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A noun is also without the article when it is used in a general sense, and in cases when the word some may be supplied, e. g.,
“To buy food are thy servants come."--Genesis. A, may denote a class, and the may denote the particular class ; e. g.
"A bird which I saw in America sang the sweetest of all the songs I have ever heard.” “What bird ?” “ The yet unnamed species described in my new work.”
A, though denoting a single object, may stand before a noun of multitude, provided the idea of unity predominates ; thus we say “ a hundred men,” that is, “ a band of a hundred men,” a hundred men considered as a total. So " a few days” means a certain indefinite period. There is a difference between “ few people" and “a few people;" “few people" says that the people in question were not numerous ; "a few people” declares that there was present a company, in opposition to their being present po persons at all; e. g., " few people were at the play.” “Few ? None." “0, I beg your pardon, there was a few."
A, prefixed to the name of an eminent personage, denotes one of a class; thus, "a Nero” is a person as cruel as the emperor so called. The, is also used before such names in the plural number, e. g., “ The Neros, thank God, are not numerous.
The is put before a noun in the singular, when a particular species is intended; e. g., “The horse is a noble animal.” The meaning would be wholly changed by converting the singular noun into a plural one; e.g. The horses are noble animals," that is, the horses in question.
4, the article, must not be confounded with a, the old proposi. tion or particle, e...,
“They go a begging to a bankrupts door.''Dryden. Nor must an, the other form of a, be confounded with an, the old conjunction, e. g.,
Nay an thou’lt mouthe, I'll rant as well as thou.--Shakspcare. In such phrases as “ four miles an hour," "twenty leagues a day," a doubt has been expressed whether the an and the a are the article or the preposition. I incline to the opinion that an, a, in such cases is the article. This seems probable from the fact that an, not a, stands before a noun beginning with a vowel or an h, not pronounced; for the preposition a is invariable; e.g.,
“Every one cut off a piece and fell a eating.” The meaning of “ four miles an hour" is not " four miles an or in hour,” which has no sense, but four miles in an hour, that is, four miles in one hour, four miles each or every hour, the article being used distributively, as in the phrase "a guinea a head," that is, a guinea to every head or person. The form “a many" is found in Shakspeare:
"A care-craz'd mother of a many children.” "A many" is still very common in the north of England in Itatanons where it is now cre usual to sa; "a great 27.** "Many a," as in
"Fot! mann a gem of perest ray serede is co-touary and good,
Some bare denied to an and the, the booour of being a separate part ci speech, ailezing that the article is bereit za adjecare. Thus they say ttat in the chair ani makucany chair, tie and Labrany perform the same furstions, razes, they cair. Bet the two mode quality chair with a d erece, tbe ose dicatis what the chair is made of, the other desting cce parisia: hat of whateser Katerial it may ecosist. Sure ibere is a materia difference of naging between these three forms o: ords: greta ciar, a green chair, the green chair. At least the article que des the qualii.et as weil as ibe object qualified, inasmuch as it i s ES tha: a single green chair is meant, or the particular green ebar in which £GII. ore sat. There is consequently so ground for studying the article apart from the adjective, and if ons for that purpose, there is a good reason for giving the article a specific name,
EXERCISES. - COMPLETE. In an epic poem, or a poem upon an elevated subject, a writer ouglt to ascid raising a simile on a low image. In the cde which was composed on the Queen's marriaze, the poet laureat employed the most suitable images that tis idagication could suppi.
"A Daniel come to judgmerti Yea, a Daniel."-Stakpeare. He who would write heroic poems should live an bercie life. Aa historical introduction has generally a happy effee: to rouse attention. 1 Lote wito contend for four per cent, bare set men's mou .bs a watering for money.
“And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a ripening-Dips his root." - Shakspeare. “He sent then to Lebaron, ten thousand a month, by courses." (1 Kings v. 14.) - For barbour, harbour, at a thousand doors they knock'd;
Not one of all the thousand but was lock'd."-Dryden. The praise of the judicious few is an ample compensation for the neglect of the illiterate many.
EXERCISES. -INCOMPLETE -Enziish are rich, --Irish are poor.-Father and mother of this child are dead.-Sun noon, and stars are very beautiful. The spirit of man will sustain his infirmity.
Have you ever seen sucb-knife? Yes, I bare seen such-one. -European ditiers in hue from an Asiatic. in London there is University. Every family has-master; a ship base-master; when -house is built, there is-master; when-highways are repairing, there is-master. In the English language, the same souad and apparently- same word is employed both as-noun and Es-serb; nay,-same word may be employed as-adjective and even aspreposition, and-adverb as well as-Terband-noun.
- The cld oaken bucket,-iron bound bucket, -moss covered bucket arose from the well,”— Wordsworth,
PARSING. The task of a schoolmaster laboriously prompting and urging an indolent class, is worse than his who drives lazy horses along a sandy road. The, the definite article qualifying task. Task, a common noun made to refer to a particular task by the use
of the limiting or definite article the ; task is a noun neuter,
in the singular number; the subject to the verb is. Of, a preposition forming with schoolmaster, the Norman French,
or false Genitive.
Laboriously, an adverb qualifying prompting.
agreeing with schoolmaster. And, a conjunction, connecting together prompting and urging. Urging, a present participle from the transitive verb to urge,
agreeing with schoolmaster. An, the indefinite article, which before a consonant becomes a, Indolent, an adjective qualifying class ; indolent is made up of two
Latin terms, in, not, and doleo, I ain in pain, so that
indolence is taking no pains Ir, a part of the verb to be, present time, having for its subject, task,
or in full, “the task of a schoolmaster,” &c. Worse, an adjective qualifying task. Than, an adverb of comparison. His, a possessive pronoun, or the possessive case of the personal
pronoun he; if regarded in the former light, his agrees with • task understood ; if in the latter, it is governed by a task
understood. Who, a relative pronoun, the subjectof the verb drives. Drives, a transitive verb, present time, having for its subject or
nominative case the pronoun who. Lazy, an adjective qualifying horses. Horses, a common noun, in the plural number, the object to the
verb drives. Along, a preposition, made up of a and long. A, the indefinite article from un, employed before a singular noun
beginning with a consonant. Sandy, an adjective qualifying road. Road, a common noun, of the neuter gender, singular number,
dependent on the preposition along. If viewed etymologicaliy, the sentence yields these results. Of Saxon or Teutonic origin are these words, namely, the, of, a, is, worse, than, he, who, drives, lazy, horses, along, sandy, road; of Celtic origin is task (tasg, a bond, a job); and of Latin origin are laboriously, prompting, urging, indolent. Schoolmaster is a
hybrid, being made up of the Greek skole, leisure, school, and the Latin magister, a master. The student should ascertain the signifi. cation of the words of Latin origin from the lists already given of Latin stems.
Words with their proper Prepositions.
F. R. Eager in, for, after L. acer, sharp, vigorous Embark in, for
em, en French form of in, and bark, F. bar.
que, a boat
L, emergo, I dip up
L. aemulus, a rival
en (em, in) amor, love Encounter with
en (in, against) and contra, against Encouragement to F. coeur, L, cor, heart Encroach on
connected with our crook, in Welsh crog Endeared to
en and dear Endeavour after
en and devoir, F. duty Endowed with
L. dos, dotis, a gift, dower
L. induo, I put on or in
These remarks imply that some words are capable, and that other words are not capable of inflexion, John is a word capable of inflexion, for John may become John's. But with is a term which remains ever the same, and consequently is incapable of inflexion.
Inflexion (from the Latin in, upon, and flecto, I bend) is a word of Roman origin, signifying a bending, that is, a deviation, and so denotes the deviations or departures of words from their
root-form or condition. In the Latin language inflexion is a marked feature, and involves many important changes. In Engglish its prevalence is small. In general, the variations and rules of English grammar are somewhat indefinite, undetermined, and variable, wanting the prominence, the fixedness, and the sharp distinctions found in the Latin and the Greek. Some sort of remedy has been sought for in the application to English of the terms, the definitions, and even the laws of classical grammar, The effect has been to augment the trouble of the student, and to conceal or even destroy the natural simplicity of our vernacular tongue. Every language has facts and laws of its own. These it is the business of the philosophical grammarian to collect, systematise, and expound. The Latin grammar is one thing, the Saxon grammar is another, and the English is different from both. Let every language be studied in its own elements ; let every grammar be an exposition of
the laws of the language which it professes to explain. In grammar let there not be, as there was at Babel, a confusion of tongues, The usages of one language may throw light upon another, but the laws of the Greek must not be thrust on the observance of the student of English. Every language resembles an independent commonwealth, and, as such, is and must be governed by its own laws, and owes obedience solely to one supreme authority—that is, the usages and customs of its best authors.
In order the more exactly and clearly to understand what inflexion is, study these examples :John reads
John's books. I will now present these words to you arranged so as to show severally their inflexions, John reads
books In each of these five pairs of words there is, you see, a difference; thus, John becomes John's, reads becomes read, a becomes an, book becomes books, and I becomes we. Here, then, are five classes of words, which, admitting of variations, are capable of inflexion ; these classes are the noun proper, the noun common, the verb, the article, and the personal pronoun.
Nouns are affected by inflexion in gender, number, and case. I shall speak of gender in the first place.
Gender is a distinction of nouns in regard to sex. As there are two sexes, the male and the female, so properly there are but two genders, for gender is simply the grammatical term for that which in physiology is termed sex. Accordingly, the very term neuter, as in what is called the third or neuter gender, signifies neither, so that neuter gender is properly the gender which is neither mascu: line nor feminine. Hence things without life being neither male nor female, are said to be in the neuter gender.
THE GENDERS KNOWN FROM THE SEXES.
Female Without life
Husband Lord Heir Feminino. Woman Wife
Lady Heiress and you will not only see what gender means, but learn also how gender in English is denoted; in number one, the feminine is indi. cated by a change at the beginning of the word, for man is made into woman; in number four, the feminine is indicated by a change at the end of the word, for heir is made into heiress; while in number two, the feminine is indicated by a different word. By a different word also is the feminine in number three indicated in appearance ;but in appearance only, for lady (Anglo Saxon laefdie, old Scotch