« السابقةمتابعة »
It sometimes happens that the same noun is either masculine or feminine. The words pa,rent, child, cousin, friend, neighbour, servant, and several others, are used indifferently for males or females.
Number is a term which has reference to quantity, as consisting of one or more par- e ticulars or objects.
Substantives are of two numbers, the singuTar and the plural.
The singular number expresses but one object; as, a chair, a table.
The plural number signifies more objects than one; as, chairs, tables.
Some nouns, from the nature of the things which they express, are used only in the singular form; as, wheat, pitch, gold, sloth, pride, &c.; others, only in the plural form; as, bellows, scissors, lungs, riches, &c.
Some words are the same in both numbers; as, deer, sheep, swine, &c.
The plural number of nouns is generally formed by adding s to the singular; as, dove, doves; face, faces; thought, thoughts. But when the substantive singular ends in x, ch soft sh, ss, or s, we add es in the plural; as, box, boxes; church, churches; lash, lashes; kiss, kisses; rebus, rebuses. If the singular ends in ch hard, the plural is formed by adding s; as, monarch, monarchs; distich, distichs.
Nouns which end in o have sometimes es ad
ded to the plural; as, cargo, echo, hero, negro, manifesto, potato, volcano, wo; and sometimes only s; as, folio, nuncio, punctilio, seraglio.
Nouns ending in f, or fe, are rendered plural by the change of these terminations into ves; as, loaf, loaves; half, halves; wife, wives; except grief, relief, reproof, and several others, which form the plural by the addition of s. Those which end in ff, have the regular plural; as, ruff, ruffs; except staff, staves.
Nouns which have y in the singular, with no other vowel in the same syllable, change it into ies in the plural; as, beauty, beauties; fly, flies. But the y is not changed when there is another vow el in the syllable; as, key, keys; delay, delays; attorney, attorneys.
Some nouns become plural by changing the a of the singular into e: as, man, men; woman, women; alderman, aldermen The words ox and child, form oxen and children; brother, makes either brothers, or brethren; sometimes the diphthong oo is changed into ee, in the plural; as, foot, feet; goose, geese; tooth, teeth. Louse and mouse, make lice and mice. 3: Penny makes pence; or pennies, when the coin is meant; die, dice, (for play ;) die, dies, (for coining.)
It is agreeable to analogy and the practice. of the generality of correct writers, to construe the following words as plural nouns ; pains, riches, alms.
The word news is now almost universally
considered as belonging to the singular number. The noun means is used both in the singular and the plural number.
Some words, derived from the learned languages, are confined to the plural number: as, antipodes, literati, minutiæ.
The following words being in Latin both singular and plural, are used in the same manner when adopted into our tongue apparatus, series, species.
Case, is the state or relation which the noua sustains to the other words in the sentence.
Substantives have three cases, viz. nomina tive. posessive, and objective.
The nominative expresses the name of a thing existing or acting as the subject of dis
To nominate, means to name; and hence the noun or pronoun which names or introduces a person or thing, as the subject of discourse or affirmation, is called the nominative case. The nominative usually denotes the agent or actor; as The dog barks; The boy plays; Men labor. But sometimes no action is implied; as, I am, or I exist; He sleeps; They sit; He is loved. In such cases the nominative denotes, not the agent or actor, but simply the person or thing existing, as the subject of what is affirmed or expressed.
The possessive case expresses the relation of property or possession, and in general has an
apostrophe with the letter s coming after it ; as, The scholar's duty; My father's house.
When the plural ends in s, the other s is omitted, but the apostrophe is retained: as, On eagles' wings.
Sometimes, also, when the singular terminates in ss, the apostrophic s is not added: as, For goodness' sake; For righteousness' sake.
When the thing to which another is said to belong, is expressed by circumlocution, or by many terms, the sign of the possessive case is commonly added to the last term; as, The king of Great Britain's dominions.
Sometimes, though rarely, two nouns in the possessive case, immediately succeed each other in the following form: My friend's wife's sister a sense which would be better expressed by saying, The sister of my friend's wife ; . or my friend's sister-in-law.
The objective case generally expresses the object of an action or relation; and it is from this circumstance that it derives the name of objective case. It is the object on which some action terminates, or concerning which some relation is expressed; as, He writes a letter; They live in London. Here, letter and London are in the objective case; the former is the object of an action, expressed by the transitive verb writes; the latter, of a relation, expressed by the preposition in. The objective commonly, but not uniformly follows a transitive verb or a preposition; and may therefore he said, in general, to be the object of an action.
or relation. It sometimes, however, follows an interjection, and is merely the object of passionate exclamation; as, O me miserable!
An article is a word prefixed to substantives, to point them out and limit their signification ; as, A garden; an eagle; the woman.
There are two articles, a and the; a usually becomes an before a vowel and silent h; as, an acorn, an hour. Also when a word beginning with h is accented on the second syllable; as, an heroic action; an historical account. When words begin with u long, a takes the place of an; as, a university, a union. Also before one; as. many a one. A, or an, is styled the indefinite article, because it is used in an indefinite and vague sense, to point out one single thing of a kind, or species; as, Give me a book; bring me an apple.
The is styled the definite article, because it is used in a definite sense, to point out what particular thing or things are meant, as, Give me the book; bring me the apples. Both of the articles limit the signification of the nouns to which they are annexed; but in a different manner. The indefinite article a, limits the noun with respect to its number. It requires the noun to which it is prefixed, to be in the singular number ;* as, Give me a book To say,
*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 sub