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DRILL BOOK IN ENGLISH
GEORGE E. GAY
“Let the Master, at the first, lead
“The whole gist of rhetorical teach-
The teacher who has decided on a priori grounds that bad forms of English should never be presented to a pupil for his consideration, will not examine this book. The author, accordingly, addresses himself to those teachers who recognize the fact that their pupils use many incorrect forms of expression, in both spoken and written English, and who have learned, by long experience, that the only way to make the vices of language hateful is to place them side by side with their contrasting virtues.
This book is designed for the use of pupils that have previously learned the substance of the rules which it contains. It does not aim to give all the principles of the English tongue, but it is believed that it contains those which are most frequently violated.
It is not supposed that any class will complete the entire book in course. On the other hand, it is hoped that the teacher will not need to go outside of the book for all needed illustrations of common errors of speech.
The author hesitated whether to admit incorrect forms in spelling, for he realizes the difference between errors that are the violation of well-established principles and errors that sin against arbitrary usage. In his hesitation,
he appealed to his own classes, and the zeal and profit with which they corrected misspelled words decided the question in favor of admitting errors of this kind.
The method in which the book shall be used will naturally vary in different schools, according to the advancement of the pupils, and the time devoted to this kind of work. The author has pursued the following plan with good success :
The rules, etc., on one subject are reviewed and illustrated till all the pupils understand their application. Then the exercises assigned for a lesson are studied “out of class,” and corrected “in class” under the eye of the teacher. When the corrections have been made, the errors are discussed, and the reasons for the corrections made are formally stated.
As several grammatical terms are used with various meanings in different text-books, the following definitions are given, in order to show in what sense they are to be understood in this book.
A sentence is a collection of words that expresses a complete thought.
A proposition is a collection of related words containing a subject and predicate. It may be a whole sentence or a part of one.
An independent proposition is a proposition that does not fulfil the office of a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.
A dependent proposition is a proposition that fulfils the office of a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.
A clause is a dependent proposition.
A compound sentence is a sentence that contains two independent propositions.
A member of a compound sentence is one of its independent propositions.
A complex sentence is a sentence that contains one independent proposition, and one or more clauses.
Special acknowledgments are due to Bigelow's Handbook of Punctuation, Morris and Bowen's English Grammar Exercises, and Longmans' School Composition.
MALDEN, Sept. 1, 1891.