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any one that regards but and that as conjunctions to explain such a passage as this: “But that he is so truthful, I could not believe the story.” The explanation is easy when we take the noun - proposition that he is so truthful as the subject of be—be out that he is so truthful, that he is so truthful be out.
Shall and will and should and would are treated in such a way that those who attend to the cautions need never use will for shall or would for should.
The author has endeavored to make each definition clear and accurate, expressing exactly the intended idea, not merely something approaching it more or less nearly. What are given in some works as definitions are often so loose that they are no definitions. “A verb is a word which signifies to be, to do, or to suffer” is a definition of the infinitive mood, and a very poor definition of that. “A verb is a word which expresses being, action, or state” does not distinguish verbs from abstract nouns. Existence expresses being; destruction expresses action; happiness expresses state. The very thing that constitutes the verb is disregarded. “A transitive verb requires an object to complete its meaning; as, “The hunter killed a bear.” The object does not complete the meaning of the verb, for the verb expresses its own meaning completely. “The hunter killed.” The verb killed does not require an object to complete its meaning; we know from the verb that something has been deprived of life, and the addition of bear to the sentence is no addition to the meaning of killed. Besides, if this definition were correct, it would apply to the active voice only. The definition, “A transitive verb is a verb that expresses an action exerted directly upon some object,” applies to the passive voice as well as to the active, and it does not represent the object as completing the meaning of the verb.
Some writers follow the practice of huddling together two or more words and treating them as one word, notwithstanding that each word has its own distinot meaning. For instance, less useful and least useful are represented as simple adjectives, and the comparative and superlative degrees are defined so as to include all such forms. In this work each word is treated as a word.
Most of the common errors committed by writers are mentioned, from such abominations as “Come to me days and read and go home nights” to the insertion of the preposition of between the adjective all and its noun, as in “All of his men were taken prisoners.” Whenever a writer inserts of between all and its noun he shows that he is not a classical writer.
Painter or paintress 1 ..................... 34
“If I was” and “if I were
Examples for parsing..
137 Nouns used independently or ab-
Remarks on both, either, neither, that..139 Remarks on excepting, regarding,
also, still, otherwise, besides, etc...141 “Warming his hands as if they