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The nominative denotes the subject, and asually goes before the verb or attribute; and the word or phrase denoting the object, follows. the verb; as, A wise man governs his passions. Here, man is the subject; governs, the attribute, or thing affirmed; and passions, the object.
Syntax principally consists of two parts, Concord and Government.
Concord is the agreement which one word has with another, in gender, number, case, or person.
Government is that power, which one part of speech has over another in directing its mood, tense, or case.
To produce the agreement and right disposition of words in a sentence, the following rules and observations should be carefully studied.
Of the Nominative Case.
The nominative case, except the case absolute, or when an address is made, relates to some verb expressed or understood; as,
The man walks; the birds sing; the sun shines. The nominative case governs, or determines, the number and person of the verb to which it relates; i. e. if the nominative is singular, the veri is singular if the nominative is plural, the verb is plural. If the nominative is the first person, the verb is so; or if it is the second or third person, the verb is the same.
A verb agrees with its nominative in number person; as,
I love; thou readest; he learns; we are; ye run; they sleep. In these examples, love is in the first person singular and agrees with the pronoun I. Readest is in the second person singular and agrees with thou. Learns is in the third per son singular and agrees with he. Are is in the first person plural and agrees with we. Run is in the second person plural and agrees with yeSleep is in the third person plural and agrees with they.
The following are a few instances of the vio lation of the above rule: What signifies good opinions, when our practice is bad? It ought to bc, what signify. I have considered what have been said on both sides in this controversy; what has been said. Thou sees how little has been done; thou seest. In piety and virtue consist the happiness of man; consists. To these precep are subjoined a copious selection of rules and maxims; is subjoined.
The pronoun you, whether applied to a single person or to more than one, always requires the verb to be in the plural form; as, You are my friend: You have placed me under great obliga tions The subject was discussed when you were absent. We however often hear this pronoun used in a different manner. The following few examples: Was you there? I heard you was unwell: You was gone before I arrived. In all these cases were should be substituted for was.— It should be recollected, that you is of both num bers; i. e. sometimes singular and sometimes plu
fal; to be determined from the manner of its application. When applied to a single individual, as, You are my friend, it is in the singular number: when applied to more than one individual, as, You are my friends, it is in the plural number.
And since number and person, as ascribed to the verb, is merely, a figurative application; since the verb has not these properties independently of the noun or pronoun with which it is connected, it also varies its number and person in the same manner as the pronoun you, above mentioned; that is to say, when the pronoun with which it agrees refers to one individual only, the verb, although in the plural form, is of the singular number; and when more than one individual is referred to, the verb is of the plural number.
Every verb except in the infinitive mood or the participle, ought to have a nominative case, either expressed or implied; as, Awake; arise; that is, Awake ye; arise ye.
The following are some examples of inaccuracy in the use of the verb without its nominative
As it hath pleased him of his goodness to give you safe deliverance, and hath preserved you in the greatest danger, &c. The verb hath preserved has here no nominative case, for it cannot be properly supplied by the preceding word him, which is in the objective case. It ought to be, And as he hath preserved you; or rather, and to preserve you. A man whose inclinations led him to be corrupt, and had great abilities to manage the business; and who had, &c. A cloud gathering in the north, which we have helped to raise, and may quickly break in a storm upon our heads : and which may quickly.
The nominative is commonly placed before the verb; but sometimes it is put after the verb, if it is a simple tense; and between the auxiliary and the verb or participle, if a compound tense;
When a question is asked, or a command given; as, Confidest thou in me? Go ye :-When a sup position is made without the conjunction if; as, a Were it not for him :-When the verb is preceded by the adverbs here, there, then, thence, hence, thus, &c. as, Here am I; Then cometh the end: -When a sentence depends on neither or nor, so as to be coupled with another sentence; as, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it:When a verb neuter is used; as, On a sudden ap peared the king-Or, when an emphatical ad jective introduces a sentence; as, Happy is the man whose conscience does not reproach him.
The infinitive mood or part of a sentence is sometimes used substantively, and performs the office of a nominative case to a verb; as, as
To see the sun is pleasant: To be good is to be happy: A desire to excel others in learning and virtue is commendable: That warm climate should accelerate the growth of the human body and shorten its duration, is very reasonable to be lieve To be temperate in eating and drinking to use exercise in the open air, and to preserve the mind free from tumultuous emotions, are the best preservatives of health.
It may be observed, that when the whole sentence forms but one nominative, conveying unity of idea, the verb must be singular. But when
several phrases, connected by a copulative conjunction, expressed or implied, constitute the nominative to a verb, the verb must be plural ; according to the above examples.
The infinitive sometimes stands independent of the rest of the sentence; as, to proceed; to conclude, &c. This may be called the infinitive absolute.
When a direct address is made, the noun or pronoun is in the nominative case independent;
O house of Israel: O king, live forever: Plato, thou reasonest well. In these examples, the person speaking makes a direct address to house, king, and Plato, and they are therefore in the nominative case independent. It will be readily perceived that the nominative independent, must always be of the second person, because a direct address is made to no other. What is meant by a noun's being independent, when in this situation, is, that it is independent of any verb. There is no verb, either expressed or understood, with which it agrees.
A noun or pronoun connected with a participle, and standing independently of the rest of the sentence, is in the nominative case abso
Shame being lost, all virtue is lost: That having been discussed long ago, there is no occasion to resume it. Here shame in the first example is In the nominative case absolute; i. e. it has no