This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The Elements of Style
N EW YORK 1918
P REFACE I I NTRODUCTORY
1 3 3 4 4 6 7 8 9 10 13 13 15 18 20 21 23 24 25 27 28 31 35 45
II E LEMENTARY RULES OF
1. Form the possessive singular of nouns with ’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. Place a comma before and or but introducing an independent clause . . . . . . . 5. Do not join independent clauses by a comma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. Do not break sentences in two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8. Divide words at line-ends, in accordance with their formation and pronunciation .
III E LEMENTARY PRINCIPLES
9. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic . . . . 10. As a rule, begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; end it in conformity with the beginning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11. Use the active voice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12. Put statements in positive form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. Omit needless words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14. Avoid a succession of loose sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15. Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16. Keep related words together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17. In summaries, keep to one tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
FEW MATTERS OF FORM AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED OFTEN MISSPELLED
V W ORDS VI W ORDS
Asserting that one must ﬁrst know the rules to break them, this classic reference is a must-have for any student and conscientious writer. Intended for use in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature, it gives in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style and concentrates attention on the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.
iv PREFACE .
and that each instructor has his own body of theory. The book covers only a small portion of the ﬁeld of English style. The numbers of the sections may be used as references in correcting manuscript. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. De Vinne. students proﬁt most by individual instruction based on the problems of their own work. Howard Collins. Horace Hart. Kelly. T. George McLane Wood has kindly consented to the inclusion under Rule 11 of some material from his Suggestions to Authors. Mr. George McLane Wood. George McLane Wood.). Brown and Co. The writer’s colleagues in the Department of English in Cornell University have greatly helped him in the preparation of his manuscript. 1 . but the experience of its writer has been that once past the essentials. F. which he prefers to that offered by any textbook. Workmanship in Words (Little. Suggestions to Authors (United States Geological Survey). Correct Composition (The Century Company).Chapter I I NTRODUCTORY This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. Rules for Compositors and Printers (Oxford University Press). the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated. L. Extracts from the Style-Book of the Government Printing Ofﬁce (United States Geological Survey). English Usage (Scott. The Art of Writing (Putnams). Author and Printer (Henry Frowde). in connection with Chapters III and V. Manual of Style. especially the chapter. The following books are recommended for reference or further study: in connection with Chapters II and IV. It aims to lighten the task of instructor and student by concentrating attention (in Chapters II and III) on a few essentials. Foresman and Co. Interlude on Jargon. Chicago University Press. John Leslie Hall. James P.). It aims to give in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style.
he will probably do best to follow the rules. attained at the cost of the violation. INTRODUCTORY It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. the reader will usually ﬁnd in the sentence some compensating merit. to the study of the masters of literature. let him look. .2 CHAPTER I. by their guidance. for the secrets of style. to write plain English adequate for everyday uses. Unless he is certain of doing as well. When they do so. however. After he has learned.
the possessive Jesus’. and such forms as for conscience’ sake. yours.Chapter II E LEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE 1. Thus write. for righteousness’ sake. Exceptions are the possessives of ancient proper names in -es and -is. Form the possessive singular of nouns with ’s Follow this rule whatever the ﬁnal consonant. theirs. Charles’s friend Burns’s poems the witch’s malice This is the usage of the United States Government Printing Ofﬁce and of the Oxford University Press. and oneself have no apostrophe. Moses’ laws. 3 . But such forms as Achilles’ heel. Isis’ temple are commonly replaced by the heel of Achilles the laws of Moses the temple of Isis The pronominal possessives hers. its.
But whether the interruption be slight or considerable. Shipley and Company The abbreviation etc. such as however. energetic. is or is not parenthetic. read it and made a note of its contents. This is also the usage of the Government Printing Ofﬁce and of the Oxford University Press. 3. My brother you will be pleased to hear. If the interruption to the ﬂow of the sentence is but slight. use a comma after each term except the last Thus write. unless you are pressed for time. ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE 2.4 CHAPTER II. This rule is difﬁcult to apply. is to travel on foot. and blue honest. white. the writer may safely omit the commas. even if only a single term comes before it. or a brief phrase. is now in perfect health. Such punctuation as Marjorie’s husband. In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction. he must never omit one comma and leave the other. is indefensible. Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas The best way to see a country. Colonel Nelson paid us a visit yesterday. In the names of business ﬁrms the last comma is omitted. but headstrong He opened the letter. is always preceded by a comma. red.. it is frequently hard to decide whether a single word. . as Brown.
statements supplementing those in the principal clauses. where Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In these sentences the clauses introduced by which. followed by one. Later it became more and more interested. they do not limit the application of the words on which they depend. The audience was at ﬁrst indifferent. and where are non-restrictive. Corsica had but recently been acquired by France. Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at Nether Stowey. when Napoleon was born. but add. set off by commas. parenthetically. Nether Stowey. . Napoleon was born in 1769. Unlike those above. Each sentence is a combination of two statments which might have been made independently. and jr. Similar clauses introduced by where and when are similarly punctuated. In this sentence the relative clause restricts the application of the word candidate to a single person. which had at ﬁrst been indifferent. is a few miles from Bridgewater. in accordance with this rule. became more and more interested. and except at the end of a sentence.5 Non-restrictive relative clauses are. The abbreviations etc. Restrictive relative clauses are not set off by commas. In 1769. At that time Corsica had but recently been acquired by France. The candidate who best meets these requirements will obtain the place. are always preceded by a comma. the sentence cannot be split into two independent statements. when. The audience. Nether Stowey is only a few miles from Bridgewater.
isolated from their context. greeted us with a smile. As they make complete sense when the comma is reached. In the example above. and unaware that we had learned of his treachery. He saw us coming. 4. Further. The situation is perilous. The sentences quoted in this section and under Rules 4. If a parenthetic expression is preceded by a conjunction. and the story of its ﬁrst years can no longer be reconstructed. In this perilous situation. The two sentences might be rewritten: As the early records of the city have disappeared.6 CHAPTER II. there is still one chance of escape. and. Place a comma before and or but introducing an independent clause The early records of the city have disappeared. ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE Similar in principle to the enclosing of parenthetic expressions between commas is the setting off by commas of phrases or dependent clauses preceding or following the main clause of a sentence. the relation is that of cause and result. there is still one chance of escape. 6. it indicates only that a relation exists between them without deﬁning that relation. and 18 should afford sufﬁcient guidance. Although the situation is perilous. Or the subordinate clauses might be replaced by phrases: Owing to the disappearance of the early records of the city. not after it. the story of its ﬁrst years can no longer be reconstructed. is the least speciﬁc of connectives. 5. Sentences of this type. 16. . but there is still one chance of escape. Used between independent clauses. place the ﬁrst comma before the conjunction. 7. the second clause has the appearance of an after-thought. the story of its ﬁrst years can no longer be reconstructed. may seem to be in need of rewriting.
unstudied writing. For two-part sentences connected by an adverb. 5. and while (in the sense of and at the same time) likewise require a comma before the conjunction. They are full of exciting adventures. But a writer should be careful not to construct too many of his sentences after this pattern (see Rule 14). and an occasional loose sentence prevents the style from becoming too formal and gives the reader a certain relief. but if we are prepared to act promptly. . It is nearly half past ﬁve. If a conjunction is inserted. If a dependent clause. for they are full of exciting adventures. Stevenson’s romances are entertaining. or an introductory phrase requiring to be set off by a comma.7 But a writer may err by making his sentences too uniformly compact and periodic. the proper mark is a comma (Rule 4). It is of course equally correct to write the above as two sentences each. or. precedes the second independent clause. the proper mark of punctuation is a semicolon. are to form a single compound sentence. see the next section. It is nearly half past ﬁve. for. there is still one chance of escape. The situation is perilous. loose sentences of the type ﬁrst quoted are common in easy. Stevenson’s romances are entertaining. we cannot reach town before dark. no comma is needed after the conjunction. grammatically complete and not joined by a conjunction. Consequently. Two-part sentences of which the second member is introduced by as (in the sense of because). Do not join independent clauses by a comma If two or more clauses. We cannot reach town before dark. replacing the semicolons by periods. they are full of exciting adventures. Stevenson’s romances are entertaining. nor.
If the clauses are very short. and the following word begun with a small letter. 6. In general. in writing. a comma is usually permissible: Man proposes. it is best. is to omit the word so. there is danger that the writer who uses it at all may use it too often. so I had difﬁculty in ﬁnding my way about. then. and lived in half a dozen countries. I had difﬁculty in ﬁnding my way about. the semicolon is still required. besides. the ﬁrst period should be replaced by a comma. and begin the ﬁrst clause with as: As I had never been in the place before. do not use periods for commas. In both these examples. . and we cannot reach town before dark. however. ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE It is nearly half past ﬁve. and not by a conjunction. I had never been in the place before. A simple correction. the portcullis was drawn up. so. I met them on a Cunard liner several years ago. God disposes. He was an interesting talker. The gate swung apart. therefore. A man who had traveled all over the world. usually serviceable. to avoid using so in this manner. Note that if the second clause is preceded by an adverb. such as accordingly. and are alike in form.8 CHAPTER II. the bridge fell. or thus. Do not break sentences in two In other words. Coming home from Liverpool to New York.
nouns in apposition. Young and inexperienced. they entrusted him with the defence of the city. On arriving in Chicago. he found the temptation irresistible. he was entrusted with the defence of the city. and that he will not be suspected of a mere blunder in punctuation. not to the woman. his friends met him at the station. No reply. 4. he must recast the sentence: He saw a woman. 7. and 6 cover the most important principles in the punctuation of ordinary sentences. Participial phrases preceded by a conjunction or by a preposition. accompanied by two children. the task seemed easy to me. walking slowly down the road. A soldier of proved valor. When he arrived (or. Rules 3. his friends met him at the station. . however. Without a friend to counsel him. A soldier of proved valor. be certain that the emphasis is warranted. 5.9 It is permissible to make an emphatic word or expression serve the purpose of a sentence and to punctuate it accordingly: Again and again he called out. If the writer wishes to make it refer to the woman. the temptation proved irresistible. Without a friend to counsel him. The writer must. On his arrival) in Chicago. A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject Walking slowly down the road. The word walking refers to the subject of the sentence. and adjective phrases come under the same rule if they begin the sentence. I thought the task easy. Young and inexperienced. they should be so thoroughly mastered that their application becomes second nature. adjectives. he saw a woman accompanied by two children.
but not for the whole word. unless this involves cutting off only a single letter. The principles most frequently applicable are: A. unless they come at the end of the simple form of the word: Apen-nines refer-ring Cincin-nati tell-ing The treatment of consonants in combination is best shown from examples: . 8. Divide words at line-ends. I was able to buy the house very cheap. Divide between double letters.10 CHAPTER II. in accordance with their formation and pronunciation If there is room at the end of a line for one or more syllables of a word. or cutting off only two letters of a long word. ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE Sentences violating this rule are often ludicrous. Divide “on the vowel:” edi-ble (not ed-ible) ordi-nary reli-gious regu-lar deco-rative propo-sition espe-cial oppo-nents classi-ﬁ-ca-tion sions possible) presi-dent (three divi- C. divide the word. Divide the word according to its formation: know-ledge (not knowl-edge) Shake-speare (not Shakes-peare) de-scribe (not des-cribe) atmo-sphere (not atmos-phere) B. Being in a dilapidated condition. No hard and fast rule for all words can be laid down.
.11 for-tune presump-tuous sub-stan-tial (either division) instruc-tion incen-diary pic-ture illus-tration indus-try sug-ges-tion The student will do well to examine the syllable-division in a number of pages of any carefully printed book.
ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE .12 CHAPTER II.
it should be examined to see whether subdivision will not improve it. to aid the reader. The beginning of each paragraph is a signal to him that a new step in the development of the subject has been reached. any one of these is best written in a single paragraph. each of which should be made the subject of a paragraph. a short notice of a book or poem might consist of a single paragraph. a brief summary of a literary work. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic If the subject on which you are writing is of slight extent. B. Critical discussion. After the paragraph has been written. Account of the work.Chapter III E LEMENTARY COMPOSITION PRINCIPLES OF 9. Thus a brief description. a narrative merely outlining an action. there may be no need of subdividing it into topics. a subject requires subdivision into topics. Ordinarily. a brief account of a single incident. The object of treating each topic in a paragraph by itself is. or if you intend to treat it very brieﬂy. the setting forth of a single idea. The extent of subdivision will vary with the length of the composition. however. 13 . For example. of course. One slightly longer might consist of two paragraphs: A.
and would then state the subject and outline its development. G. E. Usually. Facts of composition and publication. D. B.14 CHAPTER III. B. A historical event might be discussed under the heads: A. paragraph C would indicate the actual or imagined circumstances of the poem (the situation). In dialogue. The contents of paragraphs C and D would vary with the poem. The application of this rule. What the event led up to. each speech. even if only a single word. F. Wherein characteristic of the writer. Relationship to other works. that is. or would indicate what points in the narrative are chieﬂy emphasized. For what chieﬂy remarkable. Plot. B. If the poem is a narrative in the third person throughout. Account of the event. Kind of poem. Characters. a new paragraph begins with each change of speaker. What led up to the event. indicating the relation between the parts of an exposition or argument. Subject. Paragraph D would indicate the leading ideas and show how they are made prominent. An exception may be made of sentences of transition. Setting. the writer would probably ﬁnd it necessary to subdivide one or more of the topics here given. Purpose. C. Treatment of subject. As a rule. written for a class in literature. D. when . C. paragraph C need contain no more than a concise summary of the action. A novel might be discussed under the heads: A. In treating either of these last two subjects. single sentences should not be written or printed as paragraphs. C. if these call for explanation. is a paragraph by itself. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION A report on a poem. might consist of seven paragraphs: A. metrical form.
According to the writer’s purpose. 1 Topic sentence. a walking tour should be gone upon alone. the most generally useful kind of paragraph. end it in conformity with the beginning Again. it is generally better to set apart the transitional sentences as a separate paragraph. If the paragraph forms part of a larger composition. the ﬁnal sentence either emphasizes the thought of the topic sentence or states some important consequence. it is expedient to precede the topic sentence by one or more sentences of introduction or transition. 2 If you go in a company. by giving illustrations or speciﬁc instances. by denying the converse. 2 The meaning made clearer by denial of the contrary. by deﬁning its terms. it is no longer a walking tour in anything but name. He may make the meaning of the topic sentence clearer by restating it in other forms. If more than one such sentence is required. or with an unimportant detail. to be properly enjoyed.15 dialogue and narrative are combined. for the same reason) in the topic sentence. 1 Now. may need to be expressed. For this reason. the succeeding sentences explain or establish or develop the statement made in the topic sentence. or its function as a part of the whole. particularly in exposition and argument. The practice here recommended enables him to discover the purpose of each paragraph as he begins to read it. Sometimes. As a rule. is particularly to be avoided. B. . This can sometimes be done by a mere word or phrase (again. begin each paragraph with a topic sentence. he may. is best learned from examples in well-printed works of ﬁction. Ending with a digression. however. and to retain the purpose in mind as he ends it. he may establish it by proofs. therefore. its relation to what precedes. he may carry out several of these processes. the object is to aid the reader. or he may develop it by showing its implications and consequences. relate the body of the paragraph to the topic sentence in one or more of several different ways. In a long paragraph. is that in which A. as indicated above. 10. and C. the topic sentence comes at or near the beginning. or even in pairs. it is something else and more in the nature of a picnic.
stated in still another form. Stevenson. I wish to vegetate like the country. 5 The same reason. 5 You should be as a pipe for any wind to play upon. . nor mince in time with a girl. as the freak takes you. because freedom is of the essence. 8 Repetition. in abridged form. and supported by three reasons. because you should be able to stop and go on. and because you must have your own pace. the meaning of the third (“you must have your own pace”) made clearer by denying the converse. of the quotation from Hazlitt. 6 “I cannot see the wit. that begins in a sort of dazzle and sluggishness of the brain. and follow this way or that. and ends in a peace that passes comprehension. to jar on the meditative silence of the morning. Walking Tours. “of walking and talking at the same time. 4 A fourth reason. 6-7 The same reason as stated by Hazlitt. 9 Final statement of the fourth reason. 9 And so long as a man is reasoning he cannot surrender himself to that ﬁne intoxication that comes of much motion in the open air. 3 The topic sentence repeated.” 7 When I am in the country. in paraphrase. 4 And you must be open to all impressions and let your thoughts take colour from what you see. 8 There should be no cackle of voices at your elbow.16 CHAPTER III. and neither trot alongside a champion walker. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION 3 A walking tour should be gone upon alone. stated in two forms.” says Hazlitt. in language ampliﬁed and heightened to form a strong conclusion. which is the gist of all that can be said upon the matter.
and adversity. to explain or illustrate the successive phases of national growth. prosperity. and modiﬁcation of political constitutions. 4 The deﬁnition explained by contrast. 6 Conclusion: an important consequence of the new conception of history. in a word. all the conditions of national wellbeing became the subjects of their works. and of art. 3 The deﬁnition expanded. 4 They sought rather to write a history of peoples than a history of kings. 2 Historians then came to believe that their task was not so much to paint a picture as to solve a problem. 2 The meaning of the topic sentence made clearer. the rise. 5 They looked especially in history for the chain of causes and effects. of intellect. 6 They undertook to study in the past the physiology of nations. -Lecky. 3 The history of morals. the dominant ideas that prevailed in successive periods. fall. the new conception of history deﬁned. 1 Topic sentence. 5 The deﬁnition supplemented: another element in the new conception of history.17 1 It was chieﬂy in the eighteenth century that a very different conception of history grew up. The Political Value of History. . and hoped by applying the experimental method on a large scale to deduce some lessons of real value about the conditions on which the welfare of society mainly depend. the changes that take place in manners or beliefs. of industry.
if too often used. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION In narration and description the paragraph sometimes begins with a concise. If the writer tries to make it more concise by omitting “by me. less bold. are often without even this semblance of a topic sentence. . The breeze served us admirably. throwing into prominence some detail of the action. But this device. would become a mannerism. The brief paragraphs of animated narrative. The next ten or twelve pages were ﬁlled with a curious set of entries. however. comprehensive statement serving to hold together the details that follow. and they emerged on the roof. Another ﬂight of steps. The latter sentence is less direct. and less concise. The campaign opened with a series of reverses. At length I thought I might return towards the stockade. The break between them serves the purpose of a rhetorical pause. He picked up the heavy lamp from the table and began to explore. 11. Use the active voice The active voice is usually more direct and vigorous than the passive: I shall always remember my ﬁrst visit to Boston. More commonly the opening sentence simply indicates by its subject with what the paragraph is to be principally concerned.18 CHAPTER III.” My ﬁrst visit to Boston will always be remembered. This is much better than My ﬁrst visit to Boston will always be remembered by me.
makes for forcible writing. the second. or the world at large. It was not long before he was very sorry that he had said what he had. . mean that the writer should entirely discard the passive voice. As a rule. The sound of the falls could still be heard. There were a great number of dead leaves lying on the ground. The need of making a particular word the subject of the sentence will often. Many a tame sentence of description or exposition can be made lively and emphatic by substituting a transitive in the active voice for some such perfunctory expression as there is. Failing health compelled him to leave college. avoid making one passive depend directly upon another. Gold was not allowed to be exported. Modern readers have little esteem for the dramatists of the Restoration. that will always remember this visit? This rule does not. He soon repented his words. but in writing of any kind. The dramatists of the Restoration are little esteemed to-day. which is frequently convenient and sometimes necessary. in a paragraph on the tastes of modern readers. or some person undisclosed. This is true not only in narrative principally concerned with action. It was forbidden to export gold (The export of gold was prohibited). however. The reason that he left college was that his health became impaired. as in these examples.19 it becomes indeﬁnite: is it the writer. determine which voice is to be used. The habitual use of the active voice. covered The sound of the falls still reached our ears. of course. The ﬁrst would be the right form in a paragraph on the dramatists of the Restoration. Dead leaves the ground. or could be heard.
colorless. Conﬁrmation of these reports cannot be obtained. Mobilization of the army was rapidly carried out. This region was surveyed in 1900. It has been proved that he was seen to enter the building.” in which the predicate “was prohibited” expresses something not implied in “export. non-committal language. In both the examples above. before correction. A survey of this region was made in 1900.20 CHAPTER III. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION He has been proved to have been seen entering the building. Use the word not as a means of denial or in antithesis. Katharine is disagreeable. Shakespeare does not portray Katharine as a very admirable character. “The export of gold was prohibited. cannot Compare the sentence. hesitating. He was not very often on time. The women in The Taming of the Shrew are unattractive.” 12. The army was rapidly mobilized. He did not think that studying Latin was much use. the word properly related to the second passive is made the subject of the ﬁrst. The Taming of the Shrew is rather weak in spots. He usually came late. Bianca insigniﬁcant. . leaving to the verb no function beyond that of completing the sentence. never as a means of evasion. nor does Bianca remain long in memory as an important character in Shakespeare’s works. Avoid tame. He thought the study of Latin useless. A common fault is to use as the subject of a passive construction a noun which expresses the entire action. These reports be conﬁrmed. Put statements in positive form Make deﬁnite assertions.
or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline. but Rome the more. before correction. it is better to express a negative in positive form. the reader is dissatisﬁed with being told only what is not. Consciously or unconsciously. not honest not important did not remember did not pay any attention to did not have much conﬁdence in dishonest triﬂing forgot ignored distrusted The antithesis of negative and positive is strong: Not charity. but that every word tell. Not that I loved Caesar less. All three examples show the weakness inherent in the word not. as a rule. Many expressions in common use violate this principle: the question as to whether there is no doubt but that used for fuel purposes whether (the question whether) no doubt (doubtless) used for fuel . a paragraph no unnecessary sentences. consequently. is simply a guess at the writer’s intention. is indeﬁnite as well as negative.21 The last example. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words. for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short. Hence. Omit needless words Vigorous writing is concise. 13. Negative words other than not are usually strong: The sun never sets upon the British ﬂag. he wishes to be told what is. The corrected version. but simple justice.
a member of the same ﬁrm Trafalgar. In especial the expression the fact that should be revised out of every sentence in which it occurs. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION he is a man who in a hasty manner this is a subject which His story is a strange one. which was. Who is. character. who is a member of the same ﬁrm Trafalgar. . and the active voice more concise than the passive. he hastily this subject His story is strange. nature. His brother. which was Nelson’s last battle His brother. and the like are often superﬂuous. system in Chapter V.22 CHAPTER III. many of the examples given under Rules 11 and 12 illustrate this rule as well. owing to the fact that in spite of the fact that call your attention to the fact that I was unaware of the fact that the fact that he had not succeeded the fact that I had arrived since (because) though (although) remind you (notify you) I was unaware that (did not know) his failure my arrival See also under case. Nelson’s last battle As positive statement is more concise than negative.
those consisting of two co-ordinate clauses. Edward Appleton was the soloist. The fourth concert will be given on Tuesday. May 10. with their mechanical symmetry and sing-song. The third concert of the subscription series was given last evening. Encouraged by his wife. who. Apart from its triteness and emptiness. as the preface (Before the Curtain) to Vanity Fair. . and less frequently. Although single sentences of this type may be unexceptionable (see under Rule 4). step by step. and a large audience was in attendance. (26 words.) Encouraged by his wife. The interest aroused by the series has been very gratifying to the Committee. when an equally attractive programme will be presented. and the Boston Symphony Orchestra furnished the instrumental music. Macbeth murdered Duncan. An unskilful writer will sometimes construct a whole paragraph of sentences of this kind. and while. these last in non-restrictive senses (see under Rule 3).23 A common violation of conciseness is the presentation of a single complex idea. Macbeth was very ambitious. the paragraph above is bad because of the structure of its sentences. in a series of sentences which might to advantage be combined into one. He was thus enabled to succeed Duncan as king. Macbeth achieved his ambition and realized the prediction of the witches by murdering Duncan and becoming king of Scotland in his place. when. while the latter proved itself fully deserving of its high reputation. Avoid a succession of loose sentences This rule refers especially to loose sentences of a particular type. which. where. The witches told him that this wish of his would come true. (55 words. The king of Scotland at this time was Duncan. Contrast with them the sentences in the paragraphs quoted under Rule 10. or in any piece of good English prose. and it is planned to give a similar series annually hereafter. The former showed himself to be an artist of the ﬁrst rank. a series soon becomes monotonous and tedious. This led him to wish to become king of Scotland. but. the second introduced by a conjunction or relative. using as connectives and. Mr.) 14.
By this principle. not only. and the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. from a mistaken belief that he should constantly vary the form of his expressions. in summer. by sentences. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION If the writer ﬁnds that he has written a series of sentences of the type described. but also. now it is taught by the laboratory method. Many violations of this rule can be corrected by rearranging the sentence. or. and the Portuguese In spring. third. the panish. Formerly. But apart from this. that of parallel construction. Formerly. Familiar instances from the Bible are the Ten Commandments. replacing them by simple sentences. 15. For illustration. and. Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form This principle. see the paragraph from Stevenson quoted under Rule 10. . The left-hand version gives the impression that the writer is undecided or timid. science was taught by the textbook method. second. The French. loose or periodic. the Italians. or in winter Correlative expressions (both. summer. either.24 CHAPTER III. the Beatitudes. ﬁrst. of three clauses-whichever best represent the real relations of the thought. and Portuguese The French. an article or a preposition applying to all the members of a series must either be used only before the ﬁrst term or else be repeated before each term. or winter (In spring. science was taught by the textbook method. while now the laboratory method is employed. but. by periodic sentences of two clauses. the Italians. not. requires that expressions of similar content and function should be outwardly similar. The likeness of form enables the reader to recognize more readily the likeness of content and function. and the like) should be followed by the same grammatical construction. he should follow the principle of parallel construction. Spanish. The right-hand version shows that the writer has at least made his choice and abided by it. It is true that in repeating a statement in order to emphasize it he may have need to vary its form. or in winter) In spring. he should recast enough of them to remove the monotony. summer. by sentences of two clauses joined by a semicolon. The unskilful writer often violates this principle. he seems unable or afraid to choose one form of expression and hold to it.
By treatment in a Bessemer converter. in the ﬁfth book of The Excursion. Wordsworth gives a minute description of this church. is changed into steel. Keep related words together The position of the words in a sentence is the principal means of showing their relationship. ﬁrst. that are related in thought. In the ﬁfth book of The Excursion. cast iron is changed into steel. This objection. A time not for words. 16. does not usually hold when the order . and keep apart those which are not so related. say twenty? Must he write twenty consecutive sentences of the same pattern? On closer examination he will probably ﬁnd that the difﬁculty is imaginary. The ceremony was both long and tedious. ﬁrst. and groups of words. be separated by a phrase or clause that can be transferred to the beginning.25 It was both a long ceremony and very tedious. It may be asked. The objection is that the interposed phrase or clause needlessly interrupts the natural order of the main clause. Wordsworth. Cast iron. The writer must therefore. second. that it is unconstitutional. Otherwise he had best avoid the difﬁculty by putting his statements in the form of a table. The subject of a sentence and the principal verb should not. the injustice of the measure. My objections are. My objections are. A time not for words. that his twenty ideas can be classiﬁed in groups. gives a minute description of this church. what if a writer needs to express a very large number of similar ideas. as a rule. however. that the measure is unjust. second. See also the third example under Rule 12 and the last under Rule 13. that it is unconstitutional. and that he need apply the principle only within each group. but for action You must either grant his request or incur his ill will. but action Either you must grant his request or incur his ill will. bring together the words. when treated in a Bessemer converter. so far as possible.
because in such a combination no real ambiguity can arise. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION is interrupted only by a relative clause or by an expression in apposition. He became President in 1889. If the antecedent consists of a group of words. grandson of William Henry Harrison. Nor does it hold in periodic sentences in which the interruption is a deliberately used means of creating suspense (see examples under Rule 18). immediately after its antecedent. grandson of William Henry Harrison. In his eye was a look that boded mischief. . This is a portrait of Benjamin Harrison. who A proposal. He published in Harper’s Magazine three articles about his adventures in Spain. Benjamin Harrison. they should be so arranged that no wrong relation is suggested. If several expressions modify the same word. There was a look in his eye that boded mischief. who became President in 1889. his brother. as a rule. The Superintendent of the Chicago Division. the relative comes at the end of the group. which has been variously judged. if possible next to the word they modify.26 CHAPTER III. The relative pronoun should come. unless this would cause ambiguity. who A proposal to amend the Sherman Act. He wrote three articles about his adventures in Spain. who was regarded with hostility by the Whigs Modiﬁers should come. The Duke of York. which has been variously judged The grandson of William Henry Harrison. which were published in Harper’s Magazine. who A noun in apposition may come between antecedent and relative. This is a portrait of Benjamin Harrison. to amend the Sherman Act A proposal to amend the muchdebated Sherman Act William Henry Harrison’s grandson.
He should indicate clearly at the outset. The Legate inquires who struck the blow. An unforeseen chance prevents Friar John from delivering Friar Lawrence’s letter to Romeo. he should preferably use the present. 17. Joyce will give in Bailey Hall a lecture on “My Experiences in Mesopotamia. as in summarizing an essay or reporting a speech. Shifting from one tense to the other gives the appearance of uncertainty and irresolution (compare Rule 15). antecedent action should be expressed by the perfect. the writer should avoid intercalating such expressions as “he said. In summarizing a poem.M.M. In presenting the statements or the thought of some one else. He found only two mistakes. .” “the speaker then went on to say. has been compelled to drink the potion on Tuesday night. keep to one tense In summarizing the action of a drama.” “he stated.” “the author also thinks. and then waste no words in repeating the notiﬁcation. But whichever tense be used in the summary.” “the speaker added.27 All the members were not present. with the result that Balthasar informs Romeo of her supposed death before Friar Lawrence learns of the nondelivery of the letter. that what follows is summary. Not all the members were present. If the summary is in the present tense. Joyce will give a lecture on Tuesday evening in Bailey Hall. Major R. or novel. he should use throughout. In summaries. Major R. a past tense in indirect discourse or in indirect question remains unchanged.” The public is invited..” or the like. Apart from the exceptions noted. meanwhile. On Tuesday evening at eight P. whichever tense the writer chooses. if in the past. E.E. story. to which the public is invited. He only found two mistakes. the writer should always use the present tense. though he may use the past if he prefers. by the past perfect. once for all. Juliet. owing to her father’s arbitrary change of the day set for her wedding. on “My Experiences in Mesopotamia” at eight P.
Four centuries ago. one of the Italian mariners whom the decline of their own republics had put at the service of the world and of adventure. though it has advanced in many other ways. or the opening situation. 18. if the scope of his discussion includes a number of works. he may cite numerous details to illustrate its qualities. The word or group of words entitled to this position of prominence is usually the logical predicate. as it is in the second example. He may ﬁnd it necessary to devote one or two sentences to indicating the subject. that is. has advanced in many other ways. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end The proper place for the word. Similarly. and for children in primary schools it is a useful exercise to retell a story in their own words. Because of its hardness.28 CHAPTER III. he will as a rule do better not to take them up singly in chronological order. lighted on America. to devote yourselves unswervingly and unﬂinchingly to the vigorous and successful prosecution of this war. or group of words. Humanity. seeking for Spain a westward passage to the Indies as a setoff against the achievements of Portuguese discoverers. in handbooks of literature. of the work he is discussing. With these hopes and in this belief I would urge you. not a summary with occasional comment. but to aim from the beginning at establishing general conclusions. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION In notebooks. because of its hardness. The effectiveness of the periodic sentence arises from the prominence which it gives to the main statement. thrusting away all private aims. Humanity has hardly advanced in fortitude since that time. But he should aim to write an orderly discussion supported by evidence. this steel is principally used in making razors. the new element in the sentence. This steel is principally used for making razors. laying aside all hindrance. . But in the criticism or interpretation of literature the writer should be careful to avoid dropping into summary. since that time. but it has hardly advanced in fortitude. Christopher Columbus. summaries of one kind or another may be indispensable. which the writer desires to make most prominent is usually the end of the sentence. in newspapers.
at ﬁrst sight. The principle that the proper place for what is to be made most prominent is the end applies equally to the words of a sentence. Through the middle of the valley ﬂowed a winding stream. to the sentences of a paragraph. Deceit or treachery he could never forgive. So vast and rude.29 The other prominent position in the sentence is the beginning. becomes emphatic when placed ﬁrst. but hardly by its position alone. Any element in the sentence. fretted by the action of nearly three thousand years. like works of nature. the fragments of this architecture may often seem. To receive special emphasis. the emphasis upon kings arises largely from its meaning and from the context. . A subject coming ﬁrst in its sentence may be emphatic. Great kings worshipped at his shrine. the subject of a sentence must take the position of the predicate. and to the paragraphs of a composition. In the sentence. other than the subject.
ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION .30 CHAPTER III.
are introduced by a colon and enclosed in quotation marks. cited as documentary evidence. I went to his house yesterday (my third attempt to see him). if using ruled paper. Write them in ﬁgures or in Roman notation. On succeeding pages. (When a wholly detached expression or sentence is parenthesized. August 9. The expression within is punctuated as if it stood by itself.” 31 . begin on the ﬁrst line. the ﬁnal stop comes before the last mark of parenthesis. The provision of the Constitution is: “No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state. after the title or heading of a manuscript.) Quotations. outside of the marks of parenthesis. or its equivalent in space. Numerals. 1918 Rule 3 Chapter XII 352d Infantry Parentheses. He declares (and why should we doubt his good faith?) that he is now certain of success. Do not spell out dates or other serial numbers. as may be appropriate. except that the ﬁnal stop is omitted unless it is a question mark or an exclamation point.Chapter IV A FEW MATTERS OF FORM Headings. Formal quotations. exactly as if the expression in parenthesis were absent. A sentence containing an expression in parenthesis is punctuated. but he had left town. Leave a blank line.
” Aristotle says. page. but not enclosed in quotation marks. The same is true of colloquialisms and slang. In the second scene of the third act In III. But to be young was very heaven! Quotations introduced by that are regarded as in indirect discourse and not enclosed in quotation marks. A FEW MATTERS OF FORM Quotations grammatically in apposition or the direct objects of verbs are preceded by a comma and enclosed in quotation marks. . These are the times that try men’s souls. truth beauty. Wordsworth’s enthusiasm for the Revolution was at ﬁrst unbounded: Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive. “Gratitude is a lively sense of beneﬁts to come.” Quotations of an entire line. are begun on a fresh line and centred. References. Omit the words act. Keats declares that beauty is truth.ii in parenthesis at the proper place in the sentence) After the killing of Polonius. not in the body of the sentence. simply insert III. or more. “Art is an imitation of nature. book. giving the full forms in an alphabetical list at the end. Hamlet is placed under guard (IV. of verse. except when referring by only one of them.32 CHAPTER IV.ii (still better. Proverbial expressions and familiar phrases of literary origin require no quotation marks. In scholarly work requiring exact references. scene. volume. ii. He lives far from the madding crowd. 14). give the references in parenthesis or in footnotes. As a general practice. Punctuate as indicated below. line. I recall the maxim of La Rochefoucauld. abbreviate titles that occur frequently.
iii. As You Like It. Omit initial A or The from titles when you place the possessive before them. except in writing for a periodical that follows a different practice. . Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities. the Odyssey. III. scholarly usage prefers italics with cap italized initials. For the titles of literary works. others using Roman with capitalized initials and with or without quotation marks. A Tale of Two Cities. The usage of editors and publishers varies. 155-161 Titles. some using italics with capitalized initials.iii.33 2 Samuel i:17-27 Othello II. Use italics (indicated in manuscript by underscoring). The Iliad. The Newcomes. To a Skylark. 264-267.
A FEW MATTERS OF FORM .34 CHAPTER IV.
The past tense is bade. “Agreed. It has rarely been the case that any mistake has been made. Few mistakes have been made. Idiomatic in familiar speech as a detached phrase in the sense.” In these two senses. . the proper correction is likely to be not the replacement of one word or set of words by another. Bid. The Concise Oxford Dictionary begins its deﬁnition of this word: “instance of a thing’s occurring. Takes the inﬁnitive without to.) All right. Case. but the replacement of vague generality by deﬁnite statement. or better (if not better). As illustrated under Feature. the commonplaces of careless writing. Whether is sufﬁcient. My opinion is as good as his. usual state of affairs. As to whether. the word is usually unnecessary. the rooms were poorly ventilated. In many cases. see under Rule 13. Expressions of this type should be corrected by rearranging the sentence.” In other uses better avoided. Always written as two words. As good or better than. 35 Many of the rooms were poorly ventilated.Chapter V W ORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED (Many of the words and expressions here listed are not so much bad English as bad style. My opinion is as good or better than his.” or “Go ahead.
between objects regarded as essentially of different order. pp. which means “to inﬂuence”). Used indiscriminately by some speakers. pp. The Art of Writing. in adverbial phrases: “He lost the ﬁrst game.) Not to be used as a substitute for declare. Character. With object-noun. “The lecturer considered Cromwell ﬁrst as soldier and second as administrator. This word has been greatly overused. Not followed by as when it means. As noun. trustworthy. Suggestions to Authors. is even worse in writing.” “I consider him thoroughly competent. as verb. music. Paris has been compared to ancient Athens. Often simply redundant.” Compare. May be used with a dependent clause if this sense is clearly involved: “He claimed that he was the sole surviving heir. bad in speech. Incorrectly used for through. much as others use very. A needless substitute for reliable. painting. to intensify any and every statement. As noun. due to carelessness. Due to. to a drama. used from a mere habit of wordiness. To compare to is to point out or imply resemblances. or owing to.36 CHAPTER V. means result. Congress may be compared with the British Parliament. to a battle.” where “considered” means “examined” or “discussed. Certainly. means to bring about. 103-106. “claimed to be” would be better. WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED See Wood. to compare with is mainly to point out differences. 68-71. maintain. because of. means lay claim to. Clever. it may be compared with modern London. Compare. and Quiller-Couch.” (But even here. “believe to be.” In correct use related as predicate or as modiﬁer to a particular noun: “This invention is due to Edison.” Effect.” “very delicate .” “effects in pale green. vb. A mannerism of this kind. Acts of a hostile character Hostile acts Claim. accomplish (not to be confused with affect. Thus life has been compared to a pilgrimage. and other arts: “an Oriental effect. Consider. it is best restricted to ingenuity displayed in small matters. or charge.” “losses due to preventable ﬁres.” Dependable. between objects regarded as essentially of the same order. often loosely used in perfunctory writing about fashions.
Fix. Colloquial in America for arrange. Another hackneyed word. Least open to objection when it represents the last terms of a list already given in full. are facts. Heavy artillery is becoming an increasingly important factor in deciding battles. Equivalent to and the rest. In writing restrict it to its literary senses. or immaterial words at the end of a quotation. etc. to tell something of how she sang. Fact. Heavy artillery is playing a larger and larger part in deciding battles. At the end of a list introduced by such as. mend. the expressions of which it forms part can usually be replaced by something more direct and idiomatic. On the formula the fact that. Not to be used of persons. is incorrect. His superior training was the great factor in his winning the match. see under Rule 13. Feature. Etc. That a particular event happened on a given date. or if the programme has already been given. to be avoided. in the advertising sense of offer as a special attraction. if the reader would be left in doubt as to any important particulars. Use this word only of matters of a kind capable of direct veriﬁcation. sang. and so forth.37 effects. He won the match by being better trained.” “a charming effect was produced by. and hence not to be used if one of these would be insufﬁcient.” The writer who has a deﬁnite meaning to express will not take refuge in such vagueness. or any similar expression. that is. not of matters of judgment. prepare. are not properly facts. etc. fasten. As a verb. Factor.” “subtle effects. however incontestable they may be. But such conclusions as that Napoleon was the greatest of modern generals.” “broad effects. . A hackneyed word. or that the climate of California is delightful.) A feature of the entertainment especially worthy of mention was the singing of Miss A. (Better use the same number of words to tell what Miss A. that lead melts at a certain temperature. like factor it usually adds nothing to the sentence in which it occurs. make ﬁrm or immovable. for example.
He is very ambitious. Kind of. Less refers to quantity. is allowable. . He is a man who is very ambitious. B. conduct. I have always wanted to visit Spain. a hundred. Restrict it to its literal sense: “Amber is a kind of fossil resin. or except in familiar style. but has been so much overworked. Mr. However. also spoke. A common type of redundant expression. particularly in the phrase along these lines. we succeeded in reaching camp.” “His troubles are fewer than mine” means “His troubles are not so numerous as mine. he will probably do as he thinks best. fewer to number. “The signers of the petition were less than a hundred.38 CHAPTER V. However you advise him. for something like (before nouns). At last. When however comes ﬁrst. see Rule 13. he never lost heart. to the same effect. B. The roads were almost impassable. Mr. In the meaning nevertheless. He had fewer men than in the previous campaign. Line in the sense of course of procedure. Line. The roads were almost impassable. it means in whatever way or to whatever extent. however. we at last succeeded in reaching camp. that a writer who aims at freshness or originality had better discard it entirely. Should not be misused for fewer. However discouraging the prospect. thought. is something like a collective noun. also spoke along the same lines. Less. correct to say. Spain is a country which I have always wanted to visit. along these lines.” The same holds true of sort of. “where the round number. “His troubles are less than mine” means “His troubles are not so great as mine.” “I dislike that kind of notoriety. However. Not to be used as a substitute for rather (before adjectives and verbs). not to come ﬁrst in its sentence or clause. however. WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED He is a man who. He had less men than in the previous campaign.” It is. and less is thought of as meaning a less quantity or amount.
rural life. in accordance with the unvarying usage of English prose from Old English times. A literal ﬂood of abuse Literally dead with fatigue A ﬂood of abuse Almost dead with fatigue (dead tired) Lose out. Often simply redundant. but actually less so. the sunset. Not to be used as an adjective. though the analogy of close by and hard by seems to justify it. Meant to be more emphatic than lose. One of the most. The modern word is often. Acts of a hostile natureHostile acts Often vaguely used in such expressions as “a lover of nature. not yet fully accepted as good English. Near. is as good. no longer in good use. register up. Not to be used for almost. “One of the most interesting developments of modern science is. Adverbial phrase. as.39 He is studying along the line of French literature. and others. if not better. Most everybody Most all the time Almost everybody Almost all the time Nature.. With a number of verbs. win out. make up.” Unless more speciﬁc statements follow. literally. sign up. Avoid beginning essays or paragraphs with this formula.” “poems about nature. because of its commonness. Lose out is not. turn out. the reader cannot tell whether the poems have to do with natural scenery. Most. each distinguishable in meaning from the simple verb. Often incorrectly used in support of exaggeration or violent metaphor. cheer up. or near at hand. ofttimes. etc. dry up. used like character. the untracked wilderness. Literal. One hundred and one. or the habits of squirrels. Retain the and in this and similar expressions. use neighboring. out and up form idiomatic combinations: ﬁnd out.” “Switzerland is . run out. Archaic forms. Oftentimes. The same holds true of try out. Near by. He is studying French literature.
WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED one of the most interesting countries of Europe. See under Kind of. He was the fortunate possessor of He had great courage (was very brave). Sort of. in place of persons. Another phase of the subject Another point other question) (an- Possess. So. respectively.” “so delightful. If of “six people” ﬁve went away. it is simply threadbare and forcible-feeble. Not to be used as a mere substitute for have or own. Works of ﬁction are listed under the names of their authors.” Not to be used for aspect or topic. Works of ﬁction are listed under the names of their respective authors.” “the last phase. From the people comes political support or opposition. The word people is not to be used with words of number. from the public comes artistic appreciation or commercial patronage. see Rule 4. not to be confused with the public.40 CHAPTER V. The people is a political term. as in geometrical proofs. in writing. He possessed great courage. The one mile and two mile runs were won by Jones and Cummings respectively. Means a stage of transition or development: “the phases of the moon. it may be necessary to use respectively.” “so warm. but it should not appear in writing on ordinary subjects. People.” There is nothing wrong in this. The one mile and two mile runs were won by Jones and by Cummings. how many “people” would be left? Phase. In some kinds of formal writing. Avoid. .” On the use of so to introduce clauses. These words may usually be omitted with advantage. the use of so as an intensiﬁer: “so good. He owned Respective.
In this use it is best replaced by a semicolon. everybody. Dormitories A student Liked by the students The students passed resolutions. Dayton has adopted the commission system of government. Use this word sparingly. etc. or from uncertainty which of the two connectives is the more appropriate.” Student body. Similar to this. the intention being either to avoid the awkward “he or she. and although. While. . Write point of view. as many do. each one. remark.” and if the favor which you have requested is granted. is the use of the plural pronoun with the antecedent anybody. Where emphasis is necessary. but with even less justiﬁcation.41 State. “He refused to state his objections. as. Thanking you in advance.” Simply write. but.” or to avoid committing oneself to either.” Use he with all the above words. Viewpoint. though implying more than one person. A common inaccuracy is the use of the plural pronoun when the antecedent is a distributive expression such as each. A member of the student body Popular with the student body The student body passed resolutions. somebody. Many writers use it frequently as a substitute for and or but. write a letter of acknowledgment. The dormitory system Dayton has adopted government by commission. “It will not be worth my while to write to you again. A needless and awkward expression. which. Not to be used as a mere substitute for say. for view or opinion. any one. many a man. Very. They. “A friend of mine told me that they. either from a mere desire to vary the connective. unless the antecedent is or must be feminine. Restrict it to the sense of express fully or clearly. use words strong in themselves. Some bashful speakers even say. This sounds as if the writer meant. “Thanking you. but do not misuse this. requires the pronoun to be in the singular. some one. meaning no more than the simple word students. Frequently used without need. System. Avoid the indiscriminate use of this word for and. every one.
The ofﬁce and salesrooms are on the ground ﬂoor. The ofﬁce and salesrooms are on the ground ﬂoor. the rest of the building is devoted to manufacturing. His brother. WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED This is entirely correct. The paraphrase. Compare: While the temperature reaches 90 or 95 degrees in the daytime. The temperature reaches 90 or 95 degrees in the daytime. while the rest of the building is devoted to manufacturing. Often incorrectly used for who before he said or similar expressions. the writer will do well to use while only with strict literalness. at the same time the nights are often chilly. Its use as a virtual equivalent of although is allowable in sentences where this leads to no ambiguity or absurdity. Although the temperature reaches 90 or 95 degrees in the daytime. shows why the use of while is incorrect. at the same time I wish it were employed in a better cause. in the sense of during the time that. In general. who he said would send him the money The man who (that) he thought was his friend (whom he thought his friend) . the nights are often chilly.42 CHAPTER V. the nights are often chilly. Whom. I wish it were employed in a better cause. whom he said would send him the money The man whom he thought was his friend His brother. as shown by the paraphrase. While I admire his energy. I admire his energy. when it is really the subject of a following verb.
A conditional statement in the ﬁrst person requires should. The use of worth while before a noun (“a worth while story”) is indefensible. I should not have succeeded without his help. without would. the past tense. Would. do not repay reading). Once a year he would visit the old mansion. Strictly applicable only to actions: “Is it worth while to telegraph?” His books are not worth reading (not worth one’s while to read. and from its brevity. not would.43 Worth while. is usually sufﬁcient. To express habitual or repeated action. His books are not worth while. He predicted that before long we should have a great surprise. . not would. The equivalent of shall in indirect quotation after a verb in the past tense is should. Once a year he visited the old mansion. Overworked as a term of vague approval and (with not) of disapproval. more emphatic.
44 CHAPTER V. WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED .
T HE E ND 45 . every one. Write any one. to-night. to-morrow (but not together) with hyphen. some time (except the sense of formerly) as two words. some one.Chapter VI W ORDS OFTEN MISSPELLED accidentally advice affect beginning believe beneﬁt challenge criticize deceive deﬁnite describe despise develop disappoint duel ecstasy effect existence ﬁery formerly humorous hypocrisy immediately incidentally latter led lose marriage mischief murmur necessary occurred parallel Philip playwright preceding prejudice principal privilege pursue repetition rhyme rhythm ridiculous sacrilegious seize separate shepherd siege similar simile too tragedy tries undoubtedly until Write to-day.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.