It has long been apparent to many teachers and students of language that progress in learning to use good English has been seriously retarded by the lack of a text book on English grammar, simple enough to be easily understood by pupils in the upper grades of grammar schools, and at the same time sufficiently comprehensive to embrace all the essentials of the structure of the English sentence.
Appreciating the serious loss that has come to the children who have been compelled to struggle in vain to understand the intricacies of their mother tongue, when presented in the hard logic of the common text book, and knowing from long experience how interesting and inspiring to children is the study of grammar when pursued along right lines, the authors have given this book to the public.
It is not a formal treatise on English grammar intended for the adult, but rather a view of the subject from the standpoint of the child.
The plan of the book is inductive, and the sentence is recognized from the first as the unit of thought; so that the child is led by easy steps from the study of the simple and readily understood sentence to the mastery of the more difficult and complex forms of the language, as they are naturally used in sentences that express the growing and enlarging thought.
The essentials of the best educational philosophy as applied to the study of English, are embodied in the plan of the Inductive Course in English; and in no part of the course is this philosophy more clearly shown than in the inductive work of the grammar.
No discovery of new technical terms has been made by the authors, nor have new names been invented to take the places of the familiar terms that have heretofore satisfied English scholars.
Although the underlying principles of grammar are the same in all languages studied in our schools, it has been considered unnecessary, as well as unwise, to introduce terms from other languages, since the English language is capable of expressing every phase of thought; nor has it been deemed wise to put into this book much frequently found in text books on grammar, properly belonging to the reader, the speller, and the dictionary.
To illustrate still further the principles of grammar, as studied in their appropriate places in this book, and to show their value as an aid to the clear understanding and enjoyment of literature, an abundance of material from the best sources is given in the sentences and selections to be found on page 208 and the pages following.
The thanks of the authors are due to the wise counselors and able teachers who have given valuable suggestions in the preparation of this book.