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NOTE: The conjunction as, when it is connected with such, many, or same, is sometimes, though erroneously, called a relative pronoun; as, "Let such as presume to advise others," &c. ; that is, Let them who, &c. See page


2. An ellipsis, or omission of some words, is frequently admitted, which must be supplied in the mind in order to parse grammatically; as, "Wo is me;" that is, to me; "To sleep all night;" i. e. through all the night; "He has gone a journey;" i. e. on a journey; "They walked a league;" i. e. over a space called a league.

3. When the omission of words would obscure the sense, or weaken its force, they must be expressed.

4. In the use of prepositions, and words that relate to each other, we should pay particular regard to the meaning of the words or sentences which they connect: all the parts of a sentence should correspond to each other, and a regular and clear construction throughout should be carefully preserved. FALSE SYNTAX.

They are much greater gainers than me.

They know how to write as well as him; but he is a better grammarian than them.

They were all well but him.

None were rewarded but him and me.

Jesus sought none but they who had gone astray.


1. In the use of verbs, and other words and phrases which, in point of time, relate to each other, a due regard to that relation should be observed.

Instead of saying, "The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken away;" we should say, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." Instead of, "I remember the family more than twenty years;" it should be, "I have remembered the family more than twenty years."

2. The best rule that can be given for the management of the tenses, and of words and phrases which, in point of time, relate to each other, is this very general one; Observe what the sense necessarily requires.

To say,

"I have visited Washington last summer; I have seen the work more than a month ago," is not good sense. The constructions should be, "I visited Washington, &c.; I saw the work, &c. "This mode of expression has been formerly much admired;"-" was formerly much admired." "If I had have been there ;" "If I had have seen him;" "Had you have known him," are solecisms too gross to need correction. We can say, I have been, I had been; but what sort of a tense is, had have been? To place had before the defective verb ought, is an errour equally gross and illiterate :-" had ought, hadn't ought." This is as low a vulgarism as the use of theirn, hern, and hizzen, tother, furder, baynt, this ere, I seed it, I tell'd him.

3. When we refer to a past action or event, and no part of that time in which it took place remains, the imperfect tense *should be used; but if there is still remaining some portion of the time in which we declare that the thing has been done, the perfect tense should be employed.

Thus, we say, "Philosophers made great discoveries in the last century;" "He was much afflicted last year;" but when we refer to the present century, year, week, day, &c. we ought to use the perfect tense; as, "Philos ophers have made great discoveries in the present century;" "He has been much afflicted this year;" "I have read the president's message this week ;" "We have heard important news this morning;" because these events occurred in this century, this year, this week, and to-day, and still there remains a part of this century, year, week, and day, of which I speak


In general, the perfect tense may be applied wherever the action is con nected with the present time, by the actual existence either of the author or of the work, though it may have been performed many centuries ago; but if neither the author nor the work now remains, the perfect tense ought not to be employed. Speaking of priests in general, we may say, They have in all ages claimed great powers;" because the general order of the priesthood still exists; but we cannot properly say, "The Druid priests have claimed great powers;" because that order is now extinct. We ought, therefore, to say, "The Druid priests claimed great powers."


The following examples may serve still farther to illustrate the proper use and application of the tenses. My brother has recently been to Philadelphia." It should be, "was recently at Philadelphia ;" because the adverb recently refers to a time completely past, without any allusion to the present time. "Charles is grown considerably since I have seen him the last time." Corrected, "Charles has grown, since I saw him," &c. "Payment was at length made, but no reason assigned for its being so long postponed." Corrected, "for its having been so long postponed." They were arrived an hour before we reached the city :""They had arrived." "The workmen will complete the building at the time I take possession of it." It should be, "will have completed the building," &c. "This curious piece of workmanship was preserved, and shown to strangers for more than fifty years past:"-" has been preserved, and been shown to strangers," &c. "I had rather write than beg:""I would rather write than beg."

"On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty whereof Paul was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands." It ought to be, "because he would know; or, being willing to know," &c. "The blind man said, 'Lord, that I might receive my sight;"" ""If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." In both these examples, may would be preferable to might. "I feared that I should have lost the parcel, before I arrived:"-" that I should lose." "It would have afforded me no satisfaction, if I could perform it." It ought to be, "if I could have performed it ;" or, "It would afford me no satisfaction, if I could perform it." "This dedication may serve for almost any book that has, is, or shall be published :"—" that has been, or will be published."

4. In order to employ the two tenses of the infinitive mood with propriety, particular attention should be paid to the meaning of what we express.

Verbs expressive of hope, desire, intention, or command, ought to be followed by the PRESENT tense of the Infinitive mood.

"Last week I intended to have written," is improper. The intention of writing was then present with me; and, therefore, the construction should be, "intended to write." The following examples are also inaccurate; "I found him better than I expected to have found him;" My purpose was, after spending ten months more in commerce, to have withdrawn my wealth to another country." They should be, "expected to find him ;" "to withdraw my wealth."

"This is a book which proves itself to be written by the person whose name it bears." It ought to be," which proves itself to have been written," &c.

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To see him would have afforded me pleasure all my life." Corrected, "To ave seen him ;" or, "To see him would afford me pleasure," &c. "The argu ments were sufficient to have satisfied all who heard them :"-"were sufficient to satisfy." "History painters would have found it difficult to have invented such a species of beings:"-" to invent such a species."

5. General and immutable truths ought to be expressed in the present tense.

Instead of saying, "He did not know that eight and twenty were equal to twenty and eight;""The preacher said very audibly, that whatever was useful, was good;" "My opponent would not believe, that virtue was always advantageous;" The constructions should be, "are equal to twenty;" "whatever is useful, is good;" "virtue is always advantageous.”


We adore the Divine Being, he who is from eternity to eternity.

On these causes depend all the happiness or misery which exist among men.

The enemies who we have most to fear, are those of our own hearts.

Is it me or him who you requested to go?

Though great has been his disobedience and his folly, yet if he sincerely acknowledges his misconduct, he shall be forgiven. There were, in the metropolis, much to amuse them. By exercising of our memories, they are improved.

The property of my friend, I mean his books and furniture, were wholly consumed.

Affluence might give us respect in the eyes of the vulgar, but vill not recommend us to the wise and good.

The cares of this world, they often choke the growth of virtue. They that honour me, I will honour; and them that despise ne, shall be lightly esteemed.

I intended to have called last week, but could not.

The fields look freshly and gayly since the rain.
The book is printed very neat, and on fine wove paper.

I have recently been in Washington, where I have seen Gen. Andrew Jackson, he who is now president.

Take the two first, and, if you please, the three last.
The Chinese wall is thirty foot high.

It is a union supported by an hypothesis, merely.

I have saw him who you wrote to; and he would have camo back with me, if he could.

Not one in fifty of those who call themselves deists, understand the nature of the religion which they reject.

If thou studiest diligently, thou will become learned.
Education is not attended to properly ir. Spain.

He know'd it was his duty; and he ought, therefore, to do it.
He has little more of the great man besides the title.
Richard acted very independent on the occasion.

We have done no more than it was our duty to have done. The time of my friend entering on business, soon arrived. His speech is the most perfect specimen I ever saw. Calumny and detraction are sparks which, if you do not blow, they will go out of themselves.

Those two authors have each of them their merit.

Reasons whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lies in three words, health, peace, and competence.

A great mass of rocks thrown together by the hand of nature with wildness and confusion, strike the mind with more grandeur, than if they were adjusted to one another with the accuratest symmetry.

A lampoon or a satire do not carry in them robbery or murder. The side A, with the sides B and C, compose the triangle. If some persons opportunities were never so favourable, they would be too indolent to improve.

It is reported that the governour will come here to-morrow. Beauty and innocence should be never separated. Extravagance and folly may reduce you to a situation where you will have much to fear and little to hope.

Not one in fifty of our modern infidels are thoroughly versed in their knowledge of the Scriptures.

Virtue and mutual confidence is the soul of friendship. Where these are wanting, disgust or hatred often follow little differences.

An army present a painful sight to a feeling mind.

To do good to them that hate us, and, on no occasion, to seek revenge, is the duty of a christian.

The polite, accomplished libertine, is but miserable amidst all his pleasures: the rude inhabitant of Lapland is happier than him.

There are principles in man, which ever have, and ever will, incline him to offend.

This is one of the duties which requires great circumspection. They that honour me, them will I honour.

Every church and sect have opinions peculiar to themselves. Pericles gained such an ascendant over the minds of the Athenians, that he might be said to attain a monarchical power in Athens.

Thou, Lord, who hath permitted affliction to come upon us, shall deliver us from it in due time.

That writer has given us an account of the manner in which christianity has formerly been propagated among the heathens.

Thougn the measure be mysterious, it is not unworthy of your attention.

In his conduct was treachery, and in his words, faithless professions.

After I visited Europe, I returned to America.

I have not, nor shall not, consent to a proposal so unjust. I had intended yesterday to have walked out, but I have been again disappointed.

Five and eight makes thirteen; five from eight leaves three. If he goes to Saratoga next week, it will make eight times that he has visited that renowned watering place.

I could not convince him, that a forgiving disposition was nobler than a revengeful one. I consider the first, one of the brightest virtues that ever was or can be possessed by man.

The college consists of one great, and several smaller edifices. He would not believe, that honesty was the best policy. The edifice was erected sooner than I expected it to have been.

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, &c.?

He might have completed his task sooner, but he could not do it better.

The most ignorant and the most savage tribes of men, when they have looked round on the earth, and on the heavens, could not avoid ascribing their origin to some invisible, designing cause, and felt a propensity to adore their Creator.


OBSERVATION 1. The following absurd phrases so common in the sacred desk and elsewhere, should be carefully avoided by all who regard common sense;"Sing the two first and three last verses." Just as if there could be more than one first and one last. There may be a first two, a second two, &c.; a first three, a second three, a last three. "Within the two last centuries;" "The second syllable of the three first words;" "The three first of these orhoepists have no rule by which their pronunciation is regulated;" .""" the ast two centuries;" "the first three words ;" "the first three of these orthoepists."

2. Adjectives should not be used to express the manner of action. "The higher the river, the swifter it flows;" "James learns easier than Juliet; he sees deeper into the millstone than she;"-"the more swiftly it flows;" learns more easily; farther into the millstone," "He conducted the boldest of any ;"-"the most boldly.”

3. More requires than after it. The following sentences are the prefort improper: "He was more beloved, but not such admired, Cin;' Richard is more active, but not so studious. n'a companion. Tis eg timate mode of supplying the clipses in thes MEW Ledg


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