Practical Grammar and Composition
by Thomas Wood
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This book was begun as a result of the author's experience in teaching some classes in English in the night preparatory department of the Carnegie Technical Schools of Pittsburg. The pupils in those classes were all adults, and needed only such a course as would enable them to express themselves in clear and correct English. English Grammar, with them, was not to be preliminary to the grammar of another language, and composition was not to be studied beyond the everyday needs of the practical man.

Great difficulty was experienced because of inability to secure a text that was suited to the needs of the class. A book was needed that would be simple, direct and dignified; that would cover grammar, and the essential principles of sentence structure, choice of words, and general composition; that would deal particularly with the sources of frequent error, and would omit the non-essential points; and, finally that would contain an abundance of exercises and practical work.

It is with these ends in view that this book has been prepared. The parts devoted to grammar have followed a plan varying widely from that of most grammars, and an effort has been made to secure a more sensible and effective treatment. The parts devoted to composition contain brief expositions of only the essential principles of ordinary composition. Especial stress has been laid upon letter-writing, since this is believed to be one of the most practical fields for actual composition work. Because such a style seemed best suited to the general scheme and purpose of the book, the method of treatment has at times been intentionally rather formal.

Abundant and varied exercises have been incorporated at frequent intervals throughout the text. So far as was practicable the exercises have been kept constructive in their nature, and upon critical points have been made very extensive.

The author claims little credit except for the plan of the book and for the labor that he has expended in developing the details of that plan and in devising the various exercises. In the statement of principles and in the working out of details great originality would have been as undesirable as it was impossible. Therefore, for these details the author has drawn from the great common stores of learning upon the subjects discussed. No doubt many traces of the books that he has used in study and in teaching may be found in this volume. He has, at times, consciously adapted matter from other texts; but, for the most part, such slight borrowings as may be discovered have been made wholly unconsciously. Among the books to which he is aware of heavy literary obligations are the following excellent texts: Lockwood and Emerson's Composition and Rhetoric, Sherwin Cody's Errors in Composition, A. H. Espenshade's Composition and Rhetoric, Edwin C. Woolley's Handbook of Composition, McLean, Blaisdell and Morrow's Steps in English, Huber Gray Buehler's Practical Exercises in English, and Carl C. Marshall's Business English.

To Messrs. Ginn and Company, publishers of Lockwood and Emerson's Composition and Rhetoric, and to the Goodyear-Marshall Publishing Company, publishers of Marshall's Business English, the author is indebted for their kind permission to make a rather free adaptation of certain parts of their texts.

Not a little gratitude does the author owe to those of his friends who have encouraged and aided him in the preparation of his manuscript, and to the careful criticisms and suggestions made by those persons who examined the completed manuscript in behalf of his publishers. Above all, a great debt of gratitude is owed to Mr. Grant Norris, Superintendent of Schools, Braddock, Pennsylvania, for the encouragement and painstaking aid he has given both in preparation of the manuscript and in reading the proof of the book.





II.—NOUNS Common and Proper Inflection Defined Number The Formation of Plurals Compound Nouns Case The Formation of the Possessive Case Gender

III.—PRONOUNS Agreement with Antecedents Person Gender Rules Governing Gender Number Compound Antecedents Relative Interrogative Case Forms Rules Governing Use of Cases Compound Personal Compound Relative Adjective Miscellaneous Cautions

IV.—ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS Comparison Confusion of Adjectives and Adverbs Improper Forms of Adjectives Errors in Comparison Singular and Plural Adjectives Placing of Adverbs and Adjectives Double Negatives The Articles

V.—VERBS Principal Parts Name-form Past Tense Past Participle Transitive and Intransitive Verbs Active and Passive Voice Mode Forms of the Subjunctive Use of Indicative and Subjunctive Agreement of Verb with its Subject Rules Governing Agreement of the Verb Miscellaneous Cautions Use of Shall and Will Use of Should and Would Use of May and Might, Can and Could Participles and Gerunds Misuses of Participles and Gerunds Infinitives Sequence of Infinitive Tenses Split Infinitives Agreement of Verb in Clauses Omission of Verb or Parts of Verb Model Conjugations To Be To See

VI.—CONNECTIVES: RELATIVE PRONOUNS, RELATIVE ADVERBS, CONJUNCTIONS, AND PREPOSITIONS Independent and Dependent Clauses Case and Number of Relative and Interrogative Pronouns Conjunctive or Relative Adverbs Conjunctions Placing of Correlatives Prepositions QUESTIONS FOR THE REVIEW OF GRAMMAR A GENERAL EXERCISE ON GRAMMAR

VII.—SENTENCES Loose Periodic Balanced Sentence Length The Essential Qualities of a Sentence Unity Coherence Emphasis Euphony

VIII.—CAPITALIZATION AND PUNCTUATION Rules for Capitalization Rules for Punctuation

IX.—THE PARAGRAPH Length Paragraphing of Speech Indentation of the Paragraph Essential Qualities of the Paragraph Unity Coherence Emphasis

X.—LETTER-WRITING Heading Inside Address Salutation Body of the Letter Close Miscellaneous Directions Outside Address Correctly Written Letters Notes in the Third Person

XI.—THE WHOLE COMPOSITION Statement of Subject The Outline The Beginning Essential Qualities of the Whole Composition Unity Coherence The Ending Illustrative Examples Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech Selection from Cranford List of Books for Reading

XII.—WORDS—SPELLING—PRONUNCIATION Words Good Use Offenses Against Good Use Solecisms Barbarisms Improprieties Idioms Choice of Words How to Improve One's Vocabulary Spelling Pronunciation GLOSSARY OF MISCELLANEOUS ERRORS


* * * * *



1. In thinking we arrange and associate ideas and objects together. Words are the symbols of ideas or objects. A SENTENCE is a group of words that expresses a single complete thought.

2. SENTENCES are of four kinds:

1. DECLARATIVE; a sentence that tells or declares something; as, That book is mine.

2. IMPERATIVE; a sentence that expresses a command; as, Bring me that book.

3. INTERROGATIVE; a sentence that asks a question; as, Is that book mine?

4. EXCLAMATORY; a declarative, imperative, or interrogative sentence that expresses violent emotion, such as terror, surprise, or anger; as, You shall take that book! or, Can that book be mine?

3. PARTS OF SPEECH. Words have different uses in sentences. According to their uses, words are divided into classes called Parts of Speech. The parts of speech are as follows:

1. NOUN; a word used as the name of something; as, man, box, Pittsburgh, Harry, silence, justice.

2. PRONOUN; a word used instead of a noun; as, I, he, it, that.

Nouns, pronouns, or groups of words that are used as nouns or pronouns, are called by the general term, SUBSTANTIVES.

3. ADJECTIVE; a word used to limit or qualify the meaning of a noun or a pronoun; as, good, five, tall, many.

The words a, an, and the are words used to modify nouns or pronouns. They are adjectives, but are usually called ARTICLES.

4. VERB; a word used to state something about some person or thing; as, do, see, think, make.

5. ADVERB; a word used to modify the meaning of a verb, an adjective, or another adverb; as, very, slowly, clearly, often.

6. PREPOSITION; a word used to join a substantive, as a modifier, to some other preceding word, and to show the relation of the substantive to that word; as, by, in, between, beyond.

7. CONJUNCTION; a word used to connect words, phrases, clauses, and sentences; as, and, but, if, although, or.

8. INTERJECTION; a word used to express surprise or emotion; as, Oh! Alas! Hurrah! Bah!

Sometimes a word adds nothing to the meaning of the sentence, but helps to fill out its form or sound, and serves as a device to alter its natural order. Such a word is called an EXPLETIVE. In the following sentence there is an expletive: THERE are no such books in print.

4. A sentence is made up of distinct parts or elements. The essential or PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS are the Subject and the Predicate.

The SUBJECT of a sentence is the part which mentions that about which something is said. The PREDICATE is the part which states that which is said about the subject. Man walks. In this sentence, man is the subject, and walks is the predicate.

The subject may be simple or modified; that is, may consist of the subject alone, or of the subject with its modifiers. The same is true of the predicate. Thus, in the sentence, Man walks, there is a simple subject and a simple predicate. In the sentence, The good man walks very rapidly, there is a modified subject and a modified predicate.

There may be, also, more than one subject connected with the same predicate; as, THE MAN AND THE WOMAN walk. This is called a COMPOUND SUBJECT. A COMPOUND PREDICATE consists of more than one predicate used with the same subject; as, The man BOTH WALKS AND RUNS.

5. Besides the principal elements in a sentence, there are SUBORDINATE ELEMENTS. These are the Attribute Complement, the Object Complement, the Adjective Modifier, and the Adverbial Modifier.

Some verbs, to complete their sense, need to be followed by some other word or group of words. These words which "complement," or complete the meanings of verbs are called COMPLEMENTS.

The ATTRIBUTE COMPLEMENT completes the meaning of the verb by stating some class, condition, or attribute of the subject; as, My friend is a STUDENT, I am WELL, The man is GOOD Student, well, and good complete the meanings of their respective verbs, by stating some class, condition, or attribute of the subjects of the verbs.

The attribute complement usually follows the verb be or its forms, is, are, was, will be, etc. The attribute complement is usually a noun, pronoun, or adjective, although it may be a phrase or clause fulfilling the function of any of these parts of speech. It must not be confused with an adverb or an adverbial modifier. In the sentence, He is THERE, there is an adverb, not an attribute complement.

The verb used with an attribute complement, because such verb joins the subject to its attribute, is called the COPULA ("to couple") or COPULATIVE VERB.

Some verbs require an object to complete their meaning. This object is called the OBJECT COMPLEMENT. In the sentence, I carry a BOOK, the object, book, is required to complete the meaning of the transitive verb carry; so, also in the sentences, I hold the HORSE, and I touch a DESK, the objects horse and desk are necessary to complete the meanings of their respective verbs. These verbs that require objects to complete their meaning are called Transitive Verbs.

ADJECTIVE and ADVERBIAL MODIFIERS may consist simply of adjectives and adverbs, or of phrases and clauses used as adjectives or adverbs.

6. A PHRASE is a group of words that is used as a single part of speech and that does not contain a subject and a predicate.

A PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE, always used as either an adjective or an adverbial modifier, consists of a preposition with its object and the modifiers of the object; as, He lives IN PITTSBURG, Mr. Smith OF THIS PLACE is the manager OF THE MILL, The letter is IN THE NEAREST DESK.

There are also Verb-phrases. A VERB-PHRASE is a phrase that serves as a verb; as, I AM COMING, He SHALL BE TOLD, He OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN TOLD.

7. A CLAUSE is a group of words containing a subject and a predicate; as, The man THAT I SAW was tall. The clause, that I saw, contains both a subject, I, and a predicate, saw. This clause, since it merely states something of minor importance in the sentence, is called the SUBORDINATE CLAUSE. The PRINCIPAL CLAUSE, the one making the most important assertion, is, The man was tall. Clauses may be used as adjectives, as adverbs, and as nouns. A clause used as a noun is called a SUBSTANTIVE CLAUSE. Examine the following examples:

Adjective Clause: The book that I want is a history. Adverbial Clause: He came when he had finished with the work. Noun Clause as subject: That I am here is true. Noun Clause as object: He said that I was mistaken.

8. Sentences, as to their composition, are classified as follows:

SIMPLE; a sentence consisting of a single statement; as, The man walks.

COMPLEX; a sentence consisting of one principal clause and one or more subordinate clauses; as, The man that I saw is tall.

COMPOUND; a sentence consisting of two or more clauses of equal importance connected by conjunctions expressed or understood; as, The man is tall and walks rapidly, and Watch the little things; they are important.


_In this and in all following exercises, be able to give the reason for everything you do and for every conclusion you reach. Only intelligent and reasoning work is worth while.

In the following list of sentences:

(1) Determine the part of speech of every word.

(2) Determine the unmodified subject and the unmodified predicate; and the modified subject and the modified predicate.

(3) Pick out every attribute complement and every object complement.

(4) Pick out every phrase and determine whether it is a prepositional phrase or a verb-phrase. If it is a prepositional phrase, determine whether it is used as an adjective or as an adverb.

(5) Determine the principal and the subordinate clauses. If they are subordinate clauses, determine whether they are used as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

(6) Classify every sentence as simple, complex, or compound._

1. Houses are built of wood, brick, stone, and other materials, and are constructed in various styles. 2. The path of glory leads but to the grave. 3. We gladly accepted the offer which he made. 4. I am nearly ready, and shall soon join you. 5. There are few men who do not try to be honest. 6. Men may come, and men may go, but I go on forever. 7. He works hard, and rests little. 8. She is still no better, but we hope that there will be a change. 9. Let each speak for himself. 10. It was I who told him to go. 11. To live an honest life should be the aim of every one. 12. Who it really was no one knew, but all believed it to have been him. 13. In city and in country people think very differently. 14. To be or not to be, that is the question. 15. In truth, I think that I saw a brother of his in that place. 16. By a great effort he managed to make headway against the current. 17. Beyond this, I have nothing to say. 18. That we are never too old to learn is a true saying. 19. Full often wished he that the wind might rage. 20. Lucky is he who has been educated to bear his fate. 21. It is I whom you see. 22. The study of history is a study that demands a well-trained memory. 23. Beyond the city limits the trains run more rapidly than they do here. 24. Alas! I can travel no more. 25. A lamp that smokes is a torture to one who wants to study.


(1) Write a list of six examples of every part of speech.

(2) Write eight sentences, each containing an attribute complement. Use adjectives, nouns, and pronouns.

(3) Write eight sentences, each containing an object complement.

(4) Write five sentences, in each using some form of the verb TO BE, followed by an adverbial modifier.



9. A noun has been defined as a word used as the name of something. It may be the name of a person, a place, a thing, or of some abstract quality, such as, justice or truth.

10. COMMON AND PROPER NOUNS. A PROPER NOUN is a noun that names some particular or special place, person, people, or thing. A proper noun should always begin with a capital letter; as, English, Rome, Jews, John. A COMMON NOUN is a general or class name.

11. INFLECTION DEFINED. The variation in the forms of the different parts of speech to show grammatical relation, is called INFLECTION. Though there is some inflection in English, grammatical relation is usually shown by position rather than by inflection.

The noun is inflected to show number, case, and gender.

12. NUMBER is that quality of a word which shows whether it refers to one or to more than one. SINGULAR NUMBER refers to one. PLURAL NUMBER refers to more than one.


1. Most nouns add s to the singular; as, boy, boys; stove, stoves.

2. Nouns ending in s, ch, sh, or x, add es to the singular; as, fox, foxes; wish, wishes; glass, glasses; coach, coaches.

3. Nouns ending in y preceded by a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) add s; as, valley, valleys, (soliloquy, soliloquies and colloquy, colloquies are exceptions). When y is preceded by a consonant (any letter other than a vowel), y is changed to i and es is added; as, army, armies; pony, ponies; sty, sties.

4. Most nouns ending in f or fe add s, as, scarf, scarfs; safe, safes. A few change f or fe to v and add es; as, wife, wives; self, selves. The others are: beef, calf, elf, half, leaf, loaf, sheaf, shelf, staff, thief, wharf, wolf, life. (Wharf has also a plural, wharfs.)

5. Most nouns ending in o add s; as, cameo, cameos. A number of nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant add es; as, volcano, volcanoes. The most important of the latter class are: buffalo, cargo, calico, echo, embargo, flamingo, hero, motto, mulatto, negro, potato, tomato, tornado, torpedo, veto.

6. Letters, figures, characters, etc., add the apostrophe and s ('s); as, 6's, c's, t's, that's.

7. The following common words always form their plurals in an irregular way; as, man, men; ox, oxen; goose, geese; woman, women; foot, feet; mouse, mice; child, children; tooth, teeth; louse, lice.

COMPOUND NOUNS are those formed by the union of two words, either two nouns or a noun joined to some descriptive word or phrase.

8. The principal noun of a compound noun, whether it precedes or follows the descriptive part, is in most cases the noun that changes in forming the plural; as, mothers-in-law, knights-errant, mouse-traps. In a few compound words, both parts take a plural form; as, man-servant, men-servants; knight-templar, knights-templars.

9. Proper names and titles generally form plurals in the same way as do other nouns; as, Senators Webster and Clay, the three Henrys. Abbreviations of titles are little used in the plural, except Messrs. (Mr.), and Drs. (Dr.).

10. In forming the plurals of proper names where a title is used, either the title or the name may be put in the plural form. Sometimes both are made plural; as, Miss Brown, the Misses Brown, the Miss Browns, the two Mrs. Browns.

11. Some nouns are the same in both the singular and the plural; as, deer, series, means, gross, etc.

12. Some nouns used in two senses have two plural forms. The most important are the following:

BROTHER brothers (by blood) brethren (by association) CLOTH cloths (kinds of cloth) clothes (garments) DIE dies (for coinage) dice (for games) FISH fishes (separately) fish (collectively) GENIUS geniuses (men of genius) genii (imaginary beings) HEAD heads (of the body) head (of cattle) INDEX indexes (of books) indices (in algebra) PEA peas (separately) pease (collectively) PENNY pennies (separately) pence (collectively) SAIL sails (pieces of canvas) sail (number of vessels) SHOT shots (number of discharges) shot (number of balls)

13. Nouns from foreign languages frequently retain in the plural the form that they have in the language from which they are taken; as, focus, foci; terminus, termini; alumnus, alumni; datum, data; stratum, strata; formula, formuloe; vortex, vortices; appendix, appendices; crisis, crises; oasis, oases; axis, axes; phenomenon, phenomena; automaton, automata; analysis, analyses; hypothesis, hypotheses; medium, media; vertebra, vertebroe; ellipsis, ellipses; genus, genera; fungus, fungi; minimum, minima; thesis, theses.


Write the plural, if any, of every singular noun in the following list; and the singular, if any, of every plural noun. Note those having no singular and those having no plural.

News, goods, thanks, scissors, proceeds, puppy, studio, survey, attorney, arch, belief, chief, charity, half, hero, negro, majority, Mary, vortex, memento, joy, lily, knight-templar, knight-errant, why, 4, x, son-in-law, Miss Smith, Mr. Anderson, country-man, hanger-on, major-general, oxen, geese, man-servant, brethren, strata, sheep, mathematics, pride, money, pea, head, piano, veto, knives, ratios, alumni, feet, wolves, president, sailor-boy, spoonful, rope-ladder, grandmother, attorney-general, cupful, go-between.

When in doubt respecting the form of any of the above, consult an unabridged dictionary.

14. CASE. There are three cases in English: the Nominative, the Possessive, and the Objective.

The NOMINATIVE CASE; the form used in address and as the subject of a verb.

The OBJECTIVE CASE; the form used as the object of a verb or a preposition. It is always the same in form as is the nominative.

Since no error in grammar can arise in the use of the nominative or the objective cases of nouns, no further discussion of these cases is here needed.

The POSSESSIVE CASE; the form used to show ownership. In the forming of this case we have inflection.


1. Most nouns form the possessive by adding the apostrophe and s ('s); as, man, man's; men, men's; pupil, pupil's; John, John's.

2. Plural nouns ending in s form the possessive by adding only the apostrophe ('); as, persons, persons'; writers, writers'. In stating possession in the plural, then one should say: Carpenters' tools sharpened here, Odd Fellows' wives are invited, etc.

3. Some singular nouns ending in an s sound form the possessive by adding the apostrophe alone; as, for appearance' sake, for goodness' sake. But usage inclines to the adding of the apostrophe and s ('s) even if the singular noun does end in an s sound; as, Charles's book, Frances's dress, the mistress's dress.

4. When a compound noun, or a group of words treated as one name, is used to denote possession, the sign of the possessive is added to the last word only; as, Charles and John's mother (the mother of both Charles and John), Brown and Smith's store (the store of the firm Brown & Smith).

5. Where the succession of possessives is unpleasant or confusing, the substitution of a prepositional phrase should be made; as, the house of the mother of Charles's partner, instead of, Charles's partner's mother's house.

6. The sign of the possessive should be used with the word immediately preceding the word naming the thing possessed; as, Father and mother's house, Smith, the lawyer's, office, The Senator from Utah's seat.

7. Generally, nouns representing inanimate objects should not be used in the possessive case. It is better to say the hands of the clock than the clock's hands.

NOTE.—One should say somebody else's, not somebody's else. The expression somebody else always occurs in the one form, and in such cases the sign of the possessive should be added to the last word. Similarly, say, no one else's, everybody else's, etc.


Write the possessives of the following:

Oxen, ox, brother-in-law, Miss Jones, goose, man, men, men-servants, man-servant, Maine, dogs, attorneys-at-law, Jackson & Jones, John the student, my friend John, coat, shoe, boy, boys, Mayor of Cleveland.


Write sentences illustrating the use of the possessives you have formed for the first ten words under Exercise 4.


Change the following expressions from the prepositional phrase form to the possessive:

1. The ships of Germany and France. 2. The garden of his mother and sister. 3. The credit of Jackson & Jones. 4. The signature of the president of the firm. 5. The coming of my grandfather. 6. The lives of our friends. 7. The dog of both John and William. 8. The dog of John and the dog of William. 9. The act of anybody else. 10. The shortcomings of Alice. 11. The poems of Robert Burns. 12. The wives of Henry the Eighth. 13. The home of Mary and Martha. 14. The novels of Dickens and the novels of Scott. 15. The farm of my mother and of my father. 16. The recommendation of Superintendent Norris.


Correct such of the following expressions as need correction. If apostrophes are omitted, insert them in the proper places:

1. He walked to the precipices edge. 2. Both John and William's books were lost. 3. They sell boy's hats and mens' coats. 4. My friends' umbrella was stolen. 5. I shall buy a hat at Wanamaker's & Brown's. 6. This student's lessons. 7. These students books. 8. My daughters coming. 9. John's wife's cousin. 10. My son's wife's aunt. 11. Five years imprisonment under Texas's law. 12. John's books and Williams. 13. The Democrat's and Republican Convention. 14. France's and England's interests differ widely. 15. The moons' face was hidden. 16. Wine is made from the grape's juice. 17. Morton, the principals, signature. 18. Jones & Smith, the lawyers, office.

16. GENDER. Gender in grammar is the quality of nouns or pronouns that denotes the sex of the person or thing represented. Those nouns or pronouns meaning males are in the MASCULINE GENDER. Those meaning females are in the FEMININE GENDER. Those referring to things without sex are in the NEUTER GENDER.

In nouns gender is of little consequence. The only regular inflection is the addition of the syllable-ess to certain masculine nouns to denote the change to the feminine gender; as, author, authoress; poet, poetess. -Ix is also sometimes added for the same purpose; as, administrator, administratrix.

The feminine forms were formerly much used, but their use is now being discontinued, and the noun of masculine gender used to designate both sexes.



17. PRONOUN AND ANTECEDENT. A PRONOUN is a word used instead of a noun. The noun in whose stead it stands is called its ANTECEDENT. JOHN took Mary's BOOK and gave IT to HIS friend. In this sentence book is the antecedent of the pronoun it, and John is the antecedent of his.


19. PERSONAL PRONOUNS are those that by their form indicate the speaker, the person spoken to, or the person or thing spoken about.

Pronouns of the FIRST PERSON indicate the speaker; they are: I, me, my, mine, we, us, our, ours.

Pronouns of the SECOND PERSON indicate the person or thing spoken to; they are: you, your, yours. There are also the grave or solemn forms in the second person, which are now little used; these are: thou, thee, thy, thine, and ye.

Pronouns of the THIRD PERSON indicate the person or thing spoken of; they are: he, his, him, she, her, hers, they, their, theirs, them, it, its.

Few errors are made in the use of the proper person of the pronoun.

20. GENDER OF PRONOUNS. The following pronouns indicate sex or gender; Masculine: he, his, him. Feminine: she, her, hers. Neuter: it, its.

IN ORDER TO SECURE AGREEMENT IN GENDER IT IS NECESSARY TO KNOW THE GENDER OF THE NOUN, EXPRESSED OR UNDERSTOOD, TO WHICH THE PRONOUN REFERS. Gender of nouns is important only so far as it concerns the use of pronouns. Study carefully the following rules in regard to gender. These rules apply to the singular number only, since all plurals of whatever gender are referred to by they, their, theirs, etc.


MASCULINE; referred to by HE, HIS, and HIM:

1. Nouns denoting males are always masculine.

2. Nouns denoting things remarkable for strength, power, sublimity, or size, when those things are regarded as if they were persons, are masculine; as, WINTER, with HIS chilly army, destroyed them all.

3. Singular nouns denoting persons of both sexes are masculine; as, EVERY ONE brought HIS umbrella.

FEMININE; referred to by SHE, HER, or HERS:

1. Nouns denoting females are always feminine.

2. Nouns denoting objects remarkable for beauty, gentleness, and peace, when spoken of as if they were persons, are feminine; as, SLEEP healed him with HER fostering care.

NEUTER; referred to by IT and ITS:

1. Nouns denoting objects without sex are neuter.

2. Nouns denoting objects whose sex is disregarded are neuter; as, IT is a pretty child, The WOLF is the most savage of ITS race.

3. Collective nouns referring to a group of individuals as a unit are neuter; as, The JURY gives its VERDICT, The COMMITTEE makes ITS report.

An animal named may be regarded as masculine; feminine, or neuter, according to the characteristics the writer fancies it to possess; as, _The WOLF seeks HIS prey, The MOUSE nibbled HER way into the box, The BIRD seeks ITS nest.

Certain nouns may be applied to persons of either sex. They are then said to be of COMMON GENDER. There are no pronouns of common gender; hence those nouns are referred to as follows:

1. By masculine pronouns when known to denote males; as, MY CLASS-MATE (known to be Harry) is taking HIS examinations.

2. By feminine pronouns when known to denote females; as, EACH OF THE PUPILS of the Girls High School brought HER book.

3. By masculine pronouns when there is nothing in the connection of the thought to show the sex of the object; as, Let every PERSON bring his book.

21. NUMBER OF PRONOUNS. A more common source of error than disagreement in gender is disagreement in number. They, their, theirs, and them are plural, but are often improperly used when only singular pronouns should be used. The cause of the error is failure to realize the true antecedent.

If ANYBODY makes that statement, THEY are misinformed. This sentence is wrong. Anybody refers to only one person; both any and body, the parts of the word, denote the singular. The sentence should read, If ANYBODY makes that statement, HE is misinformed. Similarly, Let EVERYBODY keep THEIR peace, should read, Let EVERYBODY keep HIS peace.

22. COMPOUND ANTECEDENTS. Two or more antecedents connected by or or nor are frequently referred to by the plural when the singular should be used. Neither John nor James brought THEIR books, should read, Neither John nor James brought HIS books. When a pronoun has two or more singular antecedents connected by or or nor, the pronoun must be in the singular number; but if one of the antecedents is plural, the pronoun must, also, be in the plural; as, Neither the Mormon nor his wives denied THEIR religion.

When a pronoun has two or more antecedents connected by and, the pronoun must be in the plural number; as, John and James brought THEIR books.

Further treatment of number will be given under verbs.


Fill in the blanks in the following sentences with the proper pronouns. See that there is agreement in person, gender, and number:

1. Has everybody finished —— work. 2. If any one wishes a longer time, let —— hold up —— hand. 3. The panther sprang from —— lurking place. 4. Many a man has (have) lost —— money in speculation. 5. The cat came each day for —— bit of meat. 6. Everyone has to prove —— right to a seat. 7. Let every boy answer for —— self (selves). 8. The crowd was so great that we could hardly get through ——. 9. Let any boy guess this riddle if —— can. 10. Company H was greatly reduced in —— numbers. 11. Every animal has some weapon with which —— can defend ——self (selves). 12. Nowhere does each dare do as —— pleases (please). 13. The elephant placed —— great foot on the man's chest. 14. The child did not know —— mother. 15. Death gathers —— unfailing harvest. 16. Every kind of animal has —— natural enemies. 17. The committee instructed —— chairman to report the matter. 18. Two men were present, but neither would tell what —— saw. 19. Truth always triumphs over —— enemies. 20. Nobody did —— duty more readily than I. 21. The cat never fails to catch —— prey. 22. I have used both blue crayon and red crayon, but —— does (do) not write so clearly as white. 23. If John and Henry whisper (whispers) —— will be punished. 24. If John or Henry whisper (whispers) —— will be punished. 25. Both Columbus and Cabot failed to realize the importance of —— discoveries. 26. Neither the lawyer nor the sheriff liked —— task. 27. The canary longed to escape from —— cage. 28. The rat ran to —— hole. 29. The dog seemed to know —— master was dead. 30. Everyone should try to gather a host of friends about ——. 31. If any one wishes to see me, send —— to the Pierce Building. 32. Probably everybody is discouraged at least once in —— life. 33. Nobody should deceive ——selves (self). 34. Let each take —— own seat. 35. Let each girl in the class bring —— book. 36. Let each bring —— book. 37. Let each bring —— sewing. 38. The fox dropped —— meat in the pool. 39. The rock lay on —— side. 40. Let sleep enter with —— healing touch. 41. Each believed that —— had been elected a delegate to the Mother's Congress. 42. Consumption demands each year —— thousands of victims. 43. Summer arrays ——self (selves) with flowers. 44. Despair seized him in —— powerful grasp. 45. If any boy or any girl finds the book, let —— bring it to me. 46. Let every man and every woman speak ——mind. 47. Spring set forth —— beauties. 48. How does the mouse save —— self (selves) from being caught? 49. The hen cackled —— loudest. 50. Some man or boy lost —— hat. 51. John or James will favor us with —— company. 52. Neither the captain nor the soldiers showed ——self (selves) during the fight. 53. If the boys or their father come we shall be glad to see ——. 54. Every man and every boy received —— dinner. 55. Every man or boy gave —— offering.


By what gender of the pronouns would you refer to the following nouns?

Snake, death, care, mercy, fox, bear, walrus, child, baby, friend (uncertain sex), friend (known to be Mary), everybody, someone, artist, flower, moon, sun, sorrow, fate, student, foreigner, Harvard University, earth, Germany?

23. RELATIVE PRONOUNS. Relative Pronouns are pronouns used to introduce adjective or noun clauses that are not interrogative. In the sentence, The man THAT I MENTIONED has come, the relative clause, that I mentioned, is an adjective clause modifying man. In the sentence, WHOM SHE MEANS, I do not know, the relative clause is, whom she means, and is a noun clause forming the object of the verb know.

The relative pronouns are who (whose, whom), which, that and what. But and as are sometimes relative pronouns. There are, also, compound relative pronouns, which will be mentioned later.

24. Who (with its possessive and objective forms, whose and whom) should be used when the antecedent denotes persons. When the antecedent denotes things or animals, which should be used. That may be used with antecedents denoting persons, animals or things, and is the proper relative to use when the antecedent includes both persons and things. What, when used as a relative, seldom properly refers to persons. It always introduces a substantive clause, and is equivalent to that which; as, It is WHAT (that which) he wants.

25. That is known as the RESTRICTIVE RELATIVE, because it should be used whenever the relative clause limits the substantive, unless who or which is of more pleasing sound in the sentence. In the sentence, He is the man THAT DID THE ACT, the relative clause, that did the act, defines what is meant by man; without the relative clause the sentence clearly would be incomplete. Similarly, in the sentence, The book THAT I WANT is that red-backed history, the restrictive relative clause is, that I want, and limits the application of book.

26. Who and which are known as the EXPLANATORY or NON-RESTRICTIVE RELATIVES, and should be used ordinarily only to introduce relative clauses which add some new thought to the author's principal thought. Spanish, WHICH IS THE LEAST COMPLEX LANGUAGE, is the easiest to learn. In this sentence the principal thought is, Spanish is the easiest language to learn. The relative clause, which is the least complex language, is a thought, which, though not fully so important as the principal thought, is more nearly cooerdinate than subordinate in its value. It adds an additional thought of the speaker explaining the character of the Spanish language. When who and which are thus used as explanatory relatives, we see that the relative clause may be omitted without making the sentence incomplete.

Compare the following sentences:

Explanatory relative clause: That book, which is about history, has a red cover.

Restrictive relative clause: The book that is about history has a red cover.

Explanatory relative clause: Lincoln, who was one of the world's greatest men, was killed by Booth.

Restrictive relative clause: The Lincoln that was killed by Booth was one of the world's greatest men.

NOTE.—See Sec.111, for rule as to the punctuation of relative clauses.

27. INTERROGATIVE PRONOUNS. An Interrogative Pronoun is a pronoun used to ask a question. The interrogative pronouns are, who (whose, whom), which, and what. In respect to antecedents, who should be used only in reference to persons; which and what may be used with any antecedent, persons, animals, or things.


Choose the proper relative or interrogative pronoun to be inserted in each of the following sentences. Insert commas where they are needed. (See Sec.111):

1. The kindly physician —— was so greatly loved is dead. 2. This is the man —— all are praising. 3. John —— is my coachman is sick. 4. The intelligence —— he displayed was remarkable. 5. Intelligence —— he had hitherto not manifested now showed its presence. 6. He maintains that the book —— you used is now ruined. (Does which or that have the more pleasing sound here?) 7. The pleasure —— education gives the man —— has it is a sufficient reward for the trouble —— it has cost. 8. That man —— wears a cap is a foreigner. 9. The best hotel is the one —— is nearest the station. 10. Who is it —— is worthy of that honor? 11. The carriages and the drivers —— you ordered yesterday have arrived. 12. —— thing is it —— you want? 13. He purchased —— he wished. 14. There is no cloud —— has not its silver lining. 15. It is the same dog —— I bought. 16. The man and horse —— you see pass here every afternoon. 17. —— did they seek? 18. They inquired —— he was going to do. 19. Who was it —— lost the book? 20. The man —— was a Frenchman was very much excited. 21. It is neither the party nor its candidate —— gains support. 22. That is a characteristic —— makes him seem almost rude. 23. It is the same tool —— I used all day. 24. He is a man —— inspires little confidence. 25. —— does he expect of us? 26. It is just such a thing —— I need. 27. There are few —— will vote for him. 28. The wagon and children —— you just saw came from our town. 29. He —— writes out his lesson does all —— can be expected. 30. Was it you or the cat —— made that noise? 31. It is the same song —— he always sings. 32. Such —— I have is yours. 33. All the men and horses —— we had were lost. 34. That is —— pleased me most and —— everyone talked about. 35. The horse was one —— I had never ridden before. 36. That is —— everyone said.

28. CASE FORMS OF PRONOUNS. Some personal, relative, and interrogative pronouns have distinctive forms for the different cases, and the failure to use the proper case forms in the sentence is one of the most frequent sources of error. The case to be used is to be determined by the use which the pronoun, not its antecedent, has in the sentence. In the sentence, I name HIM, note that him is the object of the verb name. In the sentence, WHOM do you seek, although coming at the first of the sentence, whom is grammatically the object of the verb seek. In the use of pronouns comes the most important need for a knowledge of when to use the different cases.

Note the following different case forms of pronouns:

Nominative: I, we, you, thou, ye, he, she, they, it, who.

Objective: me, us, you, thee, ye, him, her, it, them, whom.

Possessive: my, mine, our, ours, thy, thine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, their, theirs, whose.

It will be noted that, while some forms are the same in both the nominative and objective cases, I, WE, HE, SHE, THEY, THOU, AND WHO ARE ONLY PROPER WHERE THE NOMINATIVE CASE SHOULD BE USED. ME, US, HIM, THEM, THEE, WHOM, AND HER, except when her is possessive, ARE ONLY PROPER WHEN THE OBJECTIVE CASE IS DEMANDED. These forms must be remembered. It is only with these pronouns that mistakes are made in the use of the nominative and objective cases.



1. When the noun or pronoun is the subject of a finite verb; that is, a verb other than an infinitive. See 3 under Objective Case.

2. When it is an attribute complement. An attribute complement, as explained in Chapter I, is a word used in the predicate explaining or stating something about the subject. Examples: It is I, The man was HE, The people were THEY of whom we spoke.

3. When it is used without relation to any other part of speech, as in direct address or exclamation.


1. When the noun or pronoun is the object of a verb; as, He named ME, She deceived THEM, They watch US.

2. When it is the object of a preposition, expressed or understood: as, He spoke of ME, For WHOM do you take me, He told (to) ME a story.

3. When it is the subject of an infinitive; as, I told HIM to go, I desire HER to hope. The infinitives are the parts of the verb preceded by to; as, to go, to see, to be, to have been seen, etc. The sign of the infinitive, to, is not always expressed. The objective case is, nevertheless, used; as, Let HIM (to) go, Have HER (to be) told about it.

4. When it is an attribute complement of an expressed subject of the infinitive to be; as, They believed her to be ME, He denied it to have been him. (See Note 2 below.)


When the word is used as a possessive modifier; as, They spoke of HER being present, The book is HIS (book), It is THEIR fault.

NOTE I.—When a substantive is placed by the side of another substantive and is used to explain it, it is said to be in APPOSITION with that other substantive and takes the case of that word; as, It was given to John Smith, HIM whom you see there.

NOTE 2.—The attribute complement should always have the case of that subject of the verb which is expressed in the sentence. Thus, in the sentence, I could not wish John to be HIM, him is properly in the objective case, since there is an expressed subject of the infinitive, John, which is in the objective case. But in the sentence, I should hate to be HE, he is properly in the nominative case, since the only subject that is expressed in the sentence is I, in the nominative case.

NOTE 3.—Where the relative pronoun who (whom) is the subject of a clause that itself is the object clause of a verb or a preposition, it is always in the nominative case. Thus the following sentences are both correct: I delivered it to WHO owned it, Bring home WHOEVER will come with you.


Write sentences illustrating the correct use of each of the following pronouns:

I, whom, who, we, me, us, they, whose, theirs, them, she, him, he, its, mine, our, thee, thou.


In the following sentences choose the proper form from the words in italics:

1. My brother and I me drove to the east end of the town. 2. Between you and I me things are doubtful. 3. May James and I me go to the circus? 4. Will you permit James and I me to go to the play? 5. Who made that noise? Only I me. 6. He introduced us all, I me among the rest. 7. He promised to bring candy to Helen and I me. 8. Was it I me that you asked for? 9. Who spoke? I me. 10. I am taken to be he him. 11. No, it could not have been me I. 12. All have gone but you and I me. 13. You suffer more than me I. 14. Everyone has failed in the examination except you and I me. 15. He asked you and I me to come to his office. 16. See if there is any mail for Mary and me I. 17. Neither you nor I me can teach the class. 18. They think it to be I me. 19. This is the student whom who all are praising. 20. The one that is he him wears a brown hat. 21. He is a man who whom all admired. 22. He is one of those men who whom we call snobs. 23. I did not see that it was her she. 24. It is in fact he him. 25. He still believes it to be them they. 26. Between you and I me, it is my opinion that him he and John will disagree. 27. We saw John and she her; we know it was them they. 28. I did not speak of either you or she her. 29. Our cousins and we us are going to the Art Gallery. 30. Aunt Mary has asked our cousins and us we to take dinner at her house. 31. They are more eager than we us since they have not seen her for a long time. 32. It could not have been we us who whom you suspected. 33. We us boys are going to the ball game. 34. They sent letters to all who whom they thought would contribute. 35. This money was given by John who whom you know is very stingy. 36. The superintendent, who whom, I cannot doubt, is responsible for this error, must be discharged. 37. The teacher told you and I me to stay. 38. The teacher told you and him he to stay. 39. The teacher told you and she her to stay. 40. There are many miles between England and we us. 41. They can't play the game better than we us. 42. It is unpleasant for such as they them to witness such things. 43. Between a teacher and he him who whom he teaches there is sometimes a strong fellowship. 44. You are nearly as strong as him he. 45. All were present but John and he him. 46. Father believed it was she her. 47. Mother knew it to be her she. 48. It was either he him or she her that called. 49. Because of his him being young, they tried to shield him. 50. It was he him who whom the manager said ought to be promoted. 51. The throne was held by a king who whom historians believe to have been insane. 52. Who whom did he say the man was? 53. Who whom did he say the judge suspected? 54. Who whom do you consider to be the brightest man? 55. Who whom do you think is the brightest man? 56. He cannot learn from such as thou thee. 57. If they only rob such as thou thee, they are honest. 58. What dost thou thee know? 59. They do tell thee thou the truth. 60. She told John and me I to study. 61. My father allowed my brother and her she to go. 62. My brother and she her were allowed to go by my father. 63. Turn not away from him he that is needy. 64. Neither Frances nor she her was at fault. 65. The property goes to they them. 66. He thought it was her she, but it was him he and William who did it. 67. It was through she her that word came to me I. 68. I thought it was her she. 69. I wish you were more like he him. 70. I thought it to be she her. 71. It seems to be he. I should hate to be he. I should like to be he or she. (All these sentences are in the correct form.) 72. He is a man in whom who I have little faith. 73. You are as skillful as she her. 74. We escorted her mother and her she to the station. 75. She her and I me are going on the boat. 76. If any are late it will not be us we. 77. Who whom are you going to collect it from? 78. Who whom do men say that he is? 79. Who whom do you think him he to be? 80. They them and their children have gone abroad. 81. It was not they them. 82. Who whom am I said to be? 83. I do not know to who whom to direct him. 84. How can one tell who whom is at home now? 85. Who whom is that for? 86. Choose who whom you please. 87. Do you think I me to be her she who whom you call Kate? 88. Some who whom their friends expected were kept away. 89. Give it to who whom seems to want it most. 90. Who whom do you think I saw there? 91. I hope it was she her who whom we saw. 92. It could not have been him he. 93. Who whom did you say did it? 94. Let them they come at once. 95. The man on who whom I relied was absent. 96. I know it was they them who whom did it. 97. Will he let us we go? 98. It came from they them who whom should not have sent it. 99. It was not us we from who whom it came. 100. Can it be she her? 101. Thou thee art mistaken. 102. Let me tell thee thou, thee thou wilt do wrong. 103. Send who whom wants the pass to me. 104. Tell who whom you choose to come. 105. Is he the man for who whom the city is named? 106. The book is for who whom needs it. 107. I do not know who whom the book is for.

30. The COMPOUND PERSONAL PRONOUNS are formed by adding self or selves to certain of the objective and possessive personal pronouns; as, herself, myself, itself, themselves, etc. They are used to add emphasis to an expression; as, I, MYSELF, did it, He, HIMSELF, said so. They are also used reflexively after verbs and prepositions; as, He mentioned HIMSELF, He did it for HIMSELF.

The compound personal pronouns should generally be confined to their emphatic and reflexive use. Do not say, MYSELF and John will come, but, John and I will come. Do not say, They invited John and MYSELF, but, They invited John and ME.

The compound personal pronouns have no possessive forms; but for the sake of emphasis own with the ordinary possessive form is used; as, I have my OWN book, Bring your OWN work, He has a home of his OWN.

31. There are no such forms as hisself, your'n, his'n, her'n, theirself, theirselves, their'n. In place of these use simply his, her, their, or your.


Write sentences illustrating the correct use of the following simple and compound personal pronouns:

Myself, me, I, them, themselves, him, himself, her, herself, itself, our, ourselves.


Choose the correct form in the following sentences. Punctuate properly. (See Sec.108):

1. Yourself you and John were mentioned 2. She told Mary and me myself to go with her herself. 3. The book is for you yourself and I me myself. 4. Henry and I me myself are in the same class. 5. He thinks you yourself and I me myself should bring the books. 6. Our friends and we us ourselves are going out to-night. 7. Herself she and her husband have been sick. 8. They themselves and their children have gone abroad. 9. You play the violin better than he himself. 10. The machine failed to work well, because it itself and the engine were not properly adjusted to each other. 11. Let them do it theirselves themselves. 12. He came by hisself himself. 13. The teacher hisself himself could not have done better. 14. I'll bring my gun, and you bring your'n yours your own. 15. That book is his'n his.


Fill the blanks in the following sentences with the proper emphatic or reflexive forms. Punctuate properly. (See Sec.108):

1. He —— said so. 2. I —— will do it. 3. We —— will look after her. 4. That, I tell you, is —— book. 5. It belongs to me ——. 6. Those books are my ——. 7. Let them —— pay for it. 8. The horse is to be for —— use. 9. The horse is to be for the use of ——. 10. He said it to ——. 11. He deceived ——. 12. I do not wish —— to be prominent.

32. The COMPOUND RELATIVE PRONOUNS are formed by adding ever, so, or soever to the relative pronouns, who, which, and what; as, whoever, whatever, whomever, whosoever, whoso, whosoever, etc. It will be noted that whoever, whosoever, and whoso have objective forms, whomever, whomsoever, and whomso; and possessive forms, whosoever, whosesoever, and whoseso. These forms must be used whenever the objective or possessive case is demanded. Thus, one should say, I will give it to WHOMEVER I find there. (See Sec.29 and Note 3.)


Fill the following blanks with the proper forms of the compound relatives:

1. We will refer the question to —— you may name. 2. —— it may have been, it was not he. 3. I shall receive presents from —— I wish. 4. It was between him and —— was with him. 5. —— they may choose, I will not vote for him. 6. Let them name —— they think will win. 7. Give it to —— you think needs it most. 8. He may take —— he cares to. 9. He will take —— property he finds there. 10. He promised to ask the question of —— he found there. 11. —— can have done it? 12. —— else may be said, that is not true. 13. There are the two chairs; you may take —— you like. 14. —— you take will suit me. 15. You may have —— you wish. 16. —— is nominated, will you vote for him? 17. —— they nominate, I will vote for him. 18. —— does that is a partizan. 19. —— candidate is elected, I will be satisfied. 20. He may name —— he thinks best. 21. —— he says is worthy of attention. 22. —— she takes after, she is honest. 23. —— follows him will be sorry. 24. —— he may be, he is no gentleman. 25. —— they do is praised.

33. There are certain words, called ADJECTIVE PRONOUNS, which are regarded as pronouns, because, although they are properly adjective in their meaning, the nouns which they modify are never expressed; as, One (there is a possessive form, one's, and a plural form, ones), none, this, that, these, those, other, former, some, few, many, etc.


1. The pronoun I should always be capitalized, and should, when used as part of a compound subject, be placed second; as, James and I were present, not I and James were present.

2. Do not use the common and grave forms of the personal pronouns in the same sentence; as, THOU wilt do this whether YOU wish or not.

3. Avoid the use of personal pronouns where they are unnecessary; as, John, HE did it, or Mary, SHE said. This is a frequent error in speech.

4. Let the antecedent of each pronoun be clearly apparent. Note the uncertainty in the following sentence; He sent a box of cheese, and IT was made of wood. The antecedent of it is not clear. Again, A man told his son to take HIS coat home. The antecedent of his is very uncertain. Such errors are frequent.

In relative clauses this error may sometimes be avoided by placing the relative clause as near as possible to the noun it limits. Note the following sentence: A cat was found in the YARD WHICH wore a blue ribbon. The grammatical inference would be that the yard wore the blue ribbon. The sentence might be changed to, A CAT, WHICH wore a blue ribbon, was found in the yard.

5. Relative clauses referring to the same thing require the same relative pronoun to introduce them; as, The book THAT we found and the book THAT he lost are the same.

6. Use but that when BUT is a conjunction and that introduces a noun clause; as, There is no doubt BUT THAT he will go. Use but what when but is a preposition in the sense of except; as, He has no money but (except) WHAT I gave him.

7. Them is a pronoun and should never be used as an adjective. Those is the adjective which should be used in its place; as, Those people, not, Them people.

8. Avoid using you and they indefinitely; as, YOU seldom hear of such things, THEY make chairs there. Instead, say, ONE seldom hears of such things, Chairs are made there.

9. Which should not be used with a clause or phrase as its antecedent. Both the following sentences are wrong: He sent me to see John, WHICH I did. Their whispering became very loud, which annoyed the preacher.

10. Never use an apostrophe with the possessive pronouns, its, yours, theirs, ours and hers.


Correct the following sentences so that they do not violate the cautions above stated:

1. How can you say that when thou knowest better? 2. May I and Mary go to the concert? 3. He asked me to write to him, which I did. 4. Grant thou to us your blessing. 5. The train it was twenty minutes late. 6. Mother she said I might go. 7. Mary told her mother she was mistaken. 8. The man cannot leave his friend, for if he should leave him he would be angry. 9. Sarah asked her aunt how old she was. 10. That is the man whom we named and that did it. 11. Mr. Jones went to Mr. Smith and told him that his dog was lost. 12. This is the book that we found and which he lost. 13. She told her sister that if she could not get to the city, she thought she had better go home. 14. Jack cannot see Henry because he is so short. 15. Then Jack and George, they went home. 16. Bring them books here. 17. Them are all wrong. 18. There are no men in the room but that can be bought. 19. I have no doubt but what it was done. 20. Them there should be corrected. 21. I have faith in everything but that he says. 22. I have no fears but what it can be done. 23. Napoleon, he threw his armies across the Rhine. 24. Thou knowest not what you are doing. 25. It was thought advisable to exile Napoleon, which was done. 26. A grapevine had grown along the fence which was full of grapes. 27. Keep them people out of here. 28. The two cars contained horses that were painted yellow. 29. She is a girl who is always smiling and that all like. 30. You never can tell about foreigners. 31. They say that is not true. 32. The cabin needed to be swept, which we did. 33. They use those methods in some schools. 34. It is the house that is on the corner and which is painted white. 35. You can easily learn history if you have a good memory. 36. How can you tell but what it will rain? 37. He does everything but what he should do. 38. He has everything but that he needs. 39. It was a collie dog which we had and that was stolen. 40. Aunt, she said that she didn't know but what she would go. 41. Tell I and John about it. 42. He went to his father and told him he had sinned. 43. Dost thou know what you doest? 44. It's appearance was deceitful. 45. The chair was also their's. 46. There is a slight difference between mine and your's. 47. Which of the two is her's? 48. They are both our's.



35. An ADJECTIVE is a word used to modify a noun or a pronoun. An ADVERB is a word used to modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Adjectives and adverbs are very closely related in both their forms and their use.

36. COMPARISON. The variation of adjectives and adverbs to indicate the degree of modification they express is called COMPARISON. There are three degrees of comparison.

The POSITIVE DEGREE indicates the mere possession of a quality; as, true, good, sweet, fast, lovely.

The COMPARATIVE DEGREE indicates a stronger degree of the quality than the positive; as, truer, sweeter, better, faster, lovelier.

The SUPERLATIVE DEGREE indicates the highest degree of quality; as, truest, sweetest, best, fastest, loveliest.

Where the adjectives and adverbs are compared by inflection they are said to be compared regularly. In regular comparison the comparative is formed by adding er, and the superlative by adding est. If the word ends in y, the y is changed to i before adding the ending; as, pretty, prettier, prettiest.

Where the adjectives and adverbs have two or more syllables, most of them are compared by the use of the adverbs more and most, or, if the comparison be a descending one, by the use of less and least; as, beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful, and less beautiful, least beautiful.

37. Some adjectives and adverbs are compared by changing to entirely different words in the comparative and superlative. Note the following:

POSITIVE COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE bad, ill, evil, badly worse worst far farther, further farthest, furthest forth further furthest fore former foremost, first good, well better best hind hinder hindmost late later, latter latest, last little less least much, many more most old older, elder oldest, eldest

NOTE.—Badly and forth may be used only as adverbs. Well is usually an adverb; as, He talks well, but may be used as an adjective; as, He seems well.

38. CONFUSION OF ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS. An adjective is often used where an adverb is required, and vice versa. The sentence, She talks FOOLISH, is wrong, because here the word to be modified is talks, and since talks is a verb, the adverb foolishly should be used. The sentence, She looks CHARMINGLY, means, as it stands, that her manner of looking at a thing is charming. What is intended to be said is that she appears as if she was a charming woman. To convey that meaning, the adjective, charming, should have been used, and the sentence should read, She looks charming. Wherever the word modifies a verb or an adjective or another adverb, an adverb should be used, and wherever the word, whatever its location in the sentence, modifies a noun or pronoun, an adjective should be used.

39. The adjective and the adverb are sometimes alike in form. Thus, both the following sentences are correct: He works HARD (adverb), and His work is HARD (adjective). But, usually, where the adjective and the adverb correspond at all, the adverb has the additional ending ly; as, The track is SMOOTH, (adjective), and The train runs SMOOTHLY, (adverb).


In the following sentences choose from the italicized words the proper word to be used:

1. The sunset looks beautiful beautifully. 2. The man acted strange strangely. 3. Write careful carefully and speak distinct distinctly. 4. Speak slow slowly. 5. He acted bad badly. 6. He behaved very proper properly. 7. The boat runs smooth smoothly. 8. He is a remarkable remarkably poor writer. 9. I am in extremely extreme good health. 10. The typewriter works good well. 11. The bird warbles sweet sweetly. 12. He was terrible terribly angry. 13. He was in a terrible terribly dangerous place. 14. He talks plainer more plainly than he ever did before. 15. The dead Roman looked fierce fiercely. 16. The fire burns brilliant brilliantly. 17. You are exceeding exceedingly generous. 18. He struggled manful manfully against the opposition. 19. My health is poor poorly. 20. He is sure surely a fine fellow. 21. Have everything suitable suitably decorated. 22. That can be done easy easily. 23. I can speak easier more easily than I can write. 24. The music of the orchestra was decided decidedly poor. 25. She is a remarkable remarkably beautiful girl. 26. The wind roared awful awfully. 27. The roar of the wind was awful awfully. 28. I have studied grammar previous previously to this year. 29. I didn't study because I felt too bad badly to read. 30. The roses smell sweetly sweet. 31. They felt very bad badly at being beaten. 32. That violin sounds different differently from this one. 33. The soldiers fought gallant gallantly. 34. She looks sweet sweetly in that dress. 35. I can wear this coat easy easily. 36. Speak gentle gently to him. 37. He talks warm warmly on that subject. 38. He works well good and steady steadily. 39. He stood thoughtful thoughtfully for a moment and then went quiet quietly to his tent. 40. He walked down the street slow slowly, but all the time looked eager eagerly about him. 41. The music sounds loud loudly. 42. That coin rings true truly. 43. He looked angry angrily at his class. 44. He moved silent silently about in the crowd. 45. His coat fits nice nicely. 46. That is easy easily to do. 47. He went over the work very thorough thoroughly.


The adjectives and adverbs in the following sentences are correctly used. In every case show what they modify:

1. The water lay smooth in the lake. 2. She looked cold. 3. The train runs smoothly now. 4. The sun shone bright at the horizon. 5. The sun shone brightly all day. 6. She looks coldly about her. 7. Be careful in your study of these sentences. 8. Study these sentences carefully. 9. We found the way easy. 10. We found the way easily. 11. He looked good. 12. He looked well. 13. We arrived safe. 14. We arrived safely. 15. Speak gently. 16. Let your speech be gentle.


Write sentences containing the following words correctly used:

Thoughtful, thoughtfully, masterful, masterfully, hard, hardly, cool, coolly, rapid, rapidly, ungainly, careful, carefully, eager, eagerly, sweet, sweetly, gracious, graciously.

40. IMPROPER FORMS OF ADJECTIVES. The wrong forms in the following list of adjectives are frequently used in place of the right forms:

RIGHT WRONG everywhere everywheres not nearly nowhere near not at all not much or not muchly ill illy first firstly thus thusly much muchly unknown unbeknown complexioned complected


Correct the errors in the following sentences:

1. She goes everywheres. 2. Hers is the most illy behaved child I know. 3. Not muchly will I go. 4. Use the lesser quantity first. 5. He is nowhere near so bright as John. 6. You do the problem thusly. 7. The causes are firstly, ignorance, and second, lack of energy. 8. They came unbeknown to me. 9. He is a dark complected man. 10. It all happened unbeknownst to them. 11. His vote was nowhere near so large as usual.

41. ERRORS IN COMPARISON are frequently made. Observe carefully the following rules:

1. The superlative should not be used in comparing only two things. One should say, He is the LARGER of the two, not He is the LARGEST of the two. But, He is the largest of the three, is right.

2. A comparison should not be attempted by adjectives that express absolute quality—adjectives that cannot be compared; as, round, perfect, equally, universal. A thing may be round or perfect, but it cannot be more round or most round, more perfect or most perfect.

3. When two objects are used in the comparative, one must not be included in the other; but, when two objects are used in the superlative, one must be included in the other. It is wrong to say, The discovery of America was MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY geographical discovery, for that is saying that the discovery of America was more important than itself—an absurdity. But it would be right to say, The discovery of America was more important THAN ANY OTHER geographical discovery. One should not say, He is the most honest OF HIS fellow-workmen, for he is not one of his fellow-workmen. One should say, He is more honest THAN ANY of his fellow-workmen, or, He is the most honest OF ALL the workmen. To say, This machine is BETTER THAN ANY machine, is incorrect, but to say, This machine is better THAN ANY OTHER machine, is correct. To say, This machine is the BEST OF ANY machine (or any other machine), is wrong, because all machines are meant, not one machine or some machines. To say, This machine is the BEST OF machines (or the best of all machines), is correct.

Note the following rules in regard to the use of other in comparisons:

a. After comparatives followed by than the words any and all should be followed by other.

b. After superlatives followed by of, any and other should not be used.

4. Avoid mixed comparisons. John is as good, if not better than she. If the clause, if not better, were left out, this sentence would read, John is as good than she. It could be corrected to read, John is as good AS, if not better than she. Similarly, it is wrong to say, He is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, man in history.


Choose the correct word from those italicized:

1. The older oldest of the three boys was sick. 2. Of Smith and Jones, Smith is the wealthiest wealthier. 3. Of two burdens choose the less least. 4. Which can run the fastest faster, John or Henry? 5. Of the two men, Smith and Jones, the first former is the better best known. 6. Which is the larger largest of the two? 7. Which is the best better of the six? 8. Which is the larger largest number, six or seven 9. Which is the more most desirable, health or wealth? 10. My mother is the oldest older of four sisters. 11. The prettier prettiest of the twins is the brighter brightest. 12. This is the duller dullest season of the year. 13. The other is the worse worst behaved of the two. 14. Which was the hotter hottest, yesterday or to-day? 15. That is the cleaner cleanest of the three streets.


Correct any of the following sentences that may be wrong. Give a valid reason for each correction:

1. He was the most active of all his friends. 2. He is the brightest of all his brothers. 3. Of all the other American Colleges, this is the largest. 4. Philadelphia is larger than any city in Pennsylvania. 5. Philadelphia is the largest of all other cities in Pennsylvania. 6. No city in Pennsylvania is so large as Philadelphia. 7. That theory is more universally adopted. 8. He was, of all others, the most clever. 9. This apple is more perfect than that. 10. No fruit is so good as the orange. 11. The orange is better than any fruit. 12. Of all other fruits the orange is the best. 13. The orange is the best of all the fruits. 14. The orange is better than any other fruit. 15. That is the most principal thing in the lesson. 16. Which has been of most importance, steam or electricity? 17. He was more active than any other of his companions. 18. This apple is rounder than that. 19. This apple is more nearly round than that. 20. Paris is the most famous of any other European city. 21. Pennsylvania is the wealthiest of her sister states. 22. No state is so wealthy as Pennsylvania. 23. Pennsylvania is the wealthiest of any of the States. 24. Pennsylvania is wealthier than any of her other sister states. 25. New York is one of the largest, if not the largest city in the world. 26. That book is as good if not better than mine. 27. John is taller than any other boy in his classes. 28. John is taller than any boy in his class. 29. Iron is the most useful of all other metals. 30. Iron is the more useful of the metals. 31. Iron is the most useful of the metals. 32. Of iron and lead, lead is the heaviest. 33. Iron is among the most useful, if not the most useful metal. 34. He is among the oldest if not the oldest of the men in the Senate. 35. That picture is more beautiful than all the pictures.

42. SINGULAR AND PLURAL ADJECTIVES. Some adjectives can be used only with singular nouns and some only with plural nouns. Such adjectives as one, each, every, etc., can be used only with singular nouns. Such adjectives as several, various, many, sundry, two, etc., can be used only with plural nouns. In many cases, the noun which the adjective modifies is omitted, and the adjective thus acquires the force of a pronoun; as, FEW are seen, SEVERAL have come.

The adjective pronouns this and that have plural forms, these and those. The plurals must be used with plural nouns. To say those kind is then incorrect. It should be those kinds. Those sort of men should be that sort of men or those sorts of men.

43. EITHER AND NEITHER are used to designate one of two objects only. If more than two are referred to, use any, none, any one, no one. Note the following correct sentences:

NEITHER John nor Henry may go.

ANY ONE of the three boys may go.

44. EACH OTHER should be used when referring to two; ONE ANOTHER when referring to more than two. Note the following correct sentences:

The two brothers love EACH OTHER.

The four brothers love ONE ANOTHER.


Correct such of the following sentences as are incorrect. Be able to give reasons:

1. He is six foot tall. 2. I like those kind of fruit. 3. He lost several pound. 4. I have not seen him this twenty year. 5. Have you heard these news? 6. Are they those kind of people? 7. He rode ten mile. 8. There were fifteen car-load of people. 9. These kind of books are interesting. 10. Several phenomenon marked his character. 11. There are a few crisis in every man's career. 12. Each strata of the rock lies at an angle. 13. The poem has six verse in it. 14. Either of the five will do. 15. Little children should love each other. 16. Neither of the large cities in the United States is so large as London. 17. You will be able to find it in either one of those three books. 18. Those two brothers treat one another very coldly. 19. Neither of the many newspapers published an account of it. 20. Either law or medicine is his profession. 21. Some ten box of shoes were on the train. 22. Those two statements contradict one another. 23. The Sahara Desert has several oasis. 24. How can he associate with those sort of men?

45. PLACING OF ADVERBS AND ADJECTIVES. In the placing of adjective elements and adverbial elements in the sentence, one should so arrange them as to leave no doubt as to what they are intended to modify.

Wrong: A man was riding on a horse wearing gray trousers.

Right: A man wearing gray trousers was riding on a horse.

The adverb only requires especial attention. Generally only should come before the word it is intended to modify. Compare the following correct sentences, and note the differences in meaning.

Only he found the book.

He only found the book.

He found only the book.

He found the book only.

The placing of the words, almost, ever, hardly, scarcely, merely, and quite, also requires care and thought.


Correct the errors in the location of adjectives and adverbs in the following sentences:

1. I only paid five dollars. 2. I have only done six problems. 3. The clothing business is only profitable in large towns. 4. The school is only open in the evening. 5. I only need ten minutes in which to do it. 6. He had almost climbed to the top when the ladder broke. 7. I never expect to see the like again. 8. A black base-ball player's suit was found. 9. Do you ever remember to have seen the man before? 10. The building was trimmed with granite carved corners. 11. People ceased to wonder gradually. 12. The captain only escaped by hiding in a ditch. 13. I never wish to think of it again. 14. On the trip in that direction he almost went to Philadelphia. 15. Acetylene lamps are only used now in the country. 16. He only spoke of history, not of art. 17. I know hardly what to say. 18. I was merely talking of grammar, not of English literature. 19. The girls were nearly dressed in the same color. 20. He merely wanted to see you.

46. DOUBLE NEGATIVES. I am here is called an affirmative statement. A denial of that, I am not here, is called a negative statement. The words, not, neither, never, none, nothing, etc., are all negative words; that is, they serve to make denials of statements.

Two negatives should never be used in the same sentence, since the effect is then to deny the negative you wish to assert, and an affirmative is made where a negative is intended. We haven't no books, means that we have some books. The proper negative form would be, We have no books, or We haven't any books. The mistake occurs usually where such forms as isn't, don't, haven't, etc., are used. Examine the following sentences:

Wrong: It isn't no use.

Wrong: There don't none of them believe it.

Wrong: We didn't do nothing.

Hardly, scarcely, only, and but (in the sense of only) are often incorrectly used with a negative. Compare the following right and wrong forms:

Wrong: It was so dark that we couldn't hardly see.

Right: It was so dark that we could hardly see.

Wrong: There wasn't only one person present.

Right: There was only one person present.


Correct the following sentences:

1. I can't find it nowhere. 2. For a time I couldn't scarcely tell where I was. 3. They are not allowed to go only on holidays. 4. There isn't but one person that can make the speech. 5. They didn't find no treasure. 6. It won't take but a few minutes to read it all. 7. I haven't seen but two men there. 8. There isn't no one here who knows it. 9. I didn't see no fire; my opinion is that there wasn't no fire. 10. I can't hardly prove that statement. 11. I didn't feel hardly able to go. 12. She couldn't stay only a week. 13. I hadn't scarcely reached shelter when the storm began. 14. You wouldn't scarcely believe that it could be done. 15. He said that he wouldn't bring only his wife. 16. There isn't nothing in the story. 17. He doesn't do nothing. 18. I can't think of nothing but that. 19. He can't hardly mean that. 20. He isn't nowhere near so bright as I. 21. He can't hardly come to-night. 22. It is better to not think nothing about it. 23. She can't only do that. 24. There isn't no use of his objecting to it. 25. There shan't none of them go along with us. 26. Don't never do that again. 27. We could not find but three specimens of the plant. 28. He wasn't scarcely able to walk. 29. He hasn't none of his work prepared.

47. THE ARTICLES. A, an, and the, are called Articles. A and an are called the INDEFINITE ARTICLES, because they are used to limit the noun to any one thing of a class; as, a book, a chair. But a or an is not used to denote the whole of that class; as, Silence is golden, or, He was elected to the office of President.

The is called the DEFINITE ARTICLE because it picks out some one definite individual from a class.

In the sentence, On the street are A brick and A stone house, the article is repeated before each adjective; the effect of this repetition is to make the sentence mean two houses. But, in the sentence, On the street is A brick and stone house, since the article is used only before the first of the two adjectives, the sentence means that there is only one house and that it is constructed of brick and stone.

Where two nouns refer to the same object, the article need appear only before the first of the two; as, God, the author and creator of the universe. But where the nouns refer to two different objects, regarded as distinct from each other, the article should appear before each; as, He bought a horse and a cow.

A is used before all words except those beginning with a vowel sound. Before those beginning with a vowel sound an is used. If, in a succession of words, one of these forms could not be used before all of the words, then the article must be repeated before each. Thus, one should say, AN ax, A saw, and AN adze (not An ax, saw and adze), made up his outfit. Generally it is better to repeat the article in each case, whether or not it be the same.

Do not say, kind of A HOUSE. Since a house is singular, it can have but one kind. Say instead, a kind of house, a sort of man, etc.


Correct the following where you think correction is needed:

1. Where did you get that kind of a notion? 2. She is an eager and an ambitious girl. 3. He received the degree of a Master of Arts. 4. The boy and girl came yesterday. 5. Neither the man nor woman was here. 6. He was accompanied by a large and small man. 7. He planted an oak, maple and ash. 8. The third of the team were hurt. 9. The noun and verb will be discussed later. 10. I read a Pittsburg and Philadelphia paper. 11. Read the third and sixth sentence. 12. Read the comments in a monthly and weekly periodical. 13. He is dying from the typhoid fever. 14. He was elected the secretary and the treasurer of the association. 15. What sort of a student are you? 16. He is a funny kind of a fellow. 17. Bring me a new and old chair. 18. That is a sort of a peculiar idea. 19. He was operated upon for the appendicitis. 20. Lock the cat and dog up.

48. No adverb necessary to the sense should be omitted from the sentence. Such improper omission is frequently made when very or too are used with past participles that are not also recognized as adjectives; as,

Poor: I am very insulted. He was too wrapped in thought to notice the mistake.

Right: I am very much insulted. He was too much wrapped in thought to notice the mistake.


Write sentences containing the following adjectives and adverbs. Be sure that they are used correctly.

Both, each, every, only, evidently, hard, latest, awful, terribly, charming, charmingly, lovely, brave, perfect, straight, extreme, very, either, neither, larger, oldest, one, none, hardly, scarcely, only, but, finally, almost, ever, never, new, newly, very.



49. A VERB has already been defined as a word stating something about the subject. Verbs are inflected or changed to indicate the time of the action as past, present, or future; as, I talk, I talked, I shall talk, etc. Verbs also vary to indicate completed or incompleted action; as, I have talked, I shall have talked, etc. To these variations, which indicate the time of the action, the name TENSE is given.

The full verbal statement may consist of several words; as, He MAY HAVE GONE home. Here the verb is may have gone. The last word of such a verb phrase is called the PRINCIPAL VERB, and the other words the AUXILIARIES. In the sentence above, go (gone) is the principal verb, and may and have are the auxiliaries.

50. In constructing the full form of the verb or verb phrase there are three distinct parts from which all other forms are made. These are called the PRINCIPAL PARTS.

The First Principal Part, since it is the part by which the verb is referred to as a word, may be called the NAME-FORM. The following are name-forms: do, see, come, walk, pass.

The Second Principal Part is called the PAST TENSE. It is formed by adding ed to the name-form; as, walked, pushed, passed. These verbs that add ed are called Regular Verbs. The verb form is often entirely changed; as, done (do), saw (see), came (come). These verbs are called Irregular Verbs.

The Third Principal Part is called the PAST PARTICIPLE. It is used mainly in expressing completed action or in the passive voice. In regular verbs the past participle is the same in form as the past tense. In irregular verbs it may differ entirely from both the name-form and the past tense, or it may resemble one or both of them. Examples: done (do, did), seen (see, saw), come (come, came), set (set, set).

51. THE NAME-FORM, when unaccompanied by auxiliaries, is used with all subjects, except those in the third person singular, to assert action in the present time or present tense; as, I go, We come, You see, Horses run.

The name-form is also used with various auxiliaries (may, might, can, must, will, should, shall, etc.) to assert futurity, determination, possibility, possession, etc. Examples: I may go, We shall come, You can see, Horses should run.

By preceding it with the word to, the name-form is used to form what is called the PRESENT INFINITIVE; as, I wish to go, I hope to see.

What may be called the S-FORM of the verb, or the SINGULAR form, is usually constructed by adding s or es to the name-form. The s-form is used with singular subjects in the third person; as, He goes, She comes, It runs, The dog trots.

The s-form is found in the third personal singular of the present tense. In other tenses, if present at all, the s-form is in the auxiliary, where the present tense of the auxiliary is used to form some other tense of the principal verb. Examples: He has (present tense), He has gone (perfect tense), He has been seen.

Some verbs have no s-form; as, will, shall, may. The verb be has two irregular s-forms: Is, in the present tense, and was in the past tense. The s-form of have is has.

52. The past tense always stands alone in the predicate; i. e., IT SHOULD NEVER BE USED WITH ANY AUXILIARIES. To use it so, however, is one of the most frequent errors in grammar. The following are past tense forms: went, saw, wore, tore. To say, therefore, I have saw, I have went, It was tore, They were wore, would be grossly incorrect.

53. The third principal part, the past participle, on the other hand, CAN NEVER BE USED AS A PREDICATE VERB WITHOUT AN AUXILIARY. The following are distinctly past participle forms: done, seen, sung, etc. One could not then properly say, I seen, I done, I sung, etc.

The distinction as to use with and without auxiliaries applies, of course, only to irregular verbs. In regular verbs, the past tense and past participle are always the same, and so no error could result from their confusion.

The past participle is used to form the Perfect Infinitives; as, to have gone, to have seen, to have been seen.

54. The following is a list of the principal parts of the most important irregular verbs. The list should be mastered thoroughly. The student should bear in mind always that, THE PAST TENSE FORM SHOULD NEVER BE USED WITH AN AUXILIARY, and that THE PAST PARTICIPLE FORM SHOULD NEVER BE USED AS A PREDICATE VERB WITHOUT AN AUXILIARY.

In some instances verbs have been included in the list below which are always regular in their forms, or which have both regular and irregular forms. These are verbs for whose principal parts incorrect forms are often used.


Name-form Past Tense Past Participle awake awoke or awaked awaked begin began begun beseech besought besought bid (to order or to greet) bade bidden or bid bid (at auction) bid bidden or bid blow blew blown break broke broken burst burst burst choose chose chosen chide chid chidden or chid come came come deal dealt dealt dive dived dived

Name-form Past Tense Past Participle do did done draw drew drawn drink drank drunk or drank drive drove driven eat ate eaten fall fell fallen flee fled fled fly flew flown forsake forsook forsaken forget forgot forgot or forgotten freeze froze frozen get got got (gotten) give gave given go went gone hang (clothes) hung hung hang (a man) hanged hanged know knew known lay laid laid lie lay lain mean meant meant plead pleaded pleaded prove proved proved ride rode ridden raise raised raised rise rose risen run ran run see saw seen seek sought sought set set set shake shook shaken shed shed shed shoe shod shod sing sang sung sit sat sat slay slew slain sink sank sunk speak spoke spoken

Name-form Past Tense Past Participle steal stole stolen swim swam swum take took taken teach taught taught tear tore torn throw threw thrown tread trod trod or trodden wake woke or waked woke or waked wear wore worn weave wove woven write wrote written

NOTES.—Ought has no past participle. It may then never be used with an auxiliary. I had ought to go is incorrect. The idea would be amply expressed by I ought to go.

MODEL CONJUGATIONS of the verbs to be and to see in all forms are given under Sec.77 at the end of this chapter.


In the following sentences change the italicized verb so as to use the past tense, and then so as to use the past participle:

Example: (Original sentence), The guests begin to go home. (Changed to past tense), The guests began to go home. (Changed to past participle), The guests have begun to go home.

1. Our books lie on the mantel. 2. John comes in and lays his books on the desk. 3. I see the parade. 4. He runs up the road. 5. They set their chairs in a row. 6. The noise wakes me. 7. Caesar bids him enter. 8. If they prove their innocence, they should be discharged. 9. His friends plead strongly for him. 10. Do you know what they mean by that? 11. I awake early every morning. 12. He begins to think of strange things. 13. The children beseech me to go with them. 14. My mother bids me to say that she will be here at six. 15. Smith bids fifty dollars for the chair. 16. My servants break many dishes. 17. They choose their associates. 18. The box bursts open. 19. His mother chides him for his misbehavior. 20. He comes here every day. 21. I deal there this week. 22. The boys dive beautifully. 23. You do so much more than is necessary. 24. They draw lots for the watch. 25. Jones drinks this wine very seldom. 26. They drive over to Milton once a week. 27. They drive a sorrel horse. 28. The cows eat grass. 29. The Gauls flee before Caesar. 30. The swallows all fly into the chimney at evening. 31. They forsake the cause without any reason. 32. Caesar gives them no answer. 33. They get no money for their services. 34. You forget that we have no right to do that. 35. Water freezes at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit. 36. The ball goes to the opposing team. 37. You hang the rope on the tree. 38. The sheriff hangs the murderer at noon. 39. I know of nothing more worrying. 40. She lays the knife on the table. 41. They lie in bed until eleven. 42. Why they rise so late, I do not know. 43. They raise no objection. 44. John runs very rapidly. 45. You sit very quietly. 46. Caesar seeks to learn the intention of the enemy. 47. The politician vigorously shakes all hands. 48. The roof sheds water in all storms. 49. The blacksmith shoes horses. 50. The choir sings for each service. 51. You speak too rapidly to be easily understood. 52. Few men steal because they want to. 53. I swim one hundred yards very readily. 54. They teach all the elementary branches there. 55. You take all subscriptions for the concert. 56. Those clothes tear readily. 57. They tread the grapes in making wine. 58. Who throws paper on the floor? 59. I always wear old clothes in which to work. 60. She writes to her mother daily. 61. They weave the best rugs in Philadelphia.


Write original sentences containing the following verbs, correctly used:

Begun, blew, bidden, bad, chose, broke, come, dealt, dived, drew, driven, flew, forsook, froze, given, give, gave, went, hanged, knew, rode, pleaded, ran, seen, saw, shook, shod, sung, slew, spoke, swum, taken, torn, wore, threw, woven, wrote, written.


Insert the proper form of the verb in the following sentences. The verb to be used is in black-faced type at the beginning of each group:

1. BEGIN. He —— to act at once. The reports —— to disturb him a little. He has —— to feel hurt over them. 2. BID. The proprietor —— us a pleasant good day. No matter how much he —— the auctioneer will not hear him. We were —— to enter. 3. BLOW. The cornetist —— with all his might. The ship was —— about all day. The wind does —— terrifically sometimes. It may —— to-night. The wind —— all last night. 4. BREAK. He fell and —— his leg. It is well that his neck was not ——. 5. BURST. During the battle the shells frequently —— right over us. Oaken casks have often ——. 6. CHIDE. He —— us frequently about our actions. He was never —— himself. 7. CHOOSE. They —— him president. They have —— wisely. 8. COME. He —— at nine to-day. He has always —— earlier heretofore. Let him —— when he wishes. 9. DEAL. Before explaining the game, he —— out the cards. 10. DIVE. Twice last summer he —— off the bridge. 11. DO. Thou canst not say I —— it. He often —— it. 12. DRAW. The picture was —— by a famous artist. He formerly —— very well, but I think that now he —— very poorly. 13. DRIVE. The horse was —— twenty miles. He almost —— it to death. 14. EAT. He —— everything which the others had not ——. How can he —— that? 15. FLEE. Since the cashier has ——, they think that a warrant would be useless. 16. FLY. The air-ship —— three hundred miles on its first trip. That it has —— so far is sufficient proof of its success. 17. FORSAKE. He —— his new friends just as he had —— all the others. 18. FREEZE. The man was —— stiff. He evidently —— to death so easily because he had been so long without food. 19. GIVE. She was not —— as much as her sisters. Her father —— her less because of her extravagance. But, he now —— her enough to make it up. 20. GO. She —— to school to-day. She —— yesterday. She has —— every day this month. 21. KNOW. He —— that he cannot live. As long as I have —— him, this is the first time I ever —— he was married. 22. MEAN. He —— to do right, and has always —— to do so. 23. RIDE. They —— as if they had —— a long distance. They say that they —— from Larimer this morning. 24. PLEAD. The mother —— an hour for her son's life. 25. PROVE. They —— him a thief in the eyes of the people, even if he was not —— so to the satisfaction of the jury. 26. RUN. John —— the race as though he had —— races all his life. The race was —— very rapidly. Soon after that race, he —— in another race. 27. SEE. Smith, who has just arrived, says he —— two men skulking along the road. He was not —— by them. That play is the best I ever ——. 28. SEEK. The detectives —— all through the slums for him. Now they —— him in the better parts of the city. No criminal was ever more eagerly ——. 29. SHAKE. During the day his hand was —— five hundred times. He —— hands with all who came. 30. SHOE. The entire army was —— with Blank's shoes. 31. SING. The choir —— the anthem as they had never —— it before. They always —— it well. 32. SINK. The stone —— as soon as it is in the water. The ship was —— in forty fathoms of water. They —— the ship in 1861. 33. SPEAK. Though they claimed that they always —— to her, she was really never —— to by any member of the family. 34. STEAL. The money was ——; whether or not he —— it I do not know. Everyone believes that he has frequently —— goods from the store. 35. TAKE. I was —— for him several times that day. No one ever —— me for him before. 36. TEACH. John —— school every day. He has —— for ten years. He first —— when he was eighteen years old. 37. TEAR. The dog —— at the paper until it was —— entirely to pieces. He —— up everything he finds. 38. THROW. He was —— by a horse which never before —— anyone. 39. WEAR. The trousers were —— entirely out in a month, but I —— the coat and vest for six months. 40. WEAVE. This carpet was —— at Philadelphia. The manufacturers say they never —— a better one, and they —— the best in the country. 41. WRITE. Although he has —— several times, he has never —— anything about that. He —— to me just last week. He —— at least once a month.


Correct the errors in the use of verbs in the following sentences:

1. He plead all day to be released. 2. The horse was rode to death. 3. The letter was wrote before he knowed the truth. 4. He was immediately threw out of the room. 5. She run around all day and then was sick the next day. 6. I never seen anything like it. 7. He was very much shook by the news. 8. The matter was took up by the committee. 9. The horse has been stole from the owner. 10. Goliath was slew by David. 11. The words have been spoke in anger. 12. I have went to church every day. 13. Was the river froze enough for skating? 14. He begun to take notice immediately. 15. The umbrella was blew to pieces. 16. I have broke my ruler. 17. Jones was chose as leader of the class. 18. He said he come as soon as he could. 19. I done it. 20. I have never did anything so foolish. 21. I have ate all that was in the lunch-box. 22. The horse was drove ten miles.


Write sentences in which the following verb forms are properly used:

begun, blew, broke, chose, come, came, done, did, drew, drunk, drove, ate, flew, forsook, froze, forgot, gave, give, went, hang, hung, knew, rode, run, shook, sung, slew, spoke, stole, took, tore, threw, wore, wrote.

55. TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS. A TRANSITIVE VERB is one in which the action of the verb goes over to a receiver; as, He KILLED the horse, I KEEP my word. In both these sentences, the verb serves to transfer the action from the subject to the object or receiver of the action. The verbs in these sentences, and all similar verbs, are transitive verbs. All others, in which the action does not go to a receiver, are called INTRANSITIVE VERBS.

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