Grammar can be briefly described as a set of rules for constructing and for analysing sentences. The process of analysing sentences into their parts, or CONSTITUENTS, is known as PARSING. In this and the next five chapters we shall gradually build up a simplified technique for parsing English sentences. If parsing seems at first a negative process of taking things to pieces, remember that by taking a machine to pieces one learns how it works. Analysis and synthesis are two aspects of the same process of understanding. This chapter introduces the main concepts of grammar, with examples. If you find parts of it difficult, it will be a comfort to know that all the classifications of Chapter 2 will be dealt with in more detail later on.
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