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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by


In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

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The text-books of English Grammar are universally deficient in two particulars: the first is, that the parsing exercises are not sufficiently varied; and the second is, that the exercises lack in point of copiousness. Difficult constructions are often left unnoticed; important principles are frequently illustrated by only a single example, and that not designed to be parsed; and when a formal exercise in parsing is given, the examples are hardly ever sufficiently numerous.

As a consequence of this paucity of examples in the text-books, and the deficiency in drill resulting therefrom, students generally fail to become adepts in this department of learning. But few of the pupils in our best taught schools ever acquire the ability to tell, in many instances, to what part of speech a word in a given sentence belongs. There is not one in a hundred of those who have graduated in the study of English Grammar, that can recognize adjectives with certainty when they stand immediately after the nouns to which they relate. There is not one in a thousand who ever masters the subject of the participles, or becomes familiar with the subjunctive and infinitive modes in all their phases. The list of prepositions being small, most students learn to call at sight the more common words belonging to this part of speech ; but there is hardly one in ten thousand who can distinguish a preposition by its office, or who, when he meets with an unusual preposition, will recognize it as belonging to this class of words.

To the very important and extensive subject of ellipsis, authors commonly devote about the third of a page, in which space they


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