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66. Compose a sentence on each of these subjects :

Public speaking

The value of time.

The true aim of life.

The use of tobacco.
Friendship Sickness.

Bathing in the surf.
Newspapers. Rip Van Winkle. Your birthplace.

Your own town.
The Ocean. Railways.

The value of education. Criticise each of your sentences rigidly. Where you find any violation of the laws of Clearness, Strength, Unity, or Elegance, rewrite the defective sentence in improved form.




Explanation. - Though there is one set of words that expresses a thought with greater exactness than any other can, yet every thought may be expressed in a great variety of ways. Exercise in casting about to find these different modes of expression tends to give freedom and readiness of choice and to assist in learning to select the form that most fittingly conveys the meaning intended.

Kinds of Variety. - There may be variety of expression in : (1) The order of the words; (2) The construction of the sentences; (3) The kinds of the sentences; (4) The form ; (5) The individual words; (6) The phraseology.

How attained. - This variety may be made by: (1) Change of Order ; (2) Construction; (3) Synonyms; (4) Phraseology.


The parts of a sentence may frequently be arranged in several ways without altering the meaning ; yet, in every case, there is a particular order that is more appropriate than any other. .

Example. “The next argument you will all appreciate.” Or: You will all appreciate the next argument.” Or: “You all will appreciate the next argument."



DIRECTION. — Vary the following sentences by changing the order of the words, clauses, or phrases.

1. We know how cheaply praise is won.

2. After their death it was passed round somewhat freely, and fell into


hands. 3. Talent backs into the shafts like a lamb 4. On this issue they were overwhelmingly defeated.

5. When the danger of a war had passed by, he again retired to his home.

6. The traces of martyrdom, it seems, are worn in the other world as stars and ribands are worn in this.

7. In a fierce battle he was struck by a musket ball which broke his ankle-bone.

8. I went on my way with a sad heart.

9. When the beavers build on the bank of a stream, they make a dam across it.

10. One by one, day after day, man learns to coin his wishes into facts.

11. By a long course of study and discipline he made himself what he was.

12. He had just raised the cup to his lips when his eye fell on a poor, dying soldier who was looking longingly at the cool drink.

13. Many born poets, I am afraid, flower poorly in song, or not at all, because they have been too often transplanted.

14. All legislative powers granted by the Constitution of the United States are vested in Congress, which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

15. I fear the popular notion of success stands in direct opposition in all points to the real and wholesome success.



Substitution. - In the construction of sentences, great latitude is afforded in the choice of the form of expression. As Variety in this respect is one of the beauties of good composition, pains must be taken to acquire a readiness and tact in substituting one construction for another.

How Secured. – Variety of construction may be secured by (1) substituting one kind of phrase or clause for another, (2) by varying the predicate, (3) by combining or expanding sentences, (4) by changing the form.

1. Adjectival phrases or clauses may be changed into :

1. Adjectives ; as, A man of virtue”; “A virtuous man.” “He assumed a gravity that was ridiculous”;

“ He assumed a ridiculous gravity."

2. Infinitives ; as, “ He was the first that entered"; "He was the first to enter."

3. Adverbial Clauses; as, “A man that does not care for music is to be pitied”; “A man, if he does not care for music, is to be pitied.” Or: “If a man does not care for music, he is to be pitied."

4. Prepositional Phrases; as, “ A man who has little sense, is

seldom aware of the fact"; A man, with little sense, is seldom aware of the fact."

5. Participles or Participial Phrases; as, “Glaciers, which flow down mountain gorges, obey the law of rivers "; Glaciers, flowing down mountain gorges, obey the law of rivers."

6. Nouns; as, “Let those who win laugh"; "Let the winners laugh."

2. Adverbial phrases or clauses may be changed into :

1. Participles, or Phrases containing Participles; as, "She gave it to me when she was dying ”; She, dying, gave it to me.”

2. Imperative Mood; as, “ If that be granted, the rest is easily proved”; “Grant that, and the rest is easily proved.”

3. Prepositional Phrases; as, “My mother, when she does praise me, grieves me"?; “My mother, in praising me, grieves me."

4. Nominative Absolute; as, “When the cat's away, the mice will play”; “The cat being away, the mice will play.”

5. Other Adverbial Phrases; as, “ Many people fail because they neglect their own business”; “Many people fail through neglecting their own business."

6. Infinitive Phrases ; as,“We should rejoice on hearing of the prosperity of others ”; “We should rejoice to hear of the prosperity of others.”

7. Adverbs ; as, “ As far as we can judge by appearance, she is wealthy"; "She is apparently wealthy.” "

3. Noun clauses may be changed into :

1. Infinitives ; as, “ We know not what we should do”; “We know not what to do."

2. Limited Infinitives ; as, It was a lucky thing that Tom was here"; “ Tom's being here was a lucky thing.”

3. Infinitives with Subject; as, "I believe that he is honest"; “ I believe him to be honest."

4. Prepositional Phrases; as, “I cannot accept the notion that school life affected him so”; “I cannot accept the notion of school life affecting him so.”


ADJECTIVE PHRASES AND CLAUSES. DIRECTION. Change the adjectival phrases or clauses as illustrated in the preceding Lesson.

1. We were in a sloping channel which had sloping banks on each side.

2. A man who has started in life on wrong principles may yet learn the true lesson.

3. Those who work should be paid.
4. The trees that were not protected were winter-killed.

5. The nations that are the best educated are the most prosperous.

6. She placed the posy she had gathered beneath a clump of brakes.

7. That happened at the time when all were seeking to save themselves.

8. A reward was offered to any one who might find him. 9. He expunged the passages that had given offence.

10. He offered a reward to any person who should reveal the author.

11. There is nothing which we ought more to encourage in ourselves and others than cheerfulness.

12. A being who has nothing to pardon in himself may reward every man according to his works.

13. The treatise I mention has been noticed by several authors who have attained eminence.

14. A small river that goes nearly round the town overflows in the rains.

15. The windows are of open wood-work, which is carved in fanciful figures.

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