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On the Simple Sentence.

§1. Simple sentences have three forms; namely,

1. Assertion,

Brutus stabbed Cæsar.
2. Question, Did Cæsar deserve death?

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The relations of words to one another in a sentence are the same whatever the form of the sentence may be.

Sentences must begin with capital letters, and be separated from each other by FULL stops, by marks of question, or by marks of exclamation.

§ 2. Every sentence has two parts: the Subject and the Predicate.

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[The subject stands for what is spoken about, and the predicate stands for what is said about it.]

§ 3. A single-word subject is called a noun, and a single-word predicate is called a verb.

Even the shortest sentences must therefore contain at least two words, a noun and a verb.

Such sen

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§ 4. Many verbs, called Transitive, cannot make a predicate by themselves (like those in § 3), but must be followed by Objects. (§ 41.)

[Objects stand for things which receive the action expressed by the verb.]

A single-word object is a noun, like the singleword subject.

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§ 5. Copulative Verbs also cannot make predicates by themselves, but require to be followed, not by objects, but by nouns which stand for the same thing as the subject, or by words which describe it.

e.g. Sheep are animals. The work proved difficult.

Copulative verbs, together with their complements, may be taken as equivalents of other verbs.

e.g. Serpents are creepers -Serpents creep.

Thousands are mourners =
Music is delightful

Thousands mourn.

- Music delights.


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§ 6. Sentences are often untrue or fail to express our meaning unless the subject, verb, or object be modified by words which serve to limit its meaning.

Words that modify the meaning of a noun are called Adjectives; and such as modify the meaning of a verb are called Adverbs.

e.g. "Boys remain dunces" is a sentence that is not quite true; but there is no objection to the modified statement:

Some boys remain dunces,

(or) Boys often remain dunces.

NOTE. In tabulated analysis, adjectives serving to nouns, and adverbs serving to verbs, may be written smaller, and set half-way under the words which they modify. Thus:

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§ 7. When no single word will modify the meaning of another precisely as we wish, we use a preposition

and a noun (§§ 17, 12), which together form a composite adjective or a composite adverb.

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§ 8. In the further development of sentences,

(a) Any noun may be substituted by a pronoun; e.g. Pharaoh pardoned the butler, but the baker he hanged. (b) Any noun may be modified by an adjective.

(c) Any verb, adjective, or adverb may be modified by an adverb.

$9. Sentences therefore exhibit two principal and two subordinate relations.


1. The relation of the subject to the verb. 2. The relation of the object to the verb.


1. The relation of the adjective to the noun.

2. The relation of the adverb to the verb, adjective, or adverb.

§ 10. Words are often put into a sentence without any grammatical relation, and are then said to be absolute; i.e. free, loose. (See § 43.)

e.g. The weather being fine, I shall go out.

To speak precisely, it cost thirty-five shillings.

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