Picture of Principles of Grammar (MP3 download)

Principles of Grammar (MP3 download)

By Leonard Peikoff


The science that studies the methods of combining concepts i.e.,words into sentences is grammar. Discover how the normally dry subject of grammar can be transformed into an engrossing, epistemological field of study. Learn why a mastery of the principles of grammar is essential for precision in thinking and writing.  This is grammar as it should be but never is taught.

Key topics in this course include:

1. Basic Grammatical Concepts: The philosophic foundation of the rules of grammar. The nature of a sentence. Subject, predicate and complement. Phrases and clauses. The parts of speech. How to parse a sentence.

2. & 3. Subordination and Coordination: Main vs. subordinate clauses; subordination as a matter of logic and a means of emphasis; other techniques of emphasis. Types of conjunctions. Parallelism: how to express equality of importance through structural sameness. Economy: how to avoid needless verbiage.

4. & 5. Verbs and Pronouns:  Choosing the exact tense of a verb. Uses of the subjunctive. Employing a logical sequence of tenses, moods and voices. Verbals: the proper use of participles, gerunds and infinitives. Seven types of pronouns; common errors in their usage. Case and number of pronouns; pronouns without clear antecedents.

6. Punctuation: Punctuation and the "crow epistemology." Uses of the comma. The comma as a tool of thought.

7. & 8. Choosing the Right Word:  Colloquialisms, slang and formal English. Connotation and denotation. How to choose among synonyms. Metaphors, alive and dead. Euphony.

(MP3 download; 19 hrs., 2 min., 821.03 MB)