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FOR USING THE EXERCISES.
1. As soon as the learner has committed to memory, the definitions of the article and substantive, as expressed in the grammar, he should be employed in parsing those parts of speech, as they are arranged in this volume of the Exercises.
2. The learner should proceed, in this manner, through all the definitions of the parts of speech contained in Etymology, regularly parsing the exercises on one definition, before he applies to another.
3. As the pupil will then be able to understand all the rules in Orthography, he should be directed correct, in regular order, the orthographical exercises attached to the particular rules.
4. In this stage of his progress, he may vary his employment, by occasionally parsing the promiscuous exercises, contained in the ninth section of the chapter of Etymological Parsing, and by writing the plurals of nouns, &c. in the eighth section of the same chapter.
5. When the first rule of Syntax is committed to memory, the correspondent exercises in parsing, should be performed. Then the sentences of false syntax, under the rule, should be corrected, in writing. In this manner, both as to parsing and correcting, all the rules of Syntax should be treated, proceeding regularly according to their order. The pupil may now be, occasionally, employed in correcting the promiscuous exercises in Orthography.
6. The preceding directions (except those upon Orthography) respect only the leading rules of the
Grammar, which are printed in the larger type. When the exercises on those general rules are completed, and not before, the learner is to apply to the first subordinate rule, contained in the smaller type. He is to read it very attentively, assisted by the teacher's explanations; and afterwards correct, in writing, the false construction of the exercises belonging to it. Thus, he is to proceed, rule by rule, till the whole is finished.* The learner should now be, occasionally, employed in parsing the promiscuous exercises, contained in the eighth section of the chapter on Syntactical Parsing.
7. When the student has corrected all the exercises appropriated to the particular rules, he should regularly proceed to rectify the promiscuous Exercises, in syntax and punctuation. In this employ, he should write over each correction, the number of the rule, principal or subordinate, by which he conceives the correction ought to be made.
8. After this progress, the learner will be qualified to enter on the Exercises respecting perspicuous and accurate writing. In this part, he is to proceed in a manner as similar to the preceding directions, as the subject will admit.
9. When all the Exercises have been regularly corrected, in writing, it would tend to perfect the pupil's knowledge of the rules, and to give him an habitual dexterity in applying them, if he were occasionally desired to correct, verbally, erroneous sentences purposely selected from different parts of the book ; to recite the rules by which they are governed; and, in his own language, to detail the reasons on which the corrections are founded. The
* The pupil ought to review every leading rule, and avain rectify a few of the sentences under it, before he enters on its subordinate rules and their correspondent exercises.
following examples will give the student an idca of the manner, in which he is to make the verbal corrections.
“ The man is prudent which speaks little.”
This sentence is incorrect; because which is a pronoun of the neuter gender, and does not agree in gender with its antecedent man, which is masculine. But a pronoun should agree with its antecedent, in gender, &c. according to the fifth rule of Syntax. Which should therefore be who, a relative pronoun agreeing with its antecedent man; and the sentence should stand thus: “ The man is prudent who speaks little.”
“After I visited Europe, I returned to America.”
This sentence is not correct; because the verb visited is in the imperfect tense, and yet used bere to express an action, not only past, but prior to the time referred to by the verb returned, to which it relates. By the thirteenth rule of syntax, when verbs are used that, in point of time, relate to each other, the order of time should be observed. The imperfect tense visited, should, therefore, have been had visited, in the pluperfect tense, representing the action of visiting, not only as past, but also as prior to the time of returning. The sentence corrected would stand thus : “ After I had visited Europe, I returned to America."
“ This was the cause, which first gave rise to such a barbarous practice."
This sentence is inaccurate. The words first and rise have bere the same meaning; and the word such is not properly applied. This word signifies of that kind: but the author does not refer to a kind or species of barbarity. He means a degree of it: and
therefore the word so, instead of such, ought to have been used. The words cause and gave rise, are also tautological: one of them should, consequently, be omitted. The sentence corrected would stand thus: “ This was the original cause of so barbarous a practice:” or, "of a practice so barbarous.”
10. As parsing is an exercise of great importance to the pupil, it should be continued, regularly, through the whole course of his gramrsatical instruction.
11. To the learner who has not the aid of a teacher, the Key is indispensable. But it should, on no occasion, be consulted, till the sentence which is to be rectified, has been well considered, and has received the learner's best correction.