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fal; to be determined from the manner of its application. as, You are 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.
men applied to a single individual,
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 sume 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 inaccurarecy 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, 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, 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,
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 perason 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 absolute; as,
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
personal tense of a verb, but is placed with the participle independently of the rest of the sentence. Although a noun thus situated has no con nexion, either by government or agreement, with any other part of the sentence, yet the participle with which it is joined has an agreement with the noun with which it is placed, and sometimes governs another word in the objective case; as, The sun having dispersed the clouds, it began to grow In this example sun is in the nominative case absolute with having dispersed; having dis persed agrees with sun, and governs clouds in the objective.
As in the use of the case absolute, the case is, in English, always the nominative, the following example is erroneous, in making it the objective: Solomon was of this raind; and I have no doubt he made as wise and true proverbs, as any body has done since; him only excepted, who was a much greater and wiser man than Solomon. It should be, he only excepted.
Of the Possessive Case.
When two nouns come together signifying different things, the former, implying possession, is in the possessive case, and governed by the latter
My father's house: Man's happiness: Virtue's reward. The preposition of joined to a substantive, is frequently equivalent to the possessive case; as, A christian's hope: the hope of a christian. But it is only so, when the expression can be converted into the regular form of the posses
sive case. We can say, The reward of virtue, and Virtue's reward; but though it is proper to say, A crown of gold, we cannot convert the expression into the possessive case, and say, Gold's
Sometimes a substantive in the genitive or possessive case stands alone, the latter one by which it is governed, being understood: as, I called at the bookseller's; that is, At the bookseller's shop.
If several nouns come together in the genitive case, the apostrophe with s is annexed to the last, and understood to the rest; as, John and Eliza's books: This was my father, mother, and uncle's advice. But when any words intervene, perhaps on account of the increased pause, the sign of the possessive should be annexed to each; as, They are John's as well as Eliza's books; I had the physician's the surgeon's, and the apothecary's assistance.
In poetry, the additional s is frequently omitted, but the apostrophe retained, in the same manner as in substantives of the plural number ending in ; as, The wrath of Peleus' son. This seems not so allowable in prose; which the following erroneous examples will demonstrate; Moses' minister Phinehas' wife: Festus came into Fe lix' room: These answers were made to the witness' questions. But in cases which would give too much of the hissing sound, or increase the difficulty of pronunciation, the omission takes place even in prose; as, For righteousness' sake: for conscience' sake.
In some cases we use both the genitive termination and the preposition of; as, It is a discovery of Sir Isaac Newton's. Sometimes, indeed, unless we throw the sentence into another form, this