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“He hath deserved worthily of his country; and his ascent (namely, to the highest honors, &c.) is not by such easy degrees as those who have been supple and courteous to the people.”
Shakspeare, Coriolanus, Act 2d, Scene 2d.
When names, whether proper, common, or abstract, are joined to their subjects by means of connecting words, but without a verb, the collection is called a phrase. As, The extent of the city; The path up the mountain; The house by the side of the river.
If the connecting word be a verb, the assemblage of words
* There are about sixty words in the English language that are thus dis tinguished by the accent alone. See Rice's Composition, page 21st.
is then styled a clause, a simple sentence, or a simple proposition, words of nearly equivalent import. As, The city is large. The path up the mountain was exceedingly steep. They are taught by a good master. See Rice's Composition, pages 7th and 65th.
The words phrase and clause may therefore be thus defined:
A phrase is a connected assemblage of words, without a finite verb.
A clause is a connected assemblage of words, with a finite verb.*
A sentence is -an assemblage of words making complete sense.
The difference between a phrase, a clause, and a sentence, may be stated as follows: A sentence always, a clause some times, but a phrase never makes complete sense.
There arn various kinds of phrases, such as substantive phrases, participial phrases, infinitive phrases, adverbial phrases, prepositional phrases, and interjectional phrases ; so named from the office which they perform, or the parts of speech which they contain.
Clauses are frequently designated neuter, active-transitive, active-intransitive, and passive; in allusion to the verbs which form them. A clause which contains a relative pronoun is called a relative clause, and one containing a verb in the subjunctive mood is called the subjunctive clause. Specimens of most of these will be found in the following sentence: Neuter clause, .
. Darius was Substantive phrase in apposition, . a King of Persia. Active clause, . .
Alexander conquered Darius, Relative clause, . . . . who fled from the field of battle: Passive clause, . . . (but) he was assassinated Substantive phrase, . . . by one of his own generals, [der, Participial phrase, . . (who) coveting the favor of Alexan. Minor active and relative clause, slew his unfortunate master Infinitive phrase, . . . to secure his own interest Substantive phrase. . . with that monarch.
A sentence usually consists of three principal parts, the subject, the verb, and the object. As, The man struck the
* A finite verb is a verb that has a subject or nominative. Verbs in the infinitive mood, or the participle, as they have no nominative, are not considered finite verbs.
boy. Here man is the subject, struck the verb, and boy the object. Some verbs, however, admit no object, after them, and the sentence will then consist of only two principal parts, the subject and the verb. All the other parts of a sentence are merely adjuncts, relating to the principal parts, and designed to express some circumstance affecting their signification.
Sentences are of two kinds, simple sentences and compound sentences.
A simple sentence contains but one nominative and one finite verb. As, “Life is short."
A compound sentence contains two or more simple sentences, joined together by one or more connecting words. As,
Life is short, and art is long.” The different parts of a compound sentence are called members.
Clauses are joined together to form compound sentences by conjunctions and relative pronouns; and phrases are, for the most part, united by prepositions and adverbs; the latter are also frequently employed to connect minor clauses with the other parts of a sentence.
Both the subject and the object of a verb may be expressed as follows:
First. By a single noun or pronoun. As, [John] struck [him.]
Secondly. By a series of nouns or pronouns. As, [Diligence, industry, and proper improvement of time] are mate rial duties of the young.
Thirdly. By a substantive, or an infinitive phrase or phrases. As, (The acquisition of knowledge] is one of the most honorable occupations of youth.
Fourthly. By a noun or a pronoun, attended by a minor or relative clause. As, [The veil, which covers from our eyes the events of succeeding years] is a veil woven by the hand of mercy.
Fifthly. By an entire member of a compound sentence. As, He who pretends to great sensibility towards men, and yet has no feeling for the high objects of religion, no heart to admire and adore the great Father of the Universe] has reason to distrust the truth and delicacy of his sensibility.
The object of this lesson is to make the student acquainted with the constituent parts and members of sentences, both
simple and compound. The exercises that are subjoined, are presented that he may distinguish the phrases from the clauses, the clauses from the sentences, the imperfect sentences from the perfect, and the simple from the compound.
Exercises. The eye of the passing traveller may mark them, or mark them nou but they stand peacefully in thousands over all the land; and most beautiful do they make it, through all its wide valleys and narrow glens, - its low holms encircled by the rocky walls of some bonny burn, - its green mounts elated with their little crowning groves of plane trees, its yellow cornfields, - its bare pastoral hill-sides, and all its heathy moors, on whose black bosom lie shining or concealed glades of excessive verdure, inhabited by flowers, and visited only by the far-flying bees.
By arguments so strong. If we could imagine. They all agree in the belief. The fearful consequences. In spite of all admonition and reproof. Feel themselves at liberty. Such an undertaking would be vain. I am desirous of explaining. For the reasons already given. We cannot but rejoice that. Directed their attention. Attempted to prove. Make themselves accountable. The question which arises has puzzled. Has produced in our mind. Religion has its seat in the heart. Were now out in thousands. Would be expedient. Remains for us to notice. On the Sabbath morning. Overgrown with grass and moss. With somewhat diminished lustre. The daisies of a luxuriant spring had covered the spot. Opportunity of addressing each other. Had fatally infected. With indescribable pleasure. The most remote period of time. We hoped that this sight. The interior of the cavern. Very important purposes. Have a tendency to preserve. Withdraws his propitious light. However base or unworthy. Is the emblem of. How boundless. The tender assiduities of friendship. Irregular projecting rocks. Was peculiarly dear. With very great pleasure. The refulgent lamp of night. The science which treats of language is called Grammar. *Writing is the art of making thoughts visible.
Now came still Evening on, and Twilight gray
The lower animals, as far as we are able to judge, are entirely occupied with the objects of their present perceptions; and the case is nearly the same with the lower orders of our own species.
Diligence, industry and proper improvement of time, are material daties of the young.
Honor and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honor lies.
Though I speak with the tongue of men and of angels and have not charity, I am nothing.
USE OF WORDS, PHRASES, AND CLAUSES, IN THE
EXPANSION OF THE IDEA.
The previous Exercise having rendered the student familiar with the parts of which a compound sentence is composed, it is now proposed that he be exercised in the construction of such sentences; as in the following
We went in a carriage to the meeting in Church Street last night.
We went in a carriage to the meeting in Church Street last night, and heard an excellent sermon.
We went in a carriage to the meeting in Church Street last night, with a number of friends, and heard an excellent sermon from the Rev. Mr. Stevens.
We went in a carriage to the meeting in Church Street last night, with a number of friends from the country, and heard an excellent sermon from the Rev. Mr. Stevens, on the duties of children to their parents.
We went in a carriage to the meeting in Church Street last night, with a number of friends from the country, and heard an excellent sermon from the Rev. Mr. Stevens, on the duties of children to their parents, delivered in a very solemn and impressive manner.
In the same manner the student may expand the following simple entences : My father sailed.
They have done all they could. John related.
A cat caught.
The lightning struck.
The river rolled Habitual indolence undermines. The minister preached.