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5. A Verb is a word which signifies to be, to do, or LO SUFFER : as, “I am ; I rule; I am ruled.” (
A Verb may generally be distinguished, by its making sense with any of the personal pronouns, or the word to before it: as, I walk, he plays, they write; or, to walk, to play, to write.
6. An Adverb is a part of speech joined to a verb, an adjective, and sometimes to another adverb, to express some quality or circumstance respecting it: as, * "He reads well ; a truly good man; he writes very correctly.”
An Adverb may be generally known, by its answering to the question, How? how much? when? or where ? as, in the phrase “ He reads correctly,” the answer to the question, How does he read ? is, correctly.
7.- Prepositions serve to connect words with one another, and to show the relation between them : as, "He went from London to York;" “ she is above disguise;" “ they are supported by industry.”
A preposition may be known by its admitting after it a personal pronoun, in the objective case; as, with, for, to, &c. will allow the objective case after them; with him, for her, to them, &c.
8. A Conjunction is a part of speech that is chiefly used to connect sentences; so as, out of two or more sentences, to make but one: it sometimes connects only words : as, “Thou and he are happy, because you are good.” “Two and three are five.” "
9. Interjections are words thrown in between the parts of a sentence, to express the passions or emotions of the speaker: as, “ O virtue! how amiable thou art!"
The observations which have been made, to aid learners in distinguishing the parts of speech from one another, may afford them some small assistance; but it will certainly be much more instructive, to distinguish them by the definitions, and an accurate knowledge of their nature.
In the following passage, all the parts of speech are exemplified:
1 2 7 2 5 1
3 ning 2 The power of speech is a faculty peculiar to man; 8 5 5 7 4 7 4 3
2 7 and was bestowed on him by his beneficent Creator, for
1 3 8 6 3 2 8 9 6 6the greatest and most excellent uses; but alas ! how often 5 4 5 47 1 3 7 2 do we pervert it to the worst of purposes !
In the foregoing sentence, the words the, d, are articles ; power, speech, faculty, man, Creator, uses, purposes, are substantives ; peculiar, beneficent, greatest, excellent, worst, are adjectives ; him, his, we, it, are pronouns ; is, was, bestowed, do, pervert, are verbs; most, how, often, are adverbs; of, to, on, by, for, are prepositions; and, but, are conjunctions ; and alas is an interjection.
The number of the different sorts of words, or of the parts of speech, has been variously reckoned by different grammarians. Some have enumerated ten, making the participle a distinct part; some eight, excluding the participle, and ranking the adjective under the noun; some four, and others only two, (the noun and the verb,) supposing the rest to be contained in the parts of their division. We have followed those authors, who appear to have given them the most natural and intelligible distribution. Some remarks on the division made by the learned Horne Tooke, are contained in the first section of the eleventh chapter of etymology.
The interjection, indeed, seems scarcely worthy of being considered as a part of artificial language or speech, being rather a branch of that natural language, which we possess in common with the brute creation, and by which we express the sudden emotions and passions that actuate our frame. But, as it is used in written as well as oral language, it may, in some measure, be deemed a part of speech. It is with us, a virtual sentence, in which the noun and verb are concealed under an imperfect or indigested word.See this Chapter, in the Octavo Grammar.
Of the Articles.
them out, and to show how far their signification extends; as, a garden, an eagle, the woman.
In English, there are but two articles, a and the: a becomes an before a vowel,* and before a silent h; as,
a an acorn, an hour. But if the h be sounded, the a only is to be used; as, a hand, a heart, a highway.
The inattention of writers and printers to this necessary distinction, has occasioned the frequent use of an before h, when it is to be pronounced ; and this circumstance, more than any other, has probably contributed to that indistinct utterance, or total omission, of the sound signified by this letter, which very often occurs amongst readers and speakers. An horse, an husband, an herald, an heathen, and many similar associations, are frequently to be found in works of taste and merit. To remedy this evil, readers should be taught to omit, in all similar cases, the sound of the n, and to give the h its full pronunciation.
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, book ;" “ Bring me an apple.”
The is called the definite article; because it ascertains what particular thing or things are meant: as, “Give me the book;" “ Bring me the apples;” meaning some 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.
The peculiar use and importance of the articles will be seen in the following examples ;
“ The son of a king-the son of the king—a son of the king." Each of these three phrases has an entirely different meaning, through the different application of the articles a and the.
" Thou art a man,” is a very general and harmless po. sition ; but, “ Thou art the man," (as Nathan said to David,) is an assertion capable of striking terror and remorse into the heart.
c. Give me a
* A instead of an is now used before words beginning with u long Set pinge 29, letter U. It is also used before one ; as, many a one.
The article is omitted before nouns that imply the dif. ferent virtues, vices, passions, qualities, sciences, arts metals, herbs, &c.; as, “prudence is commendable ; falsehood is odious; anger ought to be avoided ;" &c. 1! is not prefixed to a proper name; as, “ Alexander,” (be. cause that of itself denotes a determinate individual oi particular thing,) except for the sake of distinguishing a particular family: as, " He is a Howard, or of the family of the Howards ;' or by way of eminence : as,
" Eve : ry man is not a Newton;" He has the courage of an Achilles :" or when some noun is understood; " He sailed down the (river) Thames, in the (ship) Britannia."
When an adjective is used with the noun to which the article relates, it is placed between the article and the noun; as, a good man,” “ an agreeable woman,” “ the best friend.” On some occasions, however, the adjective precedes a or an; as, such a shame, as great a man as Alexander,” “ too careless an author."
The indefinite article can be joined to substantives in the singular number only; the definite article may be joined also to plurals.
But there appears to be a remarkable exception to this rule, in the use of the adjectives few and many, (the latter chiefly with the word great before it,) which, though joined with plural substantives, yet admit of the singular article a: as, a few.men; a great many mer.
The reason of it is manifest, from the effect which the article has in these phrases; it means a small or great number collectively taken, and therefore gives the idea of a whole, that is, of unity. Thus likewise, a dozen, a score, a hundred, or a thousand, is one whole number, an aggregate of many collectively taken; and therefore still retains the article a, though joined as an adjective to a plural substantive ; as, a hundred years, &c.
The indefinite article is sometimes placed between the adjective many, and a singular noun : as, .“ Full many a gein of purest ray serene,
- The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear : 6 Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
“ And waste its sweetness on the desert air." these lines, the phrases, many a gem and many a flow'r,
refer to many gems and many flowers, separately, not collectively considered.
The definite article the is frequently applied to adverbs in the comparative and superlative degree ; and its effect is, to mark the degree the more strongly, and to define it the more precisely : as, “ The more I examine it, the better I like it. I like this the least of any.” See this Chapter, in the Octavo Grammar.
Of Substantives. SECTION 1. Of Substantives in general. A SUBSTANTIVE or Noun is the name of any thing that exists, or of which we have any notion : aș, London, man, virtue. Substantives are either
proper or common. Proper names or substantives, are the names appropriated to individuals: as, George, London, Thames.
Common names or substantives, stand for kinds containing many sorts, or for sorts containing many individuals under them; as, animal, man, tree, &c.
When proper names have an article annexed to them; they are used as common names : as, “ He is the Cicero of his age ; he is reading the lives of the Twelve Cæsars."
Common names may also be used to signify individuals
, by the addition of articles or pronouns : as, boy is studious; that girl is discreet*.”
To substantives belong gender, number, and case; and they are all of the third person when spoken of, and of the second when spoken to : as, “ Blessings attend us on every side; be grateful, children of men ?" that is, ye children of men.
Nouns may also be divided into the following classes : Collective nouns, of nouns of nmltitude; as, the people, the parliament, the army: Abstracı coons, or the names of qualities abstracted from their substances ; as, krovledge, goodiress, whiteness : Verbal or darticipial nouns ; as, beginning, reading,