English has changed and so have grammatical terms. Even today grammarians may use varying terminology to refer to the same linguistic structures. Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755. In it was included a brief grammar of English. I'll quote a passage from the book.

Grammar of the English Tongue

Of the Verb

English verbs are active, as I love, or neuter, as I languish. The neuters are formed like the actives.

Most verbs signifying action may likewise signify condition or habit, and become neuters, as I love, I am in love; I strike, I am now striking.

Verbs have only two tenses inflected in their terminations, the present, and the simple preterite; the other tenses are compounded of the auxiliary verbs have, shall, will, let, may, can, and the infinitive of the active or neuter verb.

The passive voice is formed by joining the participle preterite to the substantive verb, as I am loved.

To have. Indicative Mood.
Present tense.

Sing. I have; thou hast; he hath or has
Plur. We have; ye have; they have

Has is a termination corrupted from hath, but now more frequently used both in verse and prose.

Simple Preterite.

Sing. I had; thou hadst; he had
Plur. We had; ye had; they had

Future.

Sing. I shall have; thou shalt have; he shall have
Plur. We shall have; ye shall have; they shall have

Second Future.

Sing. I will have; thou wilt have; he will have
Plur. We will have; ye will have; they will have

By reading these future tenses may be observed the variations of shall and will.

Imperative Mood.

Sing. Have, or have thou; let him have
Plur. Let us have; have, or have ye; let them have

Infinitive.

Present. To love, Preterite. To have loved
Participle present. Loving. Participle past. Loved

CB
Samuel Johnson's "grammar" is extremely brief, only a few pages. There is no mention of pronouns of any kind, for example.Emotion: big smile

In the preface, Johnson writes about English phrasal verbs. I'll quote a short passage.

There is another kind of composition more frequent in our language than perhaps in any other, from which arises to foreigners the greatest difficulty. We modify the signification of many words by a particle subjoined, as to come off, to escape by a fetch; to fall on, to attack; to fall off, to apostatize; to break off, to stop abruptly; to bear out, to justify; to fall in, to comply; to give over, to cease; to set off, to embellish; to set in, to begin a continual tenour; to set out, to begin a course or journey; to take off, to copy; with innumerable expressions of the same kind, of which some appear widely irregular, being so far distant from the sense of the simple words, that no sagacity will be able to trace the steps by which they arrived at the present use. These I have noted with great care; and though I cannot flatter myself that the collection is complete, I believe I have so far assisted the students of our language, that this kind of phraseology will be no longer insuperable; and the combinations of verbs and particles by chance omitted, will be easily explained by comparison with those that may be found.

Johnson's dictionary wasn't the very first but I assume that phrasal verbs hadn't been included and discussed in dictionaries before owing to their colloquial nature. And Johnson was right: if to set in wasn't in a dictionary, how was a foreign student supposed to figure out its meaning? Only by guesswork.

We can notice that Johnson's English isn't very far removed from today's English. Some of the phrasal verbs have different meanings today and we no longer put a comma before the conjunction that. We, or I, anyway, don't say a difficulty arose to me, and there are other things that have changed.

As I understand it, the greatest difficulty is an absolute superlative in the text even though it is identical in form with the relative superlative. This lack of distinction persists even today.

CB
Cool Breeze Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755. In it was included a brief grammar of English. I'll quote a passage from the book.
Oh, thank you—I can use some of that in replies to Pais Vasco.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
with innumerable expressions of the same kind, of which some appear widely irregular, being so far distant from the sense of the simple words, that no sagacity will be able to trace the steps by which they arrived at the present use

Don't you just love the way they used to say things?!
ForbesDon't you just love the way they used to say things?!
I do! I do! However, I have learnt over the years that anything that other people don't say is likely to be unnatural. For instance, when I see a good friend drinking water, I sometimes say: "You're spoiling a good thirst with water." I know it's unnatural and no native speaker has ever said those words. I have asked quite a few people about it.

They all agree. When I ask them how they would express the same idea, I get no suggestions. The trouble with English is that one has to use the exact same phrases everybody else uses, or risk being unnatural. This is what makes English difficult.

I am fortunate as I'm a non-native speaker with an inadequate command of English. I say what I like and I get a kick out of being unnatural quite often!Emotion: wink

CB