal 
degrees may have with it both an adjective and an adverb; 
the one denotes the condition of the actor and the other 
indicates the time, the place, or the manner of the action. 
With verbs of this kind, the adverbial modifier is usually a 
phrase or a clause. 

The following sentences, in diagram, contain verbs that 
are accompanied by both adjectives and adverbs as modifiers: 

1. **(We) (shall] soon [arrive] at home safel" 

t -r- \ '—r — 

1 . , . -l=~~t 

2. "How sweet tbe (moonligbt) [sleeps I upon this bank." 

- T- t - r' ♦ ' ' r ' 1 

3. "The (moon I I looks I wan and pale after the (sun) [rises V 

4. The (tree), broken by the storm, [lay] rotting on the grouna . 

♦ — rr— I \. I 


In 1, soon and at home are modifiers of shall arrive; safe is 
a predicate adjective denoting the condition of the subject 
after the action is performed. 

In 2, upon this bank is an adverbial phrase telling where 
the action of sleeping takes place; sweet is a predicate adjec- 
tive denoting the state or quality of the moonlight. This will 
be better seen if the sentence is transposed — The moonlight 
sleeps how sweet tipon this bank. 

In 3, after the stm rises is an adverbial clause modifier of 
looks and denotes the time when the moon looks wan and pale. 

In 4, rotting is a participle having the value of a predicate 
adjective; it denotes the state or condition of the tree. On the 
ground is an adverbial phrase that tells where the tree was 
lying. _^ 


By means of diagrams, analyze the following sentences: 

(a) The sun rose warm and bright above the desolate" arctic scenery. 

(b) Bright and fierce and fickle is the South, 
And dark and true and tender is the North. 

(c) For still my voice rang false and hollow when I sang. 

(d) The jewel on her brow burned clear, a mystic star. 

(e) During the entire day the captive sat in his cage, sad and 

(/■) Every pupil sat erect at his desk, patient and obedient, and 
went through his exercises. 

ig) Long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting. 

(h) The skies gjew dark and glared red and angry over the peace- 
ful landscape. 

(i) Fresh from thefountainsof the wood, a rivulet of the valley came. 

(;) He bore himself confident and fearless before his enemies. 

(k) She opened the door wide for us, and waited, quiet but atten- 
tive, while we told our wants. 

(/) The days seemed strangely dull and lonesome; the nights 
dragged dark and fearful. 

5. Classes of Active Verbs. — The action expressed by 
a verb may be of a kind that involves only the actor, as when 

we say: 



Again, the action may begin with the actor and end with 
something that receives the action or is affected by it. 

{killed a bird, 
knew his lesson, 
solved a problem. 

In these examples, the action performed by the boy oper- 
ates on or affects something besides the boy himself — a bird, 
a /esssofi, a. problem. These words are called the direct objects, 
or merely the objects, of the verbs. Verbs that have direct 
objects are called transitive, because the action seems to pass 
over (transire, **to go over") from the actor to something 
that receives the action. Not always, however, do the 
subject and the object have the verb between them, but 
the name transitive implies that they do. The following 
sentences have these two parts on the same side of the 
verb, but this arrangement is irregular and poetical. 

Arms aud the man I sing. 

Rivers they forded and lofty mountains they climbed. 

Here arms and man are the objects' of sing (to celebrate 
in a poem); also, rivers and motmtains are the objects 
of the transitive verbs forded and climbed, respectively. 

All active verbs that do not have objects are called intrans- 
itive, for the reason that the action does not go over, so to 
speak, from an actor to a receiver. 

Transitive: The girl washed the dishes and swept 
the floor. 

Intransitive: The clock ran for a time and then 


AcrrvB Verbs 


Whether a verb is transitive or intransitive depends entirely 
on the use that is made of it, for a verb ordinarily transitive 
may be used without an object. In such cases the verb 
should be regarded as intransitive. 

Men build, but time destroys, 
Leah washed and combed. 

The intention here is to say of me7t only that they perform 
the act of building, very much as we might say of birds that 
they perform the act of flying. To specify what they build 


is apart from the purpose. When a verb is thus used with- 
out a direct object, it is intransitive. Hence, in the sen- 
tences just given, the verbs bnild^ destroys^ washed^ and combed^ 
having no objects, are intransitive. 

The subject may be omitted and yet the verb may be 
transitive; for, in an imperative sentence, the subject is 
regularly absent, but is clearly implied. 

He worked hard and (subject implied) saved money, 
(Subject) Ring the bells ^ and (subject) fire the^/«5, and (subject) 
FLING your starry banners out. 

Definition. — A tranKltlve verb is a verb that expresses 
action represented as received by some person or thing. 

The lady selected some ribbon. 
The general won the battle. 
Jack KILLED the giant. 

Definition. — An Intransitive verb is a verb that 
expresses cution not represented as received by any person or 

The bird sings. 

The boys were skating. 

He was thinking of home. 

Definition. — A reflexive verb is a transitive verb whose 
subject and object denote the same person or thing. 

The question answers itself. 

They have injured only themselves. 

All verbs not actually used as neuter, and of neuter verbs 
there are few, belong in one or other of these two great 
classes; that is, they are either active- transitive oractlve- 


Make a list of the transitive verbs, and with each verb write its 
object. Then make a list of the intransitive verbs. 

(a) The earth sometimes receives the shadow of the moon. 

(b) The directors met and voted a large sum of money for 

(c) The foolish fellow killed the goose that had laid the 
golden eggs. 


(d) These people deserve the sympathy and respect of all right- 
minded men. 

(r ) The party that won the election believed that it should enjoy 
the advantages of its victory. 

(/■) Playing ball occupied a large share of the boy's time. 
(^) A furious storm overturned the ship and blew her sails away. 
(A) Heaven from all creatures hides the book of fate. 
{t) The sun rose and shed his golden light on the beautiful 

{/) The seeds ye sow, another reaps; 

The wealth ye find, another keeps; 
The robes ye weave, another wears; 
The arms ye forge, another bears. 
{k) Man wants but little here below, nor wants that little long. 

6. Transitive Verbs, Active and Passive. — Transi- 
tive verbs occur in two forms: 

1. The Active Form. — In this use of the transitive verb, 
the subject denotes the actor; the name of the receiver of the 
action is the direct object of the verb. 

The hunter killed a deer. 
David slew Goliath. 

The subject, hunter^ denotes the actor; the object, deer^ 
denotes the receiver of the action. In the second sentence, 
Davids the subject, names the actor, and Goliath, the object, 
denotes the receiver of the action. 

2. The Passive Form, — In the passive form of a transitive 
verb, the subject denotes the receiver of the action, and the 
actor, if denoted at all, is represented by the object of the 
preposition by. 

A deer was killed by the hunter. 
Goliath was slain by David. 

Deer names both the subject of the verb and the receiver 
of the action. Hunter, the object of the preposition hy, 
denotes the actor. 

7. Omission of Actor's Name From Passive Con- 
structions. — We may wish to say that something has been 
done, but by whom done we may either not know or may 


not wish to say. Sometimes, too, it may be a matter of no 
interest or importance by what agency the act was performed. 

Our silver has been stolen (thieves unknown). 
The burglar was arrested yesterday (not important by whom) . 
The earth has been circumnavigated (by many persons). 
This sediment was brought from the uplands (by various agencies 
that need not be specified). 

In these sentences the verbs are transitive, for only transi- 
tive verbs are capable of assuming the passive form. 

In the active form, however, no verb is transitive unless 
the object is actually expressed or so clearly implied that its 
presence in the sentence would be awkward or unnecessary. 

The fsLTmer planted , cultivated , and marketed his pota- 
toes during his son's absence. 

Here, each verb is transitive, for in place of the blanks the 
noun potatoes must be understood. 

The following diagrams will show where the action begins, 
and on what it operates and ends, in these two transitive 

Transitfve Forms 

I )mm ^ I 

Active, — "Our visitor related the stor^ with much efifect" 

I ■< e«<^ ^ I 

Passive, — *• The story was related with much effect by our vissUor,^^ 


Change each of the following sentences into the passive form: 
{a) The dog killed the sheep. 

(b) The teacher gave the boy a beautiful book. 

(c) With a little help from the teacher John solved a difficult 

(d) With a good opera glass, one can see the four moons of the 
planet Jupiter. 

(e) Two gases, oxygen and hydrogen, form water. 
(/) The boy killed a sparrow with his air gun. 

(^) The incoming train might have killed the careless passenger. 
(A) A strong guard of soldiers defended the town. 


{i) Neither friend nor enemy can influence him. 

(y) On a clear day, we could see a ship, like a white bird, in the 

(k) Can you deceive the judge with such a story? 

(/) Magellan circumnavigated the earth and discovered the Philip- 
pine Islands. 

8. other Prepositions Tlian By In the Passive. 

The preposition dy is regularly used in the passive before 
the name of the actor or agent. 

The tree was killed by lightning. 
We were overtaken by a storm. 

Sometimes, Ihowever, with or of is used instead of by. 

The cat was strangled with tnilk. 

The poor fellow was overwhelmed with misfortune. 

The teacher was disgusted w^ith John's conduct. 

We were delighted with our success. 

The boy was enamored of his cousin. 

The man was po.ssessed of a devil. 

These sentences may all be written in the active form 
with the nouns in Italics as subjects, proving that they are 
in true passive construction. 

Milk strangled the cat. 

Afisfortune overwhelmed the poor fellow. 

John's conduct disgusted the teacher. 

Our success delighted us. 

The boy's cousin enamored him. 

A devil possessed the man. 

9. other Transitive Forms. — There are several pecul- 
iar cases of the transitive construction: 

1. Some intransitive verbs may be used transitively when 
compounded with a preposition. Prepositions so used, with- 
out an object, are really adverbs. 


The people stared at the strangers. 

rWe were laughed at by them. 
I The strangers were stared at by the people. 
Transitive* The maid was spoken to by her mistress. 

The decision was arrived at after much discussion. 
.The column was added up by the teacher. 


These are true transitives, for, as we have seen, only trans- 
itive verbs are capable of assuming the passive form. 

2. When four elements enter the construction; viz., the 
subject, the verb, the direct object, and the indirect object. 
These four elements appear in both the active and the pas- 
sive construction. 

- . f The professor taught (to) him grammar. 

iThe child's father bought (for) Mary a doll. 
p f Grammar was taught (to) him by the professor. 

\A doll was bought (for) Mary by her father. 

In these sentences, him and Mary, whether preceded by 
to or {or or not, are called indirect objects. 

3. When the actor is only implied and is indefinite. In 
such cases, the actor or cause may be regarded as being in 
external circumstances or influences, or in mental preference 
or inclination. 

I am decided (by existing facts) to retreat. 

He was inclined (by nature, by instinct) to evade questions. 

I am resolved (by reflection — by experience) to try. 

I am grieved to know that my old friend is dead. 

He is determined to go into the army. 

Verbs so used are such as denote some form of mental 
habit or state; as, bent, disposed, resolved, grieved, hurt^ 
determined, etc. 

Instead of regarding this as a true passive construction, it 
is perhaps better to treat it as a case of the verb be followed 
by a verbal with the force of a predicate adjective. 

He was 





The (general) (was] inclined to attack.' 
-^-J ' t =1 

Here inclined is a verbal with the exact value of a predi- 
cate adjective; just as if the sentence were written thus: 


to attack. 


4. Cognate Objects. — Some verbs, usually intransitive, take 
objects similar in meaning to the verb itself {^cognate, '*bom 
together,** and so, similar in meaning). 

The whistles blew a blast. 

He dreamed a dream. 

The judge drank a draft from the spring. 

He saw a sight. 

The passive form of this construction is generally awk- 
ward, and should be avoided. 

A sight was seen by him. 

A draft from the spring was drunk by the judge. 

10. The False Passive. — An erroneous construction, 
called the false passive, is frequently employed by care- 
less writers. It consists in using the indirect object of the 
active construction as the subject of the passive verb. The 
following examples will illustrate: 

{My father sent me a letter. 
The teacher gave the boy a book. 
The lady oflfered the boy a dollar. 

{A letter was sent (to) me by my father. 
A book was given (to) the boy by the teacher. 
A dollar was offered (to) the boy by th^ lady. 

{I was sent a letter by my father. 
The boy was given a book by the teacher. 
The boy was offered a dollar by the lady. 

In the last three sentences, letter, book, and dollar seem to 
be the direct objects of the passive verbs that precede them. 
This construction is not permissible, for only active verbs 
can have direct objects. In order to put letter, book, and 
dollar in the nominative case, as they should be, the sen- 
tences must have the apparent subjects in the objective case 
after the preposition to. 

To me a letter was sent etc. 

To the boy a book was given etc. 

To the boy a dollar was offered etc. 



1. Convert the following active constructions into passives: 
(a) The king furnished the messenger a carriage. 

Model. — Passive: A carriage was furnished (for) the messenger 
by the king. 

(d) Old Mother Hubbard gave the poor dog a bone. 

{c) The teacher sent a book to her best student. 

(d) The foreman paid the workman a month's wages. 

{e) The farmer showed the bewildered traveler the right path. 

(/) The charitable lady bought the destitute family a supply of 

(g) The lawyer procured the accused a new trial. 

(h) The captain gave the scout promotion on account of his 
faithful service. 

(i) The physician obtained the patient a vacation. 

(/) The rich man gave the poor widow the scraps from his table. 

(k) The artist showed the lady his finest pictures. 

(/) The traveler told the guests an interesting story of his travels. 

(wi) The merchant sold the customer some damaged goods. 

(«) My father gave me much excellent advice. 

(o) The sheriflf handed the counsel an important paper. 

(p) A messenger brought the gentleman a message. 

(g) The magistrate gave the prisoners a severe lecture concerning 
their conduct. ^ 

(r) The doctor ordered the patient a long rest. 

2. Analyze, by diagrams, the following sentences: 

{a) If you talk nonsense, you must expect few listeners. 

(d) Santiago was surrendered to the American forces by the 

{c) Admiral Dewey's victory over the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay 
was followed by the cession of the Philippine Islands. 

(d) Lighted by gems shall its dungeon be. 

But the pride of its beauty shall kneel to me. 

(e) And he who scorns the least of Nature's works 
Is thenceforth exiled and shut out from all. 

(/) John the Baptist was beheaded by order of Herod Antipas. 

ig) The best things are found when we are looking for some- 
thing else. 

(h) The world's method of punishing ignorance is not by a word 
and a blow and the blow first; it is the blow without the word. 

(i) In America more than one hundred machines are used in 
making a shoe. 



11. Conjugation. — As we have seen, nouns and pro- 
nouns are inflected or changed in form in consequence of 
some change in their meaning or use. For a similar reason, 
verbs also are inflected. The inflection of nouns and pro- 
nouns is called declension; that of verbs, conjugation. This 
word means a yoking or joiniyig together; that is, all the dif- 
ferent inflections of a verb are so arranged as to be seen 
together and the changes more easily recognized, compared, 
and remembered. 

Verbs have four inflections: (1) for mode; (2) for tense; 
(3) iox number; (4) iov person. 

Definition. — Conjugration is an orderly arrangement of 
the various modes , tenses y numbers y and persons of a verb. 


12. Function of Mode. — The* sentence, / walky takes 
before the mind the form of a mere statement; that is, the 
guise or t/tode of the thought is that of a statement or 
declaration. The thought is merely stated or indicated. 

By the help of certain other words, the thought may be 
expressed as conditional or dependent on something else; it 
then assumes before the mind another fashion or mode. 

,, , >I make haste, I shall be late. 
Unless J 

Again, a thought may be conceived or recognized as 
being in the mode or dress of a command or an entreaty; 
as, Walk thou. Be quiet. Make Haste, 

Or, the action or state mav take the form of mere mention 
without special reference to any person as acting or being. 
This is a case of action or being in general, and without 
actual predication. 

To live is to think, 

*Tis better to hatfe loved and (to have) losty 
Than never to have loved at all. 


These different attitudes that a complete thought or a 
mere verbal idea assumes are modes; and, since these differ- 
ences depend largely on the form of the verb and the way in 
which it is used, the verb itself is said to be in this or that 
mode. Really, however, it is generally the sentence that 
has mode; but the word is applied in grammar only to the 
verb. Mode is to a sentence very much as a uniform is to 
an official of any kind. A thought appears at one time in 
the dress of a statement^ and at another time in that of a 
question; now as a command^ again as a condition; etc. 

Definition. — Mode is the form or use of a verb by which is 
shown the kind of sentential structure employed to express a 

Mode comes very near to being only another classification 
of sentences with respect to use. From use or function, sen- 
tences are declarative^ interrogative, and imperative. From 
the form they assume — their verbal dress — sentences, or, 
rather, the verbs they contain, are said to be in the indica-~^ 
tive mode when they indicate or declare, or when they 
express a question; in the imperative mode when the sentence 
expresses a command; etc. 

13. Number of Modes. — There is no agreement among 
grammatical authorities as to the number of modes in 
English, but the greater weight of present opinion is 
undoubtedly in favor of four modes. 

These modes are: (1) the indicative, (2) the imperative ^ 
(3) the subjunctive^ (4) the i?ifi?titive, 

14. Tlie Indicative Mode. — The word indicative means 

''pointing out,** or **showing.'* When a thought is expressed 

in the form or guise that affirms or denies, or in a form that 

questions, the predicating verb is in the indicative mode. 

The earth is a planet. 
He will not conte. 
Does he understand f 

The first of these sentences affirms, the second denies, 
and the third expresses a question. The verbs used for 
these three purposes are in the indicative mode. 


Again, when the thought expressed in a conditional clause 
is taken or meant as true, and not as a mere supposition, the 
verb is in the indicative mode. 

If he is wise, he is cruel. (Here it is granted that he is wise.) 
If he was a great traveler, so also was I. 

The truth or falsity of an ordinary statement, however, 
has nothing whatever to do With the mode of its verb. 
Hence, the verbs in the following sentences are all in the 
indicative mode: 

The sun rises at noon. 

Dragon teeth were once soztm, and men in complete armor sprang 
from them. 

The earth is an immense cube. 

Other examples of verbs in the indicative mode are in the 
following sentences: 

He can solve the example. 

The girl may not come. 

They may not /lave heard what yon were saying. 

Might yow not have misunderstood his statement? 

You should not have gone. 

Some grammarians say that verb phrases in which may, 
catty musty mighty couldy wouldy and should occur, are in the 
potential mode. But since all these verb forms affirm, 
deny, or question, they should be regarded as indicatives. 

Definition. — The indicative mode is the form or use oi 
a verb by which a thought is predicated as a statement y a ques- 
tion y or a condition assumed as true, 

15. The Imperative Mode. — The word imperative 
means ''commanding,*' but in grammar its meaning is 
extended to include every use of the verb between com- 
manding and mere permission. 

Make ready, take aim, fire. 

Come on; let us set out. 

Pity the poor. 

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining. 

Go in peace. 

Please yourself in what you do. 


It is by use and not by form that the imperative mode of 
a verb is shown; for the imperative form make, in the sen- 
tence. Make readyy is unchanged in the indicative sentence, 
They make ready. It is only the use that is different. 

The subject of an imperative verb is usually omitted. This 
subject denotes the person or thing commanded, and is most 
frequently the pronoun thou or you understood. When the 
name of the person commanded is used, it is independent 
by address. Thus, in Come, John, the sentence in full is, 
( You) Come, John. 

Definition. — The imperative mode is the use of a verb 
by which a sentence is shown to be a command, an exhortation, 
an entreaty, or a m^re permission, 

16. The Subjunctive Mode. — This mode is so named 
because it is found only in subjoined or dependent clauses. 
The student must not assume, however, that the predicating 
verb in every subordinate clause is in this mode. 

The subjunctive mode is used: 

1. When doubt or denial or a condition of things con- 
trary to the fact is implied by a subordinate clause; as. 

If I were sure of his honesty, I would engage him. (The implica- 
tion is that I am not sure of his honesty.) 

Had he been kitted, his father would have died of grief. (This is 
e()uivalent to denying that he was killed.) 

If the day had been stormy, I should not be here. (The meaning 
is that the day is not stormy.) 

But, if the conditional clause expresses a certainty or an 
admitted fact, the verb is in the indicative mode; as, 

If he is a gentleman (which is granted), why did he not explain his 

If he calls every day, be assured that he has a motive for so doing. 

If he did blunder, that is no excuse for persecuting him. (Here, is, 
calls, has, and did blunder are indicative.) 

2. To express a wish — a desire that something might be 
that is not; as. 

Would she were mine = I wish that she were mine. 

Thy deeds be upon thee = I wish that thy deeds may l>e upon thee. 




3. To express a mere supposition; as, 

If wishes were horses, beggars might ride. 

Were the moon made of green cheese, the ihilky way could be 

4. To denote a future uncertainty; as, 

If it stwWy I shall be surprised. 
Should he come^ I shall let you know. 

5. To express an intention not yet carried out; as, 
The judge directs that you be required to pay the costs. 

In all these cases, the subordinate clause expresses some- 
thing that has no existence in reality, is contrary to the truth, 
or is only conceived. The subjunctive mode is the mode of 
doubt, imagination, and uncertainty; the indicative is the 
mode of actuality, of certainty, of fact. 

17. Indicative and Subjunctive Modes Contrasted. 

The following examples will aid the student in distinguish- 
ing between the indicative and subjunctive modes: 

SuBJUNcrrvE Mode 

If twice four were ten, my change 
would be correct. 

If twice four be ten, my change is 

If the sky fall^ we shall catch 

Would that night or Blucher were 

Unless ye repent^ there is no for- 

Should any soldier absent himself 

he shall be punished. 
IVere the sun not intensely hot, 

all life would disappear from 

the earth. 
Though I were dead, I should 

hear your voice. 

Indicative Mode 

If twice five is ten. my change is 
not correct. 

If the mail is heavy, we put on 
more help. 

It was as dark as if night had 

Unless applicants for work are 
sixteen years old, we do not 
hire them. 

He is a coward, if he is a brag- 
gart (as is admitted). 

If it was a counterfeit (which is 
not denied), you were arrested 

Though he was dead, his influ- 
ence lived. 

There are many nice distinctions in the subjunctive con- 
struction, and many disputed points. These distinctions, 


however, occur for the most part in the writings of an earlier 
time; for the subjunctive mode is but little used by modern 
writers, being displaced by the indicative. It cannot be 
said, therefore, that sentences like the following are gram- 
matically erroneous, for we are constantly meeting such in 
the works of our best modem writers. 

If I was taken ill, I would call Dr. Brown. 
If it raitis tomorrow, I will not go. 
Though it thunders^ he cannot hear it. 
If twice six is ten, you owe me nothing. 

Definition. — The subjunctive tnode is the form or use 
of a verb that makes a subordinate clause express something as 
doubtful or merely supposed. 


Arrange the verbs in the following sentences according to their 
modes — indicative, subjunctive, and imperative — in separate lists: 

(a) Had he been killed, I should never have forgiven myself. 

(b) Though his coat were of rubber, it would not keep him dry. 

(c) Though he wears a rubber coat, he is frequently wet. 

(d) Unless he come for the money, I shall not pay him. 

(e) Were I not Alexander, I should like to be Diogenes. 
(/) Had it been a spirit, it would have been invisible. 
(g) Though I was in fault, he should have pardoned me. 

(h) Except he find "the foot of the rainbow, he will get no 
pot of gold. 

(i) Lest he forget his errand, I shall give him written instructions. 

(/) Provided he go rapidly, he will be there in time. 

(k) Take heed, lest any man deceive you. 

(/) If you g^ant that he is a scholar, I shall claim that he should 
have the place. 

(w) Although the lake was artificial, it looked as picturesque as if 
it were natural. 

(n) If he do but devote himself to his business, he will succeed. 

{a) Should you meet a team on the highway, keep to the right. 

(p) It is decided that you suffer the consequences of your folly. 

(q) If you would that others should treat you justly, act justly 
toward them. 

(r) Should my ship come in, as I hope, my fortune will be made. 

{s) The danger from a thunderbolt has passed before the thunder 
is heard. 


18. The Infinitive Mode. — The word inlinitive means 
**not limited.*' This mode is so named because it takes no 
change of form in consequence of any change in the person 
or number of its subject. In the case of the other modes, 
especially the indicative, such changes" of the verb occur, 
and they are for that reason called finite modes; the verbs 
also are finite — they are limited, modified, changed in form, 
for person and number. The following illustrations will 
make this difference clear: 

Indicatfve Mode 
First Person'. I go. 

Finite ■{ 

Second Person-. < .. ^ 

i.You go. 


Third Person-. He goes. 
Plural First Person", We go. 

Infinitive Mode 

I First Person'. He told me to go. 
Second Person-. He toldj \ ^® [to go. 
TThird Person-. He told him to go. 
Plural First Person-. He told us to go. 

Here it will be noticed that to go undergoes no change — is 
unlimited — in consequence of any changes in the person or 
number of the subject; while the indicative does change, 
and is therefore a limited or finite mode. It should be 
added that the verbal nouns and adjectives or participles 
are, like the infinitive, unlimited — not subject to change — for 
person and number. The verbals are real infinitives; by 
most authorities, however, the name infinitive has been con- 
fined to the forms with to^ either expressed or understood. 

The infinitive does not predicate, as do the other modes, 

but it names an act very much as a common noun names a 

thing. Usually, therefore, the infinitive is a kind of verbal 

noun. This may be seen from the following examples: 

Life 1 ^^^.^^ 

Living >is pleasant. He desired < ^ 

To live J ^*^^^*- 

The sign of the infinitive is the preposition to, expressed 
or understood. 


The preposition to generally precedes the infinitive; but 
the preposition is not a part of the verb, although it is some- 
times treated as such. The sign of the infinitive is usually 
omitted after the verbs may^ cariy must, shall ^ will^ doy bid^ 
darCy makey see, hear, feel, and many others. 

You may (to) go. 

They saw him (to) finish the work. 

He need not (to) come. 

Definition. — The infinitive mode is the use of a verb by 
which action or state is represented ^ not as predicated ^ but as 
merely named. 

19. Forms of the Infinitive. — Intransitive verbs have 
two infinitives, and transitive verbs have two active and 
two passive forms of the same mode. 

- f to walk, or to be walking 

lNTRANSITrVB<^ , „ , ^ i. *. n • 

I to have walked » or to have been walking 


f >4 /• i*^ write, or to be writing 

\to have written, or to have been writing 
„ fto be written 

[to have been written 

20, Kinds of Predication. — The viovd predication 
when used in grammar without a modifying word is applied, 
in its full sense, only to finite verbs. They assert or deny 
action or state; they formally state or deny that something 
is or does something or other, or they express an inquiry 
as to whether something or other is or does this or that. 

The boy is studious. The earth revolves. 

The sky is not a dome. Study your lesson. 

Dobs he see us? If he is not going etc. 

This kind of predication is real — actually made — and is 
the work done by verbs in the indicative, imperative, and 
subjunctive modes. 

The action or state expressed by the infinitive is not 
asserted, but is taken for granted or assumed, just as is 
done in the case of the ordinary verbal noun. Thus, if we 
should say, John writes, we have actually declared that some 
one called John performs an act expressed by writes. But 


in, / told John to write, or, / enjoyed writing, the action 
expressed by to write or by writing is not asserted but 
assumed. The idea of action goes with these verb forms as 
a part of their meaning, and not as a formal assertion. 
Very much like this difference is that between the expres- 
sions, John^s hat and John owns tJie hat. In the first expres- 
sion, ownership by John is assumed or taken for granted 
as something not denied; in the second, ownership is predi- 
cated — distinctly stated. All verb forms not belonging 
among the finite forms have this assumed predication. All 
finite verb forms have actual predication. 


Make separate lists of the Infinitives; also of the verbs in the three 
finite modes. 

(a) I want you not to forget to come. 

(b) We found her practicing her music lesson. 

(f ) If you fail to report, your place will be given to some one else. 

(d) Hadst thou been here, my brother would not have died. 

(e) He was blamed for wasting the fortune inherited from his father. 
(/) Nero is said to have fiddled while Rome was burning. 

(g) He who could prepare men to die would at the same time be 
teaching them how to live. 

(h) I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is 
the lamp of experience. 

(i) He who does not have an excellent memory should never 
undertake the business of lying. 

{f) The greatest of faults is perhaps to think you have no faults. 

(k) The boy whistled to keep himself from being afraid. 

(/) The roses seemed to be saying: **Come and do something 
with us.** 

21. Elements That May Be Associated Witli the 
Infinitive. — Although, in the case of the infinitive, predica- 
tion is only assumed, this mode of a verb may have: 

1. 'A Subject, — This may be expressed, or it may be 
implied more or less distinctly. 

We invited him to cotne. 

They persuaded us to remain, 

John was told (him) to go (to go himsblp). 


In the first sentence, him is both the object of the finite 
verb invited and the subject of the infinitive to come. Os is 
the object of persuaded and the subject of to remain. The 
subject of an infinitive that follows a passive verb is usually 
understood. In the third sentence, him or himself is the 
understood subject of to go. 

The subject of the infinitive is always in the objective case. 

2. An Object. 

We sent him to see the play. 

For us to have defeated our BNEMnss served to honor our country. 

The words play^ enemies, and country are all objects of 
preceding infinitives. 

3. A Predicate Noun, Proftoun, or Adjective. 

We knew her to be a teacher. 
They declared the visitor to be him. 
Dare to be true. 

A noun or pronoun used in the predicate with the infinitive 
always denotes the same person or thing as the subject and 
is in the same case. Thus, teacher and him denote the same 
persons as her and visitor, re spec ti /ely. 

4. An Adverbial Modifier. — This may be a word, a phrase, 

or a clause. 

To live temperately is to live in harmon'*' with the laws of our 

It is important to strike when the iron is hot. 

We knew the letter to have been written while he was secretary. 

In each of these sentences, the element in small capitals is 
a modifier of the infinitive in Italics. 

22. Functions of the Infinitive. — An infinitive may 
have the office: 

1. Of a Noun, — As a noun, the infinitive may be the 
subject or object of a verb, a predicate noun, a noun in 
apposition, a noun independent by pleonasm, or it may be 
the object of a preposition. 

To DIE {subject) for one*s country is sweet. 
He tried to escape (object) . 

All that we ask is to see him. (To see is used as a predicate noun 
and denotes the same thing as all thai we ask, the subject of is,) 


We are all under the same obligation — to help the helpless. {To 
help is used as a noun in apposition to obligation.) 

To die; is that merely to sleep longer than usual? ( To die is used as 
a noun independent by pleonasm.) 

Except TO SUBMIT, we have no choice. {To submit is used as the 
object of the preposition except.) 

2. Of an Adjective, — As an adjective, the infinitive may 
modify the meaning of a noun or a pronoun directly, or it 
may do so as a predicate adjective. 

They received bread to eat. (To eat modifies breads just as if the 
expression were eatable bread.) 

He seems to have suffered much. (To have suffered is the pred- 
icate adjective after the neuter verb seems.) 

They showed a willingness to work for a living. (To work mod- 
ifies the noun willingness.) 

3. Of an Adverb. 

A man should eat to lfve, not live to eat. 

They are almost ready to depart for the West. I hoped to be able 
to visit my teacher. 

In the first two sentences the infinitives, in small capitals, 
are used as adverbs, and each modifies the italicized element 
with which it is used. In the last sentence, the infinitive to 
visit is an adverbial modifier of the adjective able. 


1. Make a list of the infinitives in the following sentences; also state 
how each infinitive is used: 

(a) I love to watch them in the deep blue vault. 

(b) The youngest was quick to understand an explanation. 

(c) It is better to have tried and failed than never to have 
tried at all. 

(d) Let John be sent to find out why they failed to do the work. 

(e) The speaker began to address the members. 
( /) He ventured to break his promise to obey. 
(g) We had only a few minutes to spare. 

(h) Rome is said to have been founded 753 B. C. 

(i) Determined to succeed, we set to work in earnest. 

(j) No one ought to read a book that he is unable to understand 

(k) Brutus professed to be Caesar's friend. 

(/ ) To be or not to be; that is the question. 


(m) You need not expect a secret to remain a secret unless you 
keep it from every person. 

( n) It is sweet and becoming to die for one's country. 

2. Study the models and in a similar way analyze the sentences 
that follow them: 


(a) (To have apologized) [was] to have admitted 

+ I 

that (we) [werel wrong. 

id) The (soldiers) [were] extremely eager to make an attack. 

_t 1 t I . • =r = 

(f) In her attic window the staff (she) [set], 

"r--r- t ^tL5t= | 

...^ -I- -O—J ^^^TL 

To show that one (heart) [was] loyal yet' 

t I 

I, ,. .=^=— IT 

{d) To die; (that) [is] to fall asleep and not. wake again. 

t —I — nz t ~r~ 

{e) Each morning sees some task begpn, 

' Each evening sees it close. 

SoTK.—Be^tM and close are infinitives after sees, the sifirn oi the infinitive being 

(/) Pause not to dream of the future. 

(^) The story is much too sad to repeat, or even to hear. 

(A) He believed his circle to be equal in area to our square. 

(/) I have sat and eyed 

The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled 
To see him shake his lightnings o'er my head. 

{j) I come to bury Cajsar, not to praise him. 

(k) The walls must be crumbled, the stones decayed, 

To pleasure his dainty whim. 

( /) A sunbeam would not have deigned to enter through a window 
so dirty. 

23, Verbals. — There are two other kinds of words 
derived from verbs. They have already been briefly noticed, 
but it is necessary to treat them here more fully. 


Like verbs, verbals imply action or state, and at the same 
time they have the function of adjectives or of nouns. Such 
action or state as they express is assumed, not predicated. 
Sometimes their verbal character is the more prominent 
feature; in other cases their noun or their adjective nature is 
the stronger. Since they are forms of the verb, they are 
known by the general name of verbals. They are: (1) the 
gerufid or verbal noun; (2) the participle or verbal adjective, 

24. The Gerund. — This verbal may be simple or 


Seeing is believing. 
Simple' He was accused of cheating. 
We admired his skating, 

{Being loved is more satisfactory than being^ hated. 
He prided himself upon having been promoted. 
His having escaped was due to carelessness. 

The gerund, or verbal noun, may be used in the same 
relations as an ordinary noun. It may therefore be: 
{a) Subject of a sentence. 

Living is expensive. 

The boy*s having been indulged was the cause of his ruin. 

Here having been indulged is the subject of was^ just as 
the noun indulgence is in the sentence, Indulgerue was the 
boy's ruin. 

{b) Object of a verb or of a preposition. 

We practiced riding a bicycle. 

We must thank him for having assisted us. 

Riding is the object of the transitive verb practiced; having 
assisted is the object of the preposition for, 
{c) Predicate noun. 

Seeing is believing. 

(d) In any of the independent relations; as, apposition, 
explanation, pleonasm, etc. 

A most responsible function, teaching, is discharged by more than 
four hundred thousand persons in this country. 
Lying! Do you mean to accuse me of lying? 


A verbal noun may take an adverbial modifier; when 
derived horn a transitive verb it may have an object. 

Living economically is the usual method of saving money. 
Speaking only when we were addressed was required of all of us. 

The gerund living is modified by the adverb economically; 
money is the object of saving; speakiftg is modified by the 
clause in Italics. 

Definition. — A j^erund or verbal noun is a verbal hav- 
ing the functions of a noun, 

25. The Participle. — The word participle is derived 
from a Latin verb meaning *'to share** or **partake of.*' 
The participle is so called because it partakes of the natiu*e 
and function of both the verb and the adjective. The most 
common form of the verbal adjective ends in ing^ but there 
is no difficulty in distinguishing it from the verbal noun 
ending in ing. For if, like an adjective, a verbal modifies the 
meaning of a noun or a pronoun, it is a participle; if it 
merely names an action or a state, it is a gerund. Like the 
gerund, the participle is either sifnple or compound. 

We saw him skating. 

Columbus, SEEING a light, knew that land was near. 

The merchant , trusted and helped by his creditors, 

regained his prosperity. 
The soldiery wounded and dying, was carried to the 


I The boyy having recovered, returned to his play. 
The clerky having defrauded his employer, was 
Having been suspected, he proved his innocence. 

Dennitlon. — A participle or verbal adjective is a 

verbal having the functions of an adjective. 

The verbal character of the participle is sometimes very 
slightly marked. In such cases the verbal adjective may 
be regarded as an ordinary adjective. The following are 

runninz water, a dining room, a writing teacher, a skating com- 
panion, a standing order 



The same loss of verbal value occurs with the gerund. 
A gerund preceded by a, an, or the becomes a mere abstract 
noun; as, 

The ticking of the old clock was heard above the raging of the 

When such verbals as those in the sentence above take a 
modifier before them, the modifier is usually an adjective; as, 

The loud barking of wolves was heard in the distance. 


Study the models below, and analyze the sentences that follow: 


f — 1 

(«) A (bird) swiftly cleaving the air f is] a very pleasing sight 

(^) Being tired, (l) [lay] down in the jolting wagon 

t—ZZT" 1 1 — ♦ 

-f- ^ , » ^ I , { I 

and (a) I fell I into a sleep disturbed by troubled dreams. 

T t 1 1 ♦ 

(c) (He) ( rosej, struggling with weaknesSi 

\ I 

and (a) [bowed J his head unto the sprinkled ashes, 

t =f= I 

(d) We caught sight of a donkey trying in vain to pull a loaded cart 
up the bank of a roaring mountain stream. 

(e) Having prepared a hasty lunch to appease their coming hunger, 
the boys started before sunrise. 

(/) He thinks, my dear little brother, so knowing, 

That feather-bed fairies do all the snowing. 

{g) The evening mist, rising and floating far and wide, prevented 
us from seeing the mountains. 

{h) But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, 

When once destroyed, can never be supplied. 

{i) There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose. 

The village preacher's modest mansion rose. 

{J) ********** and with him, directing his household. 
Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, the pride of the village. 


(k) And mine has been the fate of those 

To whom the goodly earth and air 
Are banned and barred — forbidden fare. 
(/) I sometimes deemed that it might be 

My brother's soul come down to me. 
(w) Having taken refuge in the swaying tops of the cocoanut trees, 
the monkeys threw the fruit at the sailors wandering about the grove. 
(«) This fading sunshine being gathered up and poured abundantly 
upon the roofs and walls, imbued them with a kind of subdued cheer- 

(o) To spend too much time in studies, is sloth; to use them too 
much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their 
rules, is the humor of a scholar. 

(p) His face was covered with those wrinkles that, rightly looked 
at, are no more than a sort of permanent sunburning. 

(g) Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking 
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore 
Meant in croaking "Nevermore.** 


26. Fnnctlon of Tense. — We have seen that, either by 
its form or by its use, or by both, the action or state 
expressed by a verb may be presented to the mind as being 
in a certain mode. But this is not all that the verb is 
capable of showing. By its form sometimes, but often by 
its use, a verb may reveal the lime of an action or a state. 
Thus, in / am^ I see^ I niTiy the verbs show by their forms 
that the action expressed is to be understood as taking place 
in the present; but if the forms be changed into / was^ I saWy 
I ran, the time of the action belongs to the past. 

This peculiarity of the verb, by which it reveals the time 
of an action or a state, is called U^ise, a word meaning iime. 

A distinction must be made between tense and time. We 
may speak of the tense of a verb and of the time of an 
action, but the words cannot be interchanged. 

Definition. — ^Tense ts the fortn or iise of a verb by which 
it indicates the time and the degree of completeness of the 
expressed action or state, 

27. Divisions of Time. — There are three principal 
divisions of time — the present , the past , and the future. There 




are, therefore, three principal tenses: the present tense, the 
past tense, and the future tense. These are called primary 
tenses because they correspond to these primary divisions of 
time. The following are illustrations: 


' Present Tense 

Past Tense 

Future Tense 




I am loving. 

am loved. 

I do love. 


I was loving. 

was loved. 

I did love. 

shall love. 

I shall be loving. 

shall be loved. 

28. Verb Phrases. — It will be noticed that in the fore- 
going illustrations only two tense forms appear in which the 
verb lot^ey and no other, is used. These are / love and / loved. 
In the other forms, time is shown by means of verb phrases. 
These phrases contain some form of the principal verb asso- 
ciated with forms of certain other helping or auxiliary verbs. 
In the examples given, the only auxiliary verbs used are 
forms of the verbs he, do, and shall. But it will be shown later 
that the primary tenses are subdivided, and that from this 
subdivision many other verb phrases result, in which other 
auxiliary verbs tnust be employed. A complete list of these 
helping verbs in their present and past forms is as follows: 

Present: do, am, 
Past: did, was, 

have, shall, will, may, can, 
had, should, would, might, could, 


29. Auxiliaries as Principal Verbs. — Of these aux- 
iliaries, do, he, and have are used also as principal verbs, 
and their own verb phrases are formed by the help of auxil- 
iaries, in the same manner as is done with other principal 
verbs. The following examples will illustrate: 

' am doing 

was doing 
Do I \ have done 

have been doing 

should be doing 

must have been 

should be 
Be He \ might have been 

will have been 

may have been 

► my daily work. 

^ asleep at the time. 



30. Action as Denoted By Verb Phrases. — In the 

three principal tenses, action in several conditions may be 

1. As Indefinite With Respect to Time, — Thus, action may 
be expressed as performed at some time in the present, the 
past, or the future, but at no particular time. 

Present Indefinite: He works. He does work. 
Past Indefinite: He worked. He did work. 
Future Indefinite: He will work. He shall work. 

2. As Progressive or Going On, — By verb phrases, action 
or state may be represented as going on. and therefore as 
incomplete or unfinished at some other time, either expressed 
or implied. 

Present Progressive: He is working. 
Past Progressive: He was working. 
Future Progressive: He will be working, 

3. As Complete or Perfect, — Again, verb phrases may rep- 


resent action or state as complete or finished at some definite 
time. This definite time is, for the present tense, the time of 
speaking; and for the past and future tenses, it is a time at or 
before the time of some other act to which reference is made. 

Present Perfect: He has worked. He has been working. (At some 
time during the period ending with the time of speaking.) 

Past Perfect: He had worked. He had been working. (During a 
period ending at some past time.) 

Future Perfect: He will have worked. He will have been working, 
(During a period ending at some future time.) 

The second example for each perfect tense given above 
represents the action before completion as continuous — in 
progress. These forms are called perfect progressive — they 
express continuous action completed in the present, the past, 
or the future. 

31« Number and Names of the Tenses. — There are, 
therefore, six tenses; they are n^va^^ present ^ present perfect; 
Past J Past perfect; future ^ future perfect. 

There are two forms called emphatic — one for the present, 
the other for the past. They are formed by using do as an 
auxiliary verb. Thus, / do study; I did study. 




The forms just mentioned are all active; in the passive 
also there are verb phrases for the same six tenses. The 
student may see all of these for the first person singular, 
indicative mode, in the following synopsis: 









Past 1 





I love 
I have loved 

I loved 
I had loved 

I shall love 

I shall have 

I am loving 
I have been 


I was loving 

I had been 

I shall be 

I shall have 
been loving 

I do love 
I did love 









I am loved 
I have been 

I was loved 
I had been 

I shall be 

I shall have 
been loved 

See Art. 


In the conjugation of a verb, a complete view of all its forms 
is shown in the three persons, both singular and plural, through 
all the modes and tenses. But a view like that in the table 
above, giving only one person and 'number, is a synopsis, 

32. Proin*esslve Passive. — There has been much dis- 
cussion whether any verbs may be correctly used in the 
passive progressive. If the table contained such forms, 
they would be, I am being loved, / have been being laved, 
I WAS BEING LOVED, / had been being loved, I shall be being 
laved, and / shall have been being laved. 


Only two of these awkward forms are ever used; they 
are the present and past indefinite, but the authority for them 
is very questionable. They are shown above in small capi- 
tals. We often hear such expressions as, He is being killed y 
They were being measured. The house is building, or is being 
built, etc. But since the same sense may be more elegantly 
expressed otherwise, these forms should be avoided. There 
is authority for them, but not much of the best. 


1. On a properly ruled blank, similar to the form for the synopsis 
in Art. 31, give a synopsis of the verb see in the active and passive 
forms of all the tenses of the indicative mode. 

2. Write the following verbs in a column, and to the right of each 
state its tense and tell whether it is in the common, the progressive, 
or the emphatic form: 

I saw. We shall have been forgotten. 

You will be elected. Mary had been studying. 

We were struck. The boy had learned. 

He is working. I did resign. 

They were fighting. She had been advised. 

She said. We shall be left. 

I have been told. It has been hidden. 

He has been seen. The men had been employed. 

They will be arrested. I do refuse. 

She will be helped. You should have known. 

83. Interrogative Tense Forms. — All tepse phrases 
of the indicative mode and of the so-called potential mode 
become interrogative if the subject is made to follow the 
auxiliary; as, Am I laving? Shall I be lovedf Had I been 
loved? etc. 

The common forms for the present and the past indefinite, 
/ lave and / laved, are rarely used interrogatively except in 
poetry; the emphatic forms, / do love and / did love, used 
interrogatively without emphasis, furnish substitutes; as. 
Do I love? Did I love? 

34. Potential Verb Phrases. — Many grammarians 
give what they call the potential mode. Its verb phrases 




are formed by using nttisi^ with may and catiy and their past 
forms, might and could; also, would and should, the past 
forms of will and shall. This so-called mode is said to have 
four tenses, as shown in the accompanying table. 





w f Common 



OU I Progressive 




di f Common 

f^ [progressive 


fmay 1 
< can > 
[must J 



can } be loving 

{may | 
can > be loved 
must J 


Present Perfect 

fmay 1 
I<can > have loved 
[must J 

{may I 
can [have been loving 


have been loved 



Past Perfect 

I might 1 
'°"'f^ love 
would I 
should J 

I might "j 
could [ . , . 
. , f be loving 
would I ** 

should J 

I might 1 
wo"ufd ^" ^^^^^ 
should J 


I might 1 
. , >have loved 
I might 1 
., >have been loving 



have been loved 

All these verb phrases are, however, nothing more than 
varieties of the indicative mode — mere statements or ques- 
tions. Thus, / may love = / may (to) lovey in which may 
is used as a principal verb, followed by an infinitive (to) love. 
In all these compound verb phrases, such as / shall go, 
I must be loved, I do walk, the first verb is the principal one, and 


the others, taken together, with to understood, make np an 
infinitive used as a verbal noun in the objective case. The 
principal verb should be regarded as in the indicative mode, 
unless it is used in the conditional way that has been 
described as the subjunctive mode. 

The potential mode has been abandoned by most gramma- 
rians, but the student should be able to recognize and explain 
its verb phrases. The name potential comes from the Latin 
word potentia, meaning **power.** Can, and its past form, 
couldy are the only potential auxiliaries that have this mean- 
ing of power or ability; of the others, may denotes permis- 
sion or future probability; must means necessity, etc. But, 
as has already been stated, mode is determined more by 
structure of the sentence than by the form of the verb. 


Rewrite the following sentences, making them interrogative, and 
indicate the mode of each verb: 

(a) The foolish boy had been misled by his companions. 

(b) When the teacher reproved him for idleness he began at once 
to study. 

(c) The storm had been expected to arrive earlier. 

(d) Perhaps you will do better after you have rested. 

(e) The most formidable obstacles can usually be overcome by 
patient persistence. 

(/) Nobody can tell me where the man has gone or what he is doing. 

(g) You certainly cannot expect to succeed in such an absurd 

(h) He could not have finished the work in time, however hard he 
had tried. 

(f ) It is to be hoped that somebody will soon be successful in 
reaching the north pole. 

(j) To travel a distance equal to the circumference of the sun 
would require about twenty-two years, if the traveler should go at the 
rate of three hundred and fifty miles per day. 

35. Relation of Tenses Wltli Respect to Time. 

The following diagram will show the relations of the six 
tenses of the indicative mode. 
The shaded part of the diagram is intended to show that 


the word present in ordinary speech does not mean now — this 
instant. Strictly, now — the present — is the point where the 
past and future meet; it has no extent, and is always moving. 
But, in ordinary speech, the present is a variable portion of 
time extending into both the past and the future. So that 
we use the word present somewhat vaguely. It is relative 
to human action and experience. When we say, He is walk- 
ingy the fact is that the performance of the act consumes 
time on both sides of the point called 7iow, I work does not 
mean that action of the kind called work is done just at the 
passing instant; but the notion conveyed is, that as time 
passes, from day to day and from year to year, my habitual 
activity is denoted by the verb work. A verb so used is 

in the present tense. This extension of the present into 
the past and future finds its extreme in what is called the 
ufiiversat present — a tense form that is used to denote those 
activities or states that are always going on, always true. 

Six added to three makes nine. We learned that the earth revolves. 
Bread is the staflF of life. The teacher told us that the moon 

The sun shines, ' is a sphere. 

36. The Tenses Defined. — The time denoted by the 
present tense covers a period of variable extent, and lies 
partly in the past and partly in the future. 

Time flies. Gold is a valuable metal. 

The laws ntust be obeyed. Can you solve the problem? 

The time included by the past tense covers all past time 
and reaches to the moving point called now. 

The river flowed. His story was not finished. 

The ocean was roaring. Did any one see a stray canary bird? 


The time denoted by the future tense begins at the 
point now and includes all future time. 

The sun will grow cold. 

The day will come. 

Shall we have the pleasure of a call from you soon? 

The present perfect tense denotes action or state as 
complete at some point in the present. 

He has worked. 

We have been writing. 

I have been advised. 

The action expressed by this tense must not be thought 
of as always ending, or being finished, just at the present 
moment. For example, we may say of a man. He has 
worked^ as if the action were ended; yet he may continue 
to work indefinitely after the time of speaking. 

The past perfect tense denotes action or state as com- 
plete at or before some specified past time. 

He had been writing (before I called). 

When I arrived, he had gone. 

He had been hiding for a week before he was found. 

The future perfect tense denotes action or state as 
complete at or before some specified future time. 

The vessel will have sailed by the time you reach the dock. 
If snow shall have fallen by morning, we cannot go. 


Arrange the verbs in lists according to their tenses. 

(a) I may go. He might come. Gold is heavy. The boys have 
been studying. 

{b) Shall I answer? Did he come? Have they gone? When he 
has rested, invite him to come into the office. Will not the sun be 
eclipsed? Did you expect me to go? 

(r) He was thought to have escaped. If I were he, I should 
undertake the work. Shall you have gone by sunrise? Who had 
been suspected before they found the person that was really guilty? 

(d) Why should anyone be so proud? Have you done all that you 
should have done? Did you do the work that you promised to do? I 
should be glad to oblige you if 1 were able. Can you tell me what he 
does for a living? 


{e) Would you let me visit the city? Ought he not to pay me? 
Have you had your dinner? Can you tell me where he has gone? 
Nobody can tell what will have happened by that time. 

(/) What has been done about the matter? No one has been 
informed. How red the sky is. There had been rain and the roads 
were muddy, but we set out notwithstanding. Did you see him before 
he had been arrested? 

(^) Take care that you reach the station before the train has gone. 

(h) It is said to be better to have loved and lost than never to 
have loved at all. 

(f) One secret in education is to know how to use time wisely. 

(J) Care should be taken, not that the reader of what you write 
may understand if he will, but that he shall understand whether he 
will or not. 

(k) Sit down to write what you have thought and not to think 
what you shall write. 


(PART 6) 

THE VERB— (Continued) 


1. Tlie Different Modes With Re|?ard to Time. — The 

meaning: of the six tenses just explained applies strictly to 
the ordinary tense forms of the indicative mode only. In 
the other modes, the notion of time is often unimportant, or 
it is obscured by some other consideration. In a statement 
or a question, time is generally a matter of importance; in 
other words, the tenses of the indicative mode carefully dis- 
tinguish differences of time. Thus, in the following sen- 
tences, the time of the action or state is denoted very 
plainly and exactly — as much so as the action itself. 

He sees the deer. , They will have gone. 

We caught a fox. Is he living? 

They will come. Did you see him ? 

They have been paid, . Will they cofnef 

The road had been made. Has the train started f 

In these examples, the time of the action is revealed by 
the tense form, but in the other modes the tense form gen- 
erally misleads in regard to time. Thus, in the sentence, 
// he were sick^ I should visit him^ the verbs were and should 
visit are past tenses in form, and should denote past 
time; but were may denote future time, and should visit indi- 
cates a time depending on the time expressed by were^ 
In this sentence, it is the condition — the supposition — that is 

For noiiu of copyright, see Page immediately (ollowing the title page 



prominent, and the tense form shows nothing^ of the time, 
which is really not important. 

Again, in the imperative and the infinitive tense forms, the 
real time of the expressed action must be gathered from 
the entire sentence. This may be seerr from the following 

Be good, my child, and let who will be clever. (In the fnture — 


To die for one's country is glorious. (Always true.) 

«, , .[was not a sufficient triumph for Alexander. 

71? have conquered I , . ^ . 

Kts our proud boast as a nation. 

\will be the achievement of the Anglo-Saxon. 

The verbs in the first sentence are in the present tense, 
although they all refer to the future. In the last sentence, 
the present perfect infinitive to have conquered n^ay denote 
action completed at any time — present, past, or future. 

In the case of the verbals^ the element of time is almost 
always obscure and overshadowed. The time of the denoted 
action may, however, nearly always be gathered from the 

{having finished his lesson, went skating one day. 
looking toT a situation, asks to see you, sir. 
having been educated, will find life easier. 

But, whatever time a tense form may really denote, the 
grammatical tense is named from that form. Thus, the 
verb is present in // / come; past in // / came; and present 
perfect in // / have come and in To have come, 

2. Effect of Certain Tense Elements. — In tense 
phrases, every element has a special influence in determin- 
ing the effect of the whole phrase. Some of the most 
important of these are as follows: 

Have in its various forms, either alone or followed by 
been, gives the notion of completed action. 

Many soldiers have been killed. 

The appointed day having come, we set out. 

The train had gone when we reached the station. 



The participle in ing denotes unfinished or progressive 

I am walking, 

1 have been walking. 

In transitive verb phrases the passive participle denotes 
passive action — action received by the person or thing 
denoted by the subject. 

I have been hurt. 

The deer had been pursued. 

The passive participles hurt and pursued denote action 
that affects, or is received by, that which is represented by 
the subjects, / and deer. 

Do gives emphasis to declarative verb phrases. 

He does work. 
They did call. 
We do repent. 

3. Person and Number of Verbs. — Some verbs 
have, in the present and past tenses, certain inflections 
or changes of form in consequence of changes in the person 
and number of the subject. This is shown below: 

Present Tense 

Past Tense 

First Person: 








Second Person: 







. Third Person: 







(First Person: 








{ Second Person: 







Third Person: They see are They saw were 

These inflections for person and number are very few and 
unimportant for English verbs, yet they have led gramma- 
rians to say that a finite verb must agree with its subject in 
number and person. By this they mean that such changes 
must be made in the form of verbs as are required by 
changes in the person and number of the subject. 

4. The Inflectional Base. — The simple inflectional base 
or root of a verb is the form it has in the present infinitive 


or in the first person singular of the present indicative. 
These, for a few verbs, are as follows: 

Inflbctional Basb< 

Ind. Pres. 1st Pers, Sing: I go, come, report, 

write, rule 
Present Infinitive: to go, come, report, write, 


From these root forms the various modes and tenses are 
derived; the most important of all the derived forms are the 
past indicative and the perfect participle. For the verbs 
given above, these two forms are as follows: 

Past Indicative: * went, came, was, reported, wrote, ruled 
Perfect Participle: gone, come, been, reported, written, ruled 

The perfect participle may be recognized by the fact that 
it is the last element in present perfect, past perfect, and 


future perfect verb phrases. 

\\ac& gone^ had seen^ will have come^ may have sailed 

It will be noticed that the root or inflectional base is 
retained in the past tense and perfect participle of only two 
of the foregoing verbs. These two are report and rule^ 
and their derived forms are made by adding ed to report 
and d alone to rule. All the remaining verbs form their 
past tense and perfect participle in some other way. Verbs 
are divided into two classes, according as they do or do 
not make these two forms, viz., the past tense and the per- 
fect participle, by adding d or ed to the inflectional base. 
These two classes into which verbs are divided are regular 
verbs and irregular verbs. 

5. Principal Parts of tlie Verb. — In the inflection of 
the English verb, only four different forms are used to 
express all the various modes and tenses, active and 
passive. These four forms are called the principal parts. 
By using with the principal parts the various auxiliaries, do^ 
bey have^ shall ^ will^ etc., the different tenses are formed. 
The principal parts are the following: 

1. The root form, seen in the present indicative; as, love^ 
see^ write y work^ swim. 




2. The past tense form; as, laved^ saw, wrote, worked, 
swam or swum. 

3. Th^ present participle; as, loving, seeing, writing, work- 
ing, swimming. 

4. The perfect participle; as, loved, seen, written, worked, 

6. Regrular and Irregular Verbs. — A verb is said 
to be regular or weak if it forms its past tense and its 
perfect participle by the addition of d or ed to the root 
form. The following are some examples of regular verbs: 


Past Tbnsb 

Perfect Participle 













stead i^^ 








In changing the root form into the other forms, the rules 
of spelling must be observed, as is illustrated in snap and 

An irregular or strong verb is a verb that does not 
form its past tense and its perfect participle by adding d or 
ed to its root or present tense form. The following are 
some examples: 


Past Tense 

Pres. Part. 

Perf. Par. 






sang or sung 


















rang or rung 



The irregular verbs are about two hundred in number. 
The regular verbs are many thousands in niunber. All new 
verbs added to the language are regular. 

7. Formation of Verb Phrases. — The three forms 
given above, viz., the root form, the past indicative, and the 
perfect participle, together with the present participle, are 


called the principal parts. They are so called because of 
their importance in forming verb phrases. They are used 
in accordance with the following rules: 

1. The root infinitive preceded by the auxiliary do forms 
the emphatic present and past indicative. 

I do work. 
He does study. 
We did go. 

2. The root infinitive^ preceded by {a^ may, can, or must, 
forms the present indicative; (b) might, could, would, or 
should, forms the past indicative; {c) shall or will, forms the 
future indicative. 

It should be remarked that (a) of the foregoing is the 
former potential present and (b) is the potential past. But, 
as has already been explained, these supposed auxiliaries are 
really not auxiliaries but principal verbs followed by an 
infinitive object with to omitted. 

I may go = I may (to) go. 

I shaU come = I shall (to) come. 

3. The present participle as an element of a verb phrase 
makes the expressed action progressive or continuous. 

I am working. 

We have been thinking. 

They should have been acting. 

4. The perfect participle of the principal verb, when pre- 
ceded by have in any of its forms, denotes completed action. 

I have written. 

He has gone. 

They had loved. 

We should have spoken. 

5. The perfect participle of the principal verb, when pre- 
ceded by the auxiliary be in any of its forms, denotes passive 

He is loved. 

We were chosen. 

They should have been arrested. 




8. Redundant Verbs. — Some verbs form their past 
tense, or their perfect participle, or both, ii^ two ways. 
Such verbs are both regular and irregular; and, since their 
principal parts consist of more than the usual number of 
words, the verbs are called redundant. A few of them are 
given below: 


Past Indicatfvb 

Prbs. Part. 

Perf. Part. 


bereft or l)ereaved 


bereft or bereaved 


durst or dared 






mowed or mown 




swelled or swollen 


wove or weaved 


weaved or woven 

The most important redundant verbs are' usually given in 
the list of irregular verbs. 

9. Defective Verbs. — A few verbs called defective 
are used only as presents and as past indefinites, and they 
have their formation irregular. They are: 


















must (?) 




ought (?) 



Whether must and might can properly be used as past 
indefinites is disputed. Wis, wist, and wot are old forms 
and are nearly obsolete. Beware also is defective — it is used 
only in the present tense. 

10. Old or Strongr* and New or Weak, Verbs. — The 

changes that go on among the people that speak a partic- 
ular language compel them to be constantly inventing new 
words to express their thoughts. A large proportion of 
these new words are verbs, most of which are promptly 
rejected; but many of them are accepted by good author- 
ities, and come into general use. As has been said, English 
verbs of this kind all follow, in their conjugation, the model 
of regular verbs; so that regular verbs are said to have the 
new: conjugation. This is by many called the weak con- 
jugation, perhaps because these verbs are not so forcible as 




the old verbs that we use so much and have used so long — 
the irregular verbs, which have the old or strong conjugation. 

Definition. — The conjug^atlon o{ a verb is a regular 
arrangement^ oral or written^ o£ all its modes ^ tenses^ persons^ 
numberSy and participles. 

!!• lilst of Irregular Verbs. — If we desire to avoid 
error in using the English language to express our thoughts, 
there is perhaps no one thing so important as to be perfectly 
familiar with the principal parts of the irregular verbs. There- 
fore, the following list is given, and the student should not 
be content until he has mastered it. The present participle 
is omitted, since it is always formed from the root verb by 
adding ing. Of course the rules of spelling must be observed 
in forming all the principal parts. Many verbs in the follow- 
ing lists are both irregular and redundant. When two or 
more forms of a principal part are given, the preferable form 
occurs first. 

Perf. Part. 





I betted 



Present Tense Past Tensr 





, f awoke 
awake \ . . 

I awaked 

be or Sim 


bear {. 

I bare 







be d P®°* 

1 bended 

, f bereaved 
^'**^* {bereft 



, . fbet 
^^ I betted 











Past Tensb 

Perf. Part. 












r blessed 
I blest 

f blessed 
t blest 





f broke 
1 brake 

r broken 
1 broke 








f built 
\ builded 

f built 




r burned 
1 burnt 


















r chidden 
I chid 




cleave (to adhere) 


f cleaved 
1 clave 



cleave (to split) 




. cleaved 



f climbed 
\ clorab 





r clothed 
I clad 

f clothed 











r crowed 






f durst 
\ dared 






I digged 





Present Tbnsb Past Tbnsb 





[ dreamt 











fiat (fit) 







fight . 




































hanged (put 

to death) 







Pbhp. Part. 


f dwelt 
\ dwelled 













\ gotten 


hanged (put 

to death) 





Prbsbnt Tbnsb 

Past Tense Pbrf. Part. 





u ^A [held 









f knelt f knelt 
I kneeled \ kneeled 


fknit fknit 
I knitted I knitted 





1 J J r laded 
laded {. . 

I laden 








Heaped Heaped 
\ leapt 1 leapt 


Heamed f learned 
1 learnt \ learnt 










lie (to recline) 




flighted flighted 
llit I lit 


















f passed 






f penned f penned 
Ipent I pent 




proven (legal 





I quitted 



I rapped 








Present Tbnsb 

Past Tbnsb 

Perf. Part 











I rung 







f riven 
\ rived 






r sawed 
























r shaven 
1 shaved 


f sheared 
1 shore 
















f shown 


f shred 
1 shredded 

f shred 
\ shredded 


f shrank 

r shrunk 
1 shrunken 





I sung 




\ sunken 






















Present Tbnse 


























Past Tense 






r sprang 
\ sprung 







Perf. Part. 



















Presbnt Tbnsb 





















Past Tense 










Perf. Part. 










\ trodden 






1. Without referring to the table, write the principal parts of the 
following verbs; afterwards ascertain and check your errors: come, 
go, sing, write, see, begin, burst, eat, lie (to recline), lay (to place), 
ride, sit, set, stay, steal. 

2. Write five verb phrases each consisting of three words, and in 
each phrase use as the principal verb one of the verbs given in 1 above. 


Model. — might have come^ shall have gone 

3. Write five verb phrases each containing four words, and use 
as the principal verb in each phrase a verb selected from the list 
given in example 1. 

Model. — might have been singing, will have been written 

4. Write sentences in which some mode and tense form of the fol- 
lowing verbs shall be used transitively: win, wear, bite, do, choose, 
climb, drive, eat, find, freeze. 

5. Write five verb phrases that are active and ten that are passive, 
selecting suitable verbs from the list of irregular verbs. 

6. Write all the active tense forms of the infinitive of the following 
verbs: give, fly, think, forget, go. . 

7. Write the passive infinitives of the following verbs: clothe, 
know, hide, hew, hang. 

8. Write five sentences each containing a verb in the subjunctive 

9. Write sentences in which shall occur all the passive tenses of the 
indicative mode. 

12, Oonjii^ration of Verbs. — As has already been 
stated, the conjugation of a verb is an orderly arrang;ement 
of all its forms in the various modes, tenses, numbers, and 
persons. In order to conjugate a verb correctly, its principal 
parts must be known; and then, by applying the rules given 
in Art. 7, the student will find the task an easy one. 

For the purpose of guiding the student in the correct use 
of verb phrases, all that js usually required is the briefer form 
of conjugation, called a synopsis. This word is derived from 
the Greek, and means a **connected view." A synopsis 
generally consists of the first person singular in each tense 
of the indicative and subjunctive modes, and all the forms 
of the imperative, the infinitive, and the verbals. On 
account of the great importance of the auxiliaries be and 
have, the conjugation of the first and the synopsis of the 
second are given below. 

13. Conju juration of the Auxiliary Verb Be. — Both 
with synopsis and conjugations the principal parts should 
always be given. 

Principal r/V«. Inf. Past Ind. Pres. Part, Perf. Part. 
Parts I (To) be Was Being Been 






1. I am, or 
I may be 

2. Thou art, or 
Thou mayst be 

3. He is, or 
He may be 


1. I was, or 
I might be 

2. Thou wast, or 
Thou mightst be 

3. He was, or 
He might be 


1. I shall be 

2. Thou wilt be 

3. He wiU be 

1. I will be 

2. Thou Shalt be 

3. He shall be 

Present Tense 


1. We are, or 
We may be 

2. You are, or 
You may be 

3. They are, or 
They may he 

Past Tense 


1. We were, or 
We might be 

2. You werCf or 
You might be 

3. They were, or 
They might be 

Future Tense 


1. We shall be 

2. You will be 

3. They will be 


1. We will be 

2. You shall be 

3. They shall be 

Present Perfect Tense 


1. I have been, or 

I may have been 

2. Thou hast been, or 
Thou mayst have been 

3. He has been, or 
He may have been 


1. We have been, or 
We may have been 

2. You have been, or 
You may have been 

3. They have been, or 
They may have been 

Past Perfect Tense 


1. I had been, or 

I might have been 

2. Thou hadst been, or 
Thou mightst have been 

3. He had been, or 
He might have been 


1. We had been, or 
We might have been 

2. You had been, or 
You might have been 

3. They had been, or 
They might have been 


Future Perfect Tense 

Sin^lar Plural 

1. I shall have been 1. We shall have been 

2. Thou wilt have been 2. You will have been 

3. He will have been 3. They will have been 


1. I will have been 1. We will have been 

2. Thou shalt have been 2. You shall have been 

3. He shall have been 3. They shall have been 


Present Tense Past Tense 

Singular Plural Singular Plural 

1. (If) I be 1. (If) we be 1. (If) I were 1. (If) we were 

2. (If) thou he 2. (If) you he 2. (If) thou were, 2. (If) you were 

3. (If) he be 3. (If) they be or vvert 3. (If) they were 

3. (If) he were 


Present Tense 
Singular Plural 

2. Be (thou) , or Do thou be 2. Be (you or ye) , or Do you be 


- \Presenl Present Perfect 

\ To be To have been 

_ {Present Perfect Pres, Perf, 

Participles < ^ . „ « • w 

I Being Been Having been 

14. Remarks on the Fore^oin^ Conjug^atlon. — In 

the third person singular of this verb he is used as the sub- 
ject, though any singular noun or pronoun in the nominative 
case and third person would have done as well; as, she is, 
it is, anybody is, Mary is, etc. 

There are some forms besides the subjunctives given 
above that must be regarded as in the subjunctive mode. 
Some of them are: Were I, Should he be. Had I been. Could 
I be, etc. Indeed all the forms of the indicative mode are 
used in subordinate clauses, and when so used they are in 
the subjunctive mode if they express doubt, uncertainty, or 
something contrary to the fact. Thus, the italicized verbs 
in the following sentences are subjunctive: 


If I should not be there, wait for me. 

Should he be innocent, the fact will be discovered. 

If I was (or were) a bird, I should fly away. 

If he be (or is) there, tell him I wish to see him.- 

Had I foreseen what was to happen, I would have taken precautions. 

The verbal being is sometimes used as a gerund or 
verbal noun. 

He called the earth into being. 

We had our being in peace and comfort. 

15. Synopsis of the Verb Have. — The verb have is 
used both as principal and auxiliary. No other verb in the 
language, except be, is of greater importance. 

Principal f/Vr5. Inf. Past Ind. Pres. Part. Pert. Part. 
Parts I (To) have Had Having Had 

Indicative Mode 

Present: I have, am having, do have; or I may, can, or must 
have, or be having 

Past: I had, was having, did have; or I might, could, would, or 
should have, or be having 

Future: I shall have, will have; or I shall or will he having 

Present Perfect: I have had, or I have been having 

Past Perfect: I had had , or I had been having 

Future Perfect: I shall or will have had, or I shall or will have 

been having 

Subjunctive Mode 

Present: (If, unless, etc.) I have, do have, or be having 

(If, unless, etc.) I had, were having, should have, or 

should be having 
Had I, were I having, should I have, or should I be 




Imperative Mode Infinitive Mode 

Have thou, you, or ye Present: (To) have 

Do thou, you, or ye have /V«. Perf.: (To) have had 

Be thou, you, or ye having 

Present: Having; Present Perfect: Having had; Perfect: Had 

16. Con] 11 miration of a Regrular Transitive Verb. 

The regular transitive verb love is conjugated in both the 
active and the passive as follows: 




Principal f Pres, Inf, Past Ind, 
Parts 1 (To) love Loved 

Pres, Pari. 

Perf. Part. 




1. I love 

2. Thou lovest 
8. He loves 


1. We love 

2. Yon love 

3. They love 


1, I loved 

2. Thou lovedst 
8. He loved 


1. We loved 

2. You loved 
8. They loved 

Present Tense 


1. I am loved 

2. Thou art loved 

3. He is loved 


1. We are loved 

2. You are loved 

3. They are loved 

Past Tense 


1. I was loved 

2. Thou wast loved 

3. He was loved 


1. We were loved 

2. You were loved 

3. They were loved 

Future Tense 
Singular Singular 

1. I shall love 1. I shall be loved 

2. Thou wilt love 2. Thou wilt l)e loved 
8. He will love 3. He will be loved 


1. We shall love 

2. You will love 
8. They will love 


1. I have loved 

2. Thou hast loved 

3. He has loved 


1. We have loved 

2. You have loved 
8. They have loved 


1. We shall he loved 

2. You will be loved 

3. They will be loved 

Perfec^ Tense 


1. I have been loved 

2. Thou hast been loved 

3. He has been loved 


1. We have been loved 

2. You have been loved 

3. They have been loved 




ACTIVK Passivb 

Past Perfect Tense 
Singular Singular 

1. I had loved 1. I had been loved 

2. Thou hadst loved 2. Thou hadst been loved 

3. He had loved 3. He had been loved 


1. We had loved 

2. You had loved 
8. Thev had loved 


1. We had been loved 

2. You had been loved 

3. They had been loved 

Future Perfect Tense 

Singular Singular 

1. I shall have loved 1. I shall have been loved 

2. Thou wilt have loved 2. Thou wilt have been loved 

3. He will have loved 3. He will have been loved 


1. We shall have loved 

2. You will have loved 

3. They will have loved 


1. We shall have been loved 

2. You will have been loved 

3. They will have been loved 


AcTivB Passive 

Present Tense 


1. (If) I be loved 

2. (If) thou be loved 

3. (If) he be loved 


1. (If) we be loved 

2. (If) you be loved 

3. (If) they be loved 


1. (If) I love 

2. (If) thou love 

3. (If) he love 


1. (If) we love 

2. (If) you love 

3. (If) they love 


1. (If) I loved 

2. (If) thou loved 
8. (If) he loved 


1. (If) we loved 

2. (If) you loved 

3. (If) they loved 

Past Trnse 


1. (If) I were loved 

2. (If) thou were loved 

3. (If) he were loved 


1. (If) we were loved 

2. (If) you were loved 

3. (If) they were loved 




Present Tbnsb' 

Comtfion Form: Love (thou or you) 
Progressive: Be (thou or you) loving 
Emphatic: Do (thou £?r you) love 

-, . r Comtnon Fortn: Be (thou or you) loved 
yEmphatic: Do (thou or you) be loved 





(To) be loving 

Present Perfect < ^^ x , 

I (To) have 

been loving 

Passive l^^^^^' ^'^^^ ^® ^^^®^ 

\Present Perfect: (To) have been loved 


{Present: Loving 

\ Having been loving 


Present: Being loved 
Perfect: Loved 
. Present Perfect: Having been loved 

17. Conjunction of an Irrejfular Transitive Verb. 

The full conjugation, active and passive, of the irregulai 
transitive verb see follows below. 

Principal f/Vr5. Inf. Past Ind, Present Part, Perfect Part, 
Parts I (To) see Siaw Seeing Seen 


Active Passive 

Present Tense 
Singular Singular 

1. I see 1. I am seen 

2. Thoa seest 2. Thou art seen 
8. He sees 8. He is seen 

Plural Plural 

1. We see 1. We are seen 

2. You see 2. You are seen 

3. They see 8. They are seen 






1. I saw 

2. Thou sawest 
8. He saw 


1. We saw 

2. You saw 
8. They saw 

Past Tbnsb 


1. I was seen 

2. Thou wast seen 
8. He was seen 


1. We were seen 

2. You were seen 

3. They were seen 

PuTURB Tensb 
Singular Singular 

1. I shall see 1. I shall be seen 

2. Thou wilt see 2. Thou wilt be seen 
8. He will see 3. He will be seen 


1. We shall see 

2. You will see 
8. They will see 


1. We shall be seen 

2. You will be seen 

3. They will be seen 

Prbsent Perfect Tense 
Singular Singular 

1. I have seen 1. I have been seen 

2. Thou hast seen 2. Thou hast been seen 
8. He has seen 3. He has been seen 


1. We have seen 

2. You have seen 
8. They have seen 


1. We have been seen 

2. You have been seen 

3. They have been seen 

Past Perfect Tense 
Singulaf Singular 

1. I had seen 1. I had been seen 

2. Thou hadst seen 2. Thou hadst been seen 
8. He had seen 3. He had been seen 


1. We had seen 

2. You had seen 
8. They had seen 


1. We had been seen 

2. You had been seen 

3. They had been* seen 




AcnvB Passive 

Future Perfect Tense 
Singular Singular 

1. I shall have seen 1. I shall have been seen 

2. Thou wilt have seen 2. Thou wilt have been seen 

3. He will have seen 3. He will have been seen 


1. We shall have seen 

2. You will have seen 

3. They will have seen 




1. (If) I see 

2. (If) thou see 

3. (If) he see 


1. (If) we see 

2. (If) you see 

3. (If) they see 


1. (If) I saw 

2. (If) thou saw 

3. (If) he saw 


1. (If) we saw 

2. (If) you saw 

3. (If) they saw 


1 . We shall have been seen 

2. You will have been seen 

3. They will have been seen 


Present Tense 


1. (If) I be seen 

2. (If) thou be seen 

3. (If) he t>e seen 


1. (If) we be seen 

2. (If) you be seen 

3. (If) they be seen 

Past Tense 


1. (If) I were seen 

2. (If) thou were seen 

3. (If) he were seen 


1. (If) we were seen 

2. (If) you were seen 

3. (If) they were seen 

Present Tense 




imperative mode 

{Common Form: See (thou or yo\x) 
Progressive: Be (thou or you) seeing 
Emphatic: Do (thou or you) see 
„ {Common Form: Be (thou <?ryou) seen 

yEmphatic: Do (thou £?r you) be seen 


(To) see 
(To) be seeing 

(To) have seen 

(To) have been seeing 

Present: (To) be seen 

Present Perfect: (To) have been seen 



Present Perfect 




{Present: Seeing 
Present PeHeA^-'^'j^^^ . 
\ Having been seeing 

{Present: Being seen 
Perfect: Seen 
Present Perfect: Having been seen 


In the manner shown in foregoing models, write the following: 

(a) The active verb phrases of catch in all the tenses of the indic- 
ative mode. 

(d) The verbals, active and passive, of /»i(/(including the infinitive). 

(r) All persons and numbers of the present and the past indica- 
tive of lie (to recline). 

{d) The passive of love in the first person plural in the six tenses 
of the indicative mode. 

(^) The emphatic forms oi go in both numbers and all the persons 
of the present and the past ir;dicative. 

(/■) The progressive forms of write in the third person singular of 
the tenses of the indicative mode. 

{g) A synopsis of the passive forms of choose in all modes and 

(A) The verb swim in the interrogative forms of the first person 
singular in the tenses of the indicative mode. 

(/) The principal parts of ten of the most frequently used irreg- 
ular verbs. 

(/) Use correctly in sentences the present perfect, active or passive, 
of the following verbs: swim, drink, come, go, ring, sing, see, begin, 
lie (to recline), lay. 

18. Use of HhaU and W7//.— When shall and will, 
with their past forms, should and tvould, are used as 
auxiliaries in promising, foretelliyig, or announcing future 
action^ they are conjugated as follows: 


We shall, should 
You will, would 
They will, would 

I shall, should 

Thou wilt, wouldst Plural 

He will, would 
\ shall come unless I should be sick. 
I shall try and my brother will help me. 
They Tvill be sorry some day. 

When used interrogatively, they simply ask for informal 
Hon or permission^ or they inquire concerning: the will or 


purpose of some other person or persons. Their conjugation 
in this use is given below: 

Shall, should we? 
Will, would you? 
Will, would they? 

{Shall, should I? 
Wilt, wouldst thou? Plural 

Will, would he? 
Will it rain? 
Shall I call tomorrow? 
Would the teacher permit you to go? 
Should we come earlier? 

Determination, strong purpose of the speaker, and obli- 
gationy are expressed by the following conjugation: 

fl will, would 

Thou shalt, shouldst Plural 

I He shall, should 
I will come and he shall not prevent my doing so. 
You shall obey orders. 

We will, would 
You shall, should 
They shall, should 

The foregoing are the common uses of these auxiliaries, 
but there are many nice distinctions that are best learned by 
reading the works of good writers. 

19. How to Parse Verbs. — A verb is parsed by stating: 

1. Its form — regular or irregular, and why. If it is irreg- 
ular, give its principal parts. 

2. Its class — transitive or intransitive, and why. If 
transitive, state whether it is active or passive. 

3. Its inflections — mode, tense, number, and person. 

4. Its syntax — its agreement with its subject in number 
and person. 

20. Model for Oral Parsing?. — In order to illustrate 
oral parsing of the verb, let it be required to parse the verbs 
in the following sentences: 

When the war closed, the soldiers were sent home. 
If it rain tomorrow, I shall not go. 

Clgsed is a verb; regular, because it forms its past tense 
and perfect participle by annexing d to the root form; 
intransitive, because the action expressed is not received by 
an object; indicative mode, because it states a fact; past 


tense, because it denotes indefinite past time; third person, 
singular number to agree with its subject war. 

Were sent is a verb; irregular, because it does not form its 
past tense and perfect participle by annexing d or ed to the 
root form; principal parts, send^ sent^ sejiding^ sent; transitive 
and passive, because the persons denoted by the subject 
soldiers receive the action; indicative mode, because it states 
a fact; past tense, because it denotes past time; third person, 
plural to agree with soldiers. 

Rain is a verb; regular, because it forms its past tense 
and perfect participle by annexing ed to the root form; 
intransitive, because the action expressed is not received by 
an object; subjunctive mode, because it is used in a condi- 
tional clause to denote an uncertainty; it has the form of the 
present tense, but refers to the future; third person, singular 
to agree with its subject it. 

Shall go is a verb; irregular, because it does not form its 
past tense and perfect participle by annexing d or ed to the 
root form; principal parts, go^ went, going, gone; intransitive, 
because the action expressed is not received by an object; 
indicative mode, because it states or declares; future tense, 
because it denotes future time; first person, singular to agree 
with the subject /. 

21. . Abbreviated Oral Parsing?. — ^After the student 
has become able to parse and give the reasons in full with- 
out hesitation, he should use a shorter form in which only 
the facts are stated. The following model is sufficiently full 
for the verbs in the preceding article: 

Closed is a verb, regular, intransitive, indicative, past, 
third, singular, agreeing with the subject war. 

Were sent is a verb, irregular, send, sent, sending, sent, trans- 
itive, passive, indicative, past, third, plural, agreeing with the 
subject soldiers, 


By the abbreviated method, parse, in writing, all the finite verbs in 
tl^e following sentences: 

(a) The people told the sexton and the sexton tolled the bell. 




(d) Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of boys, died at Myra, in Asia 
Minor, in the year A. D. 326. 

(^r) All that tread the earth are but a handful to the tribes that 
slumber in its bosom. 

(d) You should have borne with my faults more patiently. 

(e) 'Tis true, this god did shake; his coward lips did from their 
color fly. 

(/) A friend would not have seen such trifling faults. 

(g) Honor and shame from no condition rise; 

Act well thy part,— there all the honor lies. 

(h) Should the eagle mate with the crow, even then 1 would not 
marry the son of the earl. 

(/) Which of our Presidents is believed to have been poisoned? 

(j) Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious. 

(k) There is none so blind as the man that will not see. 

(/) My story being done, she gave me for my pains a world 
of sighs. 

{m) If the **Maine*' had not been blown up, the Spaniards might 
now be in possession of their American colonies. 

(n) We had lain for many days in the quiet bay, when at last we 
began the long voyage across the Indian Ocean. 

22. Model for Written Parsingr of the Verb. — In 

order to illustrate a method of written parsing of the verb, 
let it be required to parse the verbs in the following 

The children were sent home through the rain. 
If a man die, shall he live again? 
Listen to the birds under the eaves of the barn. 
He was buried in the ocean by his shipmates. 
We departed an hour after the moon had risen. 









were sent 

irreg. tr. pass. 













shall live 














sing. iTT plur. 


was buried 

reg. tr. pass. 














' had risen irreg. 



past perf. 





23« IIow to Parse Infinitives and Verbals. — An 

infinitive or a verbal is parsed by stating: 

1. What it is — a verbal noun, a participle, or an infinitive. 

2. From what verb it is derived. If the verb is irregular, 
its principal parts should be given. 

3. Whether it is simple or compound. 

4. Whether it is transitive or intransitive. If transitive 
state whether it is active or passive. 

5. What its function is. 

24 • Model for Parsing: Infinitives and Verbals. 

Let it be required to parse the infinitives and verbals in the 
following sentences: 

He was engaged in reading a letter. 
The boy was directed to explain the example. 
The army, having been defeated, fell back. 

His courage, unsubdued by disaster, sustained him through the 
gravest perils and disasters. 
We ought not to have gone. 

Reading is a simple verbal noun, derived from the irregu- 
lar transitive verb read; principal parts, ready riady readingy 
riad; active, in the objective case, being the object of the 
preposition in; the prepositional phrase, in reading a letter, 
is an adverbial modifier of the verb was engaged. 

To explain is a simple active transitive infinitive, derived 
from the regular verb explain^ present tense; the phrase, 
to explain the example, is an adverbial modifier of the verb 
was directed. 

Having been defeated is a compound transitive passive 
participle, derived from the regular verb defeaty in the 
present perfect tense; it is an adjective modifier of army. 

Unsubdued is a participle, simple, transitive, passive, 
derived from the regular verb subdue; perfect; it is an 
adjective modifier of the noun courage. 

To have gotie is a compound intransitive infinitive derived 
from the irregular verb go; principal parts, gOy went^ 
goingy gone; present perfect tense; adverbial modifier of 
the verb ought. 




25. Model for Written Parsingr. — The written parsing^ 
of the infinitives and verbals in the following sentences is 
shown in the form below. 

One should eat to live rather than live to eat. 

The train was just on the point of starting. 

No one is entitled to merit for merely doing his duty. 

His clothes, torn in many places, had been neatly mended. 

The prisoner admitted having stolen the goods. 



to live pres.inf. 

to eat pres. inf. 

starting verb, noun 

doing verb, noun 

torn perf. part. 

having stolen'verb. noun 



Used As 








simp, intran. adverb 
simp, intran. adverb 
simp, intran. noun 
simp.tran. noun 
simp. pas.sive adjective 
com p. tran. noun 

modifies ahouldeat 

m od i fies should live 

object of of 

object of for 

modifies clothes 

object of admitted 


As in the model, parse the verbs in the following: 
(a) It is said that good Americans go to Paris when they die. 
{fii) He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do 
you another than he whom you yourself have obliged. 

(r) Then shall the nature that has lain blanched and broken rise 
into full stature and native hues in the sunshine. 
(d) I see in thy gentle eyes a tear; 

They turn to me in sorrowful thought; 
Thou thinkest of friends, the good and dear, 
Who were for a time, but now are not. 
(^) To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is godlike. 
(/") When the son swore, Diogenes struck the father. 
is) You hear that boy laughing? You think he's all fun; 
But the angels laugh too at the good he has done. 
The children laugh loud as they troop to his call, 
And the poor man that knows him laughs loudest of all. 
(A) Boston State-House is the hub of the solar system. You 
couldn't pry that out of a Boston man if you had the tire of all creation 
straightened out for a crowbar. 

(/) I have very frequently regretted having spoken; never, having 
kept silent. 

(/) To be silent is an insignificant virtue; but to keep silent con- 
cerning the secrets of others is worthy of the highest praise. 
[Ji) To be or not to be; that is the question. 




Verbs as to 


Action I 

\ Neuter 

2. Form 

{Regular: Love, walk 
Irregular: Go, come, drink 
Defective: Ought, can, beware 
Redundant: Dive, dream 

3. UsB 


ncipal \ 

Walk, go, walked 
went, walked, gone 

1 shall, may, can, must 








present, present perfect, 
past, past perfect, fu- 
ture, future perfect 


^ present 

present perfect 



present perfect 








having been seen 









have neither 
person nor 



26. Functions of the Adverb. — The adverb has been 
defined as a word used to modify the meaning of a verb, 
an adjective, or another adverb. Both the modifier and the 
element modified may be a word, a phrase, or a clause. 
This fact makes it specially important that the student should 
endeavor to become expert in deciding what each element of 
a sentence does, in order that he may know what it is. 

27. Parts of Speech Used as Adverbs. — Almost any 
part of speech may be used adverbially: 

1. A noun. 

He is six /<?<?/ tall. (Six feet tall = tall to the extent of, or by, six feet.) 
We waited an /tour. (During an hour.) 

I care nothing for his opinion. (Nothing = by nothing, or to the 
extent of nothing.) 

It cost a dollar. (A dollar = to the amount of a dollar.) 

This is the use of a noun as an adverbial objective. Nouns 
used to denote measure of time, distance, value, weight, etc., 
are the fragments of adverbial phrases, and being used with 
the functions that the entire phrases would have, they must 
be regarded as adverbs. 

2. A pronoun. 

What with labor and worry he was completely worn out. (Here 
what = partly, or some such adverb.) 

3. An adjective. 

The richer he gets the stingier he seems. (The . . . the = by how 
much ... by so much, or equivalent correlative adverbial elements.) 

The sentence in full would be nearly. In proportion as he 
gets richer, in that proportion he seems stingier. 

4. A verb. 

Clink, clank, go the hammers now. 
Bang went the gun. 


5. A verbal. 

We were dripping wet. 
'Twas passing strange. 

6. A preposition. 

The tide came in during our stay. 
He walked before and his wife behind, 

7. A conjunction. 

Could he but understand » he would act differently. 
We are but gathering flowers in your meadow. (But = only, or 

28, Adjectives and Adverbs With Certain Verbs. 

It has been explained that all verbs express in varying 
measure both action and the corresponding state of the actor. 
Thus, in the sentence, The man walksy the verb walks is 
equivalent to is walkings in which walking describes the state 
of the acting subject, as if we should say. He is a walking 
man. In such cases the participle is an exact equivalent of 
a predicate adjective. Hence, walks expresses action and 
implies an accompanying state or condition of the actor.. 

Sometimes the action is so prominent that the state is not 
even noticed. In such case, if a modifier is associated with 
the verb, it must be an adverb used to modify the action 
side or function of the verb. 

She walks gracefully. 
The fish swims rapidly. 

Again, it may be the state that is to be especially noticed; 
in this case an adjective is used with the verb. 

The ship arrived safe. 

We found him sick. 

He stood still and remained silent. 

The following diagrams will make clear the distinction 

between these two uses of the verb: 


The ( patient ) [ breathes] rapidly. The (flower) [is] 


Besides these extreme cases, there are verbs that express 


both action and state so strpngfly that modifiers of both 
kinds are used with them. In such cases the adverbial modi- 
fiers are generally phrases or clauses. 

He lies in the hospital sick. We arrived safe and sound in New York. 

f 1 t 1 

Here, the adjectives sicky safe^ and sound denote the con- 
dition of the actor, and not the manner, time, nor place of the 
action. The phrases, in the hospital ^ and in New Yorky are 
adverbial modifiers denoting place. 

Many verbs in which the action is prominent are followed 
by adjectives denoting a state of something named by a noun 
or denoted by a pronoun. Some examples follow: 

They looked sick. She sat erects serene y and quiet. 

We reached home safe. The milk turned sour. 

Our blood ran cold. Shut the door ti^ht. 

Open your eyes wide. Lie stiil and keep quiet, 

29. Adverbs Classified According? to Use. — Classi- 
fied according to use, adverbs are of four kinds: (1) simpUy 
(2) interrogative y (3) conjunct ivey (4) modal. 

Definition. — A simple adverb is an adverb consisting of 
a single word and used as an ordinary modifier. 

Go quickly. 
Come here. 
Gaily to burgeon and broadly to grow. 

Definition. — An interroprative adverb is an adverb used 
to inquire concerning the timey place, manner y cause, etc, of an 
action or a state. 

When did you come? How is your father? 

Wherefore did you return? Whither did they go? 

Whence came you? Why did you leave? 

Definition. — A conjunctive adverb is an adverb thai has 
the double functio7i of an adverb and a conjunction. 

Do as you are told. 

I know a bank whereon the wild thyme grows. 

Where thou goest, I will go. 

When I die, put near me something that has loved the light. 

Whither I go ye cannot follow. 


The conjunctive adverb modifies the verb in the clause it 
introduces. . The clause itself may have the function of a 
noun, an adjective, or an adverb. 

Thus, as you are told, in the first sentence, is an adverbial 
clause modifier of do, and a^ modifies are told and joins the 
clause to the verb do. In the second sentence, the clause is 
an adjective modifier of bank, and whereon modifies ^it7Z£/j. In 
the sentence. Tell us when you are going, the conjunctive 
adverb when modifies are goings and the entire clause is the 
object of tell. 

Definition. — A modal adverb is an adverb that modifies 
the meaning of an entire sentence. 

Perhaps I shall be in New York tomorrow. 
He has doubtless repented his action by this time. 
I shall certainly see him. 
He will not go. 

Here perhaps modifies / shall be in New York tomorrow. 
Any word used in this way to narrow or restrict the meaning 
of an entire sentence or clause is a modal adverb. The sen- 
tences gfiven above may be narrowed or limited in meaning^ 
by many expressions similar in function to perhaps. They all 
change the total effect or mode of the sentences upon the 
mind, and are for that reason modal adverbs. 

30. How to Distingrnlsh the Modal Adverb. — It is 

not always easy to recognize the modal adverb. In doing 
this, the student may be aided by knowing that the modal 
adverb has some marked peculiarities besides modifying or 
changing the meaning of the entire clause or sentence in 
which it is used. These peculiarities are: 

1. The modal adverb may be placed almost anywhere in the 
clause or sentence it modifies. 

This is not the case with an ordinary adverb, which must 
be placed as near the modified element as possible. Indeed, 
one of the most important matters in composition is the 
correct placing of modifiers, especially those that are 
adverbial. In the case of the modal adverb, while it may 
occupy any one of several places in a sentence, there is 


usually one position where its effect is best. In the follow- 
ing sentences, the modal adverbs forttmately and perhaps may 
be put in any one of the places indicated by carets: 

Fortunately^ nay employer understands all the facts of the 

case ^ . 


Perhaps^ a sharp tongue .is the only edged tool that gfrows 

keener with constant use ^ . 


2. The connection between a modal adverb and the sentence 
in which it ocairs is not close. 

In consequence of this fact, the modal adverb should 
usually be set off by commas. When this punctuation is not 
required, it is owing to the fact that the adverb is used, not 
as purely modal, but as in some measure simple. The fol- 
lowing illustrations will make the difference of use clear: 

*M J A Decidedly, the scientists are wrone in their opinion. 
Moduli „ ... ; ' . .^^*, ^ ^ ^ 

yPostttvely, no one can be permitted to enter. 

«. . J The scientists are decidedly wrong in their opinion. 

^ \He was so badly frightened that he yfs^ positively sick. 

In the first example, decidedly modifies the meaning of the 
entire sentence — changes its general effect by making it 
strongly emphatic. In the third example, it is a mere adverb 
modifying the meaning of the single word wrong — it is 
intensive, telling how or in what degree the scientists are 
wrong. A similar explanation applies to the remaining 

It should be noted that almost any modal adverb may be 
used as a simple adverb; and on the other hand, many 
adverbs ordinarily simple may be used with modal value 
or effect. 

31. Classes of Modal Adverbs. — Modal adverbs may 
be divided into various classes. Some of these follow: 

1. General emphasis; as, manifestly, clearly, decidedly^ 
doubtless, undoubtedly, positively, evidently, plainly, unmistak-^ 
ably. Palpably, apparently , obviously. 

2. Affirmation; as, aye, yea, yes, verily, indeed, certainly, 
surely^ unquestionably , by all means. 


3. Negation; as, no, nay, not, by no means, in nowise, not 
at all. 

4. Doubt; as, perhaps, peradventure, probably, possibly, 

5. Inference; as, heyue, consequently, therefore, whence, 
then, wherefore, accordingly , 

32. Adverbs Classified By Meaning. — With respect 
to meaning, simple adverbs have been divided into many 
classes. Some of the most important of these are: 

1. Adverbs of time; as, ever, now, never, lately, today, 
still, instantly, henceforth, already, hereafter, presently, soon, 
once, yesterday, often, seldom, always, sitice, 

2. Adverbs of place; as, here, there, near, yonder, hence, 
tJience, down, off, back, above, below, hither, thither, away, 

3. Adverbs of manner; as, gladly, slowly, well, respect- 
fully, truly, 

4. Adverbs of degree; as, much, little, very, quite, greatly^ 
more, less, least. 

5. Adverbs of comparison; as, so, as, the . . . tJie, too, 

I am so sick that etc. 

He is as good as his accuser. 

The first as modifies good; the second is a conjunctive 
adverb. The sentence in full would be: 
He is as good as his accuser is good. 

In both uses as is an adverb of comparison; taken together, 
the words are correlative adverbs. 

The more the merrier. This old saying when in full sen- 
tence form would be somewhat as follows: The more they 
are the merrier they are = By what they are more by that they 
are merrier. It is clear, therefore, that the . . . the = by 
what . . . by that — two adverbial phrases, the first of which 
modifies more, and the second, merrier. Hence, the . . . the 
are correlative adverbs of comparison. 

33 • The Responslves. — The words yes, no, ay or aye, 
nay, amen, certainly, and some others, together with certain 
phrases, such as by all nuans, by no means, not at all, certainly 


not, decidedly not^ are used in answering questions, and when 
so used are called responslves. They are usually called 
adverbs; but they are really substitutes for entire sentences. 
Like interjection^, they have no grammatical relation to the 
sentence to which they reply, but they have a logical relation 
to it; that is, they relate to it in thought. 

Shall you vote tomorrow? Yes. Certainly. By all means. 

The answers to the foregoing question are each equivalent 
to the sentence, / shall vole lomorrow. They differ only in 
the matter of emphasis. In parsing such expressions, it is 
sufficient to call them responsives, give as nearly as possible 
the sentence for which they are a substitute, and say that 
they are usually classed as adverbs. 

Among other expressions used as responsives are perhaps^ 
Probably^ Perchaiice^ nearly^ quiky surely^ possibly^ exaclly, 
precisely, verily, etc. Indeed, almost any of the modal 
adverbs may be used as responsives, which is another test 
of modality. 

34. Comparison of Adverbs. — Many adverbs derived 
from adjectives of quality are compared. A few have real 
inflections, but the comparison is usually made by prefixing 
more and mosl or less and leasl; as. 

Positive CoMPARAxrvB Superlative 

calmly more calmly most calmly 

earnestly more earnestly most earnestly 







e following adverbs are 

of irregular 











ill or badly 





last or latest 




nigh or near 


next or nearest 




A great many adverbs, on account of their meaning, 
cannot be compared. Such are certain adverbs of time and 


place, and many others; as, then, now, sometimes ^ always^ 
never, here, there, hither, whefue, so, as, thus, 

35« The Adverb Tliere. — The word there is properly 
an adverb of place, but it is much used with the notion oi 
place nearly or quite gone from the meaning of the word. 

There was once a king. 

There sat by the door an old raan. 

There lived many years ago a very wise man. 

In such sentences, there is an expletive; that is, a word 
redundant or unnecessary; for in all such cases, the subject 
may be placed first and there omitted. 

A very wise man lived etc., An old man sat etc. 

When the construction is interrogative or relative, the 
expletive follows the verb; as. 

When went there by an age since the great flood but it was famed 
for more than one man? 

What need was there unsatisfied? 

From denoting place, the word there has come to imply 
mere existence, although it usually carries with it some faint 
notion of i7i that place. In parsing, the student should state 
that thepe is an adverbial expletive used to anticipate the 

This construction is one of the idioms of our language; so 
called, because it is peculiar to English — exactly the same 
usage not being found in any other language. 

36. Phrase Adverbs. — Several words taken together 
may be used as adverbs. The following are a few of the 
many phrase adverbs: Now or never, by and by, sooner or 
later, once upon a time, long ago, forever and ever. 


1. Copy the adverbs in the following sentences, and tell the class 
to which each belongs and what it modifies: 

(a) He always acted generously and considerately, even to hi& 

(b) They laugh best that laugh last. 

(c) Solemnly, mournfully, dealing its dole, 
The curfew bell is beginning to toll. 


{d) Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing 

Over the sky.' 
{e) One after another the white clouds are fleeting. 
(/) Then some one said, **We will return no more**; 
And all at once they sang, "Our island home 
Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.** 
(j^) Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore 

Than labor in the deep mid-ocean. 
(A) Low and soft, O, very low and soft, 

Crooned the blackbird in the orchard croft, 
(i) Certainly, there can be but one opinion about a matter so simple. 

2. As illustrated by the model, underscore the clause and phra^e 
adverbs, and connect them by means of lines and arrows with liie 
elements they modify. 

Model. — Years and years ago , while the country was still young , 

an old colonial mansion stood in solitary grandeur on this spot 

i — 1 — "^ 

{a) Every now and then their carriage rolled up to the house in 
grand style. 

(d) How often the chance to do ill deeds causes ill deeds to be done. 

(r) In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free. 

(d) Men are more satirical from vanity than from malice. 

(e) The mountain summit sparkles in the light of the setting sun. 
(/) Beneath me flows the Rhine, and like the stream of time, it 

flows amid the ruins of the past. 

(^) From hence let fierce contending nations know, 

What dire effects from civil discord flow. 
(A) Read from some humbler poet, the poem of thy choice. 

And lend to the rhyme of the poet the beauty of thy voice, 
(i) A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he 
reads as a task will do him little good. 

(j) Large streams from little fountains flow, 

Tall oaks from little acorns grow. 

37. ParslnflT the Adverb. — An adverb is parsed by 

1. The class in which it belongs — simple, interrogative, 
conjunctive, modal. 

2. The element it modifies. It should be stated also in 
what respect the element is modified; that is, whether with 
respect to time, place, manner, inference, etc. 


3. Its degree of comparison — positive, comparative, 

An adverb consisting of a phrase or clause may be men- 
tioned as being simply an adverbial phrase or clause, modi- 
fying the meaning of some other element of the sentence. 


Analyze the following sentences, by means of diagrams, and parse 
the adverbs: 

(a) I was a poetess only last year. 

(d) Make me a child again just for tonight. 

(r) Over my heart in the years that are flown, 

No love like mother-love ever has shone. 
{d) There is a yard dog, too, that barks at all comers. 

(e) Suddenly a hand seized the beetle, and turned him round and 

(/■) Without, the ground was entirely covered with snow, and the 
wind blew in sudden gusts, sharply and fiercely. 

(^) There was once a woman that lived all alone with only one 
child, a very beautiful little daughter. 

(A) It may indeed happen, and, in fact, often does happen, that 
the very poor are much happier than the very rich. 

(t) Therefore, first of all, I tell you earnestly and authoritatively 
that you must get into the habit of looking intensely at words and of 
assuring yourself of their meaning. 

(/) Think carefully and bravely over these things, and you will 
find them wholly true. 


Time: When, then, soon 
Place: Wheie, there 
Manner: Quickly, kindly, slowly 
Defj^ree: Quite, very, nearly 

2. Interrogative. — When? where? how? 

3. Modal. — Perhaps, certainly, therefore 

4. Conjunctive. — Where, how, why 

.5. Adverbial Object. — Worth a dime, rest an hour 

fl. Simple 




38. Function of tlie Preposition. — Most of the 

prepositions were originally adverbs, and many of them are 

still frequently used as such. When this is the case, the 

object is omitted and the preposition does duty as an 

adverbial modifier. 

Turn to (the work), my men. 

Is the doctor in (his office), John? 

All went aboard (the ship). 

He is a good man to have around (?). 

We were led inside, shown around, and bowed out very promptly. 

Let us walk around. 

The house stands just above. 

Many words that are usually given in the lists of preposi- 
tions are still used as adverbs. Even when the preposition 
has an object, it often has in itself a strong adverbial value. 

We lived near the river and often rowed across it. 

Near in this sentence does th^ greater part of the adver- 
bial work of the phrase near the river. This is shown to be 
the case by our readiness to accept near or across alone as 
an adverb, without demanding that it shall be followed by a 
noun or a pronoun specifying in what the relation ends. 
Thus, They live near. He jumped across. 

Notwithstanding this strong adverbial function of the 
preposition and its frequent use as an adverb, these words, to 
the number of nearly one hundred, are called prepositions if 
they have with them an object; in such case they form a prepo- 
sitional phrase having the value of an adjective or an adverb. 

Adjective Phrases: a letter from hotne, a rose without thorns, a 
house with seven gables 

Adverbial Phrases: ran against the fence, quiet during the ser- 
vice, floating with the current 

Besides its function as an adverb, which the preposition 
has not entirely lost, its chief work is to bring unrelated 




words into relation. This has been fully illustrated in 
another plate, and need not be enlarged upon here. 

39. I'lie Object of tlie Preposition. — The preposition 
is said to govern the noun or pronoun with which it forms 
an adjective or adverbial phrase. By this is meant that the 
preposition has, with respect to case, a kind of governing or 
compelling power over its noun or pronoun; the object of the 
preposition must be in the objective case. The pronoun shows 
this fact by its form; but, since the form of a noun is the same 
in both the nominative and the objective case, we must judge 
of its case from that of a pronoun used in the same way. 

They took the book from John and gave it to me. 

Here the pronoun me is in the objective case; and the 
noun John is in the same case, since it is used in exactly the 
same way as the pronoun. 

40. List of Prepositions. — The 

the most commonly used prepositions: 

following is a list of 

















against ' 

















































overt h wart 






41. Phrase Prepositions. — Many phrase prepositions 
are in use. Like verb phrases, they are parsed and in all 
other respects treated as if they were single words. The 
following are examples of compound prepositions: in accord- 
ance withy in opposition to^ in consideration of, with respect to^ 
in spite ofy with reference to, 

42. Classes of Prepositions. — With reference to their 
adverbial value, prepositions have been divided into several 

1. Place. This class includes: {a) mere rest in a place; 
as, in, on, at, near, by; (b) place, with motion and direction; 
as, tOy intOy toward, from; (c) place, with direction; as, up, 
down, th rough, above, below, across, 

2. Time; as, since, till, imtil, during, after, pending, past, 

3. Agency or means; as, with, by, through, by means of, 
by virtue of, 

4. Cause, end, or purpose; as, for, from, for the sake of, 
on account of. 

There are many other classes of prepositions, but it is not 
necessary to mention them. The matter of chief concern is 
that the student shall be able to recognize the preposition 
and determine the work it does in each place where it 
is used. 

43. Various Objects of Prepositions. — The object of 
a preposition may be any equivalent of a noun — any expres- 
sion used with the value of a noun. Hence, the object of a 
preposition may be a word, a phrase, or a clause. 

1. A noun or a pronoun. 

He went with me to the tnarket. 

2. A verbal. 

I am tired of sowing for others to reap. 
We protested against being detained, 

3. An adjective or an adverb. 

The taste is between sweet and sour. 
His strength comes from above. 
It has lasted from then until now. 


4. A phrase. 

The snake crept from under the house. 
The noise comes from aver the way. 
They returned after visiting Rome. 
He gloried in having been President, 

5. A noun clause. 

They inquired concerning where we had been. 
Judging from what he said^ we are wrong. 

44. Parsing: the Preposition. — A preposition is parsed 
by stating: 

1. That it is a preposition. 

2. That it brings certain elements into relation. 

3. That the phrase in which it is the leading word modi- 
fies the meaning of a certain other sentential element. 


1. Construct sentences containing the following words used as 
prepositions, and afterwards construct other sentences in which the 
same words occur as adverbs: near, over, through, above, by, oflF, 
under, before. 

2. Write five sentences each containing a prepositional phrase used 
as an adjective; also, five other sentences each having a prepositional 
phrase used as an adverb. 

3. Write two sentences containing a clause object of a preposition. 

4. Find suitable objects of the prepositions: to confer upon, to confer 
with; to die of, to die for; to share in, to share of; to strive for, to strive 
against; to choose between, to choose among, to choose for; to have 
confidence in, to have confidence of; convenient to, convenient for. 

5. Parse the prepositions in the following sentences; also, by raeans 
of diagrams, analyze the sentences themselves: 

(a) How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood. 

(b) She sought her lord, and found him where he strode 
About the hall, among his dogs. 

(c) ******* the shameless noon 

Was clashed and hammered from a hundred towers. 

(d) Man comes and tills the soil and lies beneath. 
And after many summers dies the swan. 

(e) Through the shadow of the globe we sweep into the 
younger day. 

(/) If, through years of folly you misguide your own life, you must 
not expect Providence to bring around at last everything for the best. 


Or) The sunset glow of the maples met the sunset glow of the sky. 
(A) Many a summer the grass has grown green, 

Blossomed and faded our faces between, 
Yet with strong yearning and passionate pain 
Long I tonight for your presence again, 
(f ) Among the beautiful pictures that hang on Memory's wall 

Is one of a dim old forest that seemeth the best of all. 
{/) The perfect life develops in a circle and terminates where 
it begins. 


45. Functions of the Preposition and the Con- 
junction Compared. — The preposition is usually defined 
as a word used to connect words, and to show the relation 
between them. It is, therefore, a connective, but its most 
important function is to denote relation, and this it generally 
does very definitely. The conjunction also is a connective, 
and it usually indicates more or less distinctly some relation 
between the elements it unites. Both the conjunction and 
the preposition have something adverbial in the work they 
do; and, in the case of the conjunctive adverb, its adverbial 
function is generally stronger than its connective value. 

During the growth and improvement of language, the 
conjunction was one of the last parts of speech to appear, 
and its first use was in connecting very simple expressions, 
such as a noun with a noun, an adjective with an adjective, 
a verb with a verb, etc. 

The most useful of the conjunctions are those that have 
nearly or quite lost their adverbial value, such as and, or, nor, 
if, lesty thany fory also, and a few others. The equivalents of 
these conjunctions are found in all languages, and, without 
their aid, connected speech would be impossible. 

When it became necessary to connect phrases and clauses 
and to indicate at the same time some relation between the 
connected elements, other conjunctions were made, gener- 
ally from adverbs, and most of them retained much of their 
adverbial value. 

Be careful Usi you fall. Look, before you leap. 

I shall go, though it rain. He may go if he asks permission. 


In all these cases, the clause introduced by the conjunction 
modifies the meaning of the other clause, or of some 
element in it^ I^st you fall denotes a reason or a purpose; 
it is very nearly equivalent to not to fall^ which would plainly 
be an adverbial modifier of careful. In a similar way though 
it rain has very nearly the value of the adverb certainly. 

I shall certainly go. 


46. Conjunctions are divided into two principal classes — 
coordinating and subordinating. 

47. Coordinating: Conjunctions. — The word coordi- 
nating means "making of equal rank or importance/- The 
conjunctions of this class are so called because they unite two 
elements without at the same time reducing one of them to 
the inferior rank of a mere modifier of some other element. 
Hence, these conjunctions have very little of the adverbial 
quality left in them, and serve mainly to connect. This is 
wholly true of and and nearly so of all the other coordinating 

Definition. — A coordinating conjunction is a conjunc- 
lion used to connect two sentential elements so as to make them of 
equal grammatical rank or value. 

Bread and meat. 

Wise or foolish. 

To sleep, likewise to dream. 

He was a partner; besides, he was fully trusted. 

You have seriously bluudered; moreover, you have violated the law. 

Coordinating conjunctions are subdivided into several 

1. Copulative. — The word copulative means simply * 'uni- 
ting*' — adding something to something else. These con- 
junctions have very much the effect of the sign of addition 
in arithmetic. Examples are: and, both, also, likewise, besides^ 
moreover, etc. 

2. Alteryiative. — Alternative conjunctions are such as 
imply alternatives or a choice, either granted or denied. 


They are or^ nor^ either . . . or^ neither . . . nor, whether . . * or^ 
and some others. 

Either do as I direct or do nothing. 

Neither the good nor the bad escape his injustice. 

Whether he was sick or not we could not tell. 

3. Adversative, — These imply something adverse or in 
opposition. The following are the most common: but, yet ^ 
stilly only (when nearly equivalent to but)^ nevertheless ^ how- 
ever , for all that, after all, at the same time. 

He is sick, only he does not like to admit it. 

You have done much damage; still, we will overlook that fact. 

4. Illative, — The conjunctions of this class include such as 
are used in reasoning to denote reason, inference, conclusion, 
result, and the like. Therefore, he^ice, so, thus, consequently, 
cucordingly , wherefore, then, are examples. 

He did not obey the law; therefore, he should be punished. 

You escaped the first time; hence, you thought it would be so always. 

He was faithful; so that promotion came at last. 

48. Subordlnatloi? CoDjiiDctloiis, — We have seen that 
coordinating conjunctions may connect words, phrases, or 
clauses. This, however, is not the case with the subordina- 
ting conjunction, for it is almost invariably used to unite 
or introduce clauses. It does this in such manner as to 
make one of the clauses a mere modifier; and in consequence 
of this inferior or subordinate relation of the modifying 
clause, the conjunction that introduces it is called a subor- 
dinating conjunction. 

You will fall IF you are not careful. 

He was dismissed because he was incompetent. 

He still lives though he is dead. 

In the foregoing sentences, the subordinate clauses have 
the value of adverbs, and, like modal adverbs, they usually 
modify the meaning of the entire independent or principal 

Subordinate clauses are often much abbreviated; and for 
this reason they may often look like phrases. But the omitted 
elements must always be very plainly implied. 


If contradicted^ he becomes extremely angry. 

He works steadily, though without valuable result. 

Definition. — A subordinating: conjunction is a conjunc' 
tion used to introduce a clduse that modifies an independent clause ^ 
or some element of an independent clause. 

Subordinating conjunctions, in consequence of differences 
in meaning or use, are subdivided into the following classes: 

1. Of place; as, where and whence^ and their compounds 
with ever and soever, 

2. Of time; as, when and its compounds, also whiky as, 
till, until, ere, before, after, since, 

3. Of cause and reason; as, because, whereas, inasmiuh as, 
since, as, for, if, unless, except, Tiotw it hs landing, though, 

4. Of purpose; as, that, so that, in order that, 

5. Of comparison; as, than, as , , . as, so , , , as. 

In analyzing sentences that contain correlative pairs, it is 
necessary to consider separately each word of each pair. For 
example, in the sentences. He is as good as he is brave, and 
He is not so sorry as / am, the first element in each pair is 
an adverb merely, and the second a subordinating conjunc- 
tion or a conjunctive adverb. It is more in their adverbial 
functions than in their character as conjunctions that the 
pairs given above are correlatives. 

49. Correlatives. — Many pairs of words are called 
correlative conjunctions, or, more briefly, correlatives, 
because each word points or relates to the other in a way 
that is called mutual. The following is nearly a com- 
plete list of them: as , , , as, as , . , so, both . . . and, 
either . . . or^ neitJier , , . nor, so , , . that, though . . . yet, 
if , . . then, whether , , . or, so . . . as, such , . , as, 
suck . . . that, not only . . . but also. 

As many as are going will raise the right hand. 

As two is to four so is three to six. 

You should so behave that all men will respect you. 

You should so act as to win the esteem of men. 

It was such a surprise as he never before experienced. 



1. Write five sentences each consisting of clauses connected by 
coordinating conjunctions. 

2. Write five sentences each containing one or more subordinating 

3. Unite the following separate statements by means of {a) coordi- 
nating conjunctions; (d) subordinating conjunctions: 

(a) The earth is round. Men have sailed around it. 

{d) The ship sailed around Cap>e Horn. It entered the Pacific Ocean. 

(c) John went fishing. He had been sent to school. He was 

(d) Jane prepared for school. Mary washed the dishes. Mary 
swept the floor. 

4. Use the following words as subordinating conjunctions: pro- 
vided, so, as, than, for, because, except, since, after, while, though. 

5. Write sentences containing the following words as adverbs; then 
write other sentences containing the same words as conjunctions: 
before, since, so, how, only, but, where, whence, hence, then. 

6. Make a list of the conjunctions in the following and give the 
class of each: 

(a) I shall never forget as long as I live the look of despair that 
came into his face. 

{d) Since he gives so good am account of the matter, it is perhaps 
safe to trust him. 

(c) Let him have the goods if he can give good and satisfactory 
security that he will pay the bill when it becomes due. 

(d) He han talent and industry; therefore he will succeed even 
where his predecessor failed. 

(e) Yet Ernest had liad no teacher, save only that the Great Stone 
Face became one to him. 

(/) So the people ceased to honor him while he lived, and quietly 
consigned him to forgetfulness after he died. 

(jf) Creation was not finished till the poet came to interpret and 
so finish it. 

(/i) ''The tent is mine,** said Yussouf, **but no more 

Than it is God's; come in and be at rest." 
(i) For time at last sets all things even — 

And if we do but watch the hour 
There never yet was human power 

Which could evade, if unforgiven, 
The patient search and vigil long 
Of him who treasures up a wrong. 


(j) And besides, there were pear trees that flang down bushels 
upon bushels of heavy pears; and peach trees, which in a good year 
tormented me with peaches, neither to be eaten nor kept, nor, without 
labor and perplexity, to be given away. 

50. Parsing the Conjunction. — The conjunction is 
parsed by stating: 

1. That it is a conjunction; this should be followed by 
mentioning whether it is coordinating or subordinating. 

2. What it connects; if it is subordinating, the student 
should tell which is the modifying, and which the modified, 

If the connective is a conjunctive adverb, it not only intro- 
duces a modifying clause, but modifies the meaning of the 
verb in this clause. These particulars should all be stated. 

51 • Complex and Compound Sentences. — It is 

important to distinguish between coordinating and subordi- 
nating conjunctions, for the connective determines whether 
a sentence is complex or compound. Coordinating conjunc- 
tions connect elements of equal rank, and when these 
elements are independent clauses, the resulting sentence is 
compound. If, however, there is only one independent or 
principal clause and one or more subordinate clauses, the 
sentence is complex. 

The student should remember that subordinate clauses 
may be connected by coordinating conjunctions. The union 
of such clauses is illustrated in the following sentences: 

When the night is dark and the air is biting cold, as well as when 
the raoon is shining and the air pleasant, we must set out on our 
regular trip. 

If he has the money and can spare it, he should certainly pay you. 

Any connective used in joining clauses, which has a strong 
adverbial or pronominal value must, in consequence, be a 
subordinating connective. 



I Copulative: And, also, likewise 
Alternative: Or, nor, either 
Adversative: But, yet, still 
Illative: Consequently, therefore 
'Place: Where, whence 
Time: When, as, until, since 
Cause: Why, because 
Purpose: That, so that, in order that 
Comparison: Than, so ... as 


2. Subordinate* 


52. The Interjection as a Part of Speech. — We have 
seen that the sentence is the **unit of thought/' and that it 
is composed of elements each having some part or function 
to fill. Such words are called, for that reason, parts of speech. 
The Interjection does not have such a work .to do. Fre- 
quently, it does not enter the sentence, but stands alone; it 
is not related to other words — it is independent. In a kind 
of way, it is a substitute for an entire sentence. Strictly, 
therefore, the interjection is not a part of speech, although 
it is perhaps best to regard it as such. 

53. Use of the Interjection. — As people advance 
in refinement and education, emotional expression dimin- 
ishes in intensity and frequency, and the expression of 
thought becomes more formal and exact. The interjec- 
tion is never found in scientific and other works in which pure 
thought, exposition, and argument are the chief requisites. 
We should be much astonished to find it in a legal treatise, 
in the charge of a judge, or in the opinion of a physician or 
an engineer. Allied to the use of the interjection is the 
practice of slangy which most people of refinement avoid for 
reasons very similar to those that are given above against 
the excessive use of interjections. 

54. Thonj^ht Expressed By Interjections. — The pure 
interjection is almost entirely empty of meaning in itself, and 
is dependent for significance upon the tone of voice and the 


circumstances in which it is uttered. For example, the inter- 
jection ohy which is found in many languages, may express 
joy or sorrow, surprise or fear, pain or pleasure, or almost 
any other emotion; but the thought to be inferred must be 
gathered from the tones, the gestures, and the manner of the 
speaker, as well as from the occasion on which it is used. 
The same is true of many other interjections. 

Many words regularly used in sentences as parts of speech 
are often employed as interjections. Some examples follow: 

Nouns: Nonsense! Folly! Glory! Horror! Shame! Heavens! 
Adjectives: Good! Bravo! Sad! Absurd! Ridiculous! Excellent! 
Verbs: Hist! Hush! Hark! Behold! See! Look! Hail! 
Adverbs: Well! Indeed! Why! What! How! 

Many expressions imitative of natural sounds are used as 
interjections; as. 

Baa! Bow-wow! Whippoorwill! Buzz! Bang! Crash! Pop! 

These last are usually empty of meaning, but nearly all 
interjections made of the regular parts of speech carry with 
them something of their usual meaning. The interjection 
is often the most significant word that would occur in a 
sentence when given in full. Interjections derived from 
verbs should usually be regarded as verbs. 

55. Exclamatory Phrases. — Interjections often con- 
sist of several words in combination, but always without full 
sentential structure. Such expressions are parsed simply as 
interjections. Some examples are: 

O dear me! Poor fellow! 

Alas the day! O Rome! 

O King, live forever! How sad! 

In parsing an ordinary interjection, it is enough to state that 
it is an interjection, and that it is independent in construction. 

56. Exclamatory Series. — A gradual increase or dim- 
inution of feeling may be indicated by a series of interjec- 
tions, each successive one having after it one more or one 
less exclamation mark than the preceding. 

Thieves! Police!! Help!!! Murder!!!! 

**Oh! Oh!! Oh!!! Ah!! Ah-h-h!' —the tooth was out. 


(PART 7) 



1. Frequent Misuse of Af An^ and The* — No other 
words in our language are used so much as the articles, 
and no other words are so often misapplied. Any person 
desiring to become a correct writer of English must be 
perfectly familiar not only with the approved uses of these 
important words but also with their erroneous application. 

2. A and An. — The articles a and an are usually spoken 
of by grammarians as the Indefinite article — two forms 
of the same word. The article a is used before words begin- 
ning with a consonant sound; an, before words beginning 
with a vowel sound. 

a man, a door, a star, a ewe, a youth, an apple, an egg, an item, 
an oak 

The article an should be used before words beginning 
with silent h; if the h is sounded, a is required. 

an hour, an honor, a hermit, a humorist, a historian 

Before words beginning with //, some authorities use an 
when the accent falls on the second syllable. 

an habitual truant, an historical novel, an hermetically sealed box, 
an heretical opinion, an heroic deed, an herculean athlete 

This usage is in little favor at present. The accent so 
placed was at one time supposed to weaken the h so much 

For notice of copyright^ see Page immediately following the title Page 



that the word was to be regarded as begthning with a vowel. 
The fact is, however, that no such pronunciation is now 
admissible, for the // must be distinctly sounded. The 
article a is, therefore, to be preferred. 

a habitual smoker, a historical event, a heroic deed, etc. 

3. Effect of A or An on the Meaning of a Noun. 

The article a or an denotes one of several or many; one out 
of a class; any one belonging in some class, no matter which 
one of the class; as, a maUy meaning one maUy a7iy wan. This 
is the effect of a or an on the meaning of a class name. 

When this article is prefixed to a proper name, the eflEect 
is to convert it into a class name. Thus, a Nero means, 
not the bloodthirsty Roman emperor, but one of the class 
of cruel tyrants of whom Nero was the type — any similar 
monster. Any proper name with a or an prefixed is said to 
be used typically, 

a Washington, a Shakespeare, a Cgesar, an Alexander 

4, Specific Uses of A and An, — The indefinite article 
a or a7i is used in the following ways: 

1. To denote an individual as unknown, or as not spe- 
cifically distinguished from others of the class to which 
that individual belongs. 

A man met us in the road. 

A star peeped through a rift in the clouds. 

2. . Before an abstract noun used concretely. 

There is a divinity that shapes our ends. 
There is a charming modesty in her manner. 

3. Before a collective noun; as, an army^ a multitude, 

A collective noun preceded by a or an must be regarded 
as singular. 

A labor congress was in session. 
An army was marching. 

4. After an adjective preceded by so^ too, how, as; also, in 
certain cases, after many, such, and what, 

so good an apple, too great an effort, how fine a day, many -a man, 
such an annoyance, what an excuse 


5. Before few, great many, and goad manyy when they 
precede plural nouns. 

a few visitors, a great many years, a good many employers 

6. Before an adjective of number followed by a plural 
noun. In this case the article has a collective effect on the 
meaning of the noun. 

a hundred men, a thousand dollars 

The article so used may be replaced by one. 
one hundred soldiers, one thousand dollars 

5. The Definite Article The. — The article the has a 
demonstrative effect on the meaning of a noun very much 
like that of the demonstratives this and that and their plurals, 
these and those — only it is weaker. It points to some partic- 
ular person or thing, or to some particular group or groups, 
and it does this in a way that distinguishes the thing or 
things named from all others. If a thing has been previously 
mentioned, if the hearer is assumed to be familiar with it, 
or if it is made specific by subsequent words, the fact is 
denoted by using the definite article. The demonstrative 
effect of the is stronger with a singular noun than with a 
plural. For example, the student will notice is stronger and 
more specific than if the plural students were used. UnlessV 
the purpose be to point to something distinctly, the definite]^ 
article should never be used. It cannot be used intep/ 
changeably with a or an, 

6. Rules for the Use of Articles. — The following 
directions and cautions .will be found of practical value: 

1. A or An With Plurals, — A or an should never be so 
used as to relate or seem to relate to a plural noun. 

A mother and children were crossing the ferry. Say^ A mother and 
her children were crossing the ferry. 

He did not go a great ways. Say, He did not go a great way. 

A storm and flying clouds filled the sky. Better, Flying clouds and 
a storm filled the sky. 

2. Connected Nouns. — When nouns having different modi- 
fiers are joined in construction, when nouns are contrasted, 


and when they have different dependence, the article, if used 
at all, must be repeated. 

The landscape is filled with the music of birds and the fragrance 
of flowers. 

Not a word was spoken or a sound made. 

The perfect participle and the imperfect tense should not be 

The beauty as well as the intelligence of the student was striking. 

3. Connected Adjectives, — When adjectives denoting quali- 
ties that belong to different things are connected, the article 
should be repeated. 

A black and a white horse — means two horses. 

A north and a south line— means two lines. 

A wise, a good, and a patient man — means three men. 

There are three genders; the masculine, the feminine, and the neuter. 

The Atlantic and the Pacific ocean. 

4. Connected Adjectives Relating to the Same Thing, — When 
connected adjectives relate to the same thing, the article 
must not be repeated. 

A black and white horse — means one horse. 
The yellow and red flower — means one flower. 

When the modified noun is plural the sense is often 

ambiguous. The black and white stockings may mean that 

some of the stockings are entirely black and some entirely 

white; or that each stocking: is partly black and partly white. 

The same may be said of the following: 

Sad and thoughtful faces were seen in the assembly. 
Gold and platinum chains are expensive. 

5. Articles or Plurals, — When no ambiguity results, the 

modified noun may be pluralized and the articles, after the 

first, omitted. 

The nominative and objective cases. 
The first, second, and third stanzas. 

The plan of uniting the French and Spanish peoples was 

The present, past, and future tenses are called the primary tenses. 

6. Correspondent Terms, — When two phrases of a sentence 
have special correspondence with each other, the article, if 
used with the former, should be repeated. 


The avalanche slid from the summit to the base of the peak. Or, 
from summit to base of the peak. 

I recognize neither the man nor the boy. 
Both the writing and the signature are mine. 

7. Special Correspondence of Adjectives. — When special cor- 
respondence or contrast exists between two adjectives, the 
noun should not be pluralized. ^ 

Both the first and the second edition are exhausted. 

I want neither the sweet nor the sour fruit. 

The word is used in both the nominative and the objective case. 

He is familiar with the Old Testament as well as with the New. 

We may, however, say: 

Neither the early nor the late statutes are in force. 
Both the old and the new laws are operative. 

In both these cases the articles modify plurals, early 
siatuteSy old laws. 

8. A Series of Terms, — If an article is used with any term 
of a series, it should generally be repeated before every 
term, or used only with the first. 

The father, the mother, a son, and a daughter were killed. 

English nouns have three cases: the nominative, possessive, and 

English nouns have three cases: the nominative, the possessive, and 
the objective. 

The repetition of the article has the effect of emphasis, 
and for this reason the third sentence is preferable to the 

9. Words Formally Defined. — The article the should pre- 
cede any singular noun used to represent a genus or class of 
natural objects. 

The horse is a mammal with solid hoofs. 
The diamond is the hardest of gems. 

10. No Article After Sort, Kind, and Species. — The article 
a or an should never be used after sorty kind, species^ and 
words of similar import. 

The lime is a kind of lemon (not a lemon). 
That bird is a sort of hawk (not a hawk). 


I cannot use that variety of apple. 
He was a sort of overseer or director. 
What manner of man is he? 
What fashion of hat did he wear? 

The expressions those sort, those kind, which we frequently 
hear, are inexcusable vulgarisms. 

11. Titles, and Names Regarded as Mere Words, — When 
titles are mentioned merely as titles, or when names of 
things are employed merely as names or words, no article 
should be used before them. 

The employes all call him President. 

Should a teacher address a pupil as boy? 

He deserves the title of gentleman. 

Cromwell assumed the office of Protector. 

The highest official rank in the state is that of governor. 

Remember that oak, pine, and ash are names of classes of objects. 

12. Comparisons and Alternatives, — In comparisons or 
alternatives, with two nouns both referring to the same 
person or thing, the article should not be used before the 
second noun; but if both nouns refer to different persons or 
things, the article should not be omitted. 

He is a better scholar than teacher — means one person. 

He is a better scholar than the teacher — means two persons. 

I should rather have an orange than an apple. 

The e'arth is a sphere or globe; or more exactly, it is a kind of 
flattened sphere. 

An adjective is a word used to modify the meaning of a noun or a 

The verb or action word is inflected for person and number. 

13. Antecedent of Relative in Restrictive Clauses. — The 
article the, or some other word more strongly definitive, 
such as this, that, these, those, is usually required before the 
antecedent of the relative in a restrictive clause. 

All the money that is stored in the Bank of England would not 
tempt him. 

The guns that were used in the Revolution were clumsy affairs. 
Those actions which require an apology were better unperformed. 
The thoughts (that) we are thinking our fathers would think. 


14. Nouns Made Definite by Modifiers, — When added 
modifiers render the use of a noun concrete and definite, 
the article the should usually precede the noun. 

She was a great favorite at receptions. 

She was a great favorite at the receptions in Washington. 

Here, the modifying phrase in Washington makes the 
word receptions have a definite or concrete meaning. In 
the first sentence receptions in general are meant. 

15. Verbal Nouns, — The article the is regularly required 
in the frequent construction that consists of a verbal noun 
ending in ing, followed by of; if the preposition of is omitted, 
the article should not be used. 

The raiswg of children is a great responsibility. 

The signing of a note has ruined many a man. 

In giving out the hymn, he made a mistake in the number. 

The boy was reproved iox paying no attention. 

In the last two sentences the words in Italics are parti- 
ciples; in the first two, raising and signing are verbal nouns. 
This construction is awkward and frequently ambiguous. 

16. Proper Navies in the Plural, — The definite article 
almost always precedes proper names of plural form and 
meaning, such as the names of mountains, nations, tribes, 
religious sects, and proper names used typically. 

the Alps, the Romans, the Japanese, the Wesleys, the Caesars 

17. Both and Few, — The definite article the is omitted 
after both^ except before contrasted nouns. 

Both men were guilty. Not^ Both the men, nor Both of the men. 
Both sides were worn smooth. 

We may say, however, 

Both the men were busy, but all the boys were idle. 

Here men are contrasted with boys. 

The word few may or may not be preceded by an article, 
the meaning being different for each usage. 

Few that we bought were good. 

Only a few could be used. 

The few birds we saw were beyond the range of our g^ns. 





7. Sing^ular Nouns. — There are some thousands of 
nouns in the English language that are permanently singu- 
lar. They can take neither the indefinite article nor, 
without change of meaning, the plural form. Some of these 
singulars are the following: 

1. The constituents of the globe; as, wood^ fliniy sulphur^ 
ztnCy tin, lime, water, oxygen, air, 

2. The raw material of commerce; as, jutey oakuniy cotton^ 
marble, wheat, beef, potash, 

3. Many of the products of manufacture; as, alcohol y paper ^ 
sugary canvas, gunpowder, starch, linen, thread, varnish, 


8. Professor Bain's Plurals. — In his **Higher English 
Grammar," Professor Bain gives a list of nouns that, he 
says, are used only in the plural. Inasmuch as he is recog- 
nized throughout the English-speaking world as an eminent 
authority on our language, we give his list. It should be 
stated, however, that good usage in Great Britain and good 
usage in the United States are not always the same. 























































9. Remarks on the Foregoing Ijlst. — The following 
singulars are in use with the same meaning as their plurals 


in the foregoing list: antipode^ archive^ asset, bowel, credential , 
hustingy measle, trapping, thank. 

News as a plural is no longer in good use. The plural 
forms measles, mumps^ odds, gallows, alms, and amends are 
sometimes treated as singulars. 

We may say, Billiards are expensive, or Billiards is a game 
requiring much practice. It is better, however, to avoid 
debatable usage whenever possible; thus, The game of 
billiards is one that requires much practice. 

IVagts was formerly a singular, but its singular, wage, has 
recently been revived and much used, so that wages is now 
fully established as a plural. 

10. Some Other Plural Forms. — Names of sciences 
or of subdivisions of sciences often appear in the plural 
form. Some examples are: 

athletics, mathematics, physics, optics, politics, ethics, polemics, 

To treat these words as singulars is regarded as better 
than to construe them as plurals. Occasionally, however, 
we meet mathematics and athletics as plurals, the usage being 
perhaps due to the fact that the former comprises many dis- 
tinct subjects with specific names; as, arithmetic, algebra, etc.; 
and that athletics is a collective name of many varieties of 
physical exercise. In defining the word mathematics, the 
**Standard Dictionary** treats it as a singular — **Mathematics 
embraces pure mathematics and applied mathematics.** Pro- 
fessor Bain says that all nouns in ics that are the names of 
sciences should be treated as singulars, and the greater 
weight of authority seems to favor his view. 

When the word means denotes an expedient or instrument, 
it is singular; but when it refers to income, it is plural. 

Wealth should be regarded, not as an end, but as a means to 
an end. 

My means do not admit of a house so expensive. 

The word summons is always singular. 
A summons was sent by the magistrate. 


There has always been much disputing as to whether 
United States should be regarded as singular or as plural. 
Before the Civil War the name was plural. The Union was 
then considered by many to be merely a loose aggregation 
of political units. Since that time, it has been urged that 
inasmuch as the states have been firmly united, United States 
should be singular. This view, however, has been aban- 
doned. All state papers, and even the language of the 
decisions of the Supreme Court, use the name of the country 
as plural. 

11. The Plural of Compound Nouns. — The plural of 
compound nouns is usually formed by inflecting the prin- 
cipal noun. 

sons-in-law, step-children, courts- martial, knights-errant, hangers- 
on. man-clerks, man-milliners, chimney-corners, maid-servants, three- 

In King James' translation of the Bible, man-servants 
and men-servants are both found, but the former is now pre- 
ferred; the same may be said of ivoman-servayits and women- 
servants. There is good authority for writing without 
hyphens compounds that have man and woman as their first 

An eminent authority suggests that ma/e and female as the 
first element of such compounds would prevent all doubt and 
dispute. Thus, male clerks^ female servants^ male birds^ etc. 

The **Standard Dictionary" authorizes both attorney' 
generals and attorneys-general ^ giving preference to the former. 

After a compound has become solid by the disappearance 
of the hyphen, its plural is formed regularly. 

cupfuls, bucketfuls, manstealers, manslayers, outpouring^ 

1 2. Fomlnlnes in «w and /jr. — About the middle of the 
last century there were in good use a great many feminine 
nouns ending in ess or ix. Only a few of them have any 
currency at present. Instead of authoress, poetess, patroness, 
etc., we are now using author. Poet, Patron, etc. as either 
masculine or feminine. The titles baroness, countess, empress^ 


duchessy viarchioness, etc. are still in good use. Besides 
these, we occasionally meet in modern literature heiress^ 
goddess^ hostessy Jewess, actress, enchantresSy governess, mistress, 
negress, murderess, seamstress, tigress, executrix, testatrix, and 
a few others. The tendency to avoid feminines in ess and ix 
is increasing. 

13. Clipped Words and Slan^ir. — The clipping of 
words, especially of long words, is a natural tendency of 
languages. These shortened forms are at first slang, but 
many of them succeed in gaining currency in refined conver- 
sation, and a small percentage of them sooner or later find 
admission to the company of words of the most respectable 
lineage. The following are some examples of clipped words: 

1. In Good Usage, 

cab, from cabriolet 

chum, front chamber- fellow or chamber-mate 

mob, fro^n mobile vulgus (the fickle rabble) 

van, from vanguard (a contracted form of the French avant guard) 

fence, from defence 

gin, frovt Geneva 

rum, froin rumbullion 

proxy, from procuracy 

wag, from waghalter (deserving to be hanged) 

curio, from curiosity 

proctor, fro^n procurator 

piano, from pianoforte 

g^ll, from Gillian (i. e., Juliana) 

kilo, from kilogram 

2. In Colloquial Usage. — The students in our colleges and 
in the naval and military academies have a rich fund of 
clipped words and slang. Some of them are: 

supe, for superintendent 
prex, for president 
prof, for professor 
exam, /<7r examination 
prelim, for preliminary examination 

sat, unsat, bone, plug, flunk, bilge, spuds, gym, varsity, co-ed, 
preps, plebe, for plebeian 

Besides these, there are thousands of clipped and slang 


words that are never seen in good composition. Some 
examples are the following: 

hypo or hyp, for hypochondria 

ad, for advertisement 

cute, for acute 

pants, for pantaloons (trousers is better) 

phiz, for physiognomy 

gents, for gentlemen 

cits, for citizens 

fib, a corruption of fable 

zoo, for zoological garden 

loony, middy, auto, biz, coon, possum, pub, confab, phone 

14. Collective Nouns. — To decide whether a collective 
noun used as the subject of a verb is in the singular or in the 
plural is sometimes not easy. Both the meaning of the noim 
and the sentence in which it occurs must be carefully con- 
sidered; its meaning may be singular and its form plural, 
or the reverse may be true. Some illustrations follow. 

The council were divided in opinion. 
The council was in session until late. 

In the first sentence the individuals composing the council 
are thought of, while in the second sentence the council is 
regarded as a unit. 

The jury were not able to agree. - 

The jury was discharged at the close of the day. 

The gentry were scattered all over the country. 

The gentry was the most influential body in the state. 

From the preceding examples, it is clear that: 

1. When a collective noun is used in a way that requires 
individual action by the units that make up the collection, 
the noun must be treated as plural. 

The public are requested to register their names. 

The congregation are invited to assemble in the lecture room. 

The registering of names and the assembling of a body 
of people both require individual action. 

2. When a collective noun is used in a way requiring 
united action, the noun must be treated as singular. 


The army of the invaders was defeated. 

The nation has assumed a leading place among the powers of the 

15. Periods of Time and Sums of Money. — Periods 
of time, even when expressed in plural form, are often 
treated as singular. The same is true of sums of money. 

With Thee, a thousand years is as one day. 
A hundred years seems a very short time. 
1 was told that six dollars was still owing. 
Five dollars was fair pay for the service rendered. 
The last fifty years of the nineteenth century was a period of won- 
derful progress. 

One hundred and fifty thousand dollars was in the safe. 

If, however, periods of time or sums of money are 
referred to distributively, they must be treated as plural. 

The last fifty years of the Roman empire were filled with disaster. 
More than one hundred dollars in silver were scattered over the floor. 

16. Some Apparent Plnrals That Are 8in|?ular. 

Many expressions denote combinations plural in form, but 
really singular. The following are illustrations: 

Bread and butter is the staff of life. 

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. 

Little and often fills the purse. 

The long and the short of the matter is that you are wrong. 

One king, one law, one faith was still their creed. 

The power and value of English literature was thereby impaired. 

The last example is from Matthew Arnold. By omitting 
the article heiovQ value he shows that he regards the word as 
virtually a synonym of power. The verb should, in that 
case, be singular, as if the sentence were: 

The power — the value— of English literature was thereby impaired. 

Macaulay has the following examples and many others 
like them. 

All the furniture, the stock of shops, the machinery which could be 
found in the realm was of less value than the property which some 
single parishes now contain. 

The sound, the rhythm, the modulation, the music, of the lang^uage 
was one entirely new. 


In the last sentence there are four names for the same 
thing: soundy rhythm ^ vwdulatwtjy imtsic. If and had been 
put before the musky the verb should have been were, 

17. The Avoidance of Doubtful Construct Ions. 

Constructions whose correctness is open to question should, 
if possible, be avoided. This is usually easy to accomplish; 
sometimes by employing a verb form that does not reveal 
the number of the subject; again, by arranging the sentence 
differently. Suppose that on looking over a manuscript, such 
sentences as the following are found: 

Cards were invented to amuse an insane king. 
Two languages at once is too much to study. 
• None of the invaders 7vere captured. 
His remains 7vt're buried yesterday. 

The three angles of a triangle are together equal to two right angles. 
The most quieting news have been received. 

Now, the question whether these sentences are correct or 
not is of much less importance than that they should be so 
written as not to lead to dispute. Recognizing the truth of 
this statement, we reconstruct them as follows: 

{The game of cards was invented to amuse an insane king. 
Some one invented cards to amuse an insane king. 
{The study of two languages at once is too great a task. 
No one can, with advantage, study two languages at the same time. 
The invaders all escaped capture. 

{His body was buried yesterday. 
They buried his remains yesterday. 
The sum of the three angles of a triangle is equal, etc. 

18. Omission of h From Certain Possess! ves. 

There seems to be a growing tendency to simplify the 
possessive singular of certain nouns ending with the sound 
of s or z. The reason for this is that the regularly formed 
possessive of some words is not only hard to pronounce but 
it has too many hissing sounds together. However imde- 
sirable it may be to vary from the general rule, there is 
already excellent authority for sometimes doing so. The 
most careful speakers and writers are now using such forms 
as the following: 

for Jesus* sake, for conscience* sake, Dickens' works 


The tongue is more and more refusing to utter w6rds that 
are not euphonious. The following are examples to which s 
should not be added after the apostrophe: 

Demosthenes* orations. Xerxes* flight, Moses' anger, Miltiades* 
stratagem, Burns* poetry, Socrates' wife. Dr. Briggs' skepticism 

19. The Possessive Case, or the Phrase Construc- 
tion. — It is a rule that the names of unimportant inanimate 
objects should not be put in the possessive case. 

Thus, we should not say: 

the house's roof, the street's length, the sugar's sweetness, the 
triangle's base, the book*s cover 

The (?/ construction is preferable: 

the roof of the house, the length of the street, etc. 

Where there is personification or great energy, impor- 
tance, or other notable quality, the possessive construction 
is admissible. 

the sun's heat, or, the heat of the sun 

the moon's diameter, or, the diameter of the moon 

the ocean's roar, or, the roar of the ocean 

the flowers' fragrance, or, the fragrance of the flowers 

In all such cases the ear is the best guide. 
With appositives, the of construction is to be preferred. 

the sword of Alexander the Great, nof Alexander the Great's sword 
the choice of Hercules the demigod, noi Hercules the demigod's 

The phrase construction is preferable with names com- 
pounded of several elements. The following are awkward: 

the International Correspondence Schools' system of teaching; the 
Merchants and Mechanics Bank's messenger; Brown, Jones, and 
Smith's store; the President of the United States' inaugural; men, 
women, and children's shoes 

Better say: 

the method of teaching employed by the International Correspond- 
ence Schools; the messenger of etc.; the inaugural of etc.; shoes for 
men, women, and children. 


With shorter compounds this construction is less objec- 

the emperor of Germany's yacht, by the commander-in-chief's order 

Better, however, are 

the yacht of the emperor of Germany, the yacht of the German 
emperor, by order of the commander-in-chief 

20, Partial and Joint O^wnership. — If two or more 
persons own an aggregate jointly, the fact is denoted by 
making possessive only the last-mentioned name. 

These are Smith and Brown's houses = These houses are owned by 
the Arm, Smith and Brown. 

These are John's and Henry's books = Some of these books 
belong to John, the rest are Henry's. 

It is better to avoid such uses of the possessive inflection. 
If possible, never use a construction the meaning or cor- 
rectness of which can be disputed. 

21. The Possessive With Verbals. — Grammarians 
have disputed much as to whether or not the following 
sentence and others like it are correct: Much depends upon 
the rule's being observed, and error will be the consequence 
of ITS BEING NEGLECTED. No positive couclusiou seems to 
have been reached, but the very fact that the construction 
has been seriously questioned should be a Sufficient reason 
for avoiding it. One grammar in the writer's possession 
has both Its being he and Its being him. One of these forms 
is certainly wrong, and both are awkward. It would not be 
easy to determme with certainty the case of scholar in the 
sentence, John's being a scholar was a great advantage. At 
best, the construction is clumsy, and it is always possible to 
substitute for it a faultless expression. The following are 
additional examples: 

Much depends on the river's bein^ navigable. 
His going away was not expected. 
We counted on his father's seeing the judge. 

The nonsense about which' s having no declension needs no refutatioii. 
The doctrine of the pope's being infallible is believed by many 

The mistake came from the book's having been hastily printed. 


The student should have no difficulty in recasting sentences 
like the preceding and avoiding this questionable construction. 

22, The Pluralizln^ of Mere Characters. — Symbols 
or mere characters are pluralized by adding to them 's. No 
period is required after them, as is the case with common 

The manys'jin English speech give it a disagreeable hissing effect. 
The blackboard was covered with characters of all kinds: ;rV, y's^ 
and z's; A*j, O'j, and D's; -h'5, ='5, and V'j. 

More than a dozen A. M.'s, D. D/s and LL. D.*s were present. 

The names em and en, as used in printing, form their 
plurals regularly, — ems, ens. 

23, Omitted Objects. — If a verb is transitive, its 
object should not be omitted; nor should the object of 
several transitive verbs be expressed only after the last 
verb. The following are illustrations: 

I must at the same time caution (you) against a servile imitation of 
any author whatever. 

The boy bought and ate a quart of peanuts. Better^ The boy 
bought a quart of peanuts and ate them. 

Though you will not acknowledge, you cannot deny the fact. Say^ 
Though you will not acknowledge the fact, you cannot deny it. 

The violation of this rule tends so much to perplex and obscure 
that it is safer to err by too many short sentences. Say^ to perplex 
the reader and obscure the meaning. 

He simply reasons on one side of the question, and then finishes. 
Better^ He reasons on but one side of the question and then closes his 

24, Objectives of Time or Measure. — The following 
sentences illustrate a redundant construction that is common: 

The king invaded their country with an army of one hundred thou- 
sand strong (omit o/, or write men for strong) . 

The world must seem strange to an infant of only two or three 
years old (omit of) . 

He measured the distance with a rule of twenty-four inches long 
(omit of, or say, a iwo-loot rule). 

A lad ^/ about twelve years old was taken captive. 

Let a gallows of fifty cubits high be made. 

Where lies the fault that boys of ten years old cannot be made to 
understand the subject? 


25. Tlie Nominative Absolute. — The objective case 
should not be used for the nominative in the independent 
or absolute construction. The following sentences are from 
well-known writers: 

Me being young, they deceived me (say, I being young) . 
Them refusing to comply, I withdrew (them should be they) . 
The child is lost; and me, whither shall I go (tne should be /) ? 
Oh! happy us, surrounded with so many blessings (say, we). 
**Thee, too! Brutus, my son!** cried Caesar, overcome (say, thou, too). 
How swiftly our time passes away; and us, how little we are 
concerned to improve it (say, and we). 


26, Misuse of Pronouns With tbe Verb Be. — ^The 
most common misuse of pronouns is that with the various 
forms of the verb de. Indeed, it is but rarely that we meet 
a person who uniformly avoids error with this construction. 
We are constantly hearing such expressions as the following; 

It was me. It was them. 

It is htm. 1 thought it was her. 

It wasn*t us. It isn't htm. 

These objective case forms should be replaced by the 
corresponding nominatives: 

It was /. It is he. 

It wasn't we. It was they. 

I thought it was she. It isn't he. 

27. The Pronoun and Its Antecedent. — So far as 

possible, the pronoun must agree with the noim or the pro- 
noun it represents — its antecedent — in person, number, and 
gender. In the following examples the correct pronouns 
are in parentheses: 

Every one must judge of their (his) own feelings. 
Every person in the family should know their (his) duty. 
There is no one righteous in their (his) natural state. 
His form had not yet lost all his (its) youthful grace. 
In such expressions the adjective so much resembles the adverb 
that they are (it is) usually regarded as such. 


No one will answer as if I were their {his) friend or companion. 
Now these systems, so far from having any tendency to make men 
better, have a manifest tendency to make Aim (ihem) worse. 

When the gender of the antecedent is uncertain, or when 
it includes both sexes, if a singular pronoun is required, the 
masculine forms he, his, or him are to be preferred to the 
double he or she, his or her, etc. 

If any member of the congregation wishes to retire, he will please 
to do so during the singing. 

If any pupil loses his books he will be required to pay for them. 

These sentences apply to both sexes; but it is better to 
avoid the construction. This can usually be done. 

Members of the congregation that wish to retire will please to do 
so during the singing. 

Pupils that lose their books will be required to pay for them. 

28. Wrong or Needless Pronouns. — Superfluous pro- 
nouns are of frequent occurrence. 

John is a studious boy; but Charles he is idle and thoughtless 
(omit he). 

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give 
him a stone (omit he and write who for whom) ? 

Whatever a man conceives clearly, he may, if he will be at the 
trouble, put it into distinct propositions and express it clearly (omit 
both italicized pronouns). 

John Smith, his book. Say^ John Smith's book. 

// is without any proof at all what he subjoins. Better, What he 
subjoins is entirely without proof. 

But to that point of time which he has chosen, the painter being 
entirely confined, he cannot exhibit various stages of the same action. 
Better, The painter, being confined to his chosen point of time, 
cannot exhibit various stages of the same action. 

Whoever believeth not therein, they (he) shall perish. 

29. Non-Correspondence in Number. — The singular 
pronouns thou, thy, and thee should not be used with you in 
the same sentence or paragraph. The following sentences 
are from well-known writers: 

'* Harry," said ray lord, *' don't cry; I'll %\veyou something towards 
/A>f loss." 

You have my book and I have thitie. 

So do thou, my son: open your ears and your eyes. 


30, Collective Nouns. — Collective nouns, unless they 
denote persons as such, should not be represented by who. 

The family that (not whom) I visited. 

He instructed and fed the crowds that (not who) surrounded him. 

Nor does he describe classes of sinners that (not who) do not exist. 

When such nouns are strictly of the neuter gender, which 
should represent them if the relative clause is coordinate or 
resumptive; but if the relative clause is restrictive — ^is a mere 
modifier — that should be used. 

The committees that (not which) were appointed meet today. 

The immense crowd, which (not that) included nearly every nation- 
ality, surged into the exhibition grounds. 

Such members of the convention that (not which) framed the con- 
stitution as were willing to sign it, were admitted. 

When the idea of rationality is strongly marked, who or 
whom may represent the collective noun. 

The conclusion of the Iliad is like the exit of a great man out of 
company whom (or that) he has entertained magnificently. 

31, Confusion of Antecedents. — The pronoun should 
so agree with its antecedent as always to represent the 
same idea, and so as not to confoimd a name with the 
thing named. 

The possessor should take a particular form to show its case. Better^ 
The name of the possessor should take etc. 

Boston is a proper noun, which distinguishes it from other cities. 

Here the name Boston is confounded with the city Boston. 
The sentence should be recast. 

So that ^h may be said not to have their proper sound (say, its 
proper sound). 

Time is always masculine on account of its mighty efficacy. 

Here the word time is confounded with time itself. 

32, The Relative T/i«f.— The relative that should, in 
the following cases, be preferred to who, whom, or which ^ 
unless a preposition is required before the relative: 

1. After a superlative when the relative clause is 


He was the first that we saw. 
Saturday is the earliest date that will suit. 

The Greeks were the greatest reasoners that ever appeared in the 

2. After the adjective same when the relative clause is 

He is the sante man that we met yesterday. 

3. After who used as an antecedent. 
Who that saw him failed to be charmed? 

4. After two or more antecedents that denote both persons 
and things. 

He spoke of the fnen and the sights that he had seen. 

5. After an antecedent unmodified except by a restrictive 

Thoughts that breathe and words that burn. 

Theocritus sometimes descends into ideas that are gross and mean. 

Music that charms the savage beast. 

6. After an antecedent introduced by //. 


It was money that he wanted, not food. 
It was not / that he was seeking. 

7. After only and all. 

He was the only person that could restrain the mob. 
Avoid all amusements that savor of vice. 

8. After a negative. 

There has never yet been a philosopher that could patiently endure 

He wrote on no subject that he did not enrich. 

No man that has written so much is so seldom tiresome. 

There is no i>erson that is always in the right. 

Nothing that he saw pleased him. 

None that deserved praise failed to receive it. 

9. Analogous to the negatives are such terms as scarce, 
scarcely, merely , hardly, few, rare, seldom, etc^ All these 
require that in restrictive clauses. 

Scarcely a day passed that did not bring misfortune. 
It was merely a jest that he uttered. 


There was hardly a pupil that could speak correctly. 
Few that went to the war returned. 
Rare was the day that saw her unemployed. 
Seldom did news reach us that was true. 

33. Connected Relative Clauses. — When two or more 
relative clauses connected by conjunctions have a similar 
dependence on the antecedent, the same pronoun must be 
used in each clause. 

O thou who art, and who wast, and who art to come! 

A noun is the name of whatever we conceive in any way to subsist, 
or of whatever f not which) we have any notion. 

Had he exhibited such sentences as contained ideas inapplicable to 
young minds, or which (better, such as) were of a trivial or injurious 

The remaining parts of speech, which are called indeclinable parts, 
or that (say, which) admit of no variations, will not detain us long. 

34. The Relative and Its Governing Preposition. 

The relative and its governing preposition should hot be 
omitted when they are necessary to the sense of the sen- 
tence or to the proper connection of its parts. 

He is still in the situation he was a year ago. Better y He is stilj in 
the situation in which he was a year ago. 

The following are additional examples illustrating this 

He is in the temper of mind he was then. Say^ He is in the temper 
of mind in which he then was. 

In the sense . it is sometimes taken (insert in which) . 

To read in the best manner it is now taught. Better^ To read in 
the best manner in which reading is now taught. 

Professor Bain condemns the in which construction as 
**cumbrous and unnecessary** and advises that the same idea 
be otherwise expressed. Instead of the above, he recommends 
something like the following, which are undoubtedly better: 

In his temper of mind at that time. 
In the sense sometimes understood. 
To read as well as the present teaching of reading will admit. 

35. Conjunctive Adverbs for Relatives. — After cer- 
tain nouns denoting time, place, manner, or cause, the 


conjunctive adverbs whetty where ^ howy and why may serve as 
relatives, unless the relative construction with which or some 
other is better. 

There was no titne when the nation was not ready for war. 
He fell on the field where he had fought so well. 
No one knew how the burglar efifected an entrance. 
Can you explain why you spoke so hastily? 

The first two of the following sentences are incorrect: 

There is no rule given how (say, by which) truth may be discovered 
(<7r, for discovering truth). 

That darkness of character where (say, in which) we can see no heart. 

He assigns the principles whence (or, from which) their power of 
pleasing flows. 

36. Kepeating tlie Noun. — If a pronoun may have any 
one of several possible antecedents, the antecedent intended 
should be repeated or the construction should be changed. 

We see the beautiful variety of color in the rainbow, and are led to 
consider the cause of it. 

Here one cannot tell which of the words, variety^ color, 
rainbow y is the antecedent of //. Say, the cause of thai variety, 
or, We see the beautiful colors in the rainbow, and are led to 
consider the cause of their variety. 

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his descendants are called Hebrews. 
Better y Isaac, Jacob, and all other descendants of Abraham are called 

This sentence, however, fails to say that Abraham himself 
is a Hebrew. Still better y Abraham and all his descendants, 
including Isaac and Jacob, are called Hebrews. 

37. Place of the Relative. — To prevent ambiguity or 
obscurity it is necessary to place the relative as near to its 
antecedent as possible. The following sentence is faulty 
with respect to the position of the relative: 

He is like a beast of prey that is void of compassion. 

It is not clear which of the words, he or beasiy is the 
antecedent of that. The sentence should read. He that is 


void of compassion is like a beast of prey. Some additional 
examples follow: 

It gives a meaning to words which they would not have. Better^ 
It gives to words a meaning that they would not have. 

There are many words in the English language that are sometimes 
used as adjectives and sometimes as adverbs. Say, rather. There are 
in the English language many words that etc. 

You are the person and not your friend that is in the wrong. Better, 
You and not your friend is the person that etc. 

38. The Use of But What. — The employment of hut 
what for that . . . not is very common. 

Think no man so perfect but what he may err. 
The postboy is not so weary but what he can whistle. 
He had no intimation but what the men were honest. 
There is no doubt but what they will be successful. 

In all these cases substitute that . . . 7iot for but what, 

39. Adjectives as Antecedents. — An adjective should 
never be used as the antecedent of a pronoun. 

Be attentive; without which you will learn nothing. Better, Be 
attentive; for without attention {or, otherwise) you will learn nothing. 

In narration, Homer is always concise, which renders him lively and 
agreeable. (For which write and his conciseness.) 

Additional examples of this vulgarism follow: 


Some men are too ignorant to be humble, without which they are 

Be accurate in all you say and do, for it is important in all the 
concerns of life. 

They accounted him honest, which he certainly was not. 

40. Sentences Used as Antecedents. — Though the 
relative which may rightly have for its antecedent a phrase 
or a sentence, it should never represent an indicative asser- 
tion. The following sentences are therefore, incorrect: 

The man opposed me, ivhich was anticipated. Better, As was 
anticipated, the man opposed me. 

The accent falls on the last syllable of a word, which is favorable to 
the melody. (Say, thus enhancing the melody.) 


The soldiers refused obedience, which has been explained. Better ^ 
As has been explained, the soldiers refused obedience. 

Caesar overcame Pompey, which was greatly lamented. {For which, 
write an occurrence that, or a triumph that. ) 

41. Repetition of tlie Possessive Pronouns. — The 

possessive pronouns my, thy, his, her, its, our, your, and 
their should be repeated as often as the sense or construc- 
tion requires. 

The city of Scranton and its vicinity. 

The husband, his wife, and their children. 

Many verbs vary both their signification and their construction. 

Every measure in which either your i>ersonal or your political char- 
acter is concerned. 

Esau thus carelessly threw away both his civil and his religious 

42. Concord of the Antecedent and Its Pronoun. 

In changing a construction so that there may be no discord 
between an antecedent and its pronoun, it -is sometimes a 
question which of the two to change. Thus, in the following 
sentence the antecedent is singular and its pronoun is plural: 

Let us discuss what relates to each particular in their order. 

This sentence may be corrected either by pluralizing par- 
tiailar or writing its for their; the preferable method is not 
very evident — probably the former: 

Let us discuss in their order what relates to the several particulars. 

The following are additional illustrations of discord 
between the pronoun and its antecedent: 

Where all the attention of man is given to their indulgence, etc. 
(change their to his or to his own; or write vten for man). 

If any person is inclined to disagree, the author takes the liberty to 
suggest to thetn that etc. Better, If any person is inclined to disagree, 
the author takes the liberty of suggesting to him that etc. 

43. The Distributives Eaeh^ Every ^ Eitlier, and 
Neitlier. — These distributives are sometimes used alone, 
and sometimes they are joined to singular nouns. In either 
case they should be regarded as in the singular number. 

Each brother saw his wealth wrested from him. 
Every tree is known by its fruits. 


The following: sentences from Thackeray are incorrect: 

Neither of the sisters were (was) very much deceived. 
Neither of my brothers do (does) anything to make this place 

When these words are applied to one gender no difficulty 
need ever arise. 

England exi>ects every man to do his (not their) duty. 
Neither sister did well in her studies. 

But when two genders are implied, there is frequently much 
trouble in securing proper concord. Grammarians are divided 
on the question of the correctness of sentences like the 
following: Every one must judge of their own feelings. 
Some authorities would write for their the expression his or 
her; others insist that his alone is better, for the construction 
with his or her is cumbrous and awkward, and the construc- 
tion with their includes only one gender. 

It is best, perhaps, to avoid both constructions, which can 
usually be done. If one of these faulty forms must be used, 
the latter is undoubtedly to be preferred* The writer would 
advise the following: 

Each pupil will take his (not his or her, and not their) seat. 
Every person's happiness depends in part on the respect he (not 
they) meets in the world. 

This accords with the general practice of including both 
sexes by such terms as mankind, man, etc. 

44, Pronouns Connected By Alternative Conjunc- 
tion h. — When two or more pronouns of different persons 
are joined by the conjunctions that denote alternation, the 
concord of pronoun and verb is sometimes not easy to decide. 
Doctor Latham, an eminent grammatical authority, says: 
1. When the pronouns are singular and are preceded by 
either or neither, the verb is in the singular, third person. 
He gives the following examples: 

Either he or I is in the wrong. 
Neither he nor / is in the wrong. 


2. When the pronouns are not preceded by either or 
neither, the verb must agree with the first pronoun. His 
examples are: 

I ox he am iu the wrong. 
He or / is in the wrong. 
He or you is in the wrong. 

This view, however, is strongly condemned by many gram- 
marians. Professor Bain insists that the verb should agree 
with the nearer pronoun, or that some uninflected verb form, 
like can, must, may be, should be used, thus avoiding the diffi- 
culty. The sentences might be changed as follows: 

Either he is in the wrong or I am. 
Neither he nor I can be wrong. 
He or I must be in the wrong. 
He is in the wrong or I am. 
You are in the wrong or he is. 

Doctor Latham's order of pronouns is inadmissible, for 
polite usage will not allow such combinations as / or he, or 
he or you. So that such questions of concord as are created 
in the sentences given above need never arise. 

45. Precedence of Pronouns. — Usage has established 
a certain order of precedence in pronouns. 

Pronouns represent i7ig the person addressed should come first. 
Pronouns representing persons spoken of should precede pro- 
nouns denoting the speaker and should follow Pronouns denoting 
the Person addressed. 
The following sentences will illustrate: 

Were you, and he, and / all in the wrong? 
TTtey and we were at the circus yesterday. 
Yj^iyou and me (not /) go to the theater tonight. 
Between you and me (not you and /) , it is a great secret. 

In using pronouns denoting gender, very polite people 
give precedence to the feminine. Even the name of the 
person addressed, if a male, takes second place. This usage, 
however, is not well established. 

46. Either or Anf/ One; Tfie Latter or The Last. 

When several things are spoken of we may refer to certain 


of them 2iSjhe firsts the last, any oru of theniy or any of them. 
When, however, only two things are concerned the proper 
words are the fonncr^ the latter^ either one^ or cither of them. 

Several men were tried during the forenoon; the first vtSL.^ convicted 
of robbery, the last, of assault, and the others were acquitted. 

Any one in that mob knew better than to aid in breaking the law. 

There are many horses in the stable; you may take any one (not 
either) of them. 

Smith and Jones were both appointed, the former SiS, a policeman, 
the latter as a watchman. 

You may take either of the two packages, and I will take the other, 

47. It or Tfiat. — The pronoun // is sometimes impiop- 
erly used for the more emphatic that. 

There was but one thing he wanted, and that (not //) was to be let 

He wanted to borrow, and to pay when he pleased, but that (not 
it) was more than we could permit. 

48. TFi4it as au Adverb. — A very common error is the 
use of that as an adverb. Even careful writers are sometimes 
guilty of this blunder. The following are some examples: 

I was Ihat tired I could scarcely stand. 

He must not remain away from his work that long. 

I do not feel able to pay that much money for the book. 

In the first sentence, say so tired that; in the second sen- 
tence, for that, write so long or so long as that; in the third 
sentence, substitute for that much either so miuh or so much 
as that, 

49. Siiifirular Nouns DlBtln^iruishcd. — When two 
singular antecedents connected by and are emphatically 
distinguished, both the pronoun and the verb should be 

The good man, and the sinner too, has his (not have their) reward. 

The butler, and not the baker, was restored to his office. 

The sense in which a word is used, and not the letters of which 
it is composed, determines the part of speech to which the word 

50. AiiteceileiitH Preceded by Each^ Every^ and 
A>>. — When two or more antecedents connected by and are 


preceded by each, evepyy or no^ they are taken separately and 
do not require a plural pronoun. 

Every plant and every tree produces others after its (not their^ own 

Each man and each boy was faithful to his pledge. 

No harsh word and no cruel deed ever iails to react in some way 
upon its author. 

51. Antecedents of Different Persons. — When ante- 
cedents are of different persons, the first person is pre- 
ferred to the second, and the second to the third. The 
following are illustrations: 

Mary and you and / have been praised for our rapid progress at 

You and John have forgotten to bring your books. 
He and / were on our way home. 

52. Antecedents Connected by Or or Nirr. — When 
antecedents are connected by or or nor, and are of different 
persons, numbers, or genders, the pronoun representing them 
must agree with each of them. The following sentences, 
therefore, are faulty: 

Either y<?A« or /am mistaken in our opinion. 

Neither this man nor any other respectable person would disgrace 
thefnselves by such conduct. 

Every man or woman of intelligence can fairly be expected to 
regulate their conduct by reason. 

Better, Either John is mistaken in his opinion, or I am in 
mine. In the second sentence put himself for themselves, and 
in the third, put and for or, 

53. Change of Pronoun. — Different pronouns are 
sometimes wrongly used to represent the same person or 

One is frequently astonished at the rapidity with which his money 

The construction with one is at best vague and awkward. 
The sentence above should be recast. We are frequently 
astonished at the rapidity with which our money vanishes. If, 


however, one is retained as subject, one*s should take the 
place of his. Again, 

The man whose debts are all paid, whose (not his) health is good, 
and whose conscience is at peace, ought to l>e happy. 

If the antecedent is some one^ no one^ each one^ or every one^ 
the pronoun may be changed. 

Ezfery one should be willing to pay his share. 
Sotne one has left her purse in the seat. 

A not uncommon fault in the use of pronouns is to begin 
with them in one person and then suddenly change to another 
person. The following will exemplify this fault: 

The superintendent would say to the children that he would like 
them to remain in their seats for a few minutes. If any of you are 
unable to do so / wish you would raise your right hand. 

54. The Omission of Necessary Pronouns. — Pro- 
nouns that are necessary to the full sense are frequently 
omitted. This is especially true of business and other let- 
ters. Such omissions indicate scant courtesy on the part of 
the writer toward his correspondent. 

Referring to yours of the fifth, would-say that will be in New York 
next week when expect to see you. Better^ Referring to your letter 
of the fifth, I would say that I shall l>e in New York next week, and 
that I shall probably see you at that time. 

55. Antecedents of the Same Gender. — Ambiguity 
from pronouns that refer to two or more singular antecedents 
of the same gender is very common. 

Henry told John that he had just seen hts father leave for the sta- 
tion with his wife. 

Here it is impossible to know whose father was seen, and 
by whom, or whose wife accompanied. 

Mary told her sister that she was to blame for the mishap to 
her hat. 

This is a type of verbal tangle not always easy to prevent 
or undo. If the hat was Mary's and if her sister was blamed, 
we might say: 

For the mishap to Mary*s hat she blamed her sister. 


Another method of avoiding ambiguity in such cases is by 
changing to direct address. 

Mary said to her sister: "/ blame you for the mishap to my hat.'* 
Henry said: '*John, I saw your father and mother etc." 

56. Ambiguity From the Use of It. — One of the 

most troublesome words in the language is the pronoun it. 
This will be illustrated by some examples. 

The tree was blown down by the wind; it was very high. 

If the antecedent is wind, say: 

The tree was blown down by the wind, which was very high (or, 
ky the very high wind) . 

But if tree is the antecedent of //, say: 

The very high tree was blown down by the wind. 

The tree, which was very high, was blown down by the wind. 

The following examples are quoted by Professor Bain: 

When men are thoroughly possessed with zeal, it is difificult to esti- 
mate its force; but it is certain that its power is by no means in exact 
proportion to its reasonableness. 

The pronouns should all have the same antecedent, zeal. 
This, however, is not true of the pronouns in Italics. The 
sentence should read: 

When men are thoroughly possessed with zeal, there is difficulty in 
estimating its force; but certainly its power etc. 

An event is said to be conditioned, if it is assumed that // occurs 
under a certain condition. 

Both pronouns should have event as their antece'dent; the 
first does not. The sentence is better thus: 

If the assumption is that an event occurs under a certain condition, 
it is said to be conditioned. 

If by happiness be meant a continuity of highly pleasurable excite- 
ment, it is evident enough that this is impossible. 

The pronoun is so placed in this sentence as to seem to 
refer to happiness, an inadmissible reference. Say rather: 

If by . . . excitement, the impossibility of this is evident enough. 
Tennyson's meaning sometimes goes so deep that it is impossible to 
discover it. Better, that it cannot be discovered. 


// being this man's business to flatter and make sermons, ii must 
be owned that he was most industrious in //. Better^ This man's busi- 
ness being to flatter and make sermons, it must l>e owned that he was 
most industrious in his catting. 

The excessive use of // is not only often ambiguous but 
also awkward and inelegant. 

57. AmbljJTulty of They^ Their^ and Them. — These 
pronouns do not mark sex and so have the disadvantage of 
often confounding persons with things.. 

Many of their (the Teutons') chief settlements, and among ihem our 
own settlement in Britain, happened so late that we know a good deal 
about ihffn. 

Here it is not certain whether the last them refers to 
Teutons or to settlements. Better thus: 

Many of the chief Teutonic settlements, and among these our own 
settlement, happened so late that we know a good deal aboiit them. 

The Presbyterians were secured by the appointment of the Assembly 
of Divines to reform the church after their model. 

Here the antecedent of their is Presbyterians , but divines is 
nearer and creates ambiguity. Better thus: 

The Presbyterians were secured by the Assembly of Divines 
appointed to reform the church after the Presbyterian model. 

They (the Greeks) called them barbarians even though their blood 
and speech were nearly akin to their own, if only the difference was 
so great that M^V speech was not understood. 

Here the ambiguity is not of easy remedy; the entire 
construction should be changed. 

THE adjt:ctive 

58. Com pari sons. — In comparisons, care must be taken 
to adapt the terms properly. The superlative requires that 
the object to which it is applied shall belong in the class 
with which the object is compared. Thus, we may say, Eve 
7C(ts the fairest of 7vomeu; but not, as Milton has it, Eve was 
the fairest of her daughters — a construction that makes Eve 
one of her own daughters. 



Iron is more useful than all Ihe melals (all the other metals^ or^ any 
of the other metals) . 

He was the oldest of all his associates. 

He was older than any olher of his associates. 

Each of these sentences makes him one of his own asso- 
ciates. Better thus: 

He was older than any of his associates. 

A fondness for show is of all olher follies the most vain. 

Of all other simpletons he was the greatest. 


Omit other from both sentences. Still better: 

Fondness for show is the vainest of* follies. 

He was the greatest of simpletons. 

The English tongue is the most susceptible of sublime imagery of 
afiy language in the world. Belter thus, Of all languages in the 
world the English tongue is the most susceptible of sublime imagery. 

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children. Better thus^ 
more than any other of his children. 

59. Ambig^iiity of Any. — The adjective any is a very 
troublesome word. To illustrate: 

Teacher. — John, can you solve any example in the book? 
John. — Yes, ma'am, I can solve the fifth on the 45th page. 

The teacher's question may mean, Is there an example in 
the book that you can solve f or, Can yon solve every example 
m the book? The word whatever after example makes the 
meaning: to be every example. The questions should be: 

John, is there in the book an (or one) example that you can solve? 
John, can you solve every example {or all the examples) in the book? 

60. Former and Latter. — The construction with former 
and latter with backward reference should be shunned as 
cumbrous and difficult. The reader is presented with two 
subjects, but is not warned that the order in which they are 
mentioned must be remembered; so that when he reaches 
the pronouns, he must refer back to their antecedents. The 
following examples, quoted from Gibbon by Professor Bain, 
will illustrate this clumsy construction: 

The successors of Caisar and Augustus were persuaded to follow the 
example of the former rather than the precept of the latter. Better^ 


Succeeding emperors were persuaded to follow the example of Cassar 
rather than the precept of Augustus. 

We have computed the inhabitants, and contemplated the public 
work^ of the Roman Empire. The observation of the number and 
greatness of its cities will serve to confirm the former and [to] multiply 
the latter. 

The backward reference here is extremely perplexing. 
The meaning might be better expressed in a single 

Our statement of the population of the Roman Empire will be con- 
firmed and our estimate of the public works of its great cities will be 
enhanced by a consideration of the number and greatness of those cities. 

61. Concord of the Adjective and Its Noun. 

When an adjective is plural in meaning, the noun to which it 
is joined should also be plural; when an adjective is neces- 
sarily singular, it should not be joined to a plural noun. 

twenty feet, not twenty foot, six feet (not foot) high, forty years, 
not forty year 

He has saved this (say these) pains. 

The poem consists of two kind (better, kinds) of rhyme. 

I have not been in London this five years (say these five years). 

But it seems this literati had been very ill rewarded for their 
ingenious labors. (Change this to these to secure concord.) 

During that (better those) eight days we were without water. 

But if the adjective and the noun are used together as an 
adjective they need not agree in number. The following 
cxpffcssions are therefore correct: 

I l)ought a hundred-acre farm. 

We measured the distance with a ten- foot pole. 

Can you change a hundred-dollar bill? 

Ho won the three-mile race. 

<Jli, hUtvh Other and One Another. — The expression 
rath othef sliould not be applied to more than two objects; 
one another re(iuires more than two objects. 

Shall and zvill may sometimes be substituted for each other (not one 
another) . 

Both orators i^se great liberties with each other (not one another). 
Teachers like to see their pupils polite to ofie another (not each other). 


63. Equality and Inequality. — When equality is 
denied or inequality is asserted, neither term of the com- 
parison should include the other. 

No writings whatever abound so much with bold and animated 
figures as the sacred books. 

Here, the sacred books are writings. The remedy is to 
insert other after 7io, 

Noah and his family outlived all the people that lived before the 
flood (insert other betore people) . * 

Without the insertion of otAer^ the statement makes Noah 
outlive himself. 

We have had no grammarian who has employed so much labor 
and judgment upon our language as the author of these volumes 
(insert ot/ter after no). 

Never was sovereign so much beloved by his people. Better thus^ 
Never was another sovereign so much beloved by his people. 

64. Inadmissible Comparisons. — Adverbs of degree, 
such as much, more, most, so, etc., must not be joined to adjec- 
tives that do not admit of comparison. Double comparatives 
and double superlatives should be avoided. 

Such adjectives as infinite, universal, unutterable^ illimit- 
able, triangular, and others of similar nature to these, should 
never have joined to them an adverb of degree, giving such 
combinations as the following: 

so universal, more unspeakable, too triangular, most infinite, most 
divine, extremely uninhabitable, exceedingly sublime 

In the time of Shakespeare and later,, double comparatives 
and double superlatives were in good usage, but they are not 
so now. The following are examples: 

That was the most unkindest cut of all. 
To take the basest and most poorest shape. 

We should now omit most from each of these sentences. 
Additional examples are the following, which are from the 
works of careful writers: 

This is, I say, not the best and tnost principal evidence. 
At every descent, the worst became more worse. 
The power of the Most Highest guard thee from sin. 


65. Two or More Adjectives In Succession. — Where 
adjectives in series are connected by andy or,- or nor, the 
shortest and simplest should usually be placed first. 

John is taller and more graceful than his brother. 
It became the plainest, the richest, the most elegant, and the most 
musical of languages. 

But if adjectives are so much used with certain nouns 
as to make combinations that resemble compound names, 
the adjectives cannot be separated from the nouns with- 
out affecting the sense. 

An intelligent and roost beautiful young lady accompanied us. 
A loquacious, irrepressible, and most tiresome old gentleman bored 
us from a corner of the stage-coach. 

The youth of the lady and the age of the gentleman are 
emphasized somewhat by the following constructions: 

A lady, young, intelligent, and most beautiful, accompanied us. 
A gentleman, old, loquacious, irrepressible, and most tiresome 
bored us etc. 

The following are additional examples: 

To receive that more general and higher instruction etc. (say, 

higher and more general) . 

We never had such a»^/^r opportunity (say, another such) , 

The verb hangs is a transitive active verb. (Say, an active 

transitive verb.) 

In this matter of the order of adjectives, the trained ear is 
usually a correct guide. Herbert Spencer's dictum that the 
order should be from the general to the specific — from the less 
concrete to the more concrete — is valuable in case of doubt. 

66. The Order of Ordinals and Cardinals. — In using 
together adjectives denoting ordinal number, such as first, 
last, fifth, etc., and adjectives denoting cardinal number, 
such as one, six, etc., the ordinal should precede the cardinal. 
Some examples follow: 

The first three (not three first) verses were sung. 
The first six books of the /Enext^ are extremely beautiful. 
The last four (not four last) parts of speech are commonly called 


67. Use of Ttiem as an Adjective. — The pronoun 
ikem should never be used as an adjective instead of those. 
This is a gross blunder, yet it is not confined entirely to the 
conversation of the unlearned. The following sentences are 
quoted from several reputable authors: 

Though he was not known by thetn letters, etc. (say, those letters). 

In a gig or some of them things etc. 

When cross-examined by them lawyers. 

If you'd have listened to them slanders. 

The old people were telling stories about those (not them) fairies. 

68. Ttiis^ Thaty Ttiese^ Those. — These words were 
formerly much used in the sense of former and latter^ but 
they are rarely so employed at present. When so used, 
this and these should refer to the latter of two objects 
mentioned, and that and those to the former. 

Hope is as strong an incentive to action as fear; this (fear) is the 
anticipation of evil; that (hope), of good. 

Farewell my friends! farewell my foes! 
My peace with thesey my love with those! 

This construction is awkward and antiquated; it should 
be avoided. 

69. fflKde^ Lens^ Mare^ Most. — ^The adjective whole is 
sometimes used erroneously as a plural in the sense of all, 
and less in the sense of fewer. More and most also are often 
employed, in such manner as to produce ambiguity. The 
following quotations illustrate these erroneous uses: 

A messenger relates to Theseus the whole (say, all the) particulars. 

There are no less (say, fewer) than twenty diphthongs in the English 

Greater experience and more cultivated society are what he sadly 
needs to perfect his manner. 

Here it is uncertain whether the meaning is more society 
that is cultivated, or society more highly cultivated. 

No less (better, no fewer) than seven illustrious cities disputed the 
right [claim'] of having given birth to {of having been the birthplace 
of) Homer. 

Temperance, more than (better, rather than) medicine, is the proper 
means of curing many diseases. 


Those rules and principles are of mosi practical advantage. Better 
thus: Those rules and principles are of the greatest (or highest) 
practical advantage. 

This trade enriched sotne people more than them. 

This sentence may mean either of the following: 

This trade enriched some people (say, persons) besides them. 
This trade enriched some others more than it enriched them. 

In speaking of aggregates of time^ weighty distance^ value^ 
etc., if they may be regarded as singular, whole and less are 
preferable to all and fewer. The following are correct: 

The whole thousand dollars was lost. 

He disappeared not less than ten years ago. 

She weighs less than one hundred pounds. 

He went the whole (or entire) hundred miles on foot. 

The river had risen not less than twenty feet. 

The whole (or entire) twenty-four hours had been wasted. 

70. The Use of Adverbs for Adjectives. — Certain 
verbs usually require after them an adjective describing 
the state or condition of the person or thing denoted by the 
subject. Some of these verbs are: the various forms of 
the verb to be; viz., w, arey wasy were^ has beetiy will be, etc.; 
the verbs appear y seenty feely looky remain y and many others. It 
is often difficult to determine whether we should use an adverb 
modifying the verb, or an adjective modifying the subject. 
The following sentences illustrate this distinction: 

The children were hungry and thirsty. 

Here the adjectives hungry and thirsty describe the state 
or condition of the children. 

'*How are you this morning?** *'I am nicely y thank you." 

This is a gross and inexcusable blunder, yet we often hear 
it, even from educated people. In some parts of the country 
it has become a fixed form of answer to questions concern- 
ing the health. / feel badly is frequently heard, although no 
one would think of saying I feel gladly or I feel sadly. The 
proper form would be the adjective bady and this word would 
doubtless be in common use if it did not have two mean- 
ings, one of them offensive when applied to persons. Thus, 


He looks bad may refer either to physical appearance or to 
moral character — he may look or appear to be ill, or he may 
have the looks of a bad man. For this reason the expres- 
sions looks bad^ seems bad^ is bad, etc. are not in good usage, 
and they should be avoided except in conversation. Certainly, 
no one ought to use such ungrammatical and indefensible 
expressions as / feel badly y or she looks badly. 

The word well is used sometimes as an adjective and 
sometimes as an adverb, and it is often the cause of ambi- 
guity. Thus, the sentence Slie looks well may refer either to 
her health or to her personal appearance; that is, the sentence 
may have either of the following meanings: 

She looks to be in good health*. 
She presents a fine appearance. 

Some of these verbs are used both as active and as neuter; 
in the former use, adverbs and not adjectives must be 
employed with them as modifiers. The following are some 

{He looked me over very keenly. 
The blind man felt carefully over the table. 
When he was summoned he quickly appeared. 

{He looked tired and sat quiet. 
The poor woman felt sad at her g^at loss. 
He appeared angry at the intrusion. 

Therefore, to denote a state or condition of the person or 
thing named by the subject, an adjective is required with the 
verb. But, if the manner in which an action is performed is 
to be indicated, an adverb must be used. The following 
additional examples will aid in making this distinction clear: 

Shut the door tight and open the shutters wide. 

Sit still and keep entirely quiet. 

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank. 

The words in Italics are adjectives, each denoting the state 
or condition of the person or thing denoted by the modified 
word. The meaning is, Shut the door so that // shall be 
tight. The verb shut has no adverbial modifier, although 
it is an active verb, and is therefore capable of taking 


an adverb to denote the time, the place, or the manner of 
the action. 

Quickly shut the door tight, and then open the shutters tuide. 
Sit stilt IN YOUR CHAIR and keep entirely quiet for ten minutes. 

Here the words and phrases in small capitals are adverbial 

Whether to use an adjective or an adverb with verbs of 
this kind can usually be decided by a moment's thought. 
Suppose there is doubt concerning such sentences as the 


{safe 1 
- >at its destination. 

He stood I ^ . >aj2^ainst all opposition. 

In the first sentence, the reference is to the condition of 
the package after tBe act of arrival — it is safe. The phrase 
at its destination modifies the active function of the verb 
arrived. Similarly, firm is the correct modifier in the second 
sentence, just as safe is in the first. The verb stood denotes 
a state rather than an action. In the following sentences 
either of the italicized words may be used, but the meanings 
will not be the same. 

/nu 1 r J *i. w ** \calm and fearless. 

The general faced the batterv< , , , >- , , 

' {calmly and fearlessly. 

_. , - , f sweet and quiet in its cradle. 
The babe sleeps { ., I - j, - -^ j, 

'^ [sweetly and quietly in its cradle. 

In both the foregoing sentences the adjective and not the 
adverb should usually be employed. 

71. Redundant Adjectives. — Inexperienced writers 
are prone to use too many adjectives, and even good 
writers frequently employ them with nouns in such way as 
to result in tautology. William Black has desperate hopeless- 
ness ^ apparently not knowing that desperate means hopeless. 
The combination means hopeless hopelessness, Dickens named 
one of his books ** Our Mutual Friend '' when the meaning 
he intended was our friend in com man — his friend and 
mine. The newspapers have many blunders of every kind; 
the language of the law courts, of legislation, and that 


of the departmental reports from Washington are often* 
strikingly bad. 

The following are some of the blunders that the writer 
has noticed: 

Mutual reciprocity in trade between the United States and the States 
of South America. 

Habitual custom of the country, usually customary; new recruits ^ 
old veterans (from the Latin vetus, old); heavy burdens (all burdens 
are heavy); morning matins (from the French matin ^ morning); 
young juvenile (La.i\n juvenilis ^ young); funeral obsequies. 

Mere wealth alone is not enough. 

In all these cases more words are used than are needed to 
express the meaning intended. Thus, nothing is gained by 
joining young to juvenile^ morning to matins^ or funeral to 
obsequies; the result is tautology. 

72. Misused Adjecflves and Adjective Prononns. 

Careful discrimination is required in the use of adjectives. 

The following are some of the many words of this class that 

are commonly misused: 

1. Botfi, Rcuhy Every ^ and AIL — When two persons or 

things are thought of as acting or being together, of acting 

harmoniously, botfi is better than eacfi. But if they act 

separately, first one and then the other, or if they are 

antagonistic or inharmonious, ecuh is to be preferred. 

Each day as it came brought hard work. 
Each of the two had his work to do, and both were skilful. 
Every day of my life is fully occupied, and each day brings its 
worry and disappointment. 

Both sisters were beautiful, and each had many friends. 

When more than two persons or things are referred to, 
each is used if they are taken distributively — first one and 
then another until all are taken. Every ^ like each^ takes all 
without exception, but it is less specific and marks single 
individuals less distinctly than does each. All considers the 
units as making up a total that is treated as a unit; it takes 
the units collectively, not distributively like ecuh and every. 

Each person fared diflFereutly, although all were equally blamable. 
All men are sinners and every man must answer for his sins. 
All men love praise, but not every man deserves praise. 


Nothing is gained by multiplying these words. The 
French say "all both of them,*' and we have in common use 
such expressions as the following: 

each and every one of you, one and all of them, each and all of 
you. (Say, rather, each of you, every one of you, all of you.) 

2. Each, Either^ and Both, — These words are frequently 
confounded. Either properly means one of two, choice of 
one to the exclusion of the other being usually implied. A 
man may fire either barrel of a gun and reserve the load in 
the other barrel; or he may fire each barrel, first one and 
then the other; or, finally, he may fire both barrels, the 
implication being that they are discharged simultaneously. 
Either is frequently used erroneously for each or both. 

There were book shelves at either (say, both) ends of the room. 
Each apple was sour and both were large. 

Qualities in common require both. Thus, 

Both apples were large and sour. 

When a farmhouse was seen on each side of the river, we frequently 
landed with our wares. 

Here either is the proper word. 

Each horse in turn was led from the stable. I was informed that I 
might choose either; but it was difficult to choose, for both were beautiful. 

3. Many and Much, — Many refers to number and much 
to quantity. In applying this principle, however, sums of 
money, weights, and measured quantity regarded as a 
singular aggregate should take much rather than mam* as 
a modifier. 

I think there must have been as many as a hundred guests at 
the hotel. 

He was willing to pay as much as one thousand dollars for the lot. 

The regiment numbers as many as twelve hundred men. 

We may escape many of the troubles of life by not anticipating 

The pearl divers of the East Indies are said to be able to remain 
under water as much as six minutes. 

4. Different ayid Another. — The conjunction than should 
not be used after different in comparisons, nor the preposition 


{rom instead of thariy after another. These are common 
errors even among careful writers. 

He was quite another man than (not from) his brother. 
He was differait in all his tastes and habits from (not than) his 

The use of both as and than, or so and than, in compari- 
sons often results in awkward sentences similar to the fore- 
going. The following are examples: 

We have as much money, if not more, than they have. 
He is as tall, if not taller, than his brother. 

If she is not so beautiful, she is at least more charming than the 
reigning belle. 

These sentences would be less faulty if rearranged and 
slightly changed in wording. 

We have as much money as they have; {>erhaps, more. 
He is as tall as his brother, probably taller. 

If she is not so beautiful as the reigning belle, she is at least more 

5. Above as an Adjective or a Noun, — In the language of 
business, above is used both as an adjective and as a noun. 
This usage is convenient, but it has the weight of the best 
authorities against it. 

If the above (say, foregoing) statement is correct you are in the 

Should the above meet your approval I should be pleased to hear 
from you. 

In every such case it is better to use one of the following 
more -approved forms: the foregoing opinion, paragraph, 
Proposition, etc.; the statement made or given above; the pre- 
ceding suggestion; the principle stated above; etc. 

6. Misuse of Only, — The word only is sometimes an 
adjective, as in my only son; sometimes it is an adverb, as 
in only thinking, only tired. Unless the word is correctly 
placed in a sentence ambiguity results. Take for illustra- 
tion the following sentence: 

John's brother chided him. 


The word only may be placed in any one of several places 
and for each position of the word the meaning changes. 

Only John's brother chided him. (No one else chided him, or the 
brother of no one else chided him.) 

John's only brother chided him. (John had but one brother.) 
John's brother only chided him. 

The last sentence is ambiguous. It is not certain with 
which of the words, chided or brother^ only belongs. If only 
is a modifier of chided y the meaning is, He chided hitny but did 
nothing else; but if only modifies brother y then the meaning is 
very nearly the same as if only were the first word in the 
sentence. Finally, 

John's brother chided him only, or^ only him. (He chided no 
one else.) 

The rule of position of this useful but troublesome word is: 

Place o7ily next to the element it is to modify; then 

arrange the rest of the sentence so that no word capable 

of taking ojily as a modifier shall adjoin it on the other side. 

Similar ambiguity results from the misplacing of 7iot only^ 

not merely y not more^ bothy and not. Some examples follow: 

Not only is the man tired, but he is also hungry. Better thuSy 
The man is not only tired, but he is hungry. 

He could not more be expected to assist than to oppose. Put not 
more after assist. 

All men are not willing to pay their just debts. Make not the first 
word of the sentence. 

7. Partially and Partly, — These words are frequently con- 
founded. Partially means with partiality and partly means 
not wholly. Partially is common in the sense of 7iot wholly y 
but the best usage restricts the word to the meaning with 

The teacher acted partially toward her pupils. 
The work was only partly done when we left. 

8. The Adverb Quite, — Several incorrect phrases begin- 
ning with quite are in common use. Strictly, the word 
means wholly y completely; but it is loosely used with the 
meaning veryy considerably. Quite a feWy quite somCy quite 


a loty quite a good many, quite a number are phrases for 
which no successful defense would be possible. 

73. The That of Construction. — Instead of using that 
of or those of in comparisons, it is usually better to repeat the 
noun or some synonym (ff it. By this means we have the 
advantage of the balanced structure. The following sen- 
tences will illustrate: 

The Knights of England found worthy rivals in the Knights of 
France (not those of France) . 

The history of Athens is far more pathetic than the history of Rome 
(not that of Rotne) . 

The king's troops at first fought better than the soldiers of Parlia- 
ment (not those of) . 

Though he wrote like an angel, his conversation was like that of 
poor PoU. Say^ rather. Though he wrote like an angel he talked 
like poor PoU. 


74. Concord of Verb and Relative Pronoun. 

When the subject of a finite verb is a relative pronoun, care 
is necessary that the verb shall agree with its subject in 
the person and number of the true antecedent. The follow- 
ing sentence illustrates a violation of this caution: 

The second book of the ^Eneid is one of the greatest masterpieces 
that ever was executed by any hand. 

The antecedent is not one, but masterpieces; hence, the verb 
was does not agree in number with the relative. Say, ever 
were executed, or still better: 

The second book of the Mne\6. is the greatest masterpiece ever 
executed by any hand. 

Additional examples, with the corrections in parentheses, 
are the following: 

Except dwarf, grief, hoof, muff, etc., which takes (take) s to make 
the plural. 

Of these affecting situations which makes (make) man's heart feel 
for man. 

It is in order to propose examples of such perfection as are (is) not 
to be found in the real examples of societv 


This letter is one of the best that has (have) been written about 
Lord Byron. 

The idea of such a collection of men as make {makes) an army. 

75. The Modifiers of the Subject of a Verb. —The 
modifiers of a subject noun do not control its agreement 
with the verb. 

The advance of the armies was (not were) prevented by the storm. 
I, your chairman, direct (not directs) that etc. 

The following quotations are erroneous, the necessary 
corrections being in parentheses: 

The literal sense of the words are (is) that the wrong had been done. 

The mechanism of clocks and watches were (was) totally unknown. 

The //, together with the verb to be^ express (expresses) states of 

Enough of its form and force are (is) retained to render them 

The genera/, with his wife and eight children, were (was) expelled 
from the country. 

By which means the order of the words are (is) disturbed. 

76. The Verb Before the Subject. — When the subject 
of a finite verb comes, not before the verb but after it, 
failure of agreement is common. 

In the motions made with the hands consist (should be consists) the 
chief part of gesture in speaking. 

So by these two also is (are) signified their contrary principles. 

In the first sentence, part^ a singular noun, is the subject; 
the verb should therefore be singular. In the second sen- 
tence, the subject principles requires the verb to be plural. 
The following are additional examples; the corrections are 
in parentheses: 

Whence comes (come) all the powers and prerogatives of natural 

What sounds have (has) each of the vowels? 

But what saith (say) the Scriptures as to respect of persons? 

There is (are) no data by which it can be estimated. 

When there is (are) more than one auxiliary. Still better. When 
there are several auxiliaries. 

77. Phrase and Clause Subjects. — If a phrase, clause, 
or other expression denoting one whole is used as the 


subject of a finite verb, the verb must be in the third person 

To admit a God and then refuse to worship him is (not are) a mod- 
ern and inconsistent practice. 

The following are some examples that violate this prin- 
ciple of concord: 

Many are the works of human industry, w/iic/i to begin and finish 
are (say, is) hardly granted to the same man. 

To profess regard and to act inconsistently with that profession, 
betray (betrays) a base mind. 

While wheat has no plural, oats have (has) no singular. 

To these are (is) given to speak in the name of the Lord. 

78. Verb Between Two Nominatives. — When a 
neuter or a passive verb stands between two nominatives 
it should agree with the nominative that precedes. 

A great cause of the. low state of industry was (not were) the 
restraints put upon it. 

This construction is sometimes harsh and awkward. For 
example, the sentence given above, though grammatically 
correct, would be smoother if written. 

The restraints put upon industry were a great cause of its low state. 

Additional examples follow. 

The comeliness of youth are (is) modesty .and frankness; of age, 
condescension and dignity. 

Merit and good works is (are) the end of man*s motion. 

Technical terms injudiciously introduced is (are) another source 
of darkness of composition. Or, The injudicious introduction of tech- 
nical terms is etc. 

The United States is (are) the great middle division of North 
America. Better thus, The great middle division of North America 
is the United States. 

Here two tall ships becomes (become) the victor's prey. 

The clothing of the natives were (was) the skins of wild beasts. 
Say, The clothing of the natives consisted of the skins of wild beasts. 

79. Concord by Chan j?Inj< the Nominative. — Agree- 
ment between a verb and its subject may often be made by 
changing the number of the subject. If the verb cannot 


well be singular, make the subject plural; if the verb ought 
to remain singular, make the subject singular. Thus, 

Every one of you are earnestly urged to be present. 

Make the subject plural, thus, 

All of you are earnestly urged to be present. 

Other examples are, 

Much pains has been taken to explain the matter. (Instead of much 
pains t say great care.) 

Not less than three years were spent in attaining this result. 

Here some singular nouns, such as time, must be under- 
stood after lessy and the plural are is therefore wrong. We 
may pluralize the subject thus. 

Not fewer than three years were spent etc. 

jyte whole (say, all for the whole) in conjunction make a regular 
chain of cause and effect. 

Where a series of sentences occur ^ place them in the order in which 
the facts occur. Better thus^ Where several sentences occur in succes- 
sion, place them etc. 

And at our gate are all manner (say, kinds) of pleasant fruits. 

80. Omission of tlie Nominative. — Every finite verb 
not in the imperative mode should have an expressed nom- 
inative, except when the verb is repeated for the sake of 
emphasis, or when it is connected with another in the same 
construction, or when the verb follows but or than. 

The officer caught him — caught him in the very act. 

Here the verb is repeated for emphasis, and the second 
caug^ht does not require an expressed subject. The following 
are examples of sentences with subjects omitted; the needed 
words are supplied in parentheses: 

Who is here so rude that (he) would not be a Roman? 

Mr. Prince has a genius (that) would prompt him to better things. 

There is scarcely a roan but would rejoice at the downfall of his 

There is no man (that) would be more welcome here. 

No more came than were required for the work. 

There were (persons) that drew back; there were (persons) that 
made shipwreck of faith. 


This improper omission of the subject and of other neces- 
sary words is common in letters: 

Dear Sir: — Letter just received. Congratulate you on success of 
enterprise. Expect to write you soon when will take up subject you 

The needed words having been supplied, the foregoing 
will read: 

Dear Sir: — Your letter has just been received. I congratulate you 
on the success of your enterprise. I expect to write to you again soon, 
when I will take up the subject that you mention. 

81. Collective Nouns as Subjects. — When the nomi- 
native subject of a verb is a collective noun conveying the 
idea of plurality, the verb must agree with it in the plural; 
but if the noun denotes a collection regarded as a unit, the 
verb must be singular. 

The college of cardinals are (not is) the electors of the pope. 
The army was (not were) compelled to retreat. 
The school was dismissed at three o'clock. 

When there" is not a distinct implication that a collective 
noun denotes a singular aggregate, a plural verb is to be 
preferred, or the construction should be changed in such 
manner as to avoid the question of concord. Some examples 
follow, with corrections in parentheses. 

In France, the peasantry goes {go) barefoot; the middle sort makes 
(make) use of wooden shoes. 

So that all the people that was (were) in the camp trembled. (Better, 
to omit the words between all and in.) 

A great majority of our authors is (are) defective in manner. (Sub- 
stitute most for a great majority.) 

More than one-half oi the crew was (were) dead before succor came. 
(They died one by one.) 

In the last sentence the question of concord may be 
avoided by putting perished or died for was dead. The other 
sentences may be changed. Thus, 

By the middle class in France wooden shoes are worn; by the peas- 
antry, no shoes at all. 


The preceding sentence retains the balanced structure, 
and is in better form than the original. 

Since last year the number of school districts has increased. 
Has the assembly power to prohibit the liquor traffic? 

82. The Verb After Joint Nominatives. — When two 
or more nominatives denoting different persons or things 
are connected by and^ their verb should usually be plural. 

The boldness, freedom^ and variety of our language are (not is) 

Wherever space and time are (not is) found, there God must be. 

When, however, two nominatives connected by and denote 
the same person or thing, as well as when they are equiva- 
lent to one name, their verb should be singular. 

The hue and cry of the country pursues (not pursue) him. 

This philosopher and poet was (not were) banished irom the country. 
Whose icy current and compulsive course 
Ne'er feels (not feel) retiring ebb, but keeps due on. 

If two nominatives connected by a?id are emphatically 
distinguished, they belong to different clauses and require 
their verb to be in the singular. 

Ambition , and not the safety of the state, was (not were) concerned. 

In full, the sentence would be somewhat as follows: 

Ambition was concerned; the safety of the state was not concerned. 
Disgrace, and perhaps ruin, was (not were) the consequence. 

When two or more nominatives connected by afid are pre- 
ceded by each^ every, or ;/^, they must be taken separately, 
and their verb should be singular. (See Art. 50.) 

When no part of their substance and no one of their properties 
is (not are) the same. 

Every person and every occurrence is (not are) beheld in the most 
favorable light. 

Each worm and each insect is (not are) a marvel of creative power. 

When the verb separates its nominatives, it agrees with 
the nominative that precedes it, and is understood with the 

Honor crowns his old age, and wealth and peace. 


If two nominatives thus separated differ in number, the 
construction is not admissible, for the understood verb will 
not agree with the second nominative. Thus, 

Honors crown his old age, and peace. . Better thus. Honors and 
peace crown his old age. 

83. Plural Verb Un suited. — When and between two 
nominatives requires a plural verb, the construction is some- 
times awkward or erroneous. The remedy in such cases is 
to change the connective or recast the sentence. 

There are safety and honor in this course. 

Better than this would be any one of the following: 

This course is one of safety and honor. 
Safety as well as honor is in this course. 
This is a course of safety with honor. 

84. Affirmation With Negation. — When two subjects 
or antecedents are connected, one of which is taken affirma- 
tively and the other negatively, the verb must agree with 
the affirmative subject and be understood with the negative. 

Diligent effort, and not mere luck, brings success in this world. 
Not a loud voice, but strong proofs, bring connection. 

The following are quotations in which this rule of con- 
struction is violated: 

Prudence, and not pomp, are (say, is) the basis of his fame. 
Not her beauty, but her talents, attracts (say, attract) attention. 
It is her talents, and not her beauty that attracts (say, attract) 

85. Tlie Conjunctions, As Well As, But, Save. — When 
two subjects or two antecedents are connected by as well as, 
but, or save, the verb and the pronoun must agree with the 
subject that occurs first and be understood with the other. 
However, if a negative precedes one of the subjects, the verb 
must agree with the other. The following are illustrations 
of this construction: 

These principles, as well as every just rule of criticism, are founded 
upon the sensitive part of our nature. 

No mortal man save he (Ai>«)had e*er survived to say A^saw. 


The following quotations are erroneous. The corrections 
are in parentheses. 

Common sense as well as piety tell (tells) us these are proper. 

For without it, the critic as well as the undertaker, ignorant of any 
rule, have (has) nothing left etc. 

But this passage, as well as the lines immediately subsequent, 
defy (defies) all translation. 

The last sentence is awkward. It would be improved by 
and for as well as; defy would then be correct. 

None but thou (thee) O mighty prince canst (can) avert the blow. 
Naught save the gurglings of the rill were (was) heard. Better, 
Only the gurgling of the rill was heard. 

86. Subjects Taken Conjointly. — When subjects are 
to be taken conjointly, so as to have a verb in the plural, the 
proper connective is and and not with, together withy nor^ 
or, as well as, or any other. The following sentences are 
therefore erroneous: 

One of them, the wife of Thomas Cole, with her husband were 
(was) shot down. (Say, Thomas Cole and his wife were shot down.) 

The side A, with (and) the sides B and C, compose the triangle. 

The stream, the rock, or (and) the tree must each of them stand 
forth etc. 

Sobriety, with great industry and talent, enable (enables) a man to 
perform great deeds. 

There Leonidas, the Spartan king, with (and) his chosen band 
fighting for their country were cut off to the last man. 

87. Distinct Subject Phrases. — Two or more distinct 
subject phrases connected by and require a verb in the plural. 

This picture of my friend, and This picture of my friend* s suggest 
very different ideas. 

The following are erroneous: 

To promise and to ]>erform is (say, are) very different. 

To spin and to weave, to knit and to sew, was (say, were) once a 
girl's employment; but now, to dress and [to] catch a beau is (are) 
all she calls employment. 

To be round or square, to be solid or fluid, to be large or small, 
and to be moved swiftly or slowly, is (are) all equally alien from (to) 
the nature of thought. 


88. Subjects Connected by Or or Nor. — When a verb 
has two or more subjects connected by or or nor it must 
agree with them singly, not conjointly. If the subjects are 
of different persons or numbers, and if they are of equal 
importance, the verb must agree with the nearer. 

Nor eye, nor listening ear an object finds; creation sleeps. 
Neither you nor he was to blame. 

The definite article the designates what particular thing or things 
are meant. 

It should be stated that when two or more nominatives 
differ in person or number, the second principle given above 
often leads to constructions that are extremely awkward. 
It is usually better in such case to recast the sentence. 

Neither he nor / am fully satisfied. Say^ rather^ He is not fully 
satisfied, nor am I. 

Similarly, the second sentence above should be, 

You and he were alike blameless. You were not to blame, nor 
was he. 

The following quotations violate the principle stated above: 

We do not know in what either reason or instinct consist (consists). 

In the different pronunciations which [that] habit or caprice give 
(gives) rise to. Better thus, In the different pronunciations to which 
habit or caprice gives rise. 

Neither knowledge nor eloquence preserve (preserves) the reader 
from weariness. 

Their riches or poverty are (is) generally proportioned to their 
activity or indolence. 

Recast the sentence, thus: 

In proportion to their activity or indolence is in general their riches 
or poverty. 

My lord, you wrong my father; nor he nor I are (am) capable of 
harboring a thought against your peace. 

The last sentence can be improved thus: 

My lord, you wrong my father; he is not capable of harboring a 
thought against your peace. (The disclaimer of the son should be in 
a separate sentence.) 

If the subjects connected by or or nor are phrases, the 


verb must be singfular, and if a nominative comes after the 
subject phrases, it also must be singular. 

To give an affront or to take one tamely are not marks (say, is not a 
mark) of a great mind. 

To reveal secrets or to , betray one's friends is (not are) con- 
temptible perfidy. 

Neither to live in such families nor to have such servants is {not are) 
blessings (a blessing) of God. 

It is better to recast the sentence, thus: 

It is not a blessing of God either to live in such families or to have 
such servants. 

89. Repeat the Subject or Insert a New One. 

Unless verbs are alike in mode, tense, and form, it is better 
that each verb should have an expressed subject. In the 
following sentence the verbs are all concordant, hence the 
subject need not be repeated. 

So Sennacherib, king of Assyria, departed^ and went^ and returned^ 
and dwelt at Nineveh. 

The following sentences, however, require the nominatives 
that are given in parentheses: 

He was greatly heated and {he) drank with avidity. 

A person inay be great or rich by chance, but cannot be wise or 
good without taking pains for it (say, no one can be wise etc.). 

H is only an aspiration or breathing; and sometimes at the begin- 
ning of a word {it) is not sounded at all. 

Man was made for society, and {he) ought to extend his good-will 
to all men. 

Were you not affrighted, and mistook {did you not mistake) a spirit 
for a body? 

The amputation was exceedingly well performed, and {it) saved the 
patient's life. 

90. The False Passive, — A verb is active when its sub- 
ject represents the actor; it is passive when its subject repre- 
sents the receiver of the action^ The following are examples: 

The sun lights the world. 
Active The farmer bought a farm. 

The teacher will explain the example. 

{The world is lighted by the sun. 
A farm was bought by the farmer. 
The example will be explained by the teacher. 


These are the only forms in which verbs can be used. 
There are, however, a few verbs that are frequently but 
erroneously employed in another way. 

John was sent a copy of Tennyson's poems by his sister. 
The boy was told a great secret by his playmate. 

The passive verbs in the two sentences given above seem 
to have objects — copy and secret. But passive verbs never 
have objects, so that the sentences are incorrect. They 
should be written: 

(John's sister sent him a copy of Tennyson's poems. 
A copy of Tennyson's poems was sent to John by his sister. 
{The boy's playmate told him a great secret. 
A great secret was told to the boy by his playmate. 

Other examples of this erroneous construction are: 

He was offered a week's vacation. 

The farmer was sold some beautiful meadow land. 

Jennie was promised a reward for diligence. 

They were denied the privilege of landing. 

We must be allowed the privilege of making our own laws* 

Many persons are paid handsome salaries for doing nothing. 

91. Passive Verbs Wronj<ly Transitive, — Passive 
verbs should never be made to govern the objective case. 

His female characters have been found fault Tvith as insipid. Better 
thus^ His female characters have been condemned. 

The disturbances have been put an end to. Better^ The disturb- 
ances have been suppressed. 

The idea has not for a moment been lost sight of by the Boards 
Recast, The Board has not for a moment lost sight of the idea. 

It was voted that the widows and orphans should be taken care of*. 
Recast^ It was voted to care for the widows and orphans. 

92. Mixture of Styles. — It is always inelegant to use 
the solemn and the familiar style in the same sentence or even 
in the sanfie paragraph. The following are some examples: 

What appears tottering and in hazard of stumbling produceth (pro- 
duces) in the spectator the painful emotion of fear. 

For if it be in any degree obscure, it puzzles and doth not please 
(displeases) . 

This truth he wrappeth (wraps) in an allegory and feigns that etc. 


93. Confusion of Modes. — To use different modes 
under precisely similar circumstances is a serious blemish 
even when the verbs have separate nominatives. 

If one speak {speaks) and another answers^ it is quite the same. 

If one man esteem {esteems) one day above another, and another 
esteemeth {esteems) every day alike, etc. 

Should you come up this way and I am still here, you need not be 
assured how glad I shall be to see you. 

This sentence is better in either of the following ways: 

If you cofne up this way and I am still here, etc. Should you came 
up this way and should I still be here, etc. 

If a man have a hundred sheep and one of them is gone astray, etc. 

94. Omission of Parts of Verb Plirases. — When two 
or more verb phrases are connected, such parts of them as 
are not common to all the phrases should be inserted in full. 
After the auxiliary do, however, this insertion is sometimes 
unnecessary. The following is therefore correct: 

And then he falls as I do. 

Some examples of improper ellipses follow: 

I think myself highly obliged to make his fortune as he has mine 
{has made mine) . 

Every attempt to remove them haSy and likely Tvill prove unsuccess- 
ful {has proved). 

Which they neither have nor can do {have done nor can do) , 

95. Misuse of the "Verb Do. — The verb do is often 
used erroneously for verbs to which its meaning is not 
suited. It is usually better to repeat the first verb unless 
such repetition would be awkward. 

And I would avoid it altogether if it could be done {avoided) . 

Besides making a deeper impression than can be done {made) by 
cool reasoning. 

Yet a poet, by the force of genius alone, can rise higher than a 
public speaker can do {rise). 

The pupil should commit the first section thoroughly before he does 
{begins or undertakes) the second. 

96. Verbs With Future Reference. — Verbs of com- 
manding, desiring, expecting, hoping, intending, wishing, 
and the like, usually refer to actions and events in the future. 


Care must be exercised to have the concord of tenses cor- 
rect. Even careful writers blunder with these verbs. We 
should say, 

I meant to go, noi, I meant to have gone. 

We hoped you would come, «^/, We hoped you would have come. 

Some quotations that are erroneous follow: 

I found him better than 1 expected io have found {to- find) him. 
He would not have been allowed to have entered {to enter). 
We planned to have arrived (to arrive) last night. 

97. Concord of Tenses. — When words denote time, 
whether they are nouns, adverbs, or verbs, care should be 
observed that there may be a proper sequence of time and a 
concord of tenses. Thus, we may say, / have seen him today ^ 
but not, / have seen him last week. The following will illus- 
trate this point more fully: 

I have already told you, not, I told you already. 

I finished my letter (not had finished) before the postman came. 
(7r, I had finished my letter when the postman came. 

From what has been [was) formerly known. 

Arts were of late (have been) introduced among them. 

I continued to work until the present moment (say, have continued) . 

They have anciently done (say, anciently did) a great deal of hurt. 

Wliat I believe was hinted once already. Better, What I believe has 
already been once hinted. 

I expected, from the promises of the noble lord, to have seen the 
banks paying in gold (say, to see). 

98. The Universal Present Tense. — Certain things 
are always true. Facts of this kind should be expressed in 
the present tense. 

He said that the square of six is thirty-six (not was). 
It is said that honesty is (not was) the best policy. 

The following quotations are erroneous: 

Two young gentlemen have discovered that there was (say is) no God. 
The ancients asserted that virtue was (is) its own reward. 
I have already told you that I was (say, am) a gentleman. 

99. Omission of To Before the Infinitive. — After 
the active forms of the verbs bid^ dare, feel, hear^ let, make^ 
need, see^ and their participles, to, the sign of the infinitive, is 


usually not required; the same is the case after the imperative 
please used in polite requests. After other verbs to should 
always precede the infinitive. Some examples follow: 

They bade him enter (not to enter), 
Darest thou now, Cassius, leap (not to leap) into etc.? 
We felt them push (not to push) against the door. 
Pharaoh would not let the children of Israel ^(t? (not to go). 
Please exipXsiXn this example, or Please to explain etc. 

The following quotations are erroneous: 

I have known lords abbreviate almost the half of their words (say, to 
abbreviate) . 

So as neither to embarrass or weaken the sentence (say, nor to 

Their character is formed and made appear (say, to appear). 

When the passive forms of these verbs are followed by an 
infinitive, to is required before it. 

He was bidden to enter the house. 
We were dared to engage in battle. 
They were heard to call for assistance. 

There are many exceptions to the foregoing usage. 

100. The Verb Bill, Meaning to Offer or to Promise. 

When bid means to offer or to promise, and is followed by 
an infinitive, to should be inserted. 

The boy bids fair to become a fine scholar {bids (air = promises). 
Both of the merchants bid high to get the goods (bid high = offered 
a high price). 

101. Tlie Verb I>are» — When the verb dare is an infin- 
itive and has another infinitive following it; also when it has 
an objective noun or pronoun, to must not be omitted. 

What power so great to dare to disobey f 
He dared me to enter the lists against him. 

Also, if the verb dare has an auxiliary and is followed by 
an infinitive, the sign to should be inserted. 

Who would dare to molest him ? 

Some would even dare to die for a friend. 

Do you dare to prosecute such a creature? 


When dare is in the present tense, the insertion of to is 
sometimes admissible. 

Those whose words no one dares to repeat. 
The man who dares to be a wretch. 

102. The Verb FeH. — To after feel is omitted only 
when the verb is used transitively and when it refers to a 
physical sensation. But when this verb is used intransi- 
tively with reference to a mental state, to should be inserted. 
The following examples illustrate these differences: 

I felt something sting me. 1 

I feel it move. > Physical sensation 

I felt around to find the door. J 

I felt ashamed to ask.l .. ^ , ^ .. 
- ^ , , , X > Mental state 

I feel glad to see you. J 

103. The Verb Make. — It is often correct to insert to 
after make used transitively. 

He makes the excellence of a sentence to consist in four things. 
He could make the dumb to speak and the lame to walk. 
Man was made to mourn. 
A pupil should be made to obey his teacher. 

When, as in the third sentence, the verb made means created^ 
the infinitive following it denotes purpose, and to must be 

Some persons seem to have been made only to prey on others. 

104. The Verb Nee€l. — There seems to be equally 
good authority both for the omission and the insertion of 
to after need. In the emphatic construction with do or did it 
is usually better to insert the sign to of the infinitive. The 
following sentences are all correct: 

He need not worry about the mishap. 

One does not need to wonder about the event. 

Their sex need not be marked. 

They do not need to be specially indicated. 

yjte, need only to mention the facts of the case. 

No person needs to be informed of what has happened. 


In the last example, needs is in the third person singular. 
There is good authority for both need and needs in this person 
and number. Thus, 

Moral instruction needs not to have a more prominent place (or need 
not have) . 

105. The Verb See. — When see has an objective noun 
or pronoun after it, an infinitive following requires the 
omission of to; but when it is used intransitively, to should 
be inserted. Thus, 

I saw him whip his horse most cruelly. 

It was so dark that we could not see to write. 

106. The Verbs Have^ Heipf and Find. — Good 
authorities use the infinitive both with and without to after 
the verbs have^ help^ and find. The preference, however, is 
that to should be inserted. 

I will have him sing (or to sing) at your concert. 
Will you help him solve (or to solve) the problem? 
You will find the difficulty disappear (or to disappear) in a 
short time. 

107. Participles From Transitive Verbs. — The 

preposition of should not be used after participles derived 
from transitive verbs. The following are some examples 
illustrating this erroneous usage. The of in each case 
should be omitted. 

preaching of reipenXsiTiQe, keeping of one day in seven 
In forming of his sentences he was very exact. 

The Arabians exercised themselves by composing of orations and 

After verbal nouns derived from transitive verbs of is 
required before a noun or a pronoun in the objective case. 
This construction, although grammatically correct, is nearly 
always harsh and is often ambiguous. 

There was no withstanding ofhlvn. 
The mixing of them makes a miserable jumble. 
The action took place prior to the taking place of the other past 


Better constructions of the foregoing are, 

He could not be withstood. 

A miserable jumble results from mixing them. ' 

The action preceded the other past action. 

108. Adjective After Verbal Noun. — Grammarians 
condemn the construction in which an adjective follows a 
verbal noun. Neither should an adjective phrase occur after 
a verbal noun. 

Our belief in a thing's being possible is sometimes not warranted. 
Better thus. Our belief that a thing is possible etc. 

His being afraid was clearly evident. Say^ That he was afraid was 
clearly evident; or^ It was clearly evident that he was afraid. 

Being unity out of season is one sort of folly. Say^ One sort of folly 
is to be witty out of season. 

His being in debt was the excuse g^ven. Say^ The excuse g^ven was 
that he was in debt, 

109. Compound Verbal Nouns. — Verbal nouns that 
consist of more than one word are inelegant, and should 
therefore be avoided. Some examples follow: 

The being abandoned by our friends is deplorable. 
Our being made acquainted with pain and sorrow has a tendency to 
bring us to a settled moderation. 

He mentioned a boy's having been corrected for his faults. 
The having been slandered was no fault of Peter's. 


It is deplorable to be abandoned by our friends. 
Acquaintance with pain and sorrow has a tendency to bring us to a 
settled moderation. 

He mentioned that a boy had been corrected for his faults. 
That Peter has been slandered is not his fault. 

110. Substitutes for the Participle. — It is a good 
rule not to use a participle where an infinitive, a verbal 
noun, an ordinary noun, or a phrase will better express the 
meaning. The following are examples of this faulty con- 

But placing an accent on the second syllable of these words would 
entirely derange them. Belter, To place an accent etc.; or. The 
placing of an accent etc.; still better. An accent placed on etc. 

She regrets not meeting him. 


This sentence is ambiguous, for it may mean either of the 

She regrets that she did not meet him. 

She does not regret that she met him. 

A severe critic might point out some expressions that would bear 
being retrenched (bear retrenchment) . 

But Artaxerxes could not t^Ims^ pardoning him (to pardon him). 

It is often useless to attempt proving that a certain thing is right. 
Better^ The attempt to prove that a thing is right is often useless. 

111. Participles After the Verb To Be. — A par- 


ticiple instead of a nominative after be, zsy was^ etc., results 
in an expression that may be mistaken for a verb phrase. 

Irony is expressing ourselves in a manner contrary to our thought. 
Purity is using rightly the words of our language. 
It would be losing time to attempt to illustrate it further. 
Spelling is combining letters to form syllables and words. 

All the foregoing sentences should be recast. 

Irony is the use of words to convey a meaning contrary to our thought. 
Purity is a right use of the words of our language. 
It would be a loss of time to attempt to illustrate it further. 
Spelling is the combining <;/ letters to form syllables and words. 

112. Verbs of Preventing. — Verbs of preventing 
should not be followed by a verbal in mg used as if in the 
objective case. If a verbal follows, the preposition from 
should be inserted before it. The following are erroneous: 

I endeavored to prevent letting him escape (say, to prevent his 
escape; or, to prevent him frotn escaping) . 

We tried to prevent it bursting out with open violence (say, to 
prevent it from bursting out with open violence) . 

Yet this does not prevent his being great (say, prevent him from 
being great) . 

Does the present action hinder your being (hinder you from being) 
honest and brave? 

113. The Dangrlin^ Participle. — In every sentence 
containing a participle there should be a word to which the 
participle belongs as a modifier. If this is not the case, we 
have a dan^lin^ participle. Some examples follow: 

By establishing good laws our peace is secured. 
There will be no danger of spoiling their faces. 


yiewing them separately, different emotions are produced. 
Proceeding from one particular to another, the subject grew under 
his hand. 

Having finished his speech, the assembly dispersed. 

The remedy for these errors is to reconstruct the sentences. 

By establishing good laws we secure peace. 
They will be in no danger of spoiling their faces. 
When they are viewed separately, different emotions are produced. 
As he proceeded from one particular to another, the subject grew 
under his hand. 

His speech having been finished ^ the assembly dispersed. 

114. Verbals Used With Nouns. — It is inelegfant to 
use verbals and nouns together, especially when they are 
used in the same way. Thus, 

Of denotes possession or belonging (say. otvnership) . 
Some verbs denote dction or doing; some others, passion or suffer^ 
ing. Belter ihus^ Some verbs denote action; others, passion. 

115. The Split Infinitive. — By split infinitive is meant 
a construction in which an adverb or an adverbial phrase is 
placed between the sign of the infinitive and the verb. The 
following are examples: 

to carefully examine, to better accomplish, to not forget, to rapidly 

Prof. A. S. Hill in his Foundations of Rhetoric** speaks 
of **the common fault of putting an adverb or an adverbial 
phrase between to and the infinitive — words so closely con- 
nected that they should not be separated.** 

Continuing, he says: **Its prevalence has led some students 
of language to insist that good use sanctions, or at least 
condones, the practice of putting adverbial expressions 
between to and the infinitive; and one well-known scholar 
has adduced what at first sight seems a formidable array of 
citations, ranging from the time of Wycliffe to the present 
day. On examination, however, it turns out that the names 
of some of the highest authorities on a question of good use 
[usage] — Addison, Goldsmith, and Cardinal Newman, for 
instance — are conspicuous by their absence, and that each of 
several other authors of highest repute is represented by 


only one example .... On the other hand, unpracticed 
writers are precisely those who are most ready to misplace 
their adverbs. 

**C)ne thing to be said in favor of caging an adverb between 
to and the infinitive is that a writer can thus, with least 
trouble to himself, show that the adverb and the verb belong 
together. This consideration, which does not affect writers 
who know their business, would, even if good use [usage] 
were divided, be more than counterbalanced by the harshness 
of the construction, and by the danger that soon we may 
have expressions like Herrick's ^to incense bur^i,^ 

**On the whole, the safest conclusion still seems to be that 
arrived at in the text, namely, that a careful writer ^yill do 
well to avoid the construction which places the adverb 
between to and the infinitive.*' 

De Vinne, in his **Correct Composition,** says: **In some 
printing houses the reader is ordered by the master printer 
never to pass a split infinitive, as in this sentence: 

The dog had been trained at a given signal to immediately raise 
himself on his hind legs. 

The infinitive to raise must be kept together, and imme- 
diately may be put before or after the verb, as euphony 
dictates. Tlie change is needed for good English; but there 
are writings in which the author purposely splits the infini- 
tive to show an ordinary colloquialism.** 

The split infinitive has always been condemned by the 
best authorities as awkward and generally harsh. The 
** Saturday Review** mentions this construction as **The vile 
fashion of the split infinitive. Pray flog it out of all pre- 
sentable literature.** 

Some examples follow: 

The soldiers of the guard refused to longer fight (say, to fight longer^. 
His father directed him to instantly relurti (say, to return instantly, 
or at once) . 

The question is whether he will pledge himself to loyally and faith- 
fully support the candidate of the party. Better, to support the 
candidate of the party loyally and faithfully. 


(PART 8) 




1. Posttion of the Adverb. — Ambiguity, or even 
entire failure to express the writer's meaning, often 
results from misplacing an adverb. There is no estab- 
lished place in the sentence for this part of speech; in 
general it should be put where it will render the meaning 
clear and the sound agreeable. An adverb should not stand 
between two words if it may be taken as the modifier of the 
one as readily as of the other. The following are some 
examples of erroneous position of the adverb, with correc- 
tions in parentheses: 

We are in no hazard of mistaking the sense of the author, though 
every word which he uses be not precise and exact (though noi every 
word that he uses is precise and exact). 

All that is favored by good use is not proper to be retained. (Not 
alt that is favored by good usage is proper to be retained.) 

Most men dream, but all men do not, (Most men, but not all 
men, dream.) 

The words must he generally separated from the context. (Generally^ 
the words must be separated from the context.) 

They must be viewed exactly in the same light (viewed in exactly 
the same light). 

2. Adverbs lii Place of Adjectives. — Adverbs are 
often used wrongly instead of adjectives; especially when 

For notice of copyright, see Page immediately following the title Page 



state or quality, and not manner, is to be expressed. Some 
examples of these errors are quoted below: 

The now copies of the original text are entire (the present copies). 

The arrows of calumny fall harmlessly at the feet of virtue (fall 
harmless) . 

Motion upwards is commonly more agreeable than motion down- 
wards. (Upward moixon . . . downward motion.) 

This construction sounds rather harshly (sounds rather harsh). 

It is the often doing of a thing that makes it a custom. (Recast the 
sentence thus: Frequent repetition of the same act results in the 
formation of a habit.) 

The adjective is put absolutely, or without its noun (put absolute). 

3. Adverbs Witli Verbs of Motion. — In formal com- 
position, strict propriety requires with verbs of motion 
hit her y thither, and 7v hit her rather than here, there ^ and 
where. In ordinary conversation the former three adverbs 
are rarely heard. 

Whither are you going? 

He has gone thither. 

Come hither y my pretty maid. 

It is reported that the governor will come here (come hither) 

He sometimes gets a prospect of that lovely land where (whither) his 
steps are tending. 

When we left Cambridge, we intended to return tfiere (thither) in 
a few days. 

4. Fro^n Before Hetice^ Thence^ and fflience. — The 

expressions from hence, from thence, and {rom whence are 
tautological, for from is implied by each of these adverbs. 

He went to the office and thence (not from thence) home. 
From whence (whence) we may depart for the Holy Land. 
They returned to the city frotn whence they came out. (They 
returned to the city whence they came.) 

Who are you, and whence (nqt frofn whence) come you? 
Frofn hence (omit from) he concludes that a constitution etc. 

5. The Adverb JTow. — The adverb ho7v should not be 
used before the conjunction that^ nor as a substitute for lest^ 
that notf or that. 


He declared how {that) he would triumph in the end. 
You see how that (that) not many wise men or good men secure 
political office. 

Be careful how you offend him {that you do not). 

6. The Adverbs Ulien, While^ and Where. — After the 
verb is in definitions, when^ while^ or where should not be 
used to introduce a noun clause. 

The reason for this rule of composition is that 7vhai and 
while denote identity in time, and where denotes identity 
in place; but a definition requires identity in being, which 
amounts to substantial equivalence. 

Concord, in g^rammar, is when one word agrees in some respect 
with another. Better, Concord, in grammar, is the agreement ^ in some 
respect, of one word with another. 

Bombast is when high-sounding words with no meaning are used. 
Say, Bombast is the use <?/ high-sounding words etc. 

Metonymy is where the cause is put for the effect etc. Say, 
Metonymy is a figure of rhetoric that consists in putting etc. 

Fusion is while some solid substance is converted into a fluid by 
heat (Fusion is the conversion o/'etc). 

7. No Used for NoU — The adverb no should not be used 
with reference to a verb or a participle as a substitute for not. 
Some examples of this erroneous usage follow: 

I do not know whether I shall go or no {not). 

We must work whether we will or no {not). 

He cares not whether the world was made for Caesar or no {not) . 

8* Double 'Se^^tiYes, — A negation should contain but 
one negative word; if two negatives are used in the same 
clause, they usually contradict each other and leave the 

clause affirmative. 

For my part I love him not, nor hate him not. (For my part I love 
him not, and hate him not.) 

I have;/*/ got none. (I have none.) 

There is nothing more admirable nor more useful. (Nothing is 
more admirable or more useful.) 

No skill could obviate, nor no remedy dispel, the terrible infection 
{and no remedy dispel) . 

Where there is no marked nor peculiar character in the style (or 
peculiar character) . 

There can be no rules laid down, nor no (and no) manner 


9. The Adverbs Ever and Never. — These adverbs are 
frequently confounded. 

We seldom or ever see an indolent man become wealthy. ( We 
seldom or never, or seldom if ever,) 

If Pompey shall but never so Utile {ever so little) seem to like it. 

More than sufficient both to strengthen us, be we never so weak, 
and to overthrow all adversary power be it never so strong. (More 
than sufficient both to strengthen us, be we ever so weak; and to 
overthrow all adverse power, be it ever so strong.) 

The two adverbial expressions, ever so and never so, are 
often misused. The former is a near equivalent of very or 
extremely; the latter is much stronger, meaning inconceiv- 
ably, enormously, exceedingly, 

10. Adjectives for Adverbs. — One of the most common 
of errors is the use of adjectives where adverbs are required. 
The following quotations will illustrate: 

We can much easier form the conception of a fierce combat (much 
more easily form). 

When he was restored, agreeable {agreeably) to the treaty, he was 
a perfect savage. 

How I shall acquit myself suitable (suitably) to the importance of 
the trial. 

Can anything show your Holiness how unworthy {unworthily) you 
treat mankind. 

Attentive only to exhibit his ideas clear and exact (clearly and 
exactly) , he is always dry. 

11. Since for Ago. — Since, when used with reference 

to time, should not refer to time long past; ago, however, 

may be used for any past time. The following examples 

will show the distinction: 

*'Some one called while you were away.** *'How long since f*^ or 
'*How long agoV^ *'Only a few minutes since.** **Only a few 
minutes ago,** 

He came to this country several years ago (not since). 
Many, many years ago (not since) there was a very rich king called 

12. Most'Ov About for Almost or Nearly. — These 

words are frequently misused. 

Are we most there? 

Most every writer agrees with you. 


About all writers on geology etc. 
He ran so hard that he was most dead. 

We had about reached the end of our journey when the coach over- 
took us. 

All the foregoing sentences are erroneous. Substitute 
almost or riearly for the words in Italics. 

13. Adverbs Absolute in Meantni?. — Many adverbs 
and their corresponding adjectives are absolute in meaning, 
and for that reason should not be compared. For example, 
we cannot say most unique^ very shameless^ more invariable^ 
more totally. For though a poem may be unique (the only 
one of its kind), it cannot be more unique or less unique; and 
though a person may be shameless (without shame), he can- 
not be tooy or very, or more^ or less, shameless. Other absolute 
adverbs follow: absolutely^ axiomatical ly, completely, conclu- 
sively, continually, entirely, essentially , exclusively, extremely, 
faultlessly , fundamentally , impregnably, incessantly, incredibly, 
indispensably, inseparably, intangibly, intolerably, illiterately, 
sufficiently, unceasingly, and many others. 

It should be mentioned, however, that the desire for forci- 
ble statement or for exaggeration often leads to the use of 
comparative or superlative forms of adverbs absolute in 
meaning; so, too, we often meet them preceded by such 
intensive words as so, too, very, qiiite, etc. 

14. Almost as an Adjective. — Almost is sometimes 
erroneously used as an adjective. 

His almost impudence of manner gave offense. 
Such an ahnost Christian should amend his ways. 

The expressions almost no and almost nothing have enemies 
among the critics, and should be avoided by careful writers. 
For, ahnost no money is some money, and almost nothing is 

15. At Ijength and At Ltint. — These two phrases are 
by careless writers sometimes used interchangeably. At 
last should refer to some action regarded as a finality, and 


at lengthy to action or state as continuing ^ or intermediate 

between a beginning and an end. 

„ ... , fand at last he died. 

He was sick for a long time< . , ^ , ^, . , 

t but at length he began to mend. 


16. Tlie Wrong Conjunction. — Care must be exercised 
to use the right conjunction, as well as to omit the con- 
junction when it is not required. 

References are often marked by letters and (or) figures. 

A conjunction is used to connect words and sentences together. 
(Use or instead of and and omit together.) 

English grammar is miserably taught in our district schools; the 
teachers know but little or nothing about it. (Omit but.) 

An emphatic pause is made after something has been said of peculiar 
moment, and on which we desire to fix the hearer's attention. Better 
thus: An emphatic pause is made after something of peculiar moment 
has been said on which we desire to fix the hearer's attention. 

An imperfect phrase contains no assertion, or (and) does not 
amount to a proposition. 

Whether (If) we open the volumes of our divines, philosophers, 
historians, or (and) artists, we meet the same difficulty. 

17. Two Terms WItli Wronp: Reference. — When two 
connected terms have a common dependence on some subse- 
quent term, the dependence must be right for both of the 
connected terms. The following quotations are erroneous 
in this respect. The corrections are in parentheses. 

I answer, you may (use) and ought to use stories and anecdotes. 

I have (been) and pretend to be a tolerable judge. 

He is a much better grammarian than they are (than any of thetn). 

Any person (from zvhom) or place where (whence) certain deci- 
sions are obtained etc. 

Antony, coming alongside of her ship, entered it without seeing 
(her) or being seen by her. 

Some other that only resembles (it) or is akin to it. 

He was more beloved, but not so much admired as Cinthio (more 
beloved than Cinthio, but not so much admired). 

Lincoln always has (been) and doubtless always will be revered 
by his countrymen. 

The silver age is reckoned to have begun on the death of Augustus 
and (to have) continued to the end of Trajan's reign. 


18« liikeness of Connected Terms. — Connected terms 
should, so far as possible, be of the same kind. Such like- 
ness gives balance and symmetry to sentences. 

Athens saw them entering (enler) her gates and //// her academies. 

We have neither forgotten his past nor despair of his future success. 
(We have neither forgotten his success in the past nor despaired of his 
success in the future.) 

Whether he should or not be made to meet this exigency (should 
or should not be made etc.) is open to question. 

He gained nothing further than to t>e commended {nothing but 
commendation) . 

They very seldom trouble themselves with inquiries or making 
{make) useful observations of their own. 

19« The Conjunction TFian. — In comparisons in which 
else, othery otherwise^ rather^ or an adjective or adverb in the 
comparative degree, is used, the second member of the com- 
parison should be introduced by the conjunction than. After 
else or other, however, the preposition besides is sometimes 
used, and it is often better than the usual construction 
with than. 

A metaphor is nothing else but a short comparison (nothing else than, 
or nothing but) . 

Those classics contain little else but histories of murders (little else 
than, or little else besides). 

He no sooner accosted her but he gained his point (than). 

Does he mean that theism is capable of nothing except being 
opposed to atheism? (Does he mean that theism is capable of nothing 
besides opposition to atheism?) 

20. Relative Pronouns Exclude Conjunctions. 

Because relative pronouns are connectives, conjunctions 
should not be used with them, unless there are two or more 
relative clauses in succession to be connected. The following 
sentences illustrate this point: 

The principal and distinguishing excellence of Virgil, and which 
in my opinion he possesses beyond all poets, is tenderness. (The 
principal and distinguishing excellence of Virgil is tenderness, which, 
in my opinion, he possesses beyond all other poets.) 


Has this word, which represents an action, an object after it, and 
on which (omit and) it terminates? 

He left a son of a singular character, and (omit and) who behaved 
so ill that he was put in (into) prison. 

21. Anomalous Use of That. — The following sen- 
tences exemplify a use of that to which grammatical author- 
ities object. 

It will greatly facilitate the labors of the teacher at the same time 
that it will relieve the pupil of many difficulties. (Substitute white or 
and for at the satn'e tinte that.) 

This is one reason that {why) we pass over such smooth language 
{language so smooth) without suspecting that it contains little or no 

The verb must also be of the same person that {as) the nominative 
is (omit is) . 

The brazen age began at the death of Trajan, and lasted till the 
time that {when) Rome was taken by the Goths (or substitute until 
for till the titne that) . 

22. Corresponslves. — Certain conjunctions, adverbs, 
and relative pronouns are used in pairs. Care should there- 
fore be exercised that such pairs are authorized correspon- 
sives. The following are most of the pairs in common use, 
with illustrative sentences: 

X. x\.s • • . as. 

He was as true as steel. 

2i* x\.S • • • so. 

As a tree falls so it must lie. 

3. As well ... as. 

One might as well go to prison as to run an elevator. 

4. Both . . . and. 

Both the wise and the unwise received benefit. 

5. Either ... or. 

He is either guilty or innocent. 

6. Neither . . . nor. 
They do neither sigh nor sing. 


7. Not only 1 , . f^ut, but also, 
Not merely/ Ibut even. 

In heroic times smuggling and piracy were deemed not only not 
infamous, but (or but even) honorable. 

These are questions not of prudence merely^ but of morals also, 

8. So . • . as« 

He should not have been so careless as to leave the door unlocked. 
No one believed that he would be so weak as to yield. 

9. So . . . that. 

So live that when thy summons comes etc. 

10. Such ... as. 

May her future be such as I would have it. 

11. Such . . . that. In this construction, that introduces 
a clause expressmg a consequence. 

Such was the strength of the current that we were carried into the 

The weather was such that we all suffered. 

12. Though, or although, . . . yet. 
Though he deceived me, yet I will trust him. 

Either the former or the latter of this pair may be omitted. 

Though I was not a stranger to books, I had no acquaintance with 
men. (I was not a stranger to books, yet I had no acquaintance 
with men.) 

13. Whether ... or. 

Whether he come or not, we shall set out. 
Whether he is right or wrong, I care not. 

The following quotations exemplify errors either in the 
choice or in the position of corresponsives. Corrections are 
in parentheses. 

A neuter verb expresses neither action or (nor) passion. 

The author is apprehensive that his work is not as {so) accurate 
and as (so) much simplified as it may (might or should) be. 

There is no language so poor but it has (as not to have) two or 
three past tenses. 


Not only his estate, his reputation too (but also his reputation)^ has 
suffered by his misconduct. 

That would be a matter of such nicety as {that) no degree of 
human wisdom could regulate (//). 

Definiteness was required to that degree as to give {such a degree 
as) proper names to rivers. 

A teacher is confined, not more than a merchant, and probably 
not as {so) much. 

23. Improper Ellipses After Conjunctions. — When 
corresponsives are used, the verb or the phrase that precedes 

* the first of them applies also to the second; but no word 
following the first corresponsive can be understood after the 

Tones are different both from emphasis and {from) pauses. 

Though both the intention and (the) purchase are now past, the 
debt must be paid. 

Whether of a public or {a) private nature, the same rule holds. 

The subject afforded a variety of scenes, both of the awful and 
{of the) tender kind. 

Restlessness of mind disqualifies us both for the enjoyment of peace 
and (for) the performance of duty. 

He sendeth rain both on the just and (on the) unjust. 

24. Nor or Or After No or Not, — JVar or or used after 
no or not should be carefully discriminated. If the alterna- 
tives are regarded as two names for the same thing, ^r should 
Separate them; but if the alternatives are to be sharply 
distinguished, nor should be used. The following are 

The object we see is not human nor brute. 
No person, living nor dead, ever saw the like. 
No manager or superintendent was in the place. 
I have no will or disposition for the enterprise. 
We had no guide or leader. 

In the last three examples the pairs of nouns separated by 
or are in each case different names of the same thing. The 
construction with 7ior is the more emphatic, but less so than 
that with neither . . . nor. 

They are neither man nor woman. 
They are neither brute nor human, 
They are ghouls. 



26. The Bi^ht Preposition. — It is sometimes not 
easy to find a preposition that will denote exactly the rela- 
tion intended. The following sentences exemplify some of 
the common errors in the choice of prepositions. Correc- 
tions are in parentheses. 

But to rise beyond {above) that, and overtop the crowd, is given 
to few. 

This also is a good sentence, and gives occasion to (for) no remark. 

Independently on (of) the rest of the sentence. 

How different lo this (from this) is the life of Fulvia. 

In this period, language and taste arrive lo (at) purity. 

You should aspire at (after) distinction in the republic of letters. 

His abhorrence to (of) the superstitions of the age. 

26. The Omission of Prepositions. — It is a general 
rule that prepositions should not be omitted except in such 
cases as have been fully established by long usage, as, for 
instance, before an indirect object or before certain infinitive 
constructions. In the following quotations, prepositions 
should be supplied. 

Ridicule is banished France (from France), and is losing ground 
in England. 

1 passed it as a thing unworthy my notice (of my notice). 

You may think this worthy your attention (worthy of). 

It was covered tenth trees of twelve inches diameter, and round the 
base was an excavation of five feet depth and width (trees twelve 
inches /;/ diameter . . . excavation five feet /// depth and in width). 

I was prevented reading the letter (insert frofn after prevented) . 

What use can these words be until their meaning is known? (Of 
what use etc.) 

The army must of necessity be the school, not of honor, but (of) 

27. Needless Prepositions, — Care should be exer- 
cised not to insert needless prepositions; especially, should 
they not be put before the object of a transitive verb. The 
following are some examples illustrating this fault: 

It is to you to whom I am indebted for this favor. (I am indebted 
to yon for this favor.) 


His servants ye are to whom ye obey (omit to) . 

At about the same time the subjugation of the Moors was com- 
pleted (omit at) . 

That a man should afflict his soul for a day and to bow down his 
head like a bulrush (for to bow down substitute should bow). 

In this respect Tasso yields to no poet except to Homer (omit to 
before Homer) . 

28. Two Prepositions With the Same Object, — When 
two different prepositions have the same object, the object 
should be placed after the first preposition, and some noun 
or pronoun representing the object should usually follow 
the second. The following sentences illustrate this rule 
of composition: 

She quarreled with^ and soon afterwards was divorced fronts her 
husband. (She quarreled with her husband and was soon afterwards 
divorced from him.) 

The army advanced against^ and was victorious over^ the enemy in 
a bloody engagement. (The army advanced against the enemy and 
in a bloody engagement with them was victorious.) 

This construction is less objectionable when the preposi- 
tions are close together. 

We expect to live in or near the city. ^ 

His entire life was passed on or near the ocean. 

However, even in such sentences, it is better that each 
preposition should have its own object. 

We expect to live in the city or near it. 

His entire life was passed on the ocean or near it. 

29. Between and Among. — These two prepositions are 
often confounded. The former should refer to two persons 
or things, the latter to more than two. 

The relations among (not between) the members of the family were 
at all times pleasant. 

There has never been the slightest trouble between (not among) the 

There were just thirty palings between every post {between each pair 
of adjacent posts). 

Between every sentence of his story he uttered a groan ( With every 
sentence) . 


It should be stated that there is some authority for inter- 
changing between and among. This usage is not good, 
however, and should be avoided. 

30. In and Into. — The preposition into is used with 
words denoting motion real or ideal; in is used with words 
denoting rest. 

He went into (not in) the house; he is in the house now. 
We looked into the matter with great care. 

When in is used with verbs of motion, the motion must be 
within something regarded as enclosing the motion. 

The children run and romp in the attic. 
The man drove a team in New York. 
The farmer drove his team into the city. 

31. Prepositions With Certain Words. — Good usage 
requires that certain words shall be followed by special 
prepositions. The choice is usually determined by the 
meaning of the prefix of the word, but often by the meaning 
of the entire word. The following is a partial list of such 
words and their appropriate prepositions: 

abhorrence for a person or thing that one hates 

abhorrence <?/ something that one dreads; as, snakes, spiders 

absolve from a promise 

abstract of d, document — an outline of its contents 

abstract money from a cash drawer 

accomplish by diligence, with difficulty, under hard conditions 

accord with another's opinion; two or more persons accord in an 

accord to others their rights or privileges 
acquire by labor, with difficulty 
acquit of 2i charge (not from^ as formerly) 
adapted to — fitted or adjusted to intentionally 
adapted for by nature, for grazing, for food 
affinity between friends or ideas (Carbon has an affinity tor oxygen. 

My marriage brought me into affinity with my wife's relatives.) 
agree with a person, to a proposal or a stipulation 
averse from or to (Great minds are averse from criticizing others. He 

is averse to study.) 
bestow upon or on, to bestow aflfection on (or upon) one's children 
betray a secret to a person, a person into a snare or to his enemies 


bind by a contract, with a rope, in chains, under a penalty; bind the 

hands to the sides, behind the back, etc. 
change cars for New York; change seals with some one; in conduct, 

of circumstances 
choice between two, among several, for president 
complain against one, for trespass, to the authorities, of a nuisance, 

about ^ concerning^ regarding misconduct 
comply with rules 
confer a favor on or upon some one; with some one about ^ concerning ^ 

regarding a matter 
conference between two persons or groups of persons; ^/one or several 

with others about ^ concerning^ regarding something 
confide in a person's honesty; something to a person's care 
confident £7/her charm, in the correctness of an opinion 
confirm. /« an opinion, by argument 
convenient to a place, for a purpose 

conversant with a subject {in was formerly used after conversant) 
correspond with a person, to or with a thing 
dependent on or upon a person's good faith (but independent of) 
derogatory to a person's character or reputation; but derogation from 

the inspiration of the Bible 
die of fever, by violence, for one's country, to the world 
differ from or with a person in opinion, frmn a person or a thing 
different in some respect from what was thought 
disappointed in love, at failure, 0/ something hoped for 
dissent from an opinion or a statement 
exception to a remark, from a rule 
fall into confusion, under suspicion, fro^n grace, upon an enemy 

The foregoing examples are sufficient to show that great 
care in the choice of prepositions is of the highest impor- 
tance. When in doubt on this subject, consult a good 


32, Synonyms. — It has been said that no two words in 
our language are so closely allied in meaning that they can be 
used interchangeably. The statement is not strictly correct. 
It would be difficult, for instance, to use the word begin 
where commeyice co'uld not be substituted for it without 
changing the sense. The only difference between the two 
words is that begin is from the Anglo-Saxon and commence 
is from the Latin through the French. 


The fact is, however, that between most pairs of synonyms 
there are fine shades and c^stinctions of meaning that in some 
cases are extremely difficult of explanation. A knowledge 
of the origin of the words we use in speaking and writing — 
their roots and the primitive meaning of those roots — is 
indispensable, if we are never to use them incorrectly. It 
is not meant by this that in order to write correct classical 
English we must be familiar with Greek, Latin, French, 
Anglo-Saxon, and the many other languages from which 
the words of our tongue have come. Every good una- 
bridged English dictionary gives the derivation of words 
and the meaning of the roots, together with the present 
sense of words and the distinction in meaning of synony- 
mous terms. In every case of doubt with regard to a 
word, a writer should either not use the word or he should 
look it up in a good dictionary. A certain writer on the 
subject of rhetoric says that no one has the right to use a 
word unless he can use it rightly. 

The following are given as examples of words that are 
commonly misused: 

1. Abbreviate y Abridge, Contract. — A word or a phrase 
may be abbreviated or contracted; a sentence, a paragraph, 
a sermon, a document of any kind, a book, may be 
abridged. An abbreviatiofi is a shortened form of a word; 
a contraction of a word is made by omitting intermediate 
letters. Thus, Co, is the abbreviation for compatiy; acc't is 
the contraction for account. All contractions are abbrevia- 

• tions, but not all abbreviations are contractions. 

2. Ability y Capacity. — Physical or mental power, especially 
the power to plan and execute, is ability. Capacity is power 
to receive. A mind or a cask has capacity y from Latin capaxy 
roomy, spacious. Sentences like the following, though very 
common, are not strictly correct: 

He has a great capacity (faculty) for mimicry and story- telling. 

The following is a correct use of capacity: 

He has a great capacity for dates, scientific names, and mathematics. 


3. Accepty Except. — These two words are frequently con- 
founded. The former term means to take willingly when 
offered; as, to accept a favor, or an office. Except ^ as a verb, 
means to leave out or exclude. 

He is forbidden to except (accept) presents. 

The word except means also to object, and in this sense it 
is followed by to; as, 

Do you except to my statement? Do you take exception to my 

4. Access^ Accession, — The former of these words means 
admission or entrance, from Latin ad^ to, and cedo, go. 
The latter means increase or attainment. The following 
sentences exemplify correct uses of these words: 

The Amazon affords easy access to the heart of Brazil. 
A great accession of new members brought prosperity to the society. 
On the accession of the young Grerraan emperor, the greatest states- 
man and diplomat of Europe received his dismissal. 
It is not to gain access to the czar of Russia. 

5. Acts, Action. — These two words should be carefully 
distinguished from each other. In speaking of things con- 
sidered as done or finished, acts is the correct word to use; 
but if the process or manner of doing is to be indicated, 
actions should be used. 

We watched his actions for a long time and were much puzzled. 
Men are judged by their acts rather than by their words. 

6. Adhesion, Adherence. — These two words are rarely 
interchangeable. Adhesion is usually and preferably employed 
when physical sticking to is meant, and adherence when ideal 
attachment is to be denoted. 

The loyal adherence of those states to the Union was a great dis- 
appointment to the Confederate leaders. 

The adhesion of wax to wood is sometimes very strong. 

The word adhesion is sometimes used with the meaning of 

Grermany has given her adhesion to the treaty. 


7. Advance, Advancement, — We speak of the advance of 
prices or wages, the advance of an enemy, his advame in 
learning; advancement is usually employed in the sense of 
promotion or furtherance. 

His advancement brought with it a welcome advance in salary. 

8. Aggravate, Irritate, — The word aggravate is frequently 
used instead of irritate. Aggravate comes from Latin ad, 
to, and gravis, heavy; to aggravate is therefore to make more 
serious, to intensify; irritate means to cause annoyance or 
fretting, from Latin irrito, to excite. 

The prattle of children irritates the sick. 

Sickness greatly aggravates the ills of poverty. 

The nettles irritated the hands and feet of the children. 

9. Alleviate, Relieve, — To lighten a burden for some 
one is to alleviate it. We may alleviate pain or sorrow or 
other form of suffering, and thus relieve the sufferer. The 
word alleviate is etymologically the opposite or antonym of 
aggravate; it is derived from ad, to, and levis, light. 

10. Allude, Mention, — These expressions are by many 
persons wrongly used interchangeably. The literal meaning 
of allude is to treat lightly, merely to hint at; mention is a 
stronger term and means specific naming. 

The speaker alluded to the remissness of certain officials, and 
though he mentioned no names, every one knew to whom he referred. 

11. Appreciate, — The exact meaning of this word is to be 
fully aware of the value or importance of something. It is 
derived from ad, to, and pretium, price. 

I appreciate your gift, your kind words, and what you have done. 
English and American writers are greatly appreciated in Russia. 

The word has recently come into use as an intransitive 
verb with a meaning exactly opposite to that of depreciate. 

Since the war, the price of all kinds of goods has appreciated, 

12. Argument, Plea, — The use of plea for argument is 
common, but careful writers distinguish between the two 
words. The following sentences are correct: 

The defendant 's//^a was that he was starving when he took the bread. 


The defendant's plea was more effective with the jury than the 
lawyer's argument. 

The boy made a touching plea for forgiveness. 

13. Avocation^ Vocation, — These words are frequently 
used as synonymous but they are not so. The latter 
denotes a calling (Latin, vocatio^ a calling:), an occupation; 
the former means a calling from or away (Latin, a^ from), a 
diverting the attention, diversion. Vocation strictly means 
the main calling or business of life; avocation means a diver- 
sion from one's business — music, society, the theater, etc. 

14. Balance, Rest, Remainder. — Richard Grant White says: 
^^ Balance in the sense of rest, remainder y residue y remnant is 
an abomination." Balance is correctly used to denote the 
difference between the credit and debit sides of an account; 
but we should not employ the word as in the following 

With a portion {part) of his inheritance he purchased an estate; the 
balance (rest, remainder) he invested in bonds. 

The balance {remainder) of the session was wasted in idle debate. 

15. CausCy Reason. — These two terms are loosely used 
interchangeably. The cause of any event, act, or fact is the 
power or agency that makes it to be; the reason of or for \t is 
the explanation formulated by the human mind. In sentences 
like the following, the second clause is called the reason: 

Caesar deserved death because he zvas a tyrant. 

We are sure that the earth is round, for it has been circumnavigated. 

The following sentences exemplify correct uses of the 
two words: 

Bacteria are the cause of most zymotic diseases. 
The cause of his return was an urgent letter from his father. 
The*teacher*s reason for punishing the boy was that he had dis- 
obeyed her. 

16. Contemptible^ Contemptuous, — The former of these 
words means descrvijig contempt; the latter, showing or 
expressing contempt or disdain. 

The fellow behaved in a contemptible manner. 

A contemptuous sneer added to the repulsiveness of his face. 


17. Consciousness, Conscience, — The state of being aware of 
the existence of some object, action, or sensation is conscious- 
ness; the power or faculty by which we distinguish between 
right and wrong conduct is consciaue. 

The divinity that is said to have whispered approval or disapproval 
into the ear of Socrates, when he was about to perform any act, was 
only his conscience. 

The meaning of the word co^isciousness is best understood by 
remembering that its exact opposite is usually unconsciousness. 

18. Convince y Convict, — A person is convinced by evidence 
or argument addressed to the intellect; he is convicted of 
sin or guilt by argument addressed both to the intellect and 
the conscience. Convict means also to find guilty. 

In order to persuade a man of sense, you must first convince him. 

If any man says that he understands women, he is convicted oi folly 
by his own speech, seeing that they are altogether incomprehensible. 

Before a man can be convicted oi sin he must be convinced tha.t he 
is a sinner. 

After a long trial the accused was cotivicted of the crime. 

19. Credible, Creditable. — The word credible means capable 
of being believed as neither impossible nor absurd; creditable 
was formerly used in the same sense, but its present mean- 
ing is, deserving or worthy of credit, praiseworthy. 

His story was entirely credible and we all believed it. 

No one would regard such an act as honorable or even creditable. 

20. Difficulty, Obstacle, Obstruction, Impediment ^ Encum* 
brance. — A difficulty may be a physical or a mental hin- 
drance, or both; an obstacle stands in the way; an obstnution 
is an obstacle purposely placed in the way; an impediment 
entangles the feet (Latin in + pedes, feet), or hinders 
physical action; an encumbrance burdens, as a load. ' 

To a marching soldier the steepness of his road is a difficulty; trees 
lying in the road are obstacles; if placed there by the enemy, they are 
obstructions; his baggage is an encumbrance; mud, briers, or dense 
undergrowth in his way are impediments. 

We surmount or overcome difficulties, remove or avoid obstacles 
and obstructions, get rid of or throw off encumbrances and impediments. 


21. Dismissal y Dismission, — The former of these words is 
the correct term when discharge from place or office is 
meant; it is used also with the meaning of liberty or per- 
mission to go away. The term dismission is sometime^ used 
in the first sense given above, but for this use dismissal is 
to be preferred. The act of permitting or ordering to depart 
is better expressed by dismission. The following sentences 
are correct: 

The investigation resulted in his summ&ry dismissal from his place. 
He was kept a long time impatiently awaiting his disfnissal. 
After dismission y the members remained to elect deacons. 

22. Disposal J Disposition. — These terms may sometimes 
be used interchangeably, but they should be carefully dis- 
criminated. Disposal should be used when the meaning, 
power of control, is required; disposition, when arrangement 
is meant. 

What disposition of the troops was made by the general? 
My time is entirely at your disposal. 

There is more in the disposition of shrubbery than in its varieties. 
The disposal of his wealth by his will was for the benefit of orphan 

23. Egoism, Egotism, — Egoism is a word recently intro- 
duced into ethical writings. On account of its close resem- 
blance to egotism it is often mistaken for that word; yet the 
meanings of the two terms are widely different. Egoism is 
the exact opposite of altruism; it is the name of the theory 
that man's chief good and the supreme end of each man's 
effort should be his own happiness; it denotes absolute, 
uncompromising selfishness. Egotism is self-conceit, self- 

The loud, loquacious, vulgar egotist; 
Whose Ps and me^s are scattered in his talk 
Thick as the pebbles on a gravel walk. 

To say that each individual shall reap the benefits brought to him by 
his own powers is to enunciate egoism as an ultimate principle of conduct. 

24. Elemental, Elementary, — The second of these words 
is much used in the sense of rudimentary, 

elementary education, algebra, grammar, principles 


Elemental is sometimes used with the same meaning, but 
more properly in the sense of fundamental, essential. 

the elemeotal constitution of matter, the elemental principles of 
conduct, the elemental laws of nature, the elemental forces 

The word elemental is frequently used in the sense of per- 
taining to an element or the elements. 

elemental action, affinities, valences 

25. Estimate^ Estimation. — An estimate is a rough valua- 
tion placed on a thing. 

an estimate of the capacity of a bin, the amount of a man's wealth, 
the speed of a train 

Estimation denotes the act of fixing an approximate value 
and sometimes the conclusion arrived at. When the regard 
in which one is held by others is meant, esteem is a better 
word than estimation. 

The man was held in high estimation {esteem) by his neighbors. 
The estimation was difficult and the estimate was low. 

26. Eeminifie, Female^ Masculine^ Male, — Feminine and 
masculine are grammatical terms and should not be used 
instead of female and male. We say that a noun or a pronoun 
is of the feminine or the masculine gender; that a woman or 
a man is of the female or the male sex. The following sen- 
:ences are therefore erroneous: 

A charming young person of the feminine gender gave us a hearty 
welcome. (A charming young lady gave us a hearty welcome.) 
His conduct was a disgrace to the masculine sex (to his sex). 

27. Insuperable, Insurmountable, — We may use either of 
these words to modify object ions , difficulties, dislike, and 
many other terms denoting ideal obstacles; but with words 
denoting physical barriers, insurmountable is the word. 

An insuperable craving for drink led to his ruin. 
A range of insurmountable hills and mountains barred the advance 
of the army. 

28. Invention, Discovery. — Although these two words may 
sometimes be used interchangeably, they require to be 


carefully discriminated. Invention implies fabrication — the 
making of something; discovery is the bringing to light of 
something previously hidden. 

The invention of the cotton-gin did much to fasten slavery on the 

The discovery of America by Columbus was made more than four 
centuries ago. 

The discovery of gunpowder is attributed to the Chinese. 

the invention of printing; the discovery of the laws of gravitation, 
of the planet Neptune; the invention of the mariner's compass, of the 
steam engine 

29. Likely, Liable. — Likely refers to a contingency 
regarded as probable; liable^ to a contingency regarded 
as unfavorable. 

You are liable to arrest for speeding your bicycle, and if arrested, 
are likely to be fined. 

The ship was liable to sink at any moment. 
In such cases the defendant is liable for damages. 
Ladies passing along that street are liable to insult. 
We are likely to have a severe winter. 

30. Limits, Limitations. — The usual application of limits 
is to physical things, and of limitations^ to ideal things. 
Thus, we speak of: 

the limits of a prison, the limits of an estate, the limitations of the 
franchise, the limitations of hotel life, of poverty 

An executive upon whom no limitaiions are imposed soon becomes 
a tyrant. 

Upon the happiness of a young married couple, the limitations in a 
boarding-house are onerous. 

In a country like ours, a policeman should understand the limita- 
lions upon his powers and duties. 

81. Neglect y Negligence. — The distinction between these 
words is that neglect refers to acts, while negligence applies 
to character. Negligence is a habitual failure to do that which 
ought to be done; neglect is the failure to do some particular 
thing that should be done. 

The accident was owing to the engineer's neglect of the signals. 
Kverythin]L^ about the mansion bore the marks of neglect. 
The janitor was dismissed for negligence. 
The trouble with this young man is incurable negligence. 


32. Noy Nothing. — These words are sometimes preceded 
by almost, nearly, about; the result is a contradiction of 

One can have no money, no resources, nothing; but it is not 
easy to comprehend how one can have almost no money, 
nearly nothmg to eat. (See Art. 14.) 

The expressions are very similar to quite some, quite a few, 
quite a little, 

33. Number, Quantity. — Number has reference to how 
many; quantity to how much. 

Great quantities {nutptbrrs) of bison used to roam over the 
prairies of the West. 

Russia despatched great quantities of troops to the far East 
{great numbers) . 

The Colosseum of Rome was capable of seating the prodigious 
quantity (number) of 87,000 spectators. 

34. Part, Portion, — A portion is 3. part viewed with refer- 
ence to some one for whom it is intended, or with reference 
to some specific purpose to which it is to be applied; a part 
is an amount less than the whole of something, either sepa- 
rated from the whole or thought of or mentioned as separate 
from it. 

Having received his portion of the land, he sold part of it and 
farmed the rest. * 

The crew divided into five portions the food and water that 

35. Person, People, Party. — The use of party in the sense 
of person, individual, is inexcusably vulgar. We may speak 
of a Political Party, an evening Party, a fishing party, a party 
to a sale or to a lawsuit, but not, The Party with whom I was 
seen was my uncle. A person is an individual, a people is a 
community. The word people is correctly used for persons 
collectively, and when so used in the nominative case, it 
takes a plural verb. 

Many people are unaware of the fact that the earth is ronnd 
(persons) . 
A great crowd of people was at Coney Island yesterday. 


In the first sentence the persons are not thought of as 
forming an assembly or a collection; in the second sentence, 
people is the better word. 

People do not like to have their faults criticized. 

36. Plenty^ Plentiful. — Plenty is the state of having an 
abundance, particularly of comforts and necessaries; plentiful 
means existing in great quantities. 

Cherries and other small fruits will be plenty {plentiful) this 

Our people have been living in peace and plenty. 

The more plenty (plentiful) paper money becomes, the more likely 
are people to incur debt. 

Persons that believe such nonsense are plenty (plentiful, or 
better, numerous), 

37. Preference y Preferment, — Preferment is promotion or 
advancement to higher rank; preference is the choosing of 
one thing rather than another, or it is the state of being 
estimated more highly than something else. 

The better your mental, moral, and physical equipment, the more 
likely you are to %'q\vl preference (preferment). 

There is in this establishment no preference for anybody unless he 
earns preference (in both cases say preferment) . 

I have no preference; the one is as good as the other. 

38. Proposal^ Proposition, — The word proposition has 
recently come into a vulgar or colloquial use with the 
meaning of a business undertaking or an institution or enter- 
prise of any kind. The word should not be so used. 

A proposition is submitted for consideration, a proposal for 
acceptance or rejection. 

a proposal of marriage, a proposition in geometry, a proposal of 
terms of sale or purchase, a proposition for the surrender of a fort 

Have you heard of the enormous success of our proposition (mean- 
ing, our business undertaking) ? 

Our proposition is a mail-order business. (We are conducting a 
mail-order business.) 

39. Recourse^ Resource^ Resort, — Recourse is a resort to 
something or somebody for help; resource is that which is 
resorted to, relied upon, or available for help. The plural 



resources signifies also the total of one's available funds or 
property — the opposite of liabilities. 

When the young man became involved, his recourse was to 

There was no other resource in his trouble than to have recourse to 
the courts. 

Most millionaires have won their millions by getting about them 
strong subordinates — men of resources. 

Saratoga is a delightful summer resort. 

Resort to war (or recourse to war) is rapidly coming into disfavor. 

40. Relatives^ Relations. — These terms were formerly 
applied to persons connected by blood or marriage. At 
the present time the former term alone is so used. 

The relations among the boarders were in every respect pleasant. 
The relatives of persons great or wealthy are extremely prone to 
inform others of the relationship. 

41. Requirement y Requisite, — The first of these words 
implies some one as making a demand; the second, that 
the need for something arises from the nature of things or 
from circumstances. 

Health and strength, both mental and physical, are requisites to 
successful effort. 

That a man shall have reached the age of twenty-one is a require- 
ment for voting. 

A requisition is a formal imperative demand in speech or 

A requisition for supplies was sent to the quartermaster. 

Air and exercise are indispensable requisites to health. 

Speed and safety are important requisites of travel. 

A requirement of this church is that baptism shall precede actual 

The courses of study of the school systems of many of our large 
cities are full of absurd requirements. 

42. Reverse^ Converse^ Obverse, — These words are fre- 
quently confounded. Obverse and reverse are used in speak- 
ing of coins and medals. The obverse is the side bearing 
the face or main device, — opposed to reverse^ the less 
important side. 


The reverse of a thing is the opposite or antithesis of that 

plus is the reverse of minus; differentiation is the reverse of inte- 
gration; involution is the reverse of evolution 

The converse is an opposite reciprocal proposition, formed 
by transposing the terms of a proposition so that subject 
becomes predicate and predicate, subject. Thus, the converse 
of the proposition, Every equiangular triangle is equilateral^ 
is, Every equilateral triangle is equiangular, 

43. SanUy Similar, — The first of these words should be 
used when there is absolute identity; the second, when there 
is mere likeness. 

He is the same man that called yesterday. 

Your plans are similar to mine (not the same as mine), 

44. Sewage, Sewerage, — Sewage is often used erroneously 
for sewerage. The former term means the waste matter 
carried off by sewers; the latter means systematic drainage 
by means of sewers. 

No system of sewerage yet devised supplies an economical method 
of disposing of sewage, 

45. Speciality, Specialty, — Speciality is the state or quality 
of being unique or peculiar; or it is a distinguishing character- 
istic or feature of some person or thing. A specialty is 
activity or production limited to one particular line of work; 
or it is an article of a peculiar kind, or one dealt in exclu- 
sively by one person or firm. 

The speciality of Byron's writing is its passionateness. 

A speciality of function, by calling forth a corresponding speciality 
of structure, produces an increasingly efficient discharge of that 

The tea trade is our specialty. 

No young man can hope to be entirely successful without making 
himself a perfect master of some industrial or professional specialty, 

46. Staying, Stopping, — The verbs stay and stop in some 
of their meanings are frequently confounded. In the sense 
of having a temporary abode, to be a guest, stopping is the 
correct word; staying^ used in this sense, is colloquial. It is 


colloquial also to speak of the staying power of a swimmer, 
a pugilist, or a horse. 

While visiting the Pan-American Exhibition we stopped (not stayed) 
at the Iroquois Hotel. 

Prince Henry stayed (not stopped) in the countr>» for several weeks. 

The wind and staying power of the horse enabled him to win the 
race (wind and endurance or stamina). 

47. Visitor, Visitant, — The distinction between these 
words is that visitor applies only to persons, while visitant 
is a poetical word applying to both persons and things. 

Pleasure is oft a visitant only, while pain clings cruelly to us. 
Our visitors were much interested in Biela's comet, that strange 
celestial visitant, 

33. Propriety In the Use of Words. — From the fore- 
going discussion of synonyms, it is obvious that perfectly 
good English words may be so employed as to convey 
either no sense at all or a wrong sense. In good writing, 
every word and phrase must be used in the sense that 
etymology or established usage requires. Propriety and 
precision in the use of words can be acquired in no other 
way so well as by much exercise in speaking and writing, 
in conjunction with the study of good writers. A good 
dictionary, together with works on synonyms, grammar, 
and rhetoric, should be at hand for daily use. Correct- 
ness and clearness of style depend more on the author's 
success in discriminating the fine shades of meaning among 
words than on anything else. 


34. Place of the Adverb. — The place of adverbs with 
respect to verbs and verb phrases depends on several 

1. Intransitive I erds, — (a) The adverb follows an intransi- 
tive verb that consists of one word. 

He skates gracefully. 
Speak distinctly. 


(b) Some adverbs of time and of place may either pre- 
cede or follow the verb, but the general rule is that the 
adverb comes first. 

//er^ he lies. 

There they come. 

He soon returned. 

They soon sickened and finally died. 

{c) In the case of intransitive verb phrases of two or 
more words, the usual place of the adverb is after the verb. 

You have done well; no one could have done belter. 
She might have been sleeping sweelly if you had not entered so 

He has been skating gracefully, 

(d) Certain adverbs of time and of degree may follow 
the first auxiliary in intransitive verb phrases. When two 
adverbs are joined to the same intransitive verb phrase, and 
one of them denotes time or place, it should follow the verb. 

The patient will probably die tomorrow. 

They will certainly return soon. 

You have seriously blundered here. 

You have lately been coming to your work on time. 

He should certainly have gone there earlier, 

2. Transitive Verbs, — Transitive verb phrases may be 
active or they may be passive, 

{a) If a transitive verb phrase is active^ the adverb follows 

the first auxiliary. 

Courage has always commanded esteem. 

You have recklessly squandered your patrimony. 

One might easily have foretold the consequences. 

{b) If a verb phrase is passive y the adverb should follow 
the last auxiliary. 

The invading force had been utterly routed. 

They should have been sez'erely punished. 

He had been recently promoted to the chief command. 

(c) Verb phrases, whether active or passive, should not 
be broken by adverbial phrases or clauses. 

He had been ztnth distinguished consideration treated. 
They had been when we arrived waiting more than an hour. 

§19 fiNGLlSH GRAMMAR 93 

Such suspensions of the sense are extremely common in 
German, but the genius of the English language requires 
that they be avoided. It is scarcely necessary to say that 
the foregoing sentences should be written thus: 

He had been treated with distinguished consideration. 
When we arrived they had been waiting more than an hour. 

(d) Certain adverbs of time, degree, and negation do 
not follow the last auxiliary in passive verb phrases. 

If the engine had not been stopped promptly ^ he would certainly 
have been killed. 

The man had never been implicitly trusted by the officials of the 

35. Adverbs of Time and of Manner With tlie 
Same Verb. — When two adverbs, one denoting time and 
the other manner, are used with the same verb, the adverb 
of time precedes the adverb of manner. 

We were often hospitably entertained at the old mansion. 
The girl had always been perfectly satisfied with her lot. 

Similarly, adverbs of time should precede adverbs oiplcu:e. 
The governor has frequently been seen there with his bodyguard. 

36. Misplacement of Relative Clauses. — A frequent 
cause of ambiguity in sentences is a wrong position of 
relative clauses. The general rule is to place the relative 
pronoun that introduces such clauses as near as possible 
to its antecedent. Some illustrations follow showing the 
uncertainty of meaning that is caused by misplaced relative 

It is foUy to pretend to arm ourselves against the accidents of life 
by heaping up treasures, which nothing can protect us against but the 
good providence of God. 

The antecedent of which is accidents^ but from the arrange- 
ment the antecedent seems to be treasures. 

It is folly to pretend by heaping up treasure to arm ourselves 
against the accidents of life, for nothing can protect us from them 
but the good providence of God. 

He must endure the follies of others, who will have their kindness. 


Life with him has ended in a sad mistake, which began with such 
bright prospects. 

Mr. Greeley denied that he had ever used profane language in an 
interview which a certain newspaper reporter had put into his mouth. 

Did you take that book to the library, which I loaned to you ? 

All the foregoing sentences should be reconstructed, thus: 

He that would have the kindness of others must endure their follies. 

Life, which for him began with such bright prospects, has ended in 
a sad mistake. 

Mr. Greeley denied that he had in an interview used the profane 
language put into his mouth by a certain newspaper reporter. 

Did you take to the library the book that 1 lent you? 

37. The Unity of Sentences. — However many modi- 
fying words, phrases, and clauses may enter a sentence, it 
ought to contain only one main assertion — the backbone of 
the sentence — to which everything else is contributory. 
This subordination of function among sentential modifiers is 
essential to sentence unity — is indispensable to perspicuity 
and precision. The following are the principal rules for 
preserving unity in sentences: 

Rule I. — Do not change the nominative or the construction 
within the limits of the same saitetue. 

The following sentences illustrate violations of this rule: 

A short time after this injury he came to himself, and the next day 
they put him on board a ship which conveyed him first to Corinth 
and thence to the island of ^gina. 

In this sentence he should not be displaced by they or 

A short time after this he came to himself, and the next day he was 
put on board a ship and conveyed to etc. 

After we came to anchor, they put me on shore where / was wel- 
comed by all my friends 7vho received me with the greatest kindness. 
Better^ Our ship having come to anchor, I was put on shore, where I 
was welcomed by all my friends and was received with the greatest 

The following is a paraphrase of one of Macaulay's sen- 
tences selected from his description of Burke's oration at 


the trial of Warren Hasting^s. The paraphrase was made by 
one of our writers on rhetoric. 

The highly raised expectation of the audience was more than satis- 
fied with the exuberance of his thought and the splendor of his 
diction, while the character and institutions of the natives of India 
were described by him; the circumstances in which the Asiatic empire 
of Britain had originated were recounted; and the constitution of the 
Company and of the English Presidencies was set forth. 

Four different subjects are here used. . Notice what 
Macaulay accomplishes with one subject. 

With an exuberance of thought and a splendor of diction which 
more than satisfied the highly raised expectations of the audience, 
he described the character and institutions of the natives of India; 
recounted the circumstances in which the Asiatic Empire of Britain 
had originated; and set forth the constitution of the Company and of 
the Presidencies. 

Rule II. — Use parentheses either not at all or as rarely as 

The unity of a sentence is always seriously marred by the 
introduction of parenthetical matter. If parentheses are 
unavoidable, they should be as brief as possible and cor- 
rectly placed. Never put one parenthesis within anotheiu 
It rarely happens that the matter of a parenthesis cannot be 
made a part of the sentence in which it occurs. The follow- 
ing will illustrate: 

Never delay till tomorrow [for tomorrow is not yours; and though 
you should live to enjoy it (and remember how uncertain this is), you 
must not overload it with a burden not its own] what reason and con- 
science tell you ought to be performed today. 

These parentheses may be avoided thus: 

Never delay till tomorrow what reason and conscience tell you ought 
to be performed today. Tomorrow is not yours; and though you 
should live to enjoy it, remember the uncertainty of life, and do not 
overload it in advance. 

Rule III. — Do not introduce too many modify i'ng elements 
into the same sentence. 

One of the most difficult things in Engflish composition is 
the proper disposition of modifiers — words, phrases, and 


clauses. The difficulty rapidly increases with the increasing 
number of modifiers, and the most serious objection to 
having many qualifying circumstances added to the central 
thought in a sentence is that they destroy unity. Loose 
sentences filled with verbal odds and ends are usually 
harsh, awkward, and without force. The following is such 
a sentence: ' 

Here it was found of absolute necessity to inflame or cool the pas- 
sions of the audience, especially at Rome, where Tully spoke, and 
with whose writings young divines (I mean those among them who 
read old authors) are more conversant than with those of Demos- 
thenes, who by many degrees excelled the other, at least as an orator. 

The remedy here, as in all similar cases, is to break up 
and recast the sentence. 

Here, and especially at Rome where Tully spoke, it was necessary 
to inflame or cool the passions of the audience. Young divines that 
read old authors were more conversant with the writings of that 
Roman than with those of Demosthenes, who, as an orator at least, 
was greatly superior to Tully. 

Herbert Spencer quotes from Doctor Whately the following 
as a sentence having so many modifying elements that they 
are extremely difficult to dispose of properly: 

We came to our journey's end, at last, with no small difficulty, after 
much fatigue, through deep roads, and bad weather. 

Mr. Spencer suggests the following as the best possible 

At last, with no small difficulty, and after much fatigue, we came, 
through deep roads and bad weather, to our journey's end. 

Doctor Whately*s arrangement is: 

At last, after much fatigue, through deep roads and bad weather, 
we came, with no small difficulty, to our journey's end. 

Such sentences should always be broken up into two or 
more shorter sentences. 

We came at last to our journey's end. Owing to deep roads and 
bad weather the journey had been one of no small difficulty and 
much fatigue. 


Rule IV. — Do not unite in one sentence parts that have no 
natural connection. 

Several distinct propositions that ought to form as many 
separate sentences are often joined in one sentence. The 
result in every such case is a sentence without unity, force, or 
harmony. The following quotation illustrates this extremely 
common fault: 

Boast not thyself of tomorrow; thou knowest not what a day may 
bring forth; because of this it is that we cannot rely on it; and, for 
the same reason, despair not of tomorrow, for it may bring good as 
well as evil, which is a ground for not vexing thyself with imaginary 
fears; for the cloud may pass by harmless; or though it should dis- 
charge the storm, yet before it breaks thou mayst be lodged in that 
mansion which no storms ever touch. 

This should be given in several sentences, thus: 

Boast not thyself of tomorrow; thou knowest not and canst not rely 
on what a day may bring forth. Despair not of tomorrow, for it is 
just as likely to yield good as ill. Therefore, vex not thyself with 
imaginary fears. The cloud may pass; and though it should discharge 
the storm, yet before it breaks thou mayst be lodged in the mansion 
that no storms ever touch. 

Rule V. — Avoid clauses that are subordinate to other subor- 
dinate clauses. 

There is no objection whatever to a sentence that contains 
two or more subordinate clauses having dependence on the 
same element. The following are examples: 

It was John Smith who saved the colony at Jamestown, who changed 
the hostility of the Indians into friendship, and who was as wise and 
just as he was fearless. 

Here the three dependent clauses are introduced by rela- 
tives that have the same antecedent, John Smith. The fol- 
lowing is a similar sentence: 

In the spring, when the leaves appear and when the first flowers 
bloom, the earth is very beautiful. 

If, however, a first subordinate clause has a second depend- 
ing on it, a third depending on the second, and so on, we 


have a construction that is condemned by the best authori- 
ties. The following are illustrations: 

Cicero was opposed by a new and cruel affliction, the death of his 
beloved daughter TuUia; which happened soon after her divorce 
from Dollobella; whose manners and humors were entirely disagree- 
able to him. (Put a period after Tullia and change which to This.) 

As we rode to town we met a man with a flock of geese, who was 
talking to a little girl in a pink sunbonnet, who was carrying a basket 
on her arm . Better^ As we rode to town we met a man driving a flock 
of geese and talking to a little girl in a pink sunbonnet who earned a 
basket on her arm. 

Rule VI. — Avoid supplementary clauses, 
A clause added to a sentence after it has apparently ended 
iis a supplementary clause. 

There is to be a grand wedding next week to which we are all to be 
invited, so I hear, 

I am entirely determined, under any circumstances, to make the 
journey, unless it rains. 

For such sentences the remedy is to rearrange the parts. 

/ hear that there is to be a grand wedding etc. 
Under any circumstances, except that it should rain, I am deter- 
mined to make the journey. 

38. Periodic and Lioose Sentences, — A periodic sen- 
tence is one in which the sense is suspended until the close. 
The main point of the sense is not expressed until all 
the subsidiary elements have been presented. The most 
emphatic element comes at the end. A loose sentence 
is one to which additions are made at the end after the sense 
is complete. The following are loose sentences: 

It is certain that some of our so-called Captains of Industry have 
been marvelously successful in accumulating wealth, whatever may 
be said of the morality of their methods. 

He would still have had a moderate competence, if he had practiced 
a strict economy. 

(lathering up lately a portion of what I had written, for publica- 
tion, I have given it as careful a revision as my leisure would allow, 
have indeed in many parts rewritten it, seeking to profit by the results 
of the latest criticisms, as far as I have been able to acquaint myself 
with them. 


The first two of the foregoing sentences may be made 
periodic by putting the last clause first in each sentence. 
The last sentence may be changed into two sentences, both 
periodic, thus: 

Gathering up lately for publication a portion [parf] of what I had writ- 
ten, I have given it as careful revision as ray leisure would allow. Seek- 
ing to profit by the results of the latest criticisms as far as I have been 
able to acquaint myself with them, 1 have in many parts rewritten it. 

39. Need for Both Lioose and Periodic Sentences. 

In a perfect style, loose sentences are just as necessary 
as periodic sentences. Composition consisting entirely of 
periodic sentences soon becomes stiff and monotonous, and 
is neariy as faulty as composition made up wholly of loose 
sentences. Most writers have too many loose sentences, 
the result usually of carelessness. Macaulay is remarkable 
for the rare judgment and skill with which he mingles these 
two constructions. In scientific treatises requiring exact 
specific statement, loose sentences should rarely occur, but 
in fiction, newspaper articles, and other light literature, they 
give a certain charm and piquancy. 

40. Balanced Sentences. — A balanced sentence is 
composed of clauses of similar construction and contrasted 
meaning. Balanced sentences are rarely loose, though they 
are not necessarily periodic, for each of the contrasted clauses 
usually expresses a complete meaning. Dr. Johnson's wri- 
tings abound in balanced sentences. The following are some 

The style of Dryden is capricious and varied, that of Pope is 
cautious and uniforin. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind, 
Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is 
sometimes vehement and rapid, Pope is always smooth, uniform, and 
level. Dryden 's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and 
diversified by the varied exuberance of abundant vegetation; Pope's is 
a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe, and leveled by the roller. 

Homer was the greater genius; Virgil, the better artist; in the one, 
we most admire the man; in the other, the work. Homer hurries us 
with a commanding impetuosity; Virgil leads us with an attractive 
majesty. Homer scatters with a generous profusion; Virgil bestows 
with a careful magnificence. 


In technical and scientific writings, the balanced sentence 
should not be employed. Its proper use is in satire and 
epigram, and especially in the delineation of character. 
Plutarch's ** Lives'* abounds in balanced sentences. In 
oratory and declamation this construction should be used 
sparingly; in narrative and description it looks like an 
attempt at **fine writing''; in elaborate and finished essays on 
ethics, religion, politics, and similar subjects, the balanced 
sentence is not only unobjectionable but ornamental. 

41. The Squinting: Construction. — If any element of 
a sentence is so placed as to look both ways, that is, if it 
may be as readily connected in meaning with what precedes 
as with what follows, the construction is. said to be squinting. 
This construction is a source of frequent ambiguity, and 
although the meaning intended may usually be made out, the 
fault is none the less serious. In speech, ambiguity from 
misplaced words is usually prevented by the tones of the voice, 
but a writer has no such assistance. He should arrange the 
parts of his sentences in such a manner that his meaning 
cannot be misunderstood. 

The following are some examples of the squinting 

Remember always to observe the golden rule. 
Tell him in the viortiinf!^ to report at my office. 
Are these designs which any man who is born a Briton, in any cir- 
cumstances ^ ought to be ashamed to avow? 

Ask him, if he is in the buildings to consult with the superintendent. 

In each of these sentences, the italicized modifiers may be 
understood as modifying either an element that precedes or 
one that follows. The remedy, of course, is to put the 
modifier where it belongs. 

42. Siiort and Lon^ Sentences. — It is a rule that 
unless two or more thoughts are closely related they should 
be expressed as distinct sentences. A succession of short 
sentences is easier to understand and is much more forcible 
than when they are fused into long sentences by means of 
connectives. Short sentences give animation to style, but if 


there are too many of them, they produce a sense of monot- 
ony. No rule can be given for the ratio of long sen- 
tences to short sentences. The nature of the subject should 
have much to do with this matter. Short sentences usually 
predominate in oratory, and contribute much to its impres- 
siveness. Extremely long sentences should be avoided 
entirely, for they are fatiguing and have little force. The 
distinguishing excellence of a good style is variety, and 
to secure this quality, sentences of every kind — periodic 
and loose, balanced and unbalanced, short and long — must 
be employed. 

43; Who or Which Instead of That. — Many authori- 
ties insist that tvko or which should not introduce restrictive 
clauses; that is, clauses that are mere modifiers. For such 
clauses, the proper relative is that. It should perhaps be 
explained that clauses are either restrictive or coordinate. 
Coordinate clauses are of equal rank. Any sentence con- 
sisting of two or more independent coordinate clauses is a 
compound sentence; and any sentence that contains only one 
independent clause and one or more restrictive or modifying 
clauses is a complex sentence. Some examples will make 
the distinction clear. The following sentences contain 
independent coordinate clauses: 

Homer, who is said to have composed the Iliad, was blind. 
The dog, which is a relative of the wolf, is man's faithful friend. 

The clauses set off by commas are independent coordi- 
nate relative clauses, and the sentences are therefore 
compound. The relatives 2vho and which are each equivalent 
to and he. The following sentences contain dependent 
restrictive clauses: 

The house that stood by the seashore was burned yesterday. 
The cave that contained the robbers^ treasure was opened by 
Ali Baba. 

In the first sentence the clause in Italics is a mere adjec- 
tive modifier of house; similarly, the italicized clause in the 
second sentence is an adjective modifier of cave. Clauses 
so used are restrictive, and as a general rule they should 


begin with the relative that. To this rule, however, there are 
some exceptions. 

1. When the antecedent has a demonstrative adjective 

modifier, the restrictive clause should begin with who or 


This man who asks for an interview is a forei^a^er. 

Those potatoes which were dug yesterday are for sale. 

That train which just swept by is the "Empire State Express." 

Yonder mountain which you see in the distance is Pike's Peak. 

In such sentences the antecedent is sufficiently definite. 

2. When a relative clause is separated from its antecedent 
by intervening elements, it should begin with who or which. 

The debt of lasting gratitude which I owe you for many favors 
can never be repaid. 

A gentleman of the old school who was acquainted with Henry 
Clay resides in that house. 

The house of seven gables which you built by the sea shore can be 
seen from this point. 

Such sentences are likely to be ambiguous on account of 
the distance of the relative from its antecedent. 

3. When a noun not the antecedent of the relative that 
introduces a clause is liable to be mistaken for the ante- 
cedent, use who or which. 

That girl petting the dog, who looks so happy, is my niece. 
The tree loaded with fruit, which shades the bouse, is a pear tree. 
It is the demand of the buyer which regulates the supply of a 

These sentences are objectionable on account of faulty 
arrangement. They would be better thus: 

That girl who is petting the dog and who looks so happy is my niece. 
The tree that shades the house and is loaded with fruit is a pear tree. 
The supply of a commodity is regulated by the buyer's demand. 

4. Use only xvho or which clauses after proper nouns. 

Ca\sar, xvho was both an orator and statesman, was also a great 
military leader. 

Have you read the story of Socrates, whom the Athenians poisoned 
with hemlock? 

He praised the city of Boston, which many persons believe to be the 
Athens of America. 


5. To avoid a succession of words beginning with M, use 
who or which in preference to that, 

I do not enjoy those things which (not that) must be obtained b> 
unfair dealing (better still, things that must etc.). 

Those who (not that) are never sure that they put upon paper what 
they mean to put upon paper etc. 

We are not at liberty to reveal that which (not thcU that) was done. 
(Better, what was done.) 

Have you read that book which (not that) lies on the table? (Better, 
the book that etc.) 

There are many cases in which the question of preference 
as to relative pronouns must be determined by the ear 
rather than by rule. In general, it is better that restrictive 
clauses should be introduced by that; but when no ambiguity 
results from the use of who or which in such clauses, and 
when to use one of these relatives gives smoothness and 
harmony to a sentence, who or which should be preferred to 
that. As a general rule, however, it is better to use relatives 
as little as possible. 

44. Two Tliats to Introduce a Clause. — The error 
of using that twice to introduce a dependent clause is very 
common. The following are examples: 

He promised that as soon as all his preparations were made that he 
would begin the advance movement. 

The speaker asserted that if honesty is the best policy that the world 
is filled with persons that are practicing the worst policy. 

The second that in both of these sentences should be 
omitted and a comma inserted. 

45. Tikan Jflio or Thnn JfTiom. — There has been much 
disputing among grammarians concerning the use of who or 
whom after than. The weight of authority favors than whotn^ 
but the general opinion is that the construction is awkward* 
and pedantic, although it is found in the writings of such mas- 
ters of style as Milton, Pope, Byron, Landor, and Thackeray. 
The following are examples: 

For a while, Clive thought himself in love with his cousin; than 
whom no more beautiful girl could be seen. 


Which, when Beelzebub perceived, than whom^ Satan except, none 
higher sat etc. 

I refer to Washington, than whom no purer patriot has lived. 

This antiquated construction should be avoided. 

46. Who OP Wluym. — These two pronouns are frequently 
confounded, especially in interrogative sentences. In the fol- 
lowing sentences the correct pronoun is in parentheses. 

Whom {who) did you think he was? 
Who (whom) did you think him to be? 
Who (whom) did the convention nominate? 
You could never guess whom (who) it was. 

Do you know who (whom) that book belongs to? Better ^ Do you 
know to whom that book belongs? 

47. Subject and Predicate Reversed. — When the 
subject of a sentence is placed after the verb, care is required 
in order to have the verb agree with its nominative. The 
following quotations exemplify errors due to the inversion 
of subject and predicate. 

Textbooks, by which is meant those that form the basis of class 
instruction, represent the ideas of many men. 

In this sentence those is the subject of is meanty a singular 
verb. We cannot, of course, say those is meant. Besides, 
the sentence is clumsy; for a definition is interjected between 
textbooks^ the subject of the principal clause, and the verb 
represent. Better thus: 

The textbooks that form the basis of class instruction represent the 
ideas of many men. 

There is possibly several exceptions to this rule. Better^ To this 
rule there are possibly several exceptions. 

Our politicians, by whom is not to be understood our statesfpten^ are 
a menace to the safety of the republic. 

Here comes (come) for trial the persons that were indicted yesterday. 

There is (are) in the city a great many persons not entitled to vote. 

In such cases it is often best to use a verb form that is 
the same whether the subject is singular or plural. Thus, 

Our politicians, by whom must not be understood our statesmen, are 
a menace to the safety of the republic. 


48. Subject a Relative Pronoun. — When the subject 
of a verb is a relative pronoun the verb must agree in num- 
ber with the antecedent of the pronoun. This rule is very 
frequently violated. 

This is one of the most valuable books that has appeared in the 
nineteenth century. 

The antecedent of that is booksy not one; the verb should 
therefore have the plural form, have appeared. 

This is the epoch of one of the most singular discoveries that has 
(have) been made among men. 

I resemble one of those animals that has {have) been forced from 
its {their) forest to gratify human curiosity. 

49. The Expression, As FoUotvs, — Ever since the 
subject of English grammar has engaged the attention of 
thinkers, there has been disputing as to the correctness of 
the expression as follows after a plural antecedent. The 
following are illustrations: 

My reasons are as follows. 

There are many grades of office, in order from highest to lowest, 
as follows, 

Lindley Murray, whose celebrated grammar was published 
in 1795, confesses doubt as to whether as follows is correct 
or whether it should be as follow. He advises students to 
find some other expression. Goold Brown, a half century 
later, condemns as follows ^ and gives much space to a dis- 
cussion of the subject. In his ** Higher English Grammar,** 
published in 1879, Professor Bain says: **The phrase as 
follows, applied to a plural antecedent, is now a settled 
usage. If as were a true relative pronoun, there would be 
a breach of concord; but we must consider the expression 
as now substantially adverbial like *as regards,' or *so far as 
concerns.* ... It is not uncommon for speakers and writers 
to seek the appearance of grammatical correctness by using 
as follow. The writer's practice is to find some other expres- 
sion — an expedient that is never difficult." 

50. Connected Subjects With Every. — When two or 
more subjects are each modified by every the verb should be 

lod English grammar §19 

singular, even when the connective is and. This is owing 
to the strong individualizing effect of every. 

Every clergyman, every physician, and every lawyer in the town 
is assumed to be a gentleman. 

Every emotion and every operation of the mind has a corresponding 
expression of the countenance. 

Every soldier, every officer, and every private citizen loves the old 
flag and rejoices in its triumph. 

This construction, although correct, has the appearance of 
being a violation of the general rule of concord of the verb 
and its subject. It should be avoided if possible, for it leads 
to disputes, many and profitless. 

51. Connected Subjects Tliat Name tlie Parts of a 
Whole. — When some entire thing is denoted by the names 
of its parts, these names being connected as the subjects of 
one verb, the verb must be in the singular. 

The locomotive and train was quickly stopped. 
The wheel and axle serves many useful purposes. 
A thread and needle was needed for the work. 

Hanging and beheading was formerly the English method of pnnish- 
ing treason. 

In the first three sentences, the subjects name united parts 
of a whole. The last sentence denotes that traitors were 
first hanged and then beheaded. 

If an article is placed before the second subject in each of 
the first three sentences, a plural verb becomes necessary. 

The locomotive and the train were quickly stopped (the locomotive 
was not connected with the train). 

The wheel and the axle of the wagon were both in need of repairs. 

A thread and a needle were found on the floor, and the needle was 
at once threaded. 

52. Two Adjectives With the Same Noun. — When 
two adjectives are coupled with the same singular noun so as 
to mean different things, a plural verb is required. 

The innocent and the guilty man were involved alike in the 

The morning and the evening train are usually on time. 

The logical and the historical analysis of a language generally go 
band in hand. 


In all these sentences the article occurs before each adjec- 
tive; but even when this is not the case, if two thing^s are 
distinctly implied, the verb must be plural. 

/Religious and moral conduct are not usually easy to distinguish. 
Stormy and sunshiny weather are both to be expected. 

53. As Well As In tlie Sense of Atid, — As well as is 
sometimes used as a substitute for andy when it is intended 
to predicate the same thing of two or more persons or things 
named separately. The verb in this construction should 
agree with the first subject. 

Lee as well as Grant was a skilful strategist. 
Industry as well as frugality is essential to success. 
Europe as well as the United States is interested in the Panama 

64. If for Whether. — The conjunction if is frequently 
employed for whether^ a usage that is condemned by the 
best authorities. The following are examples: 

I do not know if\ie will come or not (say, whether). 
No one can say with certainty if it will rain (say, whether it will 
rain or not) . 

The alternative that belongs after whether is often omitted 
in colloquial language; it should, however, be expressed in 
careful composition. This alternative can be put either 
before or after the first alternative, the latter position being 

I cannot tell you whether or not the train has arrived (I cannot tell 
you whether the train has arrived or not) . 

56. Omission of tlie Relative. — When the restrictive 
relative pronoun that is in the objective case it may usually 
be omitted. 

I can lend you the money that you want. 

Here that is the object of the verb want^ you want that^ 
and may be omitted. 

It was all ( ) they had. 

These are the fish ( ) I caught. 


Also, when that is used as a conjunction it may often be 
omitted, especially in colloquial language. 

He said ( ) he met you in the city. 

I believe ( ) it will rain today. 

Did you say ( ) he was sick yesterday? 

It is, however, a rule that a relative pronoun used in a 
dependent clause as the subject of a finite verb should not 
be omitted. 

Which is the one struck him (insert that before struck) ? 

It is ambition prompts men to strenuous effort (say, that prompts). 

There was not one had a clear notion of what he wanted (that had) . 

When a relative is the object of a preposition it should 
be expressed. 

The ladies we went with were very charming (say, ztnth whom zve 
went) . 

Yonder is the man I spoke of {of whotn I spoke) . 

56. Pronoun None, — The pronoun Tume being derived 
from no and one is by some authorities regarded as always 
singular. The weight of authority, however, is in favor of 
construing it as either singular or plural according to the 

Did you get the cherries? There were none on the tree. 
Have you a letter for me? There was none in your box. 
None of us knows (or know) what is to happen tomorrow. 

57. Conjunctions And and But. — ^An eminent lin- 
guistic authority says of these two conjunctions: 

* 'These two little words are the most abused words in the 
language; they are employed by careless writers on all occa- 
sions, without the slightest regard to precision and force. 
The result is chronic vagueness and tameness of expression.** 

1. And, — It is a rule in mathematics that only like quan- 
tities can be added; the same rule prevails in language. If 
and is, as has been said, the plus sign of language, it follows 
that the expressions connected by the word should be closely 
related in sense and structure. 

Subordination, the relation of cause and effect, of time 


or place, should not be expressed by this conjunction. Its 
proper function is to mark addition, coordination, the union 
of the parts that make a real whole. 

The following are some examples of the incorrect use 
of and: 

He entered his office at exactly nine o'clock, and his private secre- 
tary was always found waiting, alert and ready. 

The relation of place expressed by the second clause 
requires where as a connective instead of and. 

Carlyle is particularly happy in the choice of illustrative figures of 
speech, and they give clearness and vigor to his style. 

Here the relation between the two clauses is that of cause 
and effect. The sentence should be reconstructed. 

Carlyle's style is marked by clearness and vigor because of his happy 
choice of illustrated figures of speech. 

Or as a periodic sentence: 

Because of a peculiarly happy choice of figures of speech Carlyle's 
style gains in clearness and vigor. 

The sun went down behind the mountain and the moon rose silvery 
and beautiful. 

The relation of time rather than that of addition is denoted 
by the second clause. 

When the sun went down behind the mountain the moon etc. 

The foregoing examples -are sufficient to show the impor- 
tance of choosing the right connective, as well as scrutinizing 
every and in your composition. 

2. Bui. — This is the strongest of the conjunctions that 
denote opposition, exception, contrast. It is properly used 
when something that is said would naturally suggest or 
imply some conclusion or inference that does not follow in 
the given case. Thus, consider the sentence. 

He had everything that the heart could desire, but he was not happy. 

Any one hearing the first clause would be likely to think 
the man happy. The conjunction but arrests this mental 
tendency in the hearer, who waits for the opposing fact. 


Professor Bain calls the expressions that thus prevent a 
natural conclusion or inference, arrestive adversative conjunc- 
tions. They are the following: but^ but then, yet, still, 
however, only, nevertheless; also the phrases, for all that, at 
the same time. 

The careful writer does not use but for every shade of 
opposition, contrast, exception, difference, or variety; the 
entire list given above is drawn upon for the exact word 
required in each case. When the exception or opposition 
expressed in the adversative clause is very unusual, unex- 
pected, surprising, but is the word to use. When the 
arrestive effect is to be less strong, yet, still, only, however, 
or some weaker term should be chosen. The following 
sentences may be helpful toward making this important 
matter clear: 

The story is a strange one, nevertheless it is true. 

I shall probably fail in the attempt, still I shall try. 

The woman lived in a hovel, yet she was happy. 

I shall lend you the book, only you must not forget to return it. 

The stuff was horribly bitter, but then it was medicine. 

58. Double Negratlves. — Two negatives in the same 
clause usually have the effect of destroying each other and 
of leaving the clause affirmative. One of the negatives may 
be only, hardly, but, scarcely, barely. 

They couldnU never learn to be prompt {could never) , 

The governor shouldnU have but one term {should have). 

Nobody could«7 imagine the horror of the situation {nobody could 

imagine) . 

1 canU {can) scarcely make out what they are doing. 

His language, though inelegant, is not ungrammatical {is gram^ 

matical) . 

59. Predicate Noun or Pronoun. — A noun or a pro- 
noun following the verb to be in any of its finite modes must 
be in the nominative case. Thi^ rule is frequently violated, 
especially in conversation. 

Who is there? It is me (say /). 
It wasn't fne (It wasn't /). 
It was they, not we, that did it. 


If you were /, you would do the same thing. 

Had I been he^ I would have gone. 

It wasn't thetn of whom I spoke (wasn't they). 

If I had been her, I would have gone {had been she), 

60. Pronouns After Prepositions. — The rule of 
grammar that prepositions govern the objective case should 
be observed both in speech and in writing. The following 
sentences exemplify some of the common mistakes: 

Between you and / {nte) he is no more honest than he should be. 
" If you had been with he and / (with him and me), you would have 
had a good tiVne. 

No one was in the house except he and they (him and them) . 

Besides you and /, nobody knew about the trouble (you and me). 

61. Than In Comparisons. — The conjunction than 
should be used only in express comparisons. After such 
negative words as hardly^ scarcely^ barely y etc., not thatiy but 
when or some other conjunctive adverb should be employed. 
Neither should than follow the word different: from is 
the correct term. The following sentences illustrate what 
is meant: 

We had no sooner reached the shore than we were attacked by 
the natives. 

The sun had scarcely risen when (not than) the journey began. 

The news of the war in the Orient given by the Russians is very 
different from (not than) the news furnished by the Japanese. 

Hardly more than an hour had passed when (not than) my creel 
was full of the speckled beauties. 

We had gone barely a mile when we were overtaken by a man on 

The calla lily belongs to an entirely different botanic group from 
(not than) that to which the lilies properly so-called belong. 

62. Participles Modified by Very. — The adverb very 
should never be joined directly to a participle unless the 
participle is used as a mere adjective. Thus, we may say 
very tired y very pleasing ^ very saving , but not very pleased ^ very 
disturbed y very satisfied, very loved. Such expressions as these 
last require that an adverb be interposed, of which very 
becomes a modifier; as, very much pleased, very annoyingly 
disturbed^ very soon satisfied, very tenderly loved. 

This misuse of very is frequent in England. 


63. IkynH for I>oesnH. — One of the commonest errors, 
both in speech and writing, is the use of don't for doesn't. 
For the first and second persons, both in the singular and 
the plural, don't is the correct abbreviation; in the third 
person singular, doesn't should be used. / don'ty you don't, 
he doesn't, she doesn't, it doesn't, John doesn't; these are the 
correct forms. The following sentences exemplify some of 
the incorrect uses of these abbreviations: 

Mary don't (doesnU) know her lesson today. 

It don*t (doesnH) make any difference which method you employ. 

He don*i {doesnU) live in this neighborhood. 

64. The Superlative Defp-ee for tlie Coinparative. 

When two things are compared the comparative degree 
should be used; when three or more, the superlative. 

John ifi the taller of the two. 

John is the tallest boy in the school. 

It should be stated, however, that in the writings of many 
of the best authors the superlative is frequently found where 
this rule requires the comparative. 

65. The Attraction Construction. — In the Latin lan- 
guage, the verb in a sentence, instead of agreeing in number 
with the subject, sometimes takes the number of some noun 
or pronoun nearer to it than the subject. This is called the 
attraction construction, owing to the fact that by the nearness 
of the noun or the pronoun the verb is attracted out of con- 
cord with the subject. The construction is not permissible 
in English. The following are some examples: 

A train of heavily laden cars were {was) thrown from the track at 
this point. 

The influence of many of the most prominent metnbefs were (was) 
Buflicient to defeat the measure. 

66. Relative With No Real Antecedent. — A relative 
pronoun should never be left without an antecedent. The 
antecedent may be a clause, but when this is the case 
the clause must have the value of a noun. Neither can the 


relative so used be replaced by one of the demonstrative 
pronouns ihis^ that, these, or those, for they also require 

The boy fell from a second-story window, which resulted in a broken 
arm {and broke his arm). 

He was severely reprimanded for his neglect, which mortified him 
very much. Better, He was mortified very much by being severely etc. 

Whitney was the inventor of the cotton-gin; this brought him fame, 
though but very little money (for this substitute the invention, or an 
invention that) . 

67. But That or But What for That. — Do not use 

but that or but what for that, as in the following examples: 

I had no doubt but what he would be on time {no doubt that). 
We have no fear but that they wiU win the game (fear that they will 
lose the game) . 

68. Place of the Pronoun. — The pronoun should be 
so placed that there can be no mistake as to its antecedent. 
No rhetorical rule is more frequently violated than this. 
The most frequent cause of ambiguity consists in putting 
between the pronoun and its antecedent another noun that 
may be mistaken for the antecedent. 

Jones secured me a good place in Brown's establishment by repre- 
senting that he and I had been college friends, better, Jones, by 
representing that he and I had been college friends, secured me a 
good place in Brown's establishment. 

An antique clock ticked against the wall which was t>eautifully 

Here it is not possible to determine whether the clock was 
decorated or the wall. If the former is meant, say, 

An antique clock, beautifully decorated, ticked against the wall. 

69. Progressive Passive Forms of Verbs. — Many 
critics have strenuously objected to such passive forms as 
is being built, was being built, urging that they are recent 
and without the warrant of good authority. One argument 
against these expressions is that it is absurd to join the 
present participle being to the perfect participle built. On 
this subject Richard Grant White says: 

To say, therefore, that a thing is being done is not only 



to say (in respect of the last two. participles) that a process 
is going on and is finished, at the same time, but (in respect 
of the whole phrase) that it exists existing finished; which 
is no more or other than to say that it exists finished, is 
finished, is done; which is exactly what those who use the 
phrase do not mean. It means that if it means anything; 
but in fact it means nothing, and is the most incongruous 
combination of words and ideas that ever attained respect- 
able usage in any civilized language.** 

On the other hand, many eminent authorities defend this 
construction, and insist that it meets a real want in our lan- 
guage. Certain it is that even if it is an incongruous com- 
bination, as Mr. White says, nobody misunderstands the 
meaning intended to be conveyed by it. / was shaving and 
/ was being shaved^ He is bleeditig and He is being bled are per- 
fectly intelligible, and after all is said, intelligibility is the 
important thing to be sought in the use of language. The 
forms. He was being shaved y The house is being built ^ The 
work was being dofie are certainly better than the colloquial. 
He was getting shaved ^ The house is getting built ^ etc., which 
we so often hear. 

The other tense forms of the progressive passive are of 
course inadmissible: has been being built ^ will be being built ^ 
will have been being built^ had been being builty may have been 
being built ^ etc. 

It is perhaps better that a careful writer should not aid in 
giving currency to forms against which strong objections 
may be fairly urged. The resources of our language are 
such that any thought can be expressed in language entirely 
above criticism. 

70. IHrertly as a Conjunctive Adverb. — The use of 

this adverb in the sense of as soon a^ is a British colloquial- 
ism that has recently been introduced into the United States. 
The same may be said of immediately. The following sen- 
tences illustrate these errors: 

Directly he entered the room all conversation ceased. 
Immediately he met me he assailed me with much bitterness. 


Better thus: 

JVhen he entered the room all conversation at once ceased. 
As soon as he entered the room all conversation ceased. 
As soon as he met me he assailed me with much bitterness. 

71. Had Mather y Had Better. — For several centuries 
authorities have been disputing as to the correctness of had 
followed by rather or better. The majority of the critics have 
pronounced in favor of should or would instead of hady and 
yet nearly every eminent writer has shown a preference 
for the stronger idiomatic forms with had. This is perhaps 
due to the fact that it is not always easy to decide between 
would and should. Both rather and better indicate the prefer- 
ence of the writer or speaker, and so, bar the use of would; 
so that both would rather and would better must be regarded 
as tautological. A certain critic says: 

Had rather and had better are thoroughly established 
English idioms having the almost universal popular and 
literary sanctions of centuries. ... In all ordinary cases. 
had rather has the advantage of being idiomatic and easily 
and universally understood. 

Punctuation and Capitalization. 



!• Punctuation. — Punctuation (Latin, punctutn^ "a 
point ") is the division of written or printed matter by sig- 
nificant marks or points to indicate the connection and 
dependence of its parts. The chief purpose of punctuation 
is to render clearer and more definite the meaning to be con- 
veyed. The system of punctuation in use^ at the present 
time was entirely unknown to the ancients. An imperfect 
scheme devised by Aristophanes, a grammarian of Alexandria, 
is said to have been introduced among the Greeks a little more 
than two centuries before Christ. No improvement upon this 
was made until the year 1500, when Aldus Manutius, a learned 
printer of Venice, perfected our present system and exempli- 
fied it in the celebrated and beautiful **Aldine" edition of 
the Greek and Latin classics. 


3. Considered with respect to use or purpose, punctua- 
tion may be logical, rhetorical, grammatical, etymological, 
and for emphasis and reference. 

3« liosrlcal Punctuation. — In a printed or written doc- 
ument of any kind, those elements that serve to connect its 


For notice of the copyright, sec p.ngc immediately following the title (wge. 


sentences and paragraphs into one whole — to give unity — 
are logical in character. This unity or continuity is secured 
by the use of a great variety of expressions that point back- 
wards to something that has been said before. Thus, consider 
the sentence, 

We may be very sure, therefore, that heat is motion. 

The word therefore is grammatically unnecessary; its 
effect is to establish a logical connection between this sen- 
tence and some arguments or illustrations that precede. 
Expressions of this kind may be considered as belonging to a 
paragraph or an entire composition rather than to a sentence; 
their function is logical (Aoyof, logos^ **a discourse") rather 
than grammatical. Examples of these are such as the fol- 
lowing: indeedy moreoi'cr, consequent ly^ w hence ^ firsts sec- 
ondly ^ finally y in fact^ at all events^ and innumerable other 
words, phrases, and clauses. Many others are used to pre- 
pare the mind for something that is to follow — they are 
anticipative. Such are, to wit^ namely y as follow Sy as, thuSy 
viz.y etCy hencCy yety in fine. Most of these elements point 
in both directions. As has been said, these transitional or 
logical elements form no necessary part of the sentences in 
which they occur; they are, in a sense, independent, and 
their independence or separateness should generally be indi- 
cated by punctuation. 

4. .Rhetorical Punctuatlon.^-Closely allied in function 
to these logical elements arc others called rhetorical. They 
are used, not to establish unity among the sentences compo- 
sing a paragraph or a discourse, but to denote some peculiarity 
in the way the meaning expressed by a sentence is to be 
taken. Their general effect is to render the style lively, 
earnest, amusing, colloquial, familiar, affectionate, etc. 
Some of the many expressions for this purpose are the fol- 
lowing: ?i07Uy you seCy ivclly indeed y truly y so, tkerCy you knotUy 
so then, why. Nearly all of these elements are parenthetical; 
and being, therefore, more or less independent, generally 
require to be separated by punctuation from the rest of the 
sentence. That a sentence is a question, an exclamation. 


a quotation, or a mere parenthesis, is also a rhetorical fact, 
and the punctuation necessary is for that reason rhetorical. 

5. Grammatical Punctuation. — The flow of thought 
in language is not uniform and unbroken; if it were so, 
punctuation within the body of a sentence would be unneces- 
sary. As explained above, logical and rhetorical elements 
are constantly introduced into sentences in such manner as 
to break their continuity, and these stand related to other 
elements in different degrees of remoteness. Among gram- 
matical elements also, there are interruptions of continuity. 
Words, phrases, and clauses do not unite their meanings in 
regular, uniform sequence; but breaks of unequal lengths 
occur after long and short intervals. Now, the only method 
of indicating such breaks is to punctuate ; and, on account of 
the great variety of these interruptions, punctuation is a 
matter requiring the nicest»judgment. 

6. Etymologrlcal Punctuation. — Besides the punctua- 
tion of sentences for logical, rhetorical, and grammatical rea- 
sons, words and letters, considered as such, often require to be 
marked or punctuated. Thus, the fact that a word is com- 
pound, abbreviated, or contracted ; that it is grammatically 
inflected, is composed of separate syllables, or that certain 
vowels do not form diphthongs; that certain syllables have a 
particular pronunciation, accent, or quantity, or a letter has 
some definite vocal value: these and other facts are shown 
by marks within or about separate words. Such punctuation 
is etymological^ since it aids infixing more exactly the true or 
root meaning of words (erv/ioAoym, etymologia^ **the true 
sense of a word as determined by its origin"). The diacritical 
marks of the dictionaries are almost all used for etymological 
punctuation; and, since scientific uniformity and exactness 
have been nearly or quite attained in the use of these marks, 
the subject requires very little attention in a work on general 

7. Punctuation for Emphasis and Reference. — A 

great variety of marks are used for miscellaneous purposes. 
These purposes are so numerous and varied as not to 


admit of accurate classification; but nearly all of them 
serve for emphasis, or to refer the reader to something else 
in the composition. A few of them might be included 
under logical punctuation; as, the paragraph (^) and the 
section (§), when used to mark divisions. Others again are 
rhetorical ; as, the question mark when placed in marks of 
parenthesis to express doubt or incredulity, and the exclanta- 
tion mark when employed to denote that something is sur- 
prising or absurd. The rules and methods that regulate the 
use of these marks are so definite and well known that, like 
those relating to etymological punctuation, they may be 
omitted from this treatise. 


8. Grammatical punctuation employs the following 

1. Comma (,) 3. Colon (:) 

2. Semicolon {\) 4. Period {.) 

5. Uash (— ) 

9. liOgrlcal and rhetorical punctuation require the 
five marks given above, besides the following: 

1. Interrogation (?) 3. Marks of Quotation 


2. Exclamation (!) 4. Marks of Parenthesis ( ) 

5. Brackets [ ] 

1 0. Ktymologlcal punctuation is indicated in general 
by the following marks: 

1 . Caret ( a ) 3. Apostrophe (') 

2. Hyphen (-) or (=) 4. Accents (^), ('), and C^) 
5. Quantity Marks: {a) Macron (~) ; (b) Breve {^) 

6. Dieresis {") 

1 1 . Punctuation for reference employs many marks 
besides letters and figures. The principal characters that 
have names are the following : 


, 1. Asterisk {*) 5. Parallel {\) 

2. Asterism (,>%) or (%♦) 6. Index or ''Fist *' ( 

3. Paragraph {^) 7. Z^^^^^r (f). 

4. 5^^//^ (§) 8. />t?2^<J/^ Dagger (J) 

12. Teclinlcal Marks. — The marks mentioned above 
are of general use — they may be employed in written or 
printed matter relating to any subject whatever. But 
besides these, each art and science has its system of special 
marks, generally for the purpose of abbreviation. Thus, 
astronomy employs a large number; mathematics, chemistry, 
botany, music, and many other subjects would be almost 
impossible of satisfactory exposition without the help of 
arbitrary symbols. These symbols must perhaps be regarded 
as belonging to the general subject of punctuation, but 
such as pertain to special arts and sciences should be studied 
in connection with those subjects. It is only punctuation of 
general application and utility that will be considered in 
this treatise. 

13. Taste and Judgement in Punctuation. — It must 
not be assumed that punctuation has been reduced to an 
exact science. No two writers or printers could be found 
that would punctuate a long paragraph, much less a maga- 
zine article or a book, in exactly the same way. 

The varieties possible in sentence structure and in style are 
practically endless, and each person will interpret expressed 
thought a little differently from every other person. What 
to one person seems important or emphatic, will usually 
strike another person differently. These differences in 
interpretation inevitably lead to differences in what is con- 
ceived to be the appropriate or necessary punctuation. 
Hence, taste and judgment will determine in large measure 
the excellence and consistency of each person's practice of 
this art It is clear therefore that no system of rules alone, 
however elaborate and precise, can be applied with uniform- 
ity or produce equally good results. Even a taste that has 
been informed by wide reading, close observation, and much 
reflection, must be aided by exact grammatical knowledge 


and by a quick and accurate sense of logical relation and 
arrangement. So important in this art are grammatical 
terms and principles, that a few of them will now be briefly 
explained and illustrated. 


14. Sentential Elements. — Sentences are primarily 
made up of single words. When, however, these separate 
elements are carefully considered with respect to the work 
they do, it is at once seen that they do not always enter the 
sentence as individual words each representing a separate 
idea; on the contrary, they often occur in groups of closely 
related words that must be taken together as signs of com- 
pound ideas. Each group has a function — does a work — 
exactly similar to that done by single words. These group 
elements are of two kinds; phrases and clauses, 

15. Phrases and Clauses. — A phrase is a group of 
words having a single function, but not expressing a com- 
plete thought. The following are some examples: 

In the spring, by the river, in fact, side by side, seeing the multi- 
tude, without hesitation, having been accused. 

The use of phrases in sentences is commonly either adjec- 
tival or adverbial. Their functions are to modify, narrow, 
restrict, the meaning of nouns and pronouns and other parts 
of speech. To show their functional unity and to separate 
them from neighboring elements the meaning of which they 
might otherwise improperly modify, it is often necessary to 
set them off by punctuation. 

A clause is one of two or more sentential' elements, each 
expressing not a mere campound idea^ but a complete thought ; 
it must therefore contain a finite verb, and when separated 
from the rest of the sentence in which it is used, it must say 
something completely, A sentence may consist of several 
such clause elements united by connectives. 

The sun came out again ivhen the rain ceased. 
Each man must expect to reap what he sows. 


16. Three Important Principles. — ^Whether or not a 
word, a phrase, or a clause should be separated by punc- 
tuation from other elements, depends largely on three 
circumstances : 

1. Its Length, — The longer a sentential element ^ the more 
likely is it to require separation by punctuation, 

2. Its Connection. — The need for punctuating an element 
increases with the remoteness of its connection with other ele- 

3. Its Position, — When a word or a longer expression is 
removed from the place in which the natural and orderly flow 
of the thought requires it to be, it should usually be set off by 
some kind of punctuation. This transposition is usually for 
the purpose of emphasis, or it is the result of interruption 
or afterthought. 

Frequently, but not always^ are the wicked punished in this life. 

This sentence, regularly arranged, would require no 

The wicked are frequently but not always punished in this life. 

17. A General Rule. — The modem tendency is towards 
the avoidance of unnecessary punctuation. Many persons 
get into the practice of putting in some kind of mark wher- 
ever it appears that a pause would be necessary in reading. 
This is all wrong. Such punctuation renders grammatical 
punctuation impossible. 

Others, again, always set off their how^ when, and where 
clauses. This is very frequently unnecessary. Even those 
clauses that begin with such conjunctions as if unless^ 
except^ although^ because, etc. should not be separated by 
punctuation unless for reasons that are very obvious. The 
inexperienced writer may safely observe the following: 

Punctuate too little rather than too much. When to 
punctuate does not render the meaning plainer or effect some 
definite advantage, do not punctuate. 

18. Origin of the Marks of Punctuation. — The names 
of most of the marks used for grammatical punctuation were 


borrowed from the names of the sentential elements set oflE 
by them. 

1. The period (Treptodoc, periodoSy **a way around") 
marked a complete circuit of words — an entire sentence. 
The picture in the word is the circular track of a race course. 

2. The colon (icwAov, kolon^ **a limb," **half of a race 
course ") was one of two main divisions of a long compound 
sentence. From the part or division the name was trans- 
ferred to the mark used in indicating the divisions. 

3. Strictly, the semicolon should be used in separating 
a sentence into fourths; but, for obvious reasons, no such 
limitation is possible. It indicates a degree of separation 
next less than that made by the colon; but only in name, not 
in reality, is it a half-colon, 

4. The comma {Kdfiiia, komma^ **a segment"; K&irrtiVy 
koptcin^ ** to cut ") denotes the shortest separation in ideas or 
construction between written or printed sentential elements. 

5. The mark of Interrogration is said to have been 
made from the initial and final letters of the Latin word 
Quest io^ the Q being written above the o\ thus, §. 

6. The mark of exclamation is believed to have been 
formed from the letters of the Latin interjection to, express- 
mgjoy; thus, J. 


19. Insufficiency of Rules. — No code of rules for 
punctuation can be devised that will provide for every pos- 
sible sentence form, for the number of these is practically 
infinite. Much must be left to the judgment, taste, and 
intention of the writer. It may be taken as a general prin- 
ciple that the objects of punctuation are to aid in bring- 
ing out the exact meaning of the writer, and to prevent 
ambiguity. There should not be more punctuation than is 
required for the first, or less than will accomplish the second. 

The following rules will be found to cover all the cases 
that have been determined by the general practice of the 
best authorities. 



30. General Principles. — The comma is used more 
frequently than any other mark of punctuation ; but, almost 
without exception, these various uses may be included under 
one of the three folio ving heads : 

1. The Interpolation of Elements, — The flow of thought 
in language is not uniform and unbroken like the current of 
a deep river; it is more like that of a stream filled with 
obstructions. These obstructions to the flow of the sentence 
are indicated by punctuation. When an element not really 
necessary to the thought is introduced in such way as to 
break the continuity, it is commonly set off by commas. 

2. The Ellipsis of Elements, — In the expression of thought, 
elements are often so clearly implied that they need not be 
repeated. This is particularly the case with the verb^ 
though the ellipsis of other parts of speech, as for example 
the conjunction^ is very common. These ellipses are usually 
marked by commas. 

3. The Transposition of Elements. — Usage has established 
certain positions for the various sentential elements, which 
are often put in other places, generally for emphasis or 
euphony; and since in their unusual positions they obstruct 
in some measure the flow of thought, the fact must often be 
marked by punctuation. 


31. liOgrlcal Elements. — Logical connective and transi- 
tional elements^ if the interruption from their use is very 
marked^ should be set off by commas. 

Besides^ he is our father ; therefore, we should show him respect 
Moreover^ the white man was the aggressor. 

22. Although these elements, being in the nature of 
modal adverbs (adverbs that modify entire sentences), may 
be placed almost anywhere in a sentence or a clause, their 
usual place when truly parenthetical is at the beginning. If 


they occur near an element the meaning of which they may 
be conceived as modifying, they lose their logical value, take 
on mere grammatical function, and require no punctuation. 

Bf sides, he is our father; we should therefore show him respect 
Finally, he was successful. He ^jsls finally successful. 
However, we are extremely sorry. However sorry we may be, is 
of no avail now. 

23, The fpllowing are in common use as logical paren- 
thetical elements: 




in fact 




in fine 




in conclusion 




after all 




as stated 






24. Rhetorical Elements. — Rhetorical elements that 
are parenthetical should generally be set off by commas. 

Assuredly, Bums was a poet of real genius. 

Well, honor is the subject of my story. 

Nay, now, you do not really believe such nonsense. 

These words, assuredly^ well, nay, and now, are modal 
adverbs. Each modifies the meaning of the entire sentence in 
which it is used, and their functions are distinctly rhetorical. 

25. When rhetorical elements stand at the beginning of 
a sentence or a clause, the rule requiring them to be punc- 
tuated must generally be observ^ed ; in, other positions, 
however, they usually lose in some measure their rhetorical 
value and become ordinary modifiers requiring no punctu- 
ation. This is especially the case when they stand near a 
verb or other element the meaning of which they are capa- 
ble of modifying. 

Surely, a day of retribution will come. A day of retribution will 
surely come. 

In reality, no such '^feature as a dragon ever existed. No sucb 
creature as a dragon <ev*er existed in reality. 


26. The following are examples of elements that are 
usually set off by commas when used with rhetorical value: 




in a manner 




as it were 




so to speak 




so to say 



to be suVe 

no doubt 



you see 

to be candid 



in a word 

in passing 



in reply 

to resume 



you know 

to be frank 

27. When two or more rhetorical elements are used 

together in close connection they are usually not separated 

from one another by punctuation. 

Really then, I am much disappointed. 

When therefore a new edition of my '* Lectures" became necessary 
once more, 1 insisted on the destruction of the old plates. 

The same is true of expressions composed of logical, 
rhetorical, and grammatical connectives. But when one of 
the elements is ^/, yea, yes, no, or nay, it is set off by a 
comma. It should be added, however, that there is no 
uniformity among our best writers in punctuating such 
expressions. It is closeness of connection that must deter- 
mine the punctuation suitable in each case; provided always 
that the comma should be omitted zvhen it does not clearly aid 
in expressing the thought or in preventing ainbiguity. 

The following are examples of such combinations: 

and then yes, indeed surely now by all means, then 

nay, now but surely truly then well, at any rate 

well then briefly then frankly, indeed obviously, therefore 

why then now truly so that now though certainly 

and again so indeed to resume, then but doubtless 

but now then again surely, however well truly, then 

Almost any of these combinations may sometimes require 
an intervening comma and sometimes not. They are how- 
ever most frequently punctuated as indicated above. Of 
course a comma is almost always placed after the last word 
of such a group. 


28, Parenthetical elements when differently used gener- 
ally require to be differently punctuated. The following 
examples will illustrate this principle : 

Well then, I'll go. Well, then he surrendered. Well, then, no more 
need be said. 

Nay, now, don't be cruel. Nay, now he sees your meaning. 

Though certainly honest, he was unfortunate. Though, certainly 
we must all die. Though, certainly, if need should be, he would come. 

RULE m. 

29. Parenthetical Grammatical ^Elements. — Gram- 
matical elements loosely connected are usually set off by 
commas^ especially if they are long modifying phrases or 
clauses not directly joined to the expression they modify. 

The ancients accounted a man wise, if he was not too wise. 
This fact, though embarrassing, is unavoidable. 
Suppose, for example, that the earth were flat 

SO. Strictly speaking, every term or expression found 
between the extreme words of a sentence is parenthetical 
(** placed within" or ** between"). But, as here used, the 
term is intended to include only such elements as the 
following : 

1. Modifying- elements, although indispensable to the 

expression of nice distinctions and shades of thought, are 

not necessary to the sentential structure, and they often 

break in a marked degree the uniform flow of the thought. 

The boy, when school time came, was frequently taken suddenly ill. 
It is said that, on a borrowed horse, a beggar always rides very fast 

If such expressions are placed so as not to interrupt, punc- 
tuation is not required. 

When school time came the boy was frequently taken suddenly ill. 
The boy was frequently taken suddenly ill when school time came. 
It is said that a beggar on a borrowed horse always rides very fast. 

2. Elements introduced in the way of explanation or after- 

The sweet violet, hardy here but tender northward, is a native of 

The moon seems, to me at leasts more beautiful than the sun. 



31 • TransiK>sed Expressions, — Elements that for em- 
phasis or any other reason are placed out of their natural or 
usual order are usually set off by commas. 

Respectfully^ we insisted upon our rights. 

To the man thoroughly honesty stringent conditions are easy. 

32. Transposed elements should always be set off by 
commas under the following circumstances : 

1. When the transposition brings together the same parts 
of speech. 

In dealing with th^ foolish, wise men rarely act with wisdom. 
Towards women, men are generally considerate. 
What we did not have, gave us more trouble than what we had. 
When one deals with you, you are not always just. 

2. When the transposition brings together a noun and an 
adjective^ or an adverb and a verb or participle, or any ele- 
ment and a modifier suited to it, but really relating to some 
other element. 

Where the current was swift, boats were towed by horses. 

On stormy days, cheerful books entertained us. 

When the snow disappeared, soon came the birds again. 

While he slept, there came an enemy. 

They rubbed their stomachs, with howls of agony = With howls of 
agony they rubbed their stomachs. 

We saw some boys, wandering along the street = We, wandering 
along the street, saw some boys. 

In cases like the last two the meaning is better expressed 
by careful arrangement than by punctuation. 

3. When the transposed element is long, or when it con- 
tains a restrictive clause element. 

That Bacon and not Shakespeare wrote that wonderful tragedy, he 
firmly believed. 

By forgetting injuries that may be inflicted upon us by the malice 
of others, we declare our own nobility of character. 

33. The comma should be omitted in the following 

1. When the main part of the sentence begins with a verb, 


or when it contains a verb the object of which is in the trans- 
posed part. 

On the shore of the loud-sounding sea stood the home of the old 

Many of the plays that Shakespeare wrote we read during the idle 
days of vacation. 

2. When the transposed portion begins with a preposition 
dependent on some word in the other part 

In the poetry of Homer he felt no interest. 

Of the money received for our labor we had no difficulty in dispO' 

3. When the transposed portion begins with // is or with 

It is generally when success is merited that it is achieved. 
Only when the birds return from the South is it certain that spring 
has begun. 

4. When no ambiguity would follow the omission of the 

In the following sentences the comma must be inserted 

to express the meaning intended : 

In everything, honorable men consider honor. 

By all these, different creeds were held. 

Every moment, neglected opportunities were recalled. 


34, Dependent Clauses. — Dependent clauses^ unless 
the connection is close, should be set off by commas. 

Although the planet Venus closely resembles the earth, it may be 
without inhabitants. 

If you would succeed in the thing that you undertake, you must give 
it dose attention. 

Until the preliminaries have all been settled by the interested parties, 
nothing can be done. 

35. Dependent clauses are, as a rule, punctuated only 
when they are transposed. The examples just given illus- 
trate this. 

Nothing can be done until the preliminaries have all been settled by 
the interested parties. 

i 20 tUNCtUAtloN AND CAl>ITALl2ATtON. 15 

36. Clauses denoting /uney placey or manner ^ unless trans- 
posed and long, or very loosely connected, need not be set 
off by commas. Such clauses begin with when^ where^ how^ 
until^ before^ after ^ etc. 

37. Clauses introduced by thany aSy and so that are not 
punctuated unless they are out of their natural and usual 

You should always do as you are told = As you are told, you should 
always do. 

He is in reality no wiser or better than he should be = No wiser or 
better than he should be, is he in reality. 


38. Relative Clauses. — When not restrictwe^ relative 
clauses should be set off by commas. 

This state, which was named after Queen Elizabeth, was settled in 

The members, who were much dissatisfied, left the church. 
Homer, who is said to have composed the Iliad, was blind. 

The function of a restrictive clause is merely to modify; 
that of a relative clause is to explain or to add some circum- 
stance or afterthought, 

39. Restrictive relative clauses are preferably intro- 
duced by that. When who and which are used for this 
purpose, ambiguity is likely to result. 

The train that leaves in the morninj? is very fast = The outgoing 
morning train is very fast (restrictive clause, complex sentence)". 

The train, which leaves in the morning, is an express = The train 
is an express and it leaves in the morning (coordinate clause, com- 
pound sentence). 

The soldier that disobeyed orders was arrested = The disobedient 
soldier was arrested (clause an adjective in function, sentence complex). 

The soldier, who disobeyed orders, was arrested = The soldier was 
arrested,/r?r^^ disobeyed orders (the soldier = some particular soidier 
before referred to). 

40. A restrictive relative clause that modifies each item 
in a series should be set off by commas. 


Books, papers, and magazines, that had not been read, littered the 
floor = Unread books, papers, and magazines littered the floor. 

In the first form of the sentence the comma would often 
be omitted after magazines^ but the result is always ambi- 
guity. The meaning then is that only the magazines had 
not been read 

41, When relative clauses, whether restrictive or coordi- 
nate, are broken by parenthetical elements, they are punctu- 
ated as follows: 

Restrictive, — He is the best man ihai^ under the circumstances, 
could be found. 

Coordinate, — A caller, who, I think, is an old friend of yours^ is in 
the parlor. 

The same distinction should be observed in punctuating 
clauses introduced by whose^ by whom or which^ and by 
whose following a preposition. 

The President, to whom I am much indebted, passed a moment ago. 
A man by 'whose experience we might profit cannot be found. 

The first clause is coordinate^ the second is restrictive. 

RULE vn. 
43. Apposition. — Elements in apposition^ unless short 
and closely connect ed^ are set off by commas. 

Milton, the Homer of England, was blind. 
fohn the evangelist was the beloved disciple. 
fohn, the beloved disciple, wrote the Revelation. 

43. When the less specific appositive precedes and is 
used like an attributive adjective, punctuation is omitted. 

The great orator Cicero was slain at the instance of Csessifs friend 

If, however, the appositives are separated by intervening 
elements, punctuation is required. 

The great orator of Rome, Cicero^ was less eloquent than he of 
Athens, Demosthenes, 


44. When the more general element of compound names 
precedes, punctuation is required, except in the case of 
scientific names. 

Smith, Geo. W. Lilium auratum. Cams /ami Harts, 

45. A pronoun used in the manner of an adjective before 
a noun is not separated from it by punctuation ; but, when 
used like a noun in apposition, punctuation is required. The 
former use is called adjunctive or attributive^ and the latter 

You men are more vain than we women. Ye men of Athens. 
We old soldiers are now of but little use to the country. They showed 
him^ a senator^ the door.* 

You^ boys; I mean you. And thus to me^ an old Castilian^ he spoke. 

46. The adjunctive use of a noun is distinguished from 
its appositive use by punctuation. 

One son^ John, went to the Klondike ; another son^ William^ was 
killed in Cuba (appositive). 

My son John is dead, and my daugnier Mary is married (adjunctive). 

47. Adjectives are distinguished as adjunctive or apposi- 
tive by means of punctuation. 

It was a horrible night, stormy^ tempestuous^ when we set out for 
home (appositive). 

One dark, stormy, and tempestuous night we set out for home 

If an adjective used appositively is unemphatic, the punc- 
tuation is omitted. 

A form more /air and a face more sweet. 

A sound sweet and tow reached our ears from within. 

48. Terms of equal generic value, made appositive for 
the sake of explanation or emphasis, should be set off by 


It is certain that all energy, power, /or ce, originates in the sun. 
^nA/ood, money, clothes, — anything. 

In each of these sentences the italicized words are different 
names for the same thing or intended for the same use — 
they have equal class y or generic^ value. 



49. Contrast. — Contrasted elements are set off by 

Gold, not silver^ is what they sought. 

Not merely in prosperity^ but in adversity also, was he your friend. 


50. Omitted Connectives. — Similar elements not con- 
nected by conjunctions are separated from one another by 

Come, tell me what you wish. 

Lend, lend your wings. 

Softly, sweetly she crooned, she sanjs;- to her darling. 

Genius is but patient, persistent, indefatigable industry. 

51. When the items of an emphatic series are similarly 
related to an element that precedes or follows, this element 
should usually be separated from the series by a comma. 

All that was loved, all that was hated, all that was feared by man, 
he tossed about. 

If he could only see, understand, experience, what I suffer, he would 
behave differently. 

To blunder stupidly, grossly, rashly, is inexcusable. 

To offer no opposition to the orders of his official superiors; to formu- 
late against them neither argument nor objection, even in the secrecy 
pf his own mind; to know, in fine, nothing but blind unreasoning 
obedience, seem the chief glory and excellence of a soldier. 

In the last sentence the items of the series are separated 
by semicolons, yet the common italicized part is preceded by 
a comma, as in the other sentences. 

53. When the last two elements of a series have a con- 
nective between them, a comma is required before the con- 
nective ; but when connectives occur between every two 
elements, commas should not be used. 

Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit belong to the same family. 
Day nor night nor sunshine nor storm affected him. 


53, Compound series consisting of groups of similar 
items require a comma between each two groups. 

They had picture books about simitars and slippers and turbans, 
and dwarfs and giants and genii and fairies, and bluebeards and 
beanstalks and riches and caverns and Valentines and Orsons, — and all 
new and all true. 


54. Di^unctlve Connection. — IVAen t^ivo elements are 
united by conjunctions that are strongly adversative or dis- 
junctive^ they should usually be separated by commas. 

Work rapidly, but let your work be thorough. 
His offense was very serious, still he was forgiven. 
The case was critical, yet we were not without hope. 
Shall we come today, or can you wait a day or two? 

55. Conjunctions with a strongly marked disjunctive 
value are the following: or, nor, yet, still, but, best, albeit, 
though, although, unless, however, whereas, provided, never- 
theless, notivithstanding. 

56. The connection between two elements increases in 
remoteness as they take on adjuncts. It follows, therefore, 
that a comma may be required for this reason even when the 
connective is not disjunctive. 

A tall handsome boy with black eyes and wavy hair, and a very 
beautiful girl, met us at the gate. 

57. Two elements that are disjunctive from the fact 
that they are equivalent or alternative names, are usually 
set off by commas. When the conjunction is omitted, such 
elements are said to be in apposition. 

A large opening, or intet^ led to the ample bay within. 
Afeter, or measure, is the number of poetical feet that a verse con- 


58. Independent Clauses. — Independent clauses should 
be separated by a comma if the conjunction between them 


might be understood as connecting^ not tlte clauses^ but words 
or phrases. 

Life is very short, but delightful and precious are the sunny days of 

Be careful to speak always with moderation, and in honesty deal 
thou with alt men. 

RULJC xn. 

59. Address. — An element independent by address is 
set off by commas. 

I rise. Mr, President^ to a point of order. 

Time^ you thief ^ who love to get sweets into your list, put that in. 

Come. Antony^ and young Octavius^ come. 

60. A pronoun in the second person used like an attribu- 
tive adjective or before a relative or an indefinite pronoun, 
is not set off by. commas. 

Thou moon that roll'st above. 

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things 

O thou whose love can ne*er forget its offspring, man. 


61. Absolute Constructions. — An element used abso- 
lutely or independently should commonly be set off by commas. 
There are several varieties of this construction : 

1. The Participial. — In this the characteristic word is a 


Honor being lost, everything is lost 

Such, speaking frdnkly. is my honest opinion. 

2. The Infinitive, 

To be sure, we might have done worse. 

Now. to make a long story shorty this is what we will da 

3. The Imperative. 

I say, believe me or not, that the story is false. 

We shall go. be sure of that, at the earliest opportunity. 

4. The Adjectival. 

Good at heart himself, he thought men better than they are. 
His one daughter, beautiful as ever, was still at home. 


5. The Pleonastic. — This construction commonly consists 
in the mere mention of something concerning which a gram- 
matically complete sentence follows. The pleonastic con- 
struction is one that is overfilled. 

Day^ it brings him no delight; nighty he has no rest or peace at 

BULS xrv. 

63. Informal Introduction. — A short quotation or 
similar element informally introduced should generally be set 
off by commas, 

Plato's definition, •• Man is a biped without feathers/* was ridiculed 
by Diogenes. 

The oracle answered, "No man is sure of happiness before he is 

Tennyson's saying, " Death is the end of life," is an unpleasant 

63. When the element introduced is one word or the 

introduction is very close, the commas should be omitted if 

no ambiguity results. 

The Greek name Agamemnon means great memory, 

Horace's '* While we live let us live " has led to much dissipation. 


64. Ellipsis of the Verb. — In continued sentences where 

a common verb is expressed in only one of the clauses and 

understood in the others y the omitted verb is usually indicated 

by a comma. 

Homer was the gfreater genius; Virgil, the better artist 
Semiramis built Babylon ; Dido, Carthage ; and Romulus, Rome. 


65. Dates. — Dates and other expressions consisting of a 
series of related groups require commas between their compo- 
nent groups, 

Washington was bom on Friday, February 22, 1732, in Westmore- 
land Ca, Va. 

22 ttFNCTtJATION AND CAt>It ALlZAttON. § 20 

See Green's "History of the English People," voL i, book ill, 
chap, ii, pp. 433-425. 

Killed in an accident at 1239 Fifth ave.. New York, Tuesday, June 7, 

66. Commas should not be placed between B. C, A. D., 
A. U. C. , etc. , and the number denoting a year. 

Caesar invaded Britain, B. C. 55 (or, in the year 55 B. C. ). 
Done at Washington, D. C, July 10. A. D. 1899. 

Arabic numbers, except where used to denote dates or 
street or page numbers, are separated by commas into 
periods of three figures each, beginning at the right. In the 
case of mixed decimals the place of beginning is the decimal 
10,129,475.68; 136,902.7325+; $1,049.6851; £12,985. 



67. Added Clauses. — lV/i6'n a clause complete in itself 
is folloived by one expressing a reason or consequenccy an 
explanation or inference^ the clauses should usually be sepa- 
rated by a semicolo7i. 

We might have guessed our immortality; for Nature, giving 
instincts, never fails to give the ends to which they |x>int. 

The fear of heresy did what the sense of oppression could not do ; it 
changed men into devoted partisans and obstinate rebels. 

68. Even when the connective is omitted, the semicolon 

is used unless the clauses are very long and their connection 

not close. In this latter case a colon may be required, or 

the sentence may be broken into two sentences. 

The wisest are liable to error; even Jupiter sometimes nods. 
History cannot be perfectly true ; it may tell the truth, but not the 
whole truth. 

69. When there is doubt as to the degree of separation, 
preference should be given to a point denoting less separa- 
tion of parts. When it is not clear which is better, a comma 
or a semicolon, use a comma. 



70. Subdivided Clausen. — United clauses that contain 
elements set off by commas should generally be separated by 

Arrogance is generally, though not always, bom of wealth and the 
consciousness of power; but true humility, of real wisdom and genius. 


71. Coord Inate Clauses. — United clauses of equal rank, 
slightly connected and without intervening connectives, should 
be separated by semicolons. 

Stones grow; vegetables grow and live; animals grow, live, and 

If the clauses are short, unbroken, and closely connected, 
they should be separated by commas. 

Everything grows old, everything passes away, everything disap- 


73. Dependent Particulars. — When each of a series 
of expressions is dependent on the same elements, they should 
generally be separated by semicolons, 

Macaulay says of Herodotus that he has written an incomparable 
book; that he has written something better perhaps than the best 
history; that he has not, however, written a good history; that he is, 
from the first to the last chapter, an inventor. 

If we think of glory in the field ; of wisdom in the cabinet ; of the 
purest patriotism; of the highest integrity, public and private; of 
morals without a stain — the august figure of Washington presents 
itself as the personification of all these ideas. 


73. Apposltlve Particulars. — A general term should 
be separated by a semicolon from the particulars under it 
when they are very short; and the particulars themselves 
should be separated from one another by commas. 


In solid geometry are considered, among other things, four of the 
most interesting of solids; the prism, the cylinder, the cone, and the 

74. If the appositive items are formally introduced, or 
if they themselves are long or broken by punctuation, they 
should be preceded by a colon and separated from one 
another by semicolons. 

Grammar consists of the following parts: first, orthography; second, 
etymology; third, syntax; and fourth, prosody^ 

RUUE xxn. 

75. Introductory Hxpressions. — A semicolon should 
commonly precede as, viz., namely, to wit, i. e., that is, e. g., 
and like expressions^ when used to introduce an example or a 
list of particulars, 

A pleonastic construction is one that contains words grammatically 
superfluous ; as. The skies they were ashen and sober. 

Shakespeare has many instances of mixed metaphor ; for example, 
•' to tahe arms against a sea of troubles." 

There were five persons present ; namely, Lincoln, Stanton, Grant, 
Sherman, and Sheridan. 


76. Compound Series. — The groups of a series should be 
separated from one another by semicolons if the items compo- 
sing some or all of the groups require commas between them. 

Discriminate the following: refined, polished; urbane, civil, rustic, 
polite; contemptuous, contemptible. 

The English has many words derived from Oriental languages: 
Malay, gong, sago, rattan; Chinese, tea, junk; Polynesian, tattoo, 
boomerang; Hindu, calico. 


RULE xxrv. 
77. Subdivided Members. — Colons should separate 
members of a sentence if one or more of those members are 
themselves subdivided by semicolons. 


As we perceive the shadow to have moved along the dial, but did 
not see it moving; and it appears that the grass has grown, though 
nobody ever saw it grow : so the advances we make in knowledge, as 
they consist of such minute steps, are perceivable only by the distance. 

78. If the elements separated by semicolons have no 
interposed commas, a semicolon should take the place of the 
colon and commas should be used instead of the semicolons. 

A sovereign almost invisible, a crowd of dignitaries minutely distin- 
guished by badges and titles, rhetoricians that said nothing but what 
had been said ten thousand times, schools in which nothing had been 
taught but what had been known for ages; such was the machinery 
provided for the government and instruction of the most enlightened 
part of the human race. 

This sentence exemplifies the rule for appositive partic- 
ulars (see rule XXI). 


79. Formal Quotations. — A direct quotation or any 
similar matter should be preceded by a colon when formally 

Horace boasted of his poetical work in the following terms; *• I have 
erected a monument more enduring than bronze." 

Do not forget this important fact: if you show the people with whom 
you have dealings that you do not trust them, they will soon recipro- 
cate your suspicious treatment. 

80. This rule applies to a series of particulars formally 

In the prisoner's possession were found the following articles: two 
watches, six silver spoons, a diamond ring, and two pairs of new kid 

81. When the matter following the introduction consists 
of several sentences or begins a new paragraph, a dash may 
follow the colon to indicate the broken connection. This 
punctuation is preferred by many after the salutation in a 
letter; others very properly omit the dash on the ground 
that there is no break in the sense or in the connection; 


others again use a comma with or without a dash, but this 
usage is scarcely defensible. 

Mr. Wm. Kegan, 
Dear Sir: Dear Sir: — London, England. 

Your letter etc. Your letter etc. Dear Sir: Your letter etc. 

82. If the quotation is a mere short saying or is inform- 
ally introduced, a comma alone is sufficient. 

Some one says, " The good die young" ; but. nevertheless, the good 
are not discriminated against by the insurance companies. 


83. "Yes'' and '''''So.''''— When the words ''yes** and 
**no,'* in answer to a quest ion ^ are followed by a continuation 
of the answer or by an explanation of ity a colon is required 
between the answer and its continuation. 

May we trust to the intelligence and patriotism of the President ? 
Yes: that has been fully demonstrated. 

Do you live here, my boy ? Yes, sir: I was bom here. 

A semicolon is often used in place of the colon in such 
cases as the foregoing. 

RULE xxvn. 

84. Title Paffes. — If the main title of a book is followed 
by a second title in apposition, and no connective intervenes^ 
the two should be separated by a colon. 

Mnemonics: The Art and Science of Remembering. 

If or is used between the two titles, the connective should 
have a semicolon before it and a comma after it. 

Log^c; or. The Laws of Reasoning, Including Fallacies. 

The colon is u.sed on title pages, and in catalogues of 
books, between the name of the place of publication and the 
name of the publisher. 

Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass. : Houghton, Mifflin & Ca 



RULE xxvni. 

85. Complete Sentences. — A complete statement or 
command y unless very strongly exclamatory ^ should be followed 
by a period. 

History is philosophy teaching by means of examples. 
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. 
I come to bury Csesar, not to praise him. 

86. A sentence beginning" with and^ or^ for^ but^ or a 
similar connective is in reality a part of the preceding sen- 
tence ; yet such sentences are often separated by periods from 
what precedes. In this way, long and complex constructions 
may be avoided, with a gain in force and in ease of compre- 

The period is to be preferred to the exclamation point at 
the end of an exclamatory statement or command, unless 
the emotion to be expressed is exceptionally strong. 


87. Abbrevtatlond. — A period should be used after 
every abbreviated word^ but not after contracted words 
when the missing elements are replaced by a dash or an 

MSS.yp,,pp,y Dr,^ Ph, A. LL, Z>., and Co, are abbreviations. 
Redd^ carCt^payt^f—n S — M, and Rev^d qxq contractions. 

88. Arabic figures when used to number paragraphs, 
examples, articles, etc., and letters of the alphabet when 
used for the same purpose, take a period after them. When, 
as part of a sentence structure, they become ordinal or are 
enclosed in marks of parenthesis a period is not required; 
as, (1), (a\ 1st, 2d, 4th. 

Roman numbei*s are by most authorities >^Titten with a 
period following; as, IV. .^ XVIII. When used in paging, 


Roman and Arabic numbers do not have the period after 
them. There is good authority for omitting the period in 
all cases after Roman numerals. 

89. The symbols for chemical elements are written 
without periods ; also, the letters used in geometry and other 
sciences to represent quantity of any kind, and certain other 
much used mathematical abbreviations. 

Water consists of two atoms of H combined with one atom of O. 
If A can do a piece of work in a days, etc. 

sec a — cos a . , 

vers a = 1 — cos a = , log jr, tan a + cot b ^ x. eta 

sec a 

Sizes of books are indicated without periods; as, J^to^ 
8vo^ 12mo, These are hybrid contractions of quarto^ octavo^ 
duodecimo^ eta 


90. Side Heads. — After a title or a side head that forms 
part of a paragraph^ a period^ or a period folloived by a dash, 
should be used. The dash alone is preferred by some 

Capital Letters, Capital letters are used eta 

Capital Letters, — Capital letters are used eta 

Not^, The student will observe eta N, B, Remark. 

Note, — ^An apparent exception eta N. B, — Remark, 


91. Tabular Matter. — In tables and synopses^ and in 
statistical or other matter in tabular form, the period should 
be used only after abbreviations, or where it will prevent 
ambiguity. This rule applies also to other marks of punctu- 

93. In late books printed by the most reputable pub- 
lishers, punctuation is almost entirely excluded from title 
pages. The same usage is well established with respect to 
the headings of chapters, running titles at the tops of pages, 
and in many similar cases. The theory is that punctuation 


should be used only when it accomplishes a useful purpose. 
The following reduced title page will illustrate : 






Thb National Oovbrnmbnt— Thb Statk 

ooMnxriLv mviMo THuouoHour 


New York 


London: Macmilcan A Co., Lti>. 


AH righu reserved 



93. Direct Questions. — Every direct question should 

be followed by a mark of interrogation^ but not an indirect 


Direct : If a man die. shall he live again ? 
^ ,. jTell me whether, if a man die, he will live again, 

j He inquired when I intended to go to New York. 

94. When several questions have a common dependence 

on a final element, only one mark of interrogation is required, 

and that should be placed at the end. 

Whither now are fled those dreams of greatness ; those busy, bus- 
tling days ; those happy, festive nights ; those veering thoughts, lost 
between good and ill, that charmed thy youth ? 


When several questions have no common element, each 
question, even though grammatically incomplete, requires a 
separate mark. 

What is education ? Who are its apostles ? When did they live ? 
Where ? 

Shall a" man succeed by theft ? by dishonesty ? by trickery ? by 
bribery ? 

95. Questions are often put in the declarative form. In 
such cases they are known to be questions only by their 

You will come to-morrow ? I may depend on that ? 
Well, sir ? Sick ? Since when ? Yesterday ? 

Of late years there has come into pretty general use the 
practice of following the statements of a speaker with an 
interrogative yes. This is in very bad taste. 

Speaker, — '* We then went aboard the steamer, which immediately 
left the harbor." Listener. — **Yes?" Speaker. — •* The voyage was 
at first very rough, and we were all seasick." Listener, — '* Yes ?" 

This is a usage similar to the **Do tell!" of the New 
England States. 


96. Doubt. — In order to denote doubt or incredulity or 
to suggest a correction^ an interrogation ntark may be inserted 
within the body of a sentence and enclosed by tnarks of 

Thomas Parr was bom in 1488 (?) and died in 1685. 
The augers (augurs f) were all in the temple of Jupiter. 
Hypatia was murdered by the monks, instigated by Saint (?) Cyril 
of Alexandria. 

RULE xxxrv. 

97. Quotations Within Questions. — A quotation 
li'ithin a question must be punctuated so as to retain the 
individuality of each. 

Have you heard the head waiter say •• dinner is served " ? 

Do you remember Tweed's *• what are you going to do about it ?" 

Did not some one cry •* murder! help!"? 

Has the question, *' whence came we ?" ever been answered? 




98. Exclamatory Sentences. — An exclamation point 

should be placed at the end of a sentence expressing very 

strong emotion or implying loud outcry. 

What a burning shame! How dare you. sir! 

•* Come back ! come back ! " he cried in grief. ** Rouse, ye Romans! 
rouse, ye slaves ! '* 

Even when the feeling" is strong, it is better to avoid, when- 
ever possible, the use of the exclamation point. It is a mark 
found most frequently in weak writing. Mere tricks of 
punctuation cannot make up for lack of force ; a refined and 
well balanced intellect avoids the show of emotion. 

O. sir, forgive me. 

O, I am utterly disgusted with him. 


99. Exclamatory Expressions. — A n exclamation point 
should usually follow interjections and interjectional expres- 

Alas ! alas ! what have I spoken ? Listen ! O listen ! 
Oh ! how it hurts ! O what a beauty ! 
Ha. ha, ha. ho. ho! Fie, fiQ, ?i^^ good sir! 

When an interjection is repeated the punctuation should 
be as in the last example above. 

100. The interjections O and oh are generally discrim- 
inated thus: The former is used where the emotion colors an 
entire sentence ; the latter as a mere ejaculation expressing 
sudden, strong, and explosive emotion. When O is used, 
the exclamation point should be written, if at all, at the end 
of the emotive expression ; but oh should be directly followed 
by the point. 

101. The interjection O is sometimes used to express 
mere earnestness, and in such cases the exclamation point 
should be displaced by ordinary punctuation. 


What did you do then? O, I just walked away without replying. 
O, sir, may I not have the place ? 

Tennyson has the following: 

•*0 sir, oh prince, I have no country: none." 

10!3« The interjection eh is usually followed by a ques- 
tion mark. 

You are going, eh? 

When so used an interjection is really a modal adverb^ 
because it modifies the meaning of the entire sentence. 


103. Graduated Emotion. — Emotion is represented as 

increasing or decreasing by using more or fciver exclamation 


Police! Help!! Murder!!! Murder!!!! 

Oh ! Oh ! I Oh ! ! ! Ah ! ! Ah-h-h !— the tooth was out 



104. Changes In Sense or Construction. — A sudden 
change in sense or in grammatical construction^ or an abrupt 
pausc^ is indicated by the dash, 


My uncle — he was my best friend^<lied a week ago. 
Honesty, they say. — here's your health, sir, -is the best policy. 
That old teacher of yours — by the way» whai ever became of him? — 
was an o<ld character. 


105. Rhetorical Pause. — A dash is used to mark a 
rhetorical pause, or suspension of the voice for effect^ where 
there is no change in the grammatical construction. 

Ho is Hhrcwd, polished, unscrupulous, and — religious. 

My friend devotes much time to charity and general benevolence — 
whc*n there's money in it. 

A — •* Thou art a villain." B — '* You are — a senator.** 

'* You are very kind; I can never repay — " she was unable to pro- 




106* Rhetorical Bepetltlon. — When the construction 
is broken and resumed for rhetorical effect^ a dash should 
follow between the break and the part repeated, 

O those happy days of childhood I — childhood, the beautiful ! — child- 
hood, the innocent ! — they are gone forever. 

To me — me, his benefactor — me, his lifelong friend — to me he has 
been false. 

Is there — is there balm in Gilead? — ^tell me, — tell me, I implore! 

RULS Xlil. 

107. Generalization. — When a series of terms is repre- 
sented by a following generic expression^ a dash should follow 
the series, 

^ Write a tale, a^istory, a poem, — anything,^ only write. 
He was chubby and plump — a right jolly old e/f. 

108. The generic term may precede the series. 

Those old Greek names^ — Demosthenes, Agamemnon, Epaminon- 
das, — they have a suggestion of immortality in their resonance. 


109. Parenthetical Dash. — Parenthetical expressions 
that are too closely connected to be enclosed in marks of 
parenthesis may be placed between dashes. 

In those beautiful far-off June days, — and no days can be more 
beautiful, — she and I gathered flowers in the Kentish meadows. 

What woman — was it your mother, 1 wonder ?— taught you to rever- 
ence woman? 

I live by myself, and all the bread and cheese I get, — which is not 
much, — I put upon a shelf. 

110» Various degrees of connection of parenthetical ele- 
ments are indicated by the manner of their punctuation. The 
following forms show how such matter is punctuated when 
introduced within the body of a sentence. The first indicates 
the least degree of remoteness, and the last, the greatest. 

;- ( ) [ J 


Examples illustrating these forms of parenthetical ele- 
ments may be found in many places in this work, (See 
Arts. 104 to 109, inclusive, and elsewhere.) 

Of course, a dash should not displace a period, a question 
mark, or a mark of exclamation at the end of a sentence. 

111. Questions and exclamations, being in their nature 
rhetorical or logical, have no determinate degrees of close- 
ness in connection. When introduced in intermediate posi- 
tions in sentences, they are punctuated in the following, 
among other ways : 

.■^ ? ?- ;- ?- 

( ?) [ ?] .- I- 


112. Omissions. — TAe omission of letters or figures that 
are plainly implied may be marked by the dash (the em and 
the en dash respectively). 

D — n and P — s were noted for their great friendship. 
The winter of 1837-38 was a very severe one. 

Matt. 7:9-14. This means Matthew, 7th chapter, verses 9 to 14, 

In referring to pages no omissions of figures are allowable. 
See letter ^ in ♦•SUndard Dictionary," pp. 2085-2087, inclusive. 


113. Titles Run In. — When a title begins the first line 
of a paragraph^ a dash following a period should separate it 
from the text of the paragraph (see rule XXX), 


114. For Introductory Words. — The dash may be 

used as a substitute for certain words of formal introduction^ 

such as viz., namely, e. g. , i.e., that is, etc. 

In his library were editions beautifully bound of all the great poets 
—Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, etc. 



115. Authorities. — W/ieu an author* s name tmme* 
diately follows a citation it should be separated from the 
quoted passage by a dash, 

** Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet 
Then all things are at risk." — Emerson, 

116. If the author's name is placed on a line by itself 
no dash is required. 

"Nothing is so dangerous as an igtiorant friend ; a wise enemy is 

more helpful." 


1 1I7» If both the writer's name and the writing in which 
the quotation is found are given, they should be separated 
by a dash and be printed in different type. 

** Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the 

signs of ideas." 

Johnson — Preface to •* English Dictionary.'* 



118. Words inserted in the body of a sentence or para^ 
graphy and nearly or quite independent^ so that they may be 
omitted without changing the sense or construction^ should be 
enclosed in marks of pafcnthesis. 

Great rifts or spots sometimes appear on the surface of the sun (a 
picture of solar spots is thrown upon the screen), which are never seen at 
the poles, but always in a narrow belt along the sun's equator. 

Another theory (that of Weissman) is that acquired aptitudes cannot 
be transmitted from parent to offspring. 

This subject will be found more fully treated in another place (see 
pp. 125-137) and admirably illustrated. 

119. A distinction should be observed between paren- 
thesis ^iXid marks of parenthesis. The former should mean 
the enclosed matter ; the latter, the enclosing marks. The 


plural, parentheses^ should be used to denote the matter 

enclosed within several pairs of marks of parenthesis. 

Too many parentheses greatly weaken the force of every form of 

Enclose all the adjectives in marks of parenthesis. 

A parenthesis should, in general, not begin with a capital, 
unless the first word is a proper name, but should be 
treated as a mere inferior part of the sentence within which 
it occurs, even though it is itself a complete sentence. 

120* Such punctuation as a parenthesis requires should 
be wholly within the enclosing marks. If the parenthesis is 
a declarative sentence, it usually takes no period at the end ; 
but if it is a question or an exclamatory sentence, the punc- 
tuation should denote this fact. 

Kit*s mother, poor woman, is waiting at the gate below, accom- 
panied by Barbara's mother (she, honest soul! never does anything but 
cry and hold the baby), and a sad interview ensues. 



131» Brackets should be used to enclose [ci) suggested 

corrections in grammar and spelling ; {b) stage directions in 

plays ; {c) derivation of words ^ plurals y principal part s^ etc.^ 

in dictionaries. 

He was the subtilest [subtlest (?)] reasoner whom [that] the age pro- 

Macbeth, [A side. \ Two truths are told. 

As happy prologues to the swelling act 
Of the imperial theme. [Exeuftt.] 

Spfrd, spid, 7'. [sped or speed'ed; speed'ing.] [a. s. spedan^ <sped; 
8ee SPEED, «.] 

The principle governing the use of the brackets is that the 
matter enclosed by them shall have no grammatical connec- 
tion with other words. Their purpose is simply explanatory 
or to supply an omission. 




122. Direct Quotations. — Expressions that are cited 
or borrowed should^ when written or printed^ be enclosed 
between marks of quotation. 

Seneca makes this remark: **If you wish your secret kept, keep it 

123. When a thought is borrowed, but not the exact 
language, the fact may be indicated by using single quota- 
tion marks to enclose it. This usage, however, is not well 
established. It is generally better to use the double marks 
or to omit them altogether. 

His life was regulated by the rule of • doing to others as he wished 
them to do to him.* 

This would be improved by omitting the marks. 

When the source from which the substance of a thought 
comes is distinctly noted, no quotation marks are ever 

One of the last remarks of Socrates was that the soul is immortal. 

Such quotations as this last are called indirect, 

124* In citing language from another of one's own com- 
positions, it is usual to employ quotation marks. 

In my •• Lectures on Electricity," written ten years ago, I made the 
following prediction: ''The day will come when electricity will do for 
the eye what, by means of the telephone, it is now doing for the ear." 

125. Foreign words and phrases, scientific names, and 

single words of our language, when quoted as mere words, 

are commonly printed in Italic. The same is done in a 

limited measure with titles and names of various kinds, 

though in the case of these last, quotation marks are to be 


He was deficient in what the French call savoir/aire. 
We found some fine specimens of trailing arbutus (Epigcea repens). 
The word advice is the noun and advise the verb. 
Macaulay says that Shakespeare's Othello is the greatest work in 
the world. 

It would be better to use quotation marks — *• Othello." 


Certain foreign words and well known abbreviations are 
usually printed in Roman. 

i. e., e. g.. vice versa, etc., N. B., P. S., R. S. V. P., Q. E. D. 


126. Quoted Quotations^ — A quotation within another 
is enclosed in single^ not double, quotation marks. 

Some one remarks: "Gladstone was for nearly fifty years the 
uncrowned king* of the British Empire." 

Where a quotation is made within a second quotation 
that has the single mark, the double mark must be again 
used. But this, on account of its extreme awkwardness, 
should be avoided. 

•* The old doctor said to us one morning: * You boys do not under- 
stand, 1 am sure, all that is implied by Huxley's "survival of the 
fittest." • •• 

It is better to put the last four words in Italic than to 
enclose them between marks of quotation. 

127. If a quotation ends a sentence, judgment is often 
necessary in harmonizing the punctuation of the quotation 
with that of the entire sentence. 

•♦Were you not all ag^reeably startled by the lookout's hail, *Ship, 

" Have you ever considered Job's significant query: • If a man die, 
shall he live again ?* " 

Is the old saying always defensible — "The end justifies the 
means" ? 

Did you hear any one ask the foolish question — "Where are we at" ? 

RTTIiE 1.1. 

138. Consecutive Paragrraplis Quoted. — Inverted 
commas should be placed at the beginning of each of several 
co7isecutive qtioted paragraphs ^ and apostrophes at the end of 
the last paragraph. 


129. If portions of the original are omitted at intervals 
from the quotation, each fragment that is complete in itself 
should be enclosed in quotation marks. 

When a quotation ends with marks of continuation, or if 
its completion is prevented by interruption, the punctuation 
denoting its unfinished character m-ust be included within 
the marks of quotation. 

*• What is your ?'* ** I object, your honor," shouted the plain- 
tiffs lawyer. 

** Do you remember the Golden Rule: • Do unto others *?" 

Quite frequently in England, and to some extent in this 
country, inverted commas are placed at the beginning of 
each line of a quoted paragraph and apostrophes at the end 
of each paragraph. The objections to this are that it is 
unnecessary, and that it disfigures the page. This unsightly 
usage is not likely to become generally current. 



130. Omission. — T/te apostrophe is used as a substitute 
for omitted letters or figures. 

I've, o'er, e'er, isn't, doesn't, don't, can't, shouldn't, we'll. I'll, you're, 
he's, Jany 25. '99. 

The apostrophe is used to denote plurals of figures and 
letters; as, mind your/*s and ^'s, etc. 


131. Possessive Cose. — The apostrophe is used to denote 
the possessive case of nouns and of a few pronouns. 

Death s terrors, fohris hat. New York's streets, the city of Balti' 
more' s monuments. 

One' s own, neither' s share, either s money, the other' s house, others^ 
opinions, some one's hat 





132. Until a few years ago there was no general 
standard for the sizes of type. There were, indeed, certain 
well known kinds of type, such as long primer, pica, 
brevier, nonpareil, etc.; but even when their names were 
alike, they were always slightly different in size if made at 
different ioundries. No founder could be relied upon to 
keep his names and sizes constant from year to year. The 
result was that if pica, for example, bought at different 
foundries, was mixed and set together, neither lines nor 
columns could be made of exactly the same length. As the 
printers phrase it, the type would not ** justify." To prevent 
letters, words, and even whole lines from dropping out after a 
form of type was **locked up" for printing from it, much tedi- 
ous and troublesome filling in with bits of paper and cardboard 
was necessary. So serious were the obstacles to taste, expedir 
tion, and economy in printing, that the Type- Founders' Asso- 
ciation of the United States finally adopted the scale of sizes 
now known as the ** Point" system. The system leaves 
little to be desired. The old names are no longer used, 
except in a historical way, or for purposes of comparison 
with the new names. It makes no difference now where a 
printer buys his type, for the output of all foundries will 
** justify " when set together. Then, again, the strips of type 
metal called *' leads," by which the distances between lines 
may be varied, are regulated in thickness by the system of 
points. As a consequence, the length of one page may be 
made exactly equal to that of another, no matter how many 
sizes of type may compose them. Since many persons do 
not understand this system thoroughly, although it is of 
much interest and importance, an explanation in detail is 
given here. 



133. The fundamental unit of measure of this system 
is the ** point." To obtain this, a length of 35 centimeters 
(almost exactly 1| inches) is divided into 996 equal parts. 
A point is, therefore, .03514 centimeter, or .0138+ inch. 
This is taken among printers as ^ of an inch, but in reality, 
it is less by about j^^^ of an inch. This is used to measure 
the height or tody of type. Thus, 3-point type, which is the 
smallest* type made, is very nearly y^, or ^y, of an inch high; 
so that, if 24 lines of such type be set without ** leads** 
between the lines, they will occupy 1 inch, very nearly, in 
the length of the page. Of 8- point type, the **body ** is ^, 
or ^ of an inch; 9 lines of this, without leads, would make 
1 page-inch. Similarly, 6 lines of 12-point, 4 lines of 18-point, 
3 lines of 24-point, etc. would each fill a page-inch. Hence, 
generally, if 72 be divided by the points that measure a given 
kind of type, the quotient will show the number of unleaded 
lines to a page-inch. (It must be remembered that an inch 
is not exactly 72 points, but 72.46+ points.) 

The various kinds of type made under the ** point " system 
correspond more or less nearly to the kinds with old-fashioned 
names. This correspondence is shown in the table below. 
Of these, the standard of measurement was/^Va, and this is so 
very closely represented by 12-point, that the name pica is 
now used among printers to mean 12-point, or type with ^ of an 
inch body. The thickness of leads and the length of lines are 
estimated in pica size. Thus, leads are spoken of as J^-to-pica^ 
6'tO'Pica^ etc., meaning that 4, 6, etc. leads equal pica thick- 
ness — 12 points, or \ of an inch. Hence, one 6-to-pica lead is 2 
points, or ^ of an inch in thickness. Again, a page 24 picas 
wide is 24 times \ of an inch, or 4 inches in width. 

Under this system, * * justification, ** even when many differ- 
ent sizes of type are used, is no longer difficult or wasteful 
of time, as was the case under the old system. If properly 
set and ** locked up,** no type will slip from place or fall out 

The point system would be perfect if the thickness of type 
as well as the height or width of body were in points also. 
This is not yet the case generally, but doubtless it soon will 


be, for at least one foundry is now advertising type made by 
the '* point-set " or 'Mining ** system. This means the estab- 
lishment of a point ratio between the height and the width 
of type. The foundry referred to makes its Roman t5^e so 
as to have a certain point- width for each letter or character 
as well as a point-height. 

Thus, 10-point f, i, j, 1, i, etc. are each 3 points wide; s, z, j, 
etc. are 4 points; a, g, o, v, y, etc. are 4^ points; and so on. 

When this is done for type of all sizes, and done in the 
same way by all type foundries, and when quads and spaces 
are made from the point as a unit, the point system will be 
practically perfect 

134. Old Style and Point Sizes.— The following table 
gives the old names of type, with their approximate value in 

Old Names. 


Great Primer. 



Small Pica.. .. 
Long Primer. 
Bourgeois .... 




Nonpareil .... 
Agate or Ruby 


Diamond. . . . 















4 to 41 



Body or 







to Inch. 











iVtOyVlC to 18 
^V 20.6 



Great Primer 



Small Pica 
Long Primer 





Agate or Raby 





135« Many different marks, named and unnamed, are in 
use among printers. The most important of these are placed 
here in alphabetical order for convenience of reference. 

136. Accents, — There are three marks of accents; the 

acute Q, the grave f ), and the circumflex (^,'^,^). The 

acute is the accent most frequently used. It denotes that 

the vowel or syllable above or after which it is placed is to 

be pronounced with a marked stress of the voice ; as, 

a-cu'-men. This accent is either primary as shown above or 

secondary {"). The secondary acute accent is used to denote 

a less marked stress of the voice than the primary requires ; 

as, aC'Cen''-tU'a''tion. The grave accent denotes a falling 

tone ; or it may show that a vowel not usually sounded is to be 

pronounced in a certain word. This frequently happens in 

poetry; as, 

•* Caesar's ambition shall be glancM at." 

The circumflex denotes that a vowel is to be sounded with 
both a rising and a falling inflection, as in sarcasm or irony. 
It is also used to mark a long vowel, as inpire, 

137* Apostrophe. — The apostrophe (') is used (a) to 
indicate an omission; as, e'en^ and (b) to denote the posses- 
sive case; as, man* s duty ^ Moses's sayings, 

138* Brace. — The brace \ \ is used in grouping. 

Homes] over 

the sea. J [tf — (^ + ^)] — ^ f Coin \ silver 

I cx)pper 

I under 

139. Brackets. — The brackets [ ] are used for enclosing 
other characters, indicated pronunciations, matter inserted 
in sentences but not closely connected, and for many other 

140« Caret. — The caret (J marks the insertion of a 

word or a letter accidentally omitted; as, seprate^ Honesty is 



141» Cedilla,-^The cedilla (f ) is a mark placed under 
the letter c when it occurs before ^ , o^ or «, in some Romance 
languages. It indicates that ^ is to be sounded like j; as, 
garqon^ faqade^ Franqois. 

142* Dieresls. — ^A dieresis ( " ) placed over the second 
of two adjacent vowels shows that they belong to separate 
syllables; as, zoology ^ aerate. This mark is usually omitted; 
as, cooperate^ zoology^ reiterate, 

143. Ditto Marks. — These marks ( **) are used to 
denote that something is to be understood as repeated from 
immediately above. When any word or expression with its 
accompanying punctuation is to be repeated, the fact is indi- 
cated by writing ditto marks instead or by writing do. The 
word ditto is the Italian form of the Latin dictum^ **a thing 
that has been said. " This abbreviation is much used in book- 
keeping. Excepting its punctuation, it is usually repeated 
for each separate part of an expression ; or, it may stand for 
an entire expression. The following will illustrate: 

Creditor by investment, February 1, 1898, $1,891.25 

\ net gain, •• •• *• 296.88 

«t «( 

Jan. 8, To 48 yd. Union gin^ams, % .12}, 96.00 

" •• 60 •♦ Amoskeag do. •* .16 , 9.00 

144« Ellipsis. — There are several kinds of marks that 
denote ellipsis or omissions. The principal of these are the 

(*****).( ). ( ); as, The p******s 

formerly belonged to S ..... n, but they have been ceded to the 

U d S s, owing chiefly to the vigorous action of Admiral 

D y. 

{a^bf = ^j« + 6a»^+ + 6tf^* + ^«. 

145. Emphasis. — Special attention to a statement is 
generally denoted by an index^ or fist ( W^ ). The term 
**fist** is preferred among printers; indeed, they rarely use 
the old name, index, 

146. Hyphen. — The hyphen (-) has several uses: (1) 
to connect the elements of compound words, as, for instance. 


good-natured ; (2) to denote the syllabication of words; 
as, re-al'i-ty; (3) to show that a word is unfinished at the 
end of a line (see Art. 143 for an example). 

147. Paragrraph. — The paragraph {^) is used in 
manuscript to denote that the matter following it should 
be separated by an interval from what precedes. 

148» Marks of Quantity. — These are (1) the macron 
( " ), used to denote the long sound of a vowel ; as, fatCy 
(2) the breve ( ** ), denoting the short sound of a vowel; as, 
atomic; the double [ - ], to denote common or doubtful 

quantity; as, skone^ eat, 

149. Reference Marks. — Letters and numbers are now 
generally preferred for referring to notes or other matter 
not strictly belonging in the text The following were 
formerly much used for this purpose : {a) the star^ or asterisk 
(*) ; {b) the dagger ^ or obelisk (f ) ; {c) the double dagger (J) ; 
{d) the section (§) ; (e) the parallel (|) ; (/) the paragraph 
(1^). When references are sufficiently ntmierous on a page 
to exhaust these marks, they may be doubled; as (tt)f (§§)> 
etc. The section and paragraph were formerly much 
employed to indicate subdivisions of subject matter. 

150. Tilde. — This mark (^ is placed above n in Span- 
ish words to denote that it is to be sounded like ny; as, 
senor [pro. s^-nyor'^ manana [pro. man-yah'-nah^ cation. 



161* In order to give distinction to certain words, larger 
letters called capitals may be employed as initials. Before 
the invention of printing, when books were made entirely 
by writing, the firet or head (caput y "head") letters of prin- 
cipal divisions were generally embellished, and were larger 


and more conspicuous than those forms ordinarily used. 
The matter from one capital to the next was a chapter 
{capitulutn^ from caput). 

In the German language every noun formerly began with 
a capital letter, but in late German literature this usage is 
falling into discredit. Indeed, the excessive use of embel- 
lishment in printing is offensive to refined taste, just as it is 
in the matter of dress and many other things. A very good 
general principle in such matters would be : Too little decora- 
tion is better than too much; the best taste is the simplest. 


1 62. Headings. — Title pages ofbooks, headings of essays 
and chapters^ and of magazine and newspaper articles, should 
be wholly in capitals. 

So many varieties of display type have been devised of 
late years that printers often use them where plain capitals 
would be in better taste. 


153. First Words. — Begin with a capital, the first word 
of a note, letter, legal or other document; of a written or 
printed essay, preface, tract, lecture, magazine or newspaper 
article; of a book, chapter, section, or paragraph; of every 
direct quotation or question, and of every line of poetry. 

154. After the initial capital of the first word in a 
document of the kinds indicated in the rule,. the remainder 
of the word is usually printed in small capitals. If the first 
word is an article or other short unimportant word, the 
second also should be in small capitals. The following are 
intended to represent such first words: 

Once upon a time there was a great kin^ etc. 

A svvEKPiNf; criticism upon the use and abuse of eta 

When King Richard was returning from the Holy Land etc. 

Orthography is now as well settled as it will probably etc 


155. This same use of capitals and small capitals is now 
increasingly common in the subdivisions of chapters. The 
following heading and subdivisions of a chapter are copied 
from a book lately published by a firm widely known for its 
excellent taste in the usages of good printing. 



' General Principles 
(Subheads) < Compound Nouns Made of Two Nouns 

Some Words Used as Inseparable Suffixes 


156. Bxamples and Numbered Items. — Begin zvitk 
capitals the initial words of examples and of numbered items 
if they are complete sentences. 

A proverb is a wise saying ; as, Honesty is the best policy. 

157. When items are mere words, phrases, or clauses of 
no special prominence, capitals are unnecessary. 

Letters are divided into two classes; {!) vowels, (2) consonants. 
Astronomers tell us (1) that the surface of Jupiter is nearly red hot; 
(2) that it is incapable of supporting organic life ; (3) that etc. 

In technical and other treatises, subjects of chief interest, 
when given as numbered items, require capitals. 

In the following chapter we shall treat; (1) of Exponents, (2) of 
Radical Quantities, (3) of etc. 

With respect to matters that belong under this rule, usage 
is by no means uniform. Taste and consistency must deter- 
mine what is best in each case. 


158« Quoted Titles. — In quoting titles of books ^ essay s^ 

poems y etc. y capitalize nouns y pronouns y adjectives (not articles)^ 

verbs and adverbs. 

Whitney's ••Life and Growth of Language"; Tyndall's ••Hours of 
Exercise in the Alps," 


159. The foregoing is the rule in common use, but it is 
often inexpedient in practice. A late writer gives the fol- 
lowing rule as better than that given above: 

In headings capitalize all important^ emphatic^ and con- 
trasted words. 

When it is remembered that a common usage is not to 
capitalize prepositions^ conjunctions^ and articles^ the need 
for the rule just given will ba seen. In titles or heads of 
chapters, words usually unimportant become important on 
account of emphasis^ contrast^ etc. 

Acting With and Acting Against. 
Concerning the Use of ** A" and *• An." 
Should it be ** Of " or •• From" ? 

RUIiE Lvm. 

160. Xames of Deity. — Names and titles of God and 
Christ should begin with capitals, 

Jehovah, Father, Creator, Son of God, Almighty, Supreme Being, 
First Cause, Infinite One, etc. 

161. Adjectives used with names of Deity require no 
capitals unless they are to be regarded as a necessary part of 
the names. Hence, 

The all-wise Father, the divine Master, the merciful Father, Lord 
God omnipotent 

The following are taken from a recent edition of the Bible: 

Lord God Almighty (in address), the Most High, the Holy One, the 
King of glory, the God of heaven, I am the good shepherd, that great 
Shepherd, the God of peace. Son of man. Lord of lords and King of 
kings, etc. 

These will serve to show that modifying phrases should 
not in general be capitalized. 

A pronoun having as antecedent some name of Deity 
need not for that reason alone be capitalized. This is done 
to an absurd extent, especially in printed hymns and prayers. 



16!3. Roman Numerals. — Numbers required in refer* 
ring to passages in books are sometimes denoted by capital 

Spencer's "Sociology," VoL II, Part V, Chap. VIII, § 494, p. 409. 

Later usage seems to prefer small letters. 

Whatley's "Logic," book ii, ch. iii, § v, p. 118. 

References to passages in the Bible are now generally 
given in the following manner: 

I KL 8:1; Judg. 8:S-10; Matt 7:9, 12-15; 12:8-15w 

RUUS liX. 

163. Proj;>er Names. — Begin all proper names with 

Albert, Napoleon, Russia, the Pacific, August, Saturday, Easter. 

164. When a name is made up of two or more elements 
one of which is an ordinary class name, only the specific 
element should be capitaliased. 

The Arctic ocean, the Spanish main, the Dead sea, Aleutian islands, 
Yukon river. Decoration day, the sabbath day or the Sabbath day, 
WaU street. Fifth avenue, etc 

Usage in this matter is by no means uniform, but economy 
In the use of capitals is generally better than the opposite 
practice. In naming streets, well known buildings or other 
structures, it is common to begin every element with a 

Washington Avenue, Park Row» Brooklyn Bridge, Bunker Hill 
Monument, eta 

165. When the specific element of a geographical name 
follows the generic, and no article precedes, both should 
usually begin with capitals; as, Lake Como^ Mt. Washington^ 
Rio Grande {rio = river), Cape May^ etc. But we should 
write, the river Thames^ the lake Victoria Nyansa^ the 


peninsula of Arabia^ the state of New Je^-seVy the land of the 
Midnight Sun or midnight sun, the land of Nod^ of bondage ^ 
oi promise y etc. 

Words denoting direction, when used to name countries or 
districts, should have initial capitals. 

They live in the South, the trappers of the Northwest, the Orient^ 
the Occident, the Levant, the Far IVest, the Boreat regions, etc. 

166. The names of the chief of the evil spirits and the 
places and characters of mythology should begin with capitals 
when they are used strictly as proper names: the same is true 
of the constellations; as, Satan, Zeus^ Pluto, Hades, Gehenna, 
Sheol, Venus, Somnus, Belial, Orion, Libra, Elysium, etc. 

Exceptions to this are, deinl, heaven, hell, paradise, 
purgatory^ pandemonium, and some others of very frequent 

167. When a compound word contains an element 
derived from a proper noun, that element should beg^n 
with a capital only when a hyphen precedes. 

Antichrist or antichrist, post-Homeric, Preraffaelite, preadamite, 
antenicene, etc. 


168. Sacred Writlngps. — Expressions used to denote 
writings regarded as sacred, or any portion of such writings, 
should be written with initial capitals. 

The Holy Bible, the Good Book, the Sacred Scriptures, the Old 
Testament, the Pentateuch, the Koran, the Zend-Avesta, the Vedas. 


169. Derivations from Proper Xames. — Words 

derived from proper names generally begirt with capitals, 

Hebraic, Jovian, Romance, Brahminic, Teutonic, Mohammedan, 
Spanish, Elizabethan, etc. 

170. Many words derived from proper names are now 
written with small initials. 


Damask, china, simony, stentorian, herculean, tantalize, hector, 
philippic, boreal, argosy, cyclopean, hermetical, epicure, cashmere, 
champagne, oceanic, hymeneal, mercurial, volcanic, etc. 

The names of the elements and of minerals, whether 
derived from proper names or not, should begin with small 
letters; as, gallium^ scandium^ danaite^ caledonite^ etc. 

RUL.E LXni. 

171. Zoolofiflcal N'ames. — /// writing the double scien- 
tific names of animal organisms^ only the first of generic 
element should be capitalized. 

Crota/us horridus (rattlesnake), Salmo clarkii (trout of Columbia 

Even when a variety term is added it should always be 
>^Titten with a small initial 

Athyaferina^ var. americana (Red-headed Duck). 

BXTiiB i-xrv. 

1'7!3* Botanical Karnes* — Generic names in botany 
should always begin with capitals^ and specific names also^ if 
they are derived from proper names. 

Claytonia Virginica, Epigcea repens^ Fragaria Virginiana^ var, 

173. It is unfortunate that there should be a difference 
in the matter of capitalization between botanical and zoologi- 
cal names. But it should be noted that some standard 
works are abandoning" initial capitals for specific names in 
botany. Thus, in Loudon's ** Encyclopedia of Botany" 
specific terms derived from the names of countries are 
written without capitals; as, persica^ japonica^ calif or nicay 
jamaicensiSy chinensisy etc. This is as it should be, and it 
is to be hoped that the usage in botany may soon conform 
with that in zoology. Specific botanical terms derived from 
the names of persons are, however, generally capitalized. 



174. Personiflcation. — In vivid personification^ the 
personified noun should begin with a capital, 

*• With eyes upraised, as one inspired, 

Pale Melancholy sate retired." — Collins. 
** And Melancholy marked him for his own." — Gray, 

This usage is less common now than formerly, and is 
confined almost entirely to poetry. Even there, the best 
writers employ it but rarely. The following seem better as 
their authors give them, and yet the personification is strong 
in each: 

•• Friends depart, and memory takes them 
To her caverns, pure and deep." — Bayly, 

•* Moping melancholy, 
And moon-struck madness." — Milton, • 

It was formerly the rule to capitalize the following: nature, 
the seasons — spying, summer, autumn, winter, time, the 
hours, dawn, night, the graces, the muses, music, and 
many other inanimate things, especially in poetry. This, 
however, is not now considered in the best taste, unless 
the personification is peculiarly strong. 


175. Terms Deflned. — Words to be defined or explained 
are either capitalized or printed in heavy type or in Italic, 

A Verb is a word etc. A verb is a word etc. A pronoun is a 
word that denotes persons or things without naming them. 

Under this rule may be included ordinary words occurring 

in the body of the text, and regarded as of extraordinary 


The region was in the heart of Ethiopia near the source of the river 
Zaire. Over the region there brooded a Presence — a Shadow, weird, 
intangible, oppressive. 

It should be remarked that this is one of the tricks or 
devices employed in what has been contemptuously called 
** fine writing. *' For true excellence the ordinary resources of 
expression are always sufficient [see, however, rule LXVIII]. 


RUXE liXVn. 

176. Titles. — Titles of honor ^ respect^ and office should 
begin with capitals. 

His Honor the Mayor, His Excellency the Governor, Your Royal 
Highness, Dear Sir, My dear Madam, etc. 

When used in a specific sense, as in rules, reports, and 
documents, such words as president^ chairman^ directors^ 
committee^ school^ institution^ congress^ etc. should be cap- 
italized; in ordinary gfeneric use, small letters should be used. 

Official or honorary titles, when prefixed to proper names, 
should have initial capitals. 

Professor Whitney, President McKinley, Admiral Dewey, Governor 
Roosevelt, Peace Commissioner Schurman, Pope Leo, Secretary of 
State John Hay. 

Prefixed terms denoting mere relationship should begin ' 
with small letters; as, cousin John^ aunt Alary, uncle Smith, 
When, however, these words do not denote real but official 
relationship, as is the case of officials in the Roman Catholic 
church, capitals are required; as, Brother Azarias^ Sister 
DorcaSy etc. 


177. Important Words. — Words and expressions that 
for any reason are of special importance^ are capitalized in 
the same manner as quoted titles. 

Such are the following: 

(a) Events, 

The Siege of Troy, the War of the Rebellion, the War of the Span- 
ish. Succession, Battle of Manila Bay. 

{b) Epochs, 

The; Renaissance, the Age of Stone, the Reformation, the Christian 

(r) Phenomena, 

The Milky Way, the Gulf Stream, the Aurora Borealis, the Midnight 

When such matters are introduced informally, and without ' 
obvious intention to emphasize their importance, unneces- 


sary capitals are to be avoided. It is by discriminating 
carefully in such cases that a writer may show his good 


178, I and O. — The pronoun I and the interjection O 
should always be capitals. 

The interjection oh should not be written with a capital, 
unless, as is often the case, it begins a sentence or a line of 


(PART 1.) 


Bat words are thingfs, and a small drop of ink, 
Falling* like dew« upon a thought, produces 
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.— -^ynMf. 

1, The antiquity of letter writing is undoubted. Since 
the very existence of an organized form of government 
depends on means of communication between the governing 
power and the governed, the sovereign, from the very 
remotest antiquity, has kept himself in touch with the minis- 
ters of his power and the agents of his authority by means of 
letters. Nor is there any room for doubt that commerce 
extended its influences and multiplied its benefits, even in 
the earliest ages, by like means. Learning, too, diffused 
its blessings not only within the confines of one state or 
country, but through various countries by means of letters 
exchanged between learned men and their disciples or 
admirers; while the ties of friendship and of kindred were, 
no doubt, also maintained and strengthened by letters 
despatched from city to city, from port to port, from coun- 
try to country. 

The civilization of ancient Egypt was strikingly benefited 
by this system of intercommunication between community 
and community, individual and individual. The Phenicians 


For notice of the copyright, see page immediately following the title page. 


carried their commerce and letters to every portion of the 
known world. The Greeks, who surpassed in point of cul- 
ture all other peoples of antiquity, held close communication 
with one another ; and by means of letters the various Greek 
colonies of Asia Minor and of Italy were kept closely bound 
in thought, in trade, and in tongue to the motherland. The 
Roman empire owed much of its strength to its unrivaled 
system of roads, spreading throughout its vast extent, thus 
bringing its furthermost dependencies into close contact with 
the imperial city on the Tiber. We know from Gibbon and 
other historians that the Roman government maintained fre- 
quent and regular communication with its representatives 
in all the provinces. We know, also, that the men of letters, 
who flocked to Rome from every part of the empire, kept 
themselves, by means of epistolary communication, at the 
command of disciples in every city yielding obedience to 
Roman sway. The literary remains of antiquity show, with 
remarkable unanimity, that the learned men of old excelled 
as letter writers. 

Herodotus mentions that a system of couriers existed in 
the Persian empire, and Xenophon states that post stations 
or houses were established by King Cyrus. Marco Polo 
describes a similar system existing in China in the 13th cen- 
tury, the stations being only three miles apart, thus securing 
great rapidity of communication. Among the ancient Aztecs 
in Mexico a complete system of couriers was likewise main- 
tained, the stations being about two leagues apart, and pro- 
viding a rapid means of communication by foot-messengers. 
In all these cases the posts seem to have been set up for the 
government service only. 

2. During the last few years the Babylonian collection 
of the British Museum has been enriched by the important 
addition of several thousand tablets obtained chiefly by Dr. 
Budge during his expeditions to the East. Among the prin- 
cipal objects are a large number of small tablets, many of 
them of the envelope, or duplicate, class, which were fotmd 
at Tell-sifr, in South Babylonia, representmg the ancient 


city of Larsa (the EUasar of Genesis xiv). The majority of 
these were contracts or legal documents, but among them 
are many letters, both private and official. This collection 
has been carefully arranged, and is found to contain one of 
the most important series of inscriptions ever rescued from 
oriental ruins. It is a group of fifty letters, written by King 
Khammurabi, king of Babylon, who reigned about 2300 B. C. , 
and who is generally identified with the Amraphel of Genesis 
xiv. These tablets are certainly the oldest known letters in 
the world; they belong to a period one thousand years earlier 
than that of the famous Tel-el- Amarna tablets, which give the 
private correspondence between the kings of Syria, Mitanni, 
and Babylon, and may be dated about 1450 B. C. 

The position of these Babylonian letters in oriental litera- 
ture is of extreme importance. They reveal the existence 
of a regular system of correspondence between rulers and 
their subordinates, and indicate that writing was used not 
only to record events in royal annals, but also for ordinary 
purposes ; they are, besides, manifestly the models for all suc- 
ceeding letters, as in the case of the diplomatic correspondence 
in the Tel-el-Amama tablets. The present find is indeed 
great ; but one can only regard it as a prelude to still more 
important discoveries, which will probably put a new aspect 
on the vexed question of Hebrew origins. To possess letters 
of the time of Abraham is certainly an astonishing result of 
oriental exploration, and one that far exceeds the wildest 
dreams of those that first revealed to us the buried cities of 
Assyria and Babylonia. 

3, Frequent mention is made in the Old Testament of 
letters sent and received. In II Samuel xi: 14, we read that 
David wrote a letter to Joab; in I Kings xxi:8: ** She 
[Jezebel] wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with 
his seal **; in II Kings v: 5, the king of Syria said: ** I will 
send a letter unto the king of Israel"; in II Chronicles 
xxx:l: **Hezekiah wrote letters also to Ephraim and 
Manasseh"; and in the 6th verse of the same chapter: 
**The posts went with letters from the king"'; in Isaiah 


xxxvii : 14 : ** Hezekiah received the letter " ; and in Jeremiah 
xxix : 1 : * * These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the 
prophet sent** 

4. The greatest of letter writers, the Apostle Paul, 
employed at all times the flexible yet forceful Greek tongue 
in that marvelous manner which has made his words of life 
more potent and more fecund in each succeeding age. Wit- 
ness, for instance, how in his letter to the Ron.ans he wins 
his way to their hearts : ** For I long to see you, that I may 
impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that ye may 
be established; that is, that I may be comforted together 
with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.** Read 
his words of ringing, explicit good counsel to the Corin- 
thians: "Now, I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that 
there be no divisions among you ; but that ye be perfectly 
joined together in the same mind and in the same judg- 
ment." Then turn to his lucid yet kindly admonition to the 
Galatians: ** I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him 
that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel : 
which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, 
and would pervert the gospel of Christ. '* 

6. In the early ages of Christianity the teachers and 
preachers of Gospel truth kept themselves in close communi- 
cation with their followers by means of letter writing. This 
custom was maintained long after pagan persecution had 
spent its fury. 

In the monastic ages, letters from one religious house to 
another kept the brethren of each order in communication 
with their superiors, and with those living under the same 
rule in other portions of Europe. There are numerous evi- 
dences of letters in these troublous times from bishops to 
their flocks, from abbots to their subjects. The clergy were 
among the principal letter writers, and the mendicant friars 
among the chief letter bearers of those days. The era of the 
reformation gave the world a new impulse towards letters, 
which the discovery of printing had already quickened. 


From what has been already stated, it may easily be 
inferred that the germ of the modem postal systems of the 
world is to be looked for in the earliest organized systems of 
the government couriers. When, or under what precise cir- 
cumstances, such an establishment was first made available 
for the carriage of the letters of private persons, there is no 
satisfactory evidence to show. That there must have been, 
even in early times, a connection more or less authorized 
between the transmission of public and of private correspond- 
ence is highly probable. 

In several Continental states the universities had inland 
postal establishments of a rudimentary sort at an early date. 
The University of Paris, for example, organized a postal 
service almost at the beginning of the 13th century, and it 
lasted, in a measure, until the year 1719. In various parts 
of England mercantile guilds and brotherhoods were licensed 
to establish posts for commercial purposes. But ever)rwhere 
— as far as accessible evidence extends — foreign posts were 
under state control. As' early as the middle of the 13th 
century entries occur in the wardrobe accounts of the kings 
of England of payments to royal messengers for the convey- 
ance of letters to various parts of the country. 

6. The rise of the postal service in England may be said 
to date from the accession of James I. The new royal 
orders of 1603 directed (1) that the postmasters at the vari- 
ous stages should enjoy the privilege of letting horses to 
'* those riding in post with horn and guide,*' by commission 
or otherwise, and to that end they were charged to keep or 
have in readiness a sufficient number of horses ; (2) that the 
lawful charge for the hire of each horse should be, for public 
messengers, at the rate of 2^i/. a mile. Finally, it was 
directed that every postmaster should keep at least two 
horses for the express conveyance of government letters, and 
to forward such letters within a quarter of an hour of their 
receipt, and that the posts should travel at the rate of not 
less than seven miles an hour in summer, and five miles in 


Between the date of the accession of James and the date 
'of the Act of Anne, various systems of postal communica- 
tions were established under the authority of the govern- 
ment Among the persons prominent in postal affairs 
during this period were James and Charles Stanhope, who 
were appointed jointly to the postmastership of England in 
1607; John Hill, who in 1653 placed relays of post horses 
between York and London and reduced the former postal 
rates by one-half; and William Dockura and Robert Murray, 
wha jointly established the famous penny post in London. 

The Act of Anne consolidated the various postal sjrstems 
in the British empire, reorganized the chief letter office of 
Edinburgh, Dublin, and New York, and settled new offices 
in the West Indies and elsewhere. It established rates of 
single postage; viz., English, 3^. if under 80 miles, and Ad. if 
above, and 6^. to Edinburgh or Dublin. Nine years after 
the passing of the Act of Anne the cross-posts were farmed 
to the well known Ralf Allen, inventor of the c^oss-roads 
postal system. Allen's improvements were so successful 
that he is said to have netted, during forty-two years, an 
average profit of nearly £12,000 a year. 

The first important impulse to the development of the 
latent powers of the post office, both as a public agency and 
as a source of revenue, was given by the shrewdness and 
energy of John Palmer. His notice was attracted to the 
subject in October, 1782. So habitual were the robberies of 
the post that they came to be regarded by its officials as 
among the necessary conditions of human affairs. At this 
period, in addition to the recognized perils of the roads, the 
postal system was characterized by extreme irregularities in 
the departure of mails and delivery of letters, the average 
speed being about three and one-half miles an hour. Palmer 
suggested that by building mail coaches of a construction 
expressly adapted to run at a good speed, by furnishing a 
liberal supply of horses, and by attaching an armed guard to 
each coach, the public would be greatly benefited and the 
post revenue increased. The experiment was made in 
August, 1784, and its success exceeded all expectation. 


The interval between the development of Palmer's 
improved methods and the still more important reform, 
twenty-seven years later, by Sir Rowland Hill, is chiefly 
marked by the growth of the packet system, and by the 
investigations of the revenue commissioners of 1826 and the 
following years. 

7, The beginning of a postal service in the United States 
dates from 1639, when a house in Boston was employed for 
the receipt and delivery of letters for or from beyond the 
seas. In 1672 the government of New York colony estab- 
lished **a post to go monthly from New York to Boston"; 
in 1702 it was changed to a fortnightly one. A general post 
office was established and erected in Virginia in 1692, and in 
Philadelphia in 1693. In 1789, when the post office was 
transferred to the new federal government, the number of 
offices in the thirteen colonies was only about seventy-five. 

The following are the leading events in the history of the 
American postal service : The negotiation of a postal treaty 
with England (1840); the introduction of postage stamps 
(1847); of stamped envelopes (1852); of the system of regis- 
tering letters (1855) ; the establishment of the free-delivery 
system and of the traveling post-office system (1863); the 
introduction of the money-order system (1864); of postal 
cards (1873); and, between the last two dates, of stamped 
newspaper wrappers, and of envelopes bearing requests for 
the return of the enclosed letter to the writer in case of non- 
delivery; the formation of the Universal Postal Union (1873) ; 
the issue of ** postal notes" payable to bearer (1883) ; and 
the establishment of a special-delivery system (1885), in 
which letters bearing an extra 10-cent stamp are delivered 
by special messengers immediately on arrival. 

The number of post offices in the United States is larger 
than in any other country; but as regards the number of 
persons employed the United States takes third rank. The 
United States provides a post office for every 1,003 persons, 
while in Great Britain the proportion is one to every 2,105 
persons. The following table shows the progress of the 




United States postal system during the past thirty-three 


Number Extent of 
of Post Post Routes 

Fiscal Year. Offices. 

1865 20,550 

1870 28,492 

1875 35,547 

1876 36,383 

1877 37,345 

1878 39,258 

1879 40,855 

1880 42,989 

1881 44,512 

1882 46,231 

1883 47,863 

1884 50,017 

1885 51,252 

in Miles. 

142, 340 













Number Extent of 
of Post Post Routes 

Fiscal Year. Offices. 

188G 53,614 

1887 55,157 

1888 57,281 

1889 58,999 

1890 62,401 

1891 64,329 

1892 67,119 

1893 68,403 

1894 69,805 

1895 70,064 

1896 70,360 

1897 71,022 

1898 73,570 

in Miles. 

In 1898, the revenue of the department was $89,012,618; 
the expenditure, $98,033,523; amount paid for salaries of 
postmasters, $17,460,621; amount paid for transportation of 
the mail, $51,780,283. 



8, A letter is a written or printed communication from 
one person to another person or other persons. 

Correspondence may be defined as the act of communi- 
cation by means of letters. 

There are two well defined classes of letters: (1) private^ 
or personal, letters, which are of direct interest only to those 
to whom they are addressed ; {%) ptiblicy or operiy letters, which, 
though addressed to some particular person, are of general 
interest and are intended for the public. 

* Includes mail, messenger, and special office service. Of the whole 
number of post offices at the close of the fiscal year, June 30, 1898^ 
3,816 were Presidential offices and 69,754 were fourth-class offices. 


Private letters may be divided into two general classes; 
viz., business letters and j^r/a/ letters. 

Business letters are those relating to business affairs, such 
as are written by merchants, bankers, lawyers, manufactur- 
ers, etc. , in connection with their occupation or profession. 

Included under business letters are the so called official 
letters, those written to or by persons holding official posi- 
tions or public office. Such letters are those written by 
army and navy officers, presidents, governors, and heads of 
departments of a national or state government. 

Social letters are those written to relatives, friends, and 
acquaintances, and which originate in social and personal 
relations rather than in business relations. They include 
domestic or family letters, letters of congratulation, letters 
of condolence, letters of introduction, in short, all letters 
prompted by friendship or affection. 

Public letters are chiefly essays on political and state 
affairs. They are given to the public through the mediuin 
of newspapers and magazines, and are usually addressed to 
the editor, though sometimes an open letter is addressed to 
some noted public character. The leading daily newspapers in 
New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago publish weekly public 
letters from their Washington and I^rondon correspondents. 

9. The Importance of letter writing:, both in business 
and as an educational accomplishment, cannot be overesti- 
mated. Business must to a large extent be transacted by 
means of correspondence; and one of the leading requisites 
to business success is the ability to discharge the important 
duties pertaining to correspondence in a manner satisfactory 
to all concerned. 

Samuel Smiles says: ''Attention, application, accuracy, 
method, punctuality, and despatch, are the principal quali- 
ties required for the efficient conduct of business of any 
sort." These business qualities have in business corre- 
spondence a very large field of action. 

Business habits, cultivated and disciplined, are found alike 
useful in every calling, whether in politics, literature. 


science, or art The best literary work has been done by 
men systematically trained in business pursuits — especially 
in business correspondence. The same industry, applica- 
tion, economy of time and labor, which have rendered them 
useful in one sphere of employment, have been found 
equally available in another. The business man must 
remember that it is by his correspondence that he must, to 
a large extent, be judged. For the young man entering, or 
about to enter, on a business career this is a consideration 
of vital importance. The young man that has already fluent 
and accurate command of language is very soon recognized 
not alone in business circles, but by his fellow citizens gen- 
erally. His letters speak for him. He acquires the respect 
and confidence of those from whom he purchases, the esteem 
of those to whom he sells, and rapidly secures the favor of all 
his neighbors. 

To the artisan, also, the art of letter writing is of inesti- 
mable value. By its means he may not only keep in touch 
with his fellow man la all the fraternal relations of social 
life, but may benefit himself by being thus enabled to express 
himself on paper with clearness and conciseness. He may 
have an application to make for promotion or advancement 
in salary. The mechanic who can set forth in a letter, cor- 
rectly and concisely, his demands and purposes, stands much 
nearer to promotion and increase of salary than one who 
cannot do so. The mechanic known to be qualified in this 
direction is certain to be called on by his fellow workmen to 
occupy positions of trust and responsibility, either in their 
fraternal organizations, or in the civic commtmity of which 
he forms a part 


lO, Introductory Remark. — In this section we shall 
deal chiefly with the arrangement of the various essential 
parts that make up the structure or framework of the let- 
ter, and with the formalities to be observed in writing and 
posting the letter. The proper formation of sentences. 


paragraphs, etc. and the cpnstruction of the body of the 
letter in accordance with rhetorical rules will receive con- 
sideration under ** Invention and Expression." 

Before entering upon a description of the parts of a letter, 
we shall consider briefly the materials used in letter writing. 



11. Varieties. — Of the many varieties of paper manu- 
factured, comparatively few are considered suitable for 
correspondence. In general, also, the style of paper depends 
in some degree on the character of the correspondence; 
paper suitable for business letters is not always permissible 
for social letters. 

Formerly note paper^ that is, paper with four pages to 
the sheet, was largely used both in business and social 
correspondence ; at the present time, however, nearly 
all business letters, in this country at least, are writ- 
ten on letter paper y which is made only in single sheets. 
Probably the change from note paper to letter paper 
was due largely to the introduction of the typewriting 

In social correspondence, note paper is still used almost 
exclusively. The style and sizes generally used are : billet y 
4 in. X 6 in. ; commercial note^ 5 in. X 8 in. ; and packet note, 
about 5 1 in. X 9 in. The latter variety is much used by gen- 
tlemen. Letter paper varies in size from 8 in. X 10 in. to 
9 in.xll in. For short business letters, smaller sizes 
(Sin. X8 in., 5^ in. X 8^ in., corresponding to commercial 
note and packet note) may be used. It may be noted that a 
sheet of 8^X10* letter paper when once folded makes a sheet 
of 5' X 8^ commercial note. 

Never use less than a full sheet of paper no matter how 


short the letter, and never use any form of cap paper for 
correspondence purposea 

12. Color of Pai>er. — In business correspondence the 
only color allowable for letters is white; however, bills, 
receipts, invoices, etc. are frequently written on colored 

In social correspondence, ladies frequently and with good 
taste use delicately tinted paper with envelopes to corre- 
spond. Gentlemen, on the other hand, show questionable 
taste in using any color other than white. 

13. Ruled and Unruled Paper. — While it is in good 
taste to use ruled paper, unruled paper is generally consid- 
ered preferable. Any one can with practice write straight 
and properly space the successive lines. If one cannot write 
straight, he may use a set of lines placed under the sheet; 
these lines are made heavy and show through the semitrans- 
parent sheet plainly enough to furnish a guide for the pen. 
It is much better, however, to learn to dispense with such 
artificial aids. 

14. Quality of Paper. — The paper, and in fact all 
materials employed in letter writing, should be of good 
quality. People are judged largely by their surroundings, 
and by the appliances with which they work. A letter 
written on a cheap paper with pale ink is sure to give the 
recipient a disagreeable impression. On the other hand, 
a letter written on good paper, displaying neat and careful 
penmanship, is certain to redound to the credit of the writer. 
Applications for important positions have been thrown aside 
without consideration, merely because of the poor quality of 
the letter paper. A prospective employer reasons that one 
careless about his correspondence is likely to prove an unde- 
sirable employe. 

For business correspondence, bond paper is very largely 
used. This paper is tough and durable and may be obtained 
in any desired thickness. Paper with a slightly roughened 


surface is preferred by most writers. Avoid thick unsized 
papers that allow the ink to spread; and, above all, avoid 
the cheap glossy blue-wltite note paper with a stamped trade 
mark in one comer of the sheet 


15. The envelope should correspond in size, quality, and 
color with the paper. As regards size, the length of the 
envelope should be slightly greater than the width of the 
sheet of note paper; for example, an envelope 5 J inches long 
is used for y X 8' commercial note. For letter paper, the 
length of the envelope should slightly exceed one-half of the 
length of the sheet; thus, for a d^Xll" sheet, the envelope . 
should bej say, 6 inches long. The envelopes most commonly 
used in business correspondence are: No. 6, 3|in. X6 in., 
and No. 6^, 3f in. X 6^ in. For legal documents, manuscripts, 
and official communications from the government, the 
official envelope (about 4 in. x9 in.) is used. 

In social correspondence, the j^//^r^ envelope in in general 
use. This envelope is made slightly larger than the sheet 
when folded once through the middle ; thus, the envelope for 
commercial note (5 in. X 8 in.) should be about 4J in. X 5\ in. 
The square-shaped envelope should never be used for busi- 
ness correspondence, but the ordinary oblong envelope may 
be and is used for social correspondence. 

Always use an envelope sufficiently large to easily enclose 
the letter sheet when properly folded. It is irritating to the 
receiver of a communication to find difficulty in removing a 
letter from its envelope, either because it was partially stuck 
to the inside of the envelope when the envelope was sealed, 
or because the envelope is too small to allow the letter to be 
easily removed. 

White is the prevailing color for envelopes, though for 
business purposes 6u^ envelopes are quite freely used. 
When tinted paper is used, the envelope should have the 
same tint 


16. The ink should flow freely and permit the formation 
of distinct lines and characters. Black ink is now almost 
universally used in all correspondence, and it is considered 
in much better taste than colored inks, one of the objections 
to the latter being their liability to fade. Letters that are 
to be copied are written with a special ink called copying 
ink, which will give one or more cctpies of the letter when it is 
placed in the letterpress. In contact with moisture, copying 
ink smears and spreads; it should never be used, therefore, 
for letters that are not to be copied. 


17, The essential parts of a letter are: 

1. The headings including date. 

2. The address, 

3. The salutation, 

4. The body. 

5. The complimentary close. 

6. The subscription^ or signature, 

7. The superscription^ or outside address. 
The incidental parts are : 

1. The postscript^ with its continuations or iterations, 
paulo-post script, post -paulo-post script^ and so on, 

2. The nota bene. 

3. The enclosure. 

4. The stamp, 

5. The return directions. 

The address and salutation together — ^when the address is 
placed at the top of the letter — constitute the Introduction. 

The complimentary close and subscription — and the 
address when placed at the close of the letter — constitute 
the conclusion. 

18. General Form. — The following letter shows the 
usual arrangement of the various parts of an ordinary 
business letter: 


(Heading: and Date.) 
540 Sewell St, Portland, Maine, 

Feb. 22, 1890. 

Mr. John W. Playfair, 
President First National Bank, 
558 Jackson Boulevard, 

Chicago, 111. 
Dear Sir: 


Mr. George Williams of your city has called to interest me in the 
purchase of a large tract of timber and mining lands in Northern Wis- 
consin. Mr. Williams impresses me favorably, and his propositions 
appear quite reasonable on their face. 

I have, however, deferred giving him a final answer till I hear from 
you regarding his standing in business circles m Chicago. He speaks 
of you as an acquaintance, and since I claim you as a friend, your 
advice will be as welcome as it must be valuable. 

(Complimentary Close.) 
I am, dear Sir, 

Very sincerely yours, 


William Hutcheson. 


19. The heading includes both the place, which is the 
address of the writer, and the time of writing; as, **540 
Sewell St., Portland, Maine, Feb. 22, 1899." The word 
"date" is correctly used in this technical sense when we 
say, "Your letter dated Portland, Maine, Feb. 22, 1899, is 
received. " 

In business letters the headings should usually occupy two 
lines; in social letters it may occupy two or three and some- 
times four lines — two or three for the place, and one for the 
time. If the heading is short, it may be written in a single 
line as shown in Form 1, following. As a rule it is advisable 
to use as few lines as is possible without making the head- 
ing l(X)k crowded and awkward. The use of many lines in 
either heading, address, signature, or superscription is to be 

In business letters the heading should begin about 1 inch, 


and in serial letters 2 inches from the top of the page, not 
far from the middle of the line, and should end at or very 
near the right margin. 

Printed forms of a more or less elaborate and ornate design 
are so much in use for business letter headings that no cast- 
iron rule can be laid down to govern the precise form of the 
heading. In these printed forms the heading sometimes 
occupies several lines and often contains some brief state- 
ment or statements explanatory of the purposes, standing, 
and claims of the firm making use of the forms. 

It is easy to see that the items of place should be in the 
order mentioned — the larger following the smaller, the con- 
tainer following the contained. 

As to time, the form most generally employed in 
America is, *' Feb. 22, 1899." We cannot, however, see any 
valid objection to the form, **22 Feb. 1899," often used in 
Great Britain and the British colonies. 

All letters, notes, cards, missives epistolary of every kind, 
should be dated. To omit the date is or may be an incon- 
venience, and therefore a breach of propriety; in business it 
is sheer impertinence, and everj'where vulgar. In replying 
to an undated missive, especially if a business letter, it is 
proper to call attention to the absence of a date, in some way, 
so that if it were an inadvertence, the writer may avoid the 
error next time. A business letter in reply to an undated 
one may very properly begin in some such way as this: ** In 

reply to your favor without date just received " ; and to a 

second from the same source: ** In reply to your dateless 
letter just received ." 

20. Punctuation. — The various parts of the heading 
are separated by commas; a period is placed after each 
abbreviation and at the end of the heading. All impor- 
tant words of the heading be^n with capital letters. The 
numeral indicating the day of the month should not be fol- 
lowed by^/, St J or /// when the year is written; thus, **May 3, 
1899,*' instead of ** May 3d, 1899." In such an expression as 
*' Your letter of the 15th inst. is at hand," the suffix is added. 


21. Specimens of Headings. — ^Various fonns of head- 
ings are shown in*the following: 

Form 1. 

Flint, Mich., June 8, 1897. 

Form 2. 

Elsie, Clinton Co., Mich., 

Dec. 20, 1895. 

Form 3. 
628 Washington Ave., 


Jan. 5, 1899. 

Form 4. 

Lithia Springs, 

Shelbyville, Illinois, 

July 4, 189a 

Form 5. 



Secretary of the Commonwealth, 


October 22, 189a 

In case the writer and his correspondent live in the same 
city, the subjoined form may be used : 

Form 6. 

528 Jefferson Ave., 

March 1, 1899. 

Sometimes the name of the residence of the writer is alone 

used, as: 

Form 7. 

Elm Park, 

March 9, 1899. 

In the case of brief and informal notes from one person to 
another in the same town, it is quite customary and regular 
to use as a heading only the day of the week ; for instance, 
••Tuesday," or ** Thursday," or whatever the day of the wri- 
ting may be. This simple date may be placed at the top or 
at the lower left-hand comer of the letter or note. 


Form 8. 

Dear Papa: 
1 shall see you tomorrow, etc. 


Form 9. 




of Scranton, Pa.. U. S. A. 
Industrial Science taught by Mail. 

Scranton, Pa., U. S. A. 

Mar. 24, ISM. 

Form 10. 

E. L. Kellogg & Co., 

Educational Publishers, 

61 East Ninth Street, New York. 

Dea 29, 189a 

23. Bate at the Epd of a lictter. — The writing of the 
place and date at the lower left comer, though quite admis- 
sible, and in some places customary in the matter of social 
letters, is, in the case of business letters, annoying to those 
that desire to note at once the date of the letter. It is 
better not to indulge in any eccentricities in such matters. 
For people that have nothing else to do, it may be allow- 
able; but busy people do not have time to look in unusual 
places for headings, addresses, signatures, etc. 

Here is an example of the heading placed at the end of a 

social letter: 

Your very sincere friend, 

Andrew Jackson Smith. 
920 Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, 111., 

April 6, 1899. 


33. The address when complete contains the name, 
title, and residence of the person to whom the letter is sent. 
The salutation is the greeting, as ** Dear Sir," ** Sir," ** My 
dear George," and the like, with which it is usual to begin 
a letter. 


An example of a complete introduction is shown in the 
letter of Art. 18. The first line contains the name and title, 
** Mr. John W. Playfair " ; the third and fourth lines contain 
the residence, ** 558 Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, 111." By 
the term residence we do not necessarily mean the private 
residence of a person, but the place where he gets his mail ; 
in other words, the post-office address. The residence given 
in the address should be the same as that given in the super- 
scription or the address on the envelope. Additional 
remarks upon this point will be found under the heading 
* * Superscription. ** 

When a person holds a distinctive office or business posi- 
tion, the address is made more definite by including this 
office or position. In the example given, the gentleman 
addressed is president of a bank ; hence, this fact is indicated 
by the second line, ** President First National Bank." This 
feature of the address is shown in forms 4 and 5. 

In business correspondence the address should never be 
omitted.* The envelope may be torn or thrown away, and 
the letter must be consulted for the address to the reply. 
Every business letter should contain the full address of both 
the writer and the person to whom the letter is written. 

24. The Salutation. — ^What the salutation shall be must 
be determined, of course, by the relation between the writer 
and the party addressed. Our most formal, private, or 
unofficial salutations are *'Sir" and ** Madam." These are 
almost impersonal, and belong to such persons as we may 
wish to accost with civility. In the correspondence from 
Government offices, in Washington and elsewhere, these are 
the regular salutations used to persons without official titles, 
and to many with such titles. In like manner. Sir is the cor- 
rect salutation to use in addressing the civil officials of the 
Government, both general and state, that have no special 
title inherent in the offices they hold. The rigid brevity of 
the formal Sir is being replaced, gradually though slowly, 
in both official and private correspond :jnce, by ** Dear Sir" ; 
and this, eventually, if it ever supersede Sir, must do so by 


gradually taking on the meaning that Sir now has. When 
Sir is the salutation, the complimentary close should be 
"Yours respectfully," or something correspondingly distant. 
These forms are the ones most frequently used in our Gov- 
ernment correspondence, both civil and military. The usage 
at Washington is followed generally in the Government sub- 
offices throughout the country, so that it is safe to use Sir in 
all such cases. 

The epistolary plural of Sir is ** Gentlemen," and this has 
its French Messieurs — always abbreviated "Messrs." — as a 
correlative. Messrs. is restricted in use as "Mr." is, and 
should rarely, if ever, be used alone in place of Gentlemen, 
and for the same reason that Mr. is so restricted. It is 
accordingly incorrect to use Messrs. as the salutation of a 
letter, in place of Gentlemen, or Dear Sirs. Between firms 
the salutation should be Gentlemen, with, under special cir- 
cumstances of rare occurrence, Dear Sirs; the complimentary 
close — which must always correspond to the salutation — 
should be Yours respectfully, or something equivalent to it. 

The character of .the salutation should correspond with the 
writer's relation to the person addressed. Strangers may be 
addressed as "Sir," "Dear Sir," or "Madam"; acquaint- 
ances, as "Dear Sir," "Dear Mr. Smith," "Dear Miss 
Franklin," etc. Friends maybe addressed, "Friend May- 
nard," "Friend Margaret," "Dear Friend," "My dear 
Eaton," etc. Near relatives and intimate friends may be 
addressed as " My dear Father," " My dear Edward,** 
"Dearest Mary," etc. Good taste will usually dictate the 
proper salutation in any given case. 

26. Position of tlie Address. — The address is placed 
either at the beginning or at the end of the letter. In this 
connection the following rules should be observed: 

1. In business letters, the address should be placed at the 
beginning of the letter, preceding the salutation. 

2. In official letters, the address may occupy either 

3. In letters not of a business nature, the address should 


preferably be placed at the top, if the person addressed is a 
stranger or even an acquaintance with whom the writer is 
not intimate. 

4. Because of the formality involved in placing the 
address at the top of a letter, we should, in letters to inti- 
mate friends or near relatives, place the address at the bot- 
tom. In this case, the introduction consists of the salutation 
alone, as shown in forms 1 and 2. 

The proper arrangement of the address is shown in the 
specimen addresses, Art. 28. The first line of the address 
begins at about ^ inch from the left edge of the sheet. The 
line should be the first or second below the date. No part 
of the post-office address should be written on the first line 
with the name. 

26. Position of tbe Salutation. — If the address is 
placed at the end of the letter, the salutation occupies the 
position usually given to the first line of the address. If the 
address consists of two lines, the salutation may be started 
about 1 inch to the right of the initial letter of the second 
line of the address, as shown in form 3. When, howfever, 
the address consists of three or more lines, it is preferable to 
begin the salutation immediately under the initial letter of 
the first line of the address. See forms 4, 5, G, 9, and 10, 
following. Some writers prefer to begin the salutation 
imder the initial letter of the second line of the address. 

27. Punctuation. — The items of the address are sepa- 
rated by commas, and the address as a whole, whether it 
contains the name alone or the name and residence, is fol- 
lowed by a period. Thus, in form 7 following, a period, not 
a comma, should follow the name '* Mrs.. George Williamson. " 
The salutation is usually followed by a colon, though fre- 
quently the comma is used instead. The colon is rather more 
formal than the comma. If the body of the letter begins on 
the same line as the salutation (see form 3), the comma 
or colon, whichever is used, should be followed by a dash; 
when the letter begins on the line below the salutation, 
there is no occasion for the dash, and it should not be used. 




All abbreviations are followed by periods. 

All important words of the introduction begin with capital 
letters; but the word dear in ** My dear Friend*' and like 
expressions is not generally written with a capital 

28. Various Forms of Introduction. — The following 
are some specimens of the introductory portion of a letter: 

Form 1. 
Dear Friend Hill, 

Your very much esteemed letter has given me genuine satisfac» 
tion, eta 

Form 2. 

Mv DEAR Irene, 

We shall expect you without fail next Thursday, etc. 

Form 3. 
Mr. John S. Forden, 
Bangor, Me. 

Dear Sir. — In reply to your favor, etc. 

Form 4. 

T. J. Foster, Esq., Manager, 

The International Correspondence Schools, 
Scranton, Pa. 
Dear Sir: — I have the honor to enclose, etc. 

Form 5. 
G. W. Porter & Sons, 

Contractors and Builders, 
Rochester, N. Y. 
Gentlemen: — I beg to enclose plans, eta 

Form 6. 

The Honorable M. S. Quay, 
U. S. Senator, 

Washington, D.C. 

I respectfully beg to call your attention, etc. 

Form 7. 
Mrs. Gkorcie Williamson. 
Dear Madam: 

Kindly accept our earnest congratulations, eta 


It IS sometimes embarrassing to know how to address a 
lady with whom one may have no personal acquaintance 
whatever. In such a case it is permissible to use the follow- 

Form 8. 

Miss Ruby Chapman, 

Petersburg, Va. 
Your esteemed order of the 15th inst, eta 

A married lady with whom one has either no personal 
acquaintance or one that is very slight should be addressed 
as follows: 

Form 9. 

Mrs. J. S. Barker* 

Paris, 111. 

Form 10. 

Thb Colliery Engineer Co., 

Scranton, Pa. 
Gentlemen : 

In reply to your letter of October 22d, I beg to say, eta 


29. The body of a letter is the actual communication. 
It follows the salutation, and begins on the same line with 
the salutation or on the line below, according to the taste of 
the writer. As a rule, the body should begin on the same 
line if the address occupies three or more lines, and on the 
line below if the address occupies only one or two lines. 

30. The Margrln. — On the left-hand side of the sheet 
there should be a blank space or margin between the edge 
of the sheet and the beginning of the lines of writing. The 
width of this margin may vary from \ inch to f inch, accord- 
ing to the width of the sheet. Care must be taken to make 
the margin of uniform width throughout the length of the 
page. Except the first lines of paragraphs, the first letter 
of every line, including the first line of the address and the 


salutation, when the latter is begun at the margin, should 
start at the, marginal line. If a writer has difficulty in keep- 
ing the margin even, the marginal line may actually be 
drawn with a lead pencil and afterwards erased. Such arti- 
ficial aids are, however, to be avoided as much as possible. 
The first line of a paragraph should begin from ^ inch to 
1 inch to the right of the marginal line. There should be 
no margin on the right-hand edge of the sheet. 


31 • The complimentary close follows the body of a 
letter and immediately precedes the signature. It is ** I am, 
dear Sir, Very sincerely yours," ** Yours respectfully," the 
•* Faithfully yours," etc. with which we take leave of our 
correspondents. The place foi it is one line or space below 
the last line of the body of the letter. It should generally 
begin one space, or about ^ inch— on letter paper, f inch — 
farther to the right than a paragraph. As to form, the com- 
plimentary close should correspond to the salutation; and 
like the salutation must depend* upon the relation between 
the two parties to a letter, and must get its form from 
that relation. ** Respectfully," "Very respectfully," **Most 
respectfully," etc. correspond to ** Sir," ** Madam," etc., and 
are the usual ones for formal or impersonal correspondence 
between individuals, both public and private. This, like the 
salutation, again, is to be softened, warmed, modified, and 
transformed to suit the relation of the two parties. ** Dear 
Sir" and * SDear Madam " call for ** Yours truly," ** Yours 
sincerely," *' Yours faithfully," and so on. The more 
familiar the salutation is, the more so should be the corre- 
sponding complimentary close. It would be incongruous if 
not absurd, for example, to begin a letter with "Sir" and 
close it with "Devotedly yours," as it would, on the other 
hand, to begin with " My dear Friend " and close with "Very 
respectfully yours." 

The ordinary complimentary close used by the officials in 
Washington, and indeed in formal correspondence generally, 


is ** Yours respectfully." In personal letters this varies, 
wanes, and fluctuates through *' Yours truly,** ** Yours 
faithfully," **Ever yours," ** Yours till death,** and a pos- 
sible thousand or two others, all growing out of depth of 
feeling or of varied relations. In all cases of doubt, it is 
safer and in all respects better to err in the direction of too 
much than of too little ceremony or formality in this matter. 
Between firms in business, ** Yours respectfully,** or its 
equivalent in some form, is proper on all occasions, as is 
** Gentlemen ** for a salutation. 

To no portion of a letter should more exact attention be 
given than to its termination, for by no other portion may 
the writer be judged more accurately as to courtesy and good 

32. Some of the most common forms of complimentary 
leave taking in letter writing are the following : 

Yours truly. Yours sincerely, 

Yours very truly, Very sincerely yours. 

Faithfully, Yours fraternally, 

Very respectfully yours. Affectionately yours. 

Yours very faithfully. Your loving father, 

Cordially yours. Your friend, 

Most cordially yours. Your affectionate son. 
Yours gratefully, 

33* The subscription, or sigrnature, should follow the 
complimentary close on the next line and should end at or 
near the right-hand edge of the sheet. 

In regard to the signature two points should be observed : 
(1) write the name in full; (2) make the signature legible. 
The name should be written in full, so that, if through 
unforeseen circumstances the letter is sent to the dead-letter 
office, it may be returned to the writer. Of course, if a let- 
ter contains nothing of importance, it maybe signed ** John," 
or **Tom," or **Mary**; but if the letter has any value to 
the writer, particularly if it contains money, the full name 
and residence of the writer should be given. By the term 
full name we do not mean the unabbreviated name ; thus, 
a person by the name of George Henry Adams may properly 


write his signature *' George H. Adams," "Geo. H. Adams," 
or ** G. H. Adams '*; and if he is familiarly known as Henry, 
he may write it *'G. Henry Adams." 

The writer should, of course, write all parts of a letter 
legibly; but the signature should receive particular atten- 
tion in this respect. An illegible word in the body of the 
letter can usually be made out by its connection with the 
words preceding" and following it; but there is no such assist- 
ance in deciphering an illegible signature. The recipient 
of a letter must use the signature for the address of his reply. 
If the signature is unreadable, the Recipient, unless acquainted 
with the writer, may be compelled to cut out the signature 
and paste it on the envelope. 

In writing to a stranger, a lady should indicate by her sig- 
nature not only her sex, but whether she is married or single. 
This may be done by prefixing **Miss" or **Mrs/' to the 
name. If the writer considers such a use of the title ques- 
tionable, the title may be enclosed in parenthesis ; thus : 
**(Miss) Mary Saunders.'' The Miss or Mrs. should not be 
used in writing to acquaintances or friends. 

A person in an official or prominent business position may, 
and sometimes should, follow his name with an indication of 
his position; thus: 

Alexander Williams. 

Chairman of Executive Committee. 

George Lamb, 

General Manager. 

The address when written at the close of the letter forms 
part of the conclusion. It should in this case begin at the 
marginal line and on the line below the signature. The 
arrangement and punctuation of the parts of the address is 
the same as when it is written at the top of the letter (see 
Arts. 25 and 27). 

34. Punctuation. — The complimentary close is fol- 
lowed by a comma and the signature is followed by a period. 
When the complimentary close is long and is arranged in 


several lines, the parts are separated by commas. Each line 
of the complimentary close begins with a capital letter. In 
other respects, the ordinary rules are followed in the use o£ 

36. Forms of €onclii»ion. — For the student's guid- 
ance, we submit some forms of conclusion: 

Form 1. 

Very respectfully yours, 

George Field. 

Form 2. 

Form 3. 

Very truly yours, 
Cooper, Cqmmings & Ca 


Yours affectionately. 

Sister Irene. 

Form 4. 

CAddress at end.) 

I am. Sir, with much consideration. 

Your obedient servant, 
Norman Howard. 
The Reverend Dr. Lyman Abbott, 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Form 5. 

Very faithfully yours, 
W. F. Preston, 
Elkhart, Ind. 

Form 6. 

I have the honor to be, 

Your Excellency's obedient servant, 
M. C. Cameron. 
The Governor of New York. 

Form 7. 

I beg leave, Mr. Mayor, to subscribe myself with profound respect, 

Yours faithfully, 
George Eliot. 
The Mayor of New York. 


When the writer is personally unknown to the person or 
firm written to and solicits a reply, he may sign thus: 

Form 8. 

Very respectfully yours, 
Alexander Taylor, 
64 York Street 


Alexander Taylor. 
64 York St 

The street and number may, however, be placed according 
to the writer's choice at the head of the letter. 

Form 9. 

I beg to remain, dear Father, 

Very affectionately. 
Your son, 
Form 10. 

With all my heart, I am, my dear Frank, 

Your own Mother. 

Terms of affection should never be abbreviated, as for 
instance, * * Yours aff 't*ly, " for ** Yours affectionately " ; 
"Your aff. Son,** for '* Your affectionate Son." 


36. The superscription is the outside address — the one 
written on the envelope, and the one for the postmaster and 
letter carrier to note. Like the address, the superscription 
consists of three parts: • the name, the title, and the residence. 

37. Arrangrement. — The first line of the superscription 
contains the name and title. It should be written near the 
middle of the envelope. If the person addressed has an 
official or business position, this may occupy the second line; 
otherwise, the first item of the residence will be placed there. 
In general each item of the residence should occupy a separate 
line, but if the superscription is long, it is permissible to 
write the abbreviation for the state on the line with the city. 
Each line should begin a little distance to the right of the 


line above it, and the end of the last line should be near the 
lower right-hand comer of the envelope. Care should be 
taken to have the lines parallel to tjie lower edge of the letter 
and the same distance apart. 

If a letter is addressed to one person in care of another, 

the words ** Care of " may occupy the second line, as in 

form 11, following. 

38, The accompanying illustration shows a specimen 



o jS Stamp. 



« St Mr. John W. Playfair, 

President First National Bank, 

558 Jackson Boulevard, 

Chicago, 111. 

39. Points to be Observed. — The residence should be 
fully and clearly indicated in the address. Millions of 
pieces of mail matter are annually sent to the dead-letter 
office because of careless or illegible addresses. There are 
many post offices in the United States of America bearing 
the same name, but situated in different states. There is, 
for instance, a Clayton, New York, and a Clayton, New 
Jersey; Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio, and Urbana, 
Champaign County, Illinois. In such cases it is advisable 
to spell out the name of the state ; in any case of doubt, an 
abbreviated form of the state's name should not be employed. 

In addressing a letter to a small or obscure town or village, 
it is advisable to include the name of the county in the 
address. In the case of cities of national importance, as 
Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, it is not really essential to 
write even the name of the state, though it is perhaps better 


as a rule to include it It is always better to put too much 
on the envelope than too little. 

When the post office is a city, it is generally desirable, and 
where there are letter carriers employed, it is necessary, to 
give the number and the street; and when a city is large 
enough to employ carriers, it is hardly, if ever, necessary to 
give the county; as, 

A B , Esq., 

128 Fifth Avenue, 

New York, 

N. Y. 

In cases of this kind it is as unnecessary to write No. 
before the figures giving the number as it is in this case 
to write "City" after *'New York." 

In cities, it is sometimes desirable, in order to facilitate 
delivery, to give the part of the house; thus: 

B , Esq., 

Room 10, 

470 Tremont St, 

Some streets contain the idea in the name, so that it is not 
necessary to add ** St," to it; as, 

A B » Esq., 

567 Broadway, 
New York, 
N. Y. 

Here ** way** conveys the idea of street. 
It would be absurd to give all the points of an address at 
the same time, in such cases as this: 

A— B , Esq., 

Room 18, 

28 Fulton St, 
New York, 

New York Co., 
New York. 

It 18 the custom in England to put a comma between the 
number of a street and the name of it; as, **46, Oxford St" 


Theoretically, it would be better to reverse the order of 
the items in the address ; that is, put the largest first and 
the smallest last. The item needed by the most distant 
post official — the postmaster that posts the letter — is the 
state, when in the states; and the country, when the letter 
is to go abroad. All that the postmaster looks for is the 
state; and succeeding officials will need the descending 
items. A rational address then would be : 


San Diego Co., 
San Diego, 

John Smiths 

When a letter is registered, the sender writes his full 
address across the left margin of the back of the envelope; 
and this is all that should ever be written on the back, and 
this in the case of registered letters only. To write ** In 
haste," ** Deliver promptly, " ** By courtesy," and the like on 
an envelope letter — addressed apparently to whom it may 
concern, and it manifestly concerns nobody — is useless. 

It was once thought necessary to write ** To" before the 
name in the superscription of all letters, and many in 
England and a few in America do so still; but, except in 
very formal letters, it is superfluous, and for that very good 
reason falling into disuse. In all official correspondence, 
such as **To the Honorable the Secretary of State," the 
prefix may properly be used. 

40. The. — This demonstrative appears in such titles as 
**The Reverend," "The Honorable," etc.; although it is 
frequently read with the titles, even when not written with 
them. It belongs to both pre-titles and post-titles, as in the 
examples given. 

41. Punctuation. — The items of the superscription are 
separated by commas, and since each item occupies a sepa- 
rate line, there should be a comma at the end of each line 
except the last. A title following the name should be sep- 
arated from it by a comma, and two or more titles in 


succession should he separated by commas. See forms 7 and 
10, following. As usual, all abbreviations should be followed 
by periods, and a period should be placed at the end of the 
superscription. In nearly all cases every word of the super- 
scription begins with a capital letter. The student should 
observe carefully the punctuation and capitalization in the 
specimen superscriptions. 

There is a growing tendency among writers to omit all 
punctuation from the superscription except the periods after 
abbreviations. It is not unlikely that the omission of punctu- 
ation on the envelope will in time become universal; but 
until the custom is better established than at present, it will 
be safer for the student to punctuate. 

42. Examples of Superscription. — The following 
forms of superscription should be carefully studied : 

Form 1. 

Messrs. Lee, Lindsey & Co., 
815 Broadway, 

New York, 

N. Y. 

Form 2. 

Alexander Bennett, Esq., 

Box 81. Ill 

Form 3. 

Mr. & Mrs. E. W. White, 

28 Madison Ave., 


Form 4. 

Mr. Peter Paterson. 


Form 5> 

W. C. Weldon. Esq., 

Counselor at Law, 

St Louis, 


Form 6. 
The Honorable 

William Connell, M. C, 


D. C 

A physician may be addressed : 

Form 7. 

D E , Esq., M.D., 



Form 8. 

Dr. E F . 

New Hope, 


Form 9. 
The Reverend 

Dr. I. J. Lansing. 

Scranton, Pa. 

Form 10. 

The Right Reverend 

Ethelbert Talbot, D.D., LL.D., 

Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, 

South Bethlehem, Pa. 

It is now generally conceded to be better form not to 

abbreviate the titles Honorable, Reverend, Right Reverend, 

and the like. 

Form IL 
Miss Ethel Armitage, 

Care of S. E. Dobbs, Esq., 


43. This term comes from the Latin post scriptum^ 
** written after"; its abbreviation P. S. is almost always used. 

The ordinary and obvious use of the postscript is the 
addition to the letter of something thought of or occurring 
after the letter is written and signed. The postscript, how- 
ever, may be, and often is, used for emphasis, especially in 
cases of diplomacy. 


After writingfs falling under the head of postscripts may 
be indicated and arranged with these abbreviations: 

P. S. — Postscript, as above. 

P. P. S. — Paulo-postscript. 

P. P. P. S. — Post-paulo-postscript ; and this is quite far 

Perhaps a better designation would be: 

P. S. — Postscript. 

2d P. S. 

3d P. S. 

Try in general to say what you desire to say in the body 
of a letter, and avoid postscripts. The frequent use of post- 
scripts lessens their power for any special service. Never 
write a message of affection, congratulation, or condolence 
as a postscript ; for what might be a compliment or comfort 
in the body of a letter may prove an insult if written as a 


44, Sometimes at the close of a letter occurs the form 
**N. B." followed by a sentence or two, or even more, of 
some special significance. The words nota bene are Latin 
and mean **note well " or **note specially." The abbrevia- 
tion is N. B. — the usual and almost universal form in use. 
Like the postscript, the nota bene follows the completed 
letter; that is, it comes below both the signature and the 
address, and may come before or after the postscript. It 
may rhetorically qualify either the letter or the postscript. 
Like the postscnpt, the nota bene has two leading uses. 
The first and obvious one is to call special attention to a 
point or a view of the matter that the writer thinks his cor- 
respondent may by inadvertence fail to appreciate or to give 
its due weight to. The other use is to conceal, at first blush 
at least, in its apparent emphasis, the real object of the letter; 
thus letting the real object work its way gradually — percolate, 
as it were — into the correspondent's mind. The real object, 
in such case, must be a matter alien to the subject of the 




nota bene. This device, as in the ^ase of the postscript, is 
one of diplomacy and belongs to the domain of rhetoric. 

A nota bene may have a postscript, but it should never 
have a nota bene. 


46. Careless or neglectful folding gives the letter an 
appearance of disorder, which does not invite favorable con- 
sideration from the recipient Take time to fold your letter 
neatly and carefully. See that it is adjusted to the envelope, 
and that no indication of an absence of neatness, order, or 
system be observable. The illustrations here given show 
the proper methods of folding for note sheets, letter paper, 
and legal cap. 

To fold a note sheet, turn the bottom of the sheet upwards, 
making the crease at 
about one-third of the 
length of the sheet from 
the lower edge; then 
turn the top of the sheet 
downwards so that the 
top edge will nearly or 
quite reach the crease 
first made. By this 
method, the sheet is divided intothree nearly equal sections as 
shown in Fig. 1, and the writing on the first page is concealed. 
The method of folding a letter sheet is shown in Fig. 2. 

Turn the bottom of the sheet 
upwards so as to cover all but 
^ inch or less of the sheet 
and form the crease near the 
middle of the sheet. Next 
turn the right-hand edge of 
the paper to the left, making 
the crease about one-third 
of the width of the sheet from 
the right-hand edge, and fold 
Pio. s. the remainder of the sheet 

Fig. 1. 


from the left so that the left edge will come about to the 
crease on the right * 

When an official envelope is used for a letter sheet, fold 
the bottom of the sheet upwards and the top downwards, 
thus dividing the sheet into three nearly equal sections. 
The writing will then be concealed. 

The usual method of folding a sheet of legal cap is shown 
in Fig. 3. Turn up 
the bottom of the 
sheet so that the 
lower edg'e meets the 
top edge; then fold 
the upper half of the 
doubled sheet down 
over the lower half. 

Small enclosures, 
like checks, receipts, 
^'°-'- etc., are laid on the 

sheet and folded with it. If placed in the envelope separately, 
the enclosure is liable to be cut or torn when the letter is 
opened, or it may be over- 
looked when the letter is 
removed. Larger enclo- 
sures, as invoices and state- 
ments, are folded sepa- 
rately, rig. 4 shows the 
proper method of folding a 
small enclosure in a letter 

In folding letters, take '''*'■* 

care that the edges are even and that the folds are pressed 
down flat so as to frive the letter a tidy appearance. A paper 
knife is to be preferred to the thumb or fingers in making 
the folds. 

46. The Insertion of the letter. — To insert the letter 

properly, take the envelope in the left hand with the opening 
to the right and the face down. Insert the folded letter with 


the right hand, putting in the last folded edge first If the 
letter is inserted in this manner, it can be removed from the 
envelope easily ; if the folded edge is put in last, the comers 
are liable to catch when the letter is taken out 

The envelope should be opened by cutting or tearing open 
the top edge; then if the letter sheet has been properly 
inserted, it will, when removed, be right side up. 


47. The stamp is placed in the upper right-hand comer 
of the envelope about iV ^^ i ^^^^ from the end and an equal 
distance from the upper edge. In affixing the stamp, take 
care that it is right side up and that its edges are parallel 
with the edges of the envelope. To affix the stamp care- 
lessly is a mark of disrespect to your correspondent, the 
more so as it takes no more time and is just as easy to put 
the stamp in its proper place. 

Be careful that the amount of postage is sufficient; the 
collection of extra postage at the delivery post office is an 
annoyance to both the postal clerk or carrier and the recipient 
of the letter. 


48. To insure the return of a letter to the writer in case 
of non-delivery, the name or address of the writer should be 
written or printed in the upper left-hand corner or across the 
left margin of the envelope. The address of the sender on 
the envelope is tantamount to a request to return the letter 
if it fails of delivery in due time. 

Business houses having extensive correspondence generally 
use special-request envelopes. These have printed on them 
the address of the sender with a request to return the letter 
in 5 or 10 days if not delivered. The stamped envelopes 
furnished by the post-office department have a printed special 
request with a blank for the address of the sender. If the 
return directions are omitted, the letter, if not delivered, 
must be sent to the dead-letter office. 


•>— J-. 


We subjcnn some forms of return directions that have 
fallen tinder our notice. A simple form is preferable to one 
more elaborate. 

RETURN TO BOX 898 R'*"™ *« Secretary of State, 

CINCINNATI „ . i^r*^"!:, !l!^"fA ^ 

If not deliverea within 10 days. 

City of New York SUCCESS 

OpncE OF THE City Clerk 

City Hau. ~°''''" "'"°-' 

new york city, 

return in ten days to 





49. Preliminary Remarks. — The proper use of the 
many titles employed in address and correspondence is a 
subject of sufficient importance to demand a somewhat full 
treatment in a separate section. In this section we endeavor 
to give the proper usage in regard to the titles of address 
ordinarily used in all kinds of correspondence, and the 
proper forms of address and salutation to be used in cor- 
respondence with those in official positions. 

On account of the close relation existing between the 
United States and Great Britain, it has been deemed neces- 
sary to include the titles of rank used in the latter country, 
and the forms of address and salutation ordinarily used in 
correspondence with various officials and persons of rank. 

50, According to their position, titles may be divided 
into two classes: pi-e-tltles, such as Mr., Rev., Dr., etc., 
which precede the name; and post-titles, such as Esq., 
M.D., Jr., etc., which follow the name. There are some 


pre-titles that on occasion must follow the name, generally 
in signatures and in descriptive mentions, but sometimes in 

addresses. Such are A B , General U. S. A., or 

To the Reverend Doctor C , Dean of D . These, 

however, are not post-titles, but pre-titles in exceptional use. 
According to their use, titles may be divided into the fol- 
lowing classes: 

1. Titles of address, embracing prefixed words or 
phrases attributing rank, office, or distinction, terms of 
respect, either in direct address, or in mentioning a person ; as, 
Mister, Madam, the Honorable, his Grace, his Excellency. 

2. Titles of honor, such as belong to possessors of dig- 
nities, inherent or acquired ; they include both nobility and 
rank, titles of courtesy, and official titles significant of spe- 
cial appointments held. Titles of honor are again sub- 
divided into: (a) hereditary, such as prince, duke, iharquis, 
earl, viscount, and baron, the six British titles of nobility; 
(*) civil, such as President, Governor, Senator, Judge, Mayor; 
(c) naval and military, as Admiral, Commodore, General, 
Colonel, Captain; {d) ecclesiastical, as Archbishop, Bishop, 

3. Titles of distinction or merit that are either (a) life 
and honorary titles, such as Lord, Knight, Lady, or (b) 
scholastic titles, which are degrees and honors conferred by 
scientific schools, colleges, universities, and other institu- 
tions of learning, or acquired in the practice of the learned 
professions. Regular degrees are conferred upon those com- 
pleting a prescribed course and passing a certain exami- 
nation; honorary degrees on persons that have become 
distinguished in public life or in literary and scientific studies. 


5 1 • Mister.— The contraction of this title is * * Mr. , "and it 
rarely appears in any other form. It has always been a pre- 
title, and cannot be used apart from the name. When the 
occasion arises to use the appellative independently and (not 


knowing the name) alone, we use Sir. Mr. is the most com- 
mon of all titular appellatives applied to man. It is respect- 
ful, but it lacks distinction. It may be — and on occasion 
should be — used in almost every part of a letter; but the 
superscription and address are the important points, the use in 
both being exactly the same. The importance of Mr. in such 
use lies in its relations to and differences from ** Esquire " ; 
and these relations and differences are far more complex and 
confusing in the United States than in Great Britain, for the 
reason that the lines of distinction there are somewhat 
closely drawn, while here they are not. In this country Mr. 
has better standing than it has in the mother country, and 
the frequent ignorance of the social status of our correspond- 
ents render the safer title Mr. of more constant use, as an 
epistolary title at least As a pre-title in the address of 
letters, it is fair to say, Mr. has far more respect shown it in 
America than in England. Few Americans have leisure to 
be vexed at so small a matter as that of being mistered, on 
letters or elsewhere. Still, Esquire is generally felt to be a 
higher title, and altogether a more desirable one where there 
is any feeling or room for feeling in the matter. The plural 
of Mr. — and of Esquire as well, as to titular use— is "Messrs.," 
a contraction of the French Messieurs, ** gentlemen." 

53. Gentleman. — This word means in its general appli- 
cation any man of intelligence not in some way degraded or 
in disgrace. In Great Britian the word has several specific 
meanings more limited and less flexible than in America. 
The British rule of the present day makes all men gentlemen 
that are not yeomen, tradesmen, artificers, or laborers ; and 
each one of these defining words has several definitions. 


53. Esquire. — This is the proper epistolary title of all 
untitled gentlemen, both in England and America. The 
contraction is ** Esq.," formerly ** Esqre." 

In regard to Esq. and Mr., the title Esq. is somewhat more 
restricted in its application than is the title Mr. We can 
apply Mr. to any man, whatever his education or social posi- 
tion; but in general, we restrict the Esq. to men of some 


intelligence and social standing in their commtmity. In ad- 
dressing a man of whom we know absolutely nothing except 
his sex, it is safest to use Mr.' The title Esq. is always used in 
addressing in writing members of the legal profession just 
as **Dr.** is used in addressing physicians. 

54. Master, — In this country youths of all classes should 
be addressed in writing by the pre-title ** Master.*' The boy 
that we may accost as ** Sam "or ** Dick," or even as " Boy/' 
is entitled to ** Master" when we address him in writing. 

55. Mistress is the pre-title of a married woman." It is 
almost always used in the abbreviated form '* Mrs.," and is 
pronounced missis. The word corresponds very closely to 
" Mister," and was derived from Mister, after that word had 
grown out of Master ; otherwise^ the corresponding form of 
Master would have been Masteress or Mastress. The use of 
Mrs. with the family name is generally well understood. 
There is diversity of usage, however, as to coupling it with 

a husband's titles; as in "Mrs. General A ," ''Mrs. 

Senator B ," and the like. This use is convenient, but 

questionable. The places, if any, where it may be used with 
propriety are few. The plural of Mistress, Mesdatnes^ is 
taken from the French. 

56. Mesdames. — The permanent contraction of this 
word is **Mmes." It is the plural of the French Madame^ 
and is used in English as the plural of ** Mistress" (Mrs.) ; 
just as Messieurs (Messrs., a permanent contraction also), the 
plural of the French Monsieur^ is used as the plural of the 
English ** Mister" (Mr.). 

Any number of spinsters associated in a business firm, in 
a committee, or in any other cooperative body, should be 
addressed in a letter by the pre-title of ** Misses" ; but if any one 
of them rejoices in the title of Mrs,, then the pre-title of the 
body must be Mmes. The salutation, both oral and written, in 
any case — spinsters or not — should be ** Ladies. " That is to 
say, if Mrs. A and another woman or other women, act- 
ing together in a firm or other collective capacity, are to be 
addressed, the pre-title must be Mmes. ; and the salutation. 


Ladies. In like manner, if Mr. A and another man or 

other men, acting as a firm or other collective body, are to 
be addressed, the pre-title should be Messrs., and the salu- 
tation, ** Gentlemen*' or **Sirs.** 

57. Miss is the pre-title of a girl or a spinster. Its use 
begins from infancy — ^almost as soon as the sex is distinguish- 
able. In youth its masculine is ** Master,** and in adult age 
** Mister ** (Mr.). It belongs to all ages and classes. It is a 
derivative by contraction of **M^tress,*' the feminine of 
'* Mister.** The title ** Miss," in its adjectival use, is now a 
prefix — ^a pre-title — merely, and cannot be used as an inde- 
pendent appellative. In addressing a spinster, one must 
know either her given name or her surname ; and with these 
one may say **Miss Mary** or **Miss Smith." It is as 
improper to address a spinster as **Miss*' alone as it is to 
accost a man as ** Mister** in the same way. 

58. Senior. — This post- title should be written — ^as 
indeed should all titles — with a capital, whether abbreviated 
ornot. The abbreviation is **Sr.** ; it wasformerly **Sen.,** 
a form that is still occasionally used. This title is placed 
immediately after the name and before all post-titles, such 
as ** Esquire.*' 

59. Junior. — This is the hatin junior^ **yotmger"; it 
is always abbreviated, as a post- title in correspondence, to 
**Jr." or **Jun.** Formerly Jun. was imiversal, but now 
Jr. is almost so. This title, like Senior, comes immediately 
after the name and is separated from it by a comma ; as, 
** A B , Jr., Esq." It never displaces nor super- 
sedes any other title, but goes with all. It denotes the 
younger of two persons — usually father and son — that have 
the same name. The older is designated Senior. Junior 
should always begin with a capital. 

60. Honorable. — This title is, in this country, entirely 
honorary or given by courtesy ; and yet it is very frequently 
used. It is accorded to the Vice President of the United 
States ; to Members of Congress ; to Judges, from the Chief 


Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States down to 
the lowest grade of law judges ; to Foreign Ministers and 
Envoys that have no title more distinguished^ and to our 
own representatives abroad of the first and second grades ; 
to Cabinet Officers ; to State, Colonial, ^nd Territorial Gov- 
ernors and Lieutenant Governors ; to Heads of Departments 
generally ; to State Senators and to State Senates collect- 
ively ; to Speakers of State Houses of Representatives and 
Houses of Delegates ; to Mayors ; and to most corporate 
bodies, with very little discrimination. The title is often 
given, by what seems to be a stretch of this very elastic 
courtesy, to Assistant Secretaries, Comptrollers of the Treas- 
ury, Auditors, Clerks of the Senate and of the House, etc. 
All civil officers below the ranks complimented with Honor- 
able are addressed, in the absence of official titles, as 
** Esquire." 

61. Kigrlit Honorable. — This title belongs to several 
offices in Great Britain, such as the Lord Chancellor, the 
Lord Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench, the Lord Chief 
Justice of the Common Pleas, the Lord Chief Baron of the 
Exchequer, and Members of the Queen's Privy Coimcil., 

62. Reverend. — This pre-title, often abbreviated 
**Rev.," designates in general a clergyman of any church, 
and is accorded to all priests below the rank of Very Rever- 
end, those in Priests* or Deacons' orders. Pastors, Rectors, 
Preachers of all kinds. Vicars, Curates, Priors, Rabbis, 
Readers, etc. Abbesses, and other women at the head of 
religious houses, are entitled to this address. 

63. Reverend Doctor. — ^This title belongs to a Doctor 
of Divinity, and is sometimes accorded as a personal 
courtesy to aged and learned divines that have not received 
the degree from any institution. Salutation: **Sir," 
** Reverend Sir," ** Reverend Doctor," ** Reverend an4 
Dear Sir." Complimentary close: ** I have the honor to be. 
Reverend Sir, your obedient servant." Address: **To the 


Reverend Dr. A B "; or, though rarely, "To the 

Reverend A B , D.D." 

64. Very Reverend is a title given to all church digni- 
taries below Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, and 
Prelates (except Archdeacons, who are venerable), down to 
the class entitled to Reverend. This title is by courtesy 
given also to Priors of Monasteries over which Abbots pre- 
side, Rectors and Superiors of Religious Houses, Presidents 
of Catholic Colleges, and other high institutions of learning. 

66. Rlgrht Reverend. — This title belongs to a Bishop, 
a Mitered Abbot, a Monsignor, an Apostolic Prothonotary, 
and a Domestic Prelate ; and is usually accorded to an Abbot 
and an Abbess. Most Reverend is higher, and Very Rev- 
erend is lower. The Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, Mr. Westlake states, prefer ** Reverend " to ** Right 
Reverend " for themselves. 

66. liordslilp is a title given to Earls, Viscounts, 
Barons, Bishops; to the eldest sons of Earls; and, by virtue 
of their offices, to the Mayors of London, York, Belfast, and 
Dublin; to Judges while presiding in court; and to certain 
other high official personages, as Lord Chancellor, Lord of 
the Treasury, Lord Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench, 
Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Lord Chief Baron 
of the Exchequer, etc. 

67. Grace. — A title given to Dukes and Archbishops as 
'*his Grace the Duke of Portland"; "his Grace the Arch- 
bishop of York." 

68. Excellency. — A title sometimes given to the Presi- 
dent of the United States, and generally to Governors of 
States and Colonies, American and English, also to Foreign 
Ministers and to American Ministers abroad, including all 
Plenipotentiaries and Ministers Resident. In Massachusetts 
and South Carolina, Excellency is, or has been, the legal 
title of the Governors. 




69. Emperor. — No English-speaking sovereigfn has this 
title or form of royalty except Queen Victoria, who is 
Empress of India; but this does not, we believe, in any way 
affect matters of correspondence. The title belongs to 
official and state papers, but not to letters. 

70, King:. — The salutation to this functionary is ** Sir" 
or "Sire," **May it please your Majesty," **Most Gracious 
Sovereign." The complimentary close: ** I have the honor 
to be, Sire, your Majesty's most faithful servant." The 
address; **To the King's Most Excellent (or, Gracious) 

71. Queen. — ^The salutation due the Queen — there is 
but one Queen in the English-speaking world — is ** Madam," 
**May it please your Majesty," or **Most Gracious Sover- 
eign," or something to that effect. The complimentary 
close of a letter to her may be, *' I have the honor to be, 
with profound veneration, Madam, your Majesty's most 
faithful servant. " The divisions into lines should be grace- 
fully arranged, and every line should begin with a capital, 
whatever the word may be. The address: ** To the Queen's 
Most Excellent (or. Gracious) Majesty." In conversation, 
one may say, *'Your Majesty "and "Madam." Relatively 
little formality hedges the Queen. 

72. Prince of Wales.— Salutation: ** Sir," or •• May it 
please your Royal Highness." Complimentary close: "I 
have the honor to be, Sir, your Royal Htghness's most obedi- 
ent servant." Address: **To His Royal Highness the 
Prince of Wales. " 

73, Duke. — Salutation: ** My Lord Duke," or *' May it 
please your Grace." Complimentary close: **I have the 
honor to be, my Lord Duke, your Grace's most humble 
servant" Address: **ToHis Grace the Duke of A '* 


or, when holding that rank, ** To His Royal Highness the 
Duke of York." 

The Duke is the highest order of nobility, next below the 
Prince of Wales. The order runs thus: Prince, Duke, 
Marquis, Earl, Viscount, Baron, Baronet, Knight 

74. Marquis. — Salutation: **My Lord Marquis." 
Superscription and address: "The Most Honorable the 
Marquis of Abercom." 

75. Earl. — Salutation: **My Lord." Complimentary 
close: ** I have the honor to be your Lordship's most obedi- 
ent servant" Address: **To the Right Honorable the Earl 
of A r 

We communicate with the oldest sons of Dukes, Marquises, 
and Earls, in the same manner as with Earls, and with their 
wives, as with Countesses ; with the younger sons of Earls, 
and with all the sons of Viscounts and Barons, as with 
untitled gentlemen; the address, however, being, **To the 

Honorable A B ." With the wives of these younger 

sons in the same manner, prefixing **Mrs." to the Christian 
name; thus, **To the Honorable Mrs. Henry A ." 

76. Viscount. — Salutation: **My Lord." Superscrip- 
tion and address: **The Right Honorable the Viscount 

B .*' The eldest sons of Viscounts and Barons have no 

distinctive title; they as well as their brothers and sisters 
being styled ** Honorable Robert," ** Honorable Mary," and 
so on. 

7 7. Baron. — ^The Baron takes rank with a Viscount, and 
his epistolary salutation is **My Lord." Complimentary 
close: ^'I have the honor to be your Lordship's obedient 
servant" Address: "To the Right Honorable the Lord 

7 8. Baronet.— Salutation : * * Sir, " * * Dear Sir, " ' * Dear 
Sir John," as the case maybe. Complimentary close : ** I 
have the honor to be, Sir (or whatever corresponds to the 
salutation), your obedient servant " Address: ** To Sir John 


A /'etc. To this is added the title, usually abbreviated, 

** Bart" The wives of Baronets are addressed in the salu- 
tation and complimentary close as ladies ordinarily are; the 
address being ** To Lady A B ,'* etc 


79. President of the United States. — The President 
of the United States is addressed, in epistolary salutation, 
as ** Sir "and *'Mr. President" Complimentary close: **I 
have the honor to subscribe myself, most respectfully, your 
obedient servant," or any other perfectly respectful formal 
closing. Address: '*To His Excellency the President of 
the United States," or, with republican-democratic simplic- 
ity, **To the President, Executive Mansion, Washington, 
D. C." Mrs. Dahlgren suggests the former one. 

There are, however, scores of forms in use. In the days 
of the first president it was customary to write always, **To 
His Excellency, George Washington, President of the 
United States." That degree of formality fell rapidly into 
disuse, however, and is very rarely seen on letters received 
at the White House today, and it has not been frequent for 
the last fifty years. In conversation, the Chief Magistrate 
is usually addressed as **Sir," or as **Mr. President, 
although one sometimes hears "Your Excellency. 


80. Vice President; — ^The second officer of the United 
States ranks socially with the Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court Officially, he is addressed in epistolary salutation as 
**Sir," **Mr. Vice President," or the like. Complimentary 
close: '*I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your 
obedient servant." Address: **To the Honorable the Vice 

President of the United States," '*To the Honorable A 

B , Vice President of the United States. " The Chief 

Justice is addressed likewise: **To the Honorable the Chief 

Justice of the United States," **To the Honorable C 

D , Chief Justice of the United States. " 


81« Governor of a State. — Salutation: **Sir/* or 
**Your Excellency." Complimentary close: **I have the 
honor to be, Sir, your (or, your Excellency's) obedient 
servant" Address: ** To His Excellency the Governor of 

A "; or, **To His Excellency B C , Governor 

of the State of D "; or, simply, **To His Excellency 

the Governor." In the states of South Carolina and Massa- 
chusetts, '^Excellency " has been, and we believe now is, 
the legal title of the Governor. In other states it is 
accorded by courtesy; but its use is almost universal. 

83. Ambassador. — ^We should accord to all Foreign 
Ambassadors very scrupulous titular respect. They are 
entitled to it at home, and we should be liberal in giving it 
to them here. All are accorded the title ''Excellency.** 
The salutation may be, "Sir," "Your Excellency"; and, if 
the individual is a Lord at home, " My Lord," or such title 
as will fit his home rank. Complimentary close: " I have 
the honor to be. Sir, your Excellency's obedient servant," 
etc. The address, dependent on home rank, of course: " To 

the Marquis of A , Envoy Extraordinary and Minister 

Plenipotentiary from H. M. the King of A ," or "To 

the Honorable A B , Minister Resident," etc. 

By British usage the wives of Ambassadors are entitled to 
"Excellency" in both complimentary close and in address. 
Resident Ministers rank with Ambassadors and Plenipoten- 
tiaries. An Envoy ranks second and a Charge d'Affaires 
third. Ministers and Ambassadors are permanent func- 

Our own Ministers abroad are accorded our best terms of 
respect. Salutation: "Sir," or "Your Excellency." Com- 
plimentary close: "I have the honor. to be. Sir, your obe- 
dient servant," or " I have the honor to be your Excellency's 
most obedient servant." Address: "To his Excellency 
A B , Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary at the Court of A ," etc* 

83. An Envoy is a second-class Minister; the first class 
embracing Ambassadors, Plenipotentiaries, and Resident 


Ministers. The Envoy is not resident, and his standing is 
derived from his other offices. In general, when he has 
no other official title, the Envoy should be addressed as 

84. A Charge d'AIC^ires is a third-class Minister. The 
titular appellative is Esquire. 

86« Consul. — Salutation: **Sir." Complimentary 
close: **I beg to remain, Sir, your obedient servant." 
Address: **To A B , Esq., Consulate ," etc. 

86. Cabinet OfBcer. — This official is to be addressed, in 
epistolary salutation, as **Sir.** Complimentary close: *'I 
have the hotior to be, Sir, respectfully your obedient serv- 
ant ••; or any form that conveys the same sense. Address: 
**To the Honorable the Secretary of State," etc. Or, with 

equal propriety, **To the Honorable A B , Secretary 

of State," and likewise with other Cabinet officers. In gen- 
eral, the address in such cases should be directed rather to 
the office than to the officer. Cases may even arise wherein 
the name of the officer is not known, and the address should 
be made complete without the name. 

87. Attorney General of a State. — This officer should 
be addressed the same as the Attorney General of the United 
States, as, '* The Honorable the Attorney General of Texas, 
Austin, Texas." 

88. Senator or Representative In Congrress. — Salu- 
tation: *' Sir. " Complimentary close: ** I have the honor 
to be, Sir, your obedient servant." Address: **To the 

Honorable A B , Senate Chamber, etc."; or, better, 

''Senator A ^ B .** A representative is addressed: 

'* Honorable C D , United States Congress, Wash- 
ington, D. C," and when absent from Washington, simply 
** Hon. C D ,** etc. 

The President of the Senate should be addressed: ** To 
the Honorable the President of the Senate of the United 

States," or **Tothe Honorable A B , President of 

the Senate of the United States." The Speaker of the House 


is addressed "Sir," or **Mr. Speaker." Complimentary 
close: **I have the honor to Be, Sir, your most obedient 
servant," etc. Address: **To the Honorable the Speaker 
of the House of Representatives, Washington, D. C." 

The Speaker of the Senate of Canada is addressed: " To 
the Honorable the Speaker of the Senate of Canada." 

89. liegrlslator. — A State Senator is entitled, by uni- 
versal consent, to the title of ** Honorable "; as also is the 
Speaker of the House. The members of the House are also 
sometimes so addressed and spoken of, but the best usage 
accords them only ** Esquire." 

90« Judgre. — The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of 
the United States is to be addressed as '*Sir," ** Mr. Chief 
Justice," •• May it please your Honor"; and, on the bench, 
** May it please the Honorable Court." Complimentary 
close: ** I have the honor to be your Honor's most obedient 

servant" Address: **To the Honorable A B , 

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States"; 
or, briefer and just as well, if not better, **To the Honora- 
ble the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Washington, 
D. C." 

Associate Justices are entitled to the same salutation 
and complimentary close. Address: **To the Honorable 

A B , Justice of the Supreme Court of the United 

States," etc. 

The Chief Justices and Associate Justices of State Supreme 
Courts usually are addressed as above, the state being 
named in place of United States. 

All judges, below the grades above specified, are addressed 
as ** Honorable," whether in the circuit, . city, or county 

91. liawyer. — In America, lawyers of all grades are 
accorded by courtesy the address title of ** Esquire." The 
salutation is ** Sir" or ** Dear Sir," and the complimentary 
close corresponds. In England all Barristers of Law and 
Doctors of Law have a legal right to the title of Esquire, 


both in superscription or address and in legal designation, 
and so have sheriffs of counties. 

92. Solicitor.— The salutation is * * Sir " or " Dear Sir " ; 
the complimentary close, some form of ** Respectfully yours. " 
The address is ** Esquire,** a post- title. 

93. Justice of tlie Peace. — Salutation: **Sir/* Com- 
plimentary close: '* Respectfully, your obedient servant.** 
Superscription: **A B , Esq." 

94. Mayor. — In America, a Mayor is addressed as 
** Honorable.** Salutation: "Sir,** **Your Honor," etc. 
Complimentary close : * * I have the honor to be (or, to remain) 
your Honor*s obedient servant** Address: ** To the Hon. 
A B , Mayor of C ^ 

95. SherilT. — In America, the usual salutation of this 
officer is ** Sir.*' Complimentary close: "I beg to remain, 
respectfully yours;'* or, ** I have the honor to be," etc. 
Address: ** A B , Esq., Sheriff of C County.** 

96. Alderman. — Salutation: **Sir." Complimentary 
close: **I beg to remain, your obedient servant,** or, **I 
have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant.** Address: 

** To Mr. Alderman B ,'* etc. As a body. Aldermen are 

** Honorable.*' 

97. President of a Board. — The President of a com- 
pany, of a Board of Directors, or of Commissioners, or the 

like, should be addressed **To A B , Esq., President 

of , " etc. 

98. President of a Collegre. — ^When he has no other 

office or degree, he may be addressed as **A B , 

President of C College," etc. Salutation: ** Sir," or 

**Dear Sir." The complimentary close should correspond 
to the salutation, as, **I beg to remain, very respectfully 
yours," etc. 



99. Admiral. — The first officer in the United States 
Navy corresponds in rank to the General in the Army. He 
commands the fleets of the United States. . Salutation; 
'* Sir"; and this is used in every grade of office in the Navy. 
Complimentary close: ** I have the honor to be, Sir, your 

obedient servant." Address: *'To Admiral A B , 

commanding the Fleets of the United States," etc.; **To 

Admiral A B , commanding United States Navy," 

etc. ; or, more simple and equally respectful, ** To the 
Admiral of the Navy of the United States," etc. The fol- 
lowing, from the Navy Regulations, bears upon the matter 
in hand: ** Line officers in the Navy, down to and inclu- 
ding Commander, will be addressed by their proper title; 
below the rank of Commander, either by the title of their 
grade or Mr. Officers of the Marine Corps above the rank 
of First Lieutenant will be addressed by their military title, 
brevet or lineal; of and below that rank, by their title of 
Mr. Officers not of the line will be addressed by their 
titles, or as Mr. or Dr., as the case may be." 

Officers of the Navy take rank in the following order: 
Admiral, Vice Admiral, Rear Admiral, Commodore, Captain, 
Commander, Lieutenant Commander, Lieutenant, Master, 

100. General. — There are four grades of this office — 
General, Lieutenant General, Major General, and Brigadier 
General. They are all entitled to the same forms of address, 
except that the inside address should give the specific rank 
of the officer. All army officers above Lieutenant should be 
addressed by their official titles. The salutation of a General 
is ** General" — never abbreviated; but civilians may, and 
often do, use **Sir," and it is entirely proper for them, 
though there is no necessity for other than military forms. 
Army officers must use military forms. Complimentary 
close: ** I have the honor to be, General, your obedient serv- 
ant." Superscription: ** General A B ," etc.,**Gen- 

eral A B , commanding Army of A ," etc. The 


address should give the special rank; as, ** Major (Jen- 

eral A B .*' When the officer is in command, as 

is usual in the army, that fact should appear in both the 

superscription and the address: **To General A B , 

commanding the Department of the Gulf," etc. If the 
officer commands a point, the address containing the name 
of the place, then the word ** commanding** is sufficient; as, 

•*To General A B , commanding. Fort Bridger, 

Utah," where the mention of the fort defines the com- 

In the War Department in Washington the custom pre- 
vails, and it is a good one, of addressing the office rather 
than the officer; thus, **To the General of the Armies of 
the United States," etc. ; **To the Honorable the Secretary 
of State," etc. 

The word Greneral comes into the titles of several other 
offices than those named above, such as Adjutant General, 
Quartermaster General, Surgeon General, Commissary Gen- 
eral; it is also used in non-military titles, as Postmaster 
General, Attorney General, Surveyor General, Consul Gen- 
eral, etc. 

10 !• Colonel. — Salutation: "Colonel," or, from a 
civilian, **Sir." The ** Colonel" should never be abbrevi- 
ated in such use. Complimentary close: ** I have the honor 
to be, Colonel, your -obedient servant. ** Address: ** Colonel 

A B , commanding First Cavalry, U. S. Army," or 

** Colonel A B , U. S. A., Fort C ,** etc. 

102. Major.— Salutation: ** Major'* or **Sir." The 
title may be abbreviated sometimes in the address, but 
never in the salutation. Complimentary close: ** I have the 
honor to be (or, to remain). Major (or. Sir), your most 
obedient servant." 

103. Captain.— Salutation : "Captain," or "Sir." The 
salutation in this and all similar addresses should never be 
abbreviated. It is an impertinence to write "Capt.** for 


Captain. Complimentary close : ** I have the honor to be, 
Captain (or, Sir, according to the salutation), your obedi- 
ent servant." Address: ** Captain A B , Com- 
pany A, Seventh Regiment, U. S. Cavalry." 

104, lileutenant, — Salutation : * * Sir. " Complimen- 
tary close: '* I beg to remain yours respectfully," '* Respect- 
fully yours," etc. In regard to the address due a Lieuten- 
ant, usage varies very much. It was once a discourtesy to 
address him as *' Lieutenant," and **Mr." prevailed. In 
England, ** Esquire" is the legal title, and is usually 
accorded, giving the specific rank and command after the 
name and the Esquire. Usage, in America, so far as we 
may be said to have any, is in favor of giving ** Lieutenant •* 
— usually abbreviated — as the pre-title, the post-title being, 
of coiurse, omitted. 


105. Archbishop. — The Anglican Archbishop is 
addressed in salutation as **My Lord," *'My Lord Arch- 
bishop," or **Mayit please your Grace." Complimentary 
close: *' I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, 
My Lord Archbishop, your Grace's inost obedient servant." 

Address: '*To his Grace the Lord Archbishop of A ," or 

**To the Most Reverend Father in God, A , Lord Arch- 
bishop of B . " 

The Roman Catholic salutation for their Archbishop is 
**Most Reverend and Respected Sir"; or, from a friend or 
clergyman, " Most Reverend and Dear Sir." Complimen- 
tary close: **I have the honor to be, Most Reverend Sir (or, 
to correspond to the salutation), your obedient servant." 

Address: **Tothe Most Reverend Archbishop A ," or 

**To the Most Reverend A B , Archbishop of 


106. Bishop. — The Anglican Bishop is to be addressed 
in salutation as ** My Lord," *'My Lord Bishop," '*May 


it please your Lordship," etc. Complimentary close: **I 
have the honor to be, my Lord (following^ the salutation 
naturally), your Lordship's most obedient servant/' 
Address: **To the Right Reverend, the Lord Bishop of 
A ,** etc. 

In America, Bishops of Protestant Churches — except those 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who, we understand, 
prefer to be styled simply Reverend — are addressed as Right 

The Roman Catholic Bishop should be addressed as ** Right 
Reverend Sir, "or, less formally, ''Right Reverend and Dear 
Sir." Complimentary close: "I have the honor to be (or, 
to remain). Right Reverend Sir, your obedient servant." 

Address: "To the Right Reverend Bishop A ," or "To 

the Right Reverend A B , Bishop of C . " 

107. Cardinal. — Salutation: "Most Eminent Sir," or 
"Most Eminent and Reverend Sir." Complimentary close: 
"Of your Eminence, the most obedient and humble servant," 
or "I have the honor to remain, Most Eminent Sir, with 
profound respect, your obedient and humble servant. " A 
Catholic belonging to the Cardinal's diocese may, if he is an 
ecclesiastic, add "and subject" to the complimentary close; 
and if a layman,- may add "and son." Address: "To His 

Eminence Cardinal A . " If the Cardinal is also an Arch- 

bishop, a Bishop, or a Patriarch, it is proper to add the 
official title to the above; as, "To His Eminence Cardinal 

A B , Archbishop of A ." A Cardinal should 

not be addressed with such titles as D.D. or S.T.D., these 
being included in the greater title Cardinal. 

108. Clergryman. — In cases where the salutation differs 
— as it need hardly ever differ — from that of non-professional 
gentlemen, it is usually " Reverend Sir." This is very com- 
mon in addressing the Clergyman — priest, parson, preacher, 
pastor, divine, minister of the gospel, rabbi, reader, and so 
on. The complimentary close corresponds to the salutation, 
as is usual in all cases of every degree and rank, and in the 
absence of all degrees and ranks. Address: "Reverend 


A B ," o^ ** Reverend Mr. B ." In these cases, 

the abbreviated form, "Rev./* seems to be generally 
accepted. In conversation the Clergyman is usually 
accosted, as any other gentleman should be^as ** Sir." 

109, Dean, — In the Anglican Church the Dean is 
addressed, in salutation, as ** My Lord,** '* May it please your 
Lordship.*' Complimentary close: ** I have the honor to be 
your Lordship's most obedient servant." Address: **To 

the Very Reverend Dean of A ,** or "To the Reverend 

Doctor B , Dean of C .'* 

110, Pope {accordiiig to Prof, West lake). — Salutation: 
"Most Holy Father," or "Your Holiness." Complimen- 
tary close: "Prostrate at the feet of your Holiness, and 
begging the Apostolic Benediction, I protest myself now 
and at all times to be, of your Holiness, the most obedient 
son (or, daughter)." This, of course, for Catholics only. 

Address: "To our Most Holy Father, Pope A ," or 

"To His Holiness, Pope A ." 

111, Prelate. — The Roman Prelates — Apostolic Pro- 
thonotaries and Domestic Prelates — are styled " Right Rev- 
erend," and are generally addressed as "Right Reverend 
Monsignor." Salutation: "Right Reverend Sir," "Right 
Reverend Monsignor"; or, informally, "Monsignor," or 
"Right Reverend and Dear Sir." Complimentary close: 
"Right Reverend Sir, your most obedient servant"; or, 
informally, " My Dear Monsignor, your friend and servant." 

Address: "To the Right Reverend Monsignor B ," etc.; 

"To the Right Reverend Monsignor A B , Prothon- 

otary Apostolic," or "To the Right Reverend A B , 

Domestic Prelate of His Holiness.** 

112, RabW. — In the Jewish Church, Rabbi embraces 
all ordained ministers, and all are addressed as "Reverend.** 
The Moreh Tsedek, or teacher of righteousness, the Moranu, 
or teacher, and the Moreh Moranu, or teacher of teachers, 
are the Hebrew titles of the clergy of that National Church. 
Rabbi in Hebrew means "my master," 




11 3. liord. — In Great Britain, a peer of the realm, 
especially a Baron, as distinguished from the higher orders 
of nobility. — Worcester, The word peer is limited to the 
members of the upper House of Parliament, and to Scotch 
and Irish noblemen of corresponding rank, qualified, on 
election, to sit in the upper House. — Smart, The title of 
Lord is extended by courtesy to the sons of Dukes and Mar- 
quises. It is also given to one that has the fee of a manor, 
and consequently the homage of his tenants; but, if not of 
noble birth, he is not addressed as a Lord. 

A recent writer makes this point: **The title of Lord has 
not necessarily anything to do with peerage. All peers are 
lords, but there are many lords that are not peers. The 
King's Chancellor, his Treasurer, his Chamberlain, his High 
Admiral, the President of his Privy Council, certain of the 
high Judges, all English Judges when actually on the bench, 
Scottish Judges at all times, Lieutenants of Counties, the 
Lieutenant of Ireland and his deputy, the Mayors of London 
and York, the Provosts of several Scottish cities, the Rectors 
of Scottish Universities, the younger sons of Dukes and 
Marquises — all these are Lords by some rule, by law, or by 
courtesy, many of them without being peers; and, when 
they are peers, without any reference to their peerage." 

114. liord Chancellor.— Salutation : ** My Lord." 
Complimentary close: **I have the honor to be, with the 
highest respect, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient 

servant." Address: ** To the Right Honorable Lord A 

Lord High Chancellor." 

116, liord Mayor. — Salutation: '* My Lord." Compli- 
mentary close: **I have the honor to be, my Lord, your 
Lordship's obedient servant." Address: **To the Right 
Honorable A B , Lord Mayor of C ." 


116. Knlglit. — Salutation, complimentary close, and 
superscription, the same as those of a Baronet, The wives 
of Knights, also, the same as those of Baronets. 

117, Xiady. — In Great Britain this title **is prefixed to 
the name of any woman whose husband is of rank not lower 
than Knight, or whose father was a nobleman not lower 
than an Earl." Among English-speaking people generally 
the word Lady has two well known meanings or uses — the 
one above stated, and that formerly given the word gentle- 
woman, the correlative of gentleman. When gentleman 
came into use, the feminine of it was gentlewoman ; but that 
feminine was gradually replaced with Lady, as we have the 
word now in this country. 

118, Princess. — Salutation: ** Madam," or **Mayit 
please your Royal Highness." Complimentary close: **I 
have the honor to be, Madam, your most obedient and faith- 
ful servant"; or, after ** Madam," one may insert, in place 
of **your," **your Royal Highness's." Address: **To Her 
Royal Highness the Princess A . " 

119, Duchess. — Salutation : ** May it please your 
Grace," '*Your Grace," '* Madam." Complimentary close: 
** I have the honor to be, Madam, your Grace's most faithful, 
obedient servant. " Address: "To Her Grace the Duchess 
of A r 

120. Countess.— Salutation : ** Madam," ''My Lady." 
Complimentary close: ** I have the honor to be your Lady- 
ship's most faithful and obedient servant." Address: ''To 
the Right Honorable the Countess of A ." 

121. Baroness. — Salutation : ** My Lady." Compli- 
mentary close : **I have the honor to be your Ladyship's 
obedient servant." Address: ** To the Right Honorable the 
Lady (or, the Baroness) A .'* 





122. I>efirpees. — In the following list are given the 
most common of the many degrees conferred by universities 
and colleges. Where the degree has more than one abbrevi- 
ation, only the one most frequently used is given: 

Bachelor of Divinity 


Bachelor of Philosophy . . . 


Doctor of Divinity 


Doctor of Philosophy 


Bachelor of Laws 

. .LL. B. 

Doctor of Science 


Doctor of Civil Law 


Bachelor of Science . . B. S. , 

or S.B. 

Doctor of Laws 


Master of Science 

Mechanical Engineer 

. . .M.S. 

Doctor of Medicine 

. . .M.E. 

Graduate in Pharmacy. . . 


Mining Engineer 

. . .E.M. 

Doctor of Dental Surgery. 


Civil Engineer 

... C E. 

Bachelor of Arts B.A., 

or A. B. 

Electrical Engineer 

. . .E.E. 

Master of Arts M.A., 

or A.M. 

Scholastic degrees are always abbreviated. 

The bachelor's degrees, B. A. , B. S. , etc. , are conferred upon 
students at the completion of the prescribed college course. 
The master's and doctor's degrees, M. A. , Ph. D. , etc. , are con- 
ferred after one or more years of graduate study. In general, 
the same applies to the engineering degrees, C. E., M.E., etc. 

Little importance is attached to degrees lower than M.A. 
or M.D., and they should not be used in address or super- 
scription. In formal letters, the higher degrees, as D.D., 
LL.D., Ph.D., etc., may be used. It is customary in 
business correspondence with engineers' to append the C.E., 
M. E., or E.E. to the name of an engineer entitled to it. 
These titles, and also the title M.D., are professional as 
well as scholastic and may properly be used in an address, 
superscription, or signature. It is in bad taste, however, to 
append a purely scholastic title, as M.A. or LL.D., to one's 
signature. The title M.D. belongs of right only to regular 
graduates of a medical college in good standing. A lady 
entitled to this degree may be addressed as ** Margaret 
Dawson, M.D.," or **Dr. Margaret Dawson." 

123. Professor. — This title properly applies to one 
elected by the proper authorities to a chair or professorship 


in an institution of learning legally qualified to confer 
degrees. It is by extension applied also to any salaried 
graduate actually employed in teaching, and by courtesy is 
given to scholars and scientists that have become noted in 
special branches of knowledge, and to persons that have dis- 
tinguished themselves as educators. The assumption of the 
title ** professor" by balloonists, barbers, dancing masters, 
and others for the purpose of acquiring importance in the 
eyes of the ignorant, should be vigorously discouraged by 
intelligent people. This title — ^and all others as well — 
should be used with discretion, and should be applied only 
to those that have an indisputable right to it. 


124. Communications or petitions to an assembled body 
may be directed to the president of the body or to the bcxiy 
itself. The following are the forms of salutation and address 
used in such cases : 

United States Senate. — Salutation: ** Honorable Sirs, "or 
**May it please your Honorable Body (or, the Honorable 
Senate)." Address: **To the Honorable the Senate of the 
United States in Congress assembled. " 

House of Representatives, — Salutation : * * Honorable Sirs, " 
** May it please your Honorable Body." Address: ** To the 
Honorable the House of Representatives of the United 
States in Congress assembled. " 

House of Lords. — Petitions to the House of Lords are 
addressed, *'To the Right Honorable the Lords, spiritual and 
temporal, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and 
Ireland in Parliament assembled." The petition commences, 
•' My Lords," or ** May it please your Lordships." 

House of Commofis. — Petitions to the House of Commons 
are thus addressed: **To the Honorable the Commons of 
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in Parlia- 
ment assembled. " The petition commences, * * May it please 
your Honorable House " 


Canadian Parliament. — The Senate of Canada is thus 
addressed: **To the Honorable the Senate of Canada in 
Parliament assembled. *' Petitions to the House of Com- 
mons of Canada are addressed, " To the Honorable the Com- 
mons of Canada in Parliament assembled." The petition 
commences, ** May it please your Honorable House." 

Legislature. — Address : * * To the Honorable the Senate and 
House of Representatives of the State (or, Commonwealth) 

of ." Salutation: '* Honorable Sirs (or *May it please 

your Honorable Body'): The undersigned respectfully repre- 
sent (or submit or petition) that, " etc. Complimentary close, 
when there are several signers: ** And your petitioners, as in 
duty bound, will ever pray," etc., followed by the signatures. 

Ct7«r/.— tA petition to a Civil Court should be addressed, 
** Your Honors," or ** May it please your Honors," or **May 
it please the Honorable Court." Address: **To the Honor- 
able the Judges of A Court." 

Board of Education, — A petition or memorial to a Board, 
say of Education, may begin with '* Gentlemen," or, when 
it is a large or important corporation, **Mayit please your 
Honorable Body." Complimentary close: ** All of which is 
respectfully submitted." Address: **To the President (or 
Chairman, as the case may be) and Members of the Board of 

Education of B ," etc. All other communications may 

be addressed to the President or Chairman officially; in 
some instances — ^as in imparting information — it is better 
taste to address the Secretary of the Board. Always ascer- 
tain definitely whether the head of the Board is a President 
or a Chairman. 


1 S 5. Abbreviations, quotations, and contractions should be 
usedsparingly in writingletters. Formal letters, indeed, should 
contain no abbreviations except those of titles of address and 
scholastic degrees. In business letters and familiar social 
letters, abbreviations may be used to some extent, but they 


should be those that are well understood and in common 

In the heading, address, or superscription, it is customary 
and proper to abbreviate the name of the state, and also to 
use the abbreviations **St." for Street, ** Ave. "for Avenue, 
**Co."for County, etc. It is not permissible to use the 
Arabic figures for the names of streets, nor is it considered 
proper to use the abbreviations, N., E., S.,. and W., for 
North, East, etc., in designating streets; thus, instead of 
**514 N. 7th St." write 514 North Seventh St. ** Cross- 
Roads" should never be written **X-Roads." The name 
of a city should not be abbreviated; as, '* Phil." for Phila- 
delphia, **N. 0."for New Orleans, ** Bait. " for Baltimore, 
** Cin." for Cincinnati, or the like. In the address of letters 
such forms savor of impertinence. Worse than this is the 
abbreviation of less familiar proper names. If one writes 
** Rock. Co., Virginia," the distributing clerk has to pause 
long enough to recall the fact that there is no Rock county 
in Virginia — although there is in other states — and to guess 
that the word **Rock." is for Rockingham. All this takes 
time and tries patience, and is so much unnecessary labor 
added to an overworked official. So, also, of ** Ash. "for 
Ashland, Ashley, Ashmore, Ashtabula, and so on; ** Green." 
for Greenbrier, Greenville, Greenwood, Greenup, etc. ; and 
** Hill." for Hillsborough; and so on to the end of the chap- 
ter. All such abbreviations are samples of impertinence 
and Ignorance combined. 

Abbreviations by syncope are almost as faulty as the 
foregoing; such as, '*Wmsburgh" for Williamsburgh, 
* * Jastown " for Jamestown, • * ' Jnotown " for Johntown, 
** Wash ton" for Washington, and so on. When two ab- 
breviations identical in form fall together — as in Berkly St , 
St. Louis — it is better to spell the word Street out in 
full. The word ** St " for Saint, although in a proper name, 
is so invariably employed that no confusion can arise from 
its use. Such words as San, Mount, New, should generally 
be written out; such as North, South, East, West, Upper, 
Lower, Point, Port, Union, and Bay should always be 


written out, except in the names of states or very well 
known places. 

There are a few abbreviations by S3mcope in personal 
names that have become tolerable by long use. Of this 
class are Chas., Jas., Thos., Wm., and some others. The 
correct form of writing these is the one here given; that 
is, with no punctuation except the abbreviation period at 
the end. 

It is important, in view of the punctuation, to keep in 
mind the distinction, very frequently overlooked, between an 
abbreviated name and a nickname. Thus, the abbreviation 
of Thomas is **Thos.," while the most common nickname is 
**Tom,*' the former having the period of abbreviation and 
the latter not From Joseph, in like manner, we have 
'* Jos." and '* Joe," abbreviation and nickname respectively; 
and in this case there is a sort of compromise in '*Jo." 
Most of our familiar names have both abbreviations and 
nicknames, and sometimes a plurality of both; for example, 
William has **Wm." and **Will.,** abbreviations; with 
**Biir* and ** Willie" for nicknames. James has ** Jas."; 
with *' Jemmy," ** Jimmy," and ** Jim." John has ** Jno."; 
with ** Johnny" and **Jack." Edward has ** Edw." and 
**Ed."; with !'Ned." Charles has **Chas."; with ** Charley." 

One common but objectionable abbreviation is the symbol 
& for and. In general this abbreviation is permissible in a 
firm name; as, Messrs. John Hill & Sons. 

The contractions, can't, don't, isn't, etc., used in familiar 
conversation, may perhaps be used in familiar letters; it is 
however a safe rule to avoid all such contractions in all forms 
of written discourse. 

The abbreviations that are likely to be required in writing 
are given in the following classified list. It is not intended, 
of course, that the student shall commit to memory all 
the abbreviations given; he should, however, scan the list 
carefully and note those most frequently used in corre- 
spondence; and he should obtain a good general idea of 
the various classes so that he may intelligently use the list 
for reference. 






According to value {ad valorem) 

ad val.. 

Account acct. 

Account current acct. cur. 

Account sales acct. sales 

Additional add. 

Advertisement ad., advt. 

Agent agt 

All correct (oil korrect) O.K. 

Amount amt. 

Assorted ass'd or as'd 

Average av. 

Balance bal. 

Bales bis. 

Bank bk. 

Bank book ; Bill book B.B. 

Barrel bbl. 

Bill of exchange b. e. 

Bill of lading. b. 1. 

Bills payable b. p. 

Bills receivable b. rec. 

Bond bd. 

Bought bot. 

Boxes bxs. 

Brought bro't 

Bundle bdl. 

Bushel bu. or bush. 

By the hundred per cent. 

By the year i>er an. 

Cartage ctg. 

Cash (or collect) on delivery. 


Cashier cash. 

Casks cks. 

Cents c. or cts. 

Charges chgs. 

Chartered accountant; Chief 
accountant C.A. 

Chests chts. 

Collateral coUat. 

Collector colL 

Commission ; Commerce ; Com- 
mittee com. 

Company ; County Co. 

Consigned cons'd 

Consignment cons't 

Consolidated consol. 

Correspondent corresp. 

Credit; Creditor Cr. 

Day book D.B. 

Deposit dep. 

Discount disct. 

Ditto (the same) do. 

Dividend div. 

Debtor Dr. 

Draft dft. 

Each ea. 

Errors and omissions excepted. 


Errors excepted E. E. 

Exchange ; Exchequer Exch. 

Export; Exporter; Expense, .exp. 

First class Al 

Foot or feet ft. 

Free on board f. o. b. 

Gallon gaL 

Gross gr. or gro. 

Hogshead hhd. 

Hundredweight cwt 

I owe you I.O.U. 

Inch or inches in. 

Insurance ins. 

Interest int. 

Inventory inv't. 

Invoice inv. 

Invoice book I.B. 

Journal jour. 

Journal day book J.D.B. 

Journal folio J.P. 

Kilogram Kilo., Kg. 




Manifest Mfst, 

Memorandum Mem. 

Memorandum book Mem. B. 

Merchandise mdse. 

Mortgage Mtg. 

Number; Numbers No., Nos. 

Ounce oz. 

Package pkg. 

Paid pd. 

Pay on delivery P. O. D. 

Payment P^y't 

Peck pk. 

Piece pee. or pc. 

Pieces , , ..pes. or ps. 

Please exchange P.X. 

Pound or pounds .lb. 

Premium Prem. 

Quart , .qt. 

Quarter ', qr. 

Received reed. 

Returned retd. 

Sales book S.B. 

Shipment shipt 

Treasurer Treas. 

Weight wt. 

Yard or yards yd. 


Administrator adm., admr. 

Advocate Adv. 

Against (versus) v., vs. 

Alderman. . . Aid. 

And others (e/ a Hi) et al. 

Attorney Atty. 

Attorney General Atty. Gen. 

Chancellor Chanc. 

Chief Justice C.J.. Ch.J. 

Civil Civ. 

Civil Service C.S. 

Clerk elk. 

Clerk of Privy Council C.P.C. 

Commissioner Com., Comr. 

Common Pleas C.P. 

Congress Cong. 

Congressional Record ..Cong.Rec. 
Corresponding Secretary.. Cor. Sec. 

Defendant dft., deft. 

Democrat ; Democratic Dem. 

Department; Deponent. 

Dept., Dep. 

Deputy Dep. 

District Court D.C. 

Envoy Extraordinary and Minis- 
ter Plenipotentiary. 

E.E. &M.P. 
Executive Committee . . . Exec. Com. 
Executor , , .Exec, Exr. 

Financial Secretary Fin. Sec. 

Governor Gov., Govr. 

His (or, Her) Britannic Majesty. 


His (or, Her) Majesty H.M. 

His (or, Her) Majesty's Customs. 


House of Representatives. . . . H. R. 

Incorporated incor. 

Internal Revenue Int. Rev. 

Judge Advocate J. A. 

Judge of Probate J.Prob. 

Justice of the Peace. . .J. P., Jus. P. 

King's Bench K.B. 

King's Counsel K. C. 

Legal Leg. 

Legislature Leg. , Legis. 

Member of Congress; Master of 
Ceremonies; Master Comman- 
dant M.C. 

Member of Parliament M.P. 

Member of Provincial Parliament. 

M.P. P. 

Notary Public N.P. 

Parliament ; Parliamentary . . Pari. 

Plaintiff plf., plff.. pltff. 

Post Office P.O. 

Postal Note P.N. 

Postmaster P.M. 




Privy Conncilor. P.C. 

Public Documents Pub. Doc. 

Queen Victoria ( Victoria Regina), 


Queen's Bench Q.B. 

Queen's Counsel Q.C. 

Register ; Registrar Reg. 

Republican; Representative; Re- 
port Rep. 

Revised Statutes. ,,,... .Rev. Stat 

Secretary. • Sea 

Senate ; Senator Sen. 

Solicitor SoL 

Solicitor General SoLGren. 

Superintendent Supt 

Superior Court ; Supreme Court 

United States District Court 

United States Senate , U.S.S. 


Afternoon P.M. 

April Apr. 

August Aug. 

Before Christ {ante Christum), 

Century Cen. 

Christmas Xmas. 

Day; Days d., ds. 

December Dec. 

February Feb. 

Forenoon A.M. 

Friday Fri. 

Hour. h., hr. 

Hours hrs. 

In the meantime {ad interim). 

ad. int. 
In the year of our Lord, or In the 

Christian Era(anno Domini), A, D. 
In the year of the world {anno 

mundi) A.M. 

January Jan. 

July ...JuL 

June Jua 

(June and July are rarely abbreviated.) 

Last month {ultimo) ult 

March Mar., Mch 

Minute min 

Monday Mon 

Month mo. (pi. , mos.) 

New style N.S. 

Next month {proximo) prox. 

Noon {meridian) M. 

November Nov. 

October Oct 

Old style O.S. 

Saturday Sat 

Second sec. 

September Sept 

Sunday Sun. 

This month {instant) inst 

Thursday Thurs. 

Tuesday Tues. 

Wednesday.. Wed. 

Year; years yr., yrs. 


Africa; African. Afr. 

Alabama. Ala. 

Alaska Alas. 

America; American. Am. or Amer. 
Argentine Republic Arg.Rep. 

Arizona Ariz. 

Arkansas Ark. 

Australia; Australian AustraL 

Austria; Austrian. 

Aus., Aust, Austr. 




Avenue Ave. 

Bahamas Bah. 

Baltimore Bait, Balto. 

Barbados Barb. 

Belgium ; Belgian Belg. 

British America Br. Am., B.A. 

British Columbia. B.C. 

Borough bor. or Bor. 

Britain; British Brit 

British India. B.I. 

California Cal. 

Cambridge. Cam. 

Canada. Can. 

Canterbury ( Cantuaria) . Cantuar. 

Cape Breton C.B. 

Cape of Good Hope C.G.H. 

Central America. Cen. Am. 

Chicago Chi. 

Colorado Colo. 

Better than Col., in order to distin- 
guish it easily from Cal. 

Connecticut Conn. 

Should never be abbreviated Ct., for 
the reason that it might, in hasty- 
handwriting, be confounded with Vt. 

County Co. 

Court House > C.H. 

Dakota Dak. 

Delaware Del. 

District Dist 

District of Columbia D.C. 

Dominion Dom. 

Dublin Dub., Dubl. 

Ecuador Ecua. 

England ; English Eng. 

Europe Eur. 

Florida. Fla. 

France ; French Fr. 

Georgia Ga. 

Germany ; German Ger. 

Great Britain. 

G.B.. GtBr., GtBrit 

Greece; Greek Gr. 

Hawaiian Islands H.I. 

Honduras Hond. 

Idaho Ida. 

Illinois 111. 

Indian Territory Ind.T. 

Indiana Ind. 

Indo-European . . , Indo-Eur. 

Iowa la. , lo. 

Ireland Ir., Ire. 

Island Is., IsL 

Italian ItaL 

Italy It 

Japan Jap. 

Kansas Kan., Kans., Kas. 

Kentucky Ky. 

Better than Ken., for the reason that 
Ken. might be mistaken for Kan. 

Lake L. 

London Lon., Lond. 

Louisiana. La., Lou. 

Maine Me. 

Manitoba Manit 

Maryland .^.Md. 

Massachusetts Mass. 

Mexico Mex. 

Michigan Mich. 

Minnesota Minn. 

Mississippi Miss. 

Missouri Mo. 

This abbreviation is exceptional, and 
almost absurd. The mo.<>t common abbre- 
viation of a state is the first part of the 
word ; as^ Ala., Conn., Miss., Mass., etc. 
Another is the first and last letters : a^ 
La., Pa., Me., Ga., etc. But Mo. is a third 
and unicjue form ; but long usa^e has 
made it mtelligible and hence it is best 
to keep it. Mis. would be confounded 
with Miss. ; and Mi. with Me. 

Montana Mont 

Mountain Mt.(pl.,Mts.) 

Nebraska Nebr. 

Best form, as Neb. might be mistaken 
for Nev., Nevada. 

Netherlands Neth. 

Nevada Nev. 

New Brunswick N.B. 

New England N.E., N.Eng. 

Newfoundland N.F. 

New Hampshire N. H. 

New Jersey N.J. 

These initials are too much like N.Y.. 
N.H., N.C., and so on, to make it at all 
times safe to use them for the state. 
Better in cases where space is limited, to 
write it ** N. Jersey." 




New Mexico N.Mex. 

New South Wales N.S. W. 

New York N.Y. 

New Zealand N. Z. , N. Zeal. 

North America N. A. 

North Carolina. N.C. 

North Dakota. N.Dak. 

Northwest Territory N. W.T. 

Norway Norw. 

Nova Scotia N.S. 

Ohio O. 

Ontario Ont. 

Oregon Or., Ore., Oreg. 

Oxford {Ojionia) Oxon. 

Pennsylvania Pa. 

This is better than Penn. for the reason 
that the latter is too much like Tenn. 

Philadelphia Phil.. Phila. 

Province of Quebec P. Q. 

Quebec Q., Que. 

Railroad R. R. 

Rhode Island R.I. 

River R. 

Russia ; Russian Russ. 

Sandwich Islands S. I. 

Scotland Scot. 

South Africa S. A. 

South America S. A., S.Am. 

South Carolina S.C 

South Dakota S. Dak. 

Spain Sp. 

Sweden Sw. 

Switzerland Swit., Switz. 

Tennessee Tenn. 

Territory Ten. Terr. 

Texas Tex. 

Township tp. 

United States of America. . U.S.A. 

Utah U. 

Venezuela Venei. 

Vermont Vt. 

Village vil. or Vil. 

Washington Wash. 

West Indies -f . . . W.I. 

West Virginia W.Va. 

Wisconsin Wis. 

Wyoming Wyo. 

York {Eboracum) Ebor. 


Catholic Cath. 

Church Ch. 

Clergyman CI., clerg. 

Congregational Cong. 

Deacon Dea. 

Defender of the Faith (Ftdei 

Defensor) Fid.Def. 

Deo Optimo Maximo (to God. the 

best, the greatest) D.O.M. 

Diocese dio. , dioc. 

Ecclesiastes Eccl. , Eccles. 

English translation E.T. 

Episcopal Epis. 

Evangelical E vang. 

God willing {Deo voiente) D. V. 

Independent Methodist. 

Ind. Meth. 

Methodist Meth. 

Methodist Episcopal M. E. 

New Testament N.T. 

Old Testament O.T. 

Presbyterian Presb. 

Protestant Prot. 

Reformation Ref. 

Reformed Church in America. 


Reverend ; Revelation Rev. 

Revised Version Rev. Ver. 

Roman Catholic. R.C., Rom. Cath. 

Trinity Tria 

Unitarian Unit. 

United Brethem U.B. 

United Presbyterian U.P. 

Universalist Univ. 





Academy of Science .A.S. 

American Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science. . A. A. A.S. 

American Association for the Pro- 
motion of Science A.A.P.S. 

American and Foreign Bible So- 

American Board Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions . . . A.B.C.F.M. 

American Geographical and Sta- 
tistical Society A.G.S.S. 

American Institute A. I. 

American Institute of Architec- 
ture A. I. A. 

American Institute of Mining En- 
gineering A.I.M.E. 

American Missionary Association. 

A.M. A. 

American Order of Stationary En- 
gineers A.O.S.E. 

American Peace Society. . . . A. P.S. 

American Protestant Association. 

A. P. A. 

American Railway Union. A."R.U. 

American Society for the Preven- 
tion of Cruelty to Animals. 

A.. O. MT, Vi/. Am 

American Society of Civil Engi- 
neers and Architects . A. S. C. E. A. 

American Society of Mechanical 
Engfineers A.S.M.E. 

American Statistical Association. 

American Unitarian Association. 


Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. 

A.F.A.M., A.F.&A.M. 

Ancient Order of Foresters. A. O.F. 

Ancient Order of Hibernians. 

Ancient Order of United Workmen. 


Associated Brotherhood of Iron 

and Steel Workers.. A.B.I. S.W, 

Astronomical Society of the Pa- 
cific A.S.P. 

Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks B.P.O.Elks 

British and Foreign Bible Society. 


British Association B. A. 

British Women's Temperance As- 
sociation B.W.T.A. 

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi- 
neers B. L. E. 

Chautauqua Literary and Scien- 
tific Circle C.L.S.C. 

Church Missionary Society. C. M.S. 

Engineer Volunteers E. V. 

Grand Army of the Republic" G. A. R. 

Improved Order of Red Men. 


Independent Order of Foresters. 

I. O.F. 

Independent Order of Good Tem- 

Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows LO.O.F. 

Independent Order of Sons of 
Malta LO.S.M. 

Institute of Civil Engineers. 


Institute of Mechanical Engineers. 


Institute of Naval Architects. 

Inst. N. A. 

International Typographical Un- 
ion I.T.U. 

Knight of the Garter K.G. 

Knight of the Legion of Honor 
(France) K. L. H. 

Knight of Malta K.M. 

Knight of St. Patrick K.P. 

Knights of Honor K. of H. 

Knights of Labor K. of L. 

Knights of Pythias K. of P. 

Knights Templars K.T. 

Mexican War Veterans. . .M. W.V, 




National Academy of Design. 


National Academy of Sciences. 


National Association of Stationary 
Engineers N. A.S.E. 

Order of United American Me- 
chanics O.U.A.M. 

Order of United Americans. O. U. A. 

Royal Academy of Music. .R. A. M. 

Royal Arch Chapter R. A.C. 

Royal College of Physicians. R. C. P. 

Royal College of Surgeons.. R.C.S. 

Royal Historical, Humane, or Hor- 
ticultural Society R.H.S. 

Society for the Prevention of 
Crime S.P.C. 

Society for the Prevention of Cru- 
elty to Animals S. P.C. A. 

Society for the Prevention of Cru- 
elty to Children. S.P.C.C. 

Sons of Temperance S. of T. 

Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union i W.C.T.U. 

Women's Christian Association. 


Young Men*s Christian Associa- 

Llvlu .....•••■•••..... .X .jn.v./. ./v* 

Young Men's Christian Union, 


Young Women's Christian Asso- 
ciaLion ...■■...■•...■. X. w . w..A« 

Young Women's Christian Tem- 
perance Union Y.W.C.T.U. 


Abbott; Abbess Abb. 

Acting Assistant Quartermaster 

General A. A.Q.M.G. 

Adjutant General A. G. 

In our army this staff officer ranks as 
a Brig^adier General, when of the highest 

Admiral Adm. 

Archbishop; Abp. 

Assistant Adjutant General. 


Assistant Quartermaster . . A. Q. M. 

Assistant Quartermaster General. 


Baronet Bart 

Bishop Bp. 

Brigadier General Brig. Gen. 

Captain Capt. 

Cardinal Card. 

Chancellor Chanc. 

Colonel Col. 

Commandant Comdt. 

Commander Com. 

Commodore Com. 

Deputy Adjutant General.. D. A. G. 

Deputy Lieutenant D. L. 

Earl E. 

Ensign Ens. 

Esquire (formerly Esqre.). . . .Esq. 

Excellency Exa 

General. Gen,, Genl. 

His Excellency; His Eminence. 


Honorable Hon. 

Knight Kt 

Lieutenant Lieut, Lt 

Lieutenant Colonel ....... ,Lt CoL 

Lieutenant General Lt Gen. 

Madam Mad. 

Madame Mme. 

Major. Maj. 

Major General Maj.Gre'n. 

Master or Mister Mr. 

Mesdames Mmes. 

Messieurs (Gentlemen). .. .Messrs. 

Midshipman Mid. 

Mistress or Missis. Mrs. 

Most Worshipful; Most Worthy. 


President Prea. 

Professor. Prol 




Provost Prov. 

Quartermaster General Qm. G. 

Rear Admiral R. A. 

Rector Rect. 

Regius Professor Reg. Prof. 

Reverend Rev. 

Right Honorable Rt.Hon. 

Right Reverend » RtRev. 

Right Worshipful. 

R.W., RtWpful. 

Surgeon General Surg. Gen. 

Venerable Ven. 

Very Reverend V.R., V.Rev. 

Vicar Apostolic V. A. 

Vice Admiral V.Adm. 

Vice Chairman; Vice Chancellor. 


Vice General Vice Gen. 

Vice President Vice Pres. 

Viscount Vis., ViscU 


(Pot other abbreviations of scholastic degrees, see Art. 128.) 

Associate of the Royal Academy. 

A.x\.. i\. 

Bachelor of Civil Law B.C.L. 

Bachelor of Literature. B. L. , B. Lit. 
Bachelorof Music. B. Mus.^Mus.Bac. 

Bachelor of Oratory B. O. 

Doctor of Natural Philosophy. 

Dr. Nat. Phil. 
Doctor of Natural Science. 

Doctor of Sacred Theology. . S. T. D. 
Doctor of Veterinary Science. 


Dynamical Engineer. D.E. 

Fellow of Royal Society {Reg ice 

Societatis Socius) . F. R. S. , R. S. S. 

Fellow of the American Academy 

{Academics AmertcancB Socius), 

xV.. xV.o. 

Fellow of the Entomological So- 
ciety F.E.S. 

Fellow of the Geological Society. 


Fellow of the Historical Society 
(HisioricB Societatis Socius), 

Fellow of the Philological Society. 

Fellow of the Society of Arts, Fel- 
low of the Antiquarian Society. 


Master of Laws LL.M. 

Master of Philosophy Ph.M. 

Member of Legislative Council. 

Member of Royal Academy of 

Science* .M.R.A.S. 

Member of the Royal Institution. 

Member of the Royal Irish Acad- 

cmy. ..•.•.•..■...••••• iVx. jv. X. a\^ 

Member of the Royal Society of 

Literature M.R.S.L. 

Member of the Statistical Society 

Topographical Engineer.. . . . ,T.E. 


Anonymous Anon. 

Answer a. or ans. 

Answer, if you please {repondez 
s'ii vous plait) R.S.V.P. 

Abridged. abr. 

Aide-de-Camp A. D. C. 

And others ; And so forth (et cet- 
sra) etc. , &c. 




Appendix app. 

Approximate approx. 

Architecture ; Architect Arch. 

Article art. 

Boards (bookbinding) bds. 

Book bk. 

Brevet ; Brevetted Brev. 

Brother Bro. 

The plural is Bros., not Bro's. 

Building bldg. 

Capital letter cap. 

Centigrade ; Central Cent. 

Chapter chap. 

Coadjutor Coad. 

College coll. 

Compare cf. 

Confederate States of America. 

Cyclopedia Cyc. 

Dead-Letter Office D. L. O. 

Degree Deg. 

Dictionary diet. 

Dramatis personcBy (the persons 

of the drama) Dram.Pers. 

Dynamics dyn., dynam. 

Edition ed. 

Editor Ed. 

Engineer; Engineering eng. 

Example Ex. 

Exception ex. 

Fahrenhqit Fah. , Fahr. 

Fecit (he did it) fee. 

Figure fig. 

For example {exempli gratia). . e.g. 

General Order G.O. 

Handkerchief lidkf. 

History ; Historical hist. 

In transitu (in the passage). 

in trans. 

Incognito (unknown) incog. 

Introduction Intro. 

It does not follow {non seqititur). 

non seq. 

Latitude lat. 

Library Lib. 

Longitude long 

Manufactured Mfd. 

Manufacturers Mf rs. 

Manufacturing Mfg. 

Manuscript; Manuscripts, 

MS.. MSS. 

Military MiL 

Mutual Mut. 

Namely {videlicet) viz. 

National Nat. 

Nota bene N.B. 

Page; Pages p., pp. 

Philosophy Phil. 

Population pop. 

Post-Office Order. ..." P.O.O. 

Pounds, shillings, and pence. 

£, s.,and d. 
Pro tempore (for the time). pro tern. 

Query qy. 

Question qu., ques. 

Quod erat demonstrandum (which 
waste be demonstrated)..q.e.d. 

Railroad R.R. 

Railway Ry. 

Recipe Re* . 

Regiment Reg. 

Remark Rem. 

Review Rev. 

Scilicet (namely ; to wit) scil. 

Section sec. 

Solution sol. 

Supplement Supp. 

That is {id est) i.e. 

The same (idem), . . : id. 

Transpose tr. 

United States Army U.S.A. 

United States Mail or Marines. 

United States Military Academy. 

U.S.M. A. 
United States Naval Academy. 


United States Navy .U.S.N. 

United States Steamship. . .U.S.S 
Volume. ,.,.,..... .vol 





The following sigrns and characters are in daily nse: 

To or at @ 

Account «/f 

Bill of lading Vx 

Bill rendered , */« 

Bill of sale Vs 

Cents f 

Care of Vo 

Days after date V/> 

Days after sight Vs 

Free on board ^/b 

Joint account Vj 

Letter of credit Vc 

Letters of marque ^/n 

Pounds sterling £ 

On account of custom o/c 

Out of courtesy o/c 

Per cent J^ 


Dollars $ 

Number J 

Means ''pounds," if written after a 
figrure, as 40 % 

Check mark ^ 

Also radical sign. 

Ditto. (The same as above). . . . '• 

Degrees ® 

Primes; Minutes; Feet ' 

Seconds ; Inches.*. " 

Also used for ditto marks. 

One and one-fourth 1' 

One and one-half 1* 

One and three-fourths 1* 

Addition (plus) + 

Subtraction (minus) — 

Multiplication (by or into) X 

Division (divided by) -i- 

Equals (equality) =: 



126* Flrst-Class Matter. — On matter that is wholly in 
writing, sealed or unsealed, printed commercial papers 
filled out in writing, having the nature of a personal corre- 
spondence, or being the expression of a money value, such as 
notes, drafts, receipts, executed deeds, and insurance policies, 
manuscripts for publication when unaccompanied by proof 
sheets, reproductions by the copygraph and similar proc- 
esses, which are in the nature of personal correspondence, 
or imitating written matter, and all packages the contents 
of which cannot be ascertained without destroying the 
wrapper, the postage is 2 cents for each ounce, or for each 
fraction thereof. On local or drop letters at of!ices where 
there is no free delivery by carrier, 1 cent. Weight of pack- 
ages not limited. Postal cards, 1 cent 


137. Second-Class Matter, — This class includes all 
newspapers, periodicals, or matter exclusively in print and 
regnlariy issued at stated periods from a known office of 
publication or news agency. Postage, 1 cent a pound or 
fraction thereof. Weight of packages not limited. The 
only writings or prints that may be enclosed with or on such 
matter are: Name and address of publishers, and of party 
addressed; index or expiration figures; printed title and 
office of publication; corrections of typographical errors: 
marks to call attention to any passages; the words ** sample 
copy" or "marked copy"; and bills, receipts, and subscrip- 
tion orders, which, however, must contain no other infor- 
mation than the name, place of publication, subscription 
price, and subscription due ; the number of copies contained 
in package may be noted. 

Transient newspapers and periodicals that have been 
entered as second-class matter, 1 cent for 4 oimces, or frac- 
tion thereof. 

138. Third-Class Matter. — Mail matter of the third 
class embraces books (printed and blank), circulars, and 
other matter wholly in print, proof sheets and corrected proof 
sheets and manuscript copy accompanying the same, hand- 
bills, posters, chromolithographs, engravings, heliotypes, 
lithographs, photographic and stereoscopic views, with title 
written or printed thereon, printed blanks, printed cards. 
Postage, 1 cent for each 2 ounces or fractional part thereof. 

Third-class matter must admit of easy inspection, other- 
wise it will be charged letter rates on delivery. It must be 
fully prepaid, or it will not be forwarded. 

The limit of weight is 4 pounds, except single books in 
separate packages, on which the weight is not limited. It 
is entitled, like matter of the other classes, to special 
delivery when special-delivery stamps are affixed in addition 
to the regular postage. 

Upon matter of the third class, or upon the wrapper or 
envelope enclosing the same, or the tag or label attached 
thereto, the sender may write his own name, occupation, 


and residence or business address, preceded by the word 
from^ and may make marks other than by written or printed 
words to call attention to any word or passage in the text, 
and make correct any typographical errors. There may be 
placed upon the blank leaves or cover of any book, or 
printed matter of the third class, a simple manuscript dedi- 
cation or inscription not of the nature of a personal corre- 
spondence. Upon the wrapper or envelope of third-class 
matter, or the tag or label attached thereto, may be printed 
any matter mailable as third class, but there must be left 
on the address side a space sufficient for the legible address 
and necessary stamps. 

129« Fourtli-Class Matter. — ^Mailable matter of the 
fourth class embraces blank cards, cardboard, and other 
flexible material, flexible patterns, letter envelopes and 
letter paper, merchandise, models, ornamented paper, sam- 
ple cards, samples of ores, metals, minerals, drawings, plans, 
designs, original paintings in oil or water colors, and any 
other matter not included in the first, second, or third 
class, and which is not in its form or nature liable to 
destroy, deface, or otherwise damage the contents of the 
mail bag, or harm the person of any one engaged in the 
postal service; or matter excluded by sections 3,893 and 
3,894 Revised Statutes, to wit, obscene matter and matter 
concerning lotteries. Postage rate thereon, 1 cent for each 
ounce or fractional part thereof. 

Other articles of the fourth class, which, unless properly 
secured, might destroy, deface, or otherwise damage the 
contents of the mail bag, or harm the person of any one 
^iigag'^ ill the postal service, may be transmitted in the 
mails when they conform to the following conditions: 
(1) They must be placed in a bag, box, or removable envel- 
ope made of paper, cloth, or parchment; (2) such bag, box, 
or envelope must again be placed in a box or tube made of 
metal or some hard wood, with sliding clasp or screw lid; 
(3) in case of articles liable to break, the inside box, bag, or 
envelope must be surrounded by sawdust, cotton, or spongy 


substance; (4) in case of sharp-pointed instruments, the 
points must be capped or encased; and when they have 
blades, such blades must be bound with wire; (5) the whole 
must be capable of easy inspection. Seeds, or other articles 
not prohibited, which are liable from their form or nature 
to loss or damage unless specially protected, may be put up 
in sealed envelopes, provided such envelopes are made of 
material sufficiently transparent to show the contents clearly 
without opening. 

Upon any package of matter of the fourth class the sender 
may write or print his own name and address, preceded by 
the word/rt?/A/, and there may also be written or printed the 
number and names of the articles enclosed ; and the sender 
thereof may write or print upon or attach to any such 
articles, by tag or label, a mark, number, name, or letter, 
Cor purpose of identification, and any matter not in the 
nature of personal correspondence may be printed on the 
wrapper or label, or be enclosed within. 

Fourth-class matter may be registered and must be fully 

130* Registration. — All kinds of postal matter may be 
registered at the rate of 8 cents for each package in addition 
to the regular rates of postage, to be fully prepaid by 
stamps. Each package must bear the name and address of 
the sender, and a receipt will be returned from the person 
to whom addressed. Mail matter can be registered at all 
post offices in the United States. 

The Post-Office Department or its revenue is not by law 
liable for the loss of any registered or other mail matter. 
Congress, at a recent session, passed an act authorizing the 
Postmaster General to formulate -a system by which an 
indemnity — not to exceed 110 for any one registered piece — 
shall be paid for the loss of first-class registered matter. 

13 !• All matter concerning lotteries, gift concerts, or 
schemes devised to defraud the public, or for the purpose of 
obtaining money under false pretenses, is denied transmis- 
sion in the mails. 


132* The franking privilege was abolished July 1, 1873, 
but the following mail matter may be sent free by legislative 
saving clauses; viz: 

1. All public documents printed by order of Congress, 
the Congressional Record and speeches contained therein, 
franked by Members of Congress, or by the Secretary of the 
Senate, or by the Clerk of the House. 

2. Seeds transmitted by the Secretary of Agriculture, or 
by any Member of Congress, procured from that Department. 

3. All periodicals sent to the subscribers within the 
county where printed, except when sent to free delivery 

4. Letters and packages relating exclusively to the busi- 
ness of the Government of the United States, mailed only 
by officers of the same, publications required to be mailed to 
the Librarian of Congress by the copyright law, and letters 
and parcels mailed by the Smithsonian Institution. All 
these must be covered by specially printed " penalty *' envel- 
opes or labels. 

5. The Vice President, members and members-elect and 
delegates and delegates-elect to Congress may frank any 
mail matter, not over 1 ounce in weight, upon official or 
departmental business. 

6. All communications to government officers and to 
members of Congress must be prepaid by stamps. 


133* Money in simis not exceeding $100 can be sent 
with safety through the principal Post Offices of the United 
States, by buying Post-Office Money Orders. The rates are 
as follows: 

For domestic money orders : For sums not exceeding $2. 50, 
3 cents; over |i2.50 and not exceeding $5, 5 cents; over $5 
and not exceeding tlO, 8 cents; over $10 and not exceeding 
$20, 10 cents; over $20 and not exceeding $30, 12 cents; 
over $30 and not exceeding $40, 15 cents; over $40 and not 


exceeding 150, 18 cents; over $50 and not exceeding $60, 
20 cents; over 160 and not exceeding 175, 25 cents; over 
175 and not exceeding llOO, 30 cents. 

For foreign money orders : For sums not exceeding $10, 
10 cents; over $10 and not exceeding $20, 20 cents; over 
$20 and not exceeding $30, 30 cents; over $30 and not 
exceeding $40, 40 cents; over $40 and not exceeding $50, 
50 cents; $50 to $60, 60 cents; $60 to $70, 70 cents; $70 to 
$80, 80 cents; $80 to $90, 90 cents; $90 to $100, $1. 


134. Affixing a special-delivery stamp of the value of 
10 cents to any letter or package insures its immediate 
delivery by messenger on reaching destination. This now 
applies to all Post Offices in the United States. 


135* Valentines and unframed Christmas and Easter 
cards, and other cards of a similar character, passing between 
friends in small quantities, as tokens of esteem, are trans- 
missible in mails despatched to countries of the Universal 
Postal Union (except Canada and Mexico, to which United 
States domestic postage rates apply), at the rate and under 
the conditions applicable to "printed matter" in Postal 
Union mails, notwithstanding they are composed partly of 
silk or satin, and are hand-painted and of elaborate design 
and finish. But such cards regularly framed, whether with 
wood, metal, or other material usually used for picture 
frames, are not entitled to transmission as ** printed matter,' 
and should not be admitted to Postal Union ' mails at less 
than the letter rate of postage fully prepaid; nor should 
articles intended for use (such as cushions, etc. ), which bear 
an Easter or Christmas greeting, but cannot be considered 
in any sense ** cards," be treated as ''printed matter" in 
said mails. 



136, The rates of postage to all foreign countries and 
colonies (except Canada and Mexico) are as follows: 

Letters, per 15 grams (^ ounce) 5 cents 

Postal cards, each 2 cents 

Newspapers and other printed matter, per 2 ounces. 1 cent 
Commercial papers (such as legal and insurance 
papers, deeds, bills of lading, invoices, manu- 
script for publication, etc.) — 

Packets not in excess of 10 ounces. ........ 5 cents 

Packets in excess of 10 ounces, for each 

2 ounces or fraction thereof 1 cent 

Samples of merchandise — 

Packets not in excess of 4 ounces 2 cents 

Packets in excess of 4 ounces, for each 

2 ounces or fraction thereof 1 cent 

Registration fee on letters or other articles 8 cents 

Ordinary letters for countries of the Postal Union^ (except 
Canada and Mexico) will be forwarded, whether any postage 
is prepaid on them or not. All other mailable matter must 
be prepaid at least partially. Mail matter for Hawaii, Cuba, 
Porto Rico, and to the United States possessions in the Philip- 
pines should be prepaid at Domestic Rates, the same as if 

addressed to persons within the United States, Canada, or 

137. The following are the rates of postage to Canada: 

Letters, per ounce, prepayment compulsory 2 cents 

Postal cards, each 1 cent 

Newspapers, per 4 ounces 1 cent 

Merchandise, not exceeding 4 pounds (samples, 1 cent 

per 2 ounces), per ounce 1 cent 

Commercial papers, same as to other Postal Union 

countries. ^ 
Registration fee 8 cents 

Any article of correspondence may be registered. Pack- 
ages of merchandise are subject to the regulations of either 


country to prevent violations of the revenue laws; must not 
be closed against inspection, and must be so wrapped and 
enclosed as to be easily examined. Samples must not exceed 
8| oimces in weight. No sealed packages other than letters 
in their usual and ordinary form may be sent by mail to 

138* The rates of postage to Mexico are: 

Letters, newspapers, and printed matter are now carried 
between the United States and Mexico at same rates as in^ 
the United States. Samples are 1 cent for 2 ounces; limit 
of v/eight, 8 1 ounces. Merchandise other than samples may 
only be sent by Parcels Post. No sealed packages other 
than letters in their usual and ordinary form may be sent by 
mail to Mexico, nor any package over 4 pounds 6 ounces in 

Merchandise cannot be sent by mail to foreign countries, 
except as samples as above, or when paid at the rate for 
letters; except that a Parcels Post is in operation between the 
United States and Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, British 
Honduras, Mexico, Hawaii, Leeward Islands, Republic of 
Colombia, Salvador, Costa Rica, Danish West Indies (St- 
Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John), British Guiana, Wind- 
ward Islands, and Newfoundland. Merchandise to these 
countries, 12 cents for each pound or fraction thereof. 
Limit of weight, 11 pounds. Limit of size to Colombia, 
Costa Rica, and Mexico, 2 ft. X 4 ft. To other countries 
named, 6 feet for greatest length and girth combined. 

Packages of canceled or uncanceled postage * stamps 
addressed to foreign countries (except when sent by Parcels 
Post) are subject to postage at letter rates. 


{From the United States Official Postal Guide.) 

1 39. Mail all letters, etc. as early as practicable, espe- 
cially when sent in large numbers, as is frequently the case 
with newspapers and circulars. 


All mail matter at large post offices is necessarily handled 
in great haste and should, therefore, in all cases be ^o plainly 
addressed as to leave no room for doubt and no excuse for 
error on the part of postal employes. Names of states 
should be written in full (or their abbreviations should be 
very distinctly written) in order to prevent errors that arise 
from the similarity of such abbreviations as Cal., Col. ; Pa., 
Va., Vt.; Me., Mo., Md.; Ida., Ind.; N. H., N. M., N. Y., 
N. J., N. C, D. C. ; Miss., Minn., Mass. ; Nev., Neb. ; Penn., 
Tenn. ; etc., when hastily or carelessly written. This is 
especially necessary in addressing mail matter to places the 
names of which are borne by several post offices in different 

Avoid as far as possible the use of envelopes made of 
flimsy paper, especially where more than one sheet of paper, 
or any other article than paper, is enclosed. Being often 
handled, and subjected to pressure in the mail bags, such 
envelopes not infrequently split open, giving cause of com- 

Never send money or any other article of value through 
the mail except either by means of a money order or in a 
registered letter. Any person who sends money or jewelry 
in an unregistered letter not only runs a risk of losing his 
property, but exposes to temptation everyone through whose 
hands his letter passes, and may be the means of ultimately 
bringing some clerk or letter carrier to ruin. 

See that every letter or package bears the full name and 
post-office address of the writer, in order to secure the return 
of the letter, if the person to whom it is directed cannot be 
found. A much larger portion of the undelivered letters 
could be returned if the names and addresses of the senders 
were always fully and plainly written or printed inside or on 
the envelopes. Persons that have large correspondence find 
it most convenient to use '* special-request envelopes " ; but 
those who only mail an occasional letter can avoid much 
trouble by writing a request to ** return if not delivered," 
etc. on the envelope. 

When dropping a letter, newspaper, etc. into a street 


mailing box, or into the receptacle at a post office, always 
see that the packet falls into the box and does not stick in its 
passage; observe also, particularly, whether the postage 
stamps remain securely in their places. 

Postage stamps should be placed on the upper right-hand 
comer of the address side of all mail matter. 

The street and number (or box number) should form a 
part of the address of all mail matter directed to cities. In 
most cities there are many persons, and even firms, bearing 
the same name. Before depositing any package or other 
article for mailing, the sender should assure himself that it 
is wrapped and packed in the manner prescribed by postal 
regulations; that it does not contain unmailable matter nor 
exceed the limit of size and weight as fixed by law; and that 
it is fully prepaid. and properly addressed. The postage 
stamps on all mail matter are necessarily canceled at once, 
and the value of those affixed to packages that are after- 
wards discovered to be short-paid or otherwise unmailable is 
therefore liable to be lost to the senders. 

It is unlawful to send an ordinary letter by express or 
otherwise outside of the mails unless it is enclosed in a Gov- 
ernment stamped envelope. It is also unlawful to enclose a 
letter in an express package unless it pertains wholly to the 
contents of the package. 

It is forbidden by the regulations of the Post-Office 
Department for postmasters to give to any person informa- 
tion concerning the mail matter of another, or to disclose 
the name of a box holder at a post office. 

Letters addressed to persons temporarily sojourning in a 
city where the free-delivery system is in operation should be 
marked ** Transient "or ** General Delivery/' if not addressed 
to a street and number or some other designated place of 

Foreign books, etc. infringing United States copyright 
are xmdeliverable if received in foreign mails, or mailed here. 


(PART 2.) 



!• In any composition, letter, sermon, essay, etc., two 
things are required: (1) Finding something to say; this is 
ifiventton. (2) Saying it; this is expression, 

2. Invention.— Invention as applied to a written com- 
position signifies the thinking out, so to speak, of the matter 
that is to be written. Usually, invention is the more difficult 
of the two processes, but in letter writing, as opposed to 
other forms of composition, invention is comparatively sim- 
ple and easy. Before beginning a letter, one usually knows 
quite well what he intends to say ; the material is at hand, 
and the chief labor consists in proper expression. Neverthe- 
less, a certain amount of attention should be paid to the 
orderly arrangement of the material, even in the most 
informal social letter. Before beginning a letter think over 
what you want to say, so that it will not be necessary to add 
one or more postscripts after you have written the signature. 
The essential points having been decided on, they should be 
presented in a free and natural manner. In the case of 
important letters it is best to note on paper the various 
points to be considered, and arrange them in the most logical 
order. It is a good plan to first make a rough draft of such 


For notice of the copyrigrht, see page immediately followinsf the title pag^e. 


a letter, revise and rearrange the topics, and condense the 
sentences until you are satisfied that the letter cannot be 
improved ; then make a fair copy. 

3. Expression, in letter writing, embraces the following 
subjects: (1) spelling; (2) diction^ or use of words; (3)'r^«- 
struction of sentences; (4) punctuation; (5) construction of 


4. To properly express one's self, it is necessary to 
master English spellings which is the art of expressing an 
English word by its proper letters. What are these proper 
letters ? Usage and the authority of recognized dictionaries 
must determine. Misspelling is one of the common faults 
of English letter writing. It is surprising, indeed, to find 
so many persons that speak correctly enough, whose writing 
is atrociously bad. We see men that lay claim to an ordinary 
good education, and elected perhaps on the strength of that 
claim to some public office, unable to express themselves in 
writing without shocking those that read their productions. 
Such men often inflict injury on the very communities they 
officially represent or rather misrepresent. 

Still, correct spelling is easily enough acquired. All that 
is required of the student is attention to what he leads. Let 
him read with care, application, and assiduity, and he will 
soon become a master of the art of spelling. Let him first 
strive to acquire the correct spelling of the smaller words of 
the language, and he will find himself making rapid and 
steady advancement. A well spelled letter from a working 
man is indicative of diligence, and diligence is one of those 
very qualities most highly prized by employers of labor. 

By way of counsel to any one desirous of becoming ar 
accurate speller we would say: 

1. Read well written books and periodicals. 

2. Copy from well written books and periodicals. 

3. Consult a dictionary of recognized authority as fre- 
quently as possible. 



5. Diction deals with the choice and use of words. We 
say that a person's diction is good when he uses only words 
that are reputable and that convey the exact meaning he 
intends them to convey ; his diction is faulty if he uses to 
excess words of questionable standing, foreign words and 
phrases, or slang, or if he uses words in a sense not ordina- 
rily understood. 

In letter writing the rules of diction are by no means as 
rigid as in most other forms of written composition. In 
general, we use about the same words in writing to a person 
that we would in conversation with him. Technical or 
colloquial words understood by the recipient may be freely 
used in a letter, but would not be permissible in an essay or 
article to be read by people unacquainted with their mean- 
ing. It is not to be inferred, however, that a careless use of 
words is permissible in letter writing; while the fact that a 
social letter is more or less informal and free and easy per- 
mits the diction to be also informal, it is just as necessary in 
letter writing to use words that properly convey the meaning 
intended as it is in the most formal composition. 

Diction may be considered under three heads; viz., purity^ 
propriety^ and precision, 

6. Purity consists in the use of words that are sanctioned 
by good usage and are familiar to the great body of educated 
people — words in current and reputable use. 

We give briefly a few points to be observed in the use of 
words and phrases. 

Obsolete words, that is, words that were once in current 
use but have fallen into disuse, should be avoided. Some 
words are still used in poetry and historical novels, but are 
obsolete in conversation or letter writing. Such are : ere for 
beforCy vale for valley ^ sooth for true^ twain for two^ etc. 

New words are to be used cautiously. Many new words 
are coined to meet the requirements of scientific research; 
these are usually received readily, soon acquire good 
standing, and may be used without hesitation. Such are: 


telephone^ acetylene^ X-ray, Many new words are coined by 
newspapers or by eccentric and irresponsible writers to fill a 
real or fancied blank in the language or in an effort to say 
things smartly or humorously. Some of these words, e. g., 
boycott^ mugwumps and bulldoze^ survive and are finally 
accepted; others either die or remain of doubtful reputa- 
tion. It is well in all forms of composition to refrain from 
using new words of this character until they become well 

Slang is always undignified if not positively vulgar, and 
should be rigidly excluded. The excessive and indiscrim- 
inate use of such adjectives as "splendid," ** stunning," 
** immense," and **just lovely" is a practice closely related 
to the use of slang. 

Foreign words and phrases are to be avoided, except words 
like employe^ quorum^ nom de plume ^ etc., which through long 
usage have become as familiar as English words. 

7. Propriety consists in the use of words in their gener- 
ally understood sense. In letter writing, propriety is of even 
more importance than purity. We may use words of a tech- 
nical or provincial nature, foreign words, or even slang, and 
though the letter may be undignified and faulty from a liter- 
2irj standpoint, it maybe perfectly intelligible to the writer. 
On the other hand, if the words we use, even though they 
satisfy all the requirements of purity, do not convey the 
ideas we wish to express, we run the risk of being misunder- 

To illustrate what is meant by propriety, we give a few 
examples of the proper and improper use of words: 

Creditable means worthy of approbation, reputable ; thus we say, 
"The boy's work is creditable." Frequently, however, this word is 
incorrectly used iov credible, which means worthy of belief; e. g., '* A 
creditable witness testified, etc." This is an example of a mistake in 
the use of words similar in form or derived from the same source; 
other examples are: purpose for propose; avocation for vocation; con- 
temptuous for contemptible; healthy for healthful; affect for effect; 
exceptionable for exceptional; continuous for continual; emigrant for 
immigrant ; revenge for avenge. 


Administer is incorrectly used in the following: "The teacher 
administered a box on the ear." Blows are dealt; governments, oaths, 
and state affairs are administered. 

Expect is often used incorrectly for suspect or suppose. 
Balance is used incorrectly for remainder; thus, •• The balance of 
the party returned home." 

8. Precision consists in the choice and use of words or 
expressions that convey neither more nor less than the exact 
meaning intended. 

In the English language there are frequently several words 
that express very nearly the same meaning ; seldom, how- 
ever, are two words exactly synonymous, and care must be 
exercised to select the one that conveys just what is meant. 
To attain precision in the use of such words, one should 
study standard works on synonyms ; for example, Crabb's 
** Synonymes" or Roget's ** Thesaurus." 

The following are examples of words that differ more or 
less in meaning but are often used synonymously: 

Less^ Fewer. — Less is applied to quantity or things measured; 
fewer, to things numbered. ** Lee had fewer (not less) men than 

Apt^ Likely^ Liable, — Apt and liable are frequently used where 
likely is the proper word. Apt implies capacity or fitness for ; thus, 
••The boy is an apt pupil." Liable means exposed to something 
unpleasant ••One is liable to take cold." ••The city is liable for 
damages." It is incorrect to say, ••Where is he apt to be this eve- 
ning?" or •* When are you liable to go down town ?" 

Remember^ Recollect, — To remember means to retain in the mind; 
to recollect means to recall by an effort something that has been for- 

Character y Reputation. — Character is inherent in a person; reputa- 
tion means the estimation in which a person is held by others. A per- 
son with a really bad character may have a good reputation. 

9. Incorrect ^Expressions. — As an aid to the attain- 
ment of good diction the following list of expressions is 
presented for the consideration of the student. It contains 
many errors that are made even by careful and painstaking 
letter writers. 


Correct. Incorrect. 

The foregoing statement is borne The above statement is borne out 

out by facts. by facts. 

1 was more than a mile from Scran- I was above a mile from Scran- 

ton. ton. 

This feat was beyond his strength. This feat was above his strength. 

What course will you take ? What course will you adopt f 

Congress decided upon active meas- Congress adopted active meas- 
ures, ures. 

His language provokes me. His language aggravates me. 

He was easily irritated. He was easily aggravated. 

The news spread over the country. The news spread all over the 


He asserts that Dewey is the great- He allows that Dewey is the great- 
est of naval captains. est of naval captains. 

Come to sec us before you go. Come and see us before you go. 

His arrival was hourly expected. His arrival was hourly anticipated. 

He desired to go to Europe. He was anxious to go to Europe. 

I value your friendship. I appreciate your friendship. 

I shall likely go tomorrow. I am apt to go tomorrow. 

He was not there that I know of. He was not there as I know of. 

James is suffering from a severe James is suffering from a bc^ 

cold. cold. 

My child feels very bad. My child feels very badly, 

I very much wish to see him. I wish to see him very badly. 

The remainder of my father's prop- The balance of my father's prop- 
erty is unsold. erty is unsold. 

I beg leave to acknowledge your I beg to acknowledge your letter, 

There was a perfect understanding There was a perfect understanding 

between the two statesmen. among the two statesmen. 
(_F}etivt'i'n is used when two things, parts, 
or persons are mentioned ; among' in ref- 
erence to more than two.) 

Aunt Jane served us with a plenti- Aunt Jane served us with ^bountu 

ful repast ful repast 

John was determined to go. John was bound to go. 

I have no doubt that he will pay. I have no doubt but that he will 


I regard him as a great statesman. I consider him a great statesman. 

President McKinley has convoked President McKinley has convened 

Congress. Congress. 


Correct. Incorrect. 

Two boys ran down the street, A cotifU of boys ran down the 


Despite our persuasions he sold his In despite of our persuasions he 

farm. sold his farm. 

As soon as he came to town he Directly he came to town he rented 

rented a house. a house. 

I forget the date of his conviction. I disremember the date of his con- 

He bestowed a generous gift upon He donated a generous gift to 

Mercy Hospital. Mercy Hospital. 

My friend is entitled to entire con- My friend is entitled to every con- 
fidence, fidence. 

I suppose you had difficulty in I expect you had difficulty in corn- 
coming, ing. 

Our friends suffered rough treat- Our friends experienced rough 

ment at the hands of the enemy. treatment at the hands of the 


He showed me great kindness. He extended great kindness to me. 

Those who could» fled from the Those who could, flew from the 

pestilence. pestilence. 

My brother was afraid of being My brother was afraid of getting 

left left 

I would rather not go to New York I had rather not go to New York 

tomorrow. tomorrow. 

Peaches are a wholesome fruit. Peaches are a healthy fruit 

He told me how he would reach He told me how that he would 

Vancouver. reach Vancouver. 

I noticed several persons at the I noticed several individuals at 

station. the station. 

John lay down to rest Jp^^^^ ^^^^ down to rest 

James went to lie down. James went to lay down. 

He taught me to read. He learned me to read. 

Let William go. Leave William go. 

Dr. White delivered a long sermon. Dr. White delivered a lengthy ser- 

I noticed fewer than ten persons in I noticed less than ten persons in 

the room. the room. 

Do as your friend does. Do like your friend does. 

I like a good breakfast I love a good breakfast. 

Herbert goes to Dunmore almost Herbert goes to Dunmorc most 

every day. every day. 


Correct. Incorrect, 

Mr. Robinson and I have a com- Mr. Robinson and I hsLve a.mui$tai 

mon friend. friend. 

He mentioned the fact to no one. He named the fact to no one. 

Dr. Bright is a persuasive speaker. Dr. Bright is a nice speaker. 

The streets were tastefully deco- The streets were nicely decorated, 

Henry Black was noted as a good Henry Black was notorious as a 

citizen. good citizen. 

Ten yards were cut off that piece Ten yards were cut off'ofXhsX piece 

of silk. of silk. 

Those pears are very fine. Those pears are very fine ones. 

He got on the roof. He got onto the roof. 

They sent only four men to Scran- They only sent four men to Scran- 
ton, ton. 

The lake has overflowed its banks. The lake has overflown its banks. 

The building of the house was a The building the house was a 

severe task. severe task. 

That person is a]ways present when That party is always present when 

not desired. not desired. 

We solicit your custom. We solicit your patronage. 

He is continually talking of leav- He is perpetually talking of leav- 
ing, ing. 

Money is now plentiful. Money is now plenty, 

I thank you for your kind invita- I thank you for your polite invita- 
tion, tion. 

A large part of the street, was A large portion of the street was 

obstructed by the parade. obstructed by the parade. 

Hamilton informed me fully as to Hamilton /<?j/<f^ me fully as to the 

the matter. matter. 

I assure you that we enjoyed our I promise you that we enjoyed our 

visit. visit 

Mary had a considerable fortune Mary had quite a fortune left her. 

left her. 

It is very rare that a man will for- It is very rarely that a man will 

get his home. forget his home. 

We had a very pleasant evening. We had a real pleasant evening. 

Let me say just here. Let me say right here. 

I saw him not long ago. I saw him not long since. 

My father has improved somewhat My father has improved some since 

since yesterday. yesterday. 


Correct. Incorrect. 

Her dress was very much out of Her dress "was p^r/^c^/yaw/u/. 


Where are you staying ? Where are you stopping f 

We drove farther than they. We drove farther than them. 

This house cost more than you This house cost more than you 
think. think for. 

That kind of apples is preferable. Those kind of apples are preferable. 

An accident occurred yesterday on An accident transpired yesterday 
our street on our street 

The best of Longfellow's works is The best of Longfellow's works 
••Evangeline." was '•Evangeline." 

Whence did she come ? From whence did she come ? 

John went hence. John "went from hence. 

You will never succeed unless you You will never succeed without 
study. you study. 

10. Short and Ix>n|? "Words. — Following the principle 
that the diction of letter writing is about the same as that of 
good conversation, we should, in general, prefer short and 
simple words to long words derived from the Latin. The 
larger number of the short words of the English language 
are of Anglo-Saxon origin, but many come from other 
sources. If the word is in good use it matters not where it 

Short words are, in general, more easily understood than 
longer words ; they are the words of ordinary and familiar 
events and feelings. It follows, therefore, that the use of 
short and familiar words saves not only the writer's time, 
but also the reader's time by lessening the effort required to 
grasp their meaning. In ordinary letter writing get is pref- 
erable to procure; do, to perform; lift, to elevate; see, to 
discern or perceive; go, to depart; live, to reside; tired, to 
fatigued; ask, X.o petition; and so on indefinitely. 

Long words are needed to express ideas and feelings 
remote from the ordinary; thus, a candidate for the presi- 
dency in his letter of acceptance necessarily uses the long 
words of the vocabulary of politics ; the President in his mes- 
sage to Congress necessarily uses the long words pertaining 


to state affairs; for example, resolution^ communication^ enact 
ment^ representative^ amendment^ constitutional^ etc. 

1 1 • Big: Words. — The use of * * dictionary v/ords " simply 
because they are long and soimd grand is an offense against 
good taste that should be studiously avoided. Do not use 
**tonsorial artist" for barber; ** maternal relative" for 
mother; ** disciple of Izaak Walton " ior fisher f nan; ** national 
sport" for baseball; or ** pugilistic carnival " iov prize fight. 
Such expressions should remain the exclusive property of the 
newspaper reporter and the author of the third-rate novel. 


12« Characteristics of a Good Sentence. — In the con- 
struction of sentences, the letter writer should be guided by 
the following considerations : The sentence should conform 
to the established usage of the English language ; it should be 
grammatically correct. The sentence should be clear; that 
is, it should be so constructed as to be easily and readily 
understood by the reader. The sentence should have unity; 
that is, it should express but one principal thought. 

Minor characteristics of a good sentence are force and ease. 
A sentence is forcible when it is so framed as to produce a 
strong impression on the reader; a sentence has ease when 
it is agreeable to the ear. 

While unity y force^ and ease are essential in formal com- 
position, they are of ipinor importance in letter writing. It 
is not to be expected that the writer of .a letter will take 
time to polish each sentence, to examine it for unity, and to 
rearrange it until it fulfils the requirements of force and 
elegance. In fact, the probable result of an attempt on 
the part of the writer to make a literary production of a 
letter will be a cold and formal essay, rather than an expres- 
sion of friendship and sympathy. 

The letter writer, however, is held strictly accountable for 
the grammatical correctness and clearness of his sentences. 
He should be correct for his own sake, for grammatical 


errors stamp him as ignorant and illiterate; and he should 
write with clearness for the sake of the recipient of the letter. 

13« Grammatical Errors. — A common error is the 
confusion of the past tense of the verb with the perfect par- 
ticiple; thus, ** I seen " for ** I saw," and ** I have saw " for 
**I have seen"; **He set down" for **He sat down"; 
* * growed " for ** grew " ; etc. Another frequent error is the 
non-agreement of the verb and subject, or of the pronoun 
and antecedent; thus, ** There was three in the front seat "; 
** Any one can have their choice for one dollar." 

To attain grammatical correctness in conversation and 
writing, one must study English grammar. It is not suffi- 
cient to know that a certain form of expression is incorrect 
merely because some one has told you it is incorrect. You 
should understand why such forms are errors, so that you 
may apply the test of correctness to all other expressions of 
the same nature. 

14. Clearness. — Next to correctness, the most impor- 
tant characteristic of a good sentence is clearness. A writer 
that wishes the recipient of his letter to understand what he 
says must make his sentences so that they will mean to the 
reader what they mean to himself. 

To write clearly one should heed the following rules: 

1. Use only words that are fully imderstood by the person 
addressed and that convey the meaning intended. 

2. Use as many words as are needed to convey the mean- 
ing easily and fully, and no more. 

3. Arrange words, phrases, and clauses so that they are 
readily understood in themselves and in their relations with 
each other, and so that the final sentence cannot present an 

16« The omission of words may cause obscurity in the 
meaning of a sentence. The parts of speech commonly 
omitted are the article, pronoun, and verb. A few exam- 
ples will illustrate this point: 


''Wanted, a coachman and gardener." As written, this means 
that one person is wanted and that he is to act as a coacliman and also 
as a gardener. If two persons are meant, the sentence should read : 
" Wanted, a coachman and a gardener." 

••The strength of steel is greater than iron," should be, ''The 
strength of steel is greater than that of iron." The omission of a 
relative pronoun, as in this instance, is a frequent cause of obscurity. 

••Jack is an industrious boy and his sisters amiable girls." The 
verb are is required in the second clause after the word •' sisters." Be 
cautious in omitting verbs ; in case of doubt, it is better to repeat a 
verb than to run the risk of obscurity. Consider the sentence, •• He 
likes me better than you." The meaning is ambiguous unless a second 
verb is used ; the sentence should read: '• He likes me better than he 
likes you," or •* better than you like me," according to which is meant. 

16. Pronouns. — The careless use of pronouns may 
render a sentence ambiguous or even unintelligible. For 
example, in the sentence, ** Smith told Brown that if he did 
not have his pavement repaired, he might have trouble." 
There is nothing to indicate whether it is Smith's or Brown's 
pavement that is in question, or which of the two men will 
have trouble. It is sometimes difficult to recast such a 
sentence so that it will be both clear and smooth. In this 
example it is perhaps best to change from the third to the 
first person; thus, ** Smith said to Brown, * If you do not 
have your pavement repaired, you (or I) will have trouble. '* 

17. The misplacing of words and phrases may cause 
ambiguity or obscurity. Two expressions that are likely to 
be misplaced are **at least" and **only." The sentence, 
*' The English play cricket at least as well as we," may mean 
that they play the game as well as we do, if not better, or 
that this particular game, if no other game, they play as 
well as we do. To express the last meaning, the sentence 
should be written, ••The English play at least cricket as 
well as we do. " 

** I only heard the approaching train." The position of 
**only " makes the sentence mean that I heard the train, but 
did not see it ; if the intended meaning is that I heard the 
train and nothing else, the sentence should read, "I heard 
only the approaching train. " In regard to the proper position 


of this troublesome word, a good rule is, place it immedi- 
ately before the word or phrase to which it belonga 

**She looked at the tramp as he approached the door with 
apprehension." The writer means that **she looked with 
apprehension," not that **the tramp approached with appre- 
hension." The ambiguity arises from the position of the 
phrase **with apprehension"; this phrase should immedi- 
ately follow the verb ** looked," which it modifies. In all 
such cases, make it a rule to place modifying words and 
phrases as closely as possible to the words they modify. 

18. Ijength of Sentences. — If a sentence is well con- 
structed, its length is a matter of secondary importance. As 
a rule, however, the use of long sentences, especially by 
young or inexperienced writers, is a fruitful source of obscu- 
rity. In letter writing, it is better to use chiefly short sen- 
tences, not because they are intrinsically better than long 
ones, but because in the hurry of correspondence, the writer 
is not likely to take time to properly construct a long 

Two defects are frequently observable in letters written 
by inexperienced writers. One is a succession of very short 
assertions each constituting a sentence ; the other is the con- 
nection of several clauses that properly might constitute 
sentences by the conjunctions ** and " and '* but." A young 
man upon leaving home for the city would perhaps write to 
his father as follows: 

••Dear Father: — I arrived here safely last night» and this morning 
I went to see Mr. Brown, and he is going to set me to work tomorrow, 
and I am sure I shaU like the work very much, and I have found a very 
good boarding place," etc. 

Here are at least four distinct ideas bound together by the 
word ** and." Following the requirements of unity, we make 
a sing^le sentence of each idea. 

•• Dear Father : — I arrived here safely last night This morning I 
went to see Mr. Brown, and he is going to set me at work tomorrow. 
I am sure I shall like the work very much. 1 have found a very good 
boarding place,** etc. 


19, lioose and Periodic Sentences. — ^A loose sentence 
is one in which the various parts — subject, predicate, 
modifier, etc. — occur in the order that they naturally suggest 
themselves to the mind. 

A periodic sentence is one in which the parts are so 
arranged that the sense is incomplete until the end is 

The following are examples of loose and periodic sen- 
tences : 

Loose. Periodic 

None but the fittest survive in 
the great struggle for existence. 

The modern system of technical 
education renders inestimable aid 
to men not only in engineering but 
also in the ranks of the liberal pro- 

In the great struggle for exist- 
ence, none but the fittest survive. 

To men not only in engineering 
but also in the ranks of the liberal 
professions, the modem system of 
technical education renders ines- 
timable aid. 

It will be observed that the loose sentence may be stopped 
before the end is reached and yet make grammatical sense, 
while the periodic sentence, on the other hand, is not a 
sentence until the last word is reached; thus the clause 
** None but the fittest survive " makes complete sense,but the 
phrase ** In the great struggle for existence '* is incomplete. 

The principle of suspense makes the periodic sentence 
more emphatic than the loose sentence; hence, for the sake 
of variety and force, it is advisable to use occasionally the 
periodic form, provided the sentence is so short and simple 
that the reader can grasp the meaning at once. 

In general, the loose sentence is easier to construct and 
easier to understand than the periodic sentence, simply 
because it follows the order in which the words naturally 
occur to a person, when he thinks of what he wishes to say 
and not of the form of expression ; for this reason, the loose 
sentence is especially adapted to conversation and letter wri- 
ting. Periodic sentences are appropriate for stately and 
formal composition. 

20. Variety in tlie Use of Sentences. — In letter 
writing, as in all other forms of written composition, the 


choice of sentences should be influenced to some extent by 
the principle of variety. While we should as a rule use 
short sentences, we should not by accident or design fill a 
page with sentences of nearly the same length. Such a 
page makes monotonous reading. For the sake of variety, 
a sentence rather longer than usual should be occasionally 
introduced; and for the same reason the steady succession 
of loose sentences should be broken at intervals by the more 
forcible periodic sentences. 

Usually the question of variety will take care of itself. If 
the writer of a letter becomes absorbed in his subject and 
pays little or no attention to the form of expression, his 
sentences will naturally have sufficient variety. It is when 
the writer laboriously attempts to construct sentences by 
rule that his style is likely to become tame and monotonous. 


21. The primary object of punctuation is to make as 
clear as possible the meaning of what we write. Correct 
punctuation always assists the reader in grasping the mean- 
ing of a sentence even when that meaning would be fairly 
obvious without punctuation; and in many sentences it is 
only by the punctuation that the meaning can be understood 
at all. Punctuation is therefore just as important a part of 
the construction of sentences as the choice of words or the 
arrangement of phrases and clauses; and it is as much the 
duty of the letter writer to make his meaning clear by proper 
pimctuation as by the use of carefully arranged sentences. 

Unfortunately, punctuation is quite generally neglected 
in letters; indeed, it is a rare occurrence to receive a letter 
even from an educated person in which there is an attempt 
at systematic punctuation. There is really no excuse for 
this neglect, as punctuation is not at all an art difficult of 
attainment. In ordinary letters it is very seldom necessary 
to use any marks other than the period, comma, semicolon, 
and interrogation point; and any one should easily learn the 
use of these points. 


Punctuate as you write. Do not \mte the entire letter 
and then sprinkle in the marks afterwards. After a little 
practice you will insert the more common marks, the periods 
and commas, almost automatically, just as you dot your /*s 
and cross your /'s. 


32. A parasri*apli is a single sentence or a connected 
series of sentences constituting the development of a single 

A letter should be paragraphed in the same manner as 
other compositions. One topic having been fully dealt with, 
the beginning of the next should be marked by a broken 
line, preparing the reader for the transition. 

Do not, however, mar the letter by too many paragraphs. 
The amoimt and comprehensiveness of the material included 
in a paragraph varies greatly, according to the length and 
character of the composition, the office of the paragraph, and 
the writer's individual taste. Of a short letter, for instance, 
a paragraph may make up a large enough proportion to be 
a main division of the plan; oftener, however, it contains 
a much smaller section of the thought A paragraph that 
merely makes a transition, or proposes a single idea as basis 
for further development is much shorter than a paragraph 
of detail. What is of more importance, however, than the 
length is that every paragraph should have a definite topic 
and structure, and should not be left, as is too often done by 
writers otherwise good, to make itself. 

The fundamental requisites of a paragraph are unity and 

23. Unity. — The paragraph is in reality an expanded 
sentence, and like the sentence should contain but one lead- 
ing topic or idea. In fact, if a paragraph has the proper 
unity it should be possible to express the substance of it by 
a single sentence. 

The leading idea of the paragraph is contained in the topic 


sentence, which should be near the opening of the para- 
graph. Usually the topic sentence is the first one; fre- 
quently, however, it is preceded by a sentence that serves 
to form a connection between the paragraph and the one 

The portion of the paragraph following the topic sen- 
tence must have some relation to the topic. It may be 
a proof, an illustration, an application, or a consequence of 
the topic. 

24. Contlniilty. — In a well constructed paragraph the 
sentences follow one another in logical order and are so con- 
nected that the thought is carried without interruption from 
the beginning to the close. 

Continuity may be secured by the judicious use of connect- 
ing words and phrases; such as, and^ but^for^ hmacver^ hence ^ 
in fact^ for example^ etc. The student should, however, 
guard against an excessive use of connectives; it is better to 
occasionally leave the relation to be inferred than to have 
every paragraph bristliog with hence *s, however's, accord- 
ingly's, etc Frequently the relation is so obvious that the 
connective is not needed ; and when this is not the case, it is 
usually possible by an inversion of the order of the words or 
by the repetition of a word to convey the sense of connec- 
tion without using the connecting word. 

As a rule, the law of continuity applies to the successive 
paragraphs of a composition as well as to the sentences in 
the paragraph. We should as far as possible join each para- 
graph to the preceding by some sort of a connecting link, 
so that the transition from paragraph to paragraph is made 
with as little friction as possible. 

In business, official, and public letters the topics introduced 
are usually closely related and this principle of continuity 
can be rigidly applied. As an example, see the letter of 
Abraham Lincoln in reply to the invitation to attend the 
Union mass meeting at Springfield, 111., which is given in 
another section. In social and familiar letters, however, the 
principle has necessarily a limited application. Such letters 


usually contain a variety of topics, some of which are in no 
way related to others; and the transition from one paragraph 
to another on an entirely foreign subject must of necessity ^ 
be somewhat abrupt 

36. The following extract from an article by Captain 
A.T. Mahan illustrates the qualities of unity and continuity: 

••The establishment and maintenance of the blockade was, in the 
judgment of the present writer, not only the first step in order, but also 
the first by far in importance, open to the government of the United 
States as things were; prior, that is, to the arrival of Cervera's division 
at some known and accessible point. Its importance lay in its two- 
fold tendency: to exhaust the enemy's army in Cuba, and to force the 
navy to come to his relief. No effect more decisive than these two 
could be produced by us before the coming of the hostile navy, or the 
readiness of our own army to take the field, permitting the contest to 
be brought, using the words of our Italian commentator, * to an imme- 
diate issue.' Upon the blockade, there/ore, the generally accepted 
principles of warfare would demand that effort should be concentrated, 
until some evident radical change in the conditions dictated a change 
of object — a new objective; upon which, when accepted, effort again 
should be concentrated with a certain amount of * exclusiveness of 

•• Blockade, however^ implies not merely a sufficient number of 
cruisers to prevent the entry or departure of merchant ships. It 
further implies, because it requires, a strong supporting force, . . . 
etc."— Capt. A. T. Mahan, McCiure's Magazine, Feb., 1899. 

The topic of the first paragraph, ** the importance of the 
blockade," is stated in the first sentence. The two following 
sentences are explanatory; they give the reasons for the 
importance of the blockade. The last sentence of the para- 
graph states the evident conclusion that effort should be 
concentrated upon the blockade. The continuity is preserved 
by the use of the pronouns, connectives, and repeated words 
printed in Italic. 

In the second paragraph (which is not given in full) the 
topic is, ** the blockade requires a strong supporting force." 
This paragraph is linked to the one preceding by the con- 
nective ** however," thus fulfilling the law of continuity 
between paragraphs. 




26. Style refers to the manner in which one expresses 
his thoughts in language; thus we say that one writer's 
style is easy and flowing; another's is crisp and vigorous; 
while another's may be labored and ponderous. 

In general, letters differ from most other forms of written 
discourse in having a more natural and easy mode of expres- 
sion. In a letter there should be no straining after effect; 
the diction should be simple, and figures of speech, if they 
are used at all, should appear spontaneously, as they natiu^ally 
would in conversation. 

The letter- writing, or epistolary^ style, as we may term it, 
is itself subject to variation ; in fact, almost every kind of 
letter has an appropriate style, depending on the subject and 
the person addressed. In familiar letters the style should 
be familiar; in business letters, it should be direct and 
concise; in official or public letters, it should be formal and 
impressive. Letters to superiors should be respectful; to 
relations, affectionate; to children, light and playful; and 
all letters should be courteous. 

In writing a letter, be sure to employ a style suitable to 
the person and the character of the letter. To use the 
familiar style of the domestic letter in writing to a stranger 
or mere acquaintance would make you ridiculous in the eyes 
of the recipient; on the other hand, a letter to a close friend 
or a relative, written in the formal and concise style of the 
business letter, would be equally inappropriate. 


2 7. Brevity. — One of the essential qualities of business 
correspondence that cannot be too strongly dwelt upon is 
brevity. Many a young man has failed to get a situation 
because he had too much to say when making his application. 

i6 L£TTER WRITING. § 23 

Business men have no time to waste, and appreciate brevity. 
Brevity of expression, if combined with neatness, clearness, 
and courtesy, always makes a good impression upon the true 
business man. One of the greatest helps to success in any 
walk of life is to think concisely and to express one's self 

** Be brief," Cyrus W. Field once advised a friend. " Time 
is very valuable. Punctuality, honesty, and brevity are the 
watchwords of life. Never write a long letter. A business 
man has not time to read it. If you have anything to say, be 
brief. There is no business so important that it cannot be 
told on one sheet of paper. Years ago when I was laying 
the Atlantic Cable, I had occasion to send a very important 
letter to England. I knew it would have to be read by the 
Prime Minister and by the Queen. I wrote out what I had 
to say; it covered several sheets of paper; then I went over 
it twenty times, eliminating words here and there, making 
sentences brief, until finally I got all I had to say on one 
sheet of paper. Then I mailed it. In due time I received 
the answer. It was a satisfactory one, too; but do you think 
I would have fared so well if my letter had covered half a 
dozen sheets? No, indeed. Brevity is a rare gift." 

Brevity should not be attained, however, by the omission 
of words essential to grammatical construction. It is a 
common fault of many business men to drop pronouns and 
verbs as in the following: ** Yours of 15th inst. received, and 
in reply enclose draft, etc." Such omissions denote haste 
on the part of the writer rather than a desire to shorten the 
letter for the convenience of the recipient. 

Brevity is promoted by the liberal use of the terms and 
phrases peculiar to business, and it is the duty of a person 
engaged in business correspondence to familiarize himself 
with such terms as are peculiar to the line of business in 
which he is engaged. 

28. Aside from brevity, the style employed in business 
letters should be distinguished by clearness and accuracy. 
Clearness is promoted by the use of short, direct sentences. 


A business letter is the least appropriate place for long or 
involved sentences. Avoid especially the conjunctions and 
and but. 

Several points regarding business letters that do not prop- 
erly belong to style will be given later under the heading 
** General Suggestions." 


39. The style of expression adapted to social letters is 
more difficult to acquire than the direct and concise style of 
business correspondence. Many that write good business 
letters are prone to carry the business style into their other 
correspondence and write dull and uninteresting social 

The principal quality of the style of a social letter is 
naturalness. Write a letter to a friend in the same language 
that you would use in talking to him. Think of what you 
would say to him if he were at your side and say these 
things in the letter. Avoid affectation, and do not use big 
words and ornamental language that you would not think of 
using in conversation. Write a letter, not an essay. 

The quality of brevity is not so essential in social letters 
as in business letters. One can take time to read a letter of 
some length if it is interesting. In a friendly letter do not 
hesitate to write of little every-day details that you would 
naturally bring up in conversation. Proceed upon the prin- 
ciple that anything that w411 interest a person in conversa- 
tion will interest him in a letter. When, however, you have 
written what you have to say, close your letter; do not fall 
into the pemiciqus habit of writing words merely to fill 

30. Many writers experience difficulty in the opening 
and closing sentences of a letter. The opening should be 
perfectly natural and should introduce the subject upper- 
most in the mind. Avoid in the opening such set phrases 
as ** I now take my pen in hand to tell you that I am well, 


etc.," ** I thought I would drop you a line to let you know, 
etc." A familiar letter usually ends with an expression of 
compliment or affection in addition to the complimentary 

A few suggestive examples of the opening and closing 
sentences of letters are here given: 

{William Cowper to his cousin,^ 

Olney, April 24. 1786. 
My dear Coz., 

Your letters are so much my comfort, that I often tremble lest 

by accident I should be disappointed ; and the more because you have 

been more than once engaged in company on the writing day, that I 

have had a narrow escape. Let me give you a piece of good counsel, 

my cousin: follow my laudable example — write when you can; take 

Time's forelock in one hand and a pen in the other and make sure of 

your opportunity 

The grass begins to grow, and the leaves to bud, and everything is 
preparing to be beautiful against you come. Adieu, my dear Co*. 

Ever yours, 

W. Cowper. 

(Addison to Swift.) 

St. James*s Place,. April 11, 1710. 
Dear Sir, 

I have run so much in debt with you, that I do not know how to 
excuse myself, and therefore shall throw myself wholly upon your 
good nature ; and promise if you will pardon what is past, to be more 

punctual with you in the future 

Pray, dear Doctor, continue your friendship towards me, who love 
and esteem you, if possible, as much as you deserve. 

I am ever, dear sir,* yours entirely, 

J. Addison. 

{Bernard Barton to George Crabbe, ) 

Woodbridge, August 20, 1846. 
I was going to begin *• My dear old Friend," for I have sometimes 
hard work to convince myself that our acquaintance is only of a few 
years* standing 

( Thomas Hood to a child.) 

Devonshire Lodge, New Finchley Road, July 1, 1844. 
How do you do ? and how do you like the sea ? Not much, perhaps; 
ifs •• so big." But shouldn't you like a nice little ocean that you could 
put in a pan ? . . . • 

§ 22 ^ LETTER WRITING. 23 

{Charles Lamb to Coleridge.^ 

March 9, 1822. 
It g^ves me g^eat satisfaction to hear that the pig turned out so 
well — they are interesting creatures at a certain age — what a pity 
such buds should blow out into the maturity of rank bacon ! . . . • 


31. Courtesy in Ijetter Writing:. — The first and most 
important rule to be observed by the writer of a letter is: 
Be courteous. He was a gentleman that said, **I would as 
soon give a man a bad sixpence as a bad word. " Courtesy 
is but paying the debt of self-respect. Write nothing but 
kind words, and you will have nothing but kind echoes. 
Francis of Assisi justly said: **Know thou not that Courtesy 
is of God's own properties, who sendeth His rain and His 
sunshine upon the just and the unjust, out of His great 
Courtesy; verily Courtesy is the sister of Charity, who 
banishes Hatred and cherishes Love. " 

It is in the field of social correspondence that the true lady 
and the truly manful man have, perhaps, the best oppor- 
tunity to manifest that real gentleness, amiability, and 
singleness of purpose to say and do what is right, so becom- 
ing to the men and women of a Christian age and country. 
Show us a people's letters of affection, of condolence, sym- 
pathy, and congratulation, and we can at once determine 
their moral, social, and political worth. 

Courtesy is, besides, an important element in business 
success. With some it is their capital and stock in trade. 
It has made the fortune of many a man. Other things being 
equal, we all prefer to do business with the man that is 
agreeable and courteous in his dealings; and these qualities, 
therefore, increase his business. What is true of conversa- 
tion applies also to business done through the medium of 
correspondence. An imperious or commanding tone is 
always offensive and should be carefully avoided in letter 
writing. Compare the following : 


" You will write me immediately upon the receipt of this letter/' 
••Will you kindly write me immediately, etc."? 
*• Please write me immediately, etc." 

The sentence as first written is rendered commanding^ in 
tone by the words **You will"; and unless it is the right 
and duty of the writer to command, the form of expression 
would be likely to give the recipient a disagreeable impres- 
sion. By the use of the word kindly or the word please^ the 
sentence losds its commanding tone and becomes a courteous 

33. Deliberation. — No one should write a letter when 
angry, nor, as a rule, when inclined to say severe things. 
If one receives a letter provoking him to anger it is better 
t(5 wait a little before answering; then probably the style of 
his reply will be entirely changed. Words hastily spoken, 
and letters written in haste or anger, one usually would like 
later to recall. Hasty or vindictive words make enemies and 
endanger business, while kind words make and hold friends. 
Make it a rule never to write a letter when strongly excited. 
Wait until reason again assumes full control of your actions. 
This caution applies not only to excitement due to anger, but 
also to the excitement of affection. 

33. Truthfulness. — In writing, as in talking, we should 
always be strictly truthful. Untruthfulness often leads to 
unfair dealing and possibly to crime, while strict truthful- 
ness and honesty in small, as well as large, things gains the 
confidence of others, and is best as a matter of policy, if for 
no higher motive. True and lasting business success comes 
only from honor and strict integrity. 

34. Moderation. — Closely related to truthfulness is the 
quality of moderation. Do not fall into the habit of using 
exaggerated expressions such as **just too splendid," '* per- 
fectly gorgeous/' ** perfectly awful," ** immense," etc. Be 
moderate in the use of descriptive adjectives. Do not 


35.^ Orlfiflnallty. — The mcdel letters given in this 
paper are intended to be merely suggestive. The student 
should study them carefully for the purpose of improving 
his style, diction, punctuation, paragraphing, eta, but he 
should never be guilty of copying word for word any part of 
one of them in a letter of his own. The copying of another's 
language without due acknowledgment is plagiarism^ an 
offense justly considered as no better than theft. If you 
express another's ideas or sentiments, at least do so in your 
own language. 

36. Copylngr liCtters. — Business people usually keep 
copies of all important letters for possible future reference. 
The plan ordinarily adopted is to take a letter-press copy on 
tissue paper; when this is done copying ink must be used in 
writing the letter. In the case of typewritten letters, a 
carbon copy may be made when the letter is written. If the 
letter is an answer, it is convenient to file the copy with the 
letter answered. It is not customary to preserve copies of 
social letters. 

37. Enclosing: Stanlp, — A letter asking a favor or 
treating of business in which only the writer and not the 
recipient is interested, should have a stamp enclosed for the 
answer. It is rather too much to expect a person to devote 
his time to affairs that concern only yourself and pay postage 
in addition. The enclosed stamp may be fastened to the paper 
by slightly moistening one corner. Perhaps a better plan is 
to stick it by the gummed margin connected to the outer 
row of a sheet of stamps, as then the stamp maybe removed 
without danger of tearing the comer. 

38. Promptness of Ans^vers. — From the standpoint 
of the recipient of the letter, correspondence demands close 
and courteous attention. Letters, especially business letters, 
should be answered with reasonable promptness. A busi- 
ness man that remits promptly at maturity, and acknowl- 
edges orders or remittances promptly, is esteemed by those 
with whom he has business relations. The good will thus 
gained may be of value. 


In the case of social letters, the interval of time between 
letter and answer depends, of course, on the relation of the 

39. Date of Ijetter Ansrvered. — The answer to a busi- 
ness letter should contain a reference to the date of the letter 
answered; thus, *• In answer to your letter of the 10th inst," 
or ** Your letter of May 3 is at hand." Frequently the 
original letter must be referred to in connection with the 
answer, and the reference to the date may save much time 
in finding the right lettec 

40. Recapitulation. — Besides the date of the letter 
answered there should properly be some reference in the 
opening sentence of the answer to the business under con- 
sideration. Thus, ** Your letter of the 8th inst. concerning 
the application of Samuel Hall is at hand." This reference 
to the subject of the original letter will recall the business 
to the mind of your correspondent and possibly save him the 
trouble of looking up the letter. 

41. Care of liCtters. — Important letters are of course 
preserved by the recipient. Business men usually make use 
of some form of letter file, in which the letters are arranged 
in the alphabetical order of the initials of the names of the 
senders. Unanswered letters are kept separate. In lieu of 
a better method the letters may be folded to a uniform size, 
arranged, and tied up in bundles. It is well in this case to 
write on one end of the back of the letter the date, name of 
writer, and date of answer. In addition the subject of the 
letter may be noted. 

Copies are preserved in a letter book; if carbon copies are 
taken they may be filed like the letters. 

42. Neatness. — Always be careful in the writing of a 
letter to avoid blots, corrections, or erasures. If one knows 
well what he wishes to say, there is no excuse for leaving 
out essential words or for repeating a word. In letters to 
relatives and friends one should show respect enough not to 


send a carelessly written letter, marred with blots and ink 
staina Business letters, however, demand especial care in 
this regard. A letter of application, for example, if badly- 
written, may be the means of losing a position that otherwise 
might have been secured. Make the letter perfect as regards 
neatness and accuracy, even if it has to be rewritten. 

43. Spelling:. — An e3sential as important as neatness is 
correct spelling. A writer that is not a good speller should 
constantly refer to a dictionary for the spelling of words that 
he is not sure of. In fact, the writing of letters is one of the 
best means of obtaining a knowledge of spelling, provided 
the writer conscientiously tries to avoid mistakes. 

44. liegriblllty. — Do not write so that your correspond- 
ent may be imable to read your letter, or meet with great 
difficulty in doing so. 

Mr. Thomas Bailey Aldrich once received a letter from 
his friend, Professor E. S. Morse, and finding the handwri- 
ting absolutely illegible, sent the following reply: 

My dear Mr. Morse — It was very pleasant to receive a letter from 
you the other day. Perhaps I should have found it pleasanter if I had 
been able to decipher it. I don't think I mastered anything beyond the 
date, which I knew, and the signature, which I guessed at. There is 
a singular and perpetual charm in a letter of yours. It never gprows 
old ; it never loses its novelty. One can say to oneself every morning: 
** Here's a letter of Morse's. I haven't read It yet. I think I shall take 
another shy at it today, and maybe I'll be able in the course of a few 
years to make out what he means by those fs that look like «/'& and 
those fs that haven't any eyebrows." Other letters are read and thrown 
away and forgotten, but yours are kept forever unread. One of them 
will last a reasonable man a lifetime. 

Admiringly yours, 

Thomas Bailey Aldrich. 

45. Signatures. — We have before referred to the neces- 
sity of writing the signature legibly (see Part 1, Art. 33). 
This point, however, cannot be too strongly emphasized. 
Sign your name to the letter so that there can be no possible 
doubt as .to the spelling. Some business men cultivate a 
characteristic signature, which they use for checks and 
business papers. Such a signature is often purposely almost 


illegible, and obviously should not be used for a letter except 
to a well known correspondent, 

Care should be taken that the letter is signed. Type- 
written letters, in particular, are liable to be mailed without 
signature. Carelessness in this respect on the part of the 
writer must result in annoyance and loss of time and may 
result in loss of money. 

46. Superscription. — Faulty envelope addresses are 
about as frequent as omitted signatures. Indeed, it is not 
at all unusual for the superscription to be omitted entirely, 
especially in the case of postal cards. Make it a rule always 
to write the superscription of a postal card before you write 
the communication. See that the superscription is so com- 
plete that it is sure to reach the person addressed. Scores 
of letters never reach their destination merely because that 
destination is not indicated with sufficient clearness on the 

47. Address. — In an important letter, one should give 
his full address if he desires an answer. 

48. Titles. — In regard to titles, one should be careful to 
give to others appropriate titles, but should not use them in 
connection with his own name. Thus, one should, when 
proper, use Rev., Hon., Prof., etc. in the address and super- 
scription but not in the signature. One may, however, 
attach his professional title, as M.D. or M.E., in business or 
official letters, but should not do so in familiar or social letters. 

Never use the two titles, Mr. and Esq. with the same 
name; as, ** Mr. William Burr, Esq." If you use the Mr., 
omit the Esq., and vice versa. 

49. Use of FlfiTures. — In the body of a letter figures 
should not, in general, be used except in writing dates or 
sums of money. If, however, there are many large numbers 
it is better to express them by figures. The usage shquld be 
uniform throughout the letter; if a number is written In 
words in one part of the letter, another number, used in a 
similar sense, should not be expressed by figures. 


60. Pasring:. — The separate sheets of a letter — when the 
letter consists of more than one sheet — should be numbered 
con^cutively. The first sheet need not be numbered. In 
typewritten letters it is quite customary to write the initials 
of the name of the person written to, the date, and number 
of the sheet at the top of the sheet; as, C. P. T., 3-15-99— 
the figures 3-15-99 indicating, of course, March 15, 1899. 

61. The mffht Envelope. — When several letters are 
written consecutively there is danger of getting the letter in 
the wrong envelope. It is best to insert the letter in the 
envelope as soon as it is written, but when for any reason 
this is impracticable, each letter should be placed under the 
flap of the proper envelope. When the letters are ready for 
sealing, the clerk, or whoever folds and seals them, should 
glance at the name on each letter and see that it corresponds 
to the name on the envelope. 

63. SealinflT. — In sealing letters care should be taken 
not to soil the envelope. With an ordinary gummed envelope, 
it is well to place a blotter or clean sheet of paper over the 
envelope rather than allow the hand to come in contact with 
it. Ladies often seal their social letters with wax, using a 
seal on which their initial or initials have been engraved. 
Letters of recommendation, introduction, and some formal 
notes, when delivered personally, should not be sealed. 




53. A letter ordering goods should contain very few 
words except the order, unless some special instnictions are 
to be given. 

The order, if short, is usually placed in the body of the 
letter, though it may be placed at the bottom of the letter if 


desired. A long- order should occupy a separate sheet 
When the list of goods is written in the body of the letter, 
each item should be given a separate line or two or more 
lines if necessary. 

In ordering any kind of goods give a full description of 
the articles wanted so that there may be no error in filling 
the order. Very often goods are ordered from a dealer's 
catalogue, in which the various qualities and styles are desig- 
nated by numbers or some other distinguishing marks; in 
this case, the order should give the number, the quantity, 
the price, and when necessary a list of the sizes desired. If 
the firm from which you order has a special form or blank 
that they desire used, you should accede to their wishes and 
their instructions in every detail. 

Unless the party written to knows from previous orders 
the conveyance by which you wish the goods shipped, you 
should state your preference on this point. 

In ordering goods from a business house with which the 
writer has a business connection, it is not necessary to say 
anything in the order about the terms of payment. When, 
however, one orders from a firm with which he has no 
business standing, he should either send the money with 
the order, give suitable references, or order the goods 
sent C. O. D. 

Letter Ordering Merchandise. 

Danville, III., 

March 8, 1890 

Owens, Cleland & Co., 
Chicago, 111. 


Referring to your catalogfue No. 81, please send me the goods 
noted in the enclosed list. 

I shall need these goods for the Easter trade, and shall, therefore, 
expect them without delay. 

Ship by the C. & E. I. Ry. 

Yours very truly, 

Simeon C. Gordon. 


List of Goods. 
Order of March 8, 1899. sent by S. C. Gordon, Danville, lU. 

8 Doz. Assorted Tecks, at $4.26 

2 '• •* Imperials, *• 450 

12 *• String Ties. •• 1.00 

6 •* Band Bows, •• 2.25 

Half Hose: 

9« 10 10« 11 

8 Doz., No. 423. Fancy Stripe, at f2.25. J 1 1 } 

10 *• No. 437, Black. *• 1.10, 2 3 8 3 

3 *♦ No. 444. Fancy, •• 4.25, J ^ ^ } 

6 •' No. 392. Seamless, •• .75, 

Handkerchiefs : 

6 Doz., No. 874, Japanese, at $1.00 

8 ** No. 842. White H. S., •* 2.25 

10 «• No. 817, White. Cord Edge. •* .50 


80 82 34 36 88 40 

2 Doz., No. 367. at $4.50 3 4 5 6 8 8 

4 •• No. 374. '• 2.25 4 6 12 12 8 6 


8 J Doz., No. 86. Plain Balbriggan. at $4.50 
30 32 343638404244 
Shirts. I 1 1 1 i i 

Drawers, } } 1 1 i } 


1 Doz., No. 311, 26 inch, at $ .75 each 
1 •• No. 314. 28 " *• .90 
} " No. 322. 27 •• •• 1.50 
i '• No. 331. 28 '• " 2.00 
J " No. 369. 28 •• •• 2.50 

64. Analysis. — This letter is written by Mr. Gordon, 
who conducts a men's furnishing store in Danville, to Owens, 
Cleland & Co., wholesale dealers, in Chicago. 

The letter is brief and to the point. In the first sentence 
Mr. Gordon indicates that in making up the list of goods 
ordered he has been guided by the wholesale firm's catalogue, 
and to prevent any misunderstanding gives the number of 
the catalogue. In filling the order, the clerks of Owens, 
Cleland & Co. will consult their catalogue No. 31 for the 
styles and qualities of the goods named in the list. 



In the second paragraph the writer properly cautions the 
wholesale firm against delay. It is always well, in such 
cases, to state the time the goods are desired. If the goods 
are wanted at once, say ** Ship at once," or ** Ship without 
delay"; if there is no hurry, you may say, ** Ship at your 
convenience, or ** Please ship the goods named in the 
enclosed order," without reference to the time of shipment. 

In the last sentence the route is indicated. It is frequently 
more convenient for a merchant to receive his goods at a 
certain freight station or express office. When such is the 
case he should indicate his preference in the order and the 
shippers should of course respect his wishes in the matter. 
Sometimes it is necessary to indicate also whether the ship- 
ment shall be made by freight or express. In this case 
directions in this particular are unnecessary, as the dealers 
will naturally ship by freight unless directed to do otherwise. 

Little comment is required on the rhetorical construction 
of the letter. The style employed is the typical, concise 
business style. In three short sentences the writer says all 
that is necessary, arid any additional words would be wasted. 

The sentences are clear and grammatically correct It 
may be noted that in the first sentence the object of the 
verb send is goods. Not infrequently an order reads some- 
what like this: ** Please send me the enclosed list of goods." 
Here the object of the verb is list. The writer in reality 
asks the dealers to send him the list that he sends them, 
though he of course means to request them to ship the goods. 
These little points in precision and grammatical accuracy are 
what distinguish really good letter writers. 

The letter being short, each sentence constitutes a para- 
graph. Obviously the first two sentences are closely enough 
connected to form one paragraph, but there can be no. 
objection to the present arrangement. The last sentence 
should of course constitute a separate paragraph. 

While the letter is courteous, the terms of courtesy are 
not multiplied. The commanding tone that the first sen- 
tence might have is avoided by the word ** please." There 
would be no particular objection to a repetition of this word 

§ 22 tEtTER Writing. ds 

in the last sentence ; however, as this sentence is merely a 
direction and in no sense a request, the omission of some 
such word as please or kindly would not be construed as a 
discourtesy by any business man. It would be inappropriate 
to say, **I will be much obliged if you will kindly ship by 
the C. & E. I. Ry. *' When stated in this form, the sentence 
gives the impression that Mr. Gordon is asking a particular 
favor, whereas, in reality, to designate the route is his right. 

The complimentary close, ** Yours very truly," is formal 
and sufficiently courteous, considering the relation of the 
correspondents. "Yours respectfully " would be proper, 
but ** Your dutiful servant '* would be quite out of place. 

The arrangement of the parts of the letter leaves nothing 
to be desired. The heading consists of two lines, as it'should, 
being rather long. The address also occupies two lines. As 
this business house is well known in Chicago, it is unneces- 
sary to give street and number in the inside address, but it 
maybe placed on the envelope, as a possible aid to the postal 
clerks. The salutation ** Gentlemen " is correct. The body 
of the letter begins on the space below the salutation, though 
it might properly begin on the same line. 

We turn now to the punctuation of the letter. In the 
heading, the four items are separated by commas, a period 
follows the abbreviation *' 111.,*' and another is placed at the 
end. In the address the items are likewise separated by 
commas, and a comma separates the two names in the firm. 
According to the ordinary rules for the use of commas, it 
may be urged that a comma should follow the name **Cle- 
land " also, but it is the universal custom to write firm names 
with the punctuation given in the letter. The period after 
the abbreviation ** 111." serves also to mark the close of the 
address. The salutation ** Gentlemen" is followed by a 
comma. Some writers prefer to use a colon, and many use 
the dash with either the comma or colon. The dash should 
be used when the body of the letter follows the salutation on 
the same line, but we see no good reason for using it when 
the salutation is on the line above the body of the letter. 
In the first sentence the comma after **31" separates the 


preceding phrase from the following remainder of the sen- 
tence. In the second sentence the comma after ** trade " sep- 
arates the two clauses of the sentence ; the word ** therefore ** 
is of a parenthetical nature and is set off by commas. Periods 
follow each of the three sentences and the abbreviations of 
the name of the railroad. The complimentary close is fol- 
lowed by a comma, as it should be, and the signature is 
followed by a period. 

Each proper name begins with a capital letter. The first 
word of each sentence begins with a capital letter, as does 
also the salutation and the complimentary close. The abbre- 
viation of the railroad consists of the initial letters of the 
name ** Chicago and Eastern Illinois*'; and each letter is a 
capital. The word ** Easter" also begins with a capital. 

55. The order is written not in the body of the letter, 
but on separate sheets. The writer consults the convenience 
of his correspondents by closely following their catalogue. 
Doing so, he divides his letter into several paragraphs, each 
with a heading taken from the catalogue clearly indicating 
the class of goods he wishes to order. 

Under the heading ** Neckwear" appear four items, each 
occupying one line. First is given the quantity, then the style 
or variety, and at the end of the item, the price per dozen. 

Under the heading ** Half Hose,** we have in addition to 
the' quantity, style, and price, the catalogue number and a 
list of the sizes. The use of the catalogue number saves a 
lengthy description of the quality, material, etc., as this 
description is given in the catalogue under the number in 
question. The rows of figures at the right denote the sizes 
ordered; thus, the first item if written in full would read, 
**3 doz. Fancy Stripe, ^ doz. of size 9^, 1 doz. of size 10, 
1 doz. of size 10^, and \ doz. of size 11.*' In business prac- 
tice, fractional sizes are always indicated as here shown. 
9' denotes 9^, 9* denotes 9 J, and 9* denotes 9J-. 

In ordering goods that are made in different sizes, the 
merchant is careful to indicate the quantity required of each 
size, having regard for the probable demand for the various 


sizes and for the condition of the stock on hand. Thus, in the 
present instance, the merchant orders a larger quantity of the 
medium sizes 10 and 10^ than of the extreme sizes 9^ and 11. 

Under the fourth heading ** Belts," the number of belts 
is indicated for each size from 30 to 40 ; and under the head- 
ing ** Underwear," the number of dozens, the fraction of a 
dozen of both shirts and drawers are given for each of the 
sizes from 30 to 44. The merchant after looking over his 
stock concludes that he requires no more shirts of sizes 30 
and 32 or drawers of sizes 42 and 44. Had he neglected to 
give the sizes required and depended on the wholesale 
house for an assortment, they might make up the bulk of the 
order of one size of which .they have a surplus on hand. 

There are some points regarding punctuation, capitalization, 
and abbreviations that deserve notice. The heading of each 
paragraph, as ** Neckwear," **Half Hose," etc., is properly 
followed by a colon. This follows from the principle that a 
colon should precede a series of particulars or a series of items. 
The punctuation of the individual items follows ordinary 
rules; thus, the catalogue number, being parenthetical, is sep- 
arated by commas from what precedes and follows; and the 
phrases '*at $2. 25," **at $1.10,"etc. are also set off by commas. 

In orders, invoices, and advertisements, capital letters are 
used very freely; in fact, it is almost the rule to begin each 
word with a capital letter, and the exception to begin a 
word with a small letter. The order under consideration is 
no exception; almost every word save the preposition **at" 
is dignified by a capital. Whether this excessive use of the 
capital letters is justifiable from the rhetorical point of view 
is a question. The fact remains, however, that it is a uni- 
versal custom among business men, and in this case, as in 
most others, custom makes law. 

Another characteristic of the order is the free use of abbre- 
viations. The word ** dozen" is invariably abbreviated to 
Doz. or Dz., generally with a capital letter, and the ditto 
abbreviation •* is largely used. There are other abbre- 
viations peculiar to the class of goods; thus, **H.S." for 
'* hemstitched." The general rule, **Do not abbreviate in 


letter writing," is reversed in orders for goods, and becomes, 
** Abbreviate wherever possible." 

The letter that we have just analyzed will give the student 
an idea of the forms employed in ordering goods. An order 
from a merchant in some other line of business, say sta- 
tionery or hardware, would, of course, differ somewhat in 
little details from the order just considered, but the body of 
the letter would be substantially the same. It is manifestly 
impossible to give here all the intricate details that may 
arise in correspondence relating to various kinds of business. 
We can give only general principles; but a student that 
understands these principles relatirg to letters ordering 
goods, will readily master the details pertaining to any par- 
ticular business that he may be engaged in. 


66, Except in the case of small mail orders, where the 
sending of the goods constitutes a sufficient acknowledgment, 
it is a commendable custom to acknowledge an order imme- 
diately upon its receipt. The sender of the order upon 
receipt of the acknowledgment feels that his order is receiv- 
ing attention. 

Some firms acknowledge the order by sending an invoice; 
this custom is not to be recommended unless the invoice 
states the probable date of shipment; and in any case, a 
formal letter is better. 

Letter Acknowledging Order For Goods. 

Chicago, III., 

March 5, 1899. 
Mr. Simeon C. Gordon, 

Danville, IlL 
Dear Sir, 

We beg to acknowledge the receipt of your valued order of the 

8d inst. The goods noted therein will be shipped today by the 

C. & E. I. Ry. We trust you will find them satisfactory. 

Thanking you for this order and hoping to be favored by others in 

the future, we remain. 

Yours very truly, 

Ow£NS, Cleland & Co. 


57. Analysis. — Messrs. Owens, Cleland & Co., recog- 
nizing the value of a prompt acknowledgment, immediately 
write Mr. Gordon upon the receipt of his order. They 
inform him that his order has been received and that the 
goods ordered will be forwarded on the day of their writing. 

By the fact of their mentioning the date of his order, Mr. 
Gordon will at once perceive that reference is made to his 
letter of March 3, enclosing that order. He might have 
written Owens, Cleland & Co. another letter the same day 
enclosing a check or money order, or he might have written 
them on the 4th, enclosing another and quite different order 
for goods. Hence the value of the particular reference to 
his letter of March 3 enclosing a special list of goods. It is 
always, indeed, advisable for a business man or firm to men- 
tion the date of the letter that is being answered. 

After this reference to the .date, Owens, Cleland & Co. 
inform their correspondent that they will ship the goods by 
the desired route and express the hope that they will be 
found satisfactory. They then courteously express thanks 
for the order and conclude by asking for future orders. 

This letter is in all respects one that a great business firm 
might properly address to a reliable and trustworthy cus- 
tomer. The letter is brief, but not so brief as to give the 
impression of haste or discourtesy. The actual information 
conveyed might have been put in one sentence; thus, ** We 
have received your order of the 3d and will ship goods 
today." If, however, the letter consisted of this single 
statement, it would seem curt and would not perhaps pro- 
duce a favorable impression on the recipient. By the use 
of the word ** valued" in the first sentence, the firm gives 
Mr. Gordon the impression that they value his order and 
are glad to have business relations with him. Of course 
Mr. Gordon may take it for granted that Owens, Cleland 
& Co. are glad to receive an order, but the assurance is 
nevertheless in some degree gratifying. Any one is pleased 
to feel that a favor on his part is appreciated. 

The third sentence expressing the hope that the goods will 
be satisfactory shows that the firm is anxious to please the 


customer in the quality of the goods. An Expression of this 
character is always appropriate in an acknowledgment of an 
order. The last sentence is in keeping with the preceding 
portion of the letter; it is practically a request for the con- 
tinuation and enlargement of the business relations existing 
between the firm and Mr. Gordon. 

The sentences of the letter are short, clear, and grammatic- 
ally correct. The first three sentences are closely connected 
and naturally form one paragraph. It will be noticed that 
the continuity is secured seemingly without attention on the 
part of the writer. In the second sentence, ** therein " refers 
to the order mentioned in the first sentence ; and the third 
sentence is connected to the second by the pronoun ** them " 
referring to the ** goods " of the second sentence. The last 
sentence merges into the complimentary close and for that 
reason is made a paragraph. It is a general rule that when 
the closing sentence of a letter is preparatory to the compli- 
mentary close, it should begin a new paragraph. 

The arrangement of the parts of the letter is faultless. 
The address should Clearly occupy two lines, and, the letter 
being short, it is perhaps preferable to begin the body on 
the line below the salutation. There is some difference of * 
opinion as to the proper position of the clause ** we remain " 
in the last sentence. Some prefer to put it on a separate 
line; thus: 

by others in the future. 

We remain. 

Yours very truly, 

Owens, Cleland & Co. 

In this case **we " must begin with a capital letter. We 
believe it is better, however, to write this clause in the body of 
the sentence. In either case, it must be set off by commas. 

There is nothing in the punctuation or capitalization of 
the letter that requires special comment 

58. For the student's guidance, we append two shorter 
letters ordering goods and the acknowledgments thereto: 


Bay City, Mich., 

May 7. 1899. 
Mbssrs. Keuffel & ESSER, 

New York. 
GentUmen.—VlGSiSG ship by American Express, C. O. D., the fol- 

12 Quires Universal Paper. 27" X 40". at $2.25 per Quire. 
8 *» Paragon •* 22" X 30", " 2.50 ** 
100 Sheets Whatman's No. 2. 19" X24". at .10 per Sheet. 
5 Doz. Patent Office Bristol Board. No. 21. 15" X 20", at .60 per Doz. 
1 Roll No. 150 Tracing Cloth. 36 in., at 8.25. 
Kindly credit me with the usual discount. 

Yours truly, 

J. C. Saunders, 

230 Huron St. 

New York, May 10, 1899. 
Mr. J. C. Saunders, 

280 Huron St.. 

Bay City. Mich. 

Dear Sir: — The order with which you have kindly favored us, 
under date of May 7, has been filled and shipment will be made today. 
We trust that the articles will reach you in good condition, and hope 
to be favored with many future orders. 

Very truly yours, 

Keuffel & Esser. 

Per J. 

Franklin, Ia., July 6, 1898. 
The Deering Harvester Co., 

Chicago. 111. 

Please ship us at once by fast freight 20 Deering harvesters. 

Yours truly, 

Spencer & Loi-tus. 

Chicago. III., 

July 8, 1898. 
Spencer & Loftus, 

Franklin. Ta. 


We have today received your order of the 6th inst., for which 

accept our thanks. We will ship the harvesters tomorrow, the 9th, at 

the latest 

Yours respectfully, 

The Deering Harvester Co. 

Per M. R. W. 



69. Under this heading we class letters appl3ring for 
emplojmient. In such a letter, state your qualifications 
clearly, modestly, and in a businesslike tone. Answer all 
particulars mentioned in the advertisement. Do not send 
the originals of testimonials in applying for a situation, but 
copy each testimonial on a separate sheet, marked **Copy " 
at the top of the page. 

The writer's letter of application is often the only evidence 
of his fitness for a position ; therefore, great care should be 
taken in the writing and in the wording of the letter. Numer- 
ous advertisements seen in the papers close with the words, 
** Apply in your own handwriting," showing the importance 
that business men place on good penmanship. Read your 
letter over carefully before sending it, and if you see any 
way in which the wording might be improved, or find a 
single mistake, the letter should by all means be rewritten. 

Your success in securing the place may depend on slight 
extra trouble on your part in writing the letter. If the 
position is an important one, you will be almost sure to fail 
in securing it, unless your letter of application is carefully 

The applicant should usually state what his education has 
been; what experience, if any, he has had in business; his 
age, habits, qualifications, etc.; and give any general infor- 
mation concerning himself that might interest the persons 
addressed. It is well to enclose copies of letters of recom- 
mendation, if he have such. While the applicant should 
state his qualifications clearly, it is equally important that he 
state them 'modestly as well. 

Letter of Application. 

Auburn, N. Y., May 24. 1899. 

The Buckeye Engine Co., 

Salem, Ohio. 
Gentlemen : 

On account of the state of my wife's health it has become 
necessary for me to leave Auburp for some place better suited to her 
requirements. I should like, therefore, to obtain a situation with 


your firm, either as a foreman in your machine shop or as a Journey- 
man machinist 

I am thirty-six years of age. For the past seven years I have been 
employed in the shops of Mcintosh, Seymour & Co.. and during the 
last three years 1 have held the position of assistant foreman, having 
charge of their lathe and planer hands. 1 am qualified to do first-class 
work on light and heavy lathes, planers, milling machines, and grind- 
ing machines ; I have also had some experience in toolmaking, and am 
a good vise hand. 

As to my character and ability, I refer, by permission, to Mr. John 
W. Lee, Superintendent, and to Mr. Henry R. Fielding, General Fore- 
man for Mcintosh, Seymour & Co., and to Mr. H. E. Deitman, Super- 
intendent of the B. W. Payne & Sons' Engine Co., Elmira, N. Y., with 
which firm I was formerly employed. 

Awaiting an answer, at your convenience, I remain. 

Very respectfully yours, 
287 State Street Chas. W. Baldwin, 

60. Anal^'^ls. — A letter of application for employment 
should be brief and to the point. If the applicant is already 
employed, he should state his reasons for desiring a change; 
if he is not employed, he should state whom he worked for 
last and why he is not working at the time he writes his 
letter. In many cases, the age of tlie applicant is a matter 
of serious consideration; hence, as a rule, he should state 
his age. The applicant should state what experience he has 
had in the particular line of work for which he seeks employ- 
ment: As a general rule, references are more valuable than 
letters of recommendation ; consequently, the applicant 
should obtain permission to refer to his previous employers. 
Any other reference is undesirable in cases like that outlined 
in the above letter. Let us see how Mr. Baldwin has fulfilled 
our requirements. 

Mr. Baldwin is employed with Mcintosh, Seymour & Co., 
of Auburn, N. Y. , a firm well known throughout the United 
States as builders of high-grade automatic cut-off shaft gov- 
ernor engines. He has been employed with this firm for 
seven years, during the last three of which he has been one 
of their assistant foremen. He is a good machinist himself, 
and has worked in other machine shops, one of which is that 
of B. W. Payne & Sons, of Elmira, N. Y., who build the 


same general class of engines as Mcintosh, Seymour & Co. 
On account of the state of his wife's health, Mr. Baldwin 
decides that it would be best to move to some place having 
a more suitable climate, and therefore writes to The Buckeye 
Engine Co., Salem, Ohio, a firm engaged in the same line of 
business as Mcintosh, Seymour & Co. 

Mr. Baldwin begins his letter by stating his reasons for 
changing employers. He writes that his wife has poor 
health, and leaves it to be inferred that this is his only 
reason for leaving the employ of Mcintosh, Seymour & Co., 
as is really the case. He does not waste any words; he does 
not tell of the numerous conferences that they have had 
with their physician — all these are private matters and are 
of no interest whatever to The Buckeye Engine Co. 

In the next sentence, he states the kind of a situation he 
desires, and he writes in a straightforward manner that 
indicates that he feels confident of his ability to fill either 
position satisfactorily. It will be noticed that neither here 
nor in any other part of the letter does he write something 
like this: "Should you desire to accept my services, I am 
certain that I can fill either position to your entire satisfac- 
tion." Such remarks are wholly unnecessary and tend to 
weaken the force of the letter. The fact that he has worked 
for the same firm for seven years, for the last three as assist- 
ant foreman, and is leaving of his own accord, is sufficient. 
A man is always expected to do his work to the best of his 
ability, and there is no reason for his bragging about what 
it is taken for granted he will do. Note also that of the two 
positions mentioned, the higher one is named first. This is 
a point worthy of careful consideration. Mr. Baldwin has 
been employed for seven years, with Mcintosh, Seymour & 
Co., on the same general class of work as that done by the 
firm he is writing to, and, previous to that, for some time 
with B. W. Payne & Sons. He feels certain that he can fill 
the position of foreman or assistant foreman in the machine 
shop of The Buckeye Engine Co. , and hence he names the 
hiji^her position first, leaving it to be inferred that while he 
could fill the position of foreman, and desires such a position, 


he would, on account of the necessity of being oMiged to 
leave Auburn, accept a position as machinist, and take his 
chances of being promoted afterwards to be foreman or 
assistant foreman. If he had written to some firm engaged 
in a different line of business, as, for example, The Latrobe 
Steel Works, Latrobe, Pa., it would have been better for 
him to have reversed the order and named the lower position 
first; for, if he had named the higher position first, it would 
have created the impression in the mind of the person read- 
ing his letter that he was of that variety of mankind who 
**know it all," and would have weakened very much the 
other good qualities that were displayed in his letter. By 
naming the lower position first, it would show him to be a 
mcxlest man, but one who had confidence in his own ability, 
and was willing to work for awhile in a subordinate position 
and trust that his employer would observe his work and 
promote him to a higher position, as soon as it became 
evident that he was familiar with the work as done in the 
shops at Latrobe. It depends altogether upon circum- 
stances, whether the higher position should be named first 
or the lower. 

In these two sentences, which form the first paragraph of 
the letter, Mr. Baldwin has stated why he wants to change 
his situation and has named the position that he desires to 
fill with The Buckeye Engine Co. He now very naturally 
states his qualifications, and his reasons for thinking that he 
can fill the position he is applying for, and begins with a 
new paragraph. It is quite customary now for employers to 
ask applicants for positions their ages, and he begins the 
second paragraph by stating his age. He then states how 
long he has been employed in the shop of Mcintosh, Seymour 
& Co. This is an important point; if a man stays for a long 
while in the employ of a company, and particularly of a 
company as well known as Mcintosh, Seymour & Co., it is 
strong presumptive evidence that his work has been satisfac- 
tory to the firm, and it is reasonable to suppose that his 
work would be equally satisfactory to his new employers. 
This impression is greatly strengthened by the fact that Mr. 


Baldwin was promoted to the position of assistant foreman, 
and that he held that position for three years, and could hold 
it longer, but was obliged to leave on account of his wife*s 
health. It will be noticed that he does not merely state that 
he was assistant foreman, but he also states exactly what his 
duties were; viz., he had charge of the lathe and planer 
hands. This is another important statement, for a prospec- 
tive employer also desires to know exactly what an applicant 
for a position in his shop has done previously. If Mr. 
Baldwin had merely stated that he had held the position of 
assistant foreman, he would have left The Buckeye Engine 
Co. in doubt as to what his duties had been. He might have 
had charge of the boring machines, he might have had 
charge of the floor hands, he might have had charge of the 
tool room, or he might have had charge of the erecting 
department; but, by stating exactly what his duties had 
been, The Buckeye Engine Co. are better able to judge 
whether they can offer him a position as one of their fore- 
men, or whether they prefer to employ him as a journeyman 

The first sentence of the second paragraph is really a state- 
ment of Mr. Baldwin's special qualifications for a position as 
foreman. The next sentence not only adds somewhat to the 
list given in the first sentence, but also gives his qualifica- 
tions for a position as journeyman machinist. Without 
doing any boasting, Mr. Baldwin states that he can do first- 
class work on light and heavy lathes, planers, milling 
machines, and grinding machines. It will be noticed that 
he mentions both light and heavy lathes. This is an impor- 
tant statement, because a machinist might be able to do 
first-class work on a light lathe and not be able to handle a 
heavy lathe. In the next clause he modestly states that he 
has had experience in toolmaking, and that he is a good vise 
hand. He might be a first-class toolmaker and a first-class 
vise hand, but whether he is or whether his experience in 
these directions has been somewhat limited, or not, it is 
better, perhaps, for him to word his letter as he has done. 
It is always well not to try to claim too much. If The Buckeye 


Engine Co. wish to know what experience he has had in 
toolmaking or in work at the bench, they will ask him ; then 
he can state exactly what experience he has had in either of 
these two branches of machinists' work, and he will create a 
better impression than if he made himself out to be a first- 
class workman in all three departments. 

Having stated his qualifications, he now gives his refer- 
ences as to character and ability, and naturally begins a new 
paragraph. He refers to the two men in the employ of 
Mcintosh, Seymour & Co. that are best qualified to express 
an opinion in regard to his character and ability — the super- 
intendent and the general foreman — and, at the same time, 
he takes advantage of the opportunity to inform The Buckeye 
Engine Co. that he has worked for B. W. Payne & Sons, 
and refers to their superintendent. When giving a refer- 
ence, it is always best, when possible, to refer to the person 
that is immediately over you. A reference to a high official 
of the company is seldom satisfactory; as he rarely comes in 
direct contact with the employes, but issues his orders 
through the heads of departments, any recommendation that 
he might give would, in all probability, be due to inquiry of 
the superintendent or general foreman. Hence, it is always 
better to refer to the superintendent or general f oreman,direct. 

Note the wording of the closing paragraph. Mr. Baldwin 
desires a reply to his letter, and he words his request verv 
delicately. He is in the position of a person asking a favor; 
hence, instead of saying, ** Please answer at your earliest 
conv^enience, " which would be in the nature of a command, 
he writes, ** Awaiting an answer, at your convenience" — a 
respectful way of saying the same thing. The form, V Please 
answer at your earliest convenience, " would be correct for The 
Buckeye Engine Co. to use in reply to Mr. Baldwin's letter, 
but it would be considered somewhat impertinent for Mr. 
Baldwin to use it in his letter. A person asking a favor has 
no right to demand, and but little right to request ; and, in 
any case, the request should be so worded as to leave it en- 
tirely optional with the person to whom the request is 
made, whether he grants it or not. 


The complimentary close, **Very respectfully yours, '• 
seems to be perfectly correct; ** Very sincerely yours," or 
** Very truly yours,'* would carry an air of too great familiar- 
ity. ** Respectfully yours" is a little too abrupt, and creates 
the impression that the writer was in very much of a hurry 
to finish his letter; but **Very respectfully yours" is in 
keeping with the remainder of the letter and is a dignified 

Notice that Mr. Baldwin gives his street and number at 
the close of his letter. This may Ikj given either at the end 
of a letter or at the beginning, as the writer prefers. If the 
letter takes up more than one page of writing, it would be 
better, perhaps, to give the street and number at the head 
of the letter; but it is merely a matter of taste which form 
is used. 

The composition of the body of the letter shows that the 
applicant has a good command of language and is a man of 
education. It is not necessary, therefore, for the writer to 
make a specific statement in regard to his educational quali- 

The diction of the letter is excellent. The words cho.scn 
express precisely the meaning they arc intended to, and the 
few technical words, such as ** lathes," ** planers," etc., are 
perfectly familiar to anyone likely to be connected with The 
Buckeye Engine Co. Even in the phrase '* Awaiting an 
answer, at your convenience," the writer uses the proper 
word answer instead of the incorrect, though frequently used, 
word reply. We reply to a statement, an argument, or accu* 
sation, and answer (not reply to) a question or a letter. 

The sentences are clear and grammatically correct; they 
also possess to a greater or less degree the qualities of unity, 
force, and ease. In the second paragraph, for example, 
unity is secured by making a sentence of the first statement, 
•* I am thirty-six years of age." If we combine the first two 
sentences, thus: ** I am thirty-six years of age and have been 
employed, etc.," we introduce two prominent ideas into one 
sentence, and thus violate the principle of unity. The last 
sentence in the second paragraph might have been divided 


into two sentences, the first ending with the words •'grind- 
ing machines." The separation of the two statements by a 
semicolon, however, seems to make the transition from one 
to the other less abrupt than when a period is used and each 
statement forms a separate sentence. 

The division of the letter into paragraphs is satisfactory. 
The first paragraph deals with the reason that impels Mr. 
Baldwin to seek a new situation. Note that the connective 
** therefore" joins the second sentence of the paragraph to 
the first sentence. The second paragraph has for its subject 
the qualifications of the writer for the position sought; and 
the third paragraph, which consists of a single sentence, 
gives the references. Each paragraph therefore has a single 
leading subject. 

The style of expression is simple, direct, and respectful, 
as it always should be in letters of this character. Nothing 
could be more out of place than ornamental or flowery lan- 
guage or a verbose form of statement in a letter of appli- 

The punctuation of the letter follows the established rules. 
In the heading and address, the items are separated by 
commas. The salutation "Gentlemen" is followed by a 
colon; a comma might have been used, but the colon is more 
formal. Periods appear in their proper places; viz., at the 
end of the heading, the address, and the signature, after 
each abbreviation, and at the end of each sentence. In the 
body of the letter commas are used to set off parenthetical 
words or phrases, as *' therefore ** in the second sentence and 
** by permission " in the third paragraph; to setoff elements 
in apposition, as "Superintendent" in apposition with 
*• Mr. John W. Lee," •• General Foreman, etc." in apposition 
with "Mr. H. E. Deitman." Commas are used also after 
the words "lathes," "planers," and "milling machines" to 
mark the omission of conjunctions. According to the custom 
of the best writers, the third comma is required though the 
conjunction, andy is present 

The proper names throughout the letter begin with capital 
letters, as do also the first words of the several sentences. 


In the address, each word of the firm name begins with a 
capital; and in the third paragraph the titles ** Superin- 
tendent'' and "General Foreman" are properly capitalized. 

61. The Buckeye Engine Co., to verify the statements 
made by Mr. Baldwin and to inform themselves more fully 
in regard to his character and ability as a machinist, send 
the following letter of inquiry to Mr. John W. Lee: 

Salem, Ohio, May 27, 1899. 
Mr. John W. Lee, 


Mcintosh, Seymour & Co., 
Auburn, N. Y. 
Dear Sir: — Mr. Chas. W. Baldwin writes that the state of his wife's 
health obliges him to leave Auburn. lie applies for employment and 
refers us to you and to your Mr, Henry R. Fielding. 

We shall be pleased to have your opinion of Mr. Baldwin's character, 
experience, and ability. 

Very truly yours, 

The Buckeye EngiKe Co. 

This letter of inquiry is characterized by the direct, concise 
style that is always appropriate in business correspondence. 
The writer introduces in his first sentence the leading topic — 
Mr. Baldwin's application. The object of The Buckeye 
Engine Co. in writing this letter is to obtain information 
concerning their applicant, and nothing is to be gained by 
veiling this object with a wordy introduction. 

Having stated in the first paragraph that Mr. Baldwin has 
applied for employment and has referred to Mr. Lee, the 
writer in the second paragraph respectfully and courteously 
asks Mr. Lee's opinion of Mr. Baldwin. The last sentence 
has a close enough connection with what precedes to be 
included in the same paragraph. As the letter is short, how- 
ever, its appearance is improved by making two paragraphs 
instead of one. 

The recognition in the address of Mr. Lee's position as 
superintendent is a mark of respect worthy of mention. 
The complimentary close, "Very truly yours," is quite 


correct considering the relation of the writer to the recipient 
It is perfectly respectful and sufficiently formal. 

No special comment need be made upon the punctuation 
and capitalization of the letter. 

63« The following is Mr. John W. Lee's answer: 

Auburn. N. Y., May 80, 18W. 
The Buckeye Engine Co., 

Salem, Ohio. 

Gentlemen : 

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your esteemed favor of the 
27th inst in regard to Mr. Chas. W. Baldwin's application for employ- 

Mr. Baldwin had full permission to use my name in his letter of 
application to you. The reason he assigns for his proposed change of 
residence is correct His wife's health is in such a condition that a 
change of residence is imjjerative. 

Mr. Baldwin is a gentleman of unimpeachable character; he stands 
well with this firm and with the best classes in this community. He is 
an excellent machinist and has been in our employ seven years, during 
the last three of which he has been an assistant foreman. During his 
whole time with us he has given perfect satisfaction. 

I feel safe, therefore, in commending Mr. Baldwin to your favorable 

Very truly yours, 

John W. Lee, Supt 

I take pleasure in endorsing the above letter. 

Henry R. Fielding, 

General Foreman. 

Mr. Lee's answer to The Buckeye Engine Co.'s letter of 
inquiry quite properly opens with a reference to that letter. 
This reference recalls the subject of the original letter, so 
that it will not be necessary for the reader of Mr. Lee*s 
answer to refresh his memory with the copy of the letter to 
Mr. Lee. 

The points in the inquiry are answered in detail. First, 
Mr. Lee verifies Mr. Baldwin's statements that the state of 
his wife's health demands a change of residence and that 
Mr. Baldwin had a right to use his name as a reference. He 
then certifies to Mr. Baldwin's character, experience, and 


ability, as requested in the last paragraph of the letter of 

It is to be noted that Mr. Lee's statements have a positive 
tone and are specific in their nature. **Mr. Baldwin is a 
gentleman of unimpeachable character, " ** He is an excel- 
lent machinist," **he has given perfect satisfaction"; these 
assertions are strong and unequivocal and cannot fail to im- 
press The Buckeye Engine Co. If Mr. Lee had written some- 
thing like this, ** Mr. Baldwin seems to be a gentleman and I 
think he will prove satisfactory to you, " the firm addressed 
would feel that Mr. Lee hesitates to fully commit himself, and 
that though Mr. Baldwin might prove successful in a new 
position, he might, on the other hand, prove to be a failure. 
The good effect of Mr. Lee's positive assertions is increased 
by the last sentence, **I feel safe," etc. This is equivalent 
to an assertion on Mr. Lee's part that he will stake his repu- 
tation for veracity and good judgment on Mr. Baldwin's 
success in case The Buckeye Engine Co. sees fit to employ him. 

Mr. Lee's letter is an example of what the painstaking, 
studious mechanic can achieve in letter writing. The sen- 
tences are clear and correct, the diction is g(Kxl, and good 
judgment is exhibited in the division of the matter into par- 
agraphs. The style is direct and concise, but courteous and 

63. Having received Mr. Lee's answer and also an 
answer to a letter of inquiry to Mr. H. E. Deitman, The 
Buckeye Engine Co. write Mr. Baldwin as follows: 

Sal£M, Ohio, Juue 2, ISW. 
Mr. Chas. W. Baldwin, 
237 State St., 

Auburn, N. Y. 
Dear Sir : 

Your letter of the 24th ult. has received due consideration. We 
will state, in answer, that we are prepared to olTer you a position a? 
assistant foreman in our shops. 

Write when we may expect you here. 

Truly yours. 

The Buckeyk Engink Co.- 


The following is Mr. Baldwin's answer: 

Auburn, N. Y., June 5, 1899. 
The Buckeye Engine Co., 

Salem, Ohio. 
Gentlemen : 

I thank you for your favorable consideration of my application. 
I will be in Salem by the lOth inst 

Very truly yours, 

Chas. W. Baldwin. 

These letters require little comment. The Buckeye Engine 
Co. in their letter to Mr. Baldwin simply state that they 
have given his application due consideration. This implies 
that they have made the inquiries they have thought neces- 
sary, and it is not necessary for them to tell Mr. Baldwin 
whether they have written to his references. 

Mr. Baldwin says all that is required in two short sen- 
tences. In the first sentence he thanks his prospective 
employers in a dignified and respectful manner. He is 
neither gushing nor effusive in his thanks. In the second 
sentence he answers the indirect question asked in The 
Buckeye Engine Co.'s letter in as few words as possible. 
The two sentences are in no way connected, and the second 
forms, therefore, a separate paragraph. 

64. We submit another letter of application for the 
guidance of the student. 

Battle Creek, Mich., 

June 80, 1899. 
Mr. Franklin P. Judson, 

Chairman of the Board of Education, 
Jackson, Mich. 
Dear Sir: 

Kindly permit me to offer myself as a candidate for the position 
of principal in the Jackson high school, which I am informed is now 

The following is a brief statejncnt of my educational qualifications and 
experience in teaching: I graduated at the University of Michigan in 
1890, and spent one additional year there in advanced study. Since leav- 
ing the University in 1891, I have been engaged amtinuously in teach- 
ing the natural sciences, mathematics, history, and English. For the 


last two years I have taught physics and chemistry in the Battle Creek 
high school. 

In regard to the character of my work, the enclosed testimonials will 
doubtless be of more value to you than any statements I might make in 
my own behalf. 

Should you desire a personal interview, I shall be glad to present 
myself at such time and place as your convenience may dictate. 

I am very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

James S. Resd. 


65. A letter of introduction should be given only after 
the fullest consideration, the writer having due regard not 
only for himself and the person introduced, but also for the 
interests and feelings of the person to whom the letter of 
introduction is addressed. 

A business letter of introduction should always be pre- 
sented by the bearer in person ; and care should be taken to 
present it at a time when it will cause least inconvenience to 
the person addressed. 

Letter of Introduction. 

Cincinnati, O., Oct 11. 1898. 
E. B. Elliot, Esq., 

Montreal, Can, 
Friend Elliot : 

This letter will be handed to you by Mr. Henry Osborne, 
of this city, who visits Canada for the benefit of his health, and 
intends also to look after some business interests in the vicinity o£ 
Montreal. I sincerely commend him to your consideration and trust 
that you will make his stay, while in your city, pleasant as well as 

My friend Osborne is worthy of your highest regard, and any cour- 
tesies, business or social, that you may show him will be greatly appre- 
ciated by Your sincere friend, 

William E. Safford. 

66, Analysis. — This is a well constructed and carefully 
worded letter of introduction. Mr. Safford is a lifelong 
friend of Mr. Elliot. They had been associated in financial 
enterprises, and their families had mingled in the most 
intimate social intercourse. Under these circumstances. 


Mr. Safford would be very careful in introducing a third 
party to Mr. Elliot The letter shows his care in this respect. 

Usually a letter of introduction written from one business 
man to another is strictly a business letter and carries with 
it no social obligations. The recipient of such a letter will 
feel bound to render the bearer assistance in a business way, 
but need not necessarily extend to him the hospitality of his 
house nor introduce him to friends and acquaintances. The 
letter under consideration, however, may be regarded as a 
mixed business and social letter. Mr. Safford, feeling sure 
that his friend Mr. Osborne will prove congenial socially to 
Mr. Elliot and his family, does not hesitate to request social 
as well as business courtesies in his friend's behalf. 

A letter of introduction should always be brief, because it 
is embarrassing for the bearer to wait while a long letter is 
being read. The letter before us fulfils this requirement ; 
it is reasonably short yet contains all essential points. 

The expression of esteem, ** My friend Osborne is worthy 
of your highest regard, " is well chosen. The mere fact that 
Mr. Safford introduces Mr. Osborne at all implies that the 
latter is a person worthy of regard. While it is appropriate 
to make a modest commendation of this character, it would 
be in as bad taste to launch into extravagant praise in a 
written introduction as in a personal introduction. 

The rhetorical construction of the letter exhibits no points 
that require special comment. The three sentences in the 
body of the letter are somewhat long, but they are perfectly 
clear. The first two sentences properly constitute a para- 
graph, being closely connected ; and the last sentence is given 
a separate paragraph. 

It will be noted that the last sentence is completed by 
the complimentary close, ** Your sincere friend, " which is the 
object of the preposition ** by,** the last word of the body. 
While this form is much used, many writers object to it, and 
prefer to complete the last sentence in the body of the letter . 
and follow it with the usual complimentary close, ** Yours 
sincerely '* or ** Yours truly.** 

The punctuation of the letter follows established usage. 


The items of the heading and address are separated by 
commas, and all abbreviations are followed by periods. The 
salutation is properly followed by a colon. The relative 
clause ** who visits, etc." in the first sentence, and the phrase 
** while in your city *' in the second sentence, are set off by 
commas. In the last sentence the comma after the word 
** regard" separates the clauses of the compound sentence, 
and the two other commas set off the expression ** business 
or social, " which is out of its natural order. All the sentences 
are followed by periods. Observe that in the last sentence 
the closing period is that following the signature. 

All proper names are capitalized, as they should be, and 
each sentence begins with a capital letter. 



67, Letters of congratulation are those tendering felici- 
tations on some success achieved by a friend. Trench, **C)n 
the Study of Words," declares; **When I * congratulate **a 
person (cong^atulator) I declare that I am a sharer in his 
joy, that what has rejoiced him, has rejoiced also me. " 

The style of a letter of congratulation should be hearty 
and joyous. There should be no hint of en\y or jealousy, 
and the letter should contain nothing that might have a 
tendency to dampen the joy of the recipient. Anything dis- 
agreeable, and, in particular, any advice, should be reserved 
for another letter. 

Usually a letter of congratulation is brief, sometimes 
merely a message by telegraph. 

Letter of Congratulation. 

Galesburg, III., April 20, 1890. 
Honorable Hknry Clay Evans, 

Memphis, Tenn. 

My dear Sir : 

Word has just reached me that you have been elected to tho 
honorable and responsiWe office of Mayor of Memphis. 


It is some years since we last met ; but as a friend of the long-past 
but unforgotten days of boyhood, I feel certain that you have fully 
developed all those fine qualities of which your youth gave such 
abundant promise, and have proved yourself worthy of your blood and 
family traditions and, above all, of your American citizenship. 

May your administration of the affairs of Memphis be all that its 
best citizens, irrespective of party, can desire ; and may your election 
as chief magistrate of that respectable city be the stepping stone to 
higher honors and to broader spheres of usefulness in your state and 
country. ^^ 

Your friend of old and today, 

M. Clancy. 

68. Analysis. — The foregoing is a letter of congratula- 
tion containing all that such letters should express. There 
is no undue familiarity in the opening lines — there is nothing 
save a simple, unostentatious statement of fact. The second 
paragraph refers with dignity, delicacy, and tenderness to 
the friendship of boyhood days and pays tribute to qualities 
manifested by- Mr. Evans even in those early days. The 
third and closing paragraph extends, in fitting language, 
hearty good wishes to the newly elected Mayor. 

One commendable feature of this letter is that the writer 
delicately abstains from unduly thrusting himself forward 
into the notice of his friend. He does not begin with an 
/, but opens with the modest clause ** Word has just reached 
me." It is always in better taste to begin a letter, or, in 
fact, a sentence, with some other word than with the pro- 
noun /. A letter too freely sprinkled with Ps gives the 
impression that the writer attaches undue importance to his 
thoughts and actions. Of course there are cases in which 
the / may properly occur quite frequently, as for exam- 
ple in a letter of application, in which the applicant in rela- 
ting his education and experience must naturally talk about 
himself. It is a safe rule, however, to keep this word / 
in the background as much as possible ; at best, it will appear 
often enough. 

Another feature of the letter is the evident sincerity of 
the compliments in the second paragraph and the good 
wishes in the last paragraph. Two things to be avoided in 


letters of congratulation are compliments that savor of 
flattery and extravagant expressions of joy. In the present 
letter how inappropriate it would be for the writer, who has 
not met Mr. Evans for some years, to make use of such 
expressions as **I was overjoyed at your success," or **I 
was pleased beyond measure, etc."; again how inappropriate 
would be such a flattering eulogy as the following: ** Your 
transcendent genius for state affairs,- your unimpeachable 
integrity and unswerving devotion to duty, and your well 
known executive ability combined to make you an ideal 
candidate for the high office to which you have been elected. " 
Mr. Evans would rightly regard such an expression as most 
offensive flattery, and would not for a moment regard it as 

It is to be observed that in the last paragraph the writer 
does not stop with the word ** honors." Had he done so, 
the sentence would seem to convey the idea that the honor 
of office was Mr. Evans's chief motive for accepting the 
Mayor's chair. By adding the last phrase ** and to broader 
spheres of usefulness, etc.," the writer delicately implies that 
Mr. Evans's prime motive is to be of service to his city, 
state, or country. 

Besides the merits of modesty and sincerity, the letter 
exhibits the dignity befitting the relation of the writer and 
recipient. The two gentlemen are evidently not young, and 
have not been intimate socially for some years. Under these 
circumstances any attempt at familiarity would be out of 
place. Under other circumstances, of course, a letter of 
congratulation may be familiar and brisk; for example, a 
young man congratulating a college chum might write: 
** Well done, old fellow! Give me a handshake in honor of 
your brilliant success. " As in all other letters the degree of 
dignity and formality is regulated by the relation of the 

Turning to the rhetorical construction, we note in the 
first place that the diction is correct and dignified, as befits 
the subject of the letter. There are a number of long 
words, as •* traditions," ** citizenship," '* administrator/* and 


''magistrate," but they are entirely apin-opriate in the places in 
which they are used, and are those that any writer would 
naturally employ under similar circumstances. The diction 
is marked by both purity and propriety. In the whole letter 
there is not a word of questionable character — not one that 
is obsolete, newly coined, provincial, or foreign. Further, 
each word is used in its generally understood sense and con- 
veys the meaning intended. An instance of precision in dic- 
tion is shown in the word ** office" in the first sentence. 
Many writers would incorrectly write ** position of Mayor of 
Memphis." In general, office refers to employment having 
connection with government. Public servants hold office ; 
employes of private concerns hold situations ox positions. 

The three sentences in the body of the letter fulfil the 
primary requisites of the good sentence; viz., clearness and 
correctness; they also possess unity and ease. Observe the 
clearness and smoothness of the last two sentences, despite 
their considerable length. 

The letter, containing, as it does, three distinct parts — 
the announcement, the compliments, and the good wishes — 
is naturally divided into three paragraphs, each containing 
a single sentence. 

In the arrangement of the parts of the letter the writer 

exercises good taste. In the address, the name is properly 

preceded by the title •* Honorable" unabbreviated. The 

abbreviation **Hon. " would perhaps indicate a lack of 

respect; on the other hand, it would be altogether too 

formal in a letter of congratulation to write the address as 


To the Honorable 

Henry Clay Evans, 

Memphis, Tenn. 

The complimentary close, ** Your friend of old and today," 
is happily chosen, and is appropriate to the reference in the 
second sentence to **the long- past but unforgotten days of 
boyhood. " 

The punctuation of the heading, address, and conclusion 
calls for no comment. The first sentence requires no mark 


except the period at the end. The second sentence is some- 
what long and is made up of phrases and clauses that demand 
separation. The first short clause is coordinate with the 
last clause; and since the latter is further subdivided by 
commas, the two clauses are separated by the semicolon fol- 
lowing the word ** met. " The comma after ** boyhood " sets 
off the preceding phrase, which is out of its natural order; 
the comma after * * promise " separates the two parts of the 
compound predicate, and those after **and" and **air* set 
off the parenthetical expression ** above all." In the last 
sentence the coordinate clauses are. separated by the semi- 
colon after ** desire "; and the commas in the first clause set 
off the parenthetical expression ''irrespective of party." 
The sentences are followed by periods, though some writers 
might prefer an exclamation point after the last sentence. 

Little need be said regarding the use of capital letters. 
All the proper names and the first words of the sentences 
begin with capital letters, as they, of course, should. The 
word " Mayor " being an official title is begun with a capital 
letter, and so is the word *' American," an adjective derived 
from the proper name America. Observe that the word 
* * dear " in the salutation does not begin with a capital 

09. As an additional example we give a less formal 
letter congratulating a friend on his appointment to a uni 
versity fellowship: 

CoLUMHUS,. Ohio, June 13, 1899. 

Dkar Jack, 

I have just this moment heard of your appointment to the coveted 
fellowship. (to(k1 for you, my boy ! I congratulate you with all m