Page images

22. Give a short rule for the proper use of shall and will. Why are the phrases: 'I will be under the necessity,' 'We will be compelled,' incorrect?

23. Distinguish between the use of would and should, giving examples original or quoted.

Correct:-'If I was to run quick, I would fall.'

'How will we know whether is the greatest of the two?'
'Directly we fight we will be beaten, unless you support us.'

24. Errors of sequence of tenses occur in the following sentences: correct them.

'He said he won't give me any."

'I said that I will try again.'

'She told you and me that she will come.'

'As soon as he has gone away, he wrote and told you and me to come directly.'

'I intended to have bought a moderate-sized microscope, but was told that these minute organisms can be seen only under the best instruments.'

'I was going to have written him a letter.'

'They all hoped to have succeeded.'

'Swift, but a few months before, was willing to have hazarded all the horrors of a civil war.'

[In what circumstances would to hazard and to have hazarded be respectively appropriate ?]

'Each of the three last were expected to have stopped and voted.' 'I had hoped never to have seen the statues again.'

25. State what changes in the mode of expression are made when a speech is reported in the indirect form.

Deduce from the following report the words used originally by the speaker:-' He urged them to tell him of a single enterprise in which they had succeeded, and, if they could not, to give him some better reason than their own word for believing that they were blameless. He would inquire into the facts and judge for himself.'

26. Convert the following speech into Indirect Narrative, introducing your report with the words He said that:

'You cannot conquer America. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms,-never, never, never!'

27. Rewrite the following passage in Indirect Narrative, introducing the report with the words He said that:

'People have not been, I am told, quite as calm as sensible men should be. Bear in mind the advice of Lord Stanley. Do not let

your newspapers bring you into that frame of mind under which your Government, if it desires war, may be driven to engage in it.'

28. Point out the ambiguities in the following sentence:- Ethel told Mary that it would not be her fault if she did not succeed.'

[This report in oblique narrative may represent four different statements of Ethel's in the direct form. Give them.]

29. Correct the following sentences:

'Snapping at whomsoever laid in its way, the police siezed the dog, on account of it not only being dangerous, but also unmuzled according to law.'

[This sentence teems with errors of various kinds. First, there are two words misspelt. Secondly, there are grammatical blunders, whomsoever, laid, and it. Thirdly, there are mistakes of arrangement, whereby nonsense is made. Put the participial phrase 'snapping at whomsoever laid in its way' next to the word of which it is the adjunct: at present it appears as if the police were snapping. The order of the words not only being must be changed. And was it 'according to law' that the dog had its mouth open, or that the police captured it?]

'Bicycling down a hill, a stone tripped him up and his leg was broke. He laid there insensible some time, and when they had awakened him with some spoons full of brandy, he couldn't hardly recognise whom his friend was.'

'I hope to thoroughly master the subject in a week.'

[The separation of to from the verb,-a solecism called 'the split infinitive,'-should be avoided. Alter the position of the adverb in more ways than one.]

'Whom do you think I met to-day? Your two cousins! The eldest had on a new and a most fashionable pair of boots, just like you saw Henry wearing yesterday, and the other was nearly dressed the same.'

30. A confusion of two constructions is called Anacoluthon, from a Greek word which means 'not following along,' 'not in sequence with ' something else. Show that the following sentences furnish illustrations of this error.

'They had awoke him, he learned, to be told that the river had overflown its banks.'

[Two constructions are blended here: 'They had awoke him to tell him,' and 'He had awoke (or been awaked) to be told.'

'He had two sisters, the one a wealthy spinister, the other a married sister is the wife of a farmer.'

'I cannot write any more now and believe me, yours sincerely.'

[To join a verb in the indicative mood to a verb in the imperative makes nonsense. Put both coordinate clauses in the indicative, changing

'believe me' for some other expression, or cancel the former clause and substitute one which contains a verb in the imperative mood.]

'My lawyer is a man whom I know is trustworthy.'

'When Nelson was ill he complained of "the servants letting me lay as if a log, and take no notice."

"" "

'Should any one not receive the goods ordered in ten days, kindly write to the advertiser.'

'This is the man whom I perceived was in fault.'

'I think it may assist the reader by placing them before him in chronological order.'

'Mrs Jones presents her compliments to Miss Robinson and will be much obliged if she will prevent her dog from coming into my garden.' 'More than one swimming-prize is to be given for boys of thirteen years old.'

[blocks in formation]

(6) 'Send a written message, not a verbal one.'

(7) Important events have transpired.'

[ocr errors]

[In (1) common should be substituted for mutual, which implies reciprocal relationship. If A likes B and B likes A their friendship is mutual. In (2) 'trustworthy' might take the place of 'reliable.' Just as penetrable means 'what can be penetrated' and eatable 'what can be eaten,' so strictly reliable must mean 'what can be relied,' which is nonsense. 'What can be relied on' would be rely-on-able, as 'what can be got at' is colloquially said to be get-at-able. The words laughable, available and indispensable are open to a similar somewhat pedantic criticism. (3) Phenomenal is a word misapplied by journalists in the sense 'remarkable.' Give the true meaning. (4) Help means 'avoid' in this context. One who wishes to do as little as possible does no more than he cannot avoid. (5) Why passive? The expression is always used to signify 'If I do not misunderstand,' not 'If I am not misunderstood.' (6) Verbal means 'in words,' so a written message' is 'a verbal one.' What adjective signifies 'by word of mouth'? (7) What does transpire mean? Events do not transpire except in journalese.]

32. Quote four examples of common errors of speech, and show wherein the faultiness consists.

33. Show that the number of rules of concord and government in any language depends on the variety and extent of its inflexions.

34. Illustrate the different kinds of grammatical concord, and show that the following sentences are faulty:


() (c)


Neither of these men are patriots at heart.'

'This is one of those things that is managed better abroad.'
The number of failures were very great.'

Thou great First Cause, least understood,

Who all my sense confined.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

35. Comment on the construction of the verb in each of the following sentences:

'Is the news true?'


The people are divided.'

Every limb and every feature appears with its appropriate grace.' 'Justice as well as benevolence is our rule.'

36. How can you distinguish the objective case from the nominative in English?

State the case and government (if any) of each of the italicised words in the following sentences.

(a) 'Prize me no prizes, for my prize is death.'

let a worm i' the bud,

Feed on her damask cheek.'

[ocr errors]

(c) 'For my brethren and companions' sakes.' (d) That is not for such as you.'

37. Correct the following sentences where necessary: 'Thou lovest, but never knew love's sad satiety.'

'Nothing but grave and serious studies delight him.' 'The ship with all the passengers were lost.'

'He knows not what spleen, langour, or listlessness are.'


The king with the lords and commons form the legislature.'

'The posture of your blows are yet unknown.'

'There is sometimes more than one auxiliary to a verb.'

'He objects to me having the book.'

'If I were old enough to be married, I am old enough to manage my father's house.'

[See the note to Q. 12, p. 262.]

'And so was also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.

'The steam-engine as well as the telegraph were at that time undiscovered.'

[Is undiscovered the right word?]

'I have not wept this forty years.'

'It must be confessed that a lampoon or a satire do not carry in them robbery and murder.'

'He must decide between you and I going to him or him coming to



Syntax of Adverbs, ConjunctiONS, AND PREPOSITIONS.


I saw nobody but him.


267. THERE are some words which are variously used as Prepositions, as Adverbs, and as Conjunctions. The following sentences illustrate this threefold use of but, before, since.

Songs before sun

rise. Since Easter.


I have but one.

He went before.

I have not seen
him since.


I saw him but not

He went before
I arrived.

I will do so since

you wish it.

How are such words to be distinguished?

If the word in question governs a noun or pronoun, it is a Preposition. Bear in mind the fact that the preposition frequently comes after the relative pronoun which it governs: 'I gave the book that he asked for to the man whom I spoke to'; 'This is the place which you told me of.' And this relative pronoun is often dropped out altogether: the words that, whom, and which, would probably be omitted from these sentences in conversation. Nevertheless, for, to, and of are still prepositions, for they govern these pronouns understood.

« PreviousContinue »