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Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1911. 

NortoooU $ress: 
Berwick & Smith Co., Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 


IN the main this book aims to give, as briefly as possible, the 
facts which the student in college needs as a foundation for his 
study of language. Many enter without this elementary knowl- 
edge and are, as a result, seriously crippled in their classes in 
foreign languages as well as in their use of English. The text- 
books used in preparatory schools give dogmatically "rules of 
good use," but the student in college, who should think as well 
as remember and obey, needs a somewhat different treatment. 
The grammars and rhetorics used in college generally assume 
more effective knowledge of the elementary facts of language 
than the great majority in the classes actually possess. For 
this reason the following chapters deal with things which should 
have been learned in the grammar grades or in the first years in 
the high school, but according to a method which seems better 
adapted to the student who is more mature and who is studying 
other languages as well as his native tongue.* 

Some suggestions as to "good use " are also given, but since 
that subject is well treated in many standard text-books, it will 
be considered here only when it throws important light on the 
fundamental facts of language. 

The method of sentence study which has been adopted here 
may be seen from the following outline : 

A. Preliminary considerations: Language. 
I. General uses of language. 

II. The implements of written and spoken expression. 
III. Limitations in the use of these implements which 
should be recognized. (CHAPTER I.) 

* References are made in this book chiefly to French and German; now and 
then also to Anglo-Saxon, Greek, Latin, Spanish, and Italian. 



B. Analysis of sentences. 

I. Sentences as wholes. 

1. General character of sentences. 

2. The structure of simple and complicated sen- 

tences. (CHAPTER II.) 
II. Sentence elements. 

1. Words in their relations to other words. 

(a) The parts of speech as determined by their 
use in sentences. (CHAPTER III.) 

(6) Variations in form of words to express their 
relations in sentences . (CHAPTER I V. ) 

(c) Determination of the forms of words to be 

used in sentences. (CHAPTER V.) 

(d) The order and grouping of words in sen- 

tences (including the use of marks of 
punctuation). (CHAPTER VI.) 

2. Words considered individually. 

(a) Choice of words. 
(6) Pronunciation. 

(c) Spelling. 

(d) Use of capital letters. (CHAPTER VII.) 

C. Synthesis of sentences. 

I. Length. 
II. Emphasis. 
III. Other problems. (CHAPTER VIII.) 

The materials given here may be used in different ways to 
answer different purposes. Any one who wishes to study the 
subject systematically would do well to take the book up chapter 
by chapter as presented. If all that is desired is to review the 
subject, that may be done by using the "topical synopses/' 
which indicate definitely section by section what is treated in 
each chapter. In each section, where there is occasion, the gist 
of the matter is suggested by bold-faced type; the essential 
explanatory matter is printed in ordinary type; and, in some cases, 


further materials are given in fine print. If it is desired to use 
the book merely for reference, the alphabetical index at the back 
will be found serviceable for that purpose. 

To make the study of the book effective, it should be accom- 
panied by much sentence analysis, and that should be based 
largely on the written work of the students. In fact the book 
should be used as far as possible as a means of removing difficul- 
ties which have been actually found in the use of language, rather 
than as a special and independent study. For this reason, only 
enough illustrations have been given to make the explanations 
clear; but if the student will make note of all the important cases 
which offer him difficulty and write in examples taken from his 
own reading and writing, he will gather the materials for the 
most valuable language study. A real understanding of the 
fundamental facts of language can be gained only through serious 
study. It is the purpose here, not to open a short cut to knowl- 
edge, but to assist the teacher and guide the student in making a 
thorough study of sentences and their elements. 

A treatment such as this must inevitably be at every step the 
result of compromises between historical and linguistic accuracy 
and breadth of view on the one hand, and brevity and simplicity 
of statement on the other. Whether or not such compromises 
have been wisely made must be determined by the practical use 
of the book, and the authors will be glad to receive further 

Note to the Second Edition. In revising, it has been possible 
to adopt valuable suggestions made by various teachers of Eng- 
lish and of modern languages who have used the first edition. 
Experience has shown that the subject as here presented may be 
taken up in many ways, and may be abbreviated or expanded 
according to the needs of different classes and the resources of 
individual teachers. Attention is again called to the advantage 
of having each student note in the appropriate sections illustra- 
tions from his writing or reading of all points which offer him 
special difficulty. 











Choice of Words 



Use of Capital Letters 




(Numbers at right refer to sections.) 


A. Definition of language. 

I. First use of language. 

II. The implements of spoken and written expression. 1. 
III. Second use of language. 2. 

B. Limitations in the use of language. 

I. General limitations. 

1. In thought. 

2. In speech. 

3. In writing. 3. 

II. The possibilities of overcoming limitations of ex- 
pression. 4. 
III. The ideal to be striven for. 5. 

C. Freedom and restriction of the individual speaker or writer. 

I. Language more living in some parts than in 

others. 6. 
II. Logical and idiomatic forms of expression. 7. 

III. General restrictions: correct use. 8. 

1. Correct use of secondary importance. 9. 

2. Results of the use of incorrect forms. 10. 

3. The ideal to be striven for. 11. 

IV. Special restrictions. 

1. The restrictions of " good use." 

(a) Local: geographical, technical, collo- 

(6) Temporal: archaic, slang. 

(e) Limitations of fitness: indecent, unfit, 
vulgar. 12. 

2. The value of the canons of good use. 13. 


3. The way in which these restrictions should be 

(a) Local. 
(6) Temporal. 
(c) Limitations of fitness. 14. 

4. Origin and cure of offenses against good 

taste. 15. 

5. The ideal to be striven for. 16. 

D. The subject of the following chapters. 17. 

E. What we owe our native tongue. 18. 



A. Definition of a sentence. 

I. As a unit of expression. 19. 
II. As a combination of subject and predicate. 20. 

B. Ways of combining subject and predicate. 

I. The primitive sentence. 21. 
II. The logical proposition, formed by use of the 

copula. 22. 
III. Grammatical sentences: subject and predicate. 2& 

C. Analysis of sentences. 

I. Fundamental elements. 

1. Subject: a substantive. 

(a) Definition. 

(b) When subject may be omitted. 

(c) When subject may be doubled. 24. 

2. Predicate: verb or verb and complement. 25. 

(a) Verb. 

Expressing idea of connection only: 

copula. 26. 
Expressing idea of connection and 

idea of existence, 27; of state of 

being or change of state, 28; of 

action, 29. 


Tabular classification of verbs. 30. 

Verb-expressions. 31. 
(6) Complement: 

With copula and verbs expressing 
change of state of being: pred- 
icate nominative or predicate 

With transitive verbs in active voice : 
predicate object; 

With verbs expressing existence, in- 
transitive verbs, and transitive 
verbs in passive voice : no comple- 
ment. 32. 

3. Tabular view of forms of subject and predi- 

cate. 33. 

4. Indirect object, resultant object, and result- 

ant adjective. 34. 

II. Modifiers. 

1. Primary and secondary modifiers. 

2. Modifiers which qualify: 

(a) substantives: 


nouns, in possessive case and in 

apparent adverbs. 
(6) verbs, adjectives, and adverbs: 

adverbs. 35. 

III. Different kinds of sentences according to the idea 

1. Declarative. 

2. Interrogative. 

3. Exclamative. 

4. Imperative. 

5. Optative. 36. 


IV. Compound and complex sentences and elements. 

1. Compound sentences. Conjunctions. 

2. Compound elements. 37. 

3. Phrases and clauses. 38. 

V. Tabular view of simple and complex sentences. 39. 
VI. Parts of sentences which have no structural rela- 

1. Interjections. 

2. Absolute constructions. 

3. Vocatives. 

4. Words of affirmation or denial. 

5. Certain parenthetical expressions. 40. 



A. Names and classification of the parts of speech. 41. 

B. The separate parts. 

I. Nouns. 

1. Definition. 

2. Uses in the sentence. 

3. Kinds: 

(a) Nouns expressing substance (concrete) : 

Collective (quantitative). 
(6) Nouns expressing quality: 
Adjective nouns, 
Abstract nouns. 

(c) Nouns expressing action or occurrence: 

Verbal nouns in -ing. 42. 
II. Pronouns. 

1. Definition. (Antecedent.) 

2. Uses in the sentence. 


3. Kinds: 

(a) Demonstrative. 

(b) Personal: 

(c) Possessive. 

(d) Reflexive. 

(e) Reciprocal. 
(/) Interrogative 
(g) Relative. 

(h) Collective and partitive. 
(i) Adjective. 43. 

III. Adjectives. 

1. Definition and use. 

2. Position. 

(a) Attributive. 

(b) Appositive. 

(c) Predicate. 

3. Kinds. 

(a) Qualifying. 
(6) Limiting: 


Ordinal, Indefinite article, 
Pronominal : 

Demonstrative, Definite article, 




Collective and partitive, 
(c) Verbal (participles): 


IV. Adverbs. Past ' ** 

1. Definition and use. 

2. Negatives. 4=5. 


V. Verbs. 

1. Definition and use. 

2. Kinds. 

(a) As explained in sections 26-30. 
(6) Regular and irregular. 

(c) Strong and weak. 

(d) Defective. 

(e) Impersonal. 
(/) Auxiliary. 46. 

VI. Prepositions. 

1. Definition and use. (Object.) 47. 
VII. Conjunctions. 

1. Definition and use. 

2. Kinds. 

(a) Coordinating. 
(6) Subordinating, 
(c) Correlative. 48. 
VIII. Interjections. 

1. Definition and use. 49. 



A. Kinds of grammatical variation. Explained in each case 

with reference to a common form. 50. 

B. Variations which affect nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and 


I. Number. Definition. Singular and plural. 
1. Number of nouns. 

(a) General rule for forming the plural. 
(6) Special rules: 

Variation in sound and spelling. 
Variations in spelling. 
Plural of letters, signs, etc. 
Plural of surnames with titles. 


Plural of compound nouns. 
Nouns without plural. 
Nouns without singular. 
Irregular plurals. 
Foreign plurals. 

2. Number of pronouns. 

3. Number of adjectives. 

4. Number of verbs. 

5. Dual. 51. 

II. Gender. Definition. Masculine, feminine, neuter, 
and common. 

1. Masculine and feminine terminations and 


2. Grammatical gender. 

3. Epicene. 

4. Gender of pronouns. 

5. Gender of adjectives. 52. 

III. Case. Definition. 

1. Nouns: common and possessive. 

(a) Rule for forming the possessive. 
Exceptions and special cases. 

2. Cases of pronouns: subject, possessive, object. 

3. Cases of adjectives. 

4. Cases in other languages. 53. 

IV. Person. Definition. 

1. Person of nouns. 

2. Person of personal pronouns: first, second, 


3. Third-person pronouns of demonstrative origin. 

4. Personal endings of verbs. 54. 

V. Comparison. Definition. 

1. Positive degree. 

2. Comparative degree. 

3. Superlative degree. 


4. Formation of comparative and superlative: 

(a) By endings. 

(b) By use of more and most. 

(c) By use of less and least. 

(d) Irregular formations. 55. 
VI. Paradigms. 

1. Nouns. 

2. Pronouns: 

(a) Personal. 

(b) Reflexive. 

(c) Possessive. 

(d) (Possessive adjectives.) 

(e) Demonstrative. 
(/) Interrogative. 
(g) Relative. 

(h) Collective and partitive. 

3. Adjectives. 

4. Adverbs. 56. 

C. Variations (other than person and number) which affect 

verbs. 57. 
I. Voice. 

1. Difference between active and passive (see 

section 28). 

2. Formation of passive. 

3. Middle: 

reciprocal. 58. 

II. Mode. Definition. 

1. Indicative. 

2. Imperative. 

3. Conditional. 

4. Subjunctive and optative. 

5. Potential, or modal auxiliary. 

6. Infinitives and participles. 59. 


III. Tense. Definition. 

1. Distinctions in tense according to the time and 

to the point of consideration. 

2. Formation of present and past tenses. 

(a) Simple present and past. 
(6) Progressive, 
(c) Emphatic. 

3. Use and meaning of present and past tenses. 

(a) Simple present. 
(6) Absolute present. 

(c) Simple past. 

(d) Progressive present and past. 

(e) Historical presents. 
(/) Emphatic tenses. 

4. Future. 

(a) Origin. 

(6) Meaning of shall and will. 

(c) Present use of the auxiliaries for the 


(d) Distinction between first and second and 

third persons. 

(e) Modal future auxiliaries. 

(/) English future compared with French 

and German. 
(g) Indirect futures. 
(h) (Formation of conditional.) 
(i). (Special uses of should and would.) 
(j) Difficulties in the use of shall and will. 

5. Compound tenses. 

(a) Formation and general meaning. 
(6) Present compound. 

(c) Past compound. 

(d) Future compound. 

(e) Dating past and future events. 60. 


IV. Paradigms. 

1. Auxiliaries. 

(a) To be, to have, to do. 61. 

(b) Shall, will, may, can, must, ought. 62L 

(c) Meanings of may, might, can, could, and 

must. 63. 

2. A sample verb complete. 64. 

V. Formation of verbs from the principal parts. 65. 


A. Two factors in the determination of the form. 66. 

B. Determination according to the structure of the sentence. 

I. Subject of a finite verb. 

1. General rule. 

2. Three special cases. 67. 
II. Subject of an infinitive. 

1. General rule. 

2. One special case. 68. 
III. Agreement df the verb. 

1. General rule. 

2. Special cases of agreement in person. 

3. Special cases of agreement in number. 

(a) Subject you or we. 

(b) Compound subject. 

(c) Subject logically compound. 

(d) Subject with intervening modifier. 

(e) Subject and complement of different 


(/) Verb introduced by there, 
(g) Subject a collective or partitive. 
(h) Subject a collective noun. 69. 


IV. The predicate nominative. 

1. General rule. 

2. Disjunctive use in French and English. 70. 
V. The object of a verb or preposition. 

1. General rule. 

2. Special case. 71. 
VI. Agreement of pronoun. 

1. General rule. 

2. In German and Romance languages. 

3. Agreement with a collective or partitive. 

4. Necessity for a real antecedent. 

5. Ambiguous antecedent. 

6. The use of the pronoun one. 12. 
VII. A substantive in apposition. 

1. General rule. 

2. Special case. 73. 
VIII. Adjectives or adverbs. 

1. General rule. 

2. Special case. 

3. Shaksperean use. 74. 
IX. Coordinate sentence elements. 

1. General rule. 

2. Illustrations of special cases. 75. 
X. Comparison. 

1. General rule. 76. 
XI. Indirect quotations. 

1. Sequence of tenses. 

2. Change in person of pronouns. 77. 


A. Importance of order and grouping of words. 78. 

B. Order of words. 

I. The general requirement. 70. 


II. Method of treatment employed here. 80. 

III. General rules. 

1. In declarative sentences. 

(a) Order of fundamental elements. 81. 
(6) Position of modifiers. 

With finite verbs. 
With infinitives. 83. 

(c) Order of words in the Romance languages 
and in German. 83. 

2. In exclamative, imperative, and optative sen- 

tences. 84. 

3. In interrogative sentences. 85. 

IV. Possibility of variation in order. 

1. Emphasis. 

2. Clearness. 86. 

C. Grouping of words: punctuation. 
I. Necessity for grouping. 87. 
II. Historical development of use of group signs. 

III. Two theories of punctuation. 88. 

IV. Three fundamental points. 

1 . Punctuation marks may both separate and j oin. 

2. Marks are used according to two general sys- 


3. Marks may be divided into three groups: 

(a) Marks of generally fixed usage. 

(b) Marks of varying usage. 

(c) Marks other than punctuation marks. 

V. Marks of generally fixed usage. 

1. The sentence marks. 90. 

2. Other uses of the period. 91. 

3. Other uses of the interrogation point. 92. 

4. Other uses of the exclamation point. 93. 


5. Uses of the apostrophe. 94. 

6. Uses of the hyphen. 95. 

7. Uses of quotation marks. 96. 

8. Uses of the dash. 97. 
VI. Marks of varying uses. 

1. General character of this group of marks. 98. 

2. Marks to indicate members of a series. 99. 

(a) Series of unequals. 100. 

(b) Series of equals. 101 

3. Marks of parenthesis. 102. 

4. Marks to indicate ellipsis. 103. 

5. Other uses of commas. 104. 

6. Another use of semicolons. 105. 

7. Other uses of colons. 106. 
VII. Marks other than punctuation marks. 

1. Ditto marks. 

2. The caret. 

3. Accent marks. 

4. Marks of quantity. 

5. The diaeresis. 

6. The cedilla. 

7. The tilde. 107. 


A. The problems of individual words: 

I. Choice of words. 
II. Pronunciation. 

III. Spelling. 

IV. Use of capital letters. 108. 

B. Choice of words. The way in which the subject is 

treated here. 109. 

I. The fundamental problem of expression in words. 


II. The part which the choice of words plays in expres- 
sion. 111. 

III. The interdependence of words for their meanings. 


IV. Necessity of choosing words which are exact for the 

occasion. 113. 

V. Necessity of choosing words which are exact for the 
readers addressed. 114. 

VI. Necessity of choosing effective and economical words. 


VII. Necessity of choosing words which are expressive of 

living meaning. 116. 

C. Pronunciation. 

I. Need of considering pronunciation. 
II. Permissible variation. 
III. Objectionable pronunciation and enunciation. 117. 

D. Spelling. 

I. Chaotic condition of English spelling. 118. 

II. A few practical suggestions only given here. 119. 

III. Finale. 120. 

IV. Double or single consonants. 121. 
V. Final?/. 123. 

VI. Obscure vowels. 123. 

VII. Words ending in -al or -le. 124. 

E. The use of capital letters. 

I. First word of sentences, lines of poetry, and quota- 
II. In titles of books, etc. 

III. Proper nouns, adjectives and verbs derived from 

proper nouns, and official titles. 

IV. Words used for the Deity. 
V. Personification. 

VI. JandO. 

VII. Special cases in the salutations of letters. 
VIII. For emphasis, in special cases. 125. 




A. The problems of synthesis of sentences to be considered 

here. 126. 

B. Length. 

I. Unity, in sentences, partly a question of length. 127. 
II. The fundamental limitation as to length. 128. 

III. Length in part determined by personality of writer 

and by the subject of discourse. 129. 

IV. Relation of length of sentence to the rhetorical form. 
V. Need of variety in length of sentences. 130. 

C. The possibilities of emphasis. 131. 

I. Stress and organic emphasis. 132. 
II. Emphasis of position. 

1. The beginning and the end of a sentence. 


2. The effect of placing words in other than the 

grammatical order. 134.' 

3. Possibilities of emphasis in a single sentence. 

D. Other problems of synthesis of sentences. 136. 



(For Topical Synopsis, see page vii) 

1. Language is (a) the means of communicating ideas. In 

the narrow sense of the word, as its origin (Latin lingua, the 
tongue) suggests, it means the sounds uttered for the purpose 
of communicating; but in common use it includes equally the 
recorded signs used to represent spoken sounds, and sometimes 
any other means of conveying ideas. As the term is used here 
it will include both spoken sounds and recorded signs. 

There are two broad classes of " ideas " which language expresses, 
emotions and logical thought. Animals communicate emotional ideas 
by signs; for example, a deer by raising his tail expresses to the rest of 
the herd the idea " danger! " Similar ideas man expresses by gestures, 
tones, and exclamations. The faculty of logical thought is possessed 
by man alone. It differs from emotional ideas, in as far as the form of 
expression is concerned, chiefly in that it is articulated, that is to say, 
it is cut up into elements which are articulated, or jointed, together. 
For example, a man might say, " We | are | in | danger! " Such logical 
thought is expressed in two ways: first, by spoken sounds (which are 
also articulate) combined with gestures, pauses, and tones; second, by 
recorded signs. These recorded signs are of two sorts: " pictures " and 
symbols for spoken sounds. Pictures are the means used by primitive 
men for recording ideas, and they have been developed into instruments 
of precision in such forms as the photograph and the mechanical drawing. 
These there will be no reason for considering especially in this book. 

The written symbols include groups of letters forming words, 
figures, marks of punctuation, and other signs. These and the 
sounds for which they stand are the implements of expression 
the use of which we are to study. 

2. Language is also (b) a means of exact thought. In order 
to think logically, we must articulate our experience; and though 



this may be done by means of visual images or symbols, it is 
mainly through the use of words, which stand for the " elements " 
and the " joints," that man has developed his power of exact 
thinking. Anyone who does not attempt to express his ideas 
escapes the necessity of making himself clear to others, but that 
is all. To experience the deepest and the most powerful emo- 
tions, we do not need words; but in order to master the processes 
of logical thought fully, we generally have to resort to the instru- 
mentality of language. When one who says he " knows but 
cannot express himself/' studies over his problem till he can give 
his ideas adequate expression in words, he generally finds that 
through the act of choosing and combining these words he has 
arrived at a more complete and more exact understanding of his 
thought which previously he did not realize that he lacked. 
Even more for one who realizes he has not yet mastered his ideas, 
the attempt at careful expression is a means of exact thought. 
3. As a means of expression, language is always more or less 
imperfect, (a) Even in the processes of thought, the imper- 
fection is serious. As we reflect, we seek definiteness and order; 
but these qualities we can bring out only at the price of sacri- 
ficing much of the richness of the material of thought, experience. 
(6) In speech the imperfection is more marked. Thought, even 
in the process of logical analysis, may play backward and for- 
ward and all about an experience with extreme rapidity, but 
spoken language must move slowly and from point to point 
along a single line, (c) In writing there are, in addition to the 
imperfections of thought and spoken language, serious difficul- 
ties peculiar to the written form. Written or printed words may 
at any time be misunderstood because of the absence of those 
subtle suggestions as to the way they should be interpreted 
which are continually given by the living personality of the 
speaker. Even a simple business letter may convey to the one 
who receives it a meaning seriously different from what the same 
words would have meant had they been spoken by the writer. 
There are exceptions in favor of the recorded forms: written 


mathematical demonstrations, mechanical drawings, and musical 
notation, for example, express the ideas they attempt to convey 
more perfectly than is possible in arfy other way. But all the 
imperfections are upon the head ^I/that form of recorded ex- 
pression with which we are here coiperned. 

4. Language, in the form of thought, speech, or writing, must, 
then, fall short of perfect expression; it can hope to attain only 
relative completeness and accuracy by more or less conventional 
methods which the use of language has shown to be serviceable. 

5. From the fact of this limitation we should not conclude, as 
the inexperienced writer often does, that the first word or ex- 
pression to come to mind will do well enough. To express, not 
perfectly but with such effectiveness as is possible, any idea 
which is worth communicating and which has been duly con- 
sidered, calls for nice discrimination in both the choice and the 
combination of words. Such discrimination is usually developed 
only slowly and as the result of much practice. The lack of 
skill in the use of words should not keep us from expressing our 
thoughts, but no one can hope to become a master of expression 
till he has learned to realize the value of the careful fitting of 
word to idea. 

6. Thought is the most living of all things ; therefore language, 
in order to give adequate expression to real thought, must be 
living. To live means to grow continually: new experience 
necessitates new words, new ways of thinking demand new forms 
of expression. When a language ceases to communicate new 
thought, it can no longer grow it is dead. From such a 
language, Latin for example, other living languages may have 
grown; but it is itself different from all living languages in an 
important way: from it final, complete vocabularies may be 
compiled and dogmatic rules formulated, because every possible 
case may in time be studied and tabulated. Of a living language 
the vocabulary is never a completed volume, and there is no rule 
to which time may not add new exceptions. Even in the most 
living language, however, some parts grow very slowly, some 


for long periods do not grow at all. As has been said, language 
is like a tree, in that it has its heart-wood which has ceased to 
grow, its slow-growing, and its rapid-growing parts. 

7. The language of any people is, in part, logical, that is, its 
forms are determined directly according to fundamental habits 
of the human mind; in part, it is idiomatic, that is, its forms are 
peculiar to itself as a separate language, or idiom. Some ex- 
pressions which are peculiar to this language or that, and are 
therefore idiomatic, are nevertheless logical; others are distinctly 
illogical. Whether the expression is idiomatic or not is relatively 
unimportant as long as one is confined to one's native tongue; 
but the moment one begins to translate ideas into another 
language one should realize that change of words without change 
of idiom, when necessary, always means that the ideas have been 
falsely rendered. 

8. As long as we are considering the " heart- wood " of a 
living language, we may lay down rules as dogmatic as those of a 
dead language. Forms thus fixed by correct use may be logical, 
illogical-idiomatic, or even contrary to the general idiom; in any 
case we may say that they must be used. You were, when 
addressed to one person, may be taken as an example. Origi- 
nally the pronoun you was always plural, and was a form which 
could not be used as subject of a verb; similarly the verb were 
was always plural. But illogical and unidiomatic confusion of 
construction led to the interpretation of you as subject, and 
peculiar notions of formality and politeness brought about the 
occasional use of this plural form when addressing one person. 
In time you were became fixed in the language for the singular 
as well as the plural form; and now if we use ye, thou, or was to 
express this idea, we can in no way defend ourselves against 
the charge of ignorance or carelessness. In some instances use 
has fixed two forms to express the same idea, both of which are 
considered correct, as in the case of words spelled or pronounced 
in two different ways; but in general, many things in relation 
to the exact meaning of words, the pronunciation, the spelling, 


the use of capital letters, the use of punctuation marks, the order, 
form, and agreement of words, and the structure of sentences (the 
things with which this book is mainly concerned), are definitely 
determined for us by correct use. 

9. The teacher of language generally considers the attainment 
of correctness of diction as of the first importance; but the pupil 
often grows impatient over the task, which he finds difficult and 
uncongenial. "What difference does it make how a man 
writes," he may ask, " if by signing his name he can give to a 
worthless bit of paper the value of thousands of dollars? The 
credit behind the name is the essential, not the style of hand- 
writing." Or he may ask, "Why do I need to spend so much 
time trying to learn to spell correctly, to use capitals in the right 
place, to punctuate properly? If I could write a treatise like 
'The Origin of Species/ a novel like ' Vanity Fair/ or a poem 
like 'In Memoriam/ the printer would take care of the minor 
details. That is his business. It is enough for me as writer to 
get some ideas worth communicating." Many in our language 
classes, though they may not formulate these questions, have a 
strong practical feeling that the attainment of correctness is not 
worth the effort it costs. And it is true that the placing of the 
primary emphasis on correctness is one of the serious defects in 
the instruction of many of our schools. The first and most 
important thing for the young writer is to learn to understand 
and to appreciate his own experience, that he may have some- 
thing to write. This is a difficult task, for his immaturity and 
his lack of broad experience give him little that he feels is really 
worth communicating; from this main task, nothing should be 
allowed to distract him or his teacher. " Printers* details " are 
in comparison certainly of secondary importance. 

10. Illegibility or inaccuracy of diction, however, may entail 
so much extra trouble and expense upon a publisher that he will 
reject a manuscript he would otherwise consider more seriously. 
And if what we write does not go through the hands of a printer 
who will correct for us, any errors we make, even though they 


do not obscure our meaning, are almost sure to produce two 
disastrous results. First, they will attract the reader's atten- 
tion. Since almost every one finds the slips of others more 
noticeable and less excusable than his own, we as writers must 
expect that our errors will call attention sharply to the very things 
we do not wish our reader to know anything about, our ignorance 
and carelessness. Second, they will distract the reader's atten- 
tion from what we have to communicate. If there were little 
to read, anything, no matter how poorly written, would find 
readers; but, in reality, whatever we write, we are sending goods 
to a glutted market, and it is a difficult problem to attract and 
to hold the reader's attention. The burden is, therefore, always 
on the writer. In view of the difficulty of holding the reader's 
attention, it is poor economy for the writer to squander the very 
thing which it is so important for him to gain, through discred- 
itable or humorous errors. 

11. We may say, then, that the form is always secondary to the 
substance and should never distract the attention of the writer 
in the act of composition; but since it should likewise never 
attract or distract the attention of the reader, the writer should 
see to it that, in the final writing, the form is correct. 

12. Besides the restrictions of correct use which apply to all 
speakers and writers under all circumstances, there are certain 
special restrictions which hold differently under different cir- 
cumstances. Three classes of these restrictions are worth 
consideration here. 

First, Local Restrictions 

(a) Within special geographical limits, words may be in common 
use which are not used or even known elsewhere. This is es- 
pecially true of the English language on account of the diffusion 
of the English-speaking peoples and their geographical and 
political separation. The contrivance which in America is called 
an elevator in England is called a lift. In such cases as this 
there is no term common to all English-speaking lands. The 


contrivance which in some parts of the United States is called 
a stone-drag in other parts is called a stone-boat. Such words are 
said to be in local, not in general or national, use. 

(6) Special fields of thought permit and necessitate special 
usage. Each art, science, profession, trade, sport, or special 
interest of any sort has its peculiar vocabulary and forms of 
expression, its technical terms, which are permissible and usually 
the only correct forms within the technique, but which may not 
be even known outside. Esquisse in fine arts, trepan in surgery, 
and foul in baseball, are examples of words used in this special 
way. Such words are said to be in technical, not in general, 

(c) Common or familiar conversation permits the use of many 
words and expressions not used in more serious speech or writing. 
The Biblical "Be not afraid," or its modern equivalent, Do not 
be afraid, in the language of familiar conversation becomes 
Don't be scared. Words used in this limited way are said to be 
in colloquial, not in general, use. 

Second, Temporal Restrictions 

(a) A word or expression which was regularly employed in the 
past may not be used now, or, if used, may be retained only in 
special cases. Thou art and ye are were the accepted forms in 
the time of the writing of the King James version of the 
Bible, but they are not used now except in the so-called exalted 
style. Such words were in general use, but have now become 

(b) New terms and expressions are daily coming into use. If 
they are strictly necessary (if like monoplane, for example, they 
name a new thing in which everyone is interested), they are 
adopted at once into general use. If they are not necessary, they 
may be rejected entirely later on, or in time they may be ac- 
cepted. In the mean time they may all be classed together, 

to avoid multiplication of terms, under the name given to the 
most commonly recognized cases : slang. 


Third, Restrictions of Fitness 

Each word denotes a definite idea and at the same time connotes, 
or suggests, the attitude of the user or the ideas which in his 
mind associate themselves with the denotation. Faithful student 
and grind may denote one and the same individual, but they 
suggest different attitudes toward him and call up quite different 
sets of associated ideas. Questions as to the connotation of 
words are questions of fitness. 

(a) There are some words which are under no circumstances 
fit to use because they connote ideas no one should entertain. 
Such are indecent. 

(6) Others are necessary on certain occasions, but are in- 
herently unfit under other circumstances. The language our 
family physician uses in consultation is manifestly not suited to 
conversation in the drawing-room. Such language, when used 
under wrong circumstances, is unfit. 

(c) Still other words (for example bloke or guy for fellow, or 
gent for man) come into the language from disreputable sources, 
or acquire disreputable connotation because of associations which 
have grown up around them more or less accidentally. Such 
chance associations have led to the rejection of phiz as disrep- 
utable, though mob, which once seemed to have no better future, 
has been adopted into- general use. When a word or expression 
is accepted generally by writers of good taste it is said to be 
standardized. Words and expressions of doubtful origin which 
do not become standardized are called vulgarisms. 

13. Language which escapes the above restrictions, that is to 
say, which is in general (or at least national), present use by 
writers of recognized good taste, is said to be in good use. In 
regard to correct use, the only question that can be asked is the 
one we have already considered (9-11): Is correctness worth 
the effort necessary to attain it? In regard to good use, the 
question arises: Should we always limit ourselves to language % 
which we can prove is " in general, present use by writers of 


recognized good taste"? Teachers and text-books are often 
very dogmatic in condemning language "not in good use," but 
the thoughtful student knows that some of the very things 
condemned by these authorities are used by authors whose 
judgment he with good reason is more ready to respect. There 
is great difference in the value of the interpretations of good use 
by different persons who pose as authority, but in the ultimate 
analysis even the best of these standards is largely personal. 
Each writer has the privilege and the necessity of choosing for 
himself within rather broad limits, provided he knows exactly 
what he wishes to denote and to connote. Indeed good use 
(not correct use be it observed), as a general criterion, is more 
harmful than helpful, for the canons of good use apply very 
differently under different circumstances, and to attempt to 
force any writer to obey them undiscriminatingly is to discourage 
original thought. 

14. To appreciate the special ways in which the "canons of 
good use " should be applied, we need to give them further 

Local restrictions. In order to convey ideas, a writer must 
use language which is intelligible to his reader; therefore, if he 
is addressing general readers, he needs to avoid as far as he can 
words which are merely local. But life and interests are largely 
local, and to express them adequately a writer must use special 
terms. Some object to the liberal use of local terms which 
Kipling in his "Plain Tales from the Hills" permits himself; 
but without them the desired local color would not be given. 
Whenever local terms are skillfully used, they add to the value. 
As to the use of technical terms, we should recognize that not 
only what we label "technical " writings, but anything which is 
addressed to readers of some degree of special knowledge and 
anything which deals with any special interest, must make use 
of terms more or less special; and in reality, almost everything 
written deals with a special interest or is addressed to a limited 
body of readers. The important thing is to see that the special 


terms used are such, or are so used or defined, that they convey 
to the reader exactly the idea intended, and that no special words 
are used but those called for by the peculiar interest of the readers 
addressed. As for colloquial expressions, whether it is effective 
to use them or not depends altogether on the subject-matter, 
the personality of the writer, and the character of the reader. 
If a colloquial expression conveys the exact meaning (including 
the desired connotation) it is much less objectionable than a 
bookish expression. In each of these cases there is a problem 
for the writer to solve for himself in each special instance : how 
to avoid, on the one hand, the distress and confusion of his 
reader; on the other, the loss of naturalness, definiteness, origi- 
nality, force, and life. 

Temporal restrictions. Archaic expressions offer few diffi- 
culties. They may be effectively used to add local color to 
stories of the past and to give the right connotation to anything 
written in the exalted style. If they are used elsewhere, it is 
generally through ignorance or carelessness, so that it is enough 
for the writer to have his attention called to his error. In con- 
nection with the use of "slang" serious questions arise, some of 
which will be discussed in section 116c. As we have used this 
term here it includes the coinage of invention, the striking and 
picturesque expressions of the frontiersman, the metaphors of 
the great poet, as well as the degenerate language of the city 
"tough" and his imitators. Whether or not "slang" in this 
inclusive sense should be used will be treated for the present 
simply as a matter of good taste, which will be considered 

Restriction of fitness. In regard to questions of good taste, 
the dogmatic style of text-book often ignores in a most fatal way 
the special circumstances. Here again, the subject-matter, the 
personality of the writer, and the character of the reader are the 
important determining factors. One subject, if adequately ex- 
pressed, demands a free-and-easy style, another demands con- 
servative treatment; one writer's strong quality is his elegance, 


another's is his force; the congregation of a wealthy city church 
would have to be addressed in different language from what 
would be necessary to produce similar results in a Salvation 
Army meeting. Who would condemn a short story because it 
uses a different vocabulary from that of a serious historical study, 
or Mark Twain because he chooses expressions which Ruskin 
would avoid? Good taste is of the highest importance, but 
emphasizing the importance of a single canon of "fitness " to 
be applied rigorously and undiscriminatingly means sacri- 
ficing thought to form, originality and effectiveness to con- 

15. The questions of good taste are the most serious which 
arise under these special restrictions. The writer himself may 
not be refined: the problem then is one of character primarily, 
not of expression. Offenses against good taste which are more 
distinctly matters of expression may be due to the fact that the 
writer has associated with people who are ignorant, unthinking, or 
vulgar; they may arise because the writer himself is not thinking 
carefully enough of exactly what he wishes to suggest and of 
what impression his words will make on others. The cure is 
not the building up of a list of "approved " or " disapproved " 
expressions: that may serve only to make one hypocritical, 
finical, or timid. Good taste should be developed by reading the 
works of good writers; by striving to appreciate nice distinctions 
in thought and word; by throwing the primary emphasis in 
writing on the thought, striving to choose in every case a word 
which gives exactly the denotation and the connotation the 
thought demands; and by studying the effects produced by the 
writing upon others. 

16. The teacher finds it as easy to dwell upon correctness and 
to be finical in regard to such cases of good use as seem to him 
important, as he finds it difficult to inspire the ordinary boy or 
girl to write anything of real value. Young students are apt to 
be careless and anarchistic in expression, and training in " good 
use " ought to be excellent mental setting-up drill for them. 


But the result of pedantry often is that the student forms the 
habit of using two languages: one for general purposes in which 
he expresses his own ideas freely but in wretched form; and the 
other for the English instructor which, though it may possibly be 
commendably correct, communicates little except the thoughts 
and words of others. Individuality and originality are to be 
encouraged no less in the English class than elsewhere, for the 
main task of the teacher is to help the writer to find in his per- 
sonal experience something others will gladly share. Attention 
should be centered upon the thought, and liberty granted for 
expression without fear of rules; then correctness and good taste 
should be developed as rapidly as it is possible to lead the student 
to appreciate nice distinctions in thought and in the impressions 
made upon others. 

On the other hand, the writer has to consider not only himself 
and his experience, but also his readers and their needs and de- 
sires. From a study of the best minds of the present and of the 
past he may learn much as to the true nature of the limitations 
under which he should express himself. A conservative regard 
for the usage of writers of established reputation is needed to 
check growth without assimilation, the addition of unnecessary 
words and expressions, the flaunting of bad taste, and even per- 
nicious originality which, like the habit of punning, soon becomes 
wearisome instead of refreshing. 

17. Without correct use, individuality of expression would 
tend to make general communication difficult or impossible. In 
the time of King Alfred, West-Saxon literature set up a standard 
in language for all England ; this passed away under the Normans, 
whereupon English split into dialects which soon became so 
different that a man from the North and one from the South 
could not converse. At the very foundation of any attempt to 
master the art of expression, therefore, must lie knowledge of 
the essential spirit and structure of the language. It is with the 
fundamental and generally fixed facts of language, especially 
of English, that the following chapters deal. 


18. Language is not only the most serviceable implement we 
have to use, it is one of the most valuable possessions we inherit 
from the past. It binds a people together and preserves for them 
the individuality and the worth of their ancestry. Our native 
tongue is as worthy of our devotion as our native land. We can 
well afford to make the effort needed to learn to use it effectively; 
we should resist every change in it not for the better, and we 
should do whatever is in our power to add to its wealth. 


(For Topical Synopsis, see page viii) 


19. A sentence is usually defined by grammarians in some 
such way as follows: "A related group of words containing a 
subject and a predicate and expressing a complete thought," or as 
" a combination of words which is complete as expressing a 
thought, and in writing is marked at the close by a period, or 
full point." 

A more complete understanding may be gained by a careful considera- 
tion of a few fundamental facts. As our attention passes from object 
to object, its pulsations form ideas in our consciousness which dissolve 
one into another rapidly and continuously. Even the simplest pulsa- 
tion gives, upon analysis, at least two conceptions bound together, and 
it is such a primal group of elements which the, in its origin, 
attempts to reproduce. " The sentence is the symbol whereby the 
speaker denotes that two or more conceptions have combined in his 
mind ; and is, at the same time, the means of calling up the same com- 
bination in the mind of the hearer." * Since the limitations of expression 
(3) compel simplification, the sentence may fall far short of giving all the 
wealth of the original experience upon which attention was momentarily 
centered; on the other hand, the development of language, especially in 
the written form, has brought about an elaboration of the sentence as a 
unit of expression which may contain more and other elements than 
were grouped together spontaneously in consciousness. 

Nevertheless the sentence remains the unit of verbal expres- 
sion and gets its true character from the pulsation in conscious- 
ness. It should express a thought which is felt to be a whole, 
yet which the attention can take in at a single pulsation rather 
than by a series of pulsations such as the paragraph represents. 

20. A pulsation in consciousness must contain at least two concep- 
tions, a primary and a secondary. The primary represents that on 

* " The History of Language," Strong, Logeman, and Wheeler (New York, 
1891), page 92. 



which attention is directly centered ; the secondary represents that which, 
combined with the first, attracts the attention. For example, I may 
notice (1) a tree (2) waving. I center my attention upon the tree, but 
it is the blowing of the tree which attracts my attention. Correspondingly 

a sentence must contain (at least when its meaning is fully brought 
out) two elements. The primary is called the subject (Latin 
subjection, that which is brought under attention.).* The 
secondary is called the predicate (Latin praedicatum, the thing 
proclaimed) because it expresses what is stated, proclaimed, about 
the subject. In communicating ideas, the subject aims to call 
up a conception in the hearer's or reader's mind; the predi- 
cate expresses the conception it is desired that he should add. 
A complete thought may be expressed by a word or group of words which 
in itself stands for only one conception. If, for example, a man at a 
theater shouts, " Fire! " he expresses only a predicate; but he conveys a 
complete thought (The theater is on fire!) because the subject is given 
his hearers unmistakably by the general situation which all are in. The 
answer to a question often gives a complete idea in a single word. If a 
boy is asked, " What have you been doing? " his answer, " Running," 
conveys a complete idea though it states only the predicate, because the 
subject is clearly indicated in the question. Such expressions are, then, 
sentences, though not complete in structure. 


21. The primitive way of forming a sentence is to express, one immedi- 
ately after the other, a subject and a predicate. Such a sentence we hear 
when a child learning to talk says, " Baby tired." The subject does not 
need to be stated first; in such a baby sentence as Pretty flower, flower 
may be the subject and pretty the predicate. In reality it is the stronger 
accent which marks the predicate. For example, Window' open would 
mean The-thing-which-is-open is the window; while Window open' , would 
mean The window is open. 

22. As a more highly developed sentence form we have, in place of 
11 Baby tired," Baby is tired. Here we have the same subject and the 
same predicate, but 

the idea of connection between subject and predicate is 
definitely indicated by is. The verb to be, which expresses this 

* Terms first used by the Latin grammarians have in many instances become 
what may be called universal terms of grammar. The most important of these 
are explained in this book, but where they do not apply strictly to English grammar 
they have been replaced by terms which aim to be more exact and more readily 
intelligible to those who have not studied Latin. Where the same thing is called 
by different names in different grammars, the intention has been to select that one 
which best suggests the meaning which the student should keep in mind. 


idea of connection, is therefore called the copula (Latin, copula, 
a bond). 

Such a sentence is called in logic a proposition (Latin propositio(ri), a 
setting forth), and into such a form all logical statements may be reduced. 
All simple propositions contain three elements: (1) the first term, (2) the 
copula, and (3) the second term. For example: 
12 3 

Ice | is | a solid. 

23. Some sentences have the form of propositions, others may easily 
be expressed in that form; but sentences are generally constructed 
without regard to their relation to propositions, and even when- the 
thought may easily be put into strict prepositional form, the actual 
structure may disguise any one or all of the three elements of the 
proposition. It will be advantageous, however, in analyzing sentence 
structure, to begin with sentences having the prepositional form and 
to proceed to others of more complicated form. 

In the first place, it is to be noted that, grammatically, sentences 
are divided into two parts, the subject and the predicate. The 
subject generally corresponds to the first term of the proposition, 
the predicate to the copula and the second term. 

Fundamental Elements 

24. The subject is a substantive (Latin substantivus, that 
which has substance, reality, self-existence) and may name or 
stand for any person or thing, existent or conceivable. It may 
be omitted in the following cases in which it is clearly implied in 
the context: 

(a) Sometimes in the second part of a compound sentence (37) when 
the subject of the second verb is logically the same as that of the first. 

Ice is a solid but will melt easily. 

(6) Generally, in modern English, in the imperative (36, 59, 84). 
Go (thou) and do likewise. 

(c) In optative sentences (36, 84) . 
Would that I had known! 

(d) Generally in such languages as Greek, Latin, Italian, and Spanish 
(which unlike English, indicate the person of the subject by the termina- 
tion of the verb) , when in English we would have an unemphatic pronoun. 

Spanish: Es joven. 
English: He is" young. 


Sometimes a single subject is expressed by two substantives. 
He is not to be trusted, that man. 

But this is not common in English except in poetry or in prose where 
it is desired to add some special emphasis. Expressions such as, Mrs. 
Baker, she stayed at home, are used colloquially by some, but are not 
correct. Similar expressions are, in standard French, required in certain 
interrogative sentences, and are common in declarative sentences. 

Mme. Boulanger etait-elle chez elle? 
Elle approche, cette mort inexorable. 

25. The predicate consists either (1) of a verb, or (2) of a verb 
and a complement. 





(1) Ice 
(2) Ice 


a solid 

A verb (Latin verbum, a word) is so called because it is often 
the main word expressing the conception added to the subject. 
The complement (Latin complementum, that which completes) 
is so called because it is the word used with the verb to complete 
the added conception. 

26. The verb. There is but one copula, the verb to be. There 
are many other verbs, however, any one of which may be used 
to form the whole or a part of the predicate; each expresses 
the idea of connection, like the copula, but in addition each 
expresses a further idea which makes up the whole or a part of 
the logical predicate. For example, in the sentence Ice becomes 
dirty, dirty is predicated of ice and the verb becomes connects 
the two ideas; but the verb does more than this, for, if we sub- 
stitute is, we find we have lost a part of the idea. 

Just what the verb becomes adds, we may see by expanding the two 
sentences into formal propositions: 

12 3 

Ice | is | a thing having the property of being dirty. 
Ice | is j a thing having the property of becoming dirty. 

18 SENTENCES (Sec. 28 

There are three classes of verbs which express more of the idea 
predicated of the subject than that of connection; they are: 

(a) Verbs which express existence (mainly the verb to be in a second 
use) (27). 

I am. (" I think, therefore I am.") They no longer exist. 
(6) Verbs which express state of being or change of state (28) . 
You look tired. 
Ice becomes dirty, 
(c) Verbs which express action (29). 

Ice chills the hand. 

27. In sentences containing a verb expressing existence, the 
verb by itself or aided by an adverb modifier (35) expresses the 
whole logical predicate, that is, it is itself complete. 



The house 



is in sight. 

The logical relationship of these sentences to our type proposition 
(22) may be indicated as follows: 

1 2 3 

I | am | (an existent being). 

The house | is | (a thing within the field of vision). 
Such adverb modifiers may also be interpreted as the equivalent of 
a predicate adjective after the copula (32). 
The house | is | in sight (visible). 

28. Verbs expressing state of being or change of state are 
grammatically no different from the copula. 
The logical difference has already been considered (26). 
Verbs expressing state of being include such as: appear, seem, 
look, smell, taste, feel, sound. Verbs expressing change of state 
include such as: become, grow, turn (into). Like the copula, 
these verbs generally require a complement; but they may, like 
verbs expressing existence, be complete (27). 

That rose smells sweet. 

No, it is the peony that smells. 

The child grows tall. 

How he grows! 


29. In sentences containing verbs expressing action, the verb 
or the verb completed by a complement expresses the logical 

Ice floats. 

Ice chills the hand. 

The logical relationship of these two sentences to our type proposition 
(22) may be expressed as follows: 

12 3 

Ice | is | (a thing having the property of floating'). 

Ice I is j (a thing having the property of chilling the hand). 

It will be noticed that in each of these cases the verb expresses, 
in addition to the idea of connection, the idea of action which 
is the .whole or an important part of the predicate. Verbs like 
chills are called transitive (Latin transitivus, passing over) be- 
cause the action is conceived as passing over from the actor so 
as to affect some other person or thing. Verbs like floats which 
express action not conceived as passing over to anything are 
called intransitive (Latin in- in this case = not). The distinction 
is more a question of the way of conceiving the action than of 
difference in the verb itself, consequently verbs may change 
character in this regard. 

The ice floated the wharf last winter. 
Ice chills. 

The verb floated has, by being used causatively (that is, so as to 
express the action which the subject causes to be performed), 
here become transitive. The verb chills we may call here intran- 
sitive, or, better, we may say it is a transitive verb used abso- 
lutely, that is, absolved from limiting the action to any particular 
person or thing. 

Transitive verbs express two different sorts of ideas according 
to the relation in which the subject stands to the verb. 

Heat melts ice. 

Ice is melted by heat. 

A transitive verb may, as in Heat melts ice, express the action 
which the subject performs, in which case it is said to be in the 
active voice (58) ; or it may, as in Ice is melted by heat, express the 



(SEC. 31 

action which the subject passively receives, in which case it is 
said to be in the passive voice (58). The object of the verb in 
the active voice becomes the subject of the corresponding verb 
in the passive voice. The subject of the active voice (the actor) 
becomes the agent of the action in the passive voice, and is ex- 
pressed as the object of the preposition (47) by, as in the sentence 

30. The copula, verbs expressing existence, and verbs express- 
ing state of being or change of state are often classed together 
as intransitive verbs, but, since they are not " intransitive " in 
the accurate sense of that term (29), it is better to call them 
neuter verbs, that is, neither active nor passive. The classifi- 
cation of verbs may be expressed as follows : 








Heat melts ice. 

Ice is melted by heat. 








Transitive verb 

Transitive verb in pas- 

in active voice. 

sive voice. 

Ice floats. 


Connection only: 
Ice is a solid. Copula. 

P H 





(Active voice) 


Ice is on the pond. 





State or change of state : 


Transitive verb 


You look tuved. 


"- 1 

used absolutely. 


Ice becomes dirty. 


The above are called 


neuter (or intransitive) 


31. Verb-expressions. Adverbs (45) and prepositions (47) 
often become so intimately associated in idea with the verb that 
they may be conceived as making up with the verb a verb- 
expression which acts in important ways like a transitive verb. 

I | go up the hill. 


Grammarians generally explain up the hill as a prepositional 
phrase (38) modifying the verb go. But we may conceive the 
sentence differently: 

I | go-up | the hill. 

In other words, we interpret go up as a verb-expression which 
governs hill as its object (33). In this case it corresponds to the 
Latin and the English habit of prefixing an adverb or a preposi- 
tion to the verb. 

I | ascend | the hill. (Latin ascendere; ad + scandere) . 
He | upheld | the principle. 

In the following sentence: 
He | ate | up the apple, 

up is not a preposition governing the word apple; it is an adverb 
modifying the verb, that is to say, it adds the idea completely. 
So it is generally interpreted; but it may also be interpreted as 
forming a part of a verb-expression: 


Compare: He 

ate-up | the apple, 
finished | the apple. 

Where the preposition or adverb is actually compounded with 
the verb, as in upheld, it is similar to the German inseparable 
prefixes; where it is not compounded, it is something like the 
German separable prefixes, except that English recognizes greater 
freedom of position for the separable adverb. 

Heute Morgen begann ich friih zu studieren. 

(beginnen, to begin, with inseparable prefix.) 
Heute Morgen fing ich fru'h zu studieren an. 

(anfangen, to begin, with separable prefix.) 
Er ist ihm nachgelaufen (separable). 
He ran after him. 
Er ass den Apfel auf (separable). 
He ate the apple up. He ate up the apple. 

Another possibility in the use of verb-expressions the following 
sentences will illustrate: 


may refer | to this book, 
may refer-to this book. 

Compare: You may consult | this book. 

and Sie durfen dieses Buch nachschlagen. 


If we insist that to is a preposition governing book, we get into 
difficulties when we attempt to explain it (that is, to find its 
object), in the following: 

This is a book which may be referred to. 

If we call refer-to a verb-expression, we may say that it has its 
passive form to be referred-to. Even verbal nouns (42c) and 
verbal adjectives (44c) may be used with a preposition, making 
a verb-expression. 

Looking after all these things takes time. 
Looking at me, he replied. 

Some verbs govern one object directly and another by means of 
a preposition which forms a part of a verb expression. 

He accused the man of theft. 

They provided themselves with pencils. 

Whether we consider a preposition or an adverb as a part 
of a verb-expression or as the whole or a part of an adverb 
modifier of the verb is unimportant as long as we are concerned 
with one language only; but when we undertake to translate or 
to express our thoughts in a foreign tongue, we find that idioms 
frequently differ at this point: a simple verb in one language may 
correspond to a verb plus a preposition or plus an adverb in 
another language. 

lie obeys his captain. II obeit a son capitaine. 

He is asking for a book. II demande un livre. 

I am thinking of my brother. Je pense a mon frere. 

I remember him. Ich erinnere mich seiner. 

In learning a foreign tongue we need always be on the look- 
out for the verb-expression and not simply for the verb. 

32. The complement. The complement of the copula may 
be a substantive, in which case it is called a predicate nominative 
(Latin nominativus, serving to name) ; or it may be an adjective 
(35, 44), in which case it is called a predicate adjective. 



a solid, 


The logical relationship of these two kinds of predication may be 
expressed as follows: 


(one of the class of things each of which is called) a solid, 
(one of the class of things each of which has the property of 

being) solid. 

In the same way the complement of a verb expressing state of 
being or change of state may be a predicate nominative or a 
predicate adjective. 

2 123 

So shall the day j seem | night. 
It | seems | true. 




The complement of a transitive verb in the active voice or of 
a veib- expression is a substantive representing the object affected 
by the act of the subject, and therefore called the predicate 

Heat | melts | ice. 

The coroner's jury | sat on | the case. 

The object of verbs such as say, reply, answer, may be a long 

Replying to the tribute paid him by all the speakers, Cardinal Gibbons | 
said: | 

"I consider the Republic of the United States one of the most 
precious heirlooms ever bestowed on mankind down the ages, and 
that it is the duty and should be the delight of every citizen to 
strengthen and perpetuate our government by the observance of its 
laws and by the integrity of his private life." Etc. 

No complement is required with a verb expressing existence, 
with an intransitive verb, or with a transitive verb in the passive 

1 1 am. 


is melted. 

The idea of existence which may be expressed but indefinitely 
by the verb may be made definite by an adverb modifier (27, 38). 
He is upstairs. 



(SEC. 34 



Any sub- 





A. Idea of connection 
copula, to be 

Predicate nominative 
predicate adjective 

Ice | is | a solid. 
Ice | is | solid. 

B. Idea of connection + 
some other idea: 
I. Idea of existence 


I | am. 
Ice | is on the pond. 

II. Idea of state of be- 
ing or change of 

Predicate nominative 
predicate adjective 

You | seem | tired. 
Water becomes ice. 
Water becomes dirty. 

The actor 

III. Idea of action 
1. Transitive: 
a) active voice 
a 1 ) same used 

Predicate object 

Ice chills 1 the hand. 
Ice | chills. 

The re- 
ceiver of 
the action 

6) passive voice 

(The agent, when ex- 
pressed, is a sub- 
stantive joined to 
the verb by the prep- 
osition by.) 

Ice | is melted (by heat). 

The actor 

2. Intransitive 
a) active voice 
a 1 ) same used 

Predicate object 

Ice | floats. 
The ice | floated | the 

34. Indirect object, resultant object, and resultant adjective. 
The three elements, (1) subject, (2) verb, and (3) complement, 
form the framework of the sentence. Along with them may be 
classed three other elements found in some sentences. 

Indirect Object 

He gave the book to her. 
or He gave her the book. 

In this sentence we have the substantive book, which represents 
the thing directly affected by the action, and therefore called the 
direct object, and also the substantive her, which represents 
the person indirectly affected by the action, and therefore called 
the indirect object. It is to be noticed that the indirect object 


may be expressed with the preposition to after the direct object, 
or without to if it is placed before the direct object. German has 
the form without the preposition only. 

Er gab es ihr. Er gab ihr das Buch. 

The -Romance languages* have both forms when the indirect 
object is a pronoun, but use the one with the preposition mainly 
to emphasize the indirect object. In French, for example: 

Je lui ai donne le livre. 
J'ai donne le livre a elle. 

In English, the form with to should be distinguished from other 
phrases with to which are not indirect objects. For example: 

He carried it to New York. 

In this sentence to New York is a modifier of the verb telling 
how far the object was carried; it is not an indirect object, for we 
do not conceive of New York as affected by the action in the 
same way that we conceive of her as affected by the gift of the 
book. Adverb modifiers of this sort cannot be used without 
the to. 

It is also to be noticed that the indirect object as well as the 
direct object may become the subject of the verb in the passive 
voice (29), though the object of to when it forms an adverb 
modifier never can. 

She was given the book by him. 
The book was given to her by him. 
It was carried to New York by him. 

In French and German the indirect object of the active is not 
thus used as subject of the passive. 

If we examine the sentence, He gave the book to her, we 
find we have what we may consider as another verb-expression 
(31), to-give-the-book-to, which on becoming passive with the 
indirect object as subject (She was given the book) retains the 
direct object book as object of the past participle (44 end, 42 
end) given, just as the to was retained in This is a book which 
may be referred to. Otherwise it would be difficult to explain 
how the passive can govern an object (29). 

* French, Spanish, Italian, etc., all derived from Latin. 


One form of the indirect object needs a word further. 

I built me an ice-boat. 

Me here is an indirect object of personal interest. 

In Latin grammar forms similar to this are called dative of reference, 
ethical dative, or dative of advantage or disadvantage. Compare the form 
of expression common in the time of Shakspere: 

Whip me that man. 

Compare also : 

Es blitzt aus den Augen ihm kiihn. 
Sieh mir ob sie kommen. 

II m'a pris la main. 
Regardez-moi cette dame-la. 

Resultant Object 
They made him leader. 

In this sentence there is a direct object him and another object 
leader which represents the result of the action upon the direct 
object, and may be called the resultant object. In the passive 
this becomes, He was made leader. 

It is possible for the active verb to have two objects because make is the 
equivalent of two verbs: (1) cause; (2) to become. They caused him to 
become leader. In this form him to become leader is an infinitive clause (38) 
the object of caused, in which clause him is the subject (in the object 
case, 68) and leader is the object of to become. In the same way verbs 
of naming, choosing, appointing, esteeming, finding, showing, asking, 
and teaching may govern both a direct and a resultant object. 

They elected him leader. 

(They caused him by process of election to become leader.) 

They asked us our opinion. 

(They asked us to give our opinion.) 

Resultant Adjective 

I filled it full. Send the ball rolling. 

The doctor calls him well. We shall keep you occupied. 

A verb may also govern a direct object and a resultant predi- 
cate adjective. In the passive the predicate adjective is retained 
after the past participle. 
He is called well. 



35. Any one of the fundamental elements may be modified,* 
that is to say, its meaning may be limited or given an added 
quality by the use of words called primary modifiers. 

Pure ice may become dirty. 

Ice is a transparent solid. 

Ice chills the bare hand. 

Ice is quickly melted by the sun. 

This ice is very solid. 

Furthermore, secondary modifiers may be used to limit or 
qualify the meaning of the primary and even of other secondary 

Ice is EVEN more quickly melted by greater heat. 

Modifiers of substantives (as in the first three illustrative sen- 
tences above) are called adjectives (Latin adjectivus, that which 
is added); modifiers of verbs, adjectives, or adverbs are called 
adverbs (Latin, ad + verbum, something added to the verb or 
predicate) . 

A substantive may also have as a modifier another substantive. 

(a) The President's journey. 

(6) Mr. Lincoln, the President of the United States. 

President's in (a) is said to be in the possessive case (42, 53). 

President in (6) is said to be in apposition (Latin ad + positio(ri), 
a placing by or near) to Mr. Lincoln (42, 73). 

A noun is sometimes apparently modified by an adverb, or an 
adverb phrase (38). 

The man higher up. 
The man at the wheel. 

* Grammarians usually consider the single word, without any modifiers, as the 
subject, verb, object, etc. Logically, it is the word with its modifiers, if any, 
that expresses the element of the sentence. For example, in the sentence, The 
men who have finished may go, the logical subject, that is to say, those who may go, 
is The-men-who-have- finished, not the men] but grammatically men is said to be the 
subject, and who have finished is called a restrictive relative (430) clause (38) 
modifying men. To avoid confusion, when the modified subject is meant it 
will be called in this book the " logical subject;" when the unmodified subject, it 
will be called " subject. " And so with the other terms. 


In these cases the adverb or adverb phrase is strictly an elliptical 
expression; the real modifier is a relative clause (38, 430). 

The man (who is) higher up (27, 32). 

A verb may also be modified by a noun used adverbially (42) 
to express (1) the time at which or (2) during which the action 
takes place, to express (3) measure, or (4) certain other idiomatic 

(1) (4) (2) 

Yesterday he went home. He had been away a week and the vacation 

cost him twenty-five dollars. 

In a similar way an adjective or an adverb may be modified by 
a substantive used adverbially. 

He is a foot taller. 

He went three days sooner. 

A whole sentence may be modified by an adverb, such as, 
indeed, not, or probably, to indicate that the idea is expressed 
positively, negatively, or doubtfully. 

Indeed I mean it. 
I do not think so. 


36. A sentence may express (1) a statement, (2) a question, 
(3) an exclamation, (4) a command, or (5) a wish. 

(1) I am going home. 

(2) Am I going home? 

(3) How glad I am! 

(4) Go home! 

(5) Would that I might go home! 

A sentence which makes a statement is called a declarative 

A sentence which asks a question is called an interrogative 

A sentence to be uttered as an exclamation is called an ex- 
clamative sentence. 


A sentence expressing a command or exhortation is called an 
imperative sentence. 

A sentence which expresses a wish with the forms would that, 
oh (that), or may is called an optative sentence. 

The structure of these sentences is alike in all cases except that 
imperative sentences and optative sentences have no subject 
expressed, as has been mentioned (34), and that the order may be 
different in the different forms (84, 85). 


37. The sentences so far considered have all been simple, that 
is to say, they contain only one of each of the fundamental ele- 
ments; but many sentences have more complicated structure. 

A sentence may consist of two or more groups of words, each 
including a subject and a predicate, but joined together so as to 
form a single unit. 

It should be spring | but | the weather is still cold. 

Such a sentence is said to be compound, and the separate parts 
have all the possibilities of simple sentences. The word which 
connects the two parts of a compound sentence, if the connection 
is expressed, is called a conjunction (Latin conjunctio(ri), a 
joining together). 

Any one of the fundamental elements, and any one of the 
primary or secondary modifiers, may be compound, that is, may 
be made up of two or more parts joined, usually by means of a 

Iron and lead are both metals. 

Water cools and moistens the throat. 

The sun has tanned his face and hands. 

Ice is dirty and unwholesome. 

His hands are frequently and inexcusably dirty. 

38. The subject, the complement, and any modifier may con- 
sist of a group of words making up what is called a phrase, or of 
a group of words making up what is called a clause. 


A phrase is a group of words consisting of a substantive, called 
the object, and its modifiers, if any, with its relationship to the 
rest of the sentence expressed by (a) a preposition (47), (b) an 
infinitive (42c), (c) a verbal noun ending in -ing (42c), or (d) a 
participle, or verbal adjective, ending in -ing (42c, 44c). 

(a) The President of the United States is in the West. 

(6) To read such literature is worth while. 

(c) Reading such literature is worth while. 

(d) The bird flew into the air singing the familiar notes. 

A prepositional phrase may be an adjective or an adverb 
modifier. In the predicate a prepositional phrase may be used 
(1) in the place of a predicate adjective, or (2) as an adverb to 
give definiteness to a verb expressing existence (27, 33). 

(1) They are of good service (serviceable). 

(2) They are in the yard. 

An infinitive phrase may be used (a) as a substantive, (b) as an 
adverb modifier to express purpose: 

(a) To do that is no easy task. 
It is easy to do that. 

(b) He went to college to study engineering. 

It is to be noted that when the infinitive (without an object, or 
with an object and therefore making up an infinitive phrase) is 
used as grammatical or as logical subject, the to has no function 
except as the " sign " of the infinitive. In the phrase expressing 
purpose, the to (which here may be replaced by in order to) is 
strictly a preposition governing the infinitive (a substantive) as 
its object (42c). A verbal-noun phrase is used as a substantive. 
A participle phrase is used as an adjective. 

An adjective phrase may be the equivalent (a) of an adjective, 
(6) of the first part of a compound substantive, or (c) of a sub- 
stantive in the possessive case. 

(a) An hour for study. A study hour. 
The frame is of wood (wooden). 

(b) A point of view. A view-point. 

(c) The roof of the house. (The house's roof.) 


An adjective phrase is regularly used in English instead of the 
possessive case when the substantive stands for a thing. English 
uses substantives freely as adjectives (446); the Romance lan- 
guages prefer adjective phrases; and German prefers compound 
substantives generally written without hyphens. 

Fire insurance company. 

Compagnie d'assurance centre 1'incendie. 


A clause is a group of words consisting of a subject and a 
predicate with their modifiers, if any, joined to the rest of the 
sentence by a relative pronoun (4Sg), by a conjunction (48), or 
(in case the verb in the clause is an infinitive) without any con- 
necting word. A clause may be used as a substantive, as an 
adjective, or as an adverb; and its verb may be a finite part of 
a verb or an infinitive (46). 

Substantive: What he said is of little importance. (Subject.) 

I do not admit the fact that I said it. (Appositive.) 
I do not know what he said. (Object.) 
That is different from what he said. (Object of a prepo- 

You will permit him to do it. (Infinitive clause.) 
Let him do it. (Infinitive clause.) 

Adjective: The President, who has returned from the West, will speak. 

Adverb: He was speaking when I entered. 

An adjective clause may restrict the substantive it modifies 
and so become logically a part of it (35 note), or it may explain 
the substantive (103d). 

Restrictive: Lincoln was the man that was chosen. 
Explanatory: Lincoln, who was the candidate of the Republican party, 
was elected. 

A sentence which contains one or more clauses is called a 
complex sentence. 

39. What has been said about the grammatical elements of 
sentences may be summed up in the tabular form which follows. 
The scheme covers both simple and complex sentences; compound 
sentences need not be treated specially here, for in structure they 



(SEC. 39 



"^ "o 


1 ^ 



1 1 

IQ !o 

o o 



S l 
.2 5 
































te nominative* 
te object* 





8 * 



^ SH 




O< 0. 












H ^ 

O *-3 



S ! 


g 1 


CQ 02 


| | 







are merely simple or complex sentences joined together. Simi- 
larly, compound elements are but simple elements joined. Often 
sentences are shortened by the omission of parts which are 
grammatically necessary; but, unless the sentence is faulty, the 
ellipsis may easily be supplied. 

(It is) No matter if it does rain. 

You speak as (you would speak) if (you were) uncertain. 


40. Within a sentence there may be words, phrases, or clauses 
which have no structural relationship to the rest of the sentence. 
These are of five classes : 

1. Interjections (Latin inter jectio(n), a throwing between), 
expressions of feeling interjected into sentences and consisting 
of single words representing sounds naturally expressive of 
emotions, or single words or combinations of words into which 
much emotion is crowded. 

Oh! that hurt. 

Alas! can that be true? 

He said (only to think of it!) that I might go. 

2. So-called absolute constructions (i.e., constructions absolved 
from the restrictions of sentence structure), which consist (a) 
of a substantive and an infinitive, or (6) of a substantive and 
a participle (to be compared with the " ablative (53) absolute " 
in Latin). 

(a) I invited Henry and Charles, John, to come later. 

(b) The House having adjourned, Speaker Cannon went home. 

Such expressions may be replaced by subordinate clauses which 
express more definitely the relationship of the ideas expressed. 

Now that the House had adjourned, 
As long as the House had adjourned, 

When the House had adjourned, Speaker Cannon went home. 

Absolute constructions offer means of varying the structure of 
sentences, and express the ideas more concisely than subordinate 


clauses, but in general the subordinate clause is more exact and 
more idiomatic in English. Sometimes absolute phrases are used 
when what is intended is a phrase modifying a word in the 
writer's mind and perhaps suggested by some word actually 
appearing in the sentence. 

Having reached the age of seven, my father died. 

Here we may say that the phrase which stands at the begin- 
ning of the sentence attempts to modify the pronoun / 
suggested by my. Such expressions should never be used; 
the idea should be expressed by means of subordinate clauses 
or in some way the sentence should be reconstructed. 

When I was seven years of age, my father died. 
Having reached the age of seven, I lost my father. 

3. Vocatives (Latin vocativus, of or pertaining to calling), sub- 
stantatives used in calling to or addressing persons or things. 
They may or may not be closely connected in sense with some 
other substantive in the sentence. 

To you, fellow citizens, I make special appeal. 

Ten years ago, Mr. President, I entered the House. 

4. Words of affirmation or of denial, such as yes and no, which 
express the idea of a whole sentence. 

May I count on you? Yes. 

5. Certain parenthetical expressions (102). 
By the way, how did you know that? 


(For Topical Synopsis, see page x) 

41. Words are divided, according to their uses in the sen- 
tences, into eight classes, called parts of speech: 

Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs, Prepositions, Interjections, 
Pronouns, Adverbs, Conjunctions. 

Such a grouping is of great practical value, but no single system of 
classification of words can be exact. Not only have words changed 
their uses freely in the development of language, but they are still changing 
to-day; words which would certainly be put in different classes are spelled 
and pronounced alike and have one and the same origin; and finally, no 
precise definition can be given to any one of the above terms which 
would not excluqp words which should undoubtedly be classed under 
that term. Logically, words may be divided according as they express 
(a) substance, (6) quality, (c) action or occurrence, (d) connection (aside 
from the fundamental connection of subject and predicate), or (e) emo- 
tion. In general, words expressing substance (substantives) are nouns 
and pronouns; those expressing quality are adjectives and adverbs; those 
expressing action or occurrence are verbs; those expressing connection 
are prepositions and conjunctions; and those expressing emotion are 


43. Nouns (French nom, Latin nomen, a name) are words 
used as names of persons or things, existent or conceivable. 
A noun may be used as: 
Subject, Our party was victorious. 
Predicate nominative, That man is the secretary. 
Predicate object, direct, We have built a fire. 

indirect, We will send the man two copies. 
resultant, They call him colonel. 
Object of a preposition, The canals of Mars. 
Modifier (adjective), possessive, Lee's army. 

appositive, George V, King of England. 
Modifier (adverbial), He walked two miles. 
You are a foot taller. 
They went a mile farther. 



An independent element, vocative, You, sir, were there. 

absolute with participle, The play being ended, we went home. 
Interjection, Fire! 

Nouns are of different kinds and may be grouped in various 
ways. The largest number express substance (24); but some, 
like adjectives and adverbs, express quality; and some, like 
verbs, express action or occurrence. 

(a) Nouns which express substance are called concrete. 
They are of three sorts : 

Common nouns, names which may be given to each member 
of a class of persons or things. 
boy, sailor, table 

Proper (Latin proprius, one's own) nouns, names which are 
given to a single member of a class of persons or things for the 
purpose of distinguishing the individuals (125). 

James, Columbus, the Round Table 

Collective nouns, names given to a collection of individuals 
to indicate the collection as a whole, 
fleet, herd, people 

Some collective nouns are quantitative, that is, they express a 
number of units considered as forming a whole. 

couple, score, dozen, hundred 

It should be noted that we say, a couple of strollers, a score of 
people, and yet we may say, three score years, a dozen eggs, a 
hundred years, using the noun as an adjective modifier. 

(b) Nouns which express quality are of two sorts: 
Adjective nouns, which name qualities as if they were con- 
crete things. 

That red is a pleasing shade. 
The cold was intense yesterday. 

These nouns are different from adjective pronouns (43i), in 
that they name a quality as if it were concrete, while the 
adjective pronouns stand for a noun which they logically 


Abstract nouns, which name qualities conceived as separate 
(abstracted) from all concrete things. 

redness, coldness, purity 

(c) Nouns which express action or occurrence are derived 
from verbs or formed in connection with verbs. They are 
called verbal nouns, and in English are of two kinds: 

Infinitives. As parts of the verb, infinitives (Latin infiniti- 
vus, unlimited to person, number, etc.), are explained in sec- 
tions 59, 60, 64. As nouns they simply name the action or 
state expressed by the verb. They are used with to as the so- 
called " sign" of the infinitive (38) as (1) subject, (2) predicate 
nominative, (3) predicate object, (4) resultant predicate object, 
(5) object of the prepositions about, but, except, save, and (6) 
as an elliptical expression for a subordinate clause. 

(1) To work is better than to starve. 

(2) That remains to be seen. 

(3) They prefer to go. 

(4) He taught her to sing. 

(5) I am about to go. 

(6) (If I may be permitted) To speak frankly, I despise them. 

They are also used as prepositional phrases (the to having full 
prepositional force) as modifiers of (1) verbs, (2) adjectives, (3) 
adverbs, and (4) nouns, and (5) as predicate adjectives (38). 

(1) We went to (in order to) inquire. 

(2) Ready to wear (for wearing, or to be worn). 

(3) Old enough to die. 

(4) Boilers to mend (for mending, or to be mended). 

(5) That road is to be avoided. 

The to is omitted when the infinitive is object of dare not, need 
not, had as lief, had rather, or had better. 

You need not explain. 
I had rather be a dog. 

Verbal nouns in -ing. These were originally nouns naming 
the action or state expressed by the corresponding verb, and 
formed by suffixing the syllable -ing to the stem of any verb; 


but when the present participle (which in Anglo-Saxon ended in 
-ende) came to end in -ing, the two became confused and it 
was supposed that the participle (an adjective) could also be 
used as a noun. The two are indistinguishable in form in 
modern English, but it is well to call these verbal words: 

(1) When used as nouns, " verbal nouns in -ing," 

(2) When used with auxiliaries (46) " present participles," 

(3) When used as modifiers of substantives, " verbal adjec- 
tives " (44c). 

(1) Under such a leader, singing is a delight. 
Singing the old songs brings back college days. 

(2) He was singing in the choir at that time. 

(3) Taillefer rode forth singing songs of Roland. 
A singing bird. 

It is to be noted that infinitives, verbal nouns in -ing, and 
verbal adjectives all retain enough of their verb character to 
govern complements and to be modified by adverbs; but nouns 
in ing may lose their verbal character and take adjective 

Rapid flying is exhilarating. 


43. Pronouns (French pronom, Latin pro +nomen, for+noun) 
are words which stand for nouns. 

In the earliest forms of language these words probably pointed out things 
without naming them, as this does still. Later they were used to point 
out or to refer to something which had just been named, to avoid the 
repetition of the name. Where a child learning to talk might say, 
" Charles has eaten Charles's," one more mature would say, " Charles 
has eaten his. 11 In order that such a pronoun may have meaning, a noun 
called the antecedent (Latin antecedents, going before), giving the name 
for which the pronoun stands, must generally be previously expressed. 
Pronouns of another class ask for, rather than refer to, the name of 
some person or thing. For example, "Who is at the door?" "The 
grocer." Other pronouns, connected in origin with those just men- 
tioned, are used in dependent clauses, and not only refer to an antece- 
dent in the independent part of the sentence, but mark the relation- 
ship of the dependent clause to the rest of the sentence. "The man 


who is at the door is the grocer." Still another class of pronouns refer 
collectively or partitively to a group of persons or things. They them- 
selves have no antecedent, but they require that the group be made defi- 
nite by some word or words or by some suggestion in the context. For 
example: ''All of the people in the house." " Some of the people in the 
house." In the last place, adjectives may, in addition to expressing a 
quality, stand for nouns and thus become pronouns, when the noun which 
the adjective logically modifies is clearly implied by the context and 
therefore is omitted. For example, " The good die young." " The red 
white and blue." Adjectives do not become pronouns so freely in Eng- 
lish as they may in German and the Romance languages. 

Pronouns may be used as: 

Subject, Who is there? 

Predicate nominative, It is 7. 

Predicate object, direct, The report reached me. 

indirect, They sent me the report. 
resultant, He called me that. 
Object of a preposition, Get it from any one. 

Modifier (adjective), appositive. That is Mrs. Lincoln, she who was 
Miss Brown. 

Modifier (adverbial), a little taller. 
Much faster. 

Independent, vocative, Yes, you of the sad face, I am addressing you. 
absolute with participle, That being solved, the rest was easy, 
interjection, // Did you say I? 

Pronouns may be classified as follows: 

(a) Demonstrative pronouns. These pronouns serve mainly 
to point out, demonstrate, which of two persons or things is 
meant. In speaking, the distinction is reinforced by gesture 
or tone. 

This (nearer the speaker) is older than that (farther from the speaker) . 

With the demonstrative celui, French makes the distinction between 
two persons or things pointed out by the use of the adverbs id (-ci) here, 
and Za, there. 

Je ne connais pas celui-ci, mais celui-la est mon ami. 

In English, adverbs are used in a similar way, but only in the language 
of the uneducated. 

This here (this 'ere) and that there (that 'air). 

(6) Personal pronouns. These pronouns, taking the place 
of nouns, serve mainly to distinguish individuals in relation to 


the speaker. The speaker is called the first person, the person 
spoken to is called the second person, and any person or thing 
spoken of is called the third person. 

I (1) wrote to you (2) about him (3). 

For the first and second persons no antecedent is required 
(except in rare cases) because the pronoun has little more than 
the force of a demonstrative (42a) . For the third-person pronoun 
forms (he, she, it, and they), an antecedent is always required. 
Where more than one person of the same sex is spoken of, it is 
often difficult to keep the pronouns from becoming ambiguous. 
In speaking, the reference to the right antecedent is kept clear 
by gesture or inflection of the voice; in writing, ambiguity 
should be avoided by careful construction of sentences (72). 
In many cases it has no antecedent such as he and she require: 
(1) it may stand in the place of the logical subject which then 
comes after the verb, or (2) it may stand for an idea which was 
lost in the early forms of language. 

(1) It is difficult to do that. (To do that is difficult.) 
It is I. It is said that he did it. 

(2) It rains. (Perhaps, originally, The god rains. 

Compare: Jupiter pluvius.) 

In Romance languages, the personal pronouns generally used as sub- 
ject, direct object, or indirect object are so intimately joined to the verb 
that they are pronounced (and sometimes written) as a part of the verb. 

Je les ai cherches. 

Los he buscado. 



These are called conjunctive personal pronouns. Pronouns separated 
from the verb or used emphatically must in Romance languages be 
expressed by different pronoun forms, which are called disjunctive 
personal pronouns. 

Qui vient? Lui. 

i Quien viene? EL 

In English there are some personal pronouns which in pronunciation 
distinguish between emphatic and unemphatic forms, but they are used 
to indicate, not difference in use in the sentence, but difference in mean- 
ing. You, we, and they have, besides their definite emphatic use, an 
unemphatic use as pronouns of very general and indefinite reference. 

They say it is hard to find your way even when you are a native. 


French has a special pronoun, on, which is used (like German, man) 
as a third person singular number in just this indefinite sense, and English 
uses the numeral one in a similar way; but though one has been used in 
this sense for centuries it has hardly got into the colloquial language vet 

In a few cases a personal pronoun is used as a demonstrative: 
He who runs may read. 

(c) Possessive pronouns. These pronouns are derived from 
the personal pronouns and have a doubly pronominal character: 
they stand for the name of a person who possesses, and also for 
the name of a thing possessed. For example, the answer to the 
question, "Which is 'George Eliot's' novel?" might be, " This 
is hers"; and in that case hers would stand for (1) 'George Eliot's,' 
(2) novel. 

The forms mine, thine, etc., like German mein, dein, etc., were origi- 
nally the genitive case (53) of the corresponding personal pronouns. 
Later they came to be used as pronouns and adjectives expressing pos- 
session, and in both Anglo-Saxon and early German they took on ad- 
jective endings. In later forms of English the n in mine and thine was 
dropped before words beginning with a consonant (as it was in a(ri), the 
indefinite article (44)) ; but since the pronomial use never brought the 
possessives into close enough connection with a following word to occasion 
the dropping of the n, my and thy came to be considered as adjectives, 
and mine and thine as pronouns. His was used as both adjective and 
pronoun. Her, our, and your, the genitive forms of the corresponding 
personal pronouns, and their, the genitive of the demonstrative which gave 
modern English the and that, were used as adjectives, and from them hers, 
ours, yours, and theirs were made up (evidently under the influence of 
the s in his) and used as pronouns. Finally its was similarly formed 
(about 1598) as adjective and pronoun from it, to distinguish the neuter 
possessive (which had previously been expressed by his) from the mascu- 
line possessive. 

(d) Reflexive pronouns. These pronouns are used (1) as 
predicate object or (2) as object of a preposition to indicate that 
the action reflects directly or indirectly on the same individual as 
expressed by the subject of the verb, (3) as object of a preposi- 
tion in certain idiomatic expressions to indicate the individual 
expressed by the substantive modified by the phrase of which the 

42 SENTENCES (Sec. 43 

reflexive is object, or (4) in apposition to any substantive to 
express emphasis. The forms are made by adding the word self 
(selves in the plural) to the first and second person possessive 
adjectives and to the third person personal pronouns in the 
objective case (53): myself, thyself, ourselves, yourselves; himself, 
herself, itself, themselves. 

(1) She cut herself. 

(2) I cut the cane for myself. 

(3) He left John by himself. 

(4) You yourselves did it. 

The fourth case is strictly an intensive, though it has the same 
form in English as the reflexives. In German and the Romance 
languages, personal pronoun forms are used as reflexive (except 
in the case of the third person special reflexives, German sich, 
French se,) and the intensives are formed by the addition of a 
word (German selbst or selber, French -meme). In English the 
reflexives are used, colloquially and carelessly in other cases 
than the three explained above. For example, my friend and 
myself. But the -self forms should be restricted to reflexive and 
intensive uses; in all other cases the use of personal pronouns 
is more accurate. 

(e) Reciprocal pronouns. These pronouns are used, like the 
reflexives, as the predicate object or as the object of a preposi- 
tion, but indicate that the different individuals to which they 
refer act reciprocally. When two persons are referred to, the 
reciprocal pronoun is each other, when more than two, it is one 

They (two) greeted each other. 

They (more than two) wrote letters to one another. 

In the Romance languages and in German, the single reflexive 
forms may be used for both reflexives and reciprocals. 

We have seen ourselves. We have seen each other. 

Nous wows sommes vus (nous- Nous nous sommes vus (1'un 

memes) 1'autre). 

Wir haben uns (selbst) gesehen. Wir haben uns (or einander) 



(/) Interrogative pronouns. These pronouns are used in ask- 
ing questions and therefore always seek definite meaning in the 

who? whose? whom? which? what? 

(g) Relative pronouns. These pronouns, by relating definitely 
to some antecedent in the independent part of a sentence and 
by entering into the structure of a "relative" clause, express 
the relation of that clause to the independent part of the 

who, whose, whom, which, what, that 

These forms are not found in Anglo-Saxon, but were derived 
(except that, which was originally a demonstrative) from the 
interrogative pronouns, from which even now it is in certain 
cases difficult to distinguish them. 

Who was here? (Interrogative.) 

He asked me who was here. (Interrogative, indirect.) 
This is the man who was here. (Relative.) 

He told me who was here. (Interrogative indirect or relative with the 
antecedent omitted.) 

Who was here? He told me. 
He told me the one who was here. 

Who (whose, whom) is used for persons, which for anything 
except persons, and that for persons and things combined. That 
is also used for persons, (1) after the interrogative, who, (2) after 
same or all, (3) after a superlative, (4) often (always in the usage 
of some) to introduce a restrictive relative clause (38, 102). 

(1) Who is there that can tell ? 

(2) The same man that came yesterday. 

(3) The youngest man that had competed. 

(4) They are the colonies that had revolted. 

The relative is often omitted when it is predicate object. 

He told a man I know. 

What when used as a relative, is the equivalent of that which, 
that is to say, it serves at the same time as demonstrative 
(antecedent of the relative) and as relative. 

He told what was said. (He told that which was said.) 


For what the Romance languages use two words: French, ce qui, ce que, 
or ce . . . quoi; Spanish, lo que, 

Compound relatives are formed by adding -ever or -soever to who, 
whose, whom, what, and which, and are equivalent to a partitive 
pronoun ((h) below), which is the antecedent, and a relative. 

He will do whatever (anything or everything which) you ask. 

Whatever, with the rest of the relative clause omitted, often 
follows a partitive pronoun or a noun modified by a partitive 
adjective, to emphasize the general application of the partitive. 

Any physical discovery whatever (it may be). 

Adverbs alone or combined with prepositions may in certain 
cases take the place of relatives. 

The house where (in which) I was born. 

Edward's seven sons, whereof (of whom) thyself art one. 

(h) Collective and partitive pronouns (often called " indefi- 
nites "). These pronouns refer, each in a special way, (1) to a 
group of persons or things taken collectively, (2) to a group 
taken distributively, or (3) to a part of such a group. 

(1) All of the planets constitute a system. 

(2) All of the planets revolve around the sun. 

(3) Some of the planets are nearer the sun than the earth is. 

These pronouns never require an antecedent, but the group must 
be made definite by the following words or by implication of 
the context. Some of these pronouns are simply collective and 
partitive adjectives (446) used as pronouns; others are formed 
from those adjectives by the addition of the word one, body, or 

Each of them made the same report. 

Everyone (everybody) knows everything about it now. 

For the distinctions in meaning of these words see Collective and 
Partitive Adjectives, section 446. For the reciprocal use of these 
pronouns see 43e. 

(i) Adjective pronouns. These pronouns are in origin adjec- 


lives but are used without any noun to modify, and therefore, 
since they stand for a noun, should be classed as pronouns. 

The few are here opposing the many. 
The good die young. 

German capitalizes adjectives thus used, that is to say, classi- 
fies them as nouns, but the distinction between these pro- 
nouns and adjective nouns has already been pointed out (426). 
Adjectives, aside from the numeral adjectives, are not used 
as pronouns so freely in English as in German and in the Ro- 
mance languages. They have no antecedents and should be used 
as pronouns only when the word which they logically modify is 
definitely implied by the context. 

The demonstrative, some of the possessive, and some of the collective 
and partitive pronouns are exactly the same in form as the corresponding 
adjectives, and so may be considered, when used without any noun to 
modify, as adjective pronouns. 


44. Adjectives (see also section 35) are words used (1) in the 
predicate after the copula and after verbs expressing state of 
being or change of state, and (2) as primary modifiers to qualify, 
limit, or define a substantive. 

There are three positions in which adjectives may stand: 

(1) Attributive position, that is, before the noun they modify. 

From here there is a magnificent view. 

(2) Appositive position, that is, after the word they modify. 

He is looking for a house larger than any of these. 
A. ruler wise and strong. 

In English prose, an adjective seldom stands in the appositive 
position except when it has itself a modifier following it, as in 
the first example above. The attributive is the regular posi- 
tion for the adjective modifier of a substantive in English and 
German; the appositive position is much more common in 
Romance languages, especially for the longer and less common 


(3) Predicate position, that is, after the copula or a verb 
expressing change of state of being, and forming the main part 
of the idea predicated of the subject. 

The contests were close. 

According to the nature of the idea they add, adjectives may 
be classed as follows: 

(a) Qualifying adjectives. These adjectives add to the 
meaning of the substantive which they modify (1) a quality, 
(2) the material of which the thing for which the substantive 
stands is made, or (3) the class to which the person or thing 

(1) A ripe blackberry is sweet. 

(2) A copper coin. 

(3) Is he the Republican or the Democratic candidate? 

Adjectives which are derived from or closely associated 
in meaning with proper nouns are called proper adjectives. 
Correct use in English, unlike that of other languages, requires 
that they should always be capitalized. 

Christian, French, Indian, Bostonian, Chinese. 

(6) Limiting adjectives. These adjectives set some limit to 
the meaning of the substantive modified, and are of the follow- 
ing kinds: 

Numeral adjectives. These adjectives express (1) the num- 
ber of persons or things the noun modified stands for (in which 
case they are called cardinal numerals), or (2) the position of 
the person or thing in a numbered order or series (in which case 
they are called ordinal numerals). 

(1) Seven books. 

(2) The seventh book. 

The cardinals and ordinals below a million are all of Anglo-Saxon 
origin except second, which came from the French and replaced the Anglo- 
Saxon other. In a similar way, apparently, two is being replaced by 
couple in all but strictly mathematical uses. This seems unfortunate, 
because two means simply one and one, while couple means two joined, 
and it would be a loss to obliterate the distinction. 


The numeral one, in a weakened form which has lost its 
accent and all its meaning but that of single indefiniteness, is 
called the indefinite article. In modern English the form is a 
before a word beginning with a consonant sound, and an before 
a word beginning with a vowel sound. For determining which 
form of the indefinite article to use, present usage recognizes 
initial h when pronounced, and initials (eu) when pronounced 
like you, as consonants. 

The indefinite article is used more frequently in English than 
in the other languages. 

Sans chapeau. Without a hat. 

E repubblicano. He is a Republican. 

Calderon, poeta dramatico. Calderon, a dramatic poet. 

Des Abends. Of an evening. 

Quantitative adjectives. These adjectives express in an in- 
definite or comparative way the quantity of persons or things 
for which the noun they modify stands. Most of them may 
also be used as nouns. 

I have enough paper. Enough of that ! 
There is less time now. The less the better. 

Pronominal adjectives. These adjectives are in most cases 
identical with pronouns in form and in origin and have in part 
pronominal uses, but they are adjectives in that they modify 
substantives instead of replacing them. They are of the fol- 
lowing kinds : 

Demonstrative adjectives. (See demonstrative pronouns, sec- 
tion 43a). 

This (pronoun) is the book that (adjective) man wants. 

One form of the Anglo-Saxon demonstrative adjectives has 
become closely associated with nouns, losing its accent and all 
its meaning except that of definiteness. It is the so-called 
definite article, the. The is used (1) before a noun to specify 
or particularize, (2) before a noun to indicate genius or species, 
(3) before a title, (4) before a noun to indicate special promi- 


nence, (5) before an adjective noun, (6) in the place of a pos- 
sessive adjective in certain cases where the meaning is clear. 

(1) The book he mentioned. 

(2) The elephant. 

(3) The Duke of Wellington. 

(4) He is the man of the town. The (well-known) prodigal son. 

(5) The good, the true, the beautiful. 

(6) The ball struck him on the thumb. 

For adverbial use of the see section 45. 

German and the Romance languages use the definite article 
(1) in cases which English does not recognize as definite, and 
also, unlike English, (2) to indicate the general application of 
the noun. For example: 

(1) Le Massachusetts. Massachusetts. 

Auf der Friedrichsstrasse. In Frederick Street. 

(2) Das Leben ist kurz, die Kunst ist lang. Life is short, art is long. 
Estudia el espanol. He was studying Spanish. 

On ne travaille pas le dimanche. We don't work on Sunday. 

Possessive adjectives. (For possessive pronouns see 43c). 
These adjectives are in part different in form from the possessive 
pronouns (which are used without any noun to modify). 

Pronouns Adjectives 

mine, ours my, our 

thine, yours thy, your 

his, theirs (his) their 

hers her 

its (its) 

Interrogative adjectives. (For interrogative pronouns, see 
43/.) Of the interrogative pronouns, three only, which, what, 
and whose, are used as adjectives. 
What book are you reading? 

Relative adjectives. (For relative pronouns, see section 430). 
Of the relative pronouns, one only, which, is used as an adjec- 

I found out which book it was. 

Collective and partitive adjectives. (For collective and par- 
titive pronouns, see section 43/&). The commonest of these 


adjectives are given below, with a suggestion of their separate 
meanings. They are the same in origin and in meaning as the 
collective and partitive pronouns, and each of the following, 
except every and no, may also be used as a pronoun. 
All = the whole, taken as a whole (collectively). Used as 
pronoun only. 

He read all (the whole) of the assignment. 

= the total number, more than two, taken as individuals 
(distributively) with the emphasis on the totality. 
All men are mortal. 

Every = the whole, more than two, taken as individuals 
(distributively) with the emphasis on the absence of 

England expects every man to do his duty. 

Each = the whole, two or more, taken as individuals (dis- 
tributively) with the emphasis on the separate indi- 

Each child was in his seat. 

Either = one of two, taken indifferently. Either is used even 
by careful writers in the sense of each or both, but 
the accurate distinction between the words is worth 

The steam may enter on either side (it makes no difference 
which, but only one at a time) of the piston. 

Houses had been built on each side (the one and the other) 
of the street. 

Both = two taken together. 

When the car stopped, both got off. 
Some = an indefinite part. 

Will you have some more paper? 
= an indefinite number. 

Some men are born fortunate. 


Any = one, taken indifferently from more than two. 

As any man can see. 

= an indefinite part, in a negative sentence (where 
some would be used in an affirmative sentence) and 
in an affirmative sentence where it equals the least 
bit of. 

I haven't any paper. 

Have you had any paper? 

Compare : Will you have some paper? 

No = not one. 

Where he went, no man knows. 
= not any. 

I have no information. 

Such = a correlative (48), the meaning of which is defined 
by a clause beginning with as, expressed or implied. 

Such people as they (are). 

I know such people (as they are). 

The partitive some or any is occasionally omitted, the idea 
being expressed by a phrase consisting of of and the substantive 
representing the whole of which the phrase expresses a part. 

Make no more coil, but buy of this oil. 
He always gives of his best. 

French regularly expresses the partitive adjective in this 
way, by the use of the preposition de, generally combined with 
the definite article; and the partitive pronoun by en, which is 
the equivalent of of it or of them. 

De 1'huile. 
Je lui en ai donne. 
II n'en a pas. 
II en a deux. 

French is particular to mark the partitive in nearly all cases, 
but English frequently expresses the partitive idea by the use of 
the substantive without a modifier. 

Us ont du courage. They have courage. 
Men have died and worms have eaten them. 


Nominal adjectives. Many nouns may be used as adjectives 
to limit a common noun to a single individual, or to a less 
inclusive class. 

The Washington correspondent. 
A telegraph pole. 

Often such an adjective and the noun it modifies together 
make up a compound proper noun (125). 

The Charles River. Washington Street. 

Instead of a nominal adjective a qualifying adjective derived 
from a noun is frequently used. 

A gold (or golden) apple. 

Adjectives are made up from proper nouns more freely in the 
other languages than in English. 

Die Cotta'sche Bibliothek. The Cotta Library. 
Havrais. Native of Havre. 

(c) Verbal adjectives. These are the adjective forms of 
verbs, called participles. (Latin, participium, partaking that 
is, sharing the nature of two things.) There are two kinds 
of participles, the so-called present and past participles (64). 
Present participles need to be distinguished from verbal nouns 
in -ing (42c). 

The bird, singing (participle) the familiar notes, flew up into the air. 
Its singing (verbal noun) was delightful. 

The present participle has three uses: (1) the qualifying adjec- 
tive use, where verbal characteristics are largely lost, (2) the 
strictly verbal adjective use, where characteristics of both adjec- 
tive and verb are clearly shown, and (3) the verbal use, in 
the formation of progressive tenses, (60e), where the adjective 
characteristics are largely lost. 

(1) Whistling girls and crowing hens. 

(2) Speaking for the first time without notes, he was visibly em- 

(3) I am standing. 


In the first example, there is still the idea of action present 
in the adjective, and in the third example, the present participle 
is not very different from a predicate adjective. Compare: 

I am erect. 

Je suis debout. (In this case French uses an adverb as if it were a 
predicate adjective, in the same sense as standing). 

The present participle is used more frequently in English than 
in the Romance languages. 

It is a child crying. 

C'est un enfant qui pleure. 

' The past participle (1) may become a descriptive adjective, 
or it may be used in forming the passive voice (58) or the 
compound tenses (60?;), in which case (2) its adjective force may 
still be felt, or (3) it may be entirely lost. 

(1) The spoken word. 

(2) The house was built of wood. (Hardly different from a predicate 

The house was built two years ago. (Passive tense.) 

(3) Have you been there? (Present tense, compound.) 
Compare, German: 

Das Haus war aus Holz gebaut. (Predicate adjective.) 
Das Haus wurde vor zwei Jahren gebaut. (Passive voice.) 
French : 

Where the adjective character is felt: 

Ds sont venus*' \ ( A S reement of Participle with subject.) 

Quels livres m'a-t-il donnesl ) (Agreement of participle with object 

Us se sont coupes. ) which precedes participle.) 

Where the adjective character is not felt: 
Nous avons dormi. 

II vous a donne deux livres. ) (Participle invariable when the object 
II s'est coupe la main. [ follows.) 

Spanish : 

Las siilas fueron quebradas. (Participle in passive agrees with 


Los libros que me ha dado. (Participle in compound tenses with 
haber invariable.) 

For the use of participles in absolute constructions see sec- 
tion 40. 



45. Adverbs (35) are words used as primary modifiers of 
verbs and predicate adjectives, and as secondary modifiers of 
other adjectives and adverbs. As modifiers of verbs they tell (1) 
when, (2) where, (3) why, or (4) how the action took place, or 
the state or change of state of being came about. 

Then (1) and there (2) the cause was lost. 
Therefore (3), let it be done quickly (4). 

As modifiers of adjectives and adverbs, adverbs (1) set a 
farther limit or (2) add a new quality to the limitation or 
quality already added by the word they modify. 

Scarcely (1) any roses are deeper (2) red. 

One class of adverbs demands special consideration, those 
which change an affirmation into a denial, and are called neg- 
atives (35). A negative statement is an expression of the fact 
that an idea has been predicated of a subject in thought, has 
been found untrue, and is denied. Negation may be expressed 
(1) by an adverb modifying the verb or (2) modifying an adjec- 
tive or adverb in the predicate; (3) by a negative adjective, or 
(4) an adjective made negative by a prefix, modifying the sub- 
ject or the complement; or (5) by a negative pronoun used as 
subject or complement. 

(1) Mind is not a material substance. 

(2) One that loved not wisely but too well. 

(3) No mind is a material substance. 

(4) Mind is an immaterial substance. 

(5) Nobody is here. That is nothing. 

An idea may be expressed with the negative in different places 
without changing the logical idea, and it should be remembered 
in translating that often different idioms place the negative 

None came. II ri'en arriva pas. 

In Anglo-Saxon the negative might be applied to many 
words in a sentence, and the result was simply a strengthening 
of the negation. 


. . . ond nan heort ne onscunede naenne leon, nenan hara naenne hund, 
ne nan neat nyste naenne andan ne naenne ege to othrum. (From the 
Alfredian version of the De Consolations Philosophic.) Literally trans- 
lated, " and no hart shunned not no lion, nor no hare no hound, nor no 
cattle knew not no ill will nor no fear to another." 

It is natural in early forms of language to strengthen the 
negative in this way, but as the users of a language grow more 
logical they come to feel that doubling a negative in a sentence 
is negating a negation and therefore that it is not correct 
except in the rare cases where it is desired to express such a 
round-about affirmative. 

No one who is not familiar with it can faintly realize what a strain 
is put upon Mr. Washington and Dr. Frissell by the perpetual begging 
which they must do. 

It should be noted that a negative adverb is not required 
in connection with the adverbs hardly and scarcely. 

I can hardly see him now. 

The is used as an adverb to modify adjectives and adverbs in 
the comparative degree (a) with the meaning, in any degree, and 
(6) with correlative meaning, in which the first the means by how 
much, and the second, by so much. 

(a) Thou shalt not be the worse for me. 

(6) And the sooner it's over, the sooner to sleep. 


46. Verbs are words which may be used as the second of 
the fundamental elements of a sentence in the various ways 
already explained (25-30). By "verbs," as the term is used 
here, is meant the finite parts of the verb; that is, those forms 
which express limitations of number and person (51, 54) . Besides 
these, there are the infinitives (42c), which are verbal nouns, and 
the participles (44c), which are adjectives. Neither infinitive 
nor participle is used as the second element of a sentence, 
but an infinitive may form the second element of a clause (38) 
and the present (42c) or past (34) participle may govern a 


complement. For the use of infinitives and participles in form- 
ing compound tenses, see section 60^. 

Verbs may be classed in various ways. According to the 
office which they perform in expressing the predicate, they may 
be grouped as explained in sections 26-30. According to the 
way in which the parts are formed they may be called (1) reg- 
ular, if they are formed as all new verbs which come into the 
language now are, and as irregular, if otherwise formed; or 
(2) as strong, if the past tense is formed without added termi- 
nation, and as weak, if the past tense is formed by the addition 
of -ed, -dj OT-t. If we divide verbs into strong and weak, we must 
recognize many different groups of strong verbs and many 
irregularities in the formation of weak verbs. (For the Forma- 
tion of Verbs see sections 64, 65.) If a verb has not all the 
mode and tense forms commonly occurring, it is called defective. 
There are no real defective verbs in English except the modal 
auxiliaries (see 62, 63) may, can, must, ought, and the auxiliary 
verbs (see below). Verbs which have no forms but those of 
the third person singular number are called impersonal. 

French: II faut, il fallait, etc. 

In English and German there are no special impersonal verbs, 
but many verbs are used impersonally. 

Methinks. It seems. May it please you. 
Mich diinkt. 

In general, verbs are used impersonally in English (1) when 
the grammatical subject is it, standing for the logical subject, 
which is a substantive, an infinitive, an infinitive phrase, or a 
clause in the grammatical predicate; (2) when the grammatical 
subject is it, and the verb expresses some climatic happening 
(see section 43b); (3) when the subject follows the verb, which 
is introduced by the adverb there. 

(1) It is hard to die. 

It is easy to learn that. 

It is unfortunate that he is away. 

(2) It thunders. 

(3) There were thirteen colonies then. There came a time. 


II y a, in French, and es giebt, in German, are used strictly 
impersonally; but the English equivalent, there is, has singular 
and plural forms to agree with the subject. Verbs such as 
shall, will, should, would, which are used with others to help 
form the various tenses (60), modes (59), and the passive voice 
(58), are called auxiliary verbs (61-63). 


47. A Preposition (Latin prcepositio(n), a placing before) is a 
word placed before a substantive, which is called the object of 
the preposition, to indicate the relation of the object to the 
word the prepositional phrase (38) modifies. Prepositions may 
be simple, that is, one word; or compound, that is, more than 
one word. 

On the street. 

Out of the house and into the street. 

His failure was owing to speculations. 

The object of a preposition may be (1) substantive, (2) an 
adverb used as a noun, (3) a phrase, or (4) a clause. 

(1) I went from New York. 

(2) He came from there. 

(3) They fired from behind the wall. 

(4) I know that from what he said. 

Prepositions are closely connected with adverbs (45), and 
readily become adverbs in many cases by the omission of the 
object; they are also closely connected with conjunctions (48). 

One of (preposition) the two came out (adverb) . 

It was after (preposition) noon and after (conjunction) I had gone. 


48. Conjunctions (37) are words or groups of words used to 

(1) Two or more coordinate words or groups of words. 

You and I. 

No one knows at what time or by what means he escaped. 

Women as well as men are admitted to that class. 


(2) A clause to the main part of the sentence. 
Clauses which may be so joined by conjunctions are of two 

(a) noun clauses (38), which require the conjunction that. 
(Often omitted when the clause is predicate object). 

It makes no difference that I did not like it. 
He knows (that) I said so. 

(b) adverb clauses. 

He left the hall when he saw me enter. 

Conjunctions are of three kinds: 

(1) Coordinating conjunctions. These conjunctions connect 
words or groups of words which are coordinate, that is to say, of 
the same grammatical nature and structure. (See illustrations 
in 48 (1) ). 

(2) Subordinating conjunctions. These conjunctions intro- 
duce clauses, which form subordinate parts of sentences. (See 
illustrations in 48 (2)). Many conjunctions which introduce 
adverb clauses are closely connected in origin and in meaning 
with adverbs, and are also called conjunctive or relative adverbs. 
Relative pronouns (430) might also be classed as subordinating 
conjunctions, for they introduce adjective and noun clauses 
just as the conjunctive adverbs introduce adverb clauses. 

(3) Correlative conjunctions. These conjunctions are either 
(a) coordinating or (b) subordinating: when coordinating, they 
connect a pair of words or of groups of words and stand in cor- 
relation with an adjective or an adverb which modifies the first 
of the pair and emphasizes the connection; when subordinating, 
they introduce a clause which defines the adjective, adverb, or 
pronoun which is the first member of the pair of correlatives. 

(a) Both this AND that. Either this OR that. 

Not only this BUT ALSO that 
(6) Such a man AS he (is). 

He will give you such AS you wish. 

This is as sweet AS that (is). 

It is not so sweet AS the first. 


(N.B. In an affirmative sentence the correlatives are as ... 
as, in a negative it is generally considered more exact to say 
so . . . as). 


49. Interjections have been sufficiently defined and illustrated 
in section 40. 


(For Topical Synopsis, see page xii) 

50. THE different parts of speech, except prepositions, con- 
junctions, and interjections, vary in form according to one or 
more of the grammatical changes known as number, gender, 
case, person, comparison, voice, mode, and tense. In this 
chapter each of these changes will be explained, and paradigms 
will be given of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and 
verbs. In each case the variations will be referred to a common 
form, which is generally the simplest and the most commonly 
used, and is always the form given primarily in dictionaries. 


51. The common form of the substantive is always used 
when a single one of the persons or things named is intended. 
This is called the singular number. If more than one is meant, 
another form of the word, called the plural number (Latin 
pluralis, from plus, more) is used. 

The General Rule for Forming the Plural 
The plural of nouns in English is formed, generally, by 
adding s to the singular, or, if the singular ends in s, x, z, sh, or ch 
pronounced as in church, by adding es, which is pronounced as 
a separate syllable. 

tea, teas boat, boats 

lens, lenses topaz, topazes 

box, boxes fish, fishes 

church, churches judge, judges 

Nouns ending in ce and ge form the plural regularly, but the 
final es is pronounced as a separate syllable. 



Exceptions to the General Rule 

Nouns of English origin ending in / or fe, preceded by I or a 
long vowel (except oo) } form the plural by changing the / or fe 
into ves. 

wolf, wolves loaf, loaves 

wife, wives wharf, wharves, wharfs 

Nouns ending in o, preceded by a consonant, generally form 
the plural by adding es. The variations from this rule are 
chiefly words of foreign origin which were introduced as tech- 
nical terms, like octavos, dominos, pianos. 

negro, negroes 

Nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant, form the plural 
by changing the y to i and adding es. 

lily, lilies (but valley, valleys) 

The plural of letters, figures, signs (and, in the usage of 
some writers of all words which are used to refer simply to the 
word) is generally formed by adding 's. 

Cross your t's. Four 8's. The +'s. 
Ands and ifs, or and's and if's. 
Compare French: Deux a, etc. 

The plural of some signs and abbreviations is formed by 
writing the whole or a part double. 

,= sections, 
pp. = pages. 
MSS. = manuscripts. 

The plural of surnames preceded by titles is formed in two 

Preferably, The Misses Brown, but also, The Miss Browns. 

Compare: French, Les deux Balzac, 

German, Die Briider Grimm. 

Compound words pluralize (1) the part which is modified 
by the rest of the word; (2) the whole compound ; when the 


distinction between main word and modifier is obscured; or (3) in 
a few cases, both parts. 

(1) war-horse, war-horses 
court-martial, courts-martial 

father-in law, fathers-in-law (N. B. father-in-law's) 

(2) cupful, cupfuls (one cup filled more than once) 
jack-in-the-pulpit, jack-in-the-pulpits 

(3) man-servant, men-servants 

Abstract nouns and nouns expressing material have, in ordi- 
nary use, no plural forms, or, to express it more exactly, the com- 
mon form is neuter number, that is, neither singular nor plural. 

goodness, purity; gold, paper. 
Nouns used as adjectives of measure have no plural form. 

A five-cent piece. A ten-foot pole. A six-foot man. 
Compare: German, 

Drei Zoll breit. Das kostet fiinf Mark. 

Une piece de vingt/rcmcs. 

Names of things which are made up of two parts which are 
almost or quite duplicates, and a few other nouns, have no sin- 
gular forms. 

trousers, shears; bowels, ashes (when the word refers to a heap) 
Some nouns are plural in form but singular in meaning, 
news, politics, ethics. 

Anglo-Saxon formed plurals in several ways besides those 
which give the modern English s form. Some of these are 
retained in modern English as irregular plurals. For example: 

man, men fish, fish (fishes) 

child, children brother, brethren (brothers) 

ox, oxen mouse, mice. 

Other languages, notably Latin and Italian, form the plural 
of substantives in other ways than by adding s, and some of 
these foreign plurals are used in English. For example: 


Latin, Italian, 

focus, foci dilettante, dilettanti 

index, (indexes) indices bandit, (bandits) banditti 
animalculum, animalcula Hebrew, 

formula, (formulas) formulae cherub, (cherubs) cherubim 
alumnus, alumni, alumnae Greek, 

datum, data phenomenon, phenomena 

In some cases where there are two plural forms, the two have 
come to have separate meanings, as in the case of the plurals of 
brother and of index. Where there is no such differentiation, as 
in the plurals of formula, there would seem to be no reason for 
retaining the foreign form. 

Awkward sounding plurals should be avoided. 
Two copies of The News. Not, Two Newses. 

Number of pronouns. The personal pronouns, including the 
reflexives and the possessives (adjectives and pronouns), have 
plurals, but they are strictly different words. 

I, we; thyself, yourselves; her, their; hers, theirs 
For demonstratives, see next paragraph. 

Number of adjectives. Adjectives (including participles) in 
Greek, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, the Romance languages, and Ger- 
man, regularly have plural forms to agree with the nouns they 
modify; but in modern English, adjectives have become invaria- 
ble. The demonstrative adjectives (and pronouns) are an excep- 
tion, for the difference between this and these, and between that 
and those is really difference in number. See also gender of ad- 
jectives (52) and case of adjectives (53). 

Number of verbs. Verbs may have different forms when 
used with plural subjects from those which are used with singular 
subjects, but these are not plural in the sense in which sub- 
stantives are plural: they do not indicate more than one action, 
they are used simply to agree with the subject (69). Modern 
English has but one form to indicate number; German, the 
Romance languages , Latin, and Greek have more. 

Dual. In Greek, Anglo-Saxon, and other of the earlier forms of lan- 
guage, there were dual forms, which expressed two as distinct from both 


the singular and the plural, in which case the plural expressed strictly 
more than two. But even in those languages the plural was frequently 
used in place of the dual, and in modern languages the dual has dis- 
appeared. We express duality by the addition of a word. 

We two were there. We were both there. 


52. If the common form of a substantive stands for a male 
person or a male animal whose sex is recognized, it is said to 
be of the masculine gender. If it stands for a female per- 
son or a female animal whose sex is recognized, it is said to 
be of the feminine gender. If it stands for an inanimate object 
or for an animal whose sex is not recognized, it is said to be 
of the neuter (neither) gender. If it may be used for either 
male or female, it is said to be of the common gender. 

Masculine, Feminine, Neuter, Common, 
boy girl stone cousin 

horse mare fish parent 

Even in the case of names of males and females of the same 
species, the substantives in English are in nearly all cases dis- 
tinct words rather than variations of the same word. (Boy, girl; 
horse, mare) . In Anglo-Saxon there were masculine and feminine 
suffixes which were added to single stems, but these are lost in 
modern English, except in a few cases, and in even these the 
allied words have been separated in meaning. 

Baker and Baxter (proper name) =bak-ster, a woman baker. 
Spinner and spinster (an unmarried woman) = spin-ster, a woman 

From Norman-French -esse (Latin -issa) English has taken 
one feminine suffix -ess, sometimes associated with the native 
agent suffix -er or the Latin agent suffix -or, which then becomes 
a masculine ending; and from other sources it has adopted 
sporadic cases of feminine endings. Many of the forms in -ess 
are obsolescent. 



(SEC. 52 





















Prefixes. Some neuter nouns, names of animals, and a few 
nouns of common gender may be made masculine or feminine by 
prefixing a distinguishing word. 




boy cousin 
girl cousin 

In Romance language all nouns, and in Greek,^ Latin, and 
German many nouns which in English are neuter. because they 
name inanimate objects, are either masculine or feminine. This 
is what is called grammatical gender, as distinct from natural 
gender which we have in English. 

Primitive men personified nature freely, and observing the boisterous 
character of the winds, for example, thought of them as masculine; 
while in the productive character of the earth, to take a single other illus- 
tration, they saw feminine nature. Such was, probably, the origin of 
grammatical gender, but in the development of language it has been 
disguised in many ways. We see traces of grammatical gender in Eng- 
lish in the more or less poetic tendency to speak of the sun as " he," and 
of the moon as " she "; and more distinctly in such cases as the sailor's 
habit of calling a ship " she." 

Any neuter noun which we personify may be given masculine 
or feminine gender. 

Time swiftly wings his way. 

In Greek and Latin some names of animals were always 
either masculine or feminine without regard to the sex of the 
individual animal. These are called epicene nouns. For 

lepus, hare, is always masculine, 
vulpes, fox, is always feminine. 

We see traces of this habit in English in the tendency to 
speak of a dog always as " he," and of a cat always as " she/' 


in the use of the word horse even when speaking of a mare, and 
in a few similar cases. 

Gender of pronouns. The personal pronouns, the possessives 
(pronouns and adjectives), and the reflexives, in the third per- 
son, singular number, have masculine, feminine, and neuter 
forms; and the relative and interrogative who has the corre- 
sponding neuter form what. No other pronouns have variations 
for gender. 

he she it 

his her its 

his hers its 

himself herself itself 

Gender of adjectives. In languages which have variable 
adjectives (51, 53), the adjective agrees in gender with the noun 
it modifies. This is true of Anglo-Saxon, but the distinctive 
endings were lost in middle English. 


53. The common form (50) of the noun is used in all lan- 
guages as subject of the verb; in addition there are in the 
different languages six other forms, called cases, which serve 
to express different constructions in the sentence. In English, 
the common form of a noun may be used as subject, complement, 
indirect object, resultant predicate object, object of a preposition, 
adjective or adverbial modifier, or as an independent element. 
In addition to the common case, there is but one other case that 
is marked with a special form, that which names the person 
(rarely the thing) who possesses the object named by the noun 
immediately following or implied in the context. This is called 
the possessive case. 

Mount Vernon was Washington's home, and Monticello was 


The possessive case is seldom used in speaking of things, ex- 
cept (1) when the thing is personified, that is to say, treated 
as if it had personal life, and (2) in a few idiomatic expressions. 


The equivalent form for neuter nouns is a prepositional phrase 
with of, placed after the noun (3). 

(1) That is not Nature's (personified) way. 

(2) A stone's throw. 

(3) The roof of the house is red. 

The possessive case is also used idiomatically to express other 
ideas than that of possession, most of which may likewise be 
expressed by a prepositional phrase with of or for. 

Scott's novels. 

Men's shoes. 

A four years' course. (Cf. A four-year course.) 

A dollar's worth. 

There is no need of the guide's going. (Not: the guide going.) 

The object of an action named by a noun is generally more 
accurately expressed by a phrase introduced by of than by the 
possessive case. 

The murder of the prince. 

Rule for forming possessive. Nouns have possessive forms 
in both the singular and the plural. The possessive singular 
is regularly marked by the addition of an apostrophe (') and s, 
the possessive plural is generally marked by the addition of an 
apostrophe. The exact rule is best stated as follows: To plural 
nouns ending in s add an apostrophe after the s; to all other 
nouns add 's. 

Some make an exception to this rule in the case of nouns which 
end in the singular in s, to which they add only the apostrophe; 
but in speaking the more common practice is to add an extra 
syllable in forming the possessive singular, so that it would seem 
more logical not to make this exception. 

Davy Jones's locker. 
Charlie Tufts's Hill. 

Exceptions to the rule are made, however, in the cases of a few 
special phrases, to avoid piling up the s-sounds. 

For conscience* sake. 


The possessive of compound nouns is formed by adding the ' or 
's to the whole noun. 

Smith and Brown's. 

Colloquially this rule is applied to long and loosely-made com- 

The man who keeps the store's daughter. 

In Middle English, both the possessive singular and the common plural 
forms were regularly spelled es, and when the e was dropped in pro- 
nunciation and from the written word, the habit grew up of writing an 
apostrophe in place of the lost e in the possessive singular to distinguish 
it from the plural. Later the apostrophe, which had come to be looked 
upon as the sign of the possessive, was carried over into the plural, but 
was written after the s to differentiate that form from the possessive 
singular. By a process of popular interpretation, the 's was supposed to 
be a contraction for his, and in some cases the his was actually " restored." 

The king his crown. 

Cases of pronouns. The pronoun is, in English, the only part 
of speech besides the noun which has case variation. Many 
pronouns have, instead of a common case, a form for the object 
case and a form for the subject case. The pronoun who has also 
a form for the possessive case, whose, and the personal pronouns 
have forms for the possessive case, but these have been so far 
differentiated as to be generally classed as possessive adjectives 
and possessive pronouns (43c and 446). These possessive adjec- 
tives and pronouns, it should be noted, are never correctly 
written with an apostrophe. The apostrophe is most frequently 
incorrectly inserted in its, which may easily be confused with 
it's, the contraction of it is. 
It's its wing that is hurt. 

Cases of adjectives. In Greek, Latin, and German, adjec- 
tives have case forms as well as forms for number (51) and 
gender (52); in the Romance languages they have forms for 
gender and number only, and in English they have only the 
common form, except as they express comparison (55). In 
German, it should be noted, a single adjective may express its 
structure in three ways: (1) by a set of endings called " weak," 


used when the adjective is preceded by a pronominal limiting 
word; (2) by a set of endings called " strong," used when the 
adjective in the attributive position is not so preceded; and 
(3) by the word with no endings at all, when it is used predi- 
catively, appositively, or when it is used as an adverb. 

Cases in other languages. In modern German and in Anglo-Saxon 
there are four cases, which are named according to the terminology 
developed in Latin grammar. The nominative is the subject case; the 
genitive is the equivalent of the modern English possessive or of an object 
with of; the dative expresses the indirect object, and is often the equiv- 
alent of an object with to or for; the accusative is used as the object of the 
verb and of some prepositions. In addition to these cases, Latin has the 
vocative, the case of direct address; the ablative, which is the equivalent 
of an object with from, by, with, in, or at; the locative, which expresses 
the place at which; and the instrumental, which, in the case of a few 
adverbs formed from nouns, is used to express the instrument by which 
the action is performed. Traces of this last named case are also found 
in the early forms of Anglo-Saxon and German. Greek has nominative, 
genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative. The Romance languages origi- 
nally had two cases for substantives, a subject case from the Latin nom- 
inative, and an object case from the other cases in Latin ; but they finally 
lost the subject case forms, so that the object case became the common 
and only case form. 


54. The common form of the noun may name any person or 
thing spoken about, any person spoken to, or in special cases 
the person speaking. Certain pronouns, however, have special 
forms to distinguish these three different persons. A pronoun 
representing the speaker is said to be in the first person; one rep- 
resenting the person spoken to is said to be in the second per- 
son; and one representing a person or thing spoken of is said to 
be in the third person. These variations appear only in the 
personal pronouns and in the possessives. 

The second-person forms. The second person singular is replaced by 
the second person plural in modern English except in the " exalted 
style" (for example, in prayer). The second person singular is often 
replaced in the Romance languages and in German: in French by vous 
(second, plural), in Spanish by Usted ("your grace," third, singular), in 
German by Sie (third, plural). In these languages the second person 
singular is generally used in familiar address, where in English the 
Christian name would be used. 


Third-person forms. There are no personal pronouns of the third 
person in Latin, and only a few forms in Greek; indeed, these forms are 
of comparatively late development in language, and are in origin not 
personal pronouns at all, but demonstratives. He, his, him, her, are 
forms of an old demonstrative, and show case endings which exactly 
correspond to those of modern German. (H)it was the neuter of the 
same demonstrative, having the neuter ending t, which also appears in 
what and that. Its is a late form modeled on his (53c) . She, they, their, 
and them were similarly formed from the demonstrative which has given 
us the. The Anglo-Saxon form for them was (h)em, and that form is 
still used colloquially. 

Personal endings of verbs. In early forms of language the 
personal pronouns were appended to the verb, and in time these 
came to be looked on as verb terminations marking three per- 
sons in the singular and three in the plural. In Greek and 
Latin there are many distinct personal terminations and some 
of these show very clearly their origin. 

English Latin Indo-European (theoretic forms) 

am sum (me) es-mi 

art es (te) es-si 

is est es-ti 

are sumus (nos) s-masi 

are estis s-tasi 

are sunt s-anti 

In Anglo-Saxon and in the older forms of German a number 
of these terminations still appear, but in the modern languages 
they have been largely worn away. This has been carried so 
far in English that now the regular verb has only one form 
which marks person, the form ending in s, which is third person 
singular, and is found only in the present tense of the indicative. 
There are also the archaic forms still used in the exalted style: 
ending in st for the second person singular (thou likest), and in 
th for the third person singular (he liketh) (64). In the irregular 
verbs there are some half dozen other personal forms (61, 62) . 


55. The common form of adjectives and adverbs expresses 
the limitation or quality positively, that is to say, without regard 
to whether any other object possess more or less of that limita- 
tion or quality. This is called the positive degree. 


The club has few members, but they are all rich men. 

There is a special form to indicate that the person or thing 
represented by the noun modified has the quality or limitation 
to a greater degree compared with another person or thing. This 
form is called the comparative degree. 

If there were fewer heirs, each would be richer. 

There is also a special form to indicate that the person or thing 
has the quality or limitation to the greatest degree of all con- 
sidered. This form is called the superlative degree. 

The vice-president is the richest man in the club. 
The superlative is sometimes used in an absolute sense. 

My dearest wife. 

The comparative and superlative degrees are regularly made 
from the common form (positive degree) by adding the syllables 
-er and -est, as in the illustrations above; but they may also be 
made by placing before the common form the word more for 
the comparative and the word most for the superlative. The -r, 
-est method of formation, Anglo-Saxon had in common with 
German; the more, most method was developed in English under 
the influence of French. 

schon, schoner, schonst 

beau, plus beau, le plus beau 

More and most are generally used with adjectives of more 
than one syllable except those ending in y, and with adverbs 
formed from adjectives by adding -ly. 

This is the most beautiful rose in the bouquet. 
He ran more quickly this time. 

In a similar way comparative and superlative degrees of in- 
feriority may be formed by the use of the words less and least. 

He finds it less easy to walk now. 

The most successful man was the least satisfied. 

Some adjectives and adverbs form their comparatives and super- 
latives in irregular ways. In reality the " irregular " forms (1) 

SEC. 56) 



have varied under some phonetic influence or (2) were formed 
from positives which have been since lost. 

(1) old elder, older eldest, oldest 

(2) good better best 
much more most 

When a positive ends in y preceded by a consonant, the y is 
changed to i before -er or -est 


merrier, merriest 

56. As a result of the variation in number, gender, case, 
person, and comparison, we have the following forms of nouns, 
pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs: 








Common case 





Possessive case 


giants' giantess's 


N.B. Except in a few cases, each noun has a single gender 
form: masculine, feminine, or neuter. 




First person 



First person 



Subject case 




he, she, it 





Object case, 



him, her, it 







(SEC. 56 



First person 



First person 









Possessive (Adjectives') 










Possessive (Pronouns) 










this (near speaker) 
that (farther from speaker) 
the (definite article) 



Subject case 

who (used of 

which (used of things 
to distinguish be- 
tween two or more) 

what (used of things 




of which, or 

of what 

Object case 





The relatives who, which, and what have the same forms as 
the interrogatives. 

SEC. 58) 



Collective and Partitive 

Collective and partitive pronouns have only the common 
form (50), except that those which end in -one or -body make a 
possessive case by adding 's. 

Common case 

some one 



some one's 







more beautiful 
less happy 

most beautiful 
least happy 



more quickly 
less frequently 

most quickly 
least frequently 

Variations which affect Verbs only 

57. In addition to number (51) and person (54) verbs have 
special forms to express voice, mode, and tense. The common 
form, to which all other forms will be referred, is the infinitive 
without the to. 


58. The difference in the meaning and use of the active and 
the passive voices has already been explained (29). In Greek 
and Latin the verbs have special forms for the passive as dis- 
tinct from the active forms (Latin: amare, active infinitive; 
amari, passive infinitive); but in modern Romance languages, 
in German, and in English, the passive forms have disappeared 


with the single exception of that one which is regularly called 
the past participle. In English the passive is formed by com- 
bining the past participle of the verb to be made passive with 
the auxiliary verb to be (64). In the Romance languages the 
passive is formed in the equivalent way; and in German also, 
except that German uses instead of the verb sein, to be, the 
verb werden, to become. 

Active Passive 

I see, I am seen, 

he saw, he was seen, 

you have seen, you have been seen. 

In addition to the active and the passive voices, Greek and Sanskrit 
have a middle voice (midway between active and passive) which repre- 
sents the same individual as actor and receiver of the action. In some 
cases the meaning of this voice is about the same as that of the active. 
It is expressed in modern languages by the reflexive verbs (43d, e). 
French: se couper, s'en alter. German: sich bewegen. 

Active Passive Reflexive Reciprocal 

We ask, we are asked, we ask ourselves, we ask each other. 


59. Verbs have special forms to express different manners, or 
modes as they are called, of conceiving the idea for which the 
verb stands. 

Indicative mode. The commonest of the finite forms of the 
verb indicate (without further modal implications) that the 
speaker or writer means to express the idea as a fact in either 
a declarative, an interrogative, or an exclamative form. These 
forms make up what is called the indicative mode. It is to be 
noted that the mode is determined by the user's desire to indi- 
cate the idea as a fact, not at all by the truth of the assertion. 
The verb in Two and two are five is in the indicative in spite 
of the statement's being absurd. It is also to be noted that a 
negative statement (Two and two are not five, for example) is no 
less indicated as a fact than an affirmative statement (45). 

Imperative mode. Other forms of the verb serve to show 


that the idea is expressed not as a fact but as a command. 
These forms make up the imperative mode (Latin imperativus, 
from imperare, to command). Forcefulness of command is 
expressed by emphasis or by the addition of reenforcing words; 
exhortation or entreaty, in which the command is softened, is 
expressed by tone of voice, often by putting before the verb the 
word do or the word please. 

Go! Go, I tell you! Do go! Please go. 

In modern English the subject of the imperative is generally 
omitted, though it may be expressed for emphasis. 

You do as I tell you! 

There is but one strictly imperative form in English, for we 
can command only the person or persons addressed, and the 
second persons singular and plural of the verb in English have 
the same form. The so-called first person singular and the third 
persons singular and plural imperatives are strictly indirect, 
that is to say, they are commands addressed to some individual 
or individuals (second person) to permit the first or the third 
person to do something. These forms are expressed by the im- 
perative of the verb let followed by a clause (38) consisting of 
(1) the substantive standing for the individual or individuals to 
be indirectly commanded, (2) the infinitive (without to) of the 
verb which expresses what is to be done by the individual or 
individuals, and (3) the complement of the verb, if any. A sim- 
ilarly formed first-person plural is strictly an exhortation to the 
individual or individuals addressed to join the speaker in doing 
the act expressed by the infinitive. 

Direct imperative: Do it! (you, thou or ye). 
Indirect imperative: Let me do it! 

Let him do it! 

Let them do it! 
Hortative: Let us do it! 

In German and the Romance languages the imperative is similarly 
expressed, except that each of these languages has separate forms for 
singular and plural, and that the present subjunctive is used for the in- 

76 SENTENCES (Sec. 59 

direct forms. French has a first person plural direct imperative, and 
introduces the indirect forms by que, really omitting the equivalent of 
the English let. 

(Permettez) Qu'il le fasse! 

Conditional mode. Other verb forms serve to show that the 
idea is expressed not as a fact but as dependent upon the fulfill- 
ment of some condition. This mode of expression is called 
conditional. The part of the sentence in which a condition is 
expressed is called the condition; the part which expresses the 
idea dependent upon the condition is called the conclusion. It 
is the conclusion, if any part, which has the verb in the con- 
ditional mode. 

I should like to go (conclusion) if I could (condition). 
The condition is often unexpressed. 

I should say so. 
Here the condition implied is something like this: 

// 1 must express an opinion, I should say so. 

The conditional can be expressed in English only by the use 
of an auxiliary verb. Both should and would are used, the 
distinction being explained in section 60. German uses sub- 
junctive forms of werden as auxiliary to form the conditional 
mode. The Romance languages have a special tense form (60g) . 

I should say. 
Ich wiirde sagen. 
Je dirais. 

Subjunctive (optative). The three modes, indicative, impera- 
tive, and conditional, are all that are in common use in English; 
but in earlier forms of languages there were two other important 
ways of expressing ideas not as facts. First, an idea may be 
conceived not as a fact but as a wish, and the mode which 
expresses this is called the optative mode (Latin optativus, 
from optare, to wish). Second, an idea may be conceived not 
as a fact but as a subordinate idea expressing condition, hy- 


pothesis, or contingency. This mode is called subjunctive (Latin 
subjunctivus, from subjungere, to subjoin, to make subordinate). 
The optative is found in Greek, but has disappeared as a 
recognized mode from the other languages, many of its uses hav- 
ing been assumed by the subjunctive. The subjunctive is found 
in Greek, Latin, the Romance languages, and German. In 
English, on account of the wearing away of the distinguishing 
endings, the subjunctive has almost entirely disappeared. There 
are subjunctive forms in the verb to be (61), and the third person 
singular present of any verb may be made subjunctive by drop- 
ping the distinguishing s of the corresponding indicative form; 
but these are the only distinct subjunctive forms in use in modern 

If this be I, as I think it be. 

If he but blench, I know my course. 

The only general use of the subjunctive in modern English is 
to express a subordinate idea which is doubtful or contrary to 

I wish it were so. 

Were it so. (If it were so.) 

If (or though) he were here, I would not speak to him. 

In addition there are a few special uses. 

I suggest that he go. 

No, I had rather go myself. 

I move that the secretary cast one vote. 

In older forms of English, verbs were in the subjunctive in 
clauses introduced by if, whether, provided, though, so that, lest, 
until, till, ere, unless, except; and this usage is retained by many. 
It is more logical, however, even in these cases, to restrict the 
use of the subjunctive to the expression of ideas which are 
doubtful or contrary to fact. 

In Romance languages the commonest use of the subjunctive 
is in subordinate clauses expressing subjectivity, that is to say, 
ideas which are recognized not as facts but rather as personal 
interpretations or feelings. 


In German the subjunctive has most of the common uses of 
the original subjunctive and optative, and a somewhat special 
use, that of expressing indirect statements. 

Er antwortete, er achte Friedrich und wunsche den Frieden. 
Wir wissen kaum, was zu thun sei. 

Potential mode. Modal auxiliaries. An idea may be con- 
ceived not as a fact but as something possible, permissible) or 
obligatory, and the verbal forms used in English to express such 
ideas are commonly grouped together as the potential mode. 
No such mode is recognized in any other language than English, 
the ideas being in part expressed by the subjunctive, in part 
by auxiliaries which add the idea of possibility, permissibility, 
or obligation. In English all these ideas are expressed by 
auxiliaries used with the infinitive (without to), so that it is 
more logical to speak of the modal auxiliaries than of a separ- 
ate mode. The forms and the meanings of these auxiliaries 
are given in sections 62 and 63. 

Infinitives and participles. In addition to the above-men- 
tioned modes there are the infinitives and participles, which are 
sometimes called separate modes. The uses of the infinitives 
in clauses (38) and as nouns (42c) have been explained; for 
their uses in verb formation see sections 59, 60, and 64. The 
uses of the participles as adjectives have been explained (44c); 
for their uses in verb formation see sections 58, 60, and 64. 


60. Verbs liave different forms to express the time of the . 
action or of the state of being. These are called differences 
in tense (Old French tens, from Latin tempus, time, tense). 
Time we divide into present, past, and future, and there are 
present, past, and future tenses. 

Present : Here am I. 
Past: He wrote to them 
Future: You will try. 


(a) Tense represents relative and not absolute distinctions, 
consequently we have different tenses according to the point from 
which we view the time of the action. We may look at an act 
from some point in the present, from some point in the past, 
or from some point in the future; and, since the act itself may 
be from the point at which we consider it, present, past, or future, 
we have the following theoretical combinations: 

Point from which Time relative to 
the act is viewed: that point: 

Present: present, To-day, it is finished. 

past, Before now, it was finished. 

future, Now, it will be finished. 
Past: present, Yesterday, it was finished. 

past, Last week, it had been finished two days. 

future, By Thursday, we knew it would be 

Future: present, To-morrow, I shall know that it is finished. 

past, Friday, it will have been finished. 

future, A week from now, it will still be going to 
be finished. 

(b) Some languages have several distinct forms (each with 
variation to express person and number) for different tenses; 
Greek, for example, has seven. English and German can express 
or imply all the distinctions in time indicated above and others 
of more subtle nature, but for that purpose these languages have 
only two special tense forms; all the other tenses are made up 
in English by combining two or more verb forms to express a 
single tense idea, making what may be called bi-verbal tenses, 
or by combining two or more verb forms to express a compound 
tense idea, making what are called compound tenses. 

Formation of Present and Past Tenses 

(c) Simple present and past tenses. The formation of these 
tenses will be explained in section 65. At present they may be 
indicated as follows: 

Present Past 

Weak, regular, I stay I stayed 

irregular, I have I had 

Strong, I run I ran 

irregular, 1 am I was 

80 SENTENCES (Sec 60. 

(d) The bi-verbal present and past tenses are the progressive 
and the emphatic tenses. 

(e) The progressive tenses are formed by combining the pres- 
ent participle of the verb expressing the action or state with 
the appropriate parts of the verb to be. The present participle 
is in origin a predicate adjective. 

Simple Progressive 

Present, I speak I am speaking 

Past, I spoke I was speaking 

(/) The emphatic tenses are formed by combining the in- 
finitive (without to) of the verb which is to be made emphatic 
with the appropriate parts of to do used as the auxiliary. The 
infinitive is in origin the predicate object of the verb to do. 

Simple Emphatic 

Present, I say I do say 

Past, I said I did say 

The Use and Meaning of the Present and Past Tenses 

(g) Simple present. The simple present is used to express 
customary action of a universal or of a definite nature. 

I speak English. (It is my native tongue, or I have mastered it.) 
I speak French in the class on Thursdays. (Customary action 

(h) Absolute present. If the verb to be is used with an ad- 
verb of time expressed or implied, it is strictly present in 
meaning; if not, it is used in a tenseless or absolute sense. 

This steel is red-hot. (At the present moment.) 

Steel is the most useful metal. (A universal or absolute statement.) 

The simple tenses of to be are often ambiguous, when used with- 
out an adverb to make the time definite. For example, He is 
cross may express a momentary state or a fixed characteristic. 
Spanish avoids this ambiguity by using estar (to stand) as 
the auxiliary to express a momentary state and ser (to be) to ex- 
press a fixed characteristic. 


(i) Simple past. The simple past tense is generally used in 
expressing past events which are not considered in relation to 
other contemporaneous past events. 
I came, I saw, I conquered. 

(j) Progressive tenses. The progressive tenses indicate that 
the action is progressing at the moment from which the action 
or the state is considered. These forms do not occur in Ger- 
man or French, and though they are used in Spanish and Italian 
they are not so common as in English. 

In verbs expressing action (29), state of being, or change of 
state (28), the progressive is the common present tense in Eng- 

I am speaking English. (At the present moment.) 
Compare the use of the simple present tense above. The verb 
to be is not used in the progressive form except when it is used 
as the auxiliary forming the passive. 

I am ill. 

I am being betrayed. 

If two past events which happened at the same time are to 
be expressed, the one which is looked upon as the more mo- 
mentary is put in the simple past, the one which is looked upon 
as of longer duration, as progressing at the moment when the 
other took place, may be expressed by the progressive past. The 
difference may be one of attitude toward the events rather than 
of important difference in the events themselves. 

While I was speaking, he entered. 
He was entering as I spoke. 

Too frequent use of the progressive past is felt to be objec- 
tionable, but often when the simple past is used, the progressive 
would express the idea more accurately. 

(k) Though French, like German, has no progressive tenses, 
it has, like the other Romance languages, two simple past tenses 
which in a way correspond to the English simple and progres- 
sive past tenses. One tense is more strictly limited to past 


narration (therefore sometimes called the " narrative past ") 
than the English simple past; the other is more strictly limited 
to past description (therefore sometimes called the " descriptive 

Je parlais (descriptive) lorsqu'il entra (narrative). 

II me montra (narrative) la croix qu'il portait (descriptive). 

J'y allais (descriptive) tous les jours. 

(/) Historical presents. Both the simple and the progressive 
presents are sometimes used to express action or state of being 
which really took place in the past. Strictly these so-called 
historical presents do not express past time; rather the narrator 
would indicate that the action is so real to him that it is in his 
imagination as if taking place at the present moment, and it is 
this vivid, imaginary present action that he reports. Some lan- 
guages use the historical present very freely, but in English it is 
not considered good use to employ it except to give unusual 
vividness. In a similar way the present may be used to give 
vivid expression to a future tense idea. 
We leave tomorrow. 

(m) The emphatic tenses. In an affirmative statement, the 
emphatic tenses are seldom used except in reply to a negative 
assertion, expressed or inferred; in negative statements and in 
interrogations, the do is regularly used, without being necessarily 
emphatic, except with the verb to be and the modal auxiliaries 
59, 63, 63. 

You do not try. 
I do try every time. 
Do you think so? 
Are you sure? 
I ought to be. 

The Future Tenses 

(ri) Origin of the future tenses in English. Anglo-Saxon had 
no future tense, but used the present to express also future 
action, just as modern English does in certain cases, especially 
in clauses. 

I am going to New York next week. 
I will give it to him when he comes. 


Certain verbs, however, by virtue of expressing one act in 
the present, entail another act which is future. 

I wish to go in half an hour. 

The act of wishing takes place in the present, but the act of 
going, the act which is wished, is to take place in the future. 
The verbs most commonly used in Anglo-Saxon thus to express 
the entailing of future acts were sculan (shall) and willan (will). 
Even in the early forms of the language, where they were inde- 
pendent verbs, they were frequently used with other verbs to 
express little but the idea of futurity, and in the development 
of the language their special meanings came to be, in certain 
cases, almost entirely ignored, so that they were used as simple 
auxiliaries with an infinitive (without to) as predicate object to 
make up a bi-verbal future tense. In other cases, something 
of their original special meanings was retained. Consequently 
there are in modern English two bi-verbal tenses using shall 
and will as auxiliaries with the infinitive, one expressing simply 
the future tense idea, the other expressing a modal (59) future 
idea. There are, however, various uses of shall and will, and 
the distinctions are very confusing unless the original meanings 
are kept in mind. 

Shall, in its original use as an independent verb, expressed the 
idea of duty or of some form of necessity coming on one from 
some other source than one's personal desire. 

The duty I shall Priam (Chaucer). Compare German sollen. 

Will, in its original use as an independent verb, expressed a 
wish or a will-act of some sort. Compare the noun will and 
German wollen. 

I wol him noght thogh thou were deed tomorwe. 

In the time of Shakspere, these verbs had become true aux- 
iliaries but still had their original meaning: will was used as a 
future auxiliary, but always with the sense of desire on the 
part of the person represented by the subject of the verb; shall 


was used as a future auxiliary, but always with the sense of 
inevitable futurity without regard to the will of the subject. 

(o) Present use of the future auxiliaries. Present usage is the 
same as that of Shakspere's time for the first person. 

I shall go to the city, and will try to get the book. 

For the other persons, the auxiliaries have come to be used diff- 
erently. The reason for this change is found in the fact that 
while the speaker knows well what his own desires are, and 
naturally looks upon anything which is to take place, not as a 
result of his will-act, as something inevitable, he does not know 
the desires and the necessities of others as well, and naturaDy 
hesitates to interpret the act of another as compulsory when he 
has no ground for such interpretation. Consequently will, which 
assumes that the subject is going to act because he wishes to, 
has come to be the regular auxiliary for the second and third 

You and he will certainly come. 
We have then a future tense made up as follows: 

Future tense 

I shall go we shall go 

you will go you will go 
he will go they will go 

(p) The modal future auxiliaries. Will in the first person, 
as we have seen, has always expressed desire on the part of the 
subject. When shall was given up as the future auxiliary in 
the second and third persons, it was retained as a modal future 
in those cases in which the speaker could assert that the sub- 
ject was to act upon compulsion, that is to say, when the 
speaker himself was to compel the subject to act. 

He shall pay for this! (I am going to compel him.) 

In this way a modal future tense was made up which retained 
the older meanings of the auxiliaries in full force. Further- 
more, the auxiliary used with each person in this way may have 


different meanings according as it is used emphatically or 
unemphatically, so that in a sense we have, in addition to the 
future tense, two modal futures. 

Emphatic modal future 

I will go (I am determined to go) 

you shall go (I am determined on your going) 

he shall go (I am determined on his going) 

we will go (We are determined to go) 

you shall go (I am determined on your going) 

they shall go (I am determined on their going) 

Unemphatic modal future 

I will go (I am willing to go) 

you shall go (I give you permission to go) 

he shall go (I give him permission to go) 

we will go (We are willing to go) 

you shall go (I give you permission to go) 

they shall go (I give them permission to go) 

In order to give emphatic expression to the idea of compul- 
sion from without in the first person, or to the idea of desire in 
the second or third person, it is necessary to use some other 
word than the future auxiliaries, for as we have seen, they have 
in these cases lost all but the idea of futurity. 

I must, should, ought, or am obliged to go. 
You are willing or are determined to go. 

(q) German, as well as Anglo-Saxon, originally had no future tense, and 
has made up one by using werden, to become, as an auxiliary. Latin 
had a simple future tense of the same stem as the present, but that tense 
was dropped out of use in the form of the language from which the 
Romance languages developed. In its place an expression consisting of 
the infinitive of the verb and the appropriate parts of habere, to have, 
was used for the future, something like the English expression to have 
to go. At first habere was used as an auxiliary, but later the forms 
were suffixed to the infinitive and were looked upon as tense endings. 
For examples, in French, je donnerai was originally the infinitive donner 
plus ai, the first person singular of avoir, to have. 

It should be noted that the future tense in the Romance languages, 
and the future forms with werden in German translate only the future of 
English. Such modal auxiliary forms as / will go and you shall go call 
for a word to express the idea of the modal auxiliary and another word 
to express the idea of the infinitive go. 


(r) Progressive futures. Corresponding to the future tenses 
just explained there are progressive future tenses made up in the 
same way as the progressive present and past. 

I shall be going (progressive future). 

He shall be going (progressive modal future). 

(s) Indirect futures. In an indirect quotation (77) which is de- 
pendent upon a verb in a past tense, all tenses which would be , 
present in the direct form of quotation are changed to past 
tenses; and in the same way the auxiliaries shall and will are 
changed to forms which were originally simple past tenses of 
these verbs : should and would (62) . This makes up a tense which 
is often called conditional because it is in form the same 
as the conditional mode, but it is better to call it the indirect 
future. In the indirect quotation should is used when shall 
would be required in the direct quotation, and would is simi- 
larly used for will. 

I said, " I will go." I said I would go. 

I said, " You shall go." I said you should go. 

He said, " I will go." He said he would go. 

We said, " You shall go." We said you should go. 

You said, " I am afraid I shall die." You said you were afraid you 

should die. 

In a similar way might and could are used as indirect forms 
for may and can (63). 

(t) It is to be noted that in the true conditional mode should 
is used by those who are careful in their use of these words 
with the first person singular and plural, and would with the 
other persons, just as shall and will are used in the future. 

~ If he had come I should have seen him and you would have seen 
him too. 

Special uses of should and would. There are two other uses 
of should and one use of would that should be noted here. 
Should is used in all persons in the sense of ought. 

You should do better than you do. 


Should is used in a future condition (not in the conclusion, 
which is in the conditional mode) to express doubt as to the 
fulfillment of the condition. 

If it should rain, I would not come. 

If it rains, I will not come. 

Would is used to express customary or regularly repeated 
action in the past. 

Every day while I was ill, some one would call. 

(u) The difficulties in the use of shall and will, should and 
would arise chiefly in the first person. There is a strong popular 
tendency to use will and would in the first person as well as in 
the other persons for the future (not modal), but such usage is not 
correct. It is a good rule to keep in mind to avoid the use of 
will and would with the first person except when it is the inten- 
tion to express a distinct idea of willing on the part of the " first 
person." Note particularly the following cases: 

I shall be unable to keep the appointment. (Will, which is frequently 

used in such expressions as this, would contradict the idea expressed 

by unable.) 
I shall be pleased to call. (Will, which is frequently used here, is not 

required because the desire is sufficiently expressed by pleased.) 
I should like to accept. (The conditional equivalent of shall in the 

preceding sentence.) 

Generally the auxiliaries are correctly used with the second and 
third persons. The following case, however, needs attention. 

Shall you go to New York ? I shall. 

Shall is used here with the second person, apparently contrary 
to the general usage, but in an interrogation the auxiliary is re- 
quired by careful usage that is expected in the answer. Will 
here would mean, Are you wil 

The Compound Tenses 

(v) In addition to the three present and three past tenses 
(simple, progressive, and emphatic), and the eight futures (future, 
indirect future, modal future, indirect modal future, and the 


four progressive forms), there are compound tenses, correspond- 
ing to each of the above except the emphatics, made up of the 
participle of the verb (present participle for the progressive 
tenses and past participle for all others) and the appropriate 
tense of the verb to have used as an auxiliary. 


Simple present, 

I say 

I have said 

Progressive present, 

I am saying 

I have been saying 

Emphatic present, 

I do say 

Simple past, 

I said 

I had said 

Progressive past, 

I was saying 

I had been saying 

Emphatic past, 

I did say 


I shall say 

I shall have said 

Progressive future, 

I shall be saying 

I shall have been say- 


Indirect future, 

I should say 

I should have said 

Progressive indirect future, 

I should be saying 

I should have been say- 


Modal future, 

I will say 

I will have said 

Progressive modal future, 

I will be saying 

I will have been saying 

Indirect modal future, 

I would say 

I would have said 

Progressive indirect modal 

I would be saying 

I would have been say- 

future . 


The chief distinction in meaning between the compound and 
the simple tenses is that while the simple tenses represent the 
action as present, past, or future at the time when the verb is 
spoken or written, the compound tenses represent the action 
as past (completed or perfected) at the time (present, past, or 
future) expressed by the auxiliary. / have said indicates that 
the saying is past at the moment (present), expressed by have. 
I had said indicates that the saying was past at the moment 
(past) expressed by had. I shall have said indicates that the 
saying will be past at the moment (future) expressed by shall hhve. 

(w) The compound of the present is used to express two some- 
what different ideas: 

(1) To express an action begun in the past and recently 

I have finished reading the book I began when you were here. 


This idea of recentness is often strengthened by the addition of 
the word just. 

I have just finished it. French: Je viens de le finir. 

(2) To express a past act, not in relation to things in the 
past, but as it affects the present. 

I have been in Europe. (I am now conscious of and affected by 
that past experience.) 

(x) The compound of the past is used only when some other 
past time has already been expressed or implied. It indicates 
that the action which it expresses was completed before the 
other past time expressed by the other verb. 

When you entered the room I had finished reading. 

The idea that the act took place in the immediate past is 
often strengthened by some such adverb as just or already. 

When you entered I had just finished reading. 

(y) The compound of the future indicates that some act not yet 
in the past will be in the past at some future time expressed or 
implied in the sentence. 

I shall have finished that piece of work before you get back. 

The compound of the future is not frequently used, because 
the simple future expresses practically the same idea, when the 
moment in the future is sufficiently indicated by the rest of 
the sentence. 

I shall finish that piece of work before you get back. 

(z) Dating action. It is to be noted that none of these tenses 
"date" the action; they simply place it on the line we call 
present, or push it indefinitely into the past or the future from 
the point from which we are viewing the act, whether that 
point is present, past, or future. To date more definitely, we 
must use an adverb. 

I had read the book yesterday morning. 
The Declaration was signed July 4, 1776. 



(SEC. 61 

61. Verb Paradigms: to be, to have, and to do. Only the 
simple tenses are given here. For the formation of the other 
tenses see section 64. 




Infinitive: to be 
Present participle: being 
Past participle: been 

to have 

to do 

I am 

you are (thou art) 

he is 
you (ye) are 

I have 
you have (thou hast) 

he has (he hath) 
you (ye) have 

I do 

you do (thou dost, 
he does (he doth doeth) 
you (ye) do 

I was 
you were (thou wast) 

he was 
you (ye) were 

I had 
you had (thou hadst) 

you (ye) had 

I did 
you did (thou didst, 
you (ye) did 

be ! (you, thou, ye) 
let me 

KSr 1 be! 

let them 

have ! (you, thou, ye) 
let me 

StS" *' 

let them 

do! (you, thou, ye) 

let me 
let him d , 
let us 
let them 

Present : 
(if) I , 
(if) you (thou) 
(if) he be 
(if) we 
(if) you (ye) 
(if) they 

(if) he have 

(if) he do 

(if) I were 
(if) you were (thou wert) 
(if) he 
(if) we 
(if) you (ye) were 
(if) they 

SEC. 63) 



62. Verb paradigms: shall, will, may, can, must, ought. The 
forms given here are all that exist of these verbs. 




I shall 
you shall (thou shalt) 

you (ye) shall 

I will 
you will (thou wilt) 

you (ye) will 

I may 
you may (thou mayest, 
you (ye) may 

I should 
you should (thou 
you (ye) should 

I would 
you would (thou wouldst) 

you (ye) would 

I might 
you might (thou might- 
est, mightst) 
you (ye) might 




I can 
you can (thou canst) 

you (ye) can 

Present and future: 
you (thou) 

he must 
you (ye) 

I ought 
you ought (thou ought- 
you (ye) ought 

I could 
you could (thou couldst) 

you (ye) could 

Dare and need have forms in the third singular without the s. 

63. Meanings of the modal auxiliaries. Each of the modal 
auxiliaries, may, might, can, could, must, and ought, has slightly 
different shades of meanings, and as the meanings of different 
auxiliaries in part overlap it is difficult to explain their use accu- 
rately and fully. The main distinctions only will be given here. 


May, in general expresses: 

1. Permissibility. 

You may take one. (You have permission to.) (cf. can.) 

2. Contingency, present or future. 

He may be here now. 

You may die sooner than you think. 

3. Modesty, in asking a question one perhaps has no right to. 

How old may you be? (If I may be permitted to ask.) 
(This use is considered by many as archaic.) 

Might is the past tense of may, but in many of its uses it 
does not have the force of a past tense. In general it is 

1. As the indirect tense (60s) for may. 

He said I might go. (He said, " You may go.") 

2. As conditional mode to express a future contingency. 
I might accept. (If disposed, if urged, etc.) 

3. To express contingency, past, present, or future, of less 

probable character than is expressed by may. 

He might have been here. 

It might be true. 

You might be killed if you went there. 

4. To express modesty even more strongly marked than 

that expressed by may. 

Ho-w old might you be? 
(Hardly in standard use now.) 

Can in general expresses: - 

1. Possibility, especially physical, present or future. 

I can see the house from here. To be carefully distinguished from 
may in such cases as May I go? where can is frequently incor- 
rectly used. (Can should be used whenever a part of the verb 
to be able may be substituted. Thus: / am able to see the house.) 

2. With negative, refusal of permission. 

No, you cannot go. (May is the more logical form here, but can 
is commonly accepted as correct because may, suggesting con- 
tingency, seems weak, and the refusal may suggest even physical 


Could in general expresses: 

1. Possibility, in the past. 

I could not do it yesterday. 

2. The indirect tense (60s) for can. 

He said he could not. (He said, "I cannot.") 

3. Present or future conditional of the verb of possibility. 

I could do it (if I wished.) 
Could I find you to-morrow? 

Must in general expresses: 

1. Physical necessity. 

We must eat to live. 

2. Moral necessity. 
We must obey the laws. 

3. Authority of the speaker. 

You must obey my orders. 
You must not leave the room. 

Ought expresses duty: 

He ought not to find fault. (Ought was originally the past tense 
of to owe, and it has not yet become an auxiliary sufficiently to 
be used with infinitives without to, but it has come to be used 
as a present tense with a special sense, just as could and might 
have. Its place in the formation of the verb to owe has been 
taken by the regular past, owed.) 


64. Paradigm of a Regular Verb, Complete. 

(SEC. 64 



Infinitive, present: 
to like 

to be liking 

Compound tenses: 
to have liked 

to be liked 

Compound tenses: 
to have been 

participles, present: 

having liked 

being liked 

having been liked 

Present, simple: 
you like (thou likest) 
he likes (he liketh) 
you (ye) like 

I have liked 

I am liked 

I have been liked 

progressive : 
I am liking 
present participle and 
present of to be 

I have been liking 

I am being liked 

I do like 
infinitive without to 
and present of to do 

Past, simple: 
you liked (thou liked) 
you (ye) liked 

I had liked 

I was liked 

I had been liked 

progressive : 
I was liking 
present participle and 
past of to be 

I had been liking 

I was being liked 

emphatic : 
I did like 
infinitive without to 
and past of to do 

SEC. 64) 





Future : 
I shall like 

you will like, etc. 
infinitive without to 
and shall in first and 
will in second and third 

I shall have liked 

you will have liked 

I shall be liked 

you will be liked 

I shall have been 
you will have 
been liked 

modal : 
I will like 
you shall like 
infinitive without to and 
will in first and shall 
in second and third 

I will be liked 
you shall be liked 


I should like 

you would like 


infinitive without to and 
should for shall and 
would for will of the 
direct quotation 

I should have liked 

you would have 


I should be liked 

you would be 

I should have 
been liked 
you would have 
been liked 


indirect modal: 
I would like 
you should like 
infinitive without to and 
should for shall and 
would for will of direct 

I will be liked 
you shall be 

progressive : 
I shall be liking 

you will be liking 
present participle and 
future of to be 

I shall have been 
you will have been 

progressive modal: 
I will be liking 

you shall be liking 
present participle and 
modal future of to be 

I will have been 

you shall have 
been liking 

progressive indirect: 
I should be saying 

you would be saying 
present participle and 
indirect future of to be 

I should have been 
you would have 
been liking 



(SEC. 64 



progressive indirect 
modal : 
I would be saying 
you should be saying 
.present participle and 
indirect future of to be 

Present : 
I should like 

you would like 
infinitive without to and 
should in first and 
would in second and 
third persons 

I should have liked 

you would have 

I should be liked 

you would be 

I should have 
been liked 
you would have 
been liked 

Present, direct: 
like! (you, thou, ye) 
indirect : 
let me 
let him 
let us like! 
let them 


let me be 
let him be liked! 
let us be 
let them be 


Present : 
Same as indicative ex- 
(if) he like 
for third, singular 

(if) he have liked 

(if) I be liked 

(if) he have 
been liked 

progressive : 
(if) I be liking 
present participle and 
present subjunctive of to 

Past, simple: 
Same as indicative 

I may, can, must like 
I might, could, should 
(in sense of ought) like 
infinitive without to and 
proper auxiliary form 

I may have liked 

I may be liked 

I may have been 


65. Formation of all the parts of any verb from the infinitive. 
An examination of the paradigm given in section 64 will show 
that most of the tenses and modes of the English verb are made 
by the 'use of auxiliaries, and in the two simple tenses there 
are many duplicate forms; in fact there are but three forms 
different from the infinitive : 

liking, the present participle, 
liked, the past participle and the past tense, 
likes, the third .person singular number of the present indica- 

Formation of regular weak verbs. The present participle is 
always the same as the infinitive with -ing added, dropping the 
final e of the infinitive if there is any (120) and doubling the final 
consonant when necessary (121) . The past participle and past 
tense form is always the same as the infinitive with -ed added 
(or -d or -t, according to the character of the preceding letters) . 
The third person singular present indicative is always the same 
as the infinitive with the addition of s (or es if the infinitive 
ends in s, z, x, sh, or ch, as in reach (51)). 

Formation of regular strong verbs. Regular strong verbs 
form the present participle and the third singular present indic- 
ative in the same way as regular weak verbs ; on the other hand, 
they have separate forms for the past participle and the past 
tense. The past tense has no ending, but usually has a differ- 
ent vowel from that of the infinitive. 

Infinitive Past tense 
to write wrote 

The past participle sometimes has no ending and sometimes 
ends in -en. The vowel is sometimes the same as that of the 
infinitive, sometimes the same as that of the past tense, and 
sometimes different from both. 

Infinitive Past tense Past participle 
lead led led 

speak spoke spoken 

run ran run 

sing sang sung 


Some strong verbs have two forms for the past tense or for 
the past participle or for both. 

Formation of irregular verbs. The irregularities in both 
weak and strong verbs, aside from the auxiliaries which have 
been given in sections 61 and 62, all appear in the past tense 
and the past participle, consequently the infinitive, the past 
tense, and the past participle are called the principal parts, 
because from them all others may be formed. The correct 
principal parts of all verbs are given in any standard dictionary. 

Special attention should be paid to: 

lay laid laid 

lie lay lain 

lose lost lost 

loose loosed loosed 

set set set 

sit sat sat 


(For Topical Synopsis see page xvi.) 

66. THE form which a word has in a given sentence is deter- 
mined in part by the idea which the framer of the sentence 
desires to express, in part by the relation of the word to the 
other words in the sentence. 

She has been told. 

In this sentence the subject, she, is third person, singular 
number, feminine gender, because the idea to be expressed calls 
for that form of the personal pronoun; but it is subject case 
instead of object case, because it is subject of the verb. In 
the same way the verb, has been told, is passive voice, indicative 
mode, present compound tense, because that form expresses 
the fact to be predicated of the subject; but it is third person, 
singular number, because it is predicate of a subject which is 
third person, singular number. In this chapter the different 
ways in which the forms of words are determined by their rela- 
tionships to other words will be considered. 


67. The subject of a finite verb is in the subject case if it is 
a personal, relative, or interrogative pronoun; in the common 
case if it is any other substantive. 

The report says he was killed. 

No difficulty arises in choosing the correct form for the sub- 
ject except in a few somewhat obscure cases. 

1. Who did they find was guilty? 

2. You may leave it to whoever goes. 

3. He is taller than /. 


In sentences like 1, the subject of one verb (here who, subject 
of was) may be misinterpreted as the object of another verb (here 
did find). In sentences like 2, who or whoever takes the place 
of an antecedent (demonstrative, collective, or partitive) and a 
relative (in this case whoever = that one who or any one who). 
The antecedent would be in the common case (50) and the rela- 
tive in the subject case, but when one word serves both purposes 
it is considered as subject of the following verb. Confusion as 
to the habit of the language sometimes treats the who or whoever 
as if it were considered the object of the preposition. In 
sentences such as 3, the substantive following than (or as in 
expressions like as tall as) is subject of a verb that is omitted 
not object of than (or as) used as a preposition. 

68. The subject of an infinitive (38) is in the object case if it 
is a personal, interrogative, or relative pronoun; in the common 
case if it is any other substantive. 

They permitted him to go. 

The only occasion when there is difficulty in choosing the 
correct form for the subject of an infinitive is when a pronoun 
subject of the infinitive is modified by a relative clause intro- 
duced by who, as in the familiar line in which Byron incorrectly 
uses the form he as subject of the infinitive (without to), answer, 
in the infinitive clause (38) after let. 
" Let he who made thee answer this." 


69. The verb agrees with its subject in person and number. 
Failures to make the verb agree with its subject in person are 
mostly the result of gross ignorance or of carelessness. Con- 
fusion would possibly arise when the verb has two subjects of 
different person, were it not for the fact that such a compound 
subject generally calls for a plural verb, and in the plural there 
is no difference in form to express person. 

He and I are old friends. 


When there are two singular subjects of different persons 
connected by or, and therefore calling for a singular verb, the 
verb is sometimes made to agree with the nearer subject, but it 
is better to express two verbs. 

Either he or I am going. 

Either he is going or I am (going). 

There is a possibility of confusion as to person when the sub- 
ject of the verb is a pronoun which does not express person by 
its form, but stands for an antecedent of the first or second per- 
son. In such cases the verb agrees witfi the person of its subject, 
as shown by its antecedent. 

I who am speaking witnessed the deed. 

The auxiliaries for the various future forms should be chosen 
according to the person of the subject (60). 

The agreement of the verb with its subject in number intro- 
duces various difficulties for those who have not been carefully 

(a) In conversation many, even of those who know better, 
say you, perhaps because the you is so frequently singular. 
This you was often carries with it we was, but seldom if ever 
they was. 

(b) Compound subjects, made up with and, expressed or 
implied, except when modified by a collective or partitive adjec- 
tive (446) , call for the verb in the plural, whatever the number 
of the separate parts of the subject; but a subject compounded 
of singular substantives connected by or or nor call for a verb in 
the singular. 

Oxygen and hydrogen form water. 

Each man and woman was given a ticket. 

Neither oxygen nor hydrogen is present. 

Sometimes a compound subject connected by and, but 
meaning strictly one thing, is given a singular verb; but if 

102 SENTENCES (Sec. 69 

strictly one thing is meant it is often better to choose the most 
effective single word for the subject and use no other. 

The secretary and treasurer is under bonds. 
My end and aim is to justify my course. 
My aim is to justify my course. 

(c) A substantive which represents persons or things which 
may logically be considered as a part of the subject may be 
used as a part of a compound subject or as a modifier of the 
subject; but the verb must agree with the grammatical subject. 

The fireman with two men from the next house is making the rescue. 
The fireman and two men from the next house are making the rescue. 
The fireman as well as two men from the next house is making the 

(d) When a subject of one number is followed by a modifier 
of the other number, the verb should not be " attracted " into 
agreement with the modifier, but should agree with its gram- 
matical subject. 

The reason for these conclusions is clear. 
So many kinds of dessert .are unnecessary. 

(e) When the subject is of one number and there is a conv 
plement of the other number, the verb should agree in number 
with its subject. 

Concrete and steel are ALL that is used. 

The special feature of this engine is the CYLINDERS. 

(/) A verb introduced by the adverb there agrees with its 
subject, which follows. 

There are an adjective and an adverb from the same stem. 

In the equivalent expressions in German and the Romance 
languages, the verb is invariably in the singular. 

Es giebt viele, die sagen. 

II y a beaucoup de personnes qui disent. 

Hay muchos que dicen. 

(g) When the subject is a collective or partitive pronoun, the 


verb is singular or plural according to the meaning of the 


Each of the children was in his seat. 
All of the children were in their seats. 

(h) When the subject is a collective noun, the verb is singular 
or plural according as the idea is predicated of the collection as 
a whole or of the individuals in the collection. 

Is your family still in town? 
How are your family ? 


70. The predicate nominative is subject case after a finite 
verb and object case after an infinitive, if it is a pronoun; it is 
common case after both finite verb and infinitive, if it is a noun. 

It is /. 

Let it be him then (him predicate nominative after (to) be (59)). 

Let him be the leader. 

In certain cases to be following a verb expressing a state of 
being is not a part of an infinitive phrase or clause (in which 
case it would govern a predicate nominative in the object case), 
but is a part of a verb-expression (31), and consequently governs 
a predicate nominative in the subject case. 

It seems to be she. 

It | seems-to-be | she. 

The Romance languages use the emphatic, or disjunctive, per- 
sonal pronouns as predicate nominative and as subject when no 
verb is expressed. 

C'est moi. 

Qui vient? Moi. 

These forms come from the Latin object (accusative) case. 
Colloquial English finds it natural to use the object forms in 
the same way. 

It's me. 

Who is there? Me. 

But this use is not sanctioned in standard English. 



71. The object (direct, indirect, or resultant) of a verb and 
the object of a preposition are in the object case, if a personal, 
interrogative, or relative pronoun, or in the common case if a 

They stationed him by the door. 

I gave her the letter. 

They lent it to me. 

Lincoln at once sent Grant the report. 

His neighbors call him captain. 

The interrogative pronoun, which must stand at the begin- 
ning of the sentence and therefore removed from the word 
which governs it when it is the object of a verb or of a prepo- 
sition, is commonly treated as if it had only a common case. 
The object form should be used when it is the object of a verb or 
of a preposition. 

Whom did you invite? 
Whom did you write to? 


72. A pronoun agrees with its antecedent in person, gender, 
and number, and expresses that agreement in as far as it has 
the appropriate forms. 

Mrs. Clark has not read hers yet. 

When there are two antecedents of different genders a pronoun 
should be used to agree with each, or the sentence should be 

Every boy and girl may keep his or her books. 
Every child may keep his books. 

A pronoun which stands for an antecedent which is of common 
gender should be masculine. 

Has anyone lost his gloves? 

There is very little difficulty in choosing the correct form for the 
pronoun in English, but in the Romance languages and in German, 
the agreement of the possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives is 
complicated by the fact that they agree not only in person, gender, and 


number with the antecedent (which stands for the possessor), but also 
in gender and number with the noun (expressed or implied) which 
stands for the thing possessed. 

J'ai perdu mon livre, mais Charlotte m'a promis le sien. 

Sien is third person (feminine gender, not indicated by the form), 
singular number, to agree with its antecedent Charlotte, and it is also 
masculine gender, singular number, to agree with livre (understood), 
the name of the object possessed. The double agreement is the same 
in German. 

Ich habe mein Buch verloren, aber Charlotte hat mir ihres ver- 

The only case in English where the pronoun or adjective 
varies to agree with the noun it modifies is that of the demon- 
stratives. Sometimes the demonstrative is incorrectly made to 
agree with a modifier of the noun it modifies. 
I do not like this (not these) sort of books. 

When the antecedent of a pronoun (or of a possessive adjec- 
tive) is a collective or partitive pronoun, care should be taken 
to make the agreement in number exact. 

All of the children took their books home. 
Every one of the children took his books home. 
If any one will volunteer, he may try it. 

A pronoun "requiring an antecedent should not be used unless 
an antecedent is expressed. The difficulty arises commonly with 
it and with the relative which. 

Incorrect use: 

In the Bible it says, " Judge not." 

He admitted prices had risen, which he said was due to other causes 
than the tariff. 

Such sentences should be recast: 
The Bible says, " Judge not." 

He admitted that there had been a rise in prices, which he said 
was due to other causes than the tariff. 

Care should be taken in the use of pronouns when two or 
more nouns of the same person, number, and gender are in 
the immediate context. 

He trusted in the Lord that he would deliver him: 
let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. 


If the pronoun one (which is formal and somewhat bookish) 
is used in one part of a sentence, it should not be referred to 
by the more colloquial pronouns he, they, you, or we, but by a 
repetition of one. 

It is different when one is talking to one's children. 

The change from the formal to the colloquial pronoun, even in 
a single sentence is justified by some as a means of avoiding 
awkward repetition. 

One should always put himself in the reader's place. 

But one is so distinctly formal that where it cannot well be 
used throughout the sentence, it had better not be used at all. 
Generally there are many other ways of expressing the idea so 
that the piling up of the word one may be avoided. If the 
framer of the above sentence is including himself with those 
he is addressing, he may say: 

It is different when we are talking to our children. 
If he is addressing others only, he may say: 

It is different when you are talking to your children. 

If he wishes to give the sentence a more impersonal turn, he 
may say with a little simplification: 

It is different in talking to one's children. 

When the agent is omitted in the passive (29) , as in Ice is melted, 
attention is directed to the action; the actor is ignored. If it is 
made the subject, as in It is said, attention is centered entirely 
on the action. This is the nearest idiomatic equivalent in English 
of the expressions in French with on and in German with man. 

On dit. Man sagt. 

Excessive use of one in translating French on or German man, 
which gives rise to awkward and unidiomatic English, should be 
carefully avoided. Indeed in any but formal discourse or com- 
position, the passive voice (29) or a carefully chosen construc- 
tion with a personal pronoun is preferable to the use of one. 



73. A substantive in apposition should be in the same case 
as the noun it modifies. No difficulties arise in choosing the 
right form for the appositive, except in a few cases where the 
word in apposition is a pronoun. 

I met Mrs. Elliott, her who was Miss Lane. 
Such expressions generally may and should be avoided. 

I met Mrs. Elliott, formerly Miss Lane. 

I met Mrs. Elliott, the one who was Miss Lane. 


74. The modifier of a substantive is an adjective; the modi- 
fier of a verb, adjective, or adverb is an adverb. In Anglo- 
Saxon, adverbs were freely made from adjectives by adding a 
final e, and these adverb forms were distinguished in the time 
of Chaucer. 

Wei coude he sitte on hors, and faire ryde. 

When the final e ceased to be pronounced, certain adjectives 
without change of form might also be used as adverbs, just as 
the adjective without inflectional ending is used in German as 
an adverb. By false analogy many adjectives in English which 
had never formed adverbs by adding e came to be used as ad- 
verbs. Shakspere does not hesitate to say: 

Equal ravenous as he is subtle. 
Which the false man does easy. 

In modern English there are some adverbs which have the 
same form as the adjectives. 

That is a fast car. 

The car was moving fast. 

Other adjectives are used colloquially as adverbs. 

Go slow ! 

When there are two forms, adjective and adverb, the correct 
one should be used. 


Adjectives are freely compounded with other adjectives in 
-ed, where an adverb might be expected. 


These adjectives in -ed are derived from nouns, the -ed signi- 
fying provided with, so that the adjective may be conceived as 
compounding with the noun before the -ed is added; that is to 
say, keen-witted is equal to provided with a keen wit. In a 
similar way compounds, of a somewhat colloquial nature, are 
formed of adjectives and present participles. 
That is a slow-going horse. 

Well-looking is used in England, good-looking in America. 
Certain verbs may be followed, with somewhat different 
sense, by either adjective or adverb. In such cases care should be 
used to select the word strictly intended. 

He looks sad (like a sad man). 
He looks sadly at the ruins (in a sad manner). 
He feels bad (wicked). 
~^* He feels badly (in poor health). 

Well and ill are correctly usecLas adjectives after to be; nicely 
and poorly should riot be. 

I was ill yesterday, but I am well again now. 


75. Coordinate sentence elements of any sort, whether 
joined by a conjunction or not, should be of the same or equiv- 
alent grammatical construction and form and of similar logical 

Improper coordination: 
He told me of some whom I had known but did not remember their 

They had traveled in many countries, some for a short time, while 

in others they had lived more than a year. 
He will either send for me or will inquire of you. 
The number of foreigners is greater than the negroes. 
When the choice is announced you will find it will be-you and me. 
I say this between you and I. 

It seems to me it would be better to take time than trying to crib 
a story. 


Such expressions should be properly coordinated: 

He told me of some whom I had known but whose names I did not 

They had traveled in many countries: in some they had stayed for a 

short time, in others they had lived for more than a year. 
He will either send for me or inquire of you. 
The number of foreigners is greater than that of the negroes. 
When the choice is announced you will find it will be you and I. 
I say this between you and me. 
It seems to me it would be better to take time than to crib a story. 


76. In comparison, the two terms actually to be compared 
should be stated accurately. 

Jumbo was bigger than any other elephant (not, than any 

elephant} . 

He is as tall as any man in the class (or, as any other man). 
He is the tallest of all the men (not, of any man). 
Bolivar was the greatest of all South American leaders (not, of all 
other South American leaders}. 


77. In indirect quotations (that is, quotations which give the 
words of another than the speaker but in a dependent clause 
introduced by that expressed or understood), certain forms have 
to be in agreement with forms in the main part of the sentence 
in which the indirect quotation appears; this necessitates the use 
of some forms which differ from those which would be used if 
the quotation were direct. If the verb in the main part of the 
sentence is in a past tense, all verbs which in the direct form of 
quotation would be present are changed to the corresponding 
past tense, all verbs which would be future in the direct quota- 
tion are changed to the indirect future (60s), and all modal 
auxiliaries are changed to the indirect forms (63). 

He said, " I promise to go and will address the audience.'* 

He said (that) he promised to go and would address the audience. 

1 10 SENTENCES (SEC. 77 

(For may changed to might, see below.) 
French makes a similar change for indirect tenses. 
German retains the tense of the direct quotation where there 
is a special subjunctive form. 

Er sagte, dass sein Freund in Europa sei. 

Pronouns are changed in person, when necessary, to express, 
from the point of view of the framer of the indirect quotation, 
the same individuals as the speaker quoted from referred to. 

A says to B, " You may come." 

B says to C, " A said / might come." 

C says to D, " A told B that he might come. 




(For Topical Synopsis, see page xvii) 

78. SINCE some of the most serious difficulties of expression 
in language are due to the fact that the ideas, about which our 
attention plays with such freedom as we think of them, must 
be presented in words which can follow one another only in 
a single line (3), it is evident that the order and grouping of 
words are matters of great importance. 

79. Some words, as we have already seen, must be placed in 
certain positions in relation to other words in the sentence, in 
order to indicate unmistakably the sentence structure. Other 
words show their structural relationship by their form. 

General Grant was victorious. 
Generally Grant was victorious. 

The word General must stand immediately before the word 
Grant, in order to convey the meaning intended in the first 
sentence; but generally, in the second sentence, may be in any 
possible position in that sentence without affecting the funda- 
mental meaning or the clearness of the sentence. Highly 
inflected languages, that is to say, languages in which words 
show their relationships.largely by their forms, Latin, for example, 
have greater freedom in the matter of order of words than those 
which have few inflections, like English. Each language has its 
special habits, which largely determine the order of words, but 
in those which have few inflections, like English, such order must 
be chosen as will, first of all, bring out clearly the fundamental 
structure of the sentence. 


112 . SENTENCES (SEC. 82 

80. Most of the problems of order of words arise in declara- 
tive sentences. These will be considered first, then the special 
problems of exclamative, optative, and interrogative sentences. 


81. In declarative sentences, the fundamental elements 
should be expressed in the following order: (1) subject, (2) verb, 
(3) complement, if any. The resultant object, if any, follows 
the direct object, and the indirect object, if any, when used 
without to, precedes the direct; when used with to, follows the 

Dickens was an Englishman. 
Calculus is difficult. 
The class elected him marshal. 
They wrote him a letter. 
They wrote a letter to him. 

For inverted order, see 82. 

82. Modifiers should stand as near as possible to the word 
they modify. An adjective regularly stands before its substan- 
tive in English, except when the adjective itself is modified by 
a phrase (44). 

A large class. An unusually large class. 
A class larger than usual. 

An adjective phrase or an adjective clause regularly stands 
immediately after its substantive. 

A man of reputation. 

A man who has won a reputation. 

An adverb regularly stands before the word it modifies if 
that word is an adjective or an adverb, or after the word it 
modifies if that word is a verb. 

An exceptionally fine opportunity. 
I went immediately after. 

If the verb is in a compound tense, the adverb stands between 
the auxiliary and the past participle. 
He has never written. 


An adverb phrase or clause follows the full verb form. 

They have sailed from Boston and will send a letter as soon as they 
reach the Azores. 

Modifiers of verbs may stand in other positions than those 
just indicated. 
Three cases should be specially noted. 

(1) An adverb may be placed at the beginning of the sentence. 
Some adverbs, such as hardly, no sooner, in this position require 
and other adverbs (and in certain cases predicate adjectives, past 
participles, and a few other expressions) permit the subject to be 
placed after the verb (or auxiliary) forming what is called the 
inverted order. 

Hardly had I entered. 

Blessed are the peacemakers. 

" That", said he, "is the Dean". 

(2) If the adverb modifies a transitive verb, it should not be 
placed between the verb and the object. 

He raised his hand at once. Not: He raised at once his hand. 

Other languages prefer to place the adverb between the verb 
and the object. 

Er hob sofort die Hand. 

For this reason care should be used to avoid this order, as 
one of the crudities of " translation English. " 
If the object of the verb is modified by a phrase or clause, 
the adverb regularly stands before the verb in English. 

He at once erased the word which had caused the laughter* 

(3) An adverb which modifies an infinitive should not stand 
between the to and the rest of the infinitive. 

I will promise never to do that. Not: I will promise to never do that. 

Split infinitives are not in good use except in poetry, but the 
habit of using them in prose is common and seems to be growing. 
There is this much that can be said in support of the tendency : 


an adverb which becomes compounded with a verb inevitably 
stands between the to and the verb form, and since many ad- 
verbs, both simple and compound, become compounded with 
verbs in nieaning without that fact's being clearly recognized in 
writing (31), it is difficult, in some cases, to decide exactly 
what may be considered as a part of the verb and what must 
be treated as a separate adverb. In other words, English has 
not differentiated separable and inseparable prefixes so exactly 
as German has. 

To do, to undo, to overdo. 
Compare: to overdraw to do over, 
to half (?) do, to do fully. 

The difficulty arises only in cases such as to half do, which are 
not recognized as compounds, yet which cannot be expressed 
otherwise than by splitting the infinitive, without at least a 
slight loss of meaning. To do by halves, for example, would 
certainly seem to lose a shade of the exact meaning of to half 
do. When the adverb is logically compounded with the verb, 
the reasonable course is to treat it as an inseparable compound, 
however it may happen to be spelled. In other cases it is 
better to split the infinitive than to put the words together in 
an order which is distinctly awkward; but a careful considera- 
tion of the possibilities will almost always reveal a better place 
for the adverb than that between the to and the rest of the 

83. In general the Romance languages and German follow the same 
habits as English in the order of words, but in certain important ways 
each language has habits peculiar to itself. In French, for example, 
the main difference arises from the fact that there are more words 
which must be " joined " to the verb and are therefore called " conjunc- 
tive " words. These cannot be separated from the verb except by 
other conjunctive words, and when there are two or more of them 
connected with a single verb, they must stand in a fixed order. Ger- 
man differs from English in the order of words in a declarative sentence 
chiefly in three ways: (a) It makes fewer exceptions than English to 
the general rule that the personal part of the verb should be the second 
element in the sentence; (6) It regularly places the non-personal parts 
of the compound verb forms at the end of the sentence; (c) In depend- 
ent clauses it places the personal part of the verb at the end. 




84. In exclamative, imperative, and optative sentences the 
order in English is practically the same as in declarative sen- 
tences, except that there is no subject expressed. In archaic 
forms the subject is expressed and follows the verb. 

Send me word at once. 
Go thou and do likewise. 

85. In interrogative sentences in English, the position of the 
subject and the verb is slightly different from that in declara- 
tive sentences. 

(a) If the subject is an interrogative pronoun or a noun 
modified by an interrogative adjective, the order is the same as 
in a declarative sentence. 

Who goes there? 

Which men were chosen? 

(b) If there is an interrogative word other than a pronoun 
subject or an adjective modifier of the subject, the interrogative 
word comes first, then the personal part of the verb, then the 

Why have you waited for him? 

(c) If there is no interrogative word in the sentence, the 
interrogation may be indicated by placing the subject directly 
after the personal part of the verb (inverted order (82)), or (in 
case the verb may be used with the auxiliary do (60/)) by placing 
do before the subject and the infinitive after the subject. 

Have you ever been abroad? 
Do you care to travel? 

The use of do in indicating an interrogation is something like 
the use in French of est-ce que. 

I speak. Do I speak? 

Je parle. Est-ce que je parle? 


86. Possibilities of variation of order. These general rules, 
if invariably followed, would make it impossible to avoid 
monotony of style and would cripple the opportunities of ex- 
pressing many shades of meaning. Variation, within certain 
broad limits, is possible, however, especially in the position of 
the modifiers of the predicate, and should be taken advantage 
of for the purpose of avoiding monotony, of giving emphasis to 
the desired part of the sentence, and of avoiding unpleasant 
combinations of words and sounds. These matters will be con- 
sidered in Chapter VIII. Here it should be noted, however, 
that clearness is the primary requisite. If other qualities are 
desired, they should be attained in some way that will leave the 
meaning of the sentence clear. Placing a modifier out of its 
normal position may make the meaning ambiguous, or it may 
present the idea inexactly. A few cases need attention by the 
way of examples. 

In an essay, D'Israeli uses this sentence: 

Hence he considered marriage with a modern political economist 
as very dangerous. 

The meaning would have been clear had he said: 

Hence, with a modern economist, he considered marriage very 

The following sentence from Dr. Johnson is certainly obscure: 

This work in its full extent, being now afflicted with the asthma, and 
finding the power of life gradually declining, he had no longer 
courage to undertake. 

To emphasize This work in its full extent, as Johnson wishes, 
this sentence would need to be recast, but clearness at least is 
gained by a very slight change of order: 

Being now afflicted with the asthma, and finding the power of life 
gradually declining, he had no longer courage to undertake this 
work to its full extent. 

Such words as only, merely, just, almost, even, hardly, scarcely, 
nearly, should be placed immediately before or after the word 


they modify, or the meaning is not exactly expressed. In 
speaking, the inflection of voice or the pause makes the mean- 
ing clear, even if one of these words is not placed exactly where 
it belongs; but in writing, where the eye alone is addressed 
wrong order may give an inexact idea. A variety of meanings 
may be given a single sentence simply by changing the position 
of such a word as only. 

Only I asked him that. (I alone asked him that.) 

I, only, asked him that. (I alone asked him that.) 

I only asked him that. (I did no more than ask him that.) 

I asked only him that. (I asked none but him that.) 

I asked him, only, that. (I asked none but him that.) 

I asked him only that. (I asked him nothing but that.) 

I asked him that only. (I asked him nothing but that.) 


87. If sentences were made up entirely of separate and 
coordinate words, there would be no question, in placing these 
words together, but that of order; but since words often 
enter the sentence in groups (phrases, clauses, and series 
of equal and of unequal parts), there is need of some means 
of indicating the grouping of words. In speaking, this is done 
by pauses and inflections. In writing, these means are not 
available, and their place is in a way supplied by marks of 

88. In the oldest inscriptions and manuscripts, the letters 
were written continuously, without punctuation, and even 
without spacing to indicate the division into paragraphs or 
words. Gradually the use of spaces, marks, and capital letters 
was adopted, till about the beginning of the sixteenth century 
Manutius of Venice introduced the system of printing still 
generally employed in the different European countries. 

In modern times two theories as to the purpose of punctua- 
tion marks have been advanced. According to one, marks 
should serve to indicate rhetorical pauses of different lengths; 
according to the other, they should indicate grammatical con- 


struction. To a certain extent each theory may be supported 
by facts, but generally the pauses made in reading where there 
are punctuation marks are really for the purpose of making 
clear the construction, and in many cases no pause is made 
where there should be a mark and pauses should be made where 
there are no marks. Marks should be used in certain cases 
simply because usage so demands; but most marks are addressed 
to the eye of the reader and should serve as a help to him 
in getting the construction, and therefore the meaning, more 
readily than he would without them. Any one who has at- 
tempted to read aloud a letter in which punctuation marks are 
but crudely used knows how much trouble is thereby entailed 
upon the reader. 

89. Before taking up the uses of the different marks, three 
fundamental points should be carefully considered. 

(a) Punctuation marks may, and generally do, at one and the 
same time connect and separate. The words between two 
successive marks are in an inclosure, so to speak, by themselves, 
while the words on each side of a mark are more or less sepa- 
rated by that mark. 

No doubt a pronoun, like any other word, may often be repeated 
with advantage. 

In this sentence pronoun and like are separated by a comma, 
as also are word and may; at the same time the phrase like any 
other word is made a more compact group of words by itself 
through the use of the marks. It is important to remember 
this twofold action of punctuation marks, for ineffective use 
of marks is often due to ignoring either the separating or the 
connecting function. 

(b) There are two general systems of punctuation: one, 
known as the "close " system, uses many marks; the other, 
known as the "open " system, uses fewer. In any complicated 
sentence, occasion may be found for the use of many marks; 
a large number, however, is not only confusing, but it lessens 
the effect of the individual mark. 


I beg you to give close attention to these authorities, which, though 
not recent, are important, pertinent to the case in hand, and, 
therefore, not to be slurred, neglected, or sneered at. 

I beg you to give close attention to these authorities, which though 
not recent are important, pertinent to the case in hand, and there- 
fore not to be slurred, neglected, or sneered at. 

Rules given in treatises on punctuation, especially the older 
treatises, favor close punctuation, but the tendency of the past 
quarter of a century has been toward the use of fewer marks. 

(c) An examination of the different marks will show that 
they fall rather definitely into three groups. Those in the first 
group are used in ways generally fixed by custom, so that we may 
say dogmatically in most cases that one of these marks must 
or must not be used under the given circumstances. This 
group includes the period (.), the interrogation point (?), the 
exclamation point (!), the apostrophe ('), the hyphen (-), the 
quotation marks (" " or ' '), and the single dash ( ). Those of 
the second group are used differently by different writers. 
Each writer has a certain amount of liberty to decide for him- 
self whether he will use one of these marks, or not, in a given 
case, provided he does not introduce inconsistencies which con- 
fuse the reader. This group includes the comma (,), the semi- 
colon (;), the colon (:), the curved marks of parenthesis ( ), 

the pair of dashes ( ), and the pair of brackets [ ]. Those 

of the third group are not punctuation marks, but are often 
classed with such; they are used to indicate pronunciation, or 
to give the reader some special direction. There are many 
marks which might be included in this group, but the follow- 
ing only will be considered here: the ditto marks ("), the caret 
(~), the accent marks (' * *), marks of quantity (- w ), the 
dieresis (), the cedilla (*), and the tilde (~). 


90. The sentence marks. Every sentence, and every group 
of words set apart as if it formed a grammatical sentence, 
should have at the end a period, an interrogation point, or an 


exclamation point. Titles are such sentence-like groups, and 
formerly always had a period at the end; but at present no 
mark, except a period to indicate an abbreviation, is used after 
titles printed on a title-page, after the " running titles " printed 
at the top of each page, or as full stops on signs, posters, or 
tickets. By many the same rule is applied to the addresses of 

The period is used at the end of a declarative sentence, pro- 
vided the sentence is to be interpreted as a simple statement. 
The interrogation point is used to mark a direct question. The 
exclamation point is used after an exclamative, imperative, or 
optative sentence, and after a declarative sentence which is 
to be interpreted as an expression of strong feeling. These dis- 
tinctions may be (a) a matter of sentence structure, or (6) a 
matter of meaning of the sentence, indicated in speaking by 
the tone of the voice, in writing by the punctuation mark. 

(a) The vacation is fourteen weeks long. 
What mean'st thou by that? 

O God! that men should put an enemy in their mouths, to steal 

away their brains! 
Would that I had finished! 

(b) The President declined the invitation. 
The President declined the invitation? 
The President declined the invitation ! 

91. The period is used also (a) to mark an abbreviated word 
(except where an apostrophe is used); (b) to separate a whole 
number from a decimal (and consequently, dollars from cents); 
(c) after Roman numerals except in chapter headings, etc., and 
after Arabic numerals when they are used to number paragraphs 
or lists. 

(a) N. B. Sup't 

(b) 3.14159+ $73.25 

(c) Ps. XIX. 3. 

92. Other uses of interrogation points. Many writers never 
use interrogation points except at the end of sentences. Even 
a closely knit series of questions they would write as separate 


sentences. The more common usage is to make a single sentence 
of such a series, in which case an interrogation point is placed 
sometimes at the end only, sometimes after each question. 

What is civilization? Where is it? What does it consist in? By 
what is it included? etc. John Wilson: A Treatise on English 

What is civilization? where is it? what does it consist in? by what is 
it included? etc. M. T. Bigelow: Punctuation. 

Ah! whither now are fled those dreams of greatness? those busy, 
bustling days; those gay-spent, festive nights; those veering 
thoughts, lost between good and ill, that shared thy life? 

Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your 
flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? 

93. The exclamation point is often used after an interjec- 
tion. When there is an interjection in an exclamative sen- 
tence, it is generally better usage to put an exclamation after 
the interjection or at the end of the sentence, in the one place 
where it is more effective, rather than in both places. 

Oh! my offense is rank, it smells to heaven. 
All hail, ye patriots brave! 
Oh! you are wounded, my lord! 

The exclamation point should not be repeated with a series 
of words used to indicate a repeated sound. 

Knock, knock, knock! Who's there, in the name of Beelzebub? 

Exclamation points should be used when it is the intention 
to express real emotion, but too frequent use of these marks is 
an indication of " unnatural reveries, rant, and bombast." 

It is to be noted that the interjection is correctly spelled oh, 
and may have an exclamation mark after it; 0, which is written 
as a capital, is the expression which accompanies a vocative, or 
opens an optative sentence, and should never have an excla- 
mation point after it. 

Oh! you are wounded. 
O George! come here. 

O that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself 
into a dew! 


In Spanish, in addition to the ordinary mark at the end of the sentence, 
an inverted interrogation point is placed at the beginning of a direct 
question, and an inverted exclamation point at the beginning of an 
exclamation or interjection. 

94. The apostrophe is used (a) to mark the elision of letters, 
(6) to mark the elision of the century figures from dates, (c) to 
indicate the plural of figures, letters, signs, and sometimes of 
words used simply to refer to the word (51), and (d) to 
indicate the possessive case (53). 

(a) I've, 'midst, it's (for it is), 

(b) The class of '14. 

(c) Three 9's. Cross your t's. +'s, 
You are using too many but's (or buts). 

(d) The Jameses' books. 

Note that the apostrophe is never used with the possessive 
pronouns, with the possessive adjectives, or to form the pos- 
sessive of who. 

95. The hyphen is used (a) between the two or more parts of 
a compound word which usage has not yet made a single word, 
(6) between syllables whenever it is desired to indicate syllabic 
division (as in a dictionary) , (c) between a prefix and the rest 
of a derived word when the prefix ends and the primary word 
begins with a vowel (107e) , or when the hyphen will mark the dis- 
tinction between the word intended and another similar word, 
or will serve to avoid a strange-looking combination of letters. 

(a) forget-me-not 

(b) an-tip-o-des 

(c) re-echo, re-creation (recreation), re-write 

Combinations of words which originally express somewhat 
separate ideas frequently come to stand for a single conception 
and thus form what are called compound words. For example, 
when we speak of a black berry, we think of (1) a berry (2) which 
is black; but when we speak of a blackberry, we are not neces- 
sarily conscious of these separate ideas, as we see from the fact 
that we do not ordinarily feel any contradiction in the expres- 
sion a red blackberry. The hyphen is used to indicate a group 


of words on the way to becoming a compound word. Often 
there is a difference in meaning between a hyphenated word 
and the component words written without a hyphen. For 
example a green-house is a hot-house, while a green house is a 
house painted green. The different stages in the union of words 
are indicated in pronunciation by the difference in accent. 

rail' fence' rail'-post" railway 

Unfortunately, the differences are not always so clearly indi- 
cated in writing. Few words can be found which are hy- 
phenated by all good authorities, and few books are entirely 
consistent in the use of the hyphen for this purpose.* 
The general tendency in English seems to be to avoid the 
use of the hyphen in making up a compound noun (by writing 
the words separately), while German avoids the use of the 
hyphen by writing the component parts as a single word; but 
English uses the hyphen more frequently in making compound 

A would-be or self-styled reformer. 

A well-laid-out park. 

An I-turn-the-crank-of-the-universe air. 

The hyphen should be used in numerals expressing tens and 
units, in fractions where the parts are not to be taken sepa- 
rately, and to distinguish between a compound adjective and 
a compound noun. 

twenty-five, three-quarters 

two-hour periods, two hour-periods <-' 

The hyphen is also used when it is necessary to divide a 
word at the end of a line, to indicate that the part at the end 
of the first line is not the whole word. In print, where it is 
necessary, according to the usual custom, to keep the right- 
hand margin straight, such division is frequently necessary. 

* For attempts to explain in detail this use of the hyphen, the reader is referred 
to the seven pages of fine print in M. T. Bigelow's Punctuation, to the ten pages of 
finer print in John Wilson's Treatise on English Punctuation, or to the fifteen pages 
in T. L. DeVinne's Correct Composition. 


In writing it seldom is. Such division of a word always puts 
an added burden upon the reader, particularly if the hand- 
writing is at all obscure, it seldom accomplishes its supposed 
object of keeping the right-hand margin straight, and to make 
such division correctly necessitates acquaintance with the com- 
plicated system of English syllabification.* . 
The most satisfactory rule to follow in writing is to divide a 
word at the end of the line only when the parts on each line 
are whole words. 

battle- ship, rail- road, right- hand 

Another use of the hyphen has been adopted, with increasing 
frequency of late years, from German, and is serviceable in 
some cases. 

time- and space-perceptions 

Such compounds, in which the common part of a pair of 
words is expressed with one only, are frequent in the spoken 
language, and by this use of the hyphen are made clear in 
writing without recourse to clumsy repetition. 

96. Marks of quotation should always be used in writing to 
indicate a direct quotation, and in print when the quotation is 
not indicated by the use o different type. Indirect quotations 
(77) are not inclosed in marks of quotation, except in a few 
cases where it is desirable to indicate that the ideas are 
another's, though the exact words are not given; and even in 
such cases it is clearer to express the indebtedness in words 
rather than by the use of marks. In English, when any word 
or words not a part of the quotation are made to interrupt the 
quotation, that fact is clearly indicated by punctuating each 
part of the broken quotation as if it were a complete quotation, 
thus cutting out the interrupting words. 

" The so-called maxim of identity," he wrote, " is supposed to be 
accepted by the consciousness of every one." 

* See Bigelow, Wilson, and DeVinne, quoted above, and W, S. Booth, A Practi- 
cal Guide for Authors. 


Romance languages generally do not cut out interrupting 
words. Often they mark a quotation simply by putting a 
dash at the beginning. 

In quoted dialogue, each speech, no matter how short, should 
be inclosed in marks of quotation. 

" There isn't any, really," said Lady Anstruthers. " The houses 

are so far away from each other. The nearest is six miles from 

here, and it is one that doesn't count." 

" Why?" 

11 There is no family, and the man who owns it is so poor. It is 

a big place, but it is falling to pieces, as this is." 

"What is it called?" 

" Mount Dunstan." 

When a quotation from a single source is long enough to be 
divided into paragraphs, the initial marks of quotation are re- 
peated at the beginning of each paragraph, to keep it clear to 
the reader that the quotation is continued, but the terminal 
quotation marks are not used till the quotation is finished, that 
is to say, at the end of the last paragraph. 

A direct quotation within a quotation is generally marked 
with single marks (' ') 

"On the day preceding the lecture Mr. Roosevelt was present, by 
the Emperor's invitation, at military maneuvers and a review of twelve 
thousand picked German troops, and at the end of the review the Em- 
peror, in the presence of his officers, cried out: ' My friend Roosevelt, 
I am glad to welcome you, the most distinguished American citizen. 
You are the first civilian who has ever reviewed German troops.' " 

Marks of quotation were formerly used to indicate the titles 
of books, periodicals, articles- in periodicals, and poems, and 
the names of vessels; now the usage of publishers differs, but 
the name or title, particularly if well known, is frequently un- 
marked except by the capitals. Titles of foreign books are 
regularly printed in italics (underscored in writing), and quo- 
tation marks may be used at all times to emphasize the fact 
that the exact title is given, or to avoid ambiguity. 

Daudet's Trente ans de Paris. 

" A Treatise on English Punctuation." (The exact title.) 
" David Copperfield." (The title of the book, not the name of the 
character) . 


97. The dash is a mark condemned by many because it has 
been used in such various and unreasonable ways; but it has 
certain important uses : 

(a) To indicate a sudden change or breaking off of sentence 

Was there ever a bolder captain of a more valiant band ? Was 
there ever But I scorn to boast. 

(b) To mark an abrupt breaking off of a quotation. 

In the words of the Declaration, " When in the course of human 
events " 

(c) To indicate hesitation of speech. 

He was extremely concerned it should happen so; but er it 
was necessary er Here Lord Eades stopped him short. 

(d) To indicate a name or an oath which it is not desirable to 
give in full. This use of the dash is much less common than it 
was at one time. 

Mr. C was born in the town of J . 

(e) To indicate division between speeches in dialogue, in 
those special cases where the necessity of economizing space 
leads to the including of a number of speeches in a single para- 

(/) Between numbers to indicate a series. 

The school year 1910-11. 
Pages 264-315. 

(g) After a colon which is used to introduce a list (106) 
which itself calls for complicated punctuation. For example, see 
the beginning of this section (97). 


98. The second group of marks include the comma, the semi- 
colon, the colon, the curved marks of parenthesis, the pair of 
dashes, and the brackets. In general they serve to separate 
the words which are on each side of a single mark, and at the 


same time to join together more evidently those words which 
stand between one mark and the next; that is to say, their 
function is distinctly that of grouping words. 

Different writers have different notions both as to the group- 
ing of ideas and as to when it is necessary to use marks to indicate 
to the reader the grouping of words. For this reason there is a 
somewhat wide range of possibilities in the use of these marks. 
Rules do not suffice, each writer must use his own judgment; 
but a definite basis for this exercise of judgment should be 
clearly understood. The object in using these marks is to help 
the reader to discover the structure of the sentences and thereby 
to catch the ideas expressed with as little hindrance as possi- 
ble on the first reading. The writer should know what effects 
are produced upon the reader by the presence and by the 
absence of a mark in a given place, and then should insert or 
omit the mark in that place according to the effect he wishes to 

In explaining the use of these marks, the method adopted 
here is to suggest places where marks are used in a close system 
of punctuation; then, if there is occasion, to suggest where 
some of those may be omitted to advantage. 

There are three general uses of these marks: first, to indi- 
cate the members of a series; second, to indicate parenthetical 
expressions; and third, to indicate ellipses. 

Marks to Indicate Members of a Series 

99. Series are of two sorts: series of unequals, and series of 
equals. Members of series of unequals must be indicated by 
marks of different values, just as the feet, inches, and frac- 
tions of an inch are indicated on a yardstick by marks of differ- 
ent length. Members of series of equals are indicated by marks 
of the same value, like the milestones along a railroad. 

100. In series of unequals, the smallest divisions should be 
indicated by commas; the next larger (any of which may include 
divisions set off by commas) should be indicated by semi- 

128 SENTENCES (SBC. 101 

colons; the next larger, if any, should be indicated by the colon. 
The largest division of all is, of course, the sentence; which is 
marked off by a period, interrogation point, or exclamation 
point. Commas generally set off single words, short groups of 
words, and phrases; semicolons set off clauses and groups 
of words which are subdivided by commas; colons set off 
clauses which either introduce or sum up the whole sentence. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; 
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; 
that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

Death is there associated, not, as in Westminster Abbey and Saint 
Paul's, with genius and virtue, with public veneration and with imperish- 
able renown; not, as in our humblest churches and churchyards, with 
everything that is most endearing in social and domestic charities; 
but with whatever is darkest in human nature and in human destiny. 

This improvement in quality is effected in two ways: first, by settling 
or sedimentation, which removes the suspended matter; and second, by 
aeration or contact with the air, whereby oxygen is supplied to decom- 
pose and destroy both the suspended and the dissolved organic matter. 

The following is a partial list: Chaucer, three volumes, one slightly 
damaged; Bacon, one volume; Shakspere, seven volumes. 

101. In series of equals, commas or semicolons only are 
used. As in the series of unequals, the commas are used to 
mark off members of less importance in the structure of the 
sentence. They are used more frequently and for a greater 
variety of purposes than semicolons. 

Semicolons are used chiefly for the following purposes: 

(a) To separate short sentences which, because of the close 

connection of the ideas, are expressed as one compound sentence. 

Stones grow; vegetables grow and live; animals grow, live, and feel. 

(6) To separate groups of words which are themselves divided 
into smaller parts by commas. 

He was courteous, not cringing, to superiors; affable, not familiar, 
to equals; and kind, but not condescending or supercilious, to 

(c) To separate members of a series, all of which depend in the 
same way upon the main part of the sentence, expressed at the 


beginning or end. For illustrations, see the first, third, and 
fourth given in section 100. 

Commas are used to separate clauses in a series when semi- 
colons are not required, and particularly to separate single 
words or phrases which form a series. Many complicated 
rules for the use of commas in series may be formulated, but 
only the most important cases will be explained here. 

(a) Two words (or short groups of words) forming a series 
and connected by a conjunction should not be separated by a 
comma, except when one of the members has a modifier or a 
complement which does not belong to the other also. 

One thing or another. 

He is entitled to take the annual crops, and wood for fuel. 

We had been sitting listening, and watching the whole affair. 

A short compound sentence consisting of two coordinate 
parts which are connected by a conjunction should not be 
separated by a comma, except when the comma is needed to 
indicate that the conjunction does not connect the word preced- 
ing to the word following. Even in cases where the structure 
of the sentence is clear, it may not become clear on first reading 
at the point of division, if the comma is not used. 

He will be here to-day, and to-morrow he will have to go. 

(b) Two words which are coordinate and are not connected 
by a conjunction should be separated by a comma. 

The world which is outward, material, is the shadow of that which 
is spiritual. 

(c) More than two words (or short groups of words) in a 
series with a conjunction repeated are not separated by commas, 
except in the rare cases where the writer wishes to emphasize 
both the importance of the connectedness of the whole series 
and also the importance of the separate members. 

For his sake, empires had risen, and flourished, and decayed. 

The omission of the commas after risen and flourished would 
more emphatically group the ideas now individually emphasized, 

130 SENTENCES (SEC. 101 

(d) More than two words (or short groups of words) in a 
series with a conjunction expressed only once (between the 
next to the last and the last of the series) are sometimes sepa- 
rated by commas and sometimes not. Usage varies on this point; 
but it is well to bear in mind that if the commas are inserted, 
the reader's attention is inevitably attracted a little more to the 
individual members of the series than as if the commas were not 

The largest, most costly, and most beautiful house in town. 
The red white and blue. 

The habit has grown up within the past few years, largely 
under the guidance of newspapers and of preparatory school- 
teachers, of omitting the comma, in cases such as those just cited, 
before the conjunction, even when it is inserted in the earlier 
part of the series. 

Husband, wife and children. 

Careful publishers have not adopted this idea, and certainly 
logic demands the insertion of the comma before the conjunc- 
tion if it is used anywhere in the series, because the conjunction 
does not connect the last two words but indicates the connected- 
ness of the whole series, and because commas, if used at all, 
should indicate the number of members in the series. It can- 
not be said that the comma here is used to mark ellipsis (and 
therefore not needed where the conjunction is used), for that 
would be contrary to the custom illustrated in the sentences 
given in (c) above, and to many other cases. Furthermore, if 
the comma were omitted in this way before the conjunction, it 
would be impossible to distinguish by punctuation between the 
two cases illustrated by the first two sentences following, or to 
make easily readable the third sentence. 

A tall, rough, and ugly sort of man. 
A tall, rough and ready sort of man. 
I invited Mary, Charles and John to come later. 

(e) More than two words (or short groups of words) forming 


a series with no conjunction used are generally separated by 

The colleges, the clergy, the lawyers were against me. 
(/) It is to be noted (1) that two or more adjectives may 
modify a noun and yet not be felt as separable members of a 
series, and (2) that of more than two adjectives modifying a 
noun, some may form a series and others may express insepa- 
rable qualities. 

(1) The grand old man. 

(2) He is an ambitious, successful young man. 

He then proceeded to draw on a pair of old, shabby, and very 
dirty white kid gloves. 

The inseparable character of an adjective may be discovered 
generally from the fact that the adjective cannot be joined to 
the other words by a conjunction and make sense. 

Marks to Indicate Parenthetical Expressions 

102. Parenthetical Expressions are single words or groups of 
words which interrupt the natural order of words in a sentence. 
They should generally be indicated by a mark at the beginning 
of the parenthesis and by another of the same kind at the end. 
It should be noted that if a mark is placed at one end of a 
parenthetical expression, the corresponding one at the other end 
should never be omitted. Parenthetical expressions are of two 
sorts: those which are commonly called parentheses and which 
definitely interrupt the development of the idea of the sentence; 
and ordinary modifiers, which break the natural order without 
seriously interrupting the development of the idea. Ordinary 
modifiers of this sort are cut off by commas; so-called parentheses 
may be cut off by commas if it is not necessary to distinguish 
between these marks and commas inside or outside the paren- 
thesis, but they are more usually indicated by the curved marks 
of parenthesis, or by a pair of dashes. 

The modifiers which should be cut off by commas include the 
following : 

132 SENTENCES (SEC. 102 

(a) Nouns in apposition, except general appellations and 
pronouns added for emphasis. 

Washington, the youthful Virginian Colonel, had not been thought 

The poet Milton was blind. They themselves. 

(b) Adverb modifiers out of grammatical position (82) . 

The book, greatly to my disappointment, was not to be found. 
Finally, let us not forget our past. 

Such modifiers do not need to be cut off by commas unless 
they distinctly interrupt the sentence structure, as in the first 
sentence above, or call for some emphasis or special consider- 
ation, as in the second sentence. 

(c) Vocatives: 

We are here, fellow citizens, to consider the needs of the present. 

(d) Relative clauses which are (1) explanatory, not those 
which are (2) restrictive. (38) 

(1) His stories, which made every one laugh, were often conceived on 

the spur of the moment. 

They were, indeed, obviously repudiated in all the colonies, 
where human slavery existed. 

(2) For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which 

are not seen are eternal. 

German does not mark this distinction. 

Interruptions of a more serious nature, "parentheses," are 
illustrated in the following: 

I have seen charity (if charity it may be called) insult with an air of 

He was received with great respect by the minister of the Grand 
Duke of Tuscany (who afterwards mounted the Imperial throne), 
and by the ambassador of the Empress Queen. 

Its smile always ready when there is no distress, and soon 
recurring when that distress has passed away is like an open- 
ing in the sky, showing heaven beyond. 

The curved marks and the pair of dashes are generally used 
interchangeably. Some writers in the past used parentheses very 
frequently, but such involved sentences are in less favor now. 


Many condemn the use of marks of the parenthesis entirely; 
but it should be observed that the use of parenthetical expres- 
sions is a question of sentence building, not of punctuation. 
If a sentence contains an expression which is distinctly paren- 
thetical, it should be cut off from the rest, and often commas 
are not sufficient, on account of the many other uses to which 
they are put. 

Brackets [ ] are used to inclose anything inserted by an 
editor, by a reporter, or by any one other than the framer of the 

Marks to Indicate Ellipsis 

103. The ellipsis, or omission, of a noun or verb, and in 
certain cases of a preposition, is often marked by a comma: 

(a) When otherwise it would be more difficult to gel the 
meaning of the sentence on the first reading. 

With a united government well administered, he saw that we had 
nothing to fear; and without it, nothing to hope. 

(6) In certain cases where the usage is fixed by custom. 

Admission, twenty-five cents. 

Boston, Mass., January 25, 1910. (In dating, as in a letter.) 

Washington was born, Feb. 22, 1732. 

The ellipsis of a part of a quotation is marked by three 
dots ... or by three stars * * * 

Special Uses of Commas, Semi-colons, and Colons 

104. Commas are also used in other cases, some of which are: 
(a) After a noun clause which ends with a verb and is immedi- 
ately followed by another verb. 

Whatever is, is right. 

(6) At the end of a subject consisting of many words, to 
compact all the words into a single expression. 

To allow the slave-ships of a confederation formed for the extension 
of slavery to come and go free and unexamined between America 
and the African coast, would be to renounce even the pretense of 
attempting to protect Africa against the man-stealer. 

134 SENTENCES (SEC. 107 

(c) Immediately before the first word of a direct quotation 
of not more than one sentence. (See also 106.) 

The toast proposed was, " The memory of George Washington." 

(d) In an informal note or letter, after the salutation; a'nd 
always after the formal phrase at the end of a note or letter. 

Dear Maria, Yours truly, 

(e) In numbers of five or more figures, to point off into groups 
of three, in order to assist in reading. 

4382, 1,894,528. 

105. The semicolon is also used before the abbreviations, 
e.g., i.e., viz., or the full words for which they stand, and be- 
fore as used in the same way, when examples follow. 

The rough breathing shows that the vowel is aspirated; i.e., that it is 
preceded by the sound of h. 

106. The colon has two further uses of importance: 

(a) After words formally introducing a quotation of more than 
one sentence or a list of words or expressions. Formality is 
marked by namely, viz., or as follows, or by such construction 
that one of these expressions might easily be supplied. (See 
also 970.) 

The president was then introduced and spoke as follows: 
The colon has two further uses of importance: 

(b) After the salutation in a business or formal letter. 
Dear sir: Gentlemen: 


107. Of the many marks other than punctuation marks used 
in printing and in writing, the following perhaps deserve 
mention : 

(a) Double commas, such as mark quotations, may be used 
in the sense of ditto in different forms of tabulation. 

3 carloads Wheat, 
6 " Corn. 


(6) The caret ( ~ ) is used to indicate the omission of a word 
or letter. 


(c) The accents, acute (' ) grave (-), and circumflex (-), are 
used in English when it is desired to indicate accent or the 
quality of the pronunciation of a vowel. They are used in 
Romance languages to distinguish different pronunciations of 
the same vowels and to distinguish words which are otherwise 
spelled alike. 

(d) The marks of quantity, long (-) and short (~), are used 
when it is desired to indicate the length of a vowel. 

(e) The dieresis () is placed over the second of two 
vowels not separated by a consonant to indicate that each is 
pronounced, except in those cases where the vowels are sepa- 
rated by a hyphen (95) . 

Bootes, cooperation, re-echo 

This mark is also used in German and in Anglo-Saxon to indi- 
cate the variation in the pronunciation of the vowel called 
umlaut, and in Romance languages to indicate that a vowel is 
pronounced that would otherwise be silent. 


(/) The cedilla (0 is placed under c in French and Portuguese 
words, some of which are used in English, to indicate that the 
c has the sound of s, though it comes before a or o. 


(h) The tilde (~) is a mark placed over n in Spanish words, 
some of which are used in English, to indicate that the con- 
sonant has the sound of ny. Some of these words are spelled 
in English also with ny. 
canon, canyon 


(For Topical Synopsis, see page xix) 

108. INDIVIDUAL words, aside from their relations to other 
words, set four groups of problems, those which are concerned 
with (1) the choice of words, (2) pronunciation, (3) spelling, 
and (4) the use of capital letters. 


109. Under the title "Choice of Words," many of the most 
important questions of diction might well be considered; but the 
subject will be treated here only in a general way, the purpose 
being to bring out some of the difficulties most frequently en- 
countered and to suggest the ideals to be striven for. 

110. The fundamental problem of word expression. Much 
has been written about the choice of short or long words, 
Anglo-Saxon or Latin words, prose or so-called poetic words; 
and not a few of the ideas expressed have been beside the point. 
If we choose words because they are long and sonorous, because 
they are foreign, or because they are "poetic," we show that 
we totally misconceive the purpose of writing; but if we avoid 
such words because they may be so classified, we are certainly 
as far astray. Different subjects call for words of different 
sorts, and the occasion, not the length or origin of the words, 
should determine the choice. "After all, the secret of the art 
of writing is to have something to say, and to say just that and 
no other. We think in words, and when we lack for words, we 
lack for thoughts. When we strive to write finely for the sake 
of doing so, we become bombastic and inane." 



If we have had experience, or have conceived ideas, which 
others would profit by or would gladly share, we have the highest 
and the only justification for writing. Having such wealth 
to share, we have nothing to do but to present it in such words 
that our readers get exactly what we intend to give, no more 
and no less, without being put to unnecessary effort because of 
our imperfect expression. 

111. The choice of words is not the whole problem of expres- 
sion, but it is a larger part than is sometimes thought. With 
the immature or untrained writer, diction that might be called 
faulty is often simply the expression of ignorance of the sub- 
ject or of inability to think straight. Descriptions of nature, 
for example, when written by the untrained, are often wretched 
pieces of expression because, first of all, the writer is not yet 
able to make true observations or exact record in his memory. 
The greatest care in the choice of words can never make the 
presentation of such ideas as he possesses effective; but if care- 
ful choice is insisted upon, it may send the writer back to study 
once more his actual experience. We often hear the struggling 
writer say, "I know what I mean all right, but I can't express 
it." And this may be true, for it is possible to remember and 
to think in other terms than words. A student who has been 
interested in a chemical experiment which he has performed 
may remember it distinctly as memory pictures of the appara- 
tus, the chemicals, and the changes which were visible; he may 
be able to prove that he has the knowledge, by acting upon 
it; yet he may not be able to report it satisfactorily to the 
uninitiated or to the teacher. Even if he has thought his 
experience into words, he may not be able to express the experi- 
ence well in spoken or written language, for in his thought he 
is not restricted to well-constructed sentences. Those who 
work much by themselves and have little occasion to talk or 
write about their work generally labor under such difficulties of 
verbal expression. If they have abundant opportunity to ex- 
press themselves through some other instrumentality than 

138 SENTENCES (SEC. 113 

words, there would seem to be little occasion for them to seek 
exact words to represent their thoughts; yet it is probable that 
no one ever strove honestly to find the best words to express 
his ideas without gaining new light and increasing his power of 
exact thinking. Furthermore, so intimate has become the 
association between thought of all sorts and words, so nearly 
useless are thoughts, in civilized society, unless they are shared, 
that we can seldom say we have mastered any of our experi- 
ence if we cannot reduce it to a form that may be shared, that 
is to say, if we cannot express it in words. 

112. It often happens that one word is so closely connected 
with another, or with others, that the words must be chosen as 
a group, not with regard merely for the separate word. The 
faults which arise when the attempt is made to choose one 
word at a time appear in every sentence of " translation English/' 
and not infrequently in the productions of all but the masters 
of expression. This subject, however, must be passed here 
with this mere mention, for it would lead at once beyond the 
limits of the subject of the book. 


113. Words should be exact for the occasion. Exactness in 
choice of words is not enough, if we are content to limit the 
meaning of exactness as many do. In a report of an experi- 
ment in the physical laboratory, a student may record the 
height of the column of " H 2 " which the atmospheric pressure 
was found to support. " H 2 " is undoubtedly accurate in 
a sense; in another and more important sense it is not. "H 2 0" 
is that combination of elements in which the chemist is inter- 
ested; the same thing in the physical laboratory is " water/' 
The question is not whether the thing we wish to refer to is 
ever known by the word we are using, but whether it is known 
under the circumstances with which we are dealing, and 
whether exactly the ideas we wish the reader to associate with 
the core-idea will be called up in his mind by the word we use. 


In other words, we must consider exactness of connotation as 
much as exactness of denotation (12). The relative propor- 
tion of denotation and of connotation varies widely in different 
words. Technical terms may be very exact in their denota- 
tion and many convey a complicated core-idea to one who has 
full knowledge of their meanings; but they usually connote 
little beyond the fact that they belong to a specific technique. 
On the other hand, poetical words and the terms of intimate 
experience may denote little, and that only of a vague general 
nature; but they are rich in connotation. To see the differ- 
ence we have but to compare such words as calorimeter and 
home, to take but a single example. In writing of a technical 
nature, exactness of denotation determines the choice of words; 
in other kinds of writing, exactness of connotation must be 
striven for in addition to exactness of denotation. When a 
boy, in an examination on " Macbeth," wrote, " Macbeth's 
wife tries to brace him up," he used words which denoted what 
he meant, but which by their connotation show either a lamen- 
tably limited vocabulary or an almost total lack of appreciation 
of the play. 


114. Words should be exact for the readers addressed. 
Exactness of meaning must mean exactness for the reader, not 
for the writer alone. This fact is overlooked in three some- 
what different ways : 

(a) Technical terms which the reader, or hearer, does not 
understand are used without adequate definition. The expert 
who is in the habit of addressing specialists only, often finds it 
difficult or impossible to make himself understood by others, 
because he can neither use general terms nor explain those of 
his special vocabulary. Even when the attempt is made to 
define technical terms, insufficient consideration is paid to the 
reader's limitations in the special field. It is important to 
remember that a technical term is generally exact in its deno- 

140 SENTENCES (SEC. 115 

tation when once defined, but that until it is adequately denned 
it may convey no idea or even a wrong idea. 

(6) In more general writing, words are often used which have 
one meaning for the writer, but may happen to have an entirely 
different meaning for the reader. The result is sometimes 
real obscurity, so that the reader is actually at a loss to get 
any meaning; more frequently the result is ambiguity which is 
distracting or humorous. I may speak of a subject as a 
" closed book," meaning one on which nothing more can be 
written; my reader may think of a " closed book/ 7 as one from 
which he can get nothing. 

(c) Often there is a fatal misunderstanding of the deeper 
meaning because the language used does not connote to the 
one addressed what the reader intends. Much of the bitter 
conflict of ideas between people of different religious denomina- 
tions is between those who are equally religious, equally sin- 
cere, and actually in agreement as to the essentials, but who 
cannot talk the same language. So an artist, a moralist, or a 
philosopher may advocate an idea, only to arouse the antago- 
nism of those who would gladly agree with him were he able 
to use words which would mean to them what he was trying to 


115. Words should be effective and economical. Words 
should be chosen which are not only exact and clear, but which 
produce the full effect intended, perhaps in spite of the reader, 
and which economize the reader's time and effort. In much of 
the writing of the untrained it would seem as if the words 
were chosen with the idea of having the separate word mean 
as little as possible. The true idea is to pack each word with 
meaning. Strength should be given first of all to the funda- 
mental elements, the nouns and the verbs, then to the primary 
modifiers. Secondary modifiers should be used as seldom as 
possible for purposes of intensification, and when used, those 


with specific meaning should be chosen. The word very, used 
frequently, weakens rather than strengthens, and the word 
quite, which in writing is always ambiguous except when the 
sense of entirely is clearly intended, is still less effective. Many 
times a noun and more frequently a verb, of specific meaning, 
may be used in place of a noun or verb of general meaning with 
a qualifying modifier. 

The wind came tearing round the corner especially the east wind 
as if it had sallied forth from the confines of the earth, to have a 
blow at Toby. And oftentimes it seemed to come upon him sooner 
than it had expected, for bouncing round the corner, and passing Toby, 
it would suddenly wheel round again, as if it cried, " Why, here he is! " 
Incontinently his little white apron would be caught up over his head 
like a naughty boy's garments, and his feeble little cane would be 
seen to wrestle and struggle unavailingly in his hand, and his legs 
would undergo tremendous agitation, and Toby himself all aslant, and 
facing now in this direction and now in that, would be so banged and 
buffeted, and tousled, and worried, and hustled, and lifted off his feet, 
is to render it a state of things but one degree removed from a positive 
miracle that he wasn't carried up bodily into the air as a colony of 
frogs or snails or other very portable creatures sometimes are, and 
rained down again, to the great astonishment of the natives, on some 
strange corner of the world where ticket-porters are unknown. 

Words which are needed for clearness or for force should not 
be omitted, even for the sake of brevity; if they are, the gain 
made by reducing the number of words the reader has to go 
over may be much more than offset by the increased effort he 
has to make to get the meaning. With clearness and force 
assured, however, the addition of further words only weakens 
the effectiveness, just as water added to lemonade after the 
desired strength is reached increases the amount but rapidly 
lessens the value of the whole. 

116. Words should be chosen which grow out of real, living 
thought. The vocabulary which most people have at hand for 
actual use is narrowly limited, consequently a few words and 
expressions have to serve on a multitude of occasions. They 
fit in one place as well as in another, because, like hired even- 
ing suits, they never fit. Language should take shape as the 
living product of living thought; it never should become, as 

142 SENTENCES (SEC. 116 

it does when single words or expressions are used continuously, 
a means of escaping the necessity of thought. There are three 
classes of thesQ thought-destroying words and expressions: 

(a) Each individual has a number of words which are special 
to the small group of persons with whom he associates most 
intimately, or which in some cases are peculiar to himself. 
The continually recurring "sort of a" (a sort of a fellow, I 
" sotta " felt) the overused intensifier " absolutely," the universal 
adjective of commendation "good," or "sweet" in the vocab- 
ulary of the schoolgirl, are samples of these pet words. Every 
one but the user realizes the tiresome meaninglessness of such 

(6) From books, some pick up stereotyped expressions which 
seem to the user to have a pleasant sound or to add an orna- 
mental flourish. Maiden, urchin, to wend one's way, I take my 
pen in hand, and many other such bookish words and expressions 
still get written. The vocabulary which is used in writing is 
inevitably, and should be, different from that used in speaking, 
for the circumstances of both writing and reading are different 
from those of speaking and hearing, but the vocabulary used in 
writing should be no less living or rich in actual thought. 

(c) The most serious difficulties in the way of developing a 
living vocabulary arise from the use of popular slang. Slang is 
a form of expression not peculiar to America but especially 
characteristic of the language of many Americans. Those 
whose ideas are formed mainly from contact with things and 
with active experience rather than from books and conversa- 
tion with the trained, and those whose mental powers carry them 
beyond the ordinary range of thought and feeling, inevitably 
find that they must stretch their vocabularies to express their 
ideas; and if their minds are keen, the result is a forceful, frank, 
picturesque language. Much slang comes from the frontiers of 
civilization and of thought, and many words and expressions 
from such sources become a permanent and worthy addition to 
the language. To others, language which is living, original, 


free from restraint, is peculiarly fascinating and therefore to be 
sought, for itself. So, too, the " latest thing out " in words ap- 
peals to many, just as does the latest fashion in dress or in amuse- 
ments. Book-study may tend to make language dead, and it 
is well to develop out of immediate experience language which 
is new growth. But we must recognize that, though in the new 
words and expressions there may be present life and hope of 
future growth, slang is often far from being a real gain. Much 
of it is the expression of the moment only, and has no perma- 
nent worth; much is created, not by those whose ideas exceed 
their vocabulary, but by those who attempt to deck out 
absence of thought in flippant, startling, and crude language. 
From disreputable sources much language comes which, in- 
stead of being new growth, is decadent. As it is used by the 
majority, slang represents only a fad. It is neither expressive 
nor original, for a few months ' existence may make it weary- 
ingly stale. Even when it is bright and sparkling, it becomes, 
when overused, tedious to the hearer, for a continual stream of 
originality and brilliancy is as objectionable as stereotyped 
language. To use the figure of the lemonade again, few care 
to drink it when it is almost pure lemon and sugar. Unstand- 
ardized words which are not vulgar, which express the idea 
unambiguously, effectively, and with the exact connotation, are 
desirable; but the use of slang which is merely a cover for the 
absence of real thought and appreciation is the most serious de- 
fect in the language of many Americans whose education should 
have given them a more effective instrument of expression. 


117. In the pronunciation of any language there is oppor- 
tunity for much individuality. The pronunciation we use is 
largely a comment upon the people we associate with, just as 
the vocabulary we use in writing is in part a reflection of the 
books we have read. Even from careful speakers we hear now 
and then a word which is unquestionably mispronounced, and 

144 SENTENCES (SEC. 118 

ignorance or extreme idiosyncrasy is quite different from indi- 
viduality. All need to consider the spoken word. Unless we 
are so situated that we hear little from carefully educated 
people, it is enough to observe whenever any one whom we 
know to be generally correct gives a word a pronunciation 
which is new to us, and then, by consulting other authorities, 
to decide which is right. ^ 

The adopting of a pronunciation which is unnatural to us, 
when our own is not incorrect, is not desirable. Naturalness, 
other things being equal, is better than affectation in pronun- 
ciation, just as certainly as it is in manners or dress; and 
affected language is sure to ring insincere. 

Whenever one's natural pronunciation is slovenly or dis- 
agreeable, however, it is important to reform it altogether, not 
by aping others, but by taking care. Americans have a strong 
tendency to a slovenly pronunciation, which arises from lazi- 
ness in the use of the vocal organs: the total obscuring of all 
syllables but those bearing the accent; the unnecessary cutting 
off of final consonants; and the disagreeableness of the so-called 
Yankee dialect, due to the flabbiness of the soft palate, which 
allows of harsh nasalizing. Such pronunciation, and enuncia- 
tion especially, should be corrected. 


118. Spelling in English is more chaotic than that of any 
other language that is commonly studied. It carries out no 
consistent attempt to give practical representation of the pro- 
nunciation of the words, and it is equally inconsistent in its 
attempt to record the past history of the words. At various 
times efforts have been made to systematize the spelling, 
sometimes in an intelligent way, sometimes in unintelligent 
ways; and many of these attempts have left distinct and con- 
tradictory records. In addition to native influences, there have 
been many from without. On a Germanic language foundation, 
English has built up a third of its vocabulary from French, a 


large proposition from Latin and Greek, and some words from 
almost every known language. These words have been in part 
Anglicized in spelling, in part they have retained traces of 
their various foreign origins. The past half-century has seen 
much done in the way of standardizing and rationalizing spell- 
ing, and many reasonable suggestions have been made by the 
Philological Society of England, the American Philological 
Association, and the Simplified Spelling Board. But in such 
matters English-speaking peoples are generally conservative, and 
changes, though they are sure to come, will come only slowly. 

119. For the standard spelling, no general rule can be laid 
down which has not exceptions, and often there are as many 
exceptions in the actual use as there are cases where the rule 
holds. But certain suggestions are worth consideration, for a 
knowledge of them will help one to avoid some of the common- 
est misspellings. For spelling of plurals see 51, and of posses- 
sive case forms see 53. 

120. Final e is retained before an added syllable beginning 
with a consonant. 

whole, wholesome 
Exceptions : 

wholly, wisdom 

judgment (and others in dge in American spelling only) 

truly, argument, woful (and many words in which the final e is 

preceded by a vowel) 

Final e is dropped before an added syllable beginning with a 

style, stylish 

Exceptions : 


hoeing, shoeing, toeing 

agreeing (and other words in ee, except before -ed, agreed) 

dyeing, singeing, etc. (to preserve identity of word. Compare 

dying, singing, etc.) 

noticeable, changeable (and other words in ce and ge, to preserve 
the soft sound of c or g before a syllable beginning with a or o) 

146 SENTENCES (SEC. 122 

121. Consonants in English are sometimes written single 
and sometimes written double. 

At the beginning of words, all consonants are single, except in 
the case of a few foreign words. 

Lloyd, Llewellyn, llama 

At the end of a word, consonants are usually single, 
him, compel, constitution, until 


Monosyllables ending in /, I, s. 

staff, till, pass (Aside from some of the commonest: clef, if, 
of, sal, sol, as, gas, has, was, yet, his, is, this, pus, thus, us) 
ebb, add, odd, egg, inn, err, burr, purr, butt, fizz, fuzz, buzz 

In the middle of words, consonants are sometimes single and 
sometimes double. 

After a short, accented vowel, the consonant is generally 

copper, hammer, letter 

Especially in words formed by adding a syllable to a simpler 

dinner, robbed, robber, committed, referred, metallic, written 

After a long vowel, or a short vowel unaccented, the con- 
sonant is generally single. 

opal, omen, reference 
diner, robed, writing 

In words from Latin the consonant is single or double gener- 
ally according to the Latin spelling. 

refer = Latin re + ferre 
differ = Latin dif (dis) + ferre 
disappear = Latin dis -j- ap (ad) parere 
dissolve = Latin dis -\- solvere 

122. Words ending in y sometimes change the y to i before 
an added syllable, and sometimes do not. See also 51 and 55. 


Generally the y is changed to i before any added syllable if it is 
preceded by a consonant. 

contrarily, iciest, merrier, pitiable, spies 
Except : 

Before terminations beginning with i. 

drying. (Note also die, dying) 

Before -ship. 

ladyship, suretyship 

In some derivatives from monosyllabic adjectives. 

slyer, dryly, dryness (not drier, driest) 

123. Obscure vowels. The vowel preceding or following one 
upon which a primary accent falls is pronounced obscurely in 
English, so that it is often difficult to tell which vowel should 
be written in that syllable. Often the correct vowel may be 
determined by reference to some other word coming originally 
from the same root, but having the accent on the syllable which 
is obscure in the word in question. 

ana(?)lytic analysis 

bene(?)fit bene'ficent 

ori(?)gin ori'ginal 

comple(?)ment comple'te 

compli(?)ment comply' 

metho(?)d methodical 

124. Misspelling of words ending in -al or -le, which is 
common, may be avoided by observing that -al is a common 
adjective ending, and that -le does not terminate adjectives 
except in the cases of double and triple; and that, on the other 
hand, -le is a common ending for nouns. 

optical muscle 

vertical people 

principal (chief) principle (a fundamental truth or settled rule of 

The nouns which end in -al (principal, highest teacher, or 
main sum of money, chemical, etc.) are adjectives used as 

148 SENTENCES (SEC. 125 


125. The first letter of the following words should be a 
capital : 

1. The first word of 

(a) Every sentence, and every word or group of words punctu- 
ated as a sentence. 

Enough! You may be seated. 
(6) Every line of poetry. 

And what delights can equal those 
That stir the spirit's inner deeps, 
When one that loves, but knows not, reaps 

A truth from one that loves and knows? 

(c) Every direct quotation, if a capital should be used by the 
author at that point. 

On another occasion he writes, " We are again preparing for a 
general election." 

Again, in a letter to Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer of two or three 
weeks' later date, he describes himself as having been "so 
closely occupied with my little Carol (the idea of which had just 
occurred to me) that I never left home before the owls went out, 
and led quite a solitary life." 

2. In titles of books, periodicals, essays, poems, etc., the 
first word, every noun, and other important words. 

The Cricket on the Hearth. 

The Spirit of Modern Philosophy. 

As You Like It. 

3. Proper nouns (42), including the names of the months, of 
the days of the week, of holidays (but not usually of the sea- 
sons); Bible and other terms for the Bible; the points of the 
compass when used as geographical terms; names of races of 
men (except generally negro and gypsy) ; names of religious sects 
and of political parties. 

Abraham Lincoln, New York, February, Thursday, the Fourth of 
July, (summer), Bible, Holy Scriptures, the West, the Orient, the 
French, (negro, gypsy), Orthodox, Republican. 


In proper nouns consisting of more than one word, each 
noun begins with a capital provided it is a part of the name 
and not merely a classifying word. 

The Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, 

the New York Herald, Washington Street, 

the Charles River, the river Charles, 

New York City, the city of New York. 

Newspapers begin the classifying nouns with small letters 
even when they are a part of the exact name (Charles river, 
Washington street), but more exact usage follows the examples 
given above. 

Adjectives derived from proper nouns, or formed in con- 
nection with proper nouns. (44a). 

Indian, Christian, English (but unchristian, transatlantic, etc.) 
At least two verbs derived from proper nouns. 
Christianize, Judaize. 

In proper names, of foreign origin, de, d', van, von, da, della, 
di, etc., when not preceded by a title or a Christian name. 
Von Humbolt, Della Crusca (Jacques Auguste de Thou). 

Official titles, titles of honor, respect, or affection, whenever 
they precede a name or occur in formal address, and when they 
stand alone and refer to a person previously mentioned by title 
and name. In compound titles, both words begin with a capital. 

Emperor William, your Majesty, Brother Jonathan 

Colonel Wilson and his son have gone to California, where the 

Colonel will spend the winter. 
Lieutenant-General Grant, ex-President. 

4. Names of the Deity, of the members of the Trinity, of 
the Virgin Mary, and of the Devil (when a personal being is 

God, the Son of Man, the Comforter, Heaven ( = God) 

Personal pronouns referring to God, except in extracts from 
the Bible. 

In His name. 

150 SENTENCES (SEC. 125 

5. The name of any object which is personified 


When Freedom from her mountain height 

6. The pronoun / and the vocative (93). 

7. The words Sir, Madam, Gentlemen, etc., in the saluta- 
tion of letters, and the first word in the formal phrase at the 
end of the letter, Yours truly, etc. 

8. Words to which attention is to be attracted. Nowadays, 
this use of capitals for the purpose of emphasis is limited to 
special cases, such as a college catalogue, or the lists, memoranda, 
and correspondence of a business concern. 

Sophomore, Mathematics, Civil Engineering (in a college catalogue) 
Tea, Sugar, Flour, etc. (in the correspondence of a grocery concern) 


(For Topical Synopsis, see page xxi.) 

. 126. IN the synthesis, or building up, of sentences many 
problems arise other than those of choice of words, the deter- 
mination of the forms and the order of words, and the other 
matters which have already been considered. In this last 
chapter a few suggestions will be given as to the length of 
sentences, and as to the possibilities of emphasis. 


127. It is a well-established principle of rhetoric that the pri- 
mary requisite of a sentence is unity. However complicated the 
thoughts which a sentence presents may be, they must give 
a resultant idea of unity. Unity, however, is a relative term; 
it is the primary requisite of every finished piece of compo- 
sition and of every distinct subdivision. A book must have 
unity, even if it is fifteen volumes long; so must a chapter, so 
must a paragraph, and so, no less certainly, must a sentence. 
If, then, such varying amounts can be given unity, the ques- 
tion arises : How many thoughts, or how many words, is it well to 
combine to form that unit of expression which is called a sen- 
tence f In other words, how is the length of sentences to be 
determined ? 

128. Various rules have been given to guide the framer of 
sentences. It has been said that a sentence should not con- 
tain more words than can be uttered without the necessity of 
breaking it up to take breath. If that were so, many sentences 
would seem to presuppose extraordinary control of breath ! 
Sentences are frequently much shorter than that rule would 


152 SENTENCES (SEC. 129 

suggest, and frequently longer than it would permit; and 
neither extreme necessarily destroys effectiveness. It is some- 
times said that a sentence should not contain over so many 
words, one hundred, fifty, twenty-five, or whatever number 
may be considered ideal. As a matter of fact, sentences in 
Milton's time were not uncommonly between one hundred 
and three hundred words long; now with many writers they do 
not average much over twenty-five words. Tastes differ and 
styles change. No mechanical rule is very helpful. One 
general hint, however, would seem to be of some value: the 
writer should keep in mind the pulsation of attention (19), 
and remember that he is asking his reader to grasp all the ideas 
of the sentence as a whole by a single act of the attention, 
rather than by a series of acts such as is necessary to grasp a 
paragraph. As we read a sentence, we may be conscious of 
receiving one idea and then another, but when we reach the end 
it should all be present in consciousness without necessitating 
progressive acts of the attention to recall it. The matter of 
the sentence should also have unity, but we are here concerned 
only with the length of the sentence, that is, with the amount to 
which it is well to attempt to give sentence unity. 

129. Each writer has a certain amount of freedom in deter- 
mining the length of his sentences, so that individual character- 
istics are sure to express themselves in this as in other ways. 
Differences in the mental powers of writers make it possible 
for them to grasp and organize sentences of different degrees of 
complexity. A child can never conceive of more than a few 
simple ideas as wholes; while a mature person of highly trained 
mind generally feels that he has not enough to call his powers 
into activity unless the units given him are complex. On the * 
other hand, subjects of different natures will inevitably be pre- 
sented in sentences of different lengths. Simple narration 
often is best expressed in short sentences; philosophical or 
scientific ideas so presented would hardly build up any system- 
atic structure . 


130. Again, the effective length of a sentence depends in 
part upon its rhetorical form. As a child begins to develop 
sentences, he inevitably does it by joining what would other- 
wise be separate sentences by the continued use of the con- 
junction and. It is evident that such sentences may be endless. 
It is also evident that such sentences, no matter how long, may 
be constructed so as to be clear, because they present bits at a 
time simply as coordinate ideas. Further examination, how- 
ever, shows that we have really, so far, no effective sentence 
structure at all. The very fact that sentences come one after 
another in a paragraph joins them together and, unless some 
other connective word is used, the joining is practically the same 
as that effected by the use of and. More than that, ideas, 
except in the immature thought of the child, are not all coor- 
dinate. Of a given group of ideas which are closely compacted 
together, some may simply add qualities to the subject or to 
the complement, some may tell how, when, or where the action 
took place. When we have, instead of a series of coordinate 
elements, one main idea expressed with other ideas duly sub- 
ordinated, we have a much more compact and highly organized 
sentence. In a developed form of this type of sentence, the sense 
is suspended so that the reader does not get the main idea till 
he has reached the full stop at the end. Such a " periodic " 
sentence is manifestly artificial, and would be used only by 
minds carefully trained in massing thoughts and in expressing 
them in sentences, but it is effective in expressing elaborated 
thought. The effective length of such a sentence depends 
(a) upon the skill of the framer in managing the form, (6) upon 
the degree of elaboration which the subject he is treating war- 
rants, and (c) upon the ability which he is safe in assuming his 
readers have in grasping ideas in one pulsation of attention. 

131. In a single piece of composition, even within a single 
paragraph, sentences should not all be of the same length. 
Such similarity of structure would mean inevitable monotony, 
and the natural result of monotony is to lull the attention to 

154 SENTENCES (Ssc. 132 

sleep. Just as our attention soon wanders if we attempt to 
listen continuously to the unvarying ticking of the clock, so it 
will if we try to listen to, or read, sentences of monotonous 
structure. Long and short sentences should be irregularly 
interspersed for variety's sake; but this does not call for any 
unnatural combining of our ideas, for if we express our ideas 
adequately they will be sure to take on naturally varied groupings. 


132. We have already seen (86) that the order of words 
within sentences also should be varied. If the grammatical 
order were always strictly observed, we should have within the 
sentences themselves fatal monotony. Variety of order would 
be a necessity for its own sake, were it not that the order is 
changed by the different demands for emphasis. In speaking, 
emphasis may be given by stress of voice, and correspondingly, in 
writing, by underscoring. But such emphasis is external. It 
is possible to throw the emphasis where the ideas demand it 
by the order of the words, or by the construction of the sentence, 
thus making the emphasis organic. Certain words in sentences 
have no accent at all, that is to say, they are proclitic, throw- 
ing the accent upon the word following as if they were an un- 
accented syllable of that word; or enclitic, throwing the accent 
back upon the word which precedes. Most articles and prep- 
ositions, for example, are proclitic; adverbs may become enclitic. 

The fate of the nation was riding that night (proclitic). 
Now what are you up to? (enclitic) . 

Upon these proclitic and enclitic words, emphasis cannot be 
thrown by the order of the words. Only in the most unusual 
cases is there any occasion for emphasizing them; and when 
there is, it must be done by voice stress or by underscoring. 
All other words in a sentence may be emphasized by position, 
or by some added word or circumlocution, by observing one 
of two principles to be explained in the next sections. 


133. The beginning and the end of a sentence are naturally 
emphatic positions. After a rest, of no matter how short 
duration, the attention is always fresher, and it is always 
brightened by a change of subject. The beginning of the 
sentence benefits in both these ways. The words at the end of 
a sentence gain special consideration for a different reason. 
As ideas are presented, each attracts a certain amount of atten- 
tion, but the length of time that the mind can dwell upon one 
idea is narrowly limited by the fact that, in the steady flow, 
attention must at once turn to the following idea. If, however, 
a pause follows, attention has opportunity to dwell longer on 
the last given idea. If a speaker suddenly pauses, even those 
who were not listening as he spoke will attend, and they will 
find his last words " ringing in their ears." In a similar way 
the last words before the full stop of a sentence may receive 
added attention. Experience has led speakers and writers 
to take advantage of these two opportunities for increased 
attention, so that sentences have been consciously constructed 
with that in mind; and the habit of expecting the most impor- 
tant words first and last has strengthened the natural emphasis. 
The final emphasis is especially strong in periodic sentences. It 
is not always possible to end a sentence with an emphatic word; 
the natural order in English often throws to the end a word 
which is distinctly not emphatic. For example, What does that 
amount to? But, in as far as it can be done without violating 
the natural order, sentences should be so constructed as to end 
with a word which expresses an important idea. 

134. Any word out of place, like anything else in an unex- 
pected situation, attracts special attention. If a preacher in 
a dignified sermon lets drop a piece of current slang, or a Re- 
publican orator permits himself to advocate a Democratic 
doctrine or to praise a Democratic candidate, these words or 
ideas out of their expected places attract so much attention 
that perhaps nothing else said gets reported. So in sentences, 
words out of their grammatical places attract special attention. 

156 SENTENCES (SEC. 136 

The fundamental elements of the sentence can seldom be mis- 
placed except by change of construction; but adverbial modi- 
fiers may easily be placed at the beginning of the sentence, 
between the subject and the verb, or at an unusual distance 
after the verb. Emphasis may be thrown upon a verb, when 
no other means is available, by the addition of an adverbial 
intensifier, and upon a noun or adjective by a circumlocution 
which will make the desired word the complement of the copula 
with it for its subject. 

135. To take a single sentence to illustrate the possibilities 
of emphasis of the organic sort: 

The Mississippi is the greatest of these. 

The greatest of these is the Mississippi. 

Of these, the Mississippi is the greatest. 

Of these, the greatest is the Mississippi. 

The Mississippi is indeed the greatest of these. 

It is the Mississippi which is the greatest of these. 

In some such ways as these, any word, except the proclitics 
and the enclitics, may easily be given emphasis by the struc- 
ture of the sentence. The ideas of a sentence are not ade- 
quately expressed till the emphasis is properly distributed, and 
as the voice stress is entirely lost in writing, it is important to 
organize sentences so that emphasis will naturally fall at the 
right places. 

136. In the building up of sentences there are many other 
problems of importance, but as we pass from grammatical 
structure to rhetorical form we come to .deal with matters 
which concern larger wholes than the sentence. Rhetorically 
a sentence is but a member of the whole composition, whatever 
that may be, and it should grow out of the general conception 
of the larger whole. Such considerations would take us entirely 
beyond the scope of this volume, which is limited to the study 
of sentences and their elements. 


Numbers refer to sections 

Abbreviations, marked by a period, 91. 

e.g. etc., preceded by a semicolon, 


Ablative case, in Latin, 53. 
Ablative absolute, in Latin, 40. 
Absolute construction, 40. 

case of nouns in, 53. 
Absolute present tense, 6Qh. 
Absolute use of transitive verb, 29, 30, 

of superlative, 55. 
Abstract nouns, 42. 

with no plural, 51. 
Accent, in compound words, 95. 
Accent marks, 107. 
Accusative case, in Latin, etc., 53. 
Action, verbs expressing, 26, 29, 30. 
Active voice, or active verb, 29, 30, 33. 

formation of, 58, 64. 
Actor, the, subject of active verb or 

agent of passive, 29, 33. 
Adjective, definition of, 35, 41, 44. 

predicate, 32, 33, 38, 39, 44, 74. 

resultant predicate, 34, 39. 

as primary modifier, 35, 74. 

position of, 44, 82. 

kinds of, 44. 

paradigm of, 56. 

number of, 51. 

gender of, 52. 

case of, 53. 

comparison of, 55. 

compound, 74. 

proper, capitalized, 125. 

expressing separable and inseparable 
qualities, punctuation of, 101. 

or adverb with verbs, 74. 
Adjective, noun, 42. 

pronoun, 43i. 

phrase, 38, 39. 

clause, 38, 39. 
Adverb, definition of, 35, 39, 41, 45. 

as apparent modifier of noun, 35. 

as modifier of sentence, 35. 

as relative, 430. 

negative, 40(4), 45. 

comparison of, 55. 

paradigm of, 56. 

position of, 82, 86. 

Adverb, conjunctive, 48. 
there, introducing verb, 69. 
substantive used as, 35, 42, 43. 
adjective or, with verb, 74. 
out of grammatical position, punctu- 
ation of, 102. 
alone or combined with preposition 

to serve as relative, 43g. 
relative, 48. 
use of, in Anglo-Saxon, in Chaucer, 

and in Shakspere, 74. 
Adverb, phrase, 38, 39. 

clause, 38, 39. 

Affirmation, words of, 40 (4). 
Agent of the action, in passive, 29, 33. 
Agreement, of verb, 69. 
of pronouns, 72. 
of nouns in apposition, 73. 
of coordinate words and expressions, 


of terms compared, 76. 
For general treatment of the subject 

of agreement, see Chapter V. 
Ambiguous words, 114, 6. 
Ambiguous use of pronouns, 72. 
American use, 12. 
Analysis of sentences, Chapter II. 
Antecedent, 43. 

necessity for real, 72. 
ambiguous, 72. 
Apostrophe, use of, 94. 

as sign of the possessive case, 53. 
Apposition, substantive in, 35. 
clauses in, 39. 
case of, 53. 
agreement of, 73. 
cut off by commas, 102. 
noun in, 42. 
pronoun in, 43. 
Appositive position, 44. 
Archaic second-person forms of pro- 
nouns, 54; 

personal forms of verbs, 54. 
Archaic language, 12, 14. 
Articles, definite, 44. 

indefinite, 44. 

Articulate, ideas and sounds, 2. 
Attributive position, 44. 




Auxiliaries, 46. 

modal, 59, 62, 63. 

used in forming: passive, 58; imper- 
ative, 59; conditional, 59, 60s; 
potential, 59; and the progressive, 
emphatic, future and compound 
tenses, 60. 

paradigms of, 61, 62. 

Bi-verbal tenses, 60 6, d. 
Bookish words, 14, 116. 
Brackets, use of, 1 02. 
British use, (use in England) 12. 

Can, paradigm, 60r, 62. 

meaning and use, 63. 
Capital letters, use of, 125. 

to mark proper nouns, 42, 125. 

to mark proper adjectives, 44, 125. 
Cardinal numerals, 446. 
Caret, use 9f, 107. 
Case, definition of, 53. 

of nouns: common, 53. 
possessive, 35, 53, 94. 
rules for forming, 53. 

of pronouns: subject, possessive, ob- 
jective, 53. 

of adjectives, 53. 

in other languages, 53. 

of subject of finite verb, 67. 

of subject of infinitive, 68. 

of predicate nominative, 70. ^ 

of object of verb or preposition, 71. 

of substantive in apposition, 73. 
Causative use of verb, 29. 
Change of state, verbs expressing, 26, 

28, 30. 

Cedilla, use of, 107. 
Choice of words, 109. 

fundamental problems in, 110. 

importance of, 111. 

general grounds for, 113 116. 
Christianize, the verb capitalized, 125. 
Clause, 38. 

relative, 38, 102. 

Clearness, 86. See also exactness. 
Collective and partitive, pronouns, 43/i, 

adjectives, 446. 

agreement of verb with, 69. 

agreement of pronoun with, 72. 
Collective nouns, 42. 
Colloquial language, 12, 14. 
Colon, use of, 97, 100, 106. 
Color, local, 14. 

Comma, uses of , 100, 101, 102, 103, 104. 
Common case, 53. 
Common form, defined, 50. 

for num^r, 51. 

for gender, 52. 

for case, 53. 

for person, 54. 

for comparison, 55. 

of verbs, 57. 
Common gender, 52. 

Common nouns, 42. 
Common use, 12. 

Comparative degree, of adjectives and 
adverbs, 55. 

formation of, 55. 
Comparison, definition of, 55. 

comparative and superlative degrees 
of, 55. 

agreement in terms compared, 76. 
Complement, definition of , 25, 32, 33, 39. 
Complete verb, 27. 
Complex sentences, 37. 
Compound noun, plural of, 51. 

possessive of, 53. 

Compound relative pronouns, 43/. 
Compound sentences, 37. 
Compound tenses, 6 Of. 
Compound words, 95. 

use of hyphen in, 95. 
Conclusion, 59. 
Concrete nouns, 42. 
Condition, 59. 
Conditional mode, 59. 

use of should and would, 60s. 
Conjunction, definition of, 37, 41, 48. 

kinds of, 48. 

Conjunctive adverbs, 48. 
Conjunctive pronouns, 436. 
Conjunctive words, 83. 
Connection, idea of, expressed by 
copula, 22, 23, 26. 

and idea of existence, expressed by 
verb, 27, 30, 33. 

and idea of state of being or change of 
state expressed by verb, 28, 30, 33. 

and idea of action, expressed by verb, 
29, 30, 33. 

expressed by conjunction, 48. 
Connotation, 12, 113. 
Consonants, single or double, 121, 65. 
Constructions, absolute, 40. 
Coordinating conjunctions, 48. 
Coordinate sentence elements, 37. 

agreement of, 75. 
Copula, 22, 26, 30, 33. 

complement of, 32. 
Correct use, 8-11. 

secondary importance of, 9. 

need of observing, 11, 17. 
Correlating conjunctions, 48. 
Could, 60r, paradigm of, 62. 

meaning and use of, 63. 

Dare, 63. 

Dash, uses of, 97. 

use of pair of, 102. 

Dating of letters, punctuation of, 103. 
Dating of past and future events, 60. 
Dative case, in Latin, etc., 53. 

of reference, 34. 

ethical, 34. 

of advantage and disadvantage, 34. 
Declarative sentence, definition of, 36. 

order of words in, 81. 



Defective verbs, 46. 

See modal auxiliaries, 62, 63. 
Definite article, 44. 
Denial, words of, 40 (4). 
Degrees of comparison, 55. 
Deity, names of, capitalized, 125. 
Demonstrative pronouns, 43 a; 

paradigm, 56. 
Demonstrative adjectives, 44. 

paradigm of, 56. 

agreement of, with noun modified, 72. 
Denotation, 12, 113. 
Descriptive tense, 60&. 
Determination of the forms of words, 

Chapter V. 

Devil, the word capitalized, 125. 
Dieresis, use of, 107. 
Disjunctive use of pronouns, 43 6, 70. 
Disreputable language, 12, 116c. 
Ditto marks, use of, 107. 
Division of words, into syllables, 95. 

at end of line of writing, 95. 
Do, the auxiliary, in the emphatic 
tenses, 60/. 

paradigm of, 61. 

in interrogations, 85. 
Double consonants, 121. 
Dual, 51. 

Economical words, 115. 
Effective words, 115. 
Elements of sentences, fundamental, 
24, 39. 

order of, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86. 

independent, 40. 

grammatical, 39. 

grammatical and logical, 35, note. 

compound, 37, 39. 

coordinate, 37. 

agreement of coordinate, 75. 
Elision, of letters, marked by apos- 
trophe, 94. 

of century numbers, 94. 
Ellipsis, 39. 

marks of, 103. 
Emotion, language of, 1. 
Emphasis, external and organic, 132, 86. 

of position, 133. 

at beginning and end of sentence, 133. 

on words out of grammatical order, 

possibilities of, in a single sentence, 

use of capital letters to express, 125. 
Emphatic tenses, 60/, m. 

paradigm of, 64. 
Enclitic words, 132. 
Enunciation, 117. 
Epicene gender, 52. 
Exclamation point, 90, 93. 
Exclamative Oh, distinguished from voc- 
ative O, 93. 
Exclamative sentence, definition of, 36. 

Exclamative sentence, order of words 

in, 84. 

Exactness of words, 113, 114. 
Existence, verbs expressing, 26, 30. 
Explanatory relative clauses, 38, 102. 
Expression, implements of, 1. 

limitations of, 3. 

possibilities of overcoming limita- 
tions of, 4, 5. 

restrictions of, 6-16. 

(See also, word, choice, and use.) 

Feminine gender, 52. 

Feminine endings, 52. 

Feminine prefixes, 52. 

Figures, plural of, 94. 

Final e, spelling of words with, 120, 65. 

Final y, plural of words ending in, 51. 

spelling of words ending in, 122, 51, 55. 
Finite verb forms, 46. 
Fitness, restrictions of, 12, 14. 
Form, secondary to substance, 11. 
of words, variations in, Chapter IV. 

determination of, Chapter V. 

two factors in determining, 66. 

common, 50. 
Fundamental elements, of sentences, 

24, 39. 

order of, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86. 
Future, 6Qn. 

Gender, of nouns, definition of, 52. 

masculine, feminine, neuter, com- 
mon, grammatical, epicene, 52. 
terminations and prefixes, 52. 
of pronouns, 52. 
of adjectives, 52. 
paradigms of, 56. 
General use, 12, 13. 
Genitive case, in Latin, etc., 53. 
Geographical restrictions in the use of 

language, 12, 14. 
Good use, 13, 14. 

value of canons of, 13. 
true application of canons of, 14. 
Grammar, terms of, 20, note. 
Grammatical and logical elements and 

modifiers, 35, note. 
Grammatical elements, 39. 
Grammatical terms, 20, note. 
Grouping of words, 78, 87-106. 
necessity for, 78, 87. 

Historical present tenses, 60Z. 
Hyphen, use of, 95. 

7, pronoun, capitalized, 125. 
Ideas, emotional and logical, 1. 

means of expressing, 1. 
Idioms and idiomatic language, 7, 31, 

434, 53, 72. 

Illegibility, effects of, 10. 
Imperative mode, 59. 

direct and indirect, 59. 

subject of, omitted, 24, 59. 



Imperative sentence, 36. 

order of words in, 84. 
Impersonal verb, 46. 
Implements of expression, 1. 
Inaccuracy, effects of, 10. 
Indecent language, 12. 
Indefinite article, 446. 
Indefinites, see collective and partitive. 
Independent elements, 40. 
Indicative mode, 59. 

paradigm of, 64. 
Indirect object, 34, 39. 

of personal interest, 34. 
Indirect future, 60s. 
Indirect quotation, definition of, 77. 

sequence of tenses in, 77, 60s. 

indirect future in, 60?. 

person of pronouns in, 77. 

punctuation of, 96. 
Infinitive, definition of, 42. 

as noun, 42, 46, 59. 

as verb form, 59. 

with auxiliary to form: imperative, 59; 

conditional, 59; potential, 59; em- 
phatic, 60/ and future tenses, QQn. 

with to as " sign," with to used as a 
preposition, and without to, 38, 42. 

in phrases, 38. 

in clauses, 38. 

paradigm of, 64. 

subject of, 68. 

split, 82. 

Inseparable prefixes, 31, 82. 
Inseparable qualities expressed by ad- 
jectives, 101. 

Instrumental case, in Latin, etc., 53. 
Intensive pronouns, 43d. 
Interdependence of words for their 

meaning, 112. 

Interjections, 40, 41, 42, 43, 49. 
Interrogation point, uses of, 90, 92. 
Interrogative pronouns, 43/; 

paradigm of, 56. 
Interrogative adjectives, 446. 

paradigm of, 56. 
Interrogative sentence, definition of, 36. 

order of words in, 85. 

punctuation of, 90, 92. 
Irregular verbs, 46. 

formation of, 65. 
Intransitive verbs, 29, 30, 33. 
Inverted order, 82. 

It, pronoun, as subject of verb, 29, 436, 

improper use of, without an anteced- 
ent, 72. 

Judaize, the verb capitalized, 125. 

Language, means of communicating 

ideas, 1. 

implements of spoken and written, 1. 
means of exact thought, 2. 
imperfect means of expression, 3, 4. 

Language, kinds of , 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 116. 

importance of, 18. 

(See also, words, expression, use.) 
Latin grammar, terms of, 20, note. 

(Cases, 53.) 

Length of sentences, 127-131. 
Letters, plural of, 51, 94. 

use of capital, 125, 42, 44. 

elision of, 94. 

Letters (correspondence), special cases 
of punctuation in, 103, 104,106. 

special cases of capitalization in, 125. 
Limitations of expression, 34. 

possibilities of overcoming, 4. 

(See also restrictions.) 
Limiting adjectives 446. 
Local color, 14. 
Local use, 12, 14. 
Locative case, Latin, 53. 
Logical language, 7. 
Logical subject, predicate, etc., 22, 35, 

Logical thought, 1. 

Marks, of punctuation, 87-107. 

of generally fixed usage, 89-97. 

of varying usage, 89, 98-106. - 

other than punctuation marks, 89, 

sentence, 90. 

of parenthesis, 102. 

to indicate ellipsis, 103. 

accent, 107. 

quantity, 107. 

(See also under the names of the sepa- 
rate marks.) 
Masculine gender, 52. 

terminations and prefixes of, 52. 
Material nouns, without plural, 51. 
May, auxiliary, paradigm of, 60r, 62. 

meaning and use of, 63. 
Meaning and use of may, might, can, 

could, must, ought, 63. 
Middle voice, 58. 
Might, auxiliary, paradigm, 60r, 62. 

meaning and use of, 63. 
Modal auxiliaries, 59, 63. 
Modal future tenses, 6 Op. 
Mode, definition of, 59. 

indicative, imperative, conditional, 
subjunctive, optative, potential, 
and modal auxiliary, infinitives 
and participles, 59. 

formation of conditional, 60s, 60. 

paradigm of, 64. 
Modifiers, 35. 

primary and secondary, 35, 39. 

compound, 37. 

in a phrase, 38. 

noun, 35, 42. 

adjective, 35, 44, 74. 

adverb, 35, 45, 74. 

adjective or adverb, 74. 

position of, 82. 



Modifiers, adverb, out of grammatical 

order cut off by commas, 102. 
Mood, see mode. 

Must, auxiliary, paradigm of, 62. 
meaning and use of, 63. 

Narrative tense, 60&. 
National use, 12, 13, 14. 
Need, 63. 
Negatives, 40(4), 45. 

double, 45. 
Neuter verbs, 30. 
Neuter gender, 52. 
Neuter number, 51. 
Nominal adjective, 446. 
Nominative, predicate, 32, 33, 39. 

noun as, 42. 

pronoun as, 43. 

case of, 53, 70. 

Nominative case, of Latin, etc., 53. 
Noun, definition of, 41, 42. 

kinds of, 42. 

verbal, 42, 44. 

number of, 51. 

gender of, 52. 

case of, 53. 

person of, 54. 

paradigm of, 56. 

as modifier of a substantive, 35. 

as modifier of a verb, 35. 

in apposition, agreement of, 73. 

cut off by commas, 102. 

proper, capitalized, 125. 
Noun phrase, 38, 39. 
Noun clause, 38, 39. 
Number, definition of, 51. 

of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, 
51, 56. 

irregularities, 51. 

dual, 51. 

Numeral adjectives, 446. 
Numeral pronouns, 43i. 

O, vocative, distinguished from oh, 

exclamative, 93. 
Object, of verb (predicate object), 32, 

33, 39. 

indirect, 34, 39. 

indirect, of personal interest, 34. 
resultant, 34, 39. 
of preposition, etc., in phrases, 38, 

noun as, 42. 

pronoun as, 42. 

case of, 53, 71. 
One, pronoun, use of, 436, 72. 
Optative mode, 59. 
Optative sentences, definition of, 36. 

order of words in, 84. 
Order of words, 78-86. 

in declarative sentences, 80-83. 

in exclamative, imperative, and op- 
tative sentences, 84. 

in interrogative sentences, 85. 

Order of words, in Romance languages 

and in German, 83. 
Ordinal numerals, 446. 
Ought, auxiliary, paradigm of, 62,. 
meaning and use of, 63. 

Parenthesis, marks of, 102. 
Parenthetical expressions, 40(5), 102. 
Participles, 44, 59. 

present, 44, 42. 

used in forming progressive tenses, 

past, 44 (with object, 34). 

used in forming the passive, 58; 
and the compound tenses, QOv. 

with substantive in absolute con- 
struction, 40, 42, 43. 

paradigm of, 64. 
Parts of Speech, Chapter III. 
Partitive adjective, 446. 
Partitive pronoun, 43. 
Passive voice, 28, 30, 32, 33. 

object of, 31, 34. 

forms of, 58. 

subject of, 33. 

paradigm, 64. 
Period, uses of, 90, 91. 
Periodic sentences, 130, 137. 
Person, definition of, 54. 

of nouns and pronouns, 54. 

first, second, third, 54. 

archaic second, 54. 

demonstrative origin of pronouns in 
third, 54. 

endings of verbs marking, 54. 

change of, in indirect quotations, 77. 
Personal endings of verbs, 54. 
Personal pronouns, 436. 

paradigms of, 56. 
Personality of writer, 14, 129. 
Personification, 52, 53. 

possessive case of words of, 53. 

words of, capitalized, 125. 
Pet words, 116a. 
Phrases, definition of, 38. 

prepositional, infinitive, verbal-noun, 
participle, 38. 

noun, 38, 39. 

adjective, 38, 39. 

adverb, 38, 39. 

in relation to verb-expressions, 31. 

taking the place of the possessive 

case, 53. 

Plural, general and special rules for 
forming, 51. 

of letters, figures, signs, etc,. 51, 94. 
Poetry, first word in each line of, 

capitalized, 125. 

Position of words as indicating relation- 
ships, 79. 

of adjectives, 44. 

of modifiers, 82. 

(.See also order of words.) 
Positive degree of comparison, 55. 



Possessive adjectives and pronouns, 

43c, 446. 

origin of, 43c. 

paradigms of, 56. 
Possessive case, definition of, 53. 

rule for forming, 53. 

use of the apostrophe to indicate, 53, 

as modifier of substantive, 35. 
of noun, 42, 53. 
of pronoun, 43, 53. 
of persons and things, 53. 

idiomatic uses of, 53. 
Potential mode, 59. 
Predicate, 20, 23, 25, 33, 39. 

ways of combining with subject, 21, 

22, 23. 

Predicate adjective, 32, 33, 38, 39, 44, 74. 
Predicate nominative, 32, 33, 39. 

noun as, 42. 

pronoun as, 43. 

case of, 53, 70. 
Predicate object, 32, 33, 39. 

case of, 53, 71. 
Predicate position, 44. 
Prefixes, inseparable and separable. 

31, 82. 
Prepositions, 41, 47. 

in phrases, 38. 

object of, 38, 47. 

in verb-expressions, 31. 
Prepositional phrases, 38. 
Present use, 13. 
Printers' details, 9. 
Proclitic words, 132. 
Progressive tenses, 60e. 
Pronominal adjectives, 446. 
Pronouns, definition of , 41, 43. 

early forms and development of, 43. 

kinds of, 43. 

number of, 51. 

gender of, 52. 

case of, 53. 

person of, 54. 

antecedent of. 43, 72. 

use of one, 436, 72. 

paradigms of, 56. 

in apposition, case of, 73. 

/, capitalized, 125. 

referring to God, capitalized, 125. 
Pronunciation, 117. 
Proper nouns, 42. 
Proper adjectives, 44. 

capitalized, 125. 

Propositions, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29. 
Pulsations in consciousness, 19, 20, 128. 
Punctuation. See Marks of punctuation. 

Qualifying adjective, 44. 
Quantitative adjectives, 446. 
Quantitative nouns, 42. 
Quantity marks, use of, 107. 
Quotation, indirect, 77. 
sequence of tenses in, 77, 60. 

Quotations, change of pronouns in, 77. 
punctuation of, 96. 
marks of, 96. 

punctuation before, 104, 106. 
within a quotation, punctuation of, 96. 
capitalization of first word of, 125. 

Reader, attention of, attracted to and 
distracted by anything incorrect, 


words to fit, 14, 15, 16, 114. 
Receiver of the action, 29, 33. 
Reciprocal use of verbs, 58. 
Reciprocal pronouns, 43e. 
Reflexive pronouns, 43d. 
paradigm of, 56. 
use of verbs with, 58. 
Regular verbs, 46. 
paradigm of, 64. 
formation of, 65. 
Relative pronouns, 430. 
compound, 43. 
paradigm of, 56. 
Relative adjectives, 446, 
Relative clauses, explanatory and re- 
strictive, 38. 

explanatory, cut off by commas, 102. 
Relative adverbs, 48, 43/. 
Restrictions, of correct use, 8-11. 
of good use, 12-16. 
geographical, local, technical, col- 
loquial, temporal, archaic, slang, 
12, 14. 
of fitness, indecent, unfit, vulgar, 

12, 14. 

Restrictive relative clauses, 38, 102. 
Resultant predicate adjective, 34, 39. 
Resultant object, 34, 39. 

Semicolon, uses of, 100, 101, 105. 
Sentence, analysis of (structure of), 
Chapter II. 

synthesis of, Chapter VIII. 

definition of, 19. 

as unit of expression, 19. 

as combination of subject and predi- 
cate, 19, 20, 21, 23. 

primitive, 21. 

as a proposition, 22. 

grammatical, 23. 

of one member, 20. 

kinds according to idea expressed, 36. 

simple, compound, and complex, 37, 

fundamental elements of, 24, 39. 

modified by adverbs, 35. 

parts of, with no structural relations, 

marks, 90. 

first word of, capitalized, 125. 

length of, 127-131. 
Separable prefixes, 31, 82. 
Separable qualities expressed by adjec- 
tives, 101. 



Series, marks to indicate, 99. 

of unequals, marks to indicate, 100. 

of equals, 101. 

Shaksperean use of indirect object of 
personal interest, 34. 

of shall and will, QOn. 

of adjectives and adverbs, 74. 
Shall, auxiliary, 60ra. 

paradigm of, 62. 
Should, auxiliary, 60f. 

paradigm of, 62. 

in conditional mode, 59. 
Sign of infinitive, 38, 42. 
Signs, plural of, 51, 94. 
Simple tenses, 606, c. 
Single consonants, 121. 
Singular number, 51. 
Slang, meaning of the term as used 
here, 14. 

use and abuse of, 12, 14, 116. 
Speech, parts of, Chapter III. 
Spelling, 118-124. 

chaotic condition of English, 118. 

practical suggestions as to, 119-124. 

final e, 120. 

double or single consonants, 121. 

final y, 122. 

obscure vowels, 123. 

words ending in -al or -le, 124. 
Split infinitives, 82. 
Standardization of words, 12. 
State of being, verbs expressing, 26, 

28, 30. 

Stress. See emphasis and accent. 
Strong verbs, 46. 

formation of, 65. 

Subject, definition of, 20, 19, 23, 24, 33, 

possible omission of, 24. 

expressed by two substantives, 24. 

ways of combining, with predicate, 21, 
22, 23. 

grammatical, 23, 35, note. 

logical, 35, note. 

noun as, 42. 

pronoun as, 43. 

of active and of passive, 33, 34. 

case of, 53, 67, 68. 

Subject matter, determining choice of 
words, 14, 113. 

determining the length of sentences, 


Subjunctive mode, 59. 
Subordinating conjunctions, 48. 
Substance more important than form, 

Substantive, 24, 39, 41. 

(See also noun and pronoun), 

in apposition, agreement of, 73. 
Superlative degree of comparison, for- 
mation of, 55. 

Surnames, with titles, plural of, 51. 
Synthesis of sentences, Chapter VIII. 

131, 135, 136. 

Taste, good, 12-16. 

how developed, 15. 
Technical language, 12, 14, 114a. 
Tense, definition of, 60. 

formation of, 60. 

use and meaning of, 60. 

explanation of the different forms, 60. 

paradigm, 64. 

Terms, grammatical, 20 note. 
The used as an adverb. 45. 

See also definite article. 
There, adverb, introducing verb, 46, 69. 
Things, possessive case of noun stand- 
ing for, 53. 
Thought, logical, 1. 

living, 6. 

requiring living form of expression, 

6, 116. 

Tilde, use of, 107. 

Time, distinctions in, expressed by 
tense, 60. 

present, past, and future, 60. 

a relative matter depending upon 

point from which act is viewed, 60. 

Titles, of books, etc., capitalized, 125. 

official, with surnames,capitalized, 125. 
To be, 22, 26, 27, 33. 

paradigm of, 61. 

Trinity, names of members of, capital- 
ized, 125. 

Transitive verbs, 29, 30, 33. 
Translation, 7, 31, 45. 82. 

Umlaut, marked by dieresis, 107. 
Unfit language, 12, 14. 
Use, correct, 8-11. 
good, 12-15. 

Variation in form of words, Chapter IV. 

in order of words, 86. 

in length of sentences, 131. 
Verb, definition of, 25, 26-33, 41, 46. 

kinds of, 26-29, 33, 46. 

paradigms of, 30, 33, 39, 61-64. 

formation of, 65. 

requiring complement, 32. 

agreement of, with subject, 69. 

followed by adjective or adverb, 74. 
Verbal nouns, 38, 42, 44. 

with prepositions, forming verb-ex- 
pressions, 31. 

Verbal adjectives, 38, 42, 44. 
Verbal phrase, 38. 
Verb-expressions, 31, 34. 
Virgin Mary, names of capitalized, 125. 
Vocative, 40. 

of nouns, 42. 

of pronouns, 43. 

case of, 53. 

cut off by commas, 102. 

O, capitalized, 125. 

distinguished from exclamative, 

oh, 93. < 

Vocative case, in Latin, etc., 53. 
Voice, active, 29, 30, 33. 

164 INDEX 

Voice, passive, 29, 30, 33. Words, as parts of speech, Chapter III. 

subject of, 33. variations of form of, Chapter IV. 

agent, 29, 33. determination of forms of, Chapter V. 

formation of, 58. of affirmation or denial, 40(4). 

middle, reflexive, reciprocal, 58. order and grouping of, Chapter VI. 

Vowels, obscure, spelling of, 123. division of, 95. 

Vulgarisms, 12. choice of, 109-116. 

pronunciation of, 117. 

Weak verbs, 46. spelling of, 118-124. 

paradigm of, 64. capitalization of, 125. 

formation of, 65. kinds of, 12, 14, 110-116. 

Will, auxiliary, 60n. compound, 95. 

paradigm, 62. Would, auxiliary, 60. 

Words, as implements of expression, 1. paradigm, 62. 

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LD 21-50m-l.'33