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THE ELEMENTS OF
ENGLISH GRAMMAR

BY

W. F. WEBSTER
Principal of the East High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
BOSTON: 4 PARK STREET ; New YORK: 85 FIFTH AVENUE

CHICAGO : 378–388 WABASH AVENUE
Che Riverside Press, Cambridge

1934

Edue T 759.04.920
Tyqg nga

1905
Harvard University,
Dept. of Education Library

Gift of the Publishon,

TRANSFERRED TO
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

MAY 26 1921

COPYRIGHT, 1904, BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & co.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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PREFACE

For some time the study of grammar has been arraigned as unnecessary and unprofitable. Those who have opposed it have been of that number who see but one end in its study, — to give an easy command of correct language. If this were the only purpose of the study of grammar, there would be serious doubt of its utility; for pupils who know little of grammar are frequently correct in their use of language, and it sometimes happens that a person skillful in the analysis of sentences and the parsing of words is a barbarian in his speech. A pure diction is very largely a matter of habit and environment. Still, even this admission does not establish the opponents' contention. Many errors in speech are corrected by the study of grammar; the children of foreign descent and of illiterate parentage are daily being helped toward the use of pure English by the application of rules derived from grammars. Pupils have learned the unseemliness of the unequal yoking together of singular nouns and plural verbs, and other alliances equally disgraceful. It is not claimed that grammar is the most powerful means of forming correct habits of speech, but it is yet an influence that establishes one already refined in the use of language, by showing him the reasons for its correctness; and it puts into the hands of the youth ambitious to be correct in his speech one of the means for accomplishing his purpose.

Moreover, the insight into the structure of sentences obtained while studying grammar is of great value in the study of literature. Not all sentences in literature are

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