Grammar in action - Jacob C..Tressler - PDF ebook

Grammar in action


Grammar in action
Grammar in action - Jacob C..Tressler


When the pendulum swung away from the teaching of formal grammar, there was a danger that it would pass far beyond sensible motivated teaching of functional or applied grammar to a denunciation of all grammar except usage drills. Now the pendulum is oscillating about the middle point, a mastery of the simple fundamentals of functional grammar as a foundation on which to build all English work, and will doubtless come to rest here.

Of course, the boy or girl who grows up in an atmosphere of correct and elegant English — if such a fortunate one is to be found — speaks and writes well without studying grammar. Usage drills help the less fortunate to eliminate flagrant errors, but do not give “the genuine familiarity with the elementary facts of English grammar, without which,” the department of English of the University of Wisconsin tells us, “under existing conditions, it is futile to expect the vast majority of our pupils to acquire the ability to use English correctly either in speech or in writing.”

Grammar in Action is built on a belief that the important aims of grammar teaching are to help pupils 
(1) to write and speak correct sentences, 
(2) to construct varied, effective sentences, 
(3) to punctuate correctly, and 
(4) to extract thought from the printed page. 
Because, as Randolph found, half the errors in speech and writing are faults in sentence structure other than the choice of forms, a pupil should learn the terminology for a discussion of sentence building and should be given practice informing, criticizing, and improving sentences.


The criteria for the selection of grammar material and the determination of how much emphasis should be placed on each point selected are the frequency of use and the frequency, persistency, and social seriousness of errors. 

Therefore the topics were selected, the eliminations were made, and the emphasis on items was determined by a study of the investigations of Lyman, Johnson, Charters and Miller, Earhart and Small, Sears and Diebel, Randolph, Richardson, and Stormzand and O’Shea {How Much English Grammar), and of my own investigation {The English Journal, November and December 1917). The sentences in the corrective exercises are with few exceptions actual pupil sentences. Most of the sentences for analysis and punctuation are typical high-school, college, newspaper, magazine, and book sentences; a few, are literary gems; none, are childish prattle.

 In the text, there are no grammatical enigmas or lengthy, complicated sentences. Pupils learn nothing about using the language by puzzling over intricate sentences. In the first half of the book complex and compound, sentences are rare. Pupils apply what they learn first in the correction and construction of simple sentences and then in building and improving compound and complex sentences. The explanations are addressed to the pupil, not to the teacher. 

My use in the classroom of much of the material in the text convinces me that teachers will not need to simplify, develop, clarify, or illustrate the explanations.

Some contents of the book


I. The Simple Sentence
Sentence Sense. 1
Simple Predicate . 2
Simple Subject. 4
Complete Subject. 5
Complete Predicate. 7
Compound Subject or Predicate .... 9
II. Recognition of the Parts of Speech
Nouns. 13
Pronouns. 14
Verbs. 15
Adjectives and Adverbs. 15
Prepositions. 20
Conjunctions. 22
Interjections. 25
The Same Word as Different Parts of
Speech. 25
III. Parts of the Simple Sentence
Predicate Adjective. 30
Predicate Nominative. 31
The object of a Verb. 32
Indirect Object. 34
Appositive. 36
Nominative of Address. 38
IV. Analysis and Diagramming of Simple Sentences
Subject and Predicate. 40
Adjective. 40
Adverb. 41
Prepositional Phrase. 42
Predicate Nominative and Predicate Adjective. 44
The object of a Verb. 46


the book details :
  • Author: Jacob C..Tressler
  • Publication date: 1928
  • Company: Boston, Heath

  • Download Grammar in action - PDF ebook - 17 MB

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