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Owing to a careless arrangement of words, sentences are often made ambiguous or obscure in their meaning.
Phrases or clauses should be placed as near as possible to the words which they limit or modify.
Rearrange the following sentences so as to make their meaning clear. In the first five, the phrases to be transposed, as well as the words next to which they are to be placed, are printed in italic type:
1. Mr. Washington will address the students in addition to several other speakers.
2. There is an interesting account of the finding of Moses in the Bible.
3. For sale: A piano by a gentleman with mahogany legs.
4. Lost: A cow by an old woman with brass knobs on her horns.
5. Last week a little girl was run over by a wagon with a yellow dress on.
6. We saw a man cleaning the street with red whiskers. 7. Look at the man digging a hole with a big nose.
8. The store will be conducted by the son of Mr. Simpson who died last winter on a new and improved plan.
9. A young woman was arrested yesterday while I was preaching in a state of beastly intoxication.
10. Wanted: A young man to take care of horses of a religious disposition.
II. How strange it is that men often fail to appreciate the spiritual natures of women through their perverted notions of right and wrong.
12. I love to sit and meditate on the great problems
of existence by the side of a great mountain torrent or within the sound of the sad sea waves.
13. Furnished apartment suitable for gentlemen with folding doors.
14. Wanted: A boy to open oysters with a reference.
15. The man was stabbed and it was expected that he would die for some time.
16. He went to see his friends on horseback.
17 We heard a lecture on teaching geography at ten o'clock.
18. These verses were written by a young man who has long since lain in his grave for amusement.
CHOICE OF PREPOSITION
These little words are the source of many errors in speech because of the difficulty of knowing in each case just which preposition to use after a given word.
A list of words followed by their appropriate prepositions might easily be compiled and the student required to learn them; but the better way is to form the habit of looking in the dictionary when in doubt about any particular case and then to fix that use in mind.
There are, however, a few prepositions so commonly misused that attention should be especially called to them.
In and into
After a verb indicating the motion of a person or thing from one place to another, the preposition into should be used; after a verb expressing the idea of rest, or in some cases, movement within a certain place, the preposition in is employed.
Write the following sentences, omitting the improper italicized word: 1. James has just gone out in-into the hall.
The boy was swimming in-into the river. 3. He dropped his knife in-into the lake.
4. The lady was walking about very excitedly in-inlo her room.
5. Longfellow said: “In-into each life some rain must fall."
6. Put some coal in-into the scuttle, and take it ininto the house.
7. He moves in-into the best society. 8. At last he came in-into possession of his property. 9. The baby was sleeping peacefully in-into its cradle. 10. The balloon ascended high up in-into the clouds. 11. All Gaul is divided in-into three parts. 12. She threw the letter in into the fire.
13. I found myself in-into a large, finely furnished house in-into which the family had recently moved. 14. Mr. Spaulding resides in-into the suburbs.
15. The bird flew up in-into the tree before I had time to load my gun.
16. There is some good to be found in-into everybody.
17. The ball came down in-into the pond which was in-into the middle of the field.
18. She was surprised, on looking in-into the room, to find no one there.
19. Every week he put some money in-into the bank. 20. There are nearly fifty states in-into the Union. 21. James took great interest in into his studies.
22. Said the drummerboy, "I can beat a charge that will make the dead fall in into line."
23. I am about to go in—into a new country where I shall be a stranger in-into a strange land.
24. Charles dropped his dollar in-into the creek.
Between and among
Between signifies by twain, and should be used only in reference to two objects; among is used when three or more objects are considered. Do not say between each or every; say after each, before each, or beside each, etc.
Write the following sentences, omitting the improper italicized words:
1. The old gentleman's property was divided amongbetween his five sons.
In writing your sentences leave a blank line afterbetween-among each.
3. There was always more or less ill-feeling betweenamong the two girls.
4. The three countries of Gaul differed among-between themselves in language, customs, and laws.
5. The farmer planted pumpkins after—beside-between-among each row of corn.
6. It is desirable to have a system of international arbitration among—between all countries.
7. The teacher divided all the oranges among—between the members of the class.
8. The jury disagreed between-among themselves.
9. The children divided the apples between-among themselves.
10. The property was divided among—between the two boys.
II. The several firms divided the profits between-among themselves.
12. He divided his estate between-among his son, daughter, and nephew.
I. I shall see you during—sometime within the week. 2. I do not approve of-approve his conduct. 3. Are you angry at—with me? 4. He fell from of- from the bridge in-into the water.
5. He entered the room accompanied with—by his father.
6. The banquet was followed with—by a dance. 7. I shall be glad to accept of—accept your hospitality. 8. He boasted about—of his great learning. 9. I have been toat-in New York. IO. I differ from—with you in opinion. II. The sultry evening was followed with—by a rain. 12. He died with—of a fever. 13. He went out on-of a fine morning. 14. The water ran all over- -over all the street. 15. He cut the stick into in two. 16. Get on toon the train. 17. We shall call upon-on you in the near future. 18. We shall depend upon-on you to do the work. 19. He put his hat upon-on his head. 20. He died with—of the smallpox. 21. Divide the money between-among the three boys.
Insertion and omission
Do not use prepositions that are not needed; as, Where are you going to? Where are you at? I can not help from admiring him.