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ANALYSIS of sentences, which may be called the rationale of grammar, has now become a subject of study, even in the humbler classes of our schools. As tending to exercise the thinking and discriminative powers of the pupil, it is, perhaps, excelled by no branch of study with which we are acquainted. Practically, it accustoms the pupil to the exercise of a keen insight into the laws which regulate correct synthesis or composition, and to an intelligent appreciation of the elegances of style.
Moreover, grammatical analysis is generally one of the prescribed subjects in all our competitive and other examinations; and it is mainly a due regard to this fact which has called for the publication of the present work. True to the monitor of an extensive practical experience, the author has used his best endeavour to render the treatment of the subject much simpler and more comprehensible than that observed in any previous work; while he has, at the same time, aimed at making his manual comprehensive and responsible.. The manner in which he has endeavoured to accomplish this twofold object has been by eliding infinitesimal, but noting carefully all essential, details. With faith in the maxim that example is better than precept, he has given numerous examples, worked out for the pupil's guidance and imitation. After preparation, the pupil may, in school, be required to reproduce the different Tables without the book. Then he may pass on to the unworked exercises.
ANALYSIS OF SENTENCES.
ANALYSIS (Greek ana, ava, up, and lusis, dvors, a. loosening) signifies the separating of anything into the different component elements of which it is made up.
A SENTENCE (Latin sensio, I feel) is a feeling or thought expressed in words.
Every thought or feeling centres upon some suBJECT, and next there is something thought or felt on that sub
When a sentence is expressed, that which we express in regard to the suBJECT is called the PREDICATE. Accordingly, every sentence must necessarily consist of a subject and a predicate—that is, the thing thought or felt. about, and what is thought, felt, or asserted about it.. Thus, in the words, “rain falls,” we have a complete sentence in which “rain ” is the subject, and “falls” the predicate, or what is asserted of “rain.”
A thought or sentence will thus be seen to necessarily contain the linking together of two ideas. For instance, “rain ” and “fall” are two ideas standing apart from each other. To link them together, so that the one becomes affirmed of the other, we say, “rain falls.” This connecting link is called in logic the copula, and held to be one of the three essential parts of every sentence. But in the science of merely grammatical analysis, the copula is considered to be contained in the predicate. Sentences are of three kinds
A PHRASE is a combination of words without a predicate, and can illustrate, but cannot express an idea, as, Spring returning, the swallow comes.
A CLAUSE is a phrase developed, and contains a predicate, as, When spring returns, we may expect the swallow.
THE SIMPLE SENTENCE. It has now been seen that the simplest sentence we can frame must necessarily consist of at least two words—the SUBJECT, which must be a noun or its equivalent ; and the PREDICATE, which must be a verb. But a sentence consisting of only two words is in its barest and most rudimentary form. The following example illustrates how both the subject and predicate may be extended :
rain Grateful to the parched falls gently down at last,
grass, the genial and after having threatened welcome summer rain during the last three
A simple sentence contains only one SUBJECT (however extended that subject may be), and one PREDICATE or finite verb (however extended that finite verb may be).
A finite verb is a verb not in the infinitive mood. A verb in the infinitive mood is simply a verbal noun, and cannot assert or perform any of the functions of the verb proper.
The PREDICATE may consist of 1. A single verb, as :