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ROBERT FREDERICK BREWER, B.A.
Author of "Outlines of English History
GEORGE PHILIP & SON, 32, FLEET STREET;
The object of this little work is to present the essentials of English Grammar in a simple, methodical, and cheap form. In it the writer has endeavoured to be sufficiently easy for beginners, as well as to embrace all that is absolutely necessary for a complete knowledge of the subject, thus obviating the use of two separate books.
But few explanations have been introduced, and these are intended more for junior teachers than for the pupils, the writer being convinced that boys seldom read them, and that they can be given much better viva voce. Simple definitions and clearly expressed rules are all that a boy requires from his text-book, and these he should be expected to commit to memory. For minute explanation and illustration he naturally looks to his teacher, whose business it is to colour up and vivify these dry matters of fact. The system that is still very much in vogue, especially in the early stages of education, of throwing the onus of the work upon the boy, and making the teacher a mere questioning machine, cannot be too strongly condemned.
As far as practicable what is old and well known has been adhered to; for children are so often removed from school to school that, unless there is some uniformity in the text-books made use of, they have to unlearn under one master what they learned under another. Strict logical accuracy in definition and division has not been attained, nor even aimed at in every case; nor has the writer thought fit to introduce any startling innovations, or to call old faces by new Wherever a well-known definition appeared to him to be unmistakable he has not scrupled to adopt it; at the same time the results of modern scholarship have been incorporated wherever they appear to be needed.
The writer relies most upon the simplicity and systematic arrangement of the work, and has every confidence in saying that it contains nothing that will have to be unlearned in studying larger treatises on the subject.
English Grammar is the art of speaking and writing our language correctly.
It is divided into four parts, Orthography, Etymology,
Etymology, of words.
Syntax, of sentences.
Prosody, of poetry.
Orthography is that part of grammar which treats of letters, their names, sounds, and the formation of them into syllables and words.
A letter is a mark which represents a vocal sound.
There are 26 letters in English, which are called collectively the Alphabet.
Each letter has two shapes, one called a capital, the other a small letter, e.g.,
A, B, C, D, &c.
a, b, c, d, &c.
Let it at once be distinctly noted that the names we give to the letters and their sounds are two totally different things; e. g. the name aitch (h), and the sound, which is merely a breathing.