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COMPREHENSIVE GRAMMAR

OF TIB

ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS.

BY SIMON KERL, A.M.

“ Fungar vice cotis, acutum
Roddere quæ ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi."

Horace.

IVISON, BLAKEMAN, TAYLOR, & co.
NEW YORK:

CHICAGO

NEVROPI L'ERARY

AUG 91834

Kerl's Series of School - Books.

Kerl's First Lessons in English Grammar. - Designed for those schools in which two English grammars a lower and a higher

are to be used. Kerl's Common-School Grammar. — To be used as the sequel to the “ First Lessons.”

Kerl's Shorter Course in English Grammar. - Designed for those schools in which only one English grammar is to be used.

Kerl's Comprehensive Grammar. - Designed for teachers, high-schools, and colleges. It is an excellent work for reference and for private study.

Kerl's Composition and Rhetoric. — A thoroughly practical and most valuable work, on a new plan. It is well to know how to speak and write correctly; but it is still better to know what should be said or written. This book is particularly devoted to invention and taste; and it contains a great variety of progressive exercises.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by

SIMON KERL, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by

SIMON KERL, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

It is generally admitted, at least by those persons who frequently have occa sion to write the English language, that the knowledge of this subject, obtained in our schools, is not sufficient for the various requirements of life. In the following pages I therefore offer to the public an English Grammar that is designed to be, for practical purposes, more thorough than any other I have seen, the very largest not excepted.

In its matter, it does not differ much from other grammars, except that it has more, and that much of it is fresh from the original sources of the science. Whatever has been written on the subject by other grammarians, I have endeavored to ascertain; thouglı I trust I have treated them less piratically and censoriously than most of them have treated their predecessors. The incidental remarks on grammar, made by reviewers, philologists, and other writers, have been diligently sought and considered. The best grammars of foreign languages have also been consulted; especially those of Becker, Vivier, Andrews, Crosby, and Kühner. Of the exercises to be corrected, about one half are the best of those which form the common inheritance of the science; and for the others I have read some work or works from every State in the Union, in order that the book may show all the various kinds of errors which are now current, like undetected counterfeit money, in the various parts of our country. If children imbibed ro errors at home, it were well to exclude such exercises from grammars; but when a person has already caught a disease, I suppose it is best to convince him of his condition, and show him how to get rid of it. Errors in spelling, and errors manufactured by grammarians, are of course objectionable; but errors that are gathered from the usage of good writers, aro a very different thing. Besides, parsing and analysis, when used alone, become too monotonous and wearisome, and hardly suffice to teach the correct use of the language.

In regard to the arrangement of matter,-an important item,- I venture to claim for the book a superiority over every other of its kind. It is well known that science and literature languished, until Bacon and Shakespeare emancipated them from the thralldom of ancient opinions; and, as Latin Grammars were first made, and English Grammars modeled after them, the latter have probably suffered from a similar dominion. A language that has many inflections, may well have its etymology taught as a separate branch; but a language, like ours, whose actual inflections might all be printed on two or three pages, needs no such treatment. Besides, words have etymology because they have syntax-the very existence of the ono implying the other; and to stop with etymology, is to leave the work half finished. The greatest stickler for separating them in our language, has failed to draw the dividing line; and much of the etymology taught in our grammars-as in the cases of nouns—is sheer syntax. Every teacher of experience, too, must have observed how wearisome to pupils is the long desert of etymology, before they see its application in syntax; and then they often do not get the full benefit of this, because they have but a faint and confused recollection of the other. Moreover, by the usual system, almost the whole grammar must be learned before any practical benefit is derived from it; and, as children in many parts of the country can attend school only a part of each year, the consequence is, that they begin their grammar anew from year to year, get tired of its technical jargon, and derive, at last, but little benefit from the study. By the arrangement in this treatise, each section bears its own fruit, and will be, if learned, of permanent value, whether any further progress is made or not. The book, too, can be more conveniently resumed at the beginning of any section.

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