Page images
PDF
EPUB

Pronouns.

1.-THE PERSONAL PRONOUNS. 64. These are words expressing the relation of the speaker to the persons or things to which or of which he speaks :

1. FIRST PERSON.
SINGULAR.

PLURAL.
Nom.
I. Nom.

We.
Obj. and Dat. Me. Obj. and Dat. Us.

2. SECOND PERSON.
SINGULAR.

PLURAL.
Nom.

Thou. Nom. Obj. and Dat. Thee. Obj. and Dat. You or ye. NOTE.-In modern English, the plural form you is used instead of thou and thee in ordinary conversation and writing. Thou is used in prayers and solemn language, and in poetry as a term of reverence, familiarity, or contempt.

3. THIRD PERSON.
SINGULAR.

PLURAL.
Nom.
He, she, it. Nom.

They.
Obj. and Dat. Him, her, it. Obj. and Dat. Them.

You or ye.

II.THE POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS. 65. We have words to supply the want of Possessive Cases in the Personal Pronouns, used partly as Adjectives attached to Nouns : such are

my (mine), thy (thine), his, her, its, our, your, their : and partly as Adjectives unsupported by Nouns: as

mine, thine, his, hers, ours, yours, theirs. For example, we can say

It is

my fault; or, The fault is mine,

There were two honours lost, yours,

and
your

son's. and similarly with the rest.

Shakespeare. Strictly speaking, these words do not satisfy the general definition of a Pronoun; for they do not stand for Nouns, but are always used as Adjectives. NOTE 1.

-When our Bible was translated, his referred to Neuter as well as to Masculine Nouns, and was used instead of its : thus “Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his

leaves and scatter his fruit : let the beasts get away from

under it, and the fowls from his branches.”—Dan. iv. 14. Its was coming into use when Shakespeare wrote

Heaven grant us its peace. NOTE 2.—The Preposition of and the forms mine, thine, etc. are frequently found together : thus

A dog of mine. A friend of hers. A book of yours. See also § 54, Note 3.

Here's my glove: give me another of thine.-Shakespeare. NOTE 3.-In letters, yours in the words “I am yours sincerely," "yours truly,” etc. has the sense of belonging to you,

devoted to you.

III.—THE REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS.

66. Reflexive Pronouns are such as refer to a subject already mentioned in the sentence. They are formed by attaching a Noun self, in the plural selves, to some forms of Personal and Possessive Pronouns: as

myself, thyself, yourself, ourselves, yourselves, himself, her

self, itself, themselves.

NOTE 1.Himself and themselves are used as nominative forms, but usually in connexion with a true nominative; thus we say, He did it himself, where himself his-self, the first s being changed to m to avoid the harsh sound of the double s.

Nelson himself was saved by a timely removal.--Southey. NOTE 2.-These forms are used as Emphatic words, not resting on a subject already mentioned in the sentence.

Here is himself marred as you see with traitors.—Shakespeare.

IV.-THE DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS.

67. Pronouns pointing in an emphatic way to particular objects are called demonstrative, such as this (in plural these), that (in plural those), such and the same.

This was the noblest Roman of them all. --Shakespeare.
This is no flattery : these are counsellors

That feelingly persuade me what I am.-Shakespeare. NOTE.-All the forms of the Personal Pronouns, he, she, it, can, upon occasion, be used as demonstrative words.

He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
That fashion’d others. And him,40 wondrous him!
O miracle of men !-him did you leave . . Shakespeare.

V.THE INTERROGATIVE PRONOUNS. 68. Who, which, and what are used in asking questions. Of these who only has case-forms, the Possessive whose and the Objective whom. Who asks about persons : which and what about persons and things. All three have the same forms in the plural as in the singular. NOTE 1.Which and what may be used as Adjectives :

Which road do you intend to take?
What city is like unto this great city ?

NOTE 2.—In old English Whether, meaning which of the two, was used :

Whether of them twain did the will of his father?

VI.THE RELATIVE PRONOUNS.

69. The Pronouns called Relative, because they carry back the thought to a subject previously expressed, are who, which, that, and what. Who and its Objective whom refer to persons: its Possessive whose can refer to persons, to personified things, or to things : for example,

I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
Whose hands are pure.— Cowper.
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true, fixed, and resting qualities

There is no fellow in the firmament.Shakespeare.
That undiscovered country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns.--Shakespeare. Which is now scarcely ever used of persons, though it was so used in old English :

Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this

Which dances with your daughter ?— Shakespeare.
That is used both of persons and things :

Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of hearts.—Shakespeare.

We were the first that ever burst

Into that silent sea.—Coleridge. I see no reason to alter anything that I have written.Bolingbroke.

70. These Pronouns are essentially conjunctive words, linking sentences together. That more commonly defines a word or phrase : who and which usually introduce a fresh topic. We say, for example,

I met the man that brought the news : where we merely want to state who the man was: but

I met a man, who told me the news : where who might be replaced by and he. So again

There is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune : where which is equivalent to and it.

But this distinction is not observed by our chief prose writers; thus, in the same passage in the English Bible, we find

Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction ...

Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life. Southey has : “The third ship which doubled the enemy's line was the Orion." 71. What is often equivalent to that which :

Some praise at morning what they blame at night,
But always think the last opinion right.--Pope.

VII.THE INDEFINITE PRONOUNS. 172. Under this head we place a number of words used as Nouns or as Adjectives, which are called Indefinite1. Either because they denote an indefinite number; such

are, any, some, few, many, all, such: 2. Or because they denote persons or things not parti

cularly defined; such are, either, neither, both, one,

another. The following are examples of the use of such Pronouns :

Few, few shall part where many meet.Campbell.

:

« PreviousContinue »