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The article a or an applies to any individual of the species to which it refers, and is, therefore, called indefinite ; as-a tree, an apple.

The distinguishes the individual object from all others of the same class, and on that account is termed definite ; as -the tree, the apple.

(3) A is used before a consonant, and the long sound of u; asma field, a house, a unit.

An* is used before a vowel, or an h not aspirated; asan egg, an hour.

When nouns are used without an article, all of the same species are comprised : man, means all mankind; birds, all the feathered tribes.


(4) PRONOUNS are the representatives of nouns, or substitutes for them, and are subject to similar modifications of Person, Number, Gender, and Case. They are divided into Personal and Relative Pronouns.t

* An is not a distinct article from a, for each is equally indefinite in its signification. An is substituted for a before a vowel, merely to avoid the hiatus or disagreeable effort which should be made in sounding separately two vowels in succession.

A, an, and the, are substitutes for the original ae, ane, and that. Ae and ane, the Saxon terms for one, when not used emphatically, were shortened to a and an ; and that, when not opposed to this, was, by a like facility of pronunciation, changed into the.

† Pronouns are very differently classified by grammarians. Some have divided them into Personal, Relative, and Adjective Pronouns; others, into Personal, Relative, and Reciprocal Pronouns; others, again, into Personal, Relative, and Demonstrative Pronouns. We have not followed any of these divisions, as we believe that all, except the Personal and Relative Pronouns, should be classed with the Pronominal Adjectives. The Reciprocal, self, with its plural, selves, is but a mere affix to the personal my, mine


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The PERSONAL Pronouns are, I, thou, he, she, it; and the various forms of these, arising from number and case: they are used instead of the names of persons, places, and things, and are thus declined :


Obj. (1) I. Person. I

( Thou or II.

sthy, thine you

your, yours (you III. M. Gen. He


him F. Gen. She

her, hers her N. Gen. It



Obj. (2) 1. Person. We

our, ours II.

your, yours you III.

They their, theirs them Own is connected with my, thy, his, her, our, your, and their, when the expression is to be made more emphatic; as—my own house ; his own business.


Ye, you

pronouns, showing the identity of the agent and the object of an active verb.

My, thy, his, her, our, your, their, are included in the Personal Pronouns, possessive case, for they always occupy the place of nouns; as, That is Mary's book, or, that is her book; this is John's hat, or, this is his hat; these are John and Mary's books, or, these are their books. Were it customary for the speaker to mention his own name, or that of the person spoken to, we could as easily substitute nouns for my, thy, our, and your. Words should not be ranked as pronouns which are only sometimes put for nouns ; for otherwise, titles of honour and distinction may be called pro


The Personal Pronouns, possessive case, consist of two classes : mine, thine, his, hers, ours, yours, theirs ; and my, thy, his, her, our, your, their. The former are used when the name of the person or thing possessed is understood, or has been previously mentioned ; but the latter require the name of the thing possessed to be placed RELATIVE PRONOUNS.

(3) Relative Pronouns are so called because they refer directly to their antecedents or correlatives. They are, who, which, that, and as when it follows such.

Who is applied to persons, WHICH, to inferior animals, and things without life.

That and as may be applied to persons and things. What is a compound relative, equivalent to that which

(4) Who, which, and what, when used in asking questions, are called Interrogative Pronouns.

What and which are often used as adjectives; as—I know not by what mistake this evil has occurred; we did not hear by which train he is to come.

Who is either masculine or feminine gender,
(1) What, as a relative, is always neuter.
Which and that may be of either gender.
Who and which are thus declined :-
Nom. Who

Poss. Whose whose

Obj. Whom which (2) That and what do not vary their forms on account of case.

None of the relatives vary by number.

That is a relative when it refers to a preceding noun; it is a demonstrative pronominal adjective when placed immediately before the noun; and a conjunction in all other cases.

immediately after them. In one case the nouns to which they refer must precede the pronoun; as, This watch is mine. In the other case it follows it; as, This is my watch: but both forms must be parsed alike.

WHOEVER is a compound relative, equivalent to he who.

(3) Whoever, whosoever, whatever, and whatsoever, whichever, and whichsoever, are but the simple relatives, with the affixes ever and soever, in order to render their application indefinite.

Whoever and whatever are the compounds now most used by modern writers; the other compound relatives are sometimes used as adjectives.

(4) The Compound Pronouns, himself, themselves, &c., are called by some grammarians Reciprocal Pronouns, because they show the object and the agent of the verb to be identical; as, Saul slew himself.


VERBS are of three kinds, Active, Passive, and Neuter.

The Active VERB expresses action passing from an agent to an object; as-James prunes the vine.*

(1) The Passive VERB denotes action which affects, or is received, or endured, by the person or thing which is made the subject of discourse; as— The vine is pruned by James; the nature and properties of tin have been investigated by chymists. +

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Active verbs are also called Transitive, because the action passes from the agent or actor to something else; but verbs which express that kind of action which extends not beyond the agent, are called Active Intransitive verbs; as, we walk; they run.

+ The agent or actor is always the nominative case to the active verb, whether transitive or intransitive. The object of the action, or the person or thing acted upon, is always the nominative case to the passive verb; as (active), David killed Goliah; (passive), Goliah was killed by David.

The NEUTER VERB does not express either action or passion, but holds, as it were, a middle place between the active and passive verbs; as—to sleep, to sit, to stand. That poor beggar is the son of a prodigal, and the grandson of a miser.

(2) To Verbs belong Number, Person, Mood, and Tense. *


Verbs have two numbers,—the singular and the plural; and three persons,—the first, second, and third.


Moods denote the changes which the verb undergoes, to signify the various intentions of the mind.

(3) There are Five Moods: the Indicative, Imperative, Potential, Subjunctive or Conditional, and Infinitive.+

The INDICATIVE Mood declares or asserts a thing;

* Though action is the chief characteristic of the verb, yet there are many other circumstances which concur to render it the most complex part of speech in grammar. With the action which the verb expresses, it is requisite to notify the time of the performance of the action, the manner of that performance, and the circumstance in which the agent operated. From these considerations arises the necessity of mood and tense ; for tense means time, and mood shows the manner in which the being, action, or passion signified by the verb is represented.

+ Though no fixed number of moods is absolutely required, yet there appears no sufficient reason for retrenching the number given above, as each seems necessary to show the distinction by

? ich the verbal action is represented in each form.

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