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BY JAMES A. M'MULLEN, A.B.,
High School of the Queen's College, Liverpool.
LONDON: MAIR AND SON, 34, Bedford Street, Covent Garden.
EDINBURGI: J, MENZIES.
In order to teach a book properly a man must know it thoroughly.
Few teachers have time, and fewer still inclination, to sit down and master a perfectly new set of principles.
The author of this little work has consequently limited himself to endeavouring to render more simple and comprehensive the principles already established, departing from them only where they appear positively erroneous.
The system of exercises has been constructed with the utmost care, and will, it is hoped, render the book useful and acceptable. With the assistance of the Hints to Teachers, they will be found to abridge nearly one half the labour of learning English grammar.
The real meaning of every term, as well as its grammatical acceptation, has been given, which will serve to make the science more intelligible, especially to those who study by themselves. One of the greatest difficulties experienced by learners of any subject being the difference between the meaning of terms used technically and their acceptation in matters of common life. It is true that the teacher ought to explain them himself, but many young and inexperienced persons are obliged to take up the profession of teaching, to whom the necessity might not be immediately obvious, and thus much precious time would be lost to their pupils.
The author has to acknowledge himself under many obligations to the writings of Priestly, Louth, Crombie, Horne Tooke, Beard, Latham, Murray, &c.; but especially the last, whom writers on the English language in the present day are so fond of decrying and—copying:
HINTS TO TEACHERS.
As nouns are the names of things, require your pupils to point out the nouns around them; as, Hat, slate, books, &c.
To make them comprehend the nature of abstract nouns, oblige them to name their qualities; as, The blackness of the hat, hardness of the slate, &c. They should be well drilled in these, as they are most difficult to a beginner.
Make them understand thoroughly what a noun is, before proceeding to the adjective, and indeed every part of speech as you go along, before taking up another.
The definitions are given separately at the beginning of Etymology, with exercises on each. The teacher will find it a great saving of time to go fully into the parts of speech generally, so that the pupil may be able to distinguish one from the other, before entering on their subdivisions.
In teaching adjectives, make the pupils join adjectives to the nouns around them; as, Black hat, hard slate, &c., again reminding them that abstract nouns will express the same notions.
As pronouns are used for the sake of euphony, to avoid repeating the nouns, the best way of teaching them is by sentences where the noun is repeated constantly, the awkwardness of which the ear of even a very young pupil will at once detect. There are few who would not be able to supply the proper pronouns in such a sentence as this :-John lost John's book Has John found John's book ?
Adverbs are soonest taught by requiring a pupil to give single words, expressing the time, place, manner, &c., of the different actions going on around him. The experienced teacher will seize on things, which his pupils most notice. Thus, what way does John read his lesson ? Answer. Well, ill, quickly, slowly, &c. When will you read ? Now, socn,