English Grammar: Adapted to the Different Classes of Learners

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American-born lawyer and author Lindley Murray (1745-1826) was hailed by his admirers as the 'father of English grammar'. First published in 1795 and reissued here in its 1830 forty-fourth edition, English Grammar became the definitive textbook on the subject in the early nineteenth century. Murray divides the work into four sections: orthography, etymology, syntax and prosody. Treating his subject methodically, he reasons that sound instruction in grammar should begin with the form and sound of letters, continue to the different types of words, include guidelines on the construction of sentences, and provide advice on correct pronunciation. Accordingly, the book commences with the alphabet before moving on to more complex subjects, from verb conjugation through to versification. An appendix gives advice on writing more effectively. The work's huge success, in Britain and the United States, as well as in translation, testifies to its rigorous and unpretentious approach.