Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

an hour. But if the h be sounded, the a only is to be used; as, a hand, a heart, u highway.

A or an is styled the indefinite article: it is used in a vague sense, to point out one single thing of the kind, in other respects indeterminate; as, give me a book; bring me an apple.

The is called the definite article, because it ascertains what particular thing, or ihings are meant: as, give me the book; bring me the apples, meaning some particular book, or apples, referred to.

A substantive, without any article to limit it, is generally taken in its widest sense; as, a candid temper is proper for man; that is, for all mankind.

M

SUBSTANTIVE. A SUBSTANTIVE or noun is the name of any thing that exists, or of which we have any notion; as, London, man, oirtue.

Substantives are either proper or common.

Proper names or substantives are the names appropriated to individuals; as, George, Charlotte, London, Thames.

Common names or substantives stand for kinds contaiaing many sorts, or for sorts containing many individuals under thein; as, animal, man, tree, &c.

To substantives belong gender, number, and case.

Gender.
Gender is the distinction of nouns, with regard to sex.
There are three genders, the masculine, the feminine, and the
neuter.

The masculine gender denotes animals of the male kind; as, a man, a horse, a bull.

The feminine gender signifies animals of the female kind; as a woman, a duck, a hen.

The neuter gender denotes objects which are neither males nor females ; as, a field, a house, a garden.

Some substantives naturally neuter are, by a figure of speech, converted into the masculine or feminine gender; as, when we say of the sun he is setting, and of a ship she sails well, &c.

The English language has three methods of distinguishing the sex, viz.

1. By different words; as,

MALE.

TEMALE.

MALL.

TEMALE.
Bachelor. Maid. Husband. Wife.
Boy.

Girl.
Lad.

Lass.
2. By a difference of termination; as,
Actor. Actress.

Lion. Lioness. Bridegroom. Bride.

Poet,

Poetess. 3. By a noun, pronoun, or adjective, being prefired to the substantive; as, A cock-sparrow.

A hen-sparrow.
A man-servant.

A maid-servant.

Number. Number is the consideration of an object, as one or more.

Substantives are of two numbers, the singular and the plural.

The singular number expresses but one object; as, a chair, a table, a box, a wife.

Thc plural nain ber signifies more objects than one ; as, chairs, tables, bores, wives.

Some nouns, from the nature of the things which they express, are used only in the singular, others only in the plural form; as, wheat, pitch, gold, sloth, pride, &c.; and, bellows, scissars, lungs, riches, &c.

Some words are the same in both numbers; as, deer, sheep, swine, &c.

Case.

English substantives have three cases, the nominative, the possessive, and the objective.

The nominative case simply expresses the name of a thing, or the subject of the verb; as, the boy plays; the girls learn..

The possessive case expresses the relation of property or possession, and has an apostrophe, with the letter s coming after it; as, the scholar's duty; my father's house.

When the plural ends in s, the other s is ornitted, but the apostrophe is retained; as, on eagles' wings; the drapers' company."

Sometimes, also, when the singular terminates in s, the apostrophic s is not added; as, for goodness' sake; for righteousness' sake.

The objective case expresses the object of an action, or of a relation; and generally follows a verb active, or a preposition; as, John assists Charles; they live in London.

English substantives are declined in the following man

[blocks in formation]

ADJECTIVE. AN ADJECTIVE is a word added to a substantive, to express its quality; as, an industrious man; a virtuous woman; a benevolent mind.

In English the adjective is not varied on account of gender, number, or case. Thus we say, a careless boy, careless girls.

The only variation which it adınits is that of the degrees of comparison.

There are commonly reckoned three degrees of comparison; the positive, comparative, and superlative.

The positive state expresses the quality of an object, without any increase or diminution; as, good, wise, great.

The comparative degree increases the positive in signification; as, better, wiser, greater.

The superlative degree increases the positive to the highest degree; as, best, wisest, greatest.

PRONOUN. A PRONOUN is a word used instead of a noun, to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word; as, the man is happy, he is benevolent, he is useful.

There are three kinds of pronouns, viz. the personal, the relative, and the adjectire pronouns.

Personal Pronouns. There are five personal pronouns ; viz. I, thou, he, she, it; with their plurals, we, ye or you, they.

[ocr errors]

}

CASE.

SINGULAR.

PLURAL.

Personal pronouns admit of person, number, gender, and case. The

persons of pronouns are three in each of the numbers, viz.

I, is the first person
Thou, is the second person

Singular.
He, she, or it, is the third person
We, is the first person
Ye or you, is the second person Plural.

They, is the third person
The numbers of pronouns, like those of substantives, are
two, the singular and the plural; as, I, thou, he; we, ye,
they.

Gender has respect only to the third person singular of the pronouns, he, she, it. He is masculine; she is feminine; it is neuter.

Pronouns have three cases; the nominative, the possessive, and the objective.

The objective case of a pronoun has, in general, a form different from that of the nominative or the possessive case. The personal pronouns are thus declined.

PERSON.
First. Nom.

I.

We.
Possess. Mine. Qurs,
Obj.

Me. US.
Second. Nom.

Thou,
Possess. Thine. Yours.
Obj.

Thee. You.
Third. Nom.

He. They.
Mas.
Possess.

His. Theirs.
Obj.

Him.

Them.
Third. Nom.

She. They.
Fem. Possess. Hers. Theirs.
Obj.

Her. Them.
Third. Nom.

It. They.
Neuter. Possess. Its. Theirs.
Obj.

li. Them.

Relative Pronouns. Relative pronouns are such as relate in general to some word or phrase going before, which is thence called the antecedent: they are who, which, and that; as, the inan ia happy who lives virtuously.

Ye or you.

[ocr errors]

What is a kind of compound relative, including both the antecedent and the relative, and is equivalent to that which ; as, this is what I wanted ; that is to say, the thing which I wanted.

Who is applied to persons, which to animals and inanimate things; as,' he is a friend who is faithful in adversity; the bird which sung so sweetiy is flown; this is the tree which produces no fruit.

That, as a relative, is often used to prevent the too frequent repetition of who and which. It is applied to both persons and things; as, he that acts wisely deserves praise ; modesty is a quality that highly adorns a woman. IVho is of both numbers, and is thus declined :

SINGULAR AXD PLURAL.
Nominative. Who.
Possessive.

Whose.
Objective.

Whom. Who, which, what, are called interrogatives, when they are used in asking questions, as, who is he? which is the book? what are you doing?

Adjective Pronouns. Adjective pronouns are of a inixed nature, participating the properties both of pronouns and adjectives.

The adjective pronouns may be subdivided into four sorts, namely, the possessive, the distributive, the demonstrative, and the indefinite.

1. The possessive are those which relate to possession or property.

There are seven of them; viz. my, thy, his, her, our, your, their.

2. The distributive are those which denote the persons or things that make up a number, as taken separately and singly. They are each, every, either; as, each of his brothers is in a favourable situation ; every man must account for himself; I have not seen either of them.

3. The demonstrative are those which precisely point out the subjects to which they relate: this and that, these and those, are of this class; as, this is true charity; that is only its image.

This refers to the nearest person or thing, and that to the more distant: as, this man is more intelligent than that. This indicates the latter, or last mentioned; that the for

« ForrigeFortsett »