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In adopting a system of nomenclature, the aim has been to select such terms as would be appropriate, and, at the same time, as familiar as possible. The author is in full sympathy with the efforts of the National Educational Association to secure a uniform terminology in grammar, and for that reason has adopted the recommendations of "The Joint Committee on Grammatical Nomenclature," with reservations only in the case of terms now so generally employed as to give them preference over less familiar terms. Wherever a reservation has been made, however, the term recommended by the Joint Committee has been given in a foot-note, so that it may be used if preferred.

A simple system of diagrams is presented for convenience in the preparation of written work. The occasional graphing of sentence relations may also prove a helpful device in stimulating the interest of the class and leading to a better understanding of obscure constructions. Such a device, however, is only an incident and is not to be employed to the extent of losing sight of the end of grammar through an undue interest in its gymnastics.

In offering this text-book to the public, the author is aware of the fact that the teaching of formal grammar has often been followed by such meager results that some educators have been led to the extreme conclusion that this subject should be eliminated from the curriculum. Now that the value of scientific knowledge is generally admitted, it must be believed that the importance of understanding the laws of our language cannot be denied, and that the reason the science of grammar has failed to produce more evident results is owing to the fact that this subject has been made too much of pure science and not enough of applied. It is upon the effort to utilize grammar as an effective means of improving our language habits that the plea for the recognition of this text is based.

This book is the outgrowth of many years' experience in the teaching of grammar, composition, and literature. The entire work has been carefully planned and revised again and again. Every detail has been given study and research. While the end in view has been the writing of a practical grammar, the endeavor has been to secure an arrangement and a treatment that would be both psychological and pedagogical.

The author wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to President Sidney G. Gilbreath of the East Tennessee State Normal School, who has examined the manuscript and made helpful criticisms and suggestions; to his esteemed colleague, Dean C. Hodge Mathes, who has examined critically the entire work and discussed with the author many of its phases; to the hundreds of teachers, who as former pupils of the author were ever to him a source of help and inspiration; also to the beloved English teacher of his youth, Mrs. S. E. L. Hopwood, who gave to him his first interest in the subject of grammar. D. S. B.






1. What a Sentence Is.- Examine the following groups of words:

(1) My brother James

(2) has a new bicycle
(3) Mary and Jane

(4) are visiting their aunt

You will note that each of the foregoing groups of words presents certain ideas, or mental pictures, to the mind, but, taken separately, not a group expresses a complete thought. Now combine the groups thus:

(1) My brother James has a new bicycle.

(2) Mary and Jane are visiting their aunt.

You will note that each group, thus combined, expresses a complete thought. A group of words expressing a complete thought is called a sentence.

A sentence is a group of words expressing a complete thought.

2. How a Sentence is Marked.- Examine the follow

ing sentences:

(1) I have a gold watch.

(2) When did you get your new hat?

(3) What a beautiful valley is this!

You will note that each of the foregoing sentences begins with a capital letter. You will note, also, that the first sentence is followed by a period (.), the second by an interrogation point (?), and the third by an exclamation point (!). Such is the regular way of marking the beginning and the end of a sentence.

A sentence begins with a capital letter and is followed by a period or an interrogation point or an exclamation point.


(1) Point out each sentence in the following selection and note how each begins and ends:

Have you ever heard of the golden apples that grew in the garden of the Hesperides? Ah, those were such apples as would bring a great price, if any of them could be found growing in the orchards nowadays! But not so much as a seed of those apples exists any longer.

Children used to listen, open-mouthed, to the stories of the golden apple-tree. Young men, who desired to do a braver thing than any of their fellows, set out in quest of this fruit. Many of them returned no more; none of them brought back the apples. No wonder that they found it impossible to gather them! It is said that there was a dragon beneath the tree, with a hundred terrible heads, fifty of which were always on the watch, while the other fifty slept.

(2) Tell which of the following groups of words are sentences and which are not; then try to combine the groups in such a way as to make sentences of all:

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