Advanced English Grammar and Composition

LESSON 88.

PEECH IN THE SENTENCE

Summary. The Sentence: Subject and Predicate; Kinds of Sentences.–Use of words in the Sentence: the Eight Parts of Speech; Infinitives and Participles.–Comparative Importance of the Parts of Speech in the Sentence: the Subject Noun (or Simple Subject); the Predicate Verb (or Simple Predicate); Compound Subject and Predicate.–Substitutes for the Parts of Speech: Phrases; Clauses; Compound and Complex Sentences.

THE SENTENCE

1. A sentence is a group of words which expresses a complete thought.

  • Fire burns.
  • Wolves howl.
  • Rain is falling.
  • Charles is courageous.
  • Patient effort removes mountains.
  • London is the largest city in the world.
  • A man who respects himself should never condescend to use slovenly language.

Some of these sentences are short, expressing a very simple thought; others are comparatively long, because the thought is more complicated and therefore requires more words for its expression. But every one of them, whether short or long, is complete in itself. It comes to a definite end, and is followed by a full pause.

2. Every sentence, whether short or long, consists of two parts,–a subject and a predicate.

The subject of a sentence designates the person, place, or thing that is spoken of; the predicate is that which is said of the subject.

Thus, in the first example in, the subject is fire and the predicate is burns. In the third, the subject is rain; the predicate, is falling. In the last, the subject is a man who respects himself; the predicate, should never condescend to use slovenly language.

Either the subject or the predicate may consist of a single word or of a number of words. But neither the subject by itself nor the predicate by itself, however extended, is a sentence. The mere mention of a thing (fire) does not express a complete thought. Neither does a mere assertion (burns), if we neglect to mention the person or thing about which the assertion is made. Thus it appears that both a subject and a predicate are necessary to make a sentence.

3. Sentences may be declarative, interrogative, imperative, or exclamatory.

1. A declarative sentence declares or asserts something as a fact.

  • Dickens wrote “David Copperfield.”
  • The army approached the city.

2. An interrogative sentence asks a question.

  • Who is that officer?
  • Does Arthur Moore live here?

3. An imperative sentence expresses a command or a request.

  • Open the window.
  • Pronounce the vowels more distinctly.

4. An exclamatory sentence expresses surprise, grief, or some other emotion in the form of an exclamation or cry.

  • How calm the sea is!
  • What a noise the engine makes!

A declarative, an interrogative, or an imperative sentence is also exclamatory, if it is uttered in an intense or excited tone of voice.

4. In imperative sentences, the subject (thou or you) is almost always omitted, because it is understood by both speaker and hearer without being expressed.

Such omitted words, which are present (in idea) to the minds of both speaker and hearer, are said to be “understood.” Thus, in “Open the window,” the subject is “you (understood).” If expressed, the subject would be emphatic: as,–“You open the window.”

5. The subject of a sentence commonly precedes the predicate, but sometimes the predicate precedes.

  • Here comes Tom.
  • Next came Edward.
  • Over went the carriage.

A sentence in which the predicate precedes the subject is said to be in the inverted order. This order is especially common in interrogative sentences.

  • Where is your boat?
  • When was your last birthday?
  • Whither wander you?–Shakspere.

THE PARTS OF SPEECH

6. If we examine the words in any sentence, we observe that they have different tasks or duties to perform in the expression of thought.

Savage beasts roamed through the forest.

In this sentence, beasts and forest are the names of objects; roamed asserts action, telling us what the beasts did; savage describes the beasts; through shows the relation in thought between forest and roamed; the limits the meaning of forest, showing that one particular forest is meant. Thus each of these words has its special office (or function) in the sentence.

7. In accordance with their use in the sentence, words are divided into eight classes called parts of speech,–namely, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

I. NOUNS

8. A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing.

Examples:

  • Lincoln,
  • William,
  • Elizabeth,
  • sister,
  • engineer,
  • Chicago,
  • island,
  • shelf,
  • star,
  • window,
  • happiness,
  • anger,
  • sidewalk,
  • courage,
  • loss,
  • song.

II. PRONOUNS

9. A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. It designates a person, place, or thing without naming it.

In “I am ready,” the pronoun I is a convenient substitute for the speaker‘s name. In “You have forgotten your umbrella,” the pronouns you and your designate the person to whom one is speaking.

Other pronouns are:

  • he, his, him;
  • she, hers, her;
  • it, its;
  • this, that;
  • who, whose, whom, which;
  • myself, yourself, himself, themselves.

Since pronouns stand for nouns, they enable us to talk about a person, place, or thing without constantly repeating the name.

10. Nouns and pronouns are called substantives.

Nouns and pronouns are very similar in their use. The difference between them is merely that the noun designates a person, place, or thing by naming it, and that the pronoun designates, but does not name. Hence it is convenient to have a general term (substantive) to include both these parts of speech.

11. The substantive to which a pronoun refers is called its antecedent.

  • Frank introduced the boys to his father. [Frank is the antecedent of the pronoun his.]
  • Eleanor is visiting her aunt.
  • The book has lost its cover.
  • The trappers sat round their camp fire.
  • Washington and Franklin served their country in different ways. [ Their has two antecedents, connected by and.]

III. ADJECTIVES

12. An adjective is a word which describes or limits a substantive.

This it usually does by indicating some quality.

An adjective is said to belong to the substantive which it describes or limits.

13. An adjective limits a substantive by restricting the range of its meaning.

The noun box, for example, includes a great variety of objects. If we say wooden box, we exclude boxes of metal, of paper, etc. If we use a second adjective (small) and a third (square), we limit the size and the shape of the box.

Most adjectives (like wooden, square, and small) describe as well as limit. Such words are called descriptive adjectives.

We may, however, limit the noun box to a single specimen by means of the adjective this or that or the, which does not describe, but simply points out, or designates. Such words are called definitive adjectives.

IV. VERBS

14. A verb is a word which can assert something (usually an action) concerning a person, place, or thing.7

  • The wind blows.
  • The horses ran.
  • The fire blazed.
  • Her jewels sparkled.
  • Tom climbed a tree.
  • The dynamite exploded.

Some verbs express state or condition rather than action.

  • The treaty still exists.
  • The book lies on the table.
  • Near the church stood an elm.
  • My aunt suffers much from headache.

15. A group of words may be needed, instead of a single verb, to make an assertion.

A group of words that is used as a verb is called a verb-phrase.

  • You will see.
  • The tree has fallen.
  • We might have invited her.
  • Our driver has been discharged.

16. Certain verbs, when used to make verb-phrases, are called auxiliary (that is, “aiding”) verbs, because they help other verbs to express action or state of some particular kind.

Thus, in “You will see,” the auxiliary verb will helps see to express future action; in “We might have invited her,” the auxiliaries might and have help invited to express action that was possible in past time.

The auxiliary verbs are is (are, was, were, etc.), may, can, must, might, shall, will, could, would, should, have, had, do, did. Their forms and uses will be studied in connection with the inflection of verbs.

The auxiliary verb regularly comes first in a verb-phrase, and may be separated from the rest of it by some other word or words.

  • Where was Washington born?
  • The boat was slowly but steadily approaching.

17. Is (in its various forms) and several other verbs may be used to frame sentences in which some word or words in the predicate describe or define the subject.

  • 1. Gold is a metal.
  • 2. Charles is my friend’s name.
  • 3. The colors of this butterfly are brilliant.
  • 4. Iron becomes red in the fire.
  • 5. Our condition seemed desperate.
  • 6. Bertram proved a good friend in this emergency.
  • 7. My soul grows sad with troubles.–Shakspere.

In the first sentence, the verb is not only makes an assertion, but it also connects the rest of the predicate (a metal) with the subject (gold) in such a way that a metal serves as a description or definition of gold.

In sentences 4–7, becomes, seemed, proved, and grows are similarly used.

In such sentences is and other verbs that are used for the same purpose are called copulative (that is, “joining”) verbs.

Is in this use is often called the copula, that is, the “joiner” or “link.”

The forms of the verb is are very irregular. Among the commonest are: am, is, are, was, were, and the verb-phrases has been, have been, had been, shall be, will be.

V. ADVERBS

18. An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

To modify a word is to change or affect its meaning in some way. Thus in “The river fell rapidly,” the adverb rapidly modifies the verb fell by showing how the falling took place. In “I am never late,” “This is absolutely true,” “That is too bad,” the italicized words are adverbs modifying adjectives; in “He came very often,” “He spoke almost hopefully,” “The river fell too rapidly,” they are adverbs modifying other adverbs.

Most adverbs answer the question “How?” “When?” “Where?” or “To what degree or extent?”

19. Observe that adverbs modify verbs in much the same way in which adjectives modify nouns.

Adjectives Adverbs
A bright fire burned. The fire burned brightly.
A fierce wind blew. The wind blew fiercely.

A word or group of words that changes or modifies the meaning of another word is called a modifier.

Adjectives and adverbs, then, are both modifiers. Adjectives modify substantives; adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.

VI. PREPOSITIONS

20. A preposition is a word placed before a substantive to show its relation to some other word in the sentence.

The substantive which follows a preposition is called its object.

A preposition is said to govern its object.

In “The surface of the water glistened,” of makes it clear that surface belongs with water. In “Philip is on the river,” on shows Philip’s position with respect to the river. In, or near, or beyond would have indicated a different relation. Water is the object of the preposition of, and river is the object of the preposition on.

21. A preposition often has more than one object.

  • Over hill and dale he ran.
  • He was filled with shame and despair.

VII. CONJUNCTIONS

22. A conjunction connects words or groups of words.

A conjunction differs from a preposition in having no object, and in indicating a less definite relation between the words which it connects.

In “Time and tide wait for no man,” “The parcel was small but heavy,” “He wore a kind of doublet or jacket,” the conjunctions and, but, or, connect single words,–time with tide, small with heavy, doublet with jacket. In “Do not go if you are afraid,” “I came because you sent for me,” “Take my key, but do not lose it,” “Sweep the floor and dust the furniture,” each conjunction connects the entire group of words preceding it with the entire group following it.

VIII. INTERJECTIONS

23. An interjection is a cry or other exclamatory sound expressing surprise, anger, pleasure, or some other emotion or feeling.

Interjections usually have no grammatical connection with the groups of words in which they stand; hence their name, which means “thrown in.”

Examples:

  • Oh! I forgot.
  • Ah, how I miss you!
  • Bravo! Alas!

THE SAME WORD AS DIFFERENT PARTS OF SPEECH

24. The meaning of a word in the sentence determines to what part of speech it belongs.

The same word may be sometimes one part of speech, sometimes another.

Words of entirely separate origin, meaning, and use sometimes look and sound alike: as in “The minstrel sang a plaintive lay,” and “He lay on the ground.” But the following examples  show that the same word may have more than one kind of grammatical office (or function). It is the meaning which we give to a word in the sentence that determines its classification as a part of speech.

25. The chief classes of words thus variously used are (1) nouns and adjectives, (2) nouns and verbs, (3) adjectives and adverbs, (4) adjectives and pronouns, (5) adverbs and prepositions.

I. Nouns and Adjectives
Nouns Adjectives
Rubber comes from South America. This wheel has a rubber tire.
That brick is yellow. Here is a brick house.
The rich have a grave responsibility. A rich merchant lives here.

The first two examples show how words that are commonly nouns may be used as adjectives; the third shows how words that are commonly adjectives may be used as nouns.

II. Nouns and Verbs
Nouns Verbs
Hear the wash of the tide. Wash those windows.
Give me a stamp. Stamp this envelope.
It is the call of the sea. Ye call me chief.

Other examples are:

  • act,
  • address,
  • ally,
  • answer,
  • boast,
  • care,
  • cause,
  • close,
  • defeat,
  • doubt,
  • drop,
  • heap,
  • hope,
  • mark,
  • offer,
  • pile,
  • place,
  • rest,
  • rule,
  • sail,
  • shape,
  • sleep,
  • spur,
  • test,
  • watch,
  • wound.
III. Adjectives and Adverbs
Adjectives Adverbs
That is a fast boat. The snow is melting fast.
Draw a straight line. The arrow flew straight.
Early comers get good seats. Tom awoke early.

For an explanation of the form of these adverbs,

IV. Adjectives and Pronouns
Adjectives Pronouns
This man looks unhappy. This is the sergeant.
That book is a dictionary. That is a kangaroo.
Each day brings its opportunity. I received a dollar from each.

For further study of this class of words,

V. Adverbs and Prepositions
Adverbs Prepositions
Jill came tumbling after. He returned after the accident.
We went below. Below us lay the valley.
The weeds sprang up. We walked up the hill.

Other examples are:

  • aboard,
  • before,
  • beyond,
  • down,
  • inside,
  • underneath.

Miscellaneous examples of variation are the following:–

Noun. The calm lasted for three days.
Adjective. Calm words show quiet minds.
Verb. Calm your angry friend.

Other examples are:

  • iron,
  • stone,
  • paper,
  • sugar,
  • salt,
  • bark,
  • quiet,
  • black,
  • light,
  • head,
  • wet,
  • round,
  • square,
  • winter,
  • spring.
Noun. Wrong seldom prospers.
Adjective. You have taken the wrong road.
Adverb. Edward often spells words wrong.
Verb. You wrong me by your suspicions.
Noun. The outside of the castle is gloomy.
Adjective. We have an outside stateroom.
Adverb. The messenger is waiting outside.
Preposition. I shall ride outside the coach.
Adjective. That boat is a sloop.
Pronoun. That is my uncle.
Conjunction. You said that you would help me.
Adjective. Neither road leads to Utica.
Pronoun. Neither of us arrived in time.
Conjunction. Neither Tom nor I was late.
Preposition. I am waiting for the train.
Conjunction. You have plenty of time, for the train is late.
Interjection. Hurrah! the battle is won.
Noun. I heard a loud hurrah.
Verb. The enemy flees. Our men hurrah.

INFINITIVES AND PARTICIPLES

26. Two classes of verb-forms illustrate in a striking way the fact that the same word may belong to different parts of speech; for they really belong to two different parts of speech at one and the same time. These are the infinitive (which is both verb and noun) and the participle (which is both verb and adjective).

27. Examples of the infinitive may be seen in the following sentences:

  • To struggle was useless.
  • To escape is impossible.
  • To exercise regularly preserves the health.

To struggle is clearly a noun, for (1) it is the subject of the sentence, and (2) the noun effort or exertion might be put in the place of to struggle. Similarly, the noun escape might be substituted for to escape; and, in the third sentence, regular exercise (a noun modified by an adjective) might be substituted for to exercise regularly.

But these three forms (to struggle, to escape, and to exercise) are also verbs, for they express action, and one of them (to exercise) is modified by an adverb (regularly). Such forms, therefore, are noun-forms of the verb. They are classed with verbs, and are called infinitives.

28. The infinitive is a verb-form which partakes of the nature of a noun. It is commonly preceded by the preposition to, which is called the sign of the infinitive.

29. The infinitive without to is used in a great variety of verb-phrases.

  • I shall go.
  • John will win.
  • Mary may recite.
  • Jack can swim.

Such phrases will be studied in connection with the inflection of verbs.

Note. That go, win, recite, and swim are infinitives may be seen by comparing the following sentences:–“I intend to go,” “John is sure to win,” “Mary is permitted to recite,” “Jack is able to swim.”

30. The following sentence contains two participles:–

Shattered and slowly sinking, the frigate drifted out to sea.

In this sentence, we recognize shattered as a form of the verb shatter, and sinking as a form of the verb sink. They both express action, and sinking is modified by the adverb slowly. But shattered and sinking have also the nature of adjectives, for they are used to describe the noun frigate. Such words, then, are adjective forms of the verb. They are classed as verbs, and are called participles, because they share (or participate in) the nature of adjectives.

31. The participle is a verb-form which has no subject, but which partakes of the nature of an adjective and expresses action or state in such a way as to describe or limit a substantive.

A participle is said to belong to the substantive which it describes or limits.

32. The chief classes of participles are present participles and past participles, so called from the time which they denote.

All present participles end in ing. Past participles have several different endings, which will be studied in connection with the inflection of verbs.

33. Participles are used in a variety of verb-phrases.

  • Tom is coming.
  • Our boat was wrecked.
  • I have sent the money.
  • He has brought me a letter.
  • Your book is found.
  • They have sold their horses.
  • You have broken your watch.
  • The ship had struck on the reef.

Such phrases will be studied in connection with the inflection of verbs.

Note. The double nature of the infinitive (as both verb and noun) and the participle (as both verb and adjective) almost justifies one in classifying each as a distinct part of speech (so as to make ten parts of speech instead of eight). But it is more convenient to include them under the head of verbs, in accordance with the usual practice.

SIMPLE AND COMPLETE SUBJECT AND PREDICATE

34. Our survey of the eight parts of speech has shown, (1) that these have very different offices or functions in the sentence, and (2) that their functions are not of equal importance.

Clearly, the most important parts of speech are substantives (nouns and pronouns) and verbs.

Substantives enable us to name or designate persons, places, or things, and verbs enable us to make statements about them. Both substantives and verbs, then, are absolutely necessary in framing sentences. Without a substantive, there can be no subject; without a verb, there can be no predicate: and both a subject and a predicate, as we have seen, are needed to make a sentence.

Adjectives and adverbs are less important than substantives and verbs. Their function is to modify other parts of speech, that is, to change their meaning in some way. Thus adjectives modify substantives (by describing or limiting), and adverbs usually modify verbs (by indicating how, when, or where the action took place). Without substantives, there would be no use for adjectives; without verbs, there would be little use for adverbs.

Prepositions and conjunctions are also less important than substantives and verbs. Their office is to connect and to show relation. Of course, there would be no place for connectives if there were nothing to connect.

Interjections are the least important of all. They add liveliness to language, but they are not actual necessities. We could express all the thoughts that enter our minds without ever using an interjection.

35. A sentence may consist of but two words,–a noun or pronoun (the subject) and a verb (the predicate). Thus,–

Charles | swims.

Commonly, however, either the subject or the predicate, or both, will contain more than one word. Thus,–

Young Charles | swims slowly.

Here the complete subject (young Charles) consists of a noun (Charles) and an adjective (young), which describes Charles. The complete predicate consists of a verb (swims) and an adverb (slowly), which modifies swim by indicating how the action is performed. The subject noun (Charles) and the predicate verb (swims) are the chief words in the sentence, for neither could be omitted without destroying it. They form, so to speak, the frame or skeleton of the whole. Either of the two modifiers, the adjective or the adverb, or both, might be omitted, without destroying the sentence; for this would still exist as the expression of a thought (Charles swims), though the thought would be less definite and exact than it is when the modifiers are included.

36. The simple subject of a sentence is a noun or pronoun.

The simple predicate of a sentence is a verb or verb-phrase.

The simple subject, with such words as explain or complete its meaning, forms the complete subject.

The simple predicate, with such words as explain or complete its meaning, forms the complete predicate.

In each of the following sentences the complete subject and the complete predicate are separated by a vertical line, and the simple subject and the simple predicate are printed in italics:–

  • The spider | spreads her web.
  • The fiery smoke | rose upward in billowing volumes.
  • A nameless unrest | urged me forward.
  • Our frantic horses | swept round an angle of the road.
  • The infirmities of age | came early upon him.
  • The general feeling among the English in Bengal | was strongly in favor of the Governor General.
  • Salutes | were fired from the batteries.
  • The Clives | had been settled ever since the twelfth century on an estate of no great value near Market Drayton in Shropshire.
  • I | have written repeatedly to Mr. Hobhouse.

37. Two or more simple subjects may be joined to make one compound subject, and two or more simple predicates to make one compound predicate.

  • 1. Charles and Henry | play tennis well.
  • 2. Moore and I | passed some merry days together.
  • 3. Frances and she | are friends.
  • 4. Hats, caps, boots, and gloves | were piled together in confusion.
  • 5. The watch | sank and was lost.
  • 6. The balloon | rose higher and higher and finally disappeared.
  • 7. He | neither smiled nor frowned.
  • 8. Snow and ice | covered the ground and made our progress difficult.

38. A compound subject or predicate consists of two or more simple subjects or predicates, joined, when necessary, by conjunctions.

Either the subject or the predicate, or both, may be compound.

In the first example in, two simple subjects (Charles and Henry) are joined by the conjunction and to make a compound subject. In the fourth, four substantives (hats, caps, boots, gloves) form a series in which the last two are joined by and. In the fifth, sixth, and seventh, the predicates are compound; in the eighth, both the subject and the predicate.

39. The following conjunctions may be used to join the members of a compound subject or predicate: and (bothand), or (eitheror; whetheror), nor (neithernor).

SUBSTITUTES FOR PARTS OF SPEECH

PHRASES

40. A group of words may take the place of a part of speech

  • The Father of Waters is the Mississippi.
  • A girl with blue eyes stood at the window.
  • You are looking well.

The Father of Waters is used as a noun, since it names something.

With blue eyes takes the place of an adjective (blue-eyed), and modifies girl.

At the window indicates, as an adverb might, where the girl stood, and modifies stood.

Are looking could be replaced by the verb look.

41. A group of connected words, not containing a subject and a predicate, is called a phrase.

A phrase is often equivalent to a part of speech.

1. A phrase used as a noun is called a noun-phrase.

2. A phrase used as a verb is called a verb-phrase.

3. A phrase used as an adjective is called an adjective phrase.

4. A phrase used as an adverb is called an adverbial phrase.

In the examples in, The Father of Waters is a noun-phrase; with blue eyes, an adjective phrase; at the window, an adverbial phrase; are looking, a verb-phrase.

42. Many adjective and adverbial phrases consist of a preposition and its object, with or without other words.

  • Your umbrella is in the corner.
  • He has a heart of oak.
  • A cup with a broken handle stood on the shelf.
  • My house of cards fell to the floor in a heap.

Adjective or adverbial phrases consisting of a preposition and its object, with or without other words, may be called prepositional phrases.

CLAUSES–COMPOUND AND COMPLEX SENTENCES

43. Phrases must be carefully distinguished from clauses. The difference is that a clause contains a subject and a predicate and a phrase does not.

44. A clause is a group of words that forms part of a sentence and that contains a subject and a predicate.

  • The lightning flashed | and | the thunder roared.
  • The train started | when the bell rang.

Each of these sentences contains two clauses; but the relation between the clauses in the first sentence is very different from that between the clauses in the second.

In the first example, each of the two clauses makes a separate and distinct statement, and might stand by itself as a simple sentence,–that is, as a sentence having but one subject and one predicate. These clauses are joined by the conjunction and, which is not a part of either. No doubt the speaker feels that there is some relation in thought between the two statements, or he would not have put them together as clauses in the same sentence. But there is nothing in the form of expression to show what that relation is. In other words, the two clauses are grammatically independent, for neither of them modifies (or affects the meaning of) the other. The clauses are therefore said to be coOrdinate,–that is, of the same “order” or rank, and the sentence is called compound.

In the second example, on the contrary, the relation between the two clauses is indicated with precision. One clause (the train started) makes the main statement,–it expresses the chief fact. Hence it is called the main (or principal) clause. The other clause (when the bell rang) is added because the speaker wishes to modify the main verb (started) by defining the time of the action. This clause, then, is used as a part of speech. Its function is the same as that of an adverb (promptly) or an adverbial phrase (on the stroke of the bell). For this purpose alone it exists, and not as an independent statement. Hence it is called a dependent (or subordinate) clause, because it depends (that is, “hangs”) upon the main clause, and so occupies a lower or “subordinate” rank in the sentence. When thus constructed, a sentence is said to be complex.

45. An ordinary compound sentence (as we have seen in is made by joining two or more simple sentences, each of which thus becomes an independent coOrdinate clause.

In the same way we may join two or more complex sentences, using them as clauses to make one compound sentence:–

The train started when the bell rang, | and | Tom watched until the last car disappeared.

This sentence is manifestly compound, for it consists of two coOrdinate clauses (the train started when the bell rang; Tom watched until the last car disappeared) joined by and. Each of these two clauses is itself complex, for each could stand by itself as a complex sentence.

Similarly, a complex and a simple sentence may be joined as coOrdinate clauses to make a compound sentence.

The train started when the bell rang, | and | Tom gazed after it in despair.

Such a sentence, which is compound in its structure, but in which one or more of the coOrdinate clauses are complex, is called a compound complex sentence.9

46. A clause is a group of words that forms part of a sentence and that contains a subject and a predicate.

A clause used as a part of speech is called a subordinate clause. All other clauses are said to be independent.

Clauses of the same order or rank are said to be coOrdinate.

Sentences may be simple, compound, or complex.

1. A simple sentence has but one subject and one predicate, either or both of which may be compound.

2. A compound sentence consists of two or more independent coOrdinate clauses, which may or may not be joined by conjunctions.

3. A complex sentence consists of two or more clauses, one of which is independent and the rest subordinate.

A compound sentence in which one or more of the coOrdinate clauses are complex is called a compound complex sentence.

I. Simple Sentences
  • Iron rusts.
  • George V is king.
  • Dogs, foxes, and hares are quadrupeds. [Compound subject.]
  • The defendant rose and addressed the court. [Compound predicate.]
  • Merton and his men crossed the bridge and scaled the wall. [Both subject and predicate are compound.]
II. Compound Sentences
  • Shakspere was born in 1564; he died in 1616. [Two coOrdinate clauses; no conjunction.]
  • A rifle cracked, and the wolf fell dead. [Two clauses joined by the conjunction and.]
  • You must hurry, or we shall lose the train. [Two clauses joined by or.]
  • James Watt did not invent the steam engine, but he greatly improved it. [Two clauses joined by but.]
  • Either you have neglected to write or your letter has failed to reach me. [Two clauses joined by eitheror.]

The following conjunctions may be used to join coOrdinate clauses: and (bothand), or (eitheror), nor (neithernor), but, for.

III. Complex Sentences

Examples will be found in.

Clauses as Parts of Speech

47. Subordinate clauses, like phrases, are used as parts of speech. They serve as substitutes for nouns, for adjectives, or for adverbs.

1. A subordinate clause that is used as a noun is called a noun (or substantive) clause.

2. A subordinate clause that modifies a substantive is called an adjective clause.

3. A subordinate clause that serves as an adverbial modifier is called an adverbial clause.

48. I. Noun (or Substantive) Clauses.

{Success | That we should succeed in this plan} is improbable.

The thought in these two sentences is the same, but in the second it is more fully expressed. In the first sentence, the subject is the noun success; in the second, the subject is the noun clause, that we should succeed in this plan. This clause is introduced by the conjunction that; the simple subject of the clause is the pronoun we, and the simple predicate is the verb-phrase should succeed. The first sentence is simple; the second is complex.

Substantive clauses are often introduced by the conjunction that.

49. II. Adjective Clauses. The following sentences illustrate the use of (1) an adjective, (2) an adjective phrase, (3) an adjective clause, as a modifier of the subject noun.

  • {An honorable man | A man of honor | A man who values his honor} will not lie.
  • {A seasonable word | A word in season | A word that is spoken at the right moment} may save a soul.
  • {My native land | The land of my birth | The land where I was born} lies far across the sea.

The first two sentences in each group are simple, the third is complex.

50. III. Adverbial Clauses. The following sentences illustrate the use of (1) an adverb, (2) an adverbial phrase, (3) an adverbial clause, as a modifier of the predicate verb (or verb-phrase).

  • The lightning struck {here. | on this spot. | where we stand.}
  • Mr. Andrews lives {near. | in this neighborhood. | where you see that elm.}
  • The game began {punctually. | on the stroke of one. | when the clock struck.}
  • The banker will make the loan {conditionally. | on one condition. | if you endorse my note.}

The first two sentences in each group are simple, the third is complex.

51. Adjective clauses may be introduced (1) by the pronouns who, which, and that, or (2) by adverbs like where, whence, whither, when.

Adverbial clauses may be introduced (1) by the adverbs where, whither, whence, when, while, before, after, until, how, as, or (2) by the conjunctions because, though, although, if, that (in order that, so that), lest, etc.

Note. The use of phrases and clauses as parts of speech increases enormously the richness and power of language. Though English has a huge stock of words, it cannot provide a separate noun or adjective or adverb for every idea. By grouping words, however, in phrases and clauses we, in effect, make a great variety of new nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, each precisely fitted to the needs of the moment in the expression of thought.

SUMMARY OF DEFINITIONS

The Sentence

1. Language is thought expressed in words.

2. To express thought words are combined into sentences.

3. A sentence is a group of words which expresses a complete thought.

4. Sentences may be declarative, interrogative, imperative, or exclamatory.

(1) A declarative sentence declares or asserts something as a fact.

(2) An interrogative sentence asks a question.

(3) An imperative sentence expresses a command or a request.

(4) An exclamatory sentence expresses surprise, grief, or some other emotion in the form of an exclamation or cry.

A declarative, an interrogative, or an imperative sentence may also be exclamatory.

Subject and Predicate

5. Every sentence consists of a subject and a predicate.

The subject of a sentence designates the person, place, or thing that is spoken of; the predicate is that which is said of the subject.

6. The simple subject of a sentence is a noun or pronoun.

The simple predicate of a sentence is a verb or verb-phrase.

7. The simple subject, with such words as explain or complete its meaning, forms the complete subject.

The simple predicate, with such words as explain or complete its meaning, forms the complete predicate.

8. A compound subject or predicate consists of two or more simple subjects or predicates, joined, when necessary, by conjunctions.

Either the subject or the predicate, or both, may be compound.

The Parts of Speech

9. In accordance with their use in the sentence, words are divided into eight classes called parts of speech,–namely, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

(1) A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing.

(2) A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. It designates a person, place, or thing without naming it.

Nouns and pronouns are called substantives.

The substantive to which a pronoun refers is called its antecedent.

(3) An adjective is a word which describes or limits a substantive.

This it usually does by indicating some quality.

An adjective is said to belong to the substantive which it describes or limits.

An adjective which describes is called a descriptive adjective; one which points out or designates is called a definitive adjective.

(4) A verb is a word which can assert something (usually an action) concerning a person, place, or thing.

Some verbs express state or condition rather than action.

A group of words that is used as a verb is called a verb-phrase.

Certain verbs, when used to make verb-phrases, are called auxiliary (that is, “aiding”) verbs, because they help other verbs to express action or state of some particular kind.

Is (in its various forms) and several other verbs may be used to frame sentences in which some word or words in the predicate describe or define the subject. In such sentences, is and other verbs that are used for the same purpose are called copulative (that is, “joining”) verbs.

(5) An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

A word or group of words that changes or modifies the meaning of another word is called a modifier.

Adjectives and adverbs are both modifiers.

(6) A preposition is a word placed before a substantive to show its relation to some other word in the sentence.

The substantive which follows a preposition is called its object.

(7) A conjunction connects words or groups of words.

(8) An interjection is a cry or other exclamatory sound expressing surprise, anger, pleasure, or some other emotion or feeling.

10. The meaning of a word in the sentence determines to what part of speech it belongs.

The same word may be sometimes one part of speech, sometimes another.

11. The infinitive is a verb-form which partakes of the nature of a noun. It is commonly preceded by the preposition to, which is called the sign of the infinitive.

12. The participle is a verb-form which has no subject, but which partakes of the nature of an adjective and expresses action or state in such a way as to describe or limit a substantive.

A participle is said to belong to the substantive which it describes or limits.

The chief classes of participles are present participles and past participles, so called from the time which they denote.

Substitutes for the Parts of Speech

Phrases

13. A group of connected words, not containing a subject and a predicate, is called a phrase.

A phrase is often equivalent to a part of speech.

(1) A phrase used as a noun is called a noun-phrase.

(2) A phrase used as a verb is called a verb-phrase.

(3) A phrase used as an adjective is called an adjective phrase.

(4) A phrase used as an adverb is called an adverbial phrase.

14. Adjective or adverbial phrases consisting of a preposition and its object, with or without other words, may be called prepositional phrases.

Clauses

15. A clause is a group of words that forms part of a sentence and that contains a subject and a predicate.

16. A clause used as a part of speech is called a subordinate clause. All other clauses are said to be independent.

17. Clauses of the same order or rank are said to be coOrdinate.

18. Sentences may be simple, compound, or complex.

(1) A simple sentence has but one subject and one predicate, either or both of which may be compound.

(2) A compound sentence consists of two or more independent coOrdinate clauses, which may or may not be joined by conjunctions.

(3) A complex sentence consists of two or more clauses, one of which is independent and the rest subordinate.

A compound sentence in which one or more of the coOrdinate clauses are complex is called a compound complex sentence.

19. Subordinate clauses, like phrases, are used as parts of speech. They serve as substitutes for nouns, for adjectives, or for adverbs.

(1) A subordinate clause that is used as a noun is called a noun (or substantive) clause.

(2) A subordinate clause that modifies a substantive is called an adjective clause.

(3) A subordinate clause that serves as an adverbial modifier is called an adverbial clause.


INFLECTION AND SYNTAX


LESSON 89.

INFLECTION

52. Inflection is a change of form in a word indicating some change in its meaning. A word thus changed in form is said to be inflected.

Thus the nouns man, wife, dog, may change their form to man’s, wife’s, dog’s, to express possession; or to men, wives, dogs, to show that two or more are meant.

The pronouns I, she, may change their form to our, her.

The adjectives large, happy, good, may change their form to larger, happier, better, to denote a higher degree of the quality; or to largest, happiest, best, to denote the highest degree.

The verbs look, see, sing, may change their form to looked, saw, sang, to denote past time.

The examples show that a word may be inflected (1) by the addition of a final letter or syllable (dog, dogs; look, looked), (2) by the substitution of one letter for another (man, men), or (3) by a complete change of form (good, better, best).

53. The inflection of a substantive is called its declension; that of an adjective or an adverb, its comparison; that of a verb, its conjugation.

Note. Some forms which we regard as due to inflection are really distinct words. Thus we is regarded as a form of the pronoun I, but it is in fact an altogether different word. Such irregularities, however, are not numerous, and are properly enough included under the head of inflection.

The table below gives a summary view of inflection, and may be used for reference with the following chapters.

  • Substantives (Nouns and Pronouns)
    • Gender
      • Masculine (male)
      • Feminine (female)
      • Neuter (no sex)
    • Number
      • Singular (one)
      • Plural (more than one)
    • Person
      • First (speaker)
      • Second (spoken to)
      • Third (spoken of)
    • Case
      • Nominative (subject case)
      • Possessive (ownership)
      • Objective (object case)
  • Adjectives and Adverbs
    • Comparison
      • Positive Degree
      • Comparative Degree
      • Superlative Degree
  • Verbs
    • Number (Verb agrees with Subject)
      • Singular
      • Plural
    • Person (Verb agrees with Subject)
      • First
      • Second
      • Third
    • Tense
      • Simple Tenses
        • Present
        • Past
        • Future
      • Compound Tenses
        • Perfect (or Present Perfect)
        • Pluperfect (or Past Perfect)
        • Future Perfect
    • Mood
      • Indicative (all six tenses)
      • Imperative (Present Tense only)
      • Subjunctive (Present, Past, Perfect, Pluperfect)
    • Voice
      • Active (Subject acts)
      • Passive (Subject receives the action)
    • Infinitives (Present and Perfect)
    • Participles (Present, Past, and Perfect)

LESSON 90.

NOUNS

CLASSIFICATION–COMMON NOUNS AND PROPER NOUNS

54. A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing.

55. Nouns are divided into two classes–proper nouns and common nouns.

1. A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, or thing.

Examples:

  • Lincoln,
  • Napoleon,
  • Ruth,
  • Gladstone,
  • America,
  • Denver,
  • Jove,
  • Ohio,
  • Monday,
  • December,
  • Yale,
  • Christmas,
  • Britannia,
  • Niagara,
  • Merrimac,
  • Elmwood,
  • Louvre,
  • Richardson,
  • Huron,
  • Falstaff.

2. A common noun is a name which may be applied to any one of a class of persons, places, or things.

Examples:

  • general,
  • emperor,
  • president,
  • clerk,
  • street,
  • town,
  • desk,
  • tree,
  • cloud,
  • chimney,
  • childhood,
  • idea,
  • thought,
  • letter,
  • dynamo,
  • cruiser,
  • dictionary,
  • railroad.

Proper nouns begin with a capital letter; common nouns usually begin with a small letter.

Note. Although a proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, or thing, that name may be given to more than one individual. More than one man is named James; but when we say James, we think of one particular person, whom we are calling by his own name. When we say man, on the contrary, we are not calling any single person by name: we are using a noun which applies, in common, to all the members of a large class of persons.

Any word, when mentioned merely as a word, is a noun. Thus,–

And is a conjunction.

56. A common noun becomes a proper noun when used as the particular name of a ship, a newspaper, an animal, etc.

  • Nelson’s flagship was the Victory.
  • Give me this evening’s Herald.
  • My dog is named Rover.
  • The Limited Express is drawn by the Pioneer.

57. A proper noun often consists of a group of words, some of which are perhaps ordinarily used as other parts of speech.

Examples:

  • James Russell Lowell,
  • Washington Elm,
  • Eiffel Tower,
  • Firth of Clyde,
  • North Lexington Junction,
  • Stony Brook,
  • Westminster
  • Abbey,
  • Measure for Measure,
  • White House,
  • Brooklyn Bridge,
  • Atlantic Railroad,
  • Sherman Act,
  • The Return of the Native,
  • Flatiron Building.

Note. These are (strictly speaking) noun-phrases; but, since all are particular names, they may be regarded as proper nouns.

58. A proper noun becomes a common noun when used as a name that may be applied to any one of a class of objects.

  • The museum owns two Rembrandts and a Titian.
  • I exchanged my old motor car for a new Halstead.
  • My fountain pen is a Blake.
  • Lend me your Webster.
  • He was a Napoleon of finance.
  • I am going to buy a Kazak.

59. Certain proper nouns have become common nouns when used in a special sense. These generally begin with a small letter.

Examples:

  • macadam (crushed stone for roads, so called from Macadam, the inventor),
  • mackintosh (a waterproof garment),
  • napoleon (a coin),
  • guinea (twenty-one shillings),
  • mentor (a wise counsellor),
  • derringer (a kind of pistol).

60. A lifeless object, one of the lower animals, or any human quality or emotion is sometimes regarded as a person.

This usage is called personification, and the object, animal, or quality is said to be personified.

Each old poetic Mountain
Inspiration breathed around.–Gray.

Who’ll toll the bell?
“I,” said the Bull,
“Because I can pull.”

His name was Patience.–Spenser.

Smiles on past Misfortune’s brow
Soft Reflection’s hand can trace;
And o’er the cheek of Sorrow throw
A melancholy grace.–Gray.

Love is and was my lord and king,
And in his presence I attend.–Tennyson.

Time gently shakes his wings.–Dryden.

The name of anything personified is regarded as a proper noun and is usually written with a capital letter.

Note. The rule for capitals is not absolute. When the personification is kept up for only a sentence or two (as frequently in Shakspere), the noun often begins with a small letter.

SPECIAL CLASSES OF NOUNS

61. An abstract noun is the name of a quality or general idea.

Examples:

  • blackness,
  • freshness,
  • smoothness,
  • weight,
  • height,
  • length,
  • depth,
  • strength,
  • health,
  • honesty,
  • beauty,
  • liberty,
  • eternity,
  • satisfaction,
  • precision,
  • splendor,
  • terror,
  • disappointment,
  • elegance,
  • existence,
  • grace,
  • peace.

Many abstract nouns are derived from adjectives.

Examples:

  • greenness (from green),
  • depth (from deep),
  • freedom (from free),
  • wisdom (from wise),
  • rotundity (from rotund),
  • falsity or falseness (from false),
  • bravery (from brave).

62. A collective noun is the name of a group, class, or multitude, and not of a single person, place, or thing.

Examples:

  • crowd,
  • group,
  • legislature,
  • squadron,
  • sheaf,
  • battalion,
  • squad,
  • Associated Press,
  • Mediterranean Steamship Company,
  • Senior Class,
  • School Board.

The same noun may be abstract in one of its meanings, collective in another.

  • They believe in fraternity. [Abstract.]
  • The student joined a fraternity. [Collective.]

63. Abstract nouns are usually common, but become proper when the quality or idea is personified.

Collective nouns may be either proper or common.

64. A noun consisting of two or more words united is called a compound noun.

Examples:

  • (1) common nouns,–
    • tablecloth,
    • sidewalk,
    • lampshade,
    • bedclothes,
    • steamboat,
    • fireman,
    • washerwoman,
    • jackknife,
    • hatband,
    • headache,
    • flatiron,
    • innkeeper,
    • knife-edge,
    • steeple-climber,
    • brother-in-law,
    • commander-in-chief,
    • window curtain,
    • insurance company;
  • (2) proper nouns,–
    • Johnson,
    • Williamson,
    • Cooperstown,
    • Louisville,
    • Holywood,
    • Elk-horn,
    • Auburndale,
    • Stratford-on-Avon,
    • Lowell Junction.

As the examples show, the parts of a compound noun may be joined (with or without a hyphen) or written separately. In some words usage is fixed, in others it varies. The hyphen, however, is less used than formerly.

Note. The first part of a compound noun usually limits the second after the manner of an adjective. Indeed, many expressions may be regarded either (1) as compounds or (2) as phrases containing an adjective and a noun. Thus railway conductor may be taken as a compound noun, or as a noun (conductor) limited by an adjective (railway).

INFLECTION OF NOUNS

65. In studying the inflection of nouns and pronouns we have to consider gender, number, person, and case.

1. Gender is distinction according to sex.

2. Number is that property of substantives which shows whether they indicate one person or thing or more than one.

3. Person is that property of substantives which shows whether they designate (1) the speaker, (2) the person spoken to, or (3) the person or thing spoken of.

4. Substantives have inflections of case to indicate their grammatical relations to verbs, to prepositions, or to other substantives.

These four properties of substantives are included under inflection for convenience. In strictness, however, nouns are inflected for number and case only. Gender is shown in various ways,–usually by the meaning of the noun or by the use of some pronoun. Person is indicated by the sense, by the pronouns used, and by the form of the verb.

I. GENDER

66. Gender is distinction according to sex.

Nouns and pronouns may be of the masculine, the feminine, or the neuter gender.

1. A noun or pronoun denoting a male being is of the masculine gender.

Examples:

  • Joseph,
  • boy,
  • cockerel,
  • buck,
  • footman,
  • butler,
  • brother,
  • father,
  • uncle,
  • he.

2. A noun or pronoun denoting a female being is of the feminine gender.

Examples:

  • girl,
  • Julia,
  • hen,
  • waitress,
  • maid,
  • doe,
  • spinster,
  • matron,
  • aunt,
  • squaw,
  • she.

3. A noun or pronoun denoting a thing without animal life is of the neuter gender.

Examples:

  • pencil,
  • light,
  • water,
  • star,
  • book,
  • dust,
  • leaf,
  • it.

A noun or pronoun which is sometimes masculine and sometimes feminine is often said to be of common gender.

Examples:

  • bird,
  • speaker,
  • artist,
  • animal,
  • cat,
  • European,
  • musician,
  • operator,
  • they.

67. A pronoun must be in the same gender as the noun for which it stands or to which it refers.

Each of the following pronouns is limited to a single gender:

  • Masculine: he, his, him.
  • Feminine: she, her, hers.
  • Neuter: it, its.

All other pronouns vary in gender.

  • Robert greeted his employer. [Masculine.]
  • A mother passed with her child. [Feminine.]
  • This tree has lost its foliage. [Neuter.]
  • Who laughed? [Masculine or feminine.]
  • How do you do? [Masculine or feminine.]
  • They have disappeared. [Masculine, feminine, or neuter.]
  • I do not care for either. [Masculine, feminine, or neuter.]

68. A neuter noun may become masculine or feminine by personification.

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean.–Shelley.

Stern daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty!–Wordsworth.

Nature from her seat
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe.–Milton.

69. In speaking of certain objects, such as a ship and the moon, it is customary to use she and her. In like manner, he is used in speaking of the sun and of most animals, without reference to sex, although it often designates an insect or other small creature, and even a very young child.

Who and which are both used in referring to the lower animals. Which is the commoner, but who is not infrequent, especially if the animal is thought of as an intelligent being.

Thus one would say, “The dog which is for sale is in that kennel,” even if one added, “He is a collie.” But which would never be used in such a sentence as, “I have a dog who loves children.”

70. The gender of masculine and of feminine nouns may be shown in various ways.

1. The male and the female of many kinds or classes of living beings are denoted by different words.

Masculine Feminine
father mother
husband wife
uncle aunt
king queen
monk nun
wizard witch
lord lady
horse mare
gander goose
drake duck
cock hen
ram ewe
bull cow
hart hind
buck doe
fox vixen

2. Some masculine nouns become feminine by the addition of an ending.

Masculine Feminine
heir heiress
baron baroness
lion lioness
prince princess
emperor empress
tiger tigress
executor executrix
administrator administratrix
hero heroine
Joseph Josephine
sultan sultana
Philip Philippa

Note. The feminine gender is often indicated by the ending ess. Frequently the corresponding masculine form ends in or or er: as,–actor, actress; governor, governess; waiter, waitress. The ending ess is not so common as formerly. Usage favors proprietor, author, editor, etc., even for the feminine (rather than the harsher forms proprietress, authoress, editress), whenever there is no special reason for emphasizing the difference of sex.

3. A few feminine words become masculine by the addition of an ending. Thus,–widow, widower; bride, bridegroom.

4. Gender is sometimes indicated by the ending man, woman, maid, boy, or girl.

Examples:

  • salesman, saleswoman;
  • foreman, forewoman;
  • laundryman;
  • milkmaid;
  • cash boy, cash girl.

5. A noun or a pronoun is sometimes prefixed to a noun to indicate gender.

Examples:

  • manservant, maidservant;
  • mother bird;
  • cock sparrow, hen sparrow;
  • boy friend, girl friend;
  • he-wolf, she-wolf.

6. The gender of a noun may be indicated by some accompanying part of speech, usually by a pronoun.

  • My cat is always washing his face.
  • The intruder shook her head.
  • I was confronted by a pitiful creature, haggard and unshaven.

Note. The variations in form studied under 2 and 3 (above) are often regarded as inflections. In reality, however, the masculine and the feminine are different words. Thus, baroness is not an inflectional form of baron, but a distinct noun, made from baron by adding the ending ess, precisely as barony and baronage are made from baron by adding the endings y and age. The process is rather that of derivation or noun-formation than that of inflection.

II. NUMBER

71. Number is that property of substantives which shows whether they indicate one person, place, or thing or more than one.

There are two numbers,–the singular and the plural.

The singular number denotes but one person, place, or thing. The plural number denotes more than one person, place, or thing.

72. Most nouns form the plural number by adding s or es to the singular.

Examples:

  • mat, mats;
  • wave, waves;
  • problem, problems;
  • bough, boughs;
  • John, Johns;
  • nurse, nurses;
  • tense, tenses;
  • bench, benches;
  • dish, dishes;
  • class, classes;
  • fox, foxes.
Special Rules

1. If the singular ends in s, x, z, ch, or sh, the plural ending is es.

Examples:

  • loss, losses;
  • box, boxes;
  • buzz, buzzes;
  • match, matches;
  • rush, rushes.

2. Many nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant also take the ending es in the plural.

Examples:

  • hero, heroes;
  • cargo, cargoes;
  • potato, potatoes;
  • motto, mottoes;
  • buffalo, buffaloes;
  • mosquito, mosquitoes.

3. Nouns ending in o preceded by a vowel form their plural in s: as,–cameo, cameos; folio, folios.

4. The following nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant also form their plural in s:–

  • banjo
  • bravo
  • burro
  • cantocasino
  • chromo
  • contralto
  • duodecimo
  • dynamo
  • halo
  • junto
  • lasso
  • memento
  • octavo
  • piano
  • proviso
  • quarto
  • solo
  • soprano
  • stiletto
  • torso
  • tyro
  • zero

73. In some nouns the addition of the plural ending alters the spelling and even the sound of the singular form.

1. Nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant change y to i and add es in the plural.

Examples:

  • sky, skies;
  • fly, flies;
  • country, countries;
  • berry, berries.

(Contrast:

  • valley, valleys;
  • chimney, chimneys;
  • monkey, monkeys;
  • boy, boys;
  • day, days.)

Most proper names ending in y, however, take the plural in s.

Examples:

  • Mary, Marys;
  • Murphy, Murphys;
  • Daly, Dalys;
  • Rowley, Rowleys;
  • May, Mays.

2. Some nouns ending in f or fe, change the f to v and add es or s.

Examples:

  • wharf, wharves;
  • wife, wives;
  • shelf, shelves;
  • wolf, wolves;
  • thief, thieves;
  • knife, knives;
  • half, halves;
  • calf, calves;
  • life, lives;
  • self, selves;
  • sheaf, sheaves;
  • loaf, loaves;
  • leaf, leaves;
  • elf, elves;
  • beef, beeves.

74. A few nouns form their plural in en.

These are:

  • ox, oxen;
  • brother, brethren (or brothers);
  • child, children.

Note. Ancient or poetical plurals belonging to this class are: eyne (for eyen, from eye), kine (cows), shoon (shoes), hosen (hose).

75. A few nouns form their plural by a change of vowel.

These are:

  • man, men;
  • woman, women;
  • merman, mermen;
  • foot, feet;
  • tooth, teeth;
  • goose, geese;
  • mouse, mice;
  • louse, lice.

Also compound words ending in man or woman, such as

  • fireman, firemen;
  • saleswoman, saleswomen;
  • Dutchman, Dutchmen.

Note. German, Mussulman, Ottoman, dragoman, firman, and talisman, which are not compounds of man, form their plurals regularly: as,–Germans, Mussulmans. Norman also forms its plural in s.

76. A few nouns have the same form in both singular and plural.

Examples:

  • deer,
  • sheep,
  • heathen,
  • Japanese,
  • Portuguese,
  • Iroquois.

Note. This class was larger in older English than at present. It included, for example, year, which in Shakspere has two plurals:–“six thousand years,” “twelve year since.”

77. A few nouns have two plurals, but usually with some difference in meaning.

Singular Plural
brother brothers (relatives)
brethren (members of the same society)
horse horses (animals)
horse (cavalry)
foot feet (parts of the body)
foot (infantry)
sail sails (on vessels)
sail (vessels in a fleet)
head heads (in usual sense)
head (of cattle)
fish fishes (individually)
fish (collectively)
penny pennies (single coins)
pence (collectively)
cloth cloths (pieces of cloth)
clothes (garments)
die dies (for stamping)
dice (for gaming)
  • The pennies were arranged in neat piles.
  • English money is reckoned in pounds, shillings, and pence.

78. When compound nouns are made plural, the last part usually takes the plural form; less often the first part; rarely both parts.

Examples:

  • spoonful, spoonfuls;
  • bathhouse, bathhouses;
  • forget-me-not, forget-me-nots;
  • editor-in-chief, editors-in-chief;
  • maid-of-honor, maids-of-honor;
  • gentleman usher, gentlemen ushers;
  • Knight Templar, Knights Templars;
  • Lord Justice, Lords Justices;
  • manservant, menservants.

79. Letters of the alphabet, figures, signs used in writing, and words regarded merely as words take “‘s in the plural.

  • “Embarrassed” is spelled with two r’s and two s’s.
  • Your 3’s look like 8’s.
  • Tell the printer to change the ”s to ‘s.
  • Don’t interrupt me with your but’s!

80. Foreign nouns in English sometimes retain their foreign plurals; but many have an English plural also.

Some of the commonest are included in the following list:

Singular Plural
alumna (feminine) alumnAE
alumnus (masculine) Alumni
amanuensis amanuenses
analysis analyses
animalculum animalcula
antithesis antitheses
appendix appendices
appendixes
axis axes
bacillus bacilli
bacterium bacteria
bandit banditti
bandits
basis bases
beau beaux
beaus
candelabrum candelabra
cumulus cumuli
cherub cherubim
cherubs
crisis crises
curriculum curricula
datum data
ellipsis ellipses
erratum errata
formula formulae
formulas
genius genii
geniuses
genus genera
gymnasium gymnasia
gymnasiums
hippopotamus hippopotami
hypothesis hypotheses
larva larvae¦
memorandum memoranda
memorandums
nebula nebulae¦
oasis oases
parenthesis parentheses
phenomenon phenomena
radius radii
seraph seraphim
seraphs
species species
stratum strata
synopsis synopses
tableau tableaux
tempo tempi
terminus termini
thesis theses
trousseau trousseaux
vertebra vertebrae

The two plurals sometimes differ in meaning: as,–

  • Michael Angelo and Raphael were geniuses.
  • Spirits are sometimes called genii.
  • This book has two indices.
  • The printer uses signs called indexes.

81. When a proper name with the title Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Master, is put into the plural, the rules are as follows:–

1. The plural of Mr. is Messrs. (pronounced Messers). The name remains in the singular. Thus,–

Mr. Jackson, plural Messrs. (or the Messrs.) Jackson.

2. Mrs. has no plural. The name itself takes the plural form. Thus,–

Mrs. Jackson, plural the Mrs. Jacksons.

3. In the case of Miss, sometimes the title is put into the plural, sometimes the name. Thus,–

Miss Jackson, plural the Misses Jackson or the Miss Jacksons.

The latter expression is somewhat informal. Accordingly, it would not be used in a formal invitation or reply, or in addressing a letter.

4. The plural of Master is Masters. The name remains in the singular. Thus,–

Master Jackson, plural the Masters Jackson.

Other titles usually remain in the singular, the name taking the plural form: as,–the two General Follansbys. But when two or more names follow, the title becomes plural: as,–Generals Rolfe and Johnson.

82. Some nouns, on account of their meaning, are seldom or never used in the plural.

Such are many names of qualities (as cheerfulness, mirth), of sciences (as chemistry), of forces (as gravitation).

Many nouns, commonly used in the singular only, may take a plural in some special sense. Thus,–

earth (the globe) earths (kinds of soil)
ice (frozen water) ices (food)
tin (a metal) tins (tin dishes or cans)
nickel (a metal) nickels (coins)

83. Some nouns are used in the plural only.

Such are:

  • annals,
  • athletics,
  • billiards,
  • dregs,
  • eaves,
  • entrails,
  • lees,
  • nuptials,
  • oats,
  • obsequies,
  • pincers,
  • proceeds,
  • riches,
  • scissors,
  • shears,
  • suds,
  • tweezers,
  • tongs,
  • trousers,
  • victuals,
  • vitals;

and (in certain special senses)

  • ashes,
  • goods,
  • links,
  • scales,
  • spectacles,
  • stocks.

84. A few nouns are plural in form, but singular in meaning.

Such are:

  • gallows,
  • news,
  • measles,
  • mumps,
  • small pox (for small pocks),
  • politics,

and some names of sciences

  • (as, civics,
  • economics,
  • ethics,
  • mathematics,
  • physics,
  • optics).

Note. These nouns were formerly plural in sense as well as in form. News, for example, originally meant “new things.” Shakspere uses it both as a singular and as a plural. Thus,–“This news was brought to Richard” (King John, v. 3. 12); “But wherefore do I tell these news to thee?” (1 Henry IV, iii. 2. 121). In a few words modern usage varies. The following nouns are sometimes singular, sometimes plural: alms, amends, bellows, means, pains (in the sense of “effort”), tidings.

III. PERSON

85. Person is that property of substantives which shows whether they denote (1) the speaker, (2) the person spoken to, or (3) the person spoken of.

A substantive is in the first person when it denotes the speaker, in the second person when it denotes the person spoken to, in the third person when it denotes the person or thing spoken of.

  • I, the king, command his presence. [First person.]
  • You, Thomas, broke the window. [Second person.]
  • Charles, come here. [Second person.]
  • He, the fireman, saved the train. [Third person.]
  • The diver sinks slowly from our view. [Third person.]
  • The tower suddenly collapsed. [Third person.]

The examples show (1) that the person of a noun has nothing to do with its form, but is indicated by the sense or connection; (2) that certain pronouns denote person with precision. Thus, I is always of the first person; you of the second; and he of the third. These personal pronouns will be treated.

IV. CASE

86. Substantives have inflections of case to indicate their grammatical relations to verbs, to prepositions, or to other substantives.

There are three cases,–the nominative, the possessive, and the objective.

The possessive case is often called the genitive.

The nominative and the objective case of a noun are always alike in form. In some pronouns, however, there is a difference (as,–I, me; he, him).

Declension of Nouns

87. The inflection of a substantive is called its declension. To decline a noun is to give its case-forms in order, first in the singular number and then in the plural. Thus,–

Singular
Nominative boy horse fly chimney calf lass man deer
Possessive boy’s horse’s fly’s chimney’s calf’s lass’s man’s deer’s
Objective boy horse fly chimney calf lass man deer
Plural
Nominative boys horses flies chimneys calves lasses men deer
Possessive boys’ horses’ flies’ chimneys’ calves’ lasses’ men’s deer’s
Objective boys horses flies chimneys calves lasses men deer
Nominative Case

88. The nominative case is used in the following constructions: (1) the subject, (2) the predicate nominative, (3) the vocative, (or nominative of direct address), (4) the exclamatory nominative, (5) appositive with a nominative, (6) the nominative absolute.

1. The subject of a verb is in the nominative case.

  • Water freezes.
  • Charles climbed the mountain.
  • The boy’s face glowed with health and exercise.
  • A thousand men were killed in this battle.

In the third example, face is the simple subject; the complete subject is the boy’s face. In the fourth, men is the simple subject; the complete subject is a thousand men. Both face and men are in the nominative case; face is in the singular number; men in the plural.

2. A substantive standing in the predicate, but describing or defining the subject, agrees with the subject in case and is called a predicate nominative.

A predicate nominative is also called a subject complement or an attribute.

  • Lobsters are crustaceans.
  • A good book is a faithful friend.
  • Shakspere was a native of Stratford-on-Avon.
  • Arnold proved a traitor.
  • Adams was elected president.

The rule for the case of the predicate nominative is particularly important with respect to pronouns.

I am he. Are you she?
It is I. It was we who did it.

The predicate nominative is commonest after the copula is (in its various forms). It will be further studied in connection with intransitive and passive verbs.

3. A substantive used for the purpose of addressing a person directly, and not connected with any verb, is called a vocative.

A vocative is in the nominative case, and is often called a nominative by direct address or a vocative nominative.

  • Come, Ruth, give me your hand.
  • Turn to the right, madam.
  • Herbert, it is your turn.
  • Come with me, my child.

Note. A vocative word is sometimes said to be independent by direct address, because it stands by itself, unconnected with any verb. That a vocative is really in the nominative case may be seen in the use of the pronoun thou in this construction: as,–I will arrest thee, thou traitor.

4. A substantive used as an exclamation is called an exclamatory nominative (or nominative of exclamation).

  • Peace, be still.
  • Fortunate Ruth!
  • A drum! a drum! Macbeth doth come.
  • Look! a balloon!
  • The sun! then we shall have a fine day.

Certain exclamatory nominatives are sometimes classed as interjections.

5. A substantive added to another substantive to explain it and signifying the same person or thing, is called an appositive and is said to be in apposition.

An appositive is in the same case as the substantive which it limits.

Hence a substantive in apposition with a nominative is in the nominative case.

  • Mr. Scott, the grocer, is here. [Apposition with subject.]
  • Tom, old fellow, I am glad to see you. [Apposition with vocative.]
  • The discoverer of the Pacific was Balboa, a Spaniard. [Apposition with predicate nominative.]

Note. Apposition means “attachment”; appositive means “attached noun or pronoun.” An appositive modifies the noun with which it is in apposition much as an adjective might do (compare “Balboa, a Spaniard” with “Spanish Balboa”). Hence it is classed as an adjective modifier.

Possessive Case

89. The possessive case denotes ownership or possession.

  • John’s yacht lies at her moorings.
  • The duck’s feet are webbed.
  • The mutineer’s pistol burst when he fired.

Note. Most uses of the possessive come under the general head of possession in some sense. Special varieties of meaning are source (as in “hen’s eggs”) and authorship (as in “Wordsworth’s sonnets”).

A possessive noun or pronoun modifies the substantive to which it is attached as an adjective might do. Hence it is classed as an adjective modifier.

Forms of the Possessive Case

90. The possessive case of most nouns has, in the singular number, the ending “‘s.

Examples:

  • the owl’s feathers,
  • Elizabeth’s hat,
  • the officer’s name.

Plural nouns ending in s take no further ending for the possessive. In writing, however, an apostrophe is put after the s to indicate the possessive case.

Examples:

  • the owls’ feathers,
  • the officers’ names,
  • the artists’ petition,
  • the engineers’ ball.

Plural nouns not ending in s take “‘s in the possessive.

Examples:

  • the firemen’s ball,
  • the policemen’s quarters,
  • the children’s hour.

Note. In older English the possessive of most nouns was written as well as pronounced with the ending -es or -is. Thus, in Chaucer, the possessive of child is childës or childis; that of king is kingës or kingis; that of John is Johnës or Johnis. The use of an apostrophe in the possessive is a comparatively modern device, due to a misunderstanding. Scholars at one time thought the s of the possessive a fragment of the pronoun his; that is, they took such a phrase as George’s book for a contraction of George his book. Hence they used the apostrophe before s to signify the supposed omission of part of the word his. Similarly, in the possessive plural, there was thought to be an omission of a final es; that is, such a phrase as the horses’ heads was thought to be a contraction of the horseses heads. Both these errors have long been exploded.

91. Nouns like sheep and deer, which have the same form in both the singular and the plural, usually take “‘s in the possessive plural.

Thus, the deer’s tracks would be written, whether one deer or more were meant.

92. Possessive Singular of Nouns ending in s.

1. Monosyllabic nouns ending in s or an s-sound usually make their possessive singular by adding “‘s.

Examples:

  • Charles’s hat,
  • Forbes’s garden,
  • Mr. Wells’s daughter,
  • Rice’s carriage,
  • Mrs. Dix’s family,
  • a fox’s brush.

Note. Most of these monosyllabic nouns in s are family names. The rule accords with the best usage; but it is not absolute, for usage varies. Hence forms like Charles’ and Wells’ cannot be condemned as positively wrong, though Charles’s and Wells’s are preferable. In speaking, the shorter form is often ambiguous, for there is no difference in sound between Dix’ and Dick’s, Mr. Hills’ and Mr. Hill’s, Dr. Childs’ and Dr. Child’s.

2. Nouns of two or more syllables ending in s or an s-sound, and not accented on the last syllable, may make their possessive singular by adding “‘s, or may take no ending in the possessive.

In the latter case, an apostrophe is added in writing, but in sound there is no difference between the possessive and the nominative.

Examples:

  • Burrows’s (or Burrows’) Hotel,
  • Æneas’s (or Æneas’) voyage,
  • Beatrice’s (or Beatrice’) gratitude,
  • Felix’s (or Felix’) arrival,
  • for conscience’s (or conscience’) sake.

Most of the nouns in question are proper names. In speaking, one must often use the longer form to prevent ambiguity; for Williams’ and William’s, Roberts’ and Robert’s, Robbins’ and Robin’s, are indistinguishable in sound.

Note. Nouns of two or more syllables ending in s or an s-sound and accented on the last syllable, follow the rule for monosyllables. Thus,–Laplace’s mathematics (not Laplace’); Alphonse’s father (not Alphonse’).

When final s is silent (as in many French names), “‘s must of course be added in the possessive. Thus,–Descartes’s philosophy (pronounced Daycárt’s).

Use of the Possessive Case

93. Possession may be denoted by a phrase with of as well as by the possessive case. The distinction between the two forms cannot be brought under rigid rules, but the following suggestions will be of use.

I. In older English and in poetry the possessive case of nouns is freely used, but in modern prose it is rare unless the possessor is a living being. A phrase with of is used instead.

  • The mayor of Detroit (NOT Detroit’s mayor).
  • The top of the post (NOT the post’s top).
  • The prevalence of the epidemic (NOT the epidemic’s prevalence).

Contrast the poetic use:–

Belgium’s capital had gathered then
Her beauty and her chivalry.–Byron.

Other prepositions are sometimes used: as,–“the explosion in New York” (NOT “New York’s explosion”), “the station at Plymouth.”

II. When the possessor is a living being, good usage varies.

1. If there is actual ownership or possession of some material thing, the possessive case is generally used in the singular: as,–“John’s hat” (not “the hat of John”). The possessive plural, however, is often replaced by a phrase with of, to avoid ambiguity or harshness: as,–“the jewels of the ladies” (rather than “the ladies’ jewels”) , “the wings of the geese” (rather than “the geese’s wings”).

2. With nouns denoting a quality, an act, or the like, either the possessive or the of-phrase is proper: as,–“John’s generosity,” or “the generosity of John”; “John’s condition,” or “the condition of John”; “the guide’s efforts,” or “the efforts of the guide”; “CAEsar’s death,” or “the death of CAEsar.”

When there is any choice, it usually depends on euphony (that is, agreeable sound), and is therefore a question of style. Sometimes, however, there is a distinction in sense. “John’s fear,” for example, indicates that John is afraid; but “the fear of John” means the fear which John inspires in others.

III. The following phrases are established idioms with the possessive. In some of them, however, the possessive may be replaced by of and its object.

  • (1) The earth’s surface,
  • the sun’s rays,
  • the moon’s reflection,
  • the pit’s mouth,
  • a rope’s end,
  • his journey’s end,
  • at his wit’s end,
  • the ship’s keel,
  • the water’s edge,
  • the cannon’s mouth,
  • out of harm’s way,
  • at swords’ points,
  • for pity’s sake,
  • for conscience’ sake;
  • (2) a moment’s pause,
  • a year’s time,
  • a hand’s breadth,
  • a boat’s length,
  • a month’s salary,
  • a week’s notice,
  • a night’s rest,
  • a day’s work,
  • a stone’s throw,
  • a feather’s weight,
  • an hour’s delay,
  • a dollar’s worth,
  • not a foot’s difference.

In the second group of phrases (“a moment’s pause,” etc.), the possessive denotes not ownership, but measure or extent.

IV. The possessive case of certain pronouns (my, our, your, his, her, its, their) is more freely used than that of nouns in expressions that do not denote actual ownership.

  • I know him to my sorrow. [Compare: to his loss, to our detriment, to his advantage.]
  • The brass has lost its polish.
  • This question must be decided on its merits.
  • His arguments did not fail of their effect.

For the inflection of these pronouns, For the use of whose.

94. When a thing belongs to two or more joint owners, the sign of the possessive is added to the last name only.

  • Brown, Jones, and Richardson’s factories. [Brown, Jones, and Richardson are partners.]
  • It is George and William’s turn to take the boat. [George and William are to go in the boat together.]
  • On the other hand, in order to avoid ambiguity we should say, “Brown’s, Jones’s, and Richardson’s factories,” if each individual had a factory of his own; and “George’s and William’s answers were correct,” if each boy answered independently of the other.

95. In compound nouns the last part takes the possessive sign. So also when a phrase is used as a noun.

  • My father-in-law’s home is in Easton.
  • We had a quarter of an hour’s talk.

Other examples are the following:–

  • My brother-in-law’s opinion;
  • the commander-in-chief’s orders;
  • the lady-in-waiting’s duties;
  • the coal dealer’s prices;
  • Edward VII’s reign;
  • the King of England’s portrait;
  • half a year’s delay;
  • in three or four months’ time;
  • a cable and a half’s length;
  • the pleasure of Major Pendennis and Mr. Arthur Pendennis’s company (Thackeray).

Note. Noun-phrases often contain two substantives, the second of which is in apposition with the first. In such phrases, of is generally preferable to the possessive. Thus, we may say either “Tom the blacksmith’s daughter” or “the daughter of Tom the blacksmith”; but “the son of Mr. Hill the carpenter” is both neater and clearer than “Mr. Hill the carpenter’s son.” The use of “‘s is also avoided with a very long phrase like “the owner of the house on the other side of the street.”

An objective may stand in apposition with a possessive, the latter being equivalent to of with an object. Thus,–“I am not yet of Percy’s mind [= of the mind of Percy], the Hotspur of the North” (Shakspere).

96. The noun denoting the object possessed is often omitted when it may be readily understood, especially in the predicate.

  • Conant’s

[shop]

is open until noon. I buy my hats at Bryant’s [shop]. We will dine at Pennock’s [restaurant]. That camera is mine.

This construction is common in such expressions as:–

  • He was a relative of John’s.
  • That careless tongue of John’s will get him into trouble.

In the first example, “a relative of John’s” means “a relative of (= from among) John’s relatives.” The second example shows an extension of this construction by analogy.

Objective Case

97. The objective case, as its name implies, is the case of the object. Most of its uses are covered by the following rule:–

The object of a verb or preposition is in the objective case.

The object of a preposition has already been explained and defined

98. The object of a verb may be (1) the direct object, (2) the predicate objective, (3) the indirect object, (4) the cognate object. Of these the direct object is the most important.

The objective is also used (5) adverbially, (6) in apposition with another objective, and (7) as the subject of an infinitive.

1. Direct Object

99. Some verbs may be followed by a substantive denoting that which receives the action or is produced by it. These are called transitive verbs. All other verbs are called intransitive.

  • 1. That man struck my dog.
  • 2. The arrow hit the target.
  • 3. CAEsar conquered Gaul.
  • 4. Mr. Holland sells flour.
  • 5. The farmer raises corn.
  • 6. Mr. Eaton makes stoves.
  • 7. My grandfather built that house.

In Nos. 1–4, the verb is followed by a noun denoting the receiver of the action. Thus, in the first sentence, the dog receives the blow; in the second, the target receives the action of hitting. In Nos. 5–7, the verb is followed by a noun denoting the product of the action. For example, the corn is produced by the action expressed by the verb raises.

In each example, the noun that follows the verb completes the sense of the verb. “That man struck —-.” “Struck whom?” “He struck the dog.” Until dog is added the sense of the verb struck is incomplete.

100. A substantive that completes the meaning of a transitive verb is called its direct object, and is said to be in the objective case.

Thus, in the examples above, dog is the direct object of the transitive verb struck; target is the direct object of hit,–and so on. Each of these nouns is therefore in the objective case.

The direct object is often called the object complement, or the object of the verb.

101. Intransitive verbs have no object.

  • The lion roared.
  • The visitor coughed gently.
  • The log drifted downstream.
  • We all listened intently.

Compare these sentences with those in. We observe that the verbs (unlike those in) admit no object, since their meaning is complete without the addition of any noun to denote the receiver or product of the action. “The man struck—-“ prompts the inquiry, “Struck whom?” But no such question is suggested by “The lion roared”; for “Roared what?” would be an absurdity.

102. The predicate nominative  must not be confused with the direct object. They resemble each other in two particulars: (1) both stand in the predicate, and (2) both complete the meaning of the verb. But they differ utterly in their relation to the subject of the sentence. For–

The predicate nominative describes or defines the subject. Hence both substantives denote the same person or thing.

Charles [SUBJECT] {is | was | became | was elected} captain [PREDICATE NOMINATIVE].

The direct object neither describes nor defines the subject. On the contrary, it designates that upon which the subject acts. Hence the two substantives regularly18 denote different persons or things.

Charles [SUBJECT] {struck James [OBJECT]. | threw a stone [OBJECT]. | built a boat [OBJECT].}

Both the direct object and the predicate nominative are classed as complements, because they are used to complete the sense of the predicate verb.

103. A verb of asking sometimes takes two direct objects, one denoting the person and the other the thing.

  • She asked the boy his name.
  • Ask me no favors.
  • I asked the lawyer his opinion.
2. Predicate Objective

104. Verbs of choosing, calling, naming, making, and thinking may take two objects referring to the same person or thing.

The first of these is the direct object, and the second, which completes the sense of the predicate, is called a predicate objective.

  • We chose Oscar president. [Oscar is the direct object of chose; president is the predicate objective.]
  • I call John my friend.
  • They thought the man a coward.
  • Make my house your home.

The predicate objective is often called the complementary object or the objective attribute. It is classed as a complement.

An adjective may serve as predicate objective.

  • I call this ship unseaworthy.
  • Your letter made your sister anxious.
  • What makes Edwin so careless?
3. Indirect Object and Similar Idioms

105. Some verbs of giving, telling, refusing, and the like, may take two objects, a direct object and an indirect object.

The indirect object denotes the person or thing toward whom or toward which is directed the action expressed by the rest of the predicate.

Direct Object only Direct Object and Indirect Object
Dick sold his bicycle. Dick sold John his bicycle.
I gave permission. I gave this man permission.
He paid a dollar. He paid the gardener a dollar.
She taught Latin. She taught my children Latin.

Most of the verbs that admit an indirect object are included in the following list:–

  • allot,
  • allow,
  • assign,
  • bequeath,
  • bring,
  • deny,
  • ensure,
  • fetch,
  • fling,
  • forbid,
  • forgive,
  • give,
  • grant,
  • guarantee,
  • hand,
  • lease,
  • leave,
  • lend,
  • let,
  • owe,
  • pardon,
  • pass,
  • pay,
  • refund,
  • refuse,
  • remit,
  • restore,
  • sell,
  • send,
  • show,
  • sing,
  • spare,
  • teach,
  • tell,
  • throw,
  • toss,
  • vouchsafe.

Pronouns are commoner as indirect objects than nouns.

  • They denied her the necessities of life.
  • I guaranteed them a handsome profit.
  • The king vouchsafed them an audience.

It is always possible to insert the preposition to before the indirect object without changing the sense.

Since the indirect object is equivalent to an adverbial phrase, it is classed as a modifier of the verb.

Thus, in “Dick sold John his bicycle,” John is an adverbial modifier of the predicate verb sold.

The indirect object is sometimes used without a direct object expressed. Thus,–

He paid the hatter.

Here hatter may be recognized as an indirect object by inserting to before it and adding a direct object (“his bill,” “his money,” or the like).

106. The objective case sometimes expresses the person for whom anything is done.

  • William made his brother a kite [= made a kite for his brother].
  • Sampson built me a boat [= built a boat for me].

This construction may be called the objective of service.

Note. The objective of service is often included under the head of the indirect object. But the two constructions differ widely in sense, and should be carefully distinguished. To do an act to a person is not the same thing as to do an act for a person. Contrast “John paid the money to me,” with “John paid the money for me”; “Dick sold a bicycle to me,” with “Dick sold a bicycle for me.”

107. The objective case is used after like, unlike, near, and next, which are really adjectives or adverbs, though in this construction they are often regarded as prepositions.

  • She sang like a bird. [Like is an adverb.]
  • The earth is like a ball. [Like is an adjective.]
  • My office is near the station. [Near is an adjective.]
  • That answer was unlike Joseph. [Unlike is an adjective.]
  • This man walks unlike Joseph. [Unlike is an adverb.]
  • A stream ran near the hut. [Near is an adverb.]

The use of the objective after these words is a peculiar idiom similar to the indirect object. The nature of the construction may be seen (as in the indirect object) by inserting to or unto (“She sang like unto a bird”).

Note. The indirect object, the objective of service, and the objective after like, unlike, and near are all survivals of old dative constructions. Besides the case of the direct object (often called accusative), English once had a case (called the dative) which meant to or for [somebody or something]. The dative case is easily distinguished in Greek, Latin, and German, but in English it has long been merged in form with the ordinary objective.

4. Cognate Object

108. A verb that is regularly intransitive sometimes takes as object a noun whose meaning closely resembles its own.

A noun in this construction is called the cognate object of the verb and is in the objective case.

  • He ran a race.
  • The mayor coughed a dubious, insinuating cough.
  • A scornful laugh laughed he.
  • The trumpeter blew a loud blast.
  • She sleeps the sleep of death.

Note. Cognate means “kindred” or “related.” The cognate object repeats the idea of the verb, often with some modification, and may be classed as an adverbial modifier. Its difference from the direct object may be seen by contrasting “The blacksmith struck the anvil” with “The blacksmith struck a mighty blow” (cf. “struck mightily”). For the pronoun it as cognate object.

5. Adverbial Objective

109. A noun, or a phrase consisting of a noun and its modifiers, may be used adverbially. Such a noun is called an adverbial objective.

  • We have waited years for this reform.
  • I am years older than you are.
  • The river is miles away.
  • The water rose three feet.
  • This is an inch too long.
  • My brother is twenty years old.
  • I will stay a short time.
  • Wait a moment.
  • Come here this instant!
  • Turn your eyes this way.
  • This silk is several shades too light.

A group of words consisting of an adverbial object with its modifier or modifiers forms an adverbial phrase.

6. Objective in Apposition

110. A substantive in apposition with an objective is itself in the objective case.

  • Yesterday I saw Williams the expressman. [Apposition with the direct object of saw.]
  • Tom gave his friend John a book. [Apposition with the indirect object friend.]
  • He lives with Andrews the blacksmith. [Apposition with the object of the preposition with.]

This rule follows from the general principle that an appositive is in the same case as the substantive to which it is attached.

7. Subject of an Infinitive

111. The subject of an infinitive is in the objective case.

This construction will be treated in connection with the uses of the infinitive.

Parsing

112. To parse a word is to describe its grammatical form and to give its construction.

In parsing a noun, we mention the class to which it belongs, give its gender, number, person, and case, and tell why it is in that case. Thus,–

1. Frank shot a wolf.

Frank is a proper noun of the masculine gender, in the singular number and third person. It is in the nominative case, because it is the subject of the verb shot.

Wolf is a common noun of the masculine or feminine [or common] gender, in the singular number and third person. It is in the objective case, because it is the object [or direct object] of the transitive verb shot.

2. Jane, come here.

Jane is a proper noun of the feminine gender, in the singular number and second person. It is in the nominative case, being used as a vocative (or in direct address).

3. The rope is fifteen feet long.

Feet is a common noun of the neuter gender, in the plural number and third person. It is in the objective case, being used as an adverbial modifier of the adjective long.

4. Edgar’s boat is a sloop.

Edgar’s is a proper noun of the masculine gender, in the singular number and third person. It is in the possessive case, modifying the noun boat.

LESSON 91.

PRONOUNS

113. A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. It designates a person, place, or thing without naming it.

The substantive to which a pronoun refers is called its antecedent.

A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in gender, number, and person.

Pronouns have in general the same constructions as nouns.

114. Pronouns may be classified as (1) personal, (2) adjective, (3) relative, and (4) interrogative.

Under adjective pronouns are included (a) demonstrative pronouns and (b) indefinite pronouns.

PERSONAL PRONOUNS

115. The personal pronouns serve to distinguish (1) the speaker, (2) the person spoken to, and (3) the person, place, or thing spoken of.

They are declined as follows:–

The Pronoun of the First Person: I
SINGULAR PLURAL
Nominative I Nominative we
Possessive my or mine Possessive our or ours
Objective me Objective us
The Pronoun of the Second Person: thou
SINGULAR PLURAL
Nominative thou Nominative you or ye
Possessive thy or thine Possessive your or yours
Objective thee Objective you or ye
The Pronoun of the Third Person: he, she, it
Singular Plural
MASCULINE FEMININE NEUTER MASCULINE, FEMININE, and NEUTER
Nominative he she it they
Possessive his her or hers its their or theirs
Objective him her it them

Unlike nouns, most of the personal pronouns have distinct forms for the nominative and the objective.

Note. The possessive case of personal pronouns never has the apostrophe. Thus,–its, yours, theirs.

The form it’s is proper only as a contraction of it is.

GENDER AND NUMBER

116. The pronouns of the first and second persons (I and thou) may be either masculine or feminine.

The pronouns of the third person have different forms for masculine, feminine, and neuter in the singular (he, she, it); but in the plural the form they serves for all three genders.

Note. In the oldest English his was both masculine and neuter. The neuter use lasted until the seventeenth century. Thus,–

That same eye whose bend doth awe the world
Did lose his lustre.–Shakspere, Julius CAEsar, i. 2. 123.

117. Thou, thy, thine, thee, and ye are old forms still found in poetry and the solemn style.

In ordinary prose, you, your, and yours are the only forms used for the second person, whether singular or plural. Yet you, even when denoting a single person, always takes the verb-forms that go with plural subjects. Thus,–

My friend, you were [NOT was] in error.

Hence you may best be regarded as always plural in form, but may be described as singular in sense when it stands for one person only.

Note. Members of the Society of Friends (commonly called Quakers) and of some other religious bodies use thee and thy in their ordinary conversation.

Ye was formerly the regular nominative plural, and you the objective; but the forms were afterwards confused. Ye has gone out of use except in poetry and the solemn style, and you is now the regular form for both nominative and objective.

Where an objective form ye is found printed instead of you (as often in Shakspere,–“A southwest blow on ye”), it represents an indistinct pronunciation of you rather than the old nominative ye. This indistinct sound may still be heard in rapid or careless speech (“I’ll tell yer the truth”).

Ye as an abbreviation for the (as in “ye old town”) has nothing to do with the pronoun ye. The y simply stands for the character þ (an old sign for th), and the abbreviation was pronounced the, never ye.

118. They, you, and we are often used indefinitely for “one” or “people in general.”

  • They say that Joe has gone to sea.
  • To shut off the steam, you close both valves of the radiator.

Note. We, our, and us are used in editorial articles instead of I, my, and me, because the writer represents the whole editorial staff. This practice should not be followed in ordinary composition.

A sovereign ruler may use we, our, and us when speaking of himself in proclamations and other formal documents. This construction is often called “the plural of majesty.” Thus,–

Know that we have divided
In three our kingdom.–Shakspere.

The form “‘em (as in “Tell me your counsels; I will not disclose “‘em,” in Julius CAEsar) is not a contraction of them, but of hem, an old objective plural of he.

CASE OF PERSONAL PRONOUNS
Nominative Case

119. Nominative constructions of the personal pronouns are the same as those of nouns.

  • I am ready. [Subject.]
  • It is I. [Predicate nominative.]
  • Here, you rascal, what are you about? [Vocative, direct address.]
  • Poor you! [Nominative of exclamation.]
  • General Austin, he and no other, won the battle. [Apposition.]

For the nominative absolute,.

Care must be taken not to use an objective form when a predicate nominative is required.

  • It is I [NOT me].
  • It is we [NOT us] who did it.
  • It was he [NOT him] who told us.
  • It was they [NOT them] who were to blame.

120. It has several peculiar uses in the nominative.

1. It is used as the subject in many expressions like “It rains,” “It snows,” “It lightens,” “It is cold,” where no definite subject is thought of. In this use, it is said to be impersonal.

Note. An impersonal it also occurs as a cognate object in colloquial language: as,–“Hang it!” “Go it!” “He went it.” “He farmed it for a year.” Other examples of the indefinite and impersonal it in various constructions are: “We are roughing it.” “Keep it up.” “You’ll catch it.” “Let it all go.” “He made a poor job of it.” “He made a success of it.”

2. It often serves as grammatical subject merely to introduce the verb is, the real subject of the thought standing in the predicate. In this use it is called an expletive (or “filler”).

  • It is he.
  • It is Christmas.
  • It was a tiresome ride.

In these examples, the subject of the thought (he, Christmas, ride) appears as a predicate nominative.

3. The antecedent of it is often a group of words.

Wearing tight shoes is foolish. It deforms the feet.

121. In imperative sentences the subject (you) is commonly omitted: as,–“Shut the door.”

Note. The subject I is sometimes omitted in wishes (as, “Would he were here!” for “I would that he were here”). So also in “Thank you,” “Pray tell me” (compare prithee for “I pray thee”).

Expressions like “Canst tell?” (for “Canst thou tell?”), “Art there?” (for “Art thou there?”) are common in poetry and older English. These come from the gradual wearing away and final disappearance of the pronoun thou (canst thou, canstow, canstë, canst).

Possessive Case

122. The possessive forms my, thy, our, your, her, and their are used when a noun follows; mine, thine, ours, yours, hers, and theirs cannot be followed by a noun, and stand commonly in the predicate. His may be used in either way.

My brother has arrived. The fault is mine.
Our work is done. Those seats are ours.
I have torn your glove. This pencil is yours.
Their turn has come. That field is theirs.
His hair is black. The book is not his.

Examples of mine, yours, etc. not in the predicate are:

  • Mine was a terrier; yours was a pointer.
  • Theirs is a red motor car.
  • Ours broke down last night.
  • His leaked badly.
  • His name is Martin; hers is Smith.

In such cases the pronoun is always emphatic. The construction is chiefly colloquial.

Note. In older English and in poetry mine and thine are common instead of my and thy before words beginning with a vowel or h: as,–

  • Mine eyes dazzle: she died young.–John Webster.
  • The very minute bids thee ope thine ear.–Shakspere.

Mine is sometimes used after a vocative noun: as,–brother mine.

For expressions like “a friend of mine,” “that unruly tongue of yours,”.

123. When two or more separate objects are spoken of as possessed, a possessive should precede the name of each if there is danger of ambiguity.

  • I will send for our secretary and our treasurer. [Two persons.]
  • I will send for our secretary and treasurer. [One person.]
  • I have called for my bread and my milk. [Two things.]
  • I have called for my bread and milk. [A mixture.]
  • Have you Bacon’s “Essays and Apophthegms”? [One book.]
  • Have you Bacon’s “Essays” and his “Advancement of Learning”? [Two books.]
Objective Case

124. The commonest constructions in which personal pronouns take the objective case are the following:–

1. Object of a preposition: as,–

Take it from him.

2. Direct object of a transitive verb: as,–

I will find you.

3. Indirect object of a transitive verb: as,–

He gave me a dollar.

4. Subject of an infinitive.

Note. In poetry the objective me is sometimes used in exclamations: as,–“Me miserable!” (Milton).

In methinks and meseems (“it seems to me”), me is a remnant of the old dative, as in the indirect object.

The compounds thereof, therewith, therefrom, etc., are equivalent to of it, with it, from it, etc.: as,–“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus xxv. 10).

For the impersonal it as cognate object,.

THE SELF-PRONOUNS (COMPOUND PERSONAL PRONOUNS)

125. The three compound personal pronouns are made by adding the word self to certain forms of the personal pronouns. Thus,–

  • myself, plural ourselves;
  • thyself or yourself, plural yourselves;
  • himself, herself, itself, plural themselves.

To these may be added the indefinite oneself, more commonly written as two words, one’s self.

Observe that yourself is singular, and yourselves plural. Hisself and theirselves are incorrect forms. Ourself (not ourselves) is the compound pronoun corresponding to the royal we.

What touches us ourself shall be last served.–Shakspere.

126. 1. The compound personal pronouns may be used to emphasize substantives.

In this use they are called intensive pronouns.

  • I myself will go.
  • King Alfred himself took the field.
  • They did the work themselves.

An intensive pronoun is in apposition with the substantive to which it refers.

2. The compound personal pronouns may be used as the objects of transitive verbs or of prepositions when the object denotes the same person or thing as the subject.

In this use they are called reflexive pronouns.

  • I have hurt myself.
  • King Alfred interested himself in his subjects.
  • These schemers deceived themselves.
  • Mary was talking to herself.
  • He gave himself a holiday. [Indirect object.]

These pronouns are called reflexive (that is, “bending back”) because they refer back to the subject and repeat its meaning in an object construction.

Note. A reflexive pronoun sometimes refers to a substantive in the objective case: as,–“Our captors left us to ourselves.”

In older English the simple personal pronouns me, thee, etc., were often used reflexively: as,–“I held me [= myself] still”; “Yield thee [= thyself] captive”; “They built them [= for themselves] houses”. This idiom survives in colloquial language (as, “I have hurt me,” “I have bought me a rifle”), but it is avoided in writing except in a few expressions such as: “I must look about me”; “We gazed about us”; “Look behind you.”

127. The adjective own is sometimes inserted between the first and the second part of the self-pronouns for emphasis.

Examples:

  • my own self,
  • your own self,
  • his own self,
  • our own selves,
  • their own selves.

In this use, self is in strictness a noun limited by the possessive and by the adjective own, but the phrases may be regarded as compound pronouns. Other adjectives are sometimes inserted between the possessive and self: as,–my very self, his worthless self.

128. The intensive pronouns are sometimes used without a substantive. Thus,–

  • It is myself. [Myself = I myself.]
  • You are hardly yourself to-day.

In poetry and older English, the intensives are even found as subjects: as,–“Ourself will mingle with society” (Macbeth).

129. The intensive pronouns should not be used as simple personal pronouns.

Thus we should say:–“He was kind to Mary and me” (NOT myself); “They invited my wife and me (NOT myself).”

ADJECTIVE PRONOUNS

130. Some words are used either as adjectives or as pronouns. Such words are called adjective pronouns.

Adjective pronouns are classified, according to their meaning, as (1) demonstrative pronouns and (2) indefinite pronouns.

I. DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS

131. The demonstratives are this (plural, these), that (plural, those). They point out persons or things for special attention.

The demonstratives may be used either as adjectives or as pronouns.

I. As adjectives:–
This sailor saved my life. These girls are energetic.
Be kind to this child. I am not alarmed by these threats.
Give this boy a dime. These cherries are sour.
This fire is too hot. Look at these acorns.
That saw is dull. Those trees are dying.
We must cross that stream. Take those dishes away.
That train is late. Who are those strangers?
Send that dog home. Do you see those rocks?
I am tired of that tune. I am sorry for those children.
II. As pronouns:–
This is a fine morning. These are cowboys.
This is my uncle. Robert gave me these.
Can you do this? I never saw these before.
This is the road. Who are these?
Look at this. These are our rackets.
That is Ellen in the canoe. Those are deer.
That would please him. Those are nasturtiums.
That must be he. What are those?
What is that? Those are kangaroos.

If the demonstrative is followed by a noun which it limits (as in “this sailor”), it is an adjective. If the demonstrative points out something which it does not name (as in “This is a fine morning”), it takes the place of a noun and is therefore a pronoun. The simple subject of the sentence “This camera is expensive” is the noun camera, which is modified by the adjective this. The subject of the sentence “This is expensive” is the pronoun this.

Note. Yon, yond, and yonder are common as demonstratives in older English and in poetry. Thus,–“Nerissa, cheer yon stranger” (Merchant of Venice). “Question yond man” (As You Like It). “Is not yond Diomed?” (Troilus and Cressida). “Call yonder fellow hither” (Henry V). “Is yonder the man?” (As You Like It).

132. Demonstratives have only the inflection of number. They have the same form for all three genders. The nominative and objective cases are alike; the possessive is replaced by of with the objective.

Singular Plural
Nom. and Obj. this Nom. and Obj. these
Possessive [of this] Possessive [of these]
Nom. and Obj. that Nom. and Obj. those
Possessive [of that] Possessive [of those]

Yon, yond, and yonder are not inflected.

133. A demonstrative pronoun may be used to avoid the repetition of a noun.

  • My dog and that [= the dog] of my friend John have been fighting.
  • Compare these maps with those [= the maps] on the blackboard.

134. The singular forms this and that (not the plurals these and those) are used with the nouns kind and sort.

  • I like this kind of grapes.
  • I have met this sort of people before.
  • That kind of apples grows in Idaho.
II. INDEFINITE PRONOUNS

135. The indefinite pronouns point out objects less clearly or definitely than demonstratives do.

Examples:

  • each,
  • every,
  • either,
  • both,
  • neither,
  • some,
  • any,
  • such,
  • none,
  • other,
  • another,
  • each other,
  • one another.
  • Each has its merits.
  • Some are missing.
  • I cannot give you any.
  • Either is correct.
  • He knows neither of you.
  • I like both.

136. Most indefinites may be either pronouns or adjectives. But none is always a substantive in modern use, and every is always an adjective.

137. None may be either singular or plural. When it means distinctly not one, it is singular. In many instances either construction is permissible.

  • None of us has the key.
  • None was (or were) left to tell the tale.

138. Each other and one another are regarded as compound pronouns. They designate related persons or things.

  • My neighbor and I like each other.
  • We must bear with one another.

The relation indicated by these pronouns is that of reciprocity. Hence they are often called reciprocal pronouns.

There is no real distinction between each other and one another. The rules sometimes given for such a distinction are not supported by the best usage.

139. One (possessive one’s) is often used as an indefinite personal pronoun. Thus,–

One does not like one’s [NOT his or their] motives to be doubted.

The use of his (for one’s) to refer back to a preceding one is found in respectable writers, but is contrary to the best usage.

For the indefinite use of we, you, they.

140. All, several, few, many, and similar words are often classed as indefinites. They may be used as adjectives or as substantives. Everybody, everything, anybody, anything, somewhat, aught, naught, etc., are called indefinite nouns.

141. Care should be taken in framing such sentences as the following:–

  • Everybody has his [NOT their] faults.
  • If anybody wishes to go, he [NOT they] may.
  • If anybody objects, let him [NOT them] speak.
  • Every member of this class must hand in his [NOT their] composition to-day.
  • Each hurries toward his [NOT their] home.
  • Each of us must lead his [NOT their] own life.

In sentences of this kind, the personal pronoun (he, his, him) must be in the singular to agree with its antecedent (everybody, anybody, etc.).

Note. When the antecedent is of common gender (as in the last example), the personal pronouns (he, his, him) may be regarded as of common gender also. In very precise or formal language, one may say he or she, his or her: as,–“Each of us must lead his or her own life”; but this form of expression is to be avoided unless the distinction is clearly necessary.

142. When used as adjectives, none of the indefinites have any forms of inflection. The same is true when they are pronouns, except as follows:–

Others is used as the plural of another. The possessive forms are:–singular, another’s; plural, others’. The other (possessive, the other’s) has in the plural the others (possessive, the others’). Each other and one another add “‘s in the possessive. One has a possessive one’s; the one becomes the ones in the plural.

RELATIVE PRONOUNS

143. Relative pronouns have a peculiar function in the sentence, since they serve both as pronouns and as connectives. Their use may be seen by comparing the two sentences that follow:–

  • 1. This is the sailor, and he saved my life.
  • 2. This is the sailor who saved my life.

Each consists of two parts or clauses. In No. 1, the two clauses are connected by the conjunction and, which belongs to neither; the pronoun he, which stands for sailor, is the subject of the second clause. In No. 2, there is no conjunction; instead, we find the word who, which replaces and he. This who is a pronoun, since it stands for sailor (precisely as he does in No. 1) and (like he) is the subject of the verb saved. But who is also a connective, since it joins the two parts of the sentence as and does in No. 1. Such words (which serve both as pronouns and as connectives) are called relative pronouns.

In No. 1, the two clauses are coordinate. Neither serves as a modifier, and each might stand alone as a complete sentence (“This is the sailor.” “He saved my life”). The sentence is compound. In No. 2, on the contrary, the clause who saved my life is a subordinate or dependent clause, for it is used as an adjective modifier of the noun sailor, which it limits by showing what particular sailor is meant. The sentence is complex. The dependent clause (who saved my life) is connected with the main clause (this is the sailor) by the pronoun who, which refers to sailor.

144. Relative pronouns connect dependent clauses with main clauses by referring directly to a substantive in the main clause.

This substantive is the antecedent of the relative.

Thus in the noun sailor is the antecedent of who.

Relative means “carrying back.” These pronouns are so called because they carry the mind back directly to the antecedent.

145. The simple relative pronouns are who, which, that, as, and what.

Who and which are declined as follows in both the singular and the plural:–

Nominative who which
Possessive whose whose
Objective whom which

That, as, and what are not inflected. They have the same form for both nominative and objective and are not used in the possessive case.

146. As may be used as a relative pronoun when such stands in the main clause.

  • Such of you as have finished may go.
  • I have never seen such strawberries as these [are].
  • Use such powers as you have.

147. As is often used as a relative after the same.

This color is the same as that [is].

Other relatives are also used after the same.

  • This is the same book that (or which) you were reading yesterday.
  • This is the same man that (or whom) I saw on the pier last Friday.

148. Who is either masculine or feminine; which and what are neuter; that and as are of all three genders.

  • All who heard, approved.
  • Here is the lad whose story interested you.
  • The first woman whom I saw was Mary.
  • He answered in such English as he could muster.
  • I saw nobody that I knew.
  • This is the road that leads to London.

In older English the which is often used for which: as,–

Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,
The which he lacks.–Shakspere.

For other uses of as, For but in such sentences as “There was nobody but believed him,”.

149. A relative pronoun must agree with its antecedent in gender, number, and person.

The sentences in illustrate the agreement of the relative with its antecedent in gender.

Since relative pronouns have the same form for both numbers and for all three persons, their number and person must be discovered, in each instance, by observing the number and person of the antecedent.

  • It is I who am wrong. [First person, singular number: antecedent, I.]
  • All you who are ready may go. [Second person plural: antecedent, you.]
  • Give help to him who needs it. [Third person, singular: antecedent, him.]
  • The road that leads to the shore is sandy. [Third person singular: antecedent, road.]
  • The roads that lead to the shore are sandy. [Third person plural: antecedent, roads.]

To determine the number and person of a relative pronoun is particularly necessary when it is the subject of the clause, for the form of the verb varies (as the examples show) according to the number and person of the subject. Hence the rule for the agreement of a relative with its antecedent is of much practical importance.

150. The case of a relative pronoun has nothing to do with its antecedent, but depends on the construction of its own clause.

  • The servant who opened the door wore livery. [Who is in the nominative case, being the subject of opened.]
  • He discharged his servant, who immediately left town. [Who is in the nominative case, since it is the subject of left, although its antecedent (servant) is in the objective.]
  • The servant whom you discharged has returned. [Whom is in the objective case, since it is the direct object of discharged. The antecedent (servant) is, on the other hand, in the nominative, because it is the subject of has returned.]
  • Here is such money as I have. [As is in the objective case, being the object of have. The antecedent (money) is in the nominative.]

151. A relative pronoun in the objective case is often omitted.

Here is the book which you wanted. Here is the book you wanted.
The noise that I heard was the wind. The noise I heard was the wind.
The man whom I met was a carpenter. The man I met was a carpenter.

Note. In older English a relative in the nominative is often omitted: as,–“There’s two or three of us have seen strange sights” (Julius CAEsar), that is, “There are two or three of us who have seen,” etc. The same omission is often made in rapid or careless colloquial speech. It is approved in clauses with there in such sentences as “He is one of the best men there are in the world”.

152. Certain questions of gender call for particular attention.

1. Which is commonly used in referring to the lower animals unless these are regarded as persons. This is true even when he or she is used of the same animals.

  • This is the dog which I mentioned. Isn’t he a fine fellow?
  • We have one cow which we prize highly. She is a Jersey.

2. The possessive whose may be used of any object that has life.

  • This is the man whose watch was stolen.
  • I have a cat whose name is Tabby.
  • This is the tree whose leaves were destroyed. It is quite dead.

3. In the case of things without animal life, of which and whose are both common. The tendency is to prefer of which in prose, but whose is often used because of its more agreeable sound. In poetry, whose is especially frequent.

  • A broad river, the name of which I have forgotten, forms the northern boundary of the province.
  • Jack was fishing with a bamboo rod, to the end of which he had tied a short piece of ordinary twine.
  • She was gazing into the pool, whose calm surface reflected her features like a mirror. [“The surface of which” would not sound so well.]

Note. In older English, which is often used for who or whom: as,–“He which hath your noble father slain, pursued my life” (Hamlet).

The compounds whereof, wherefrom, wherewith, etc., are equivalent to of which, from which, etc.. Thus,–“Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him” (Genesis xxvii. 41).

DESCRIPTIVE AND RESTRICTIVE RELATIVES

153. The clause introduced by a relative pronoun is an adjective clause, since it serves as an adjective modifier of the antecedent. There are two different ways in which the antecedent may be thus modified.

  • 1. The Italian, who wore a flower in his coat, smiled at me.
  • 2. The Italian who wore a flower in his coat smiled at me.

In the first sentence, the italicized relative clause serves simply to describe the Italian, not to identify him. The flower is a mere detail of the picture.

In the second sentence, the relative clause serves not merely to describe the Italian, but also to distinguish him from all others. The flower is mentioned as a means of identification. The relative clause confines or restricts the meaning of the antecedent (Italian).

154. A relative pronoun that serves merely to introduce a descriptive fact is called a descriptive relative.

A relative pronoun that introduces a clause confining or limiting the application of the antecedent is called a restrictive relative.

Thus in the first example in, who is a descriptive relative; in the second, it is a restrictive relative.

155. Before a descriptive relative we regularly make a pause in speaking, but never before a restrictive relative. Hence the rule:–

A descriptive relative is preceded by a comma; a restrictive relative is not.

  • Three sailors, who were loitering on the pier, sprang to the rescue.
  • A clumsy weapon, which I took for a blunderbuss, hung over the fireplace.
  • I told the news to the first man that (or whom) I met.
  • The coins that (or which) you showed me are doubloons.
  • Nothing that I have ever read has moved me more profoundly than the third act of “King Lear.”

156. Who, which, and that are all used as restrictive relatives; but some writers prefer that to which, especially in the nominative case.

Note. That is not now employed as a descriptive relative, though it was common in this use not very long ago. Thus in 1844 Disraeli wrote: “The deer, that abounded, lived here in a world as savage as themselves” (Coningsby, book iii, chapter 5).

The omission of the relative is possible only when the relative is restrictive.

  • The boy [whom] I saw at your house has left town. [Restrictive.]
  • Charles, whom I saw yesterday, had not heard the news. [Descriptive.]
THE RELATIVE PRONOUN WHAT

157. The relative pronoun what is equivalent to that which, and has a double construction:–(1) the construction of the omitted or implied antecedent (that); (2) the construction of the relative (which).

  • {What | That which} was said is true. [Here what, being equivalent to that which, serves as the subject both of was said and of is.]
  • Tom always remembers {what | that which} is said to him. [Here what, being equivalent to that which, serves as both the object of remembers and as the subject of is said.]
  • Tom always remembers {what | that which} he learns. [Here what serves both as the object of remembers and as the object of learns.]

In parsing what, mention both of its constructions.

Note. Another method of dealing with the relative what is to regard the whole clause (what was said; what is said to him; what he learns) as a noun clause. Thus the clause what was said in the first sentence would be the subject of is; in the second and third sentences, the clause would be the object of remembers. What, in the first sentence, would be parsed as the subject of was said; in the second, as the subject of is said; and in the third, as the object of learns. Neither view is incorrect, and each has its special advantages. The student may well be familiar with both methods, remembering that grammar cannot be treated like mathematics.

COMPOUND RELATIVE PRONOUNS

158. The compound relative pronouns are formed by adding ever or soever to who, which, and what.

They are declined as follows:–

Singular and Plural
Nominative whoever (whosoever) whichever (whichsoever)
Possessive whosever (whosesoever) ——–
Objective whomever (whomsoever) whichever (whichsoever)

Whatever (whatsoever) has no inflection. The nominative and the objective are alike, and the possessive is supplied by the phrase of whatever (of whatsoever).

The phrase of whichever (of whichsoever) is used instead of whosever exactly as of which is used instead of whose.

159. The compound relative pronouns may include or imply their own antecedents and hence may have a double construction.

Whoever calls, he must be admitted. [Here he, the antecedent of whoever, is the subject of must be admitted, and whoever is the subject of calls.]

Whoever calls must be admitted. [Here the antecedent he is omitted, being implied in whoever. Whoever has therefore a double construction, being the subject of both calls and must be admitted.]

  • He shall have whatever he wishes.
  • I will do whichever you say.

In such sentences, care should be taken to use whoever and whomever correctly. The nominative (whoever) is required when the relative is the subject of its own clause.

  • He asked whoever came.
  • He told the story to whoever would listen.
  • He asked whomever he knew.
  • He told the story to whomever he met.

160. The compound relatives are sometimes used without an antecedent expressed or implied.

  • Whoever deserts you, I will remain faithful.
  • Whomever it offends, I will speak the truth.
  • Whatever he attempts, he is sure to fail.
  • Whichever you choose, you will be disappointed.

Note. This construction is closely related to that explained in. “Whoever deserts you, I will remain faithful,” is practically equivalent to “Whoever deserts you, let him desert you! I will remain faithful.” No antecedent, however, is felt by the speaker, and hence none need be supplied in parsing. Compare concessive clauses.

161. Which, what, whichever, and whatever are often used as adjectives.

  • Use what (or whatever) powers you have.
  • Whichever plan you adopt, you have my best wishes.

162. A noun limited by the adjectives what, whichever, and whatever, may have the same double construction that these relatives have when they are used as pronouns. Thus,–

Take whichever pen is not in use. [Here pen is both the direct object of take, and the subject of is.]

Whoso for whosoever and whatso for whatsoever are common in older English.

INTERROGATIVE PRONOUNS

163. The interrogative pronouns are who, which, and what. They are used in asking questions.

  • Who is your neighbor?
  • Who goes there?
  • Whom have you chosen?
  • From whom did you learn this?
  • Whose voice is that?
  • Which shall I take?
  • Which is correct?
  • What did he say?
  • What is lacking?
  • With what are you so delighted?

164. Who has a possessive whose, and an objective whom. Which and what are not inflected.

Who may be either masculine or feminine; which and what may be of any gender.

165. The objective whom often begins a question (as in the third example in. Care should be taken not to write who for whom.

166. Which and what are used as interrogative adjectives.

  • Which street shall I take?
  • What village is this?

167. The interrogative adjective what may be used in a peculiar form of exclamatory sentence. Thus,–

  • What a cold night this is!
  • What courage he must have had!

What! by itself often serves as an exclamation: as,–“What! do you really think so?” In this use what may be regarded as an interjection.

168. In parsing pronouns the following models may be used:–

1. He was my earliest friend.

He is a personal pronoun of the third person. It is in the masculine gender, the singular number, and the nominative case, being the subject of the verb was.

2. A policeman whom I met showed me the house.

Whom is a relative pronoun of the masculine gender, singular number, and third person, agreeing with its antecedent, policeman. It is in the objective case, being the direct object of the transitive verb met.

3. The corporal, whose name was Scott, came from Leith.

Whose is a relative pronoun of the masculine gender, singular number, and third person, agreeing with its antecedent, corporal. It is in the possessive case, modifying the noun name.

4. Whose birthday do we celebrate in February?

Whose is an interrogative pronoun in the masculine or feminine gender, singular number, and possessive case, modifying the noun birthday.

5. He injured himself severely.

Himself is a compound personal pronoun of the third person, used reflexively. It is of the masculine gender, singular number, and third person, agreeing with its antecedent, he. It is in the objective case, being the direct object of the transitive verb injured.

LESSON 92.

ADJECTIVES

CLASSIFICATION OF ADJECTIVES

169. An adjective is a word which describes or limits a substantive.

An adjective is said to belong to the substantive which it describes or limits.

An adjective which describes is called a descriptive adjective; one which points out or designates is called a definitive adjective.

Most adjectives are descriptive: as,–round, cold, red, angry, graceful, excessive, young, sudden, Roman.

Note. Many descriptive adjectives are compound: as,–steadfast, lionlike, fireproof, downright, heartsick, everlasting, brown-eyed, broad-shouldered, ill-tempered, dear-bought, far-fetched, never-ending, self-evident, self-important. “He was a matter-of-fact person.” “Tom is hail-fellow-well-met with everybody.” “This is an out-of-the-way place.” “A dashing, down-at-the-heel youth answered my knock.”

170. A proper noun used as an adjective, or an adjective derived from a proper noun, is called a proper adjective and usually begins with a capital letter.

Examples:

  • a Panama hat,
  • Florida oranges,
  • a Bunsen burner;
  • Virginian,
  • Spenserian,
  • Newtonian,
  • Icelandic,
  • Miltonic,
  • Byronic,
  • Turkish,
  • English,
  • Veronese.

Note. Many so-called proper adjectives begin with a small letter because their origin is forgotten or disregarded: as,–china dishes, italic type, mesmeric power, a jovial air, a saturnine expression, a mercurial temperament, a stentorian voice.

171. Definitive adjectives include:–pronouns used as adjectives (as, this opportunity; those pictures; either table; what time is it?); numeral adjectives (as, two stars; the third year); the articles, a (or an) and the.

Pronouns used as adjectives (often called pronominal adjectives) have been studied under Pronouns–demonstratives, indefinites, relatives, interrogatives.

Numeral adjectives will be treated, along with other numerals (nouns and adverbs), in.

The articles will be treated in.

172. Adjectives may be classified, according to their position in the sentence, as attributive, appositive, and predicate adjectives.

1. An attributive adjective is closely attached to its noun and regularly precedes it.

  • The angry spot doth glow on CAEsar’s brow.
  • O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome!
  • Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look.

2. An appositive adjective is added to its noun to explain it, like a noun in apposition.

Noun in Apposition Appositive Adjective
The castle, a ruin, stood on the edge of the cliff. The castle, ancient and ruinous, stood on the edge of the cliff.
Bertram, the ringleader, refused to surrender. Bertram, undaunted, refused to surrender.

3. A predicate adjective completes the meaning of the predicate verb, but describes or limits the subject.

Predicate adjectives are common after is (in its various forms) and other copulative verbs, particularly become and seem.

  • The sea is rough to-day.
  • Burton soon became cautious in his judgments.
  • You seem anxious about your future.
  • The air grew hot and sultry.
  • Our first experiment proved unsuccessful.
  • The milk turned sour.
  • Our agent proved trustworthy.

Note. The construction of the predicate adjective is similar to that of the predicate nominative. Both are known as complements, because they complete the meaning of a verb.

After look, sound, taste, smell, feel, a predicate adjective is used to describe the subject. Thus,–

  • Your flowers look thrifty. [Not: look thriftily.]
  • Their voices sound shrill. [Not: sound shrilly.]
  • This apple tastes sweet. [Not: tastes sweetly.]
  • The air smells good. [Not: smells well.]
  • The patient feels comfortable. [Not: feels comfortably.]

For predicate adjectives after passive verbs.

For the use of an adjective as predicate objective.

THE ARTICLES

173. The adjectives a (or an) and the are called articles.

1. The definite article the points out one or more particular objects as distinct from others of the same kind.

  • The train is late.
  • Here is the key.
  • The children are in the next room.

2. The indefinite article a (or an) designates an object as merely one of a general class or kind.

  • Lend me a pencil.
  • I have a cold.
  • A young man answered my knock.

The article a is a fragment of ān (pronounced ahn), the ancient form of the numeral one; an keeps the n, which a has lost. The is an old demonstrative, related to that.

174. The with a singular noun sometimes indicates a class or kind of objects.

  • The scholar is not necessarily a dryasdust.
  • The elephant is the largest of quadrupeds.
  • The aëroplane is a very recent invention.
  • Resin is obtained from the pine.

Note. In this use the is often called the generic article (from the Latin genus, “kind” or “sort”). The singular number with the generic the is practically equivalent to the plural without an article. Thus in the first example the sense would be the same if we had, “Scholars are not necessarily dryasdusts.”

175. An adjective preceded by the may be used as a plural noun.

  • The brave are honored.
  • The rich have many cares.
  • The strong should protect the weak.

176. An is used before words beginning with a vowel or silent h; a before other words. Thus,–

  • an owl;
  • an apple;
  • an honest man;
  • a stone;
  • a pear.

177. Special rules for a or an are the following:–

1. Before words beginning with the sound of y or w, the form a, not an, is used.

Examples:

  • a union,
  • a university,
  • a yew,
  • a ewe,
  • a eulogy,
  • a Utopian
  • scheme,
  • such a one.

This rule covers all words beginning with eu and many beginning with u. Note that the initial sound is a consonant, not a vowel. An was formerly common before such words (as,–an union, such an one), but a is now the settled form.

2. Before words beginning with h and not accented on the first syllable, an is often used. Thus, we say–

  • a his´tory;
  • BUT, an histor´ical novel.

In such cases, the h is very weak in sound, and is sometimes quite silent, so that the word practically begins with a vowel. Usage varies, but careful writers favor the rule here given. An was formerly more common before h than at present.

178. With two or more connected nouns or adjectives the article should be repeated whenever clearness requires.

  • I have consulted the secretary and the treasurer. [“The secretary and treasurer” would imply that the same person held both offices.]
  • I found an anchor and a chain. [“An anchor and chain” would suggest that the chain was attached to the anchor.]
  • In some towns there are separate schools for the boys and the girls; in others the boys and girls attend the same schools.
  • He waved a red and white flag.
  • He waved a red and a white flag.

179. A is often used distributively, in the sense of each.

  • I paid five dollars a pair for my shoes.
  • The letter-carrier calls twice a day.
  • My class meets three times a week.

In such phrases a is better than per, except in strictly commercial language.

180. When used with adjectives, the articles precede, except in a few phrases: as,–

  • Such an uproar was never heard.
  • Many a man has tried in vain.

For the adverb the, which is quite distinct from the article in use and meaning.

For the preposition a (as in “He went a-fishing”).

COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES

181. In comparing objects with each other, we may use three different forms of the same adjective.

  • Thomas is strong.
  • William is stronger than Thomas.
  • Herbert is strongest of the three.

This inflection of adjectives is called comparison, and the three forms are called degrees of comparison.

182. The degrees of comparison indicate by their form in what degree of intensity the quality described by the adjective exists.

There are three degrees of comparison,–the positive, the comparative, and the superlative.

1. The positive degree is the simplest form of the adjective, and has no special ending.

It merely describes the quality, without expressing or suggesting any comparison.

Thomas is strong.

Thus, the positive degree of the adjective strong is strong.

2. The comparative degree of an adjective is formed by adding the termination er to the positive degree.

It denotes that the quality exists in the object described in a higher degree than in some other object.

William is stronger than Thomas.

Thus, the comparative degree of the adjective strong is stronger.

3. The superlative degree is formed by adding est to the positive degree.

It denotes that the quality exists in the highest degree in the object described.

Herbert is strongest of the three.

Other examples of the comparison of adjectives are:–

Positive Degree Comparative Degree Superlative Degree
rich richer richest
poor poorer poorest
fast faster fastest
firm firmer firmest

183. Rules of Spelling.

1. Adjectives ending in silent e drop this letter before the comparative ending er and the superlative ending est. Thus,–

  • wise, wiser, wisest;
  • pure, purer, purest;
  • handsome, handsomer, handsomest.

2. Most adjectives ending in y change y to i before the endings er and est. Thus,–

  • silky, silkier, silkiest;
  • glossy, glossier, glossiest;
  • sorry, sorrier, sorriest.

3. Adjectives having a short vowel and ending in a single consonant double this before the endings er and est. Thus,–

  • dim, dimmer, dimmest;
  • sad, sadder, saddest;
  • fit, fitter, fittest;
  • big, bigger, biggest;
  • red, redder, reddest;
  • hot, hotter, hottest.

184. Many adjectives are compared by prefixing the adverbs more and most to the positive degree.

Many adjectives of two syllables and most adjectives of three or more syllables are so compared. Thus,–

  • recent, more recent, most recent;
  • terrible, more terrible, most terrible;
  • triumphant, more triumphant, most triumphant;
  • economical, more economical, most economical.

Some adjectives may be compared in either way.

Examples:

  • intense, intenser, intensest;
  • OR intense, more intense, most intense.

So also–

  • profound,
  • sublime,
  • unkind.

Note. The adverbs less and least may be used with an adjective, if one wishes to run down the scale of comparison: as,–terrible, less terrible, least terrible. This idiom, however, should not be regarded as comparison of the adjective. “Superlative” means “in the highest degree,” and is not applicable to least terrible, which means “terrible in the lowest degree.”

IRREGULAR COMPARISON

185. Several adjectives have irregular comparison.

Positive Comparative Superlative
bad (evil, ill) worse worst
far farther farthest
—- further furthest
good better best
late later, latter latest, last
well (in health) better —-
little less, lesser least
much, many more most

Old has comparative older or elder, superlative oldest or eldest. Elder or eldest may be used with certain nouns of relationship, or in the phrases the elder and the eldest.

This is my elder brother. My brother is older than yours.
Jane was the eldest of six children. I shall wear my oldest clothes.

Elder is also used as a noun: as,–“You should respect your elders.”

Next is a superlative of nigh. It is used only in the sense of “the very nearest.”

  • I live in the next street.
  • The next time he comes, I shall refuse to see him.

186. A few superlatives end in -most. With these, one or both of the other degrees are commonly wanting.

Positive Comparative Superlative
—- (former) foremost
hind hinder hindmost
—- inner inmost, innermost
(out, adverb) outer outmost, outermost
(utter) utmost, uttermost
(up, adverb) upper uppermost
—- —- endmost
—- nether nethermost
top —- topmost
—- —- furthermost
north —- northmost
northern (more northern) northernmost
south —- southmost
southern (more southern) southernmost
east, eastern (more eastern) easternmost
west, western (more western) westernmost

Note. The ending -most is not the adverb most. It is a very old superlative ending -mest changed under the influence of the adverb most.

187. For adjectives incapable of comparison. For special rules for the use of comparative and superlative.

188. In parsing an adjective, tell whether it is descriptive or definitive, mention the substantive to which it belongs, and specify the degree of comparison.

LESSON 93.

ADVERBS

189. An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

  • The storm ceased suddenly.
  • A very disastrous storm swept the coast.
  • The storm ceased very suddenly.

190. Adverbs are classified according to their meaning as: (1) adverbs of manner; (2) adverbs of time; (3) adverbs of place; (4) adverbs of degree.

1. Adverbs of manner answer the question “How?” “In what way?”

They modify verbs or adjectives, rarely adverbs. Most of them are formed from adjectives by adding ly.

  • Tom answered courageously.
  • The poor child looked helplessly about.
  • Softly and silently fell the snow.
  • The pain was terribly severe.
  • The river rose surprisingly fast.

2. Adverbs of time answer the question “When?” They usually modify verbs. Thus,–

  • The old castle is now a museum.
  • He was recently promoted.
  • I have been disturbed lately.
  • My friend arrives to-day.
  • James was then a boy of seven.
  • I have already rung the bell.
  • Afterwards he regretted his haste.

3. Adverbs of place answer the question “Where?” They usually modify verbs. Thus,–

  • Come here.
  • Yonder stands the culprit.
  • An old sailor came forward.
  • My sister is out.
  • I was abroad that winter.

4. Adverbs of degree answer the question “To what degree or extent?” They modify verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Thus,–

  • Arthur is rather tall.
  • Father was much pleased.
  • Father was very much pleased.
  • The task seemed utterly hopeless.
  • That is hardly possible.
  • That is not possible.

191. Some adverbs have the same form as the corresponding adjectives.

  • You have guessed right.
  • How fast the tide ebbs!
  • The horse was sold cheap.
  • Tired men sleep sound.

Other examples are:–

  • wrong,
  • straight,
  • early,
  • late,
  • quick,
  • hard,
  • far,
  • near,
  • slow,
  • high,
  • low,
  • loud,
  • ill,
  • well,
  • deep,
  • close,
  • just,
  • very,
  • much,
  • little.

Under this head come certain adverbs of degree used to modify adjectives.

  • His eyes were dark blue. [Compare: very blue.]
  • That silk is light yellow. [Compare: rather yellow.]
  • These flowers are deep purple. [Compare: intensely purple.]
  • The water was icy cold. [Compare: extremely cold.]

That dark, light, etc., are adverbs in this use appears from the fact that they answer the question “How?” Thus,–“His eyes were blue.” “How blue?” “Dark blue.”

Note. In the oldest English many adverbs ended in -ë, as if formed directly from adjectives by means of this ending. Thus, the adjective for hot was t, side by side with which was an adverb të (dissyllabic), meaning hotly. In the fourteenth century this distinction was still kept up. Thus, Chaucer used both the adjective t and the dissyllabic adverb të, meaning hotly. Between 1400 and 1500 all weak final e’s disappeared from the language. In this way the adverb hotë, for example, became simply hot. Thus these adverbs in -ë became identical in form with the corresponding adjectives. Hence in the time of Shakspere there existed, in common use, not only the adjective hot, but also the adverb hot (identical in form with the adjective but really descended from the adverb hotë). One could say not only “The fire is hot” (adjective), but “The fire burns hot” (adverb of manner).

The tendency in modern English has been to confine the form without ending to the adjective use and to restrict the adverbial function to forms in -ly. Thus, a writer of the present time would not say, in prose, “The fire burns hot,” but “The fire burns hotly.” Nevertheless, a number of the old adverbs without ending still remain in good use, and must not be regarded as erroneous.

In poetry, moreover, such adverbs are freely employed; as,–“The boy like a gray goshawk stared wild.” [In prose: stared wildly.]

For adverbial phrases.

For the adverbial objective.

192. Yes and no are peculiar adverbs used in assenting and denying. Thus,–

Are you hungry?

No.

Note. As now used, yes and no stand for complete sentences. Originally, however, they were modifiers, and hence they are still classed as adverbs. The original meaning of no was “never.” Compare never as an emphatic negative in modern English: as,–“Will you surrender?” “Never!” The oldest affirmative adverb was yea. Yes was originally a compound of yea with a form of so, and was used in emphatic affirmatives (like our just so!).

Other adverbs or adverbial phrases are sometimes used like yes or no. Such are certainly, assuredly, by no means, not at all. In these cases, however, the modifying effect of the word or phrase may easily be seen when the sentence is supplied. Thus,–“Will you help me?” “Certainly [I will help you].”

193. There is often used merely to introduce a sentence in the inverted order.

  • There is a hole in my shoe.
  • There are many strangers in town.
  • There rose a thick smoke from the volcano.

In this use, there is sometimes called an expletive (or “filler”). It is unemphatic, and has lost all its force as an adverb of place. Contrast “There [emphatic] stood an Indian under a tree” with, “There

[unemphatic expletive]

stood an Indian under a tree.”

RELATIVE AND INTERROGATIVE ADVERBS

194. Relative adverbs introduce subordinate clauses and are similar in their use to relative pronouns.

I know a farmhouse {in which | where} we can spend the night.

Where is an adverb of place, modifying can spend. But it also introduces the subordinate clause, as the relative pronoun which does. Hence where is called a relative adverb.

195. The principal relative adverbs are:–where, whence, whither, wherever, when, whenever, while, as, how, why, before, after, till, until, since.

Because of their similarity to conjunctions, these words are often called conjunctive adverbs.

  • He had a fever when he was in Spain.
  • Work while it is day.
  • As the ship passed, we observed that her decks were crowded with Malays. [Time.]
  • Keep to the right, as the law directs. [Manner.]
  • You started before I was ready.
  • Wait until the car stops.
  • Since you came, it has rained constantly.

As and since in the sense of “because,” and while in the sense of “although,” are classed as conjunctions.

The clauses introduced by relative adverbs may be either adjective or adverbial.

Note. In “The more you waste, the sooner you will want” (and similar sentences) the is not an article, but an old case-form of the pronoun that, used as an adverb of degree. We may expand the sentence as follows: “To what extent you waste more, to that extent you will want sooner.” Thus it appears that the first the has a relative force, and the second the a demonstrative force.

196. An interrogative adverb introduces a question.

Where, when, whence, whither, how, why, may be used as interrogative adverbs. Thus,–

  • Where are you going?
  • Why must you go?

COMPARISON OF ADVERBS

197. Adverbs have three degrees of comparison,–the positive, the comparative, and the superlative.

1. Most adverbs are compared by means of more and most.

  • John came promptly. [Positive.]
  • Richard came more promptly than John. [Comparative.]
  • Henry came most promptly of all. [Superlative.]

2. A few adverbs are compared by means of the endings er and est. Thus,–

Positive Comparative Superlative
near nearer nearest
soon sooner soonest

Further examples are:–

  • cheap,
  • dear,
  • early,
  • fast,
  • hard,
  • high,
  • long,
  • loud,
  • quick,
  • slow,
  • deep.25

Some adverbs are compared in both ways. Thus,–

  • often, oftener or more often,
  • oftenest or most often.

198. Several adverbs have irregular comparison.

Positive Comparative Superlative
far farther farthest
forth further furthest
ill worse worst
badly
nigh nigher nighest
next
well better best
late later latest
last
little less least
much more most

These adverbs in the main have the same forms as the adjectives studied in above. Note, however: (1) that good and bad are never adverbs; (2) that ill and well, better and best, worse and worst, may be either adverbs or adjectives. Rather is now used in the comparative only.

USE OF THE COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE

199. The comparative degree, not the superlative, is used in comparing two persons or things.

The superlative is used in comparing one person or thing with two or more.

Right: Mary is the more agreeable of the two.
Mary is the most agreeable of all the family.
Wrong: I like both Mary and Jane, but I am fondest of Mary.
I am studying Latin, history, and geometry, but I dislike the latter.

The same principle applies to adverbs.

  • John runs faster than Tom. [Here the acts of two persons are compared.]
  • Which of you three can run fastest? [Here the acts of more than two are compared.]

Note. In older English the superlative sometimes occurs when only two objects are thought of. This use is still found in a few proverbial phrases: as,–“Put your best foot foremost.”

200. The superlative is sometimes used merely for emphasis, without implying any definite comparison: as–“My dearest Kate!”

The superlative of emphasis is very common with most.

  • Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors.–Shakspere.
  • Justice had been most cruelly defrauded.–Wordsworth.

Excessive use of this construction (like frequent repetition of very) is tiresome and weakens style.

Double comparison (as more worthier, most unkindest) is common in older English, but is now a gross error.

201. When two adjectives or adverbs are contrasted by means of than, more is used with the first.

  • Such indulgence is more kind than wise.
  • This scheme is more clever than honest.
  • He acts more boldly than discreetly.

Note. The adverb rather is often used with the first adjective or adverb (as,–“rather kind than wise” or “kind rather than wise”), but in a slightly different sense.

202. Many adjectives and adverbs are, from their meaning, incapable of comparison. Such are:–

1. Adjectives expressing a quality as absolute or complete, and adverbs derived from such adjectives.

Examples:

  • unique,
  • universal,
  • single,
  • matchless,
  • instantaneous,
  • triangular,
  • everlasting,
  • infinite,
  • mortal;
  • uniquely,
  • singly,
  • eternally,
  • mortally.

2. The adverbs here, there, then, now, when, and the like.

Note. Words like perfect, exact, straight, etc., are commonly said to be incapable of comparison, but this is an error. For each of these words may vary in sense. When perfect (for example) denotes absolute perfection, it cannot be compared. But perfect has also another sense: namely, “partaking in a higher or lower degree of the qualities that make up absolute perfection,” so that we may describe one statue as more perfect than another, or one of three statues as the most perfect of them all. In this use, which is unobjectionable, we simply admit that nothing in the world is absolutely flawless, and assert that the three statues approach ideal perfection in various degrees.

203. An adjective phrase may sometimes be compared by means of more and most.

  • I was never more out of humor [= more vexed].
  • I think your last suggestion most in keeping [= most appropriate].

NUMERALS–ADJECTIVES, NOUNS, AND ADVERBS

204. Words indicating number are called numerals. They are adjectives, nouns, or adverbs.

  • There are seven days in the week. [Adjective.]
  • Twelve make a dozen. [Noun.]
  • I have called twice. [Adverb.]

205. The chief classes of numerals are cardinals and ordinals.

1. Cardinal numeral adjectives (one, two, three, four, etc.) are used in counting, and answer the question “How many?”

  • I had to pay three dollars.
  • There were forty-two vessels in the fleet.

Note. In such expressions as “The boy was sixteen,” the numeral is a predicate adjective limiting boy. We need not expand sixteen to “sixteen years old.”

2. Ordinal numeral adjectives (first, second, third, etc.) denote the position or order of a person or thing in a series.

  • Carl plays the second violin.
  • Your friend is sitting in the fifth row.

206. All the cardinal and ordinal numerals may become nouns and may take a plural ending in some of their senses.

  • One is enough.
  • Four are missing.
  • The nine played an excellent game.
  • Three twos are six.
  • The men formed by fours.
  • Thousands perished by the way.
  • Eight is two thirds of twelve. [So regularly in fractional parts.]

Note. Hundred, thousand, million were originally nouns, but are now equally common as adjectives. Other numeral nouns are:–twain, couple, pair, brace, trio, quartette, quintette, foursome, dozen, score, century.

207. Certain numeral adjectives (single, double, triple, etc.) indicate how many times a thing is taken or of how many like parts it consists.

  • A double row of policemen stood on guard.
  • A fourfold layer of chilled steel forms the door.

Some of these words may be used as adverbs.

  • The cabman charged double.
  • His fear increased tenfold.

208. Certain numeral adverbs and adverbial phrases indicate how many times an action takes place.

  • Once my assailant slipped.
  • I rang the bell twice.
  • The river hath thrice flow’d, no ebb between.–Shakspere.

The only adverbs of this kind in ordinary use are once and twice. For larger numbers an adverbial phrase (three times, four times, etc.) is employed. Thrice, however, is still common in poetry and the solemn style.

LESSON 94.

VERBS

CLASSIFICATION OF VERBS

209. A verb is a word which can assert something (usually an action) concerning a person, place, or thing.

Most verbs express action. Some, however, merely express state or condition. Thus,–

  • 1. We jumped for joy.
  • Rabbits burrow into the sides of hills.
  • 2. While memory lasts, I can never forget you.
  • This mountain belongs to the Appalachian range.

A verb-phrase is a group of words that is used as a verb.

  • The leaves are turning.
  • The money has been found.

210. Certain verbs, when used to make verb-phrases, are called auxiliary (that is, “aiding”) verbs, because they help other verbs to express action or state of some particular kind.

The auxiliary verbs are is (are, was, were, etc.), may, can, must, might, shall, will, could, would, should, have, had, do, did.

  • I am writing.
  • We must go.
  • You will fall.
  • He has forgotten me.
  • We had failed.
  • I do see him.

The auxiliary verb may be separated from the rest of the verb-phrase by other words.

  • I have always liked him.
  • I shall soon send for you.
  • Robert was completely bewildered.
  • He has hardly ever spoken to me.

211. Verbs are either transitive or intransitive.

Some verbs may be followed by a substantive denoting that which receives the action or is produced by it. These are called transitive verbs. All other verbs are called intransitive.

A substantive that completes the meaning of a transitive verb is called its direct object.

In the following sentences, the first four verbs are transitive (with objects), the last five are intransitive (without objects):–

  • Lightning shattered the oak.
  • Clouds darkened the sky.
  • Chemists extract radium from pitchblende.
  • The orator quoted Tennyson incorrectly.
  • Look where he stands and glares!
  • The bankrupt absconded.
  • The orange sky of evening died away.
  • The words differ in a single letter.

212. A verb which is transitive in one of its senses may be intransitive in another.

Transitive (with Object) Intransitive (without Object)
Boys fly kites. Birds fly.
The pirates sank the ship. The stone sank.
I closed my eyes. School closed yesterday.
Tom tore his coat. The cloth tore easily.

213. Many transitive verbs may be used absolutely,–that is, merely to express action without any indication of the direct object.

Transitive Verb with Object expressed Transitive Verb used absolutely
The horses drank water. The horses drank from the brook.
The farmer plows his fields. The farmer plows in the spring.
Charles is drawing a picture. Charles is drawing.

There is a sharp contrast between a transitive verb used absolutely and a real intransitive verb. To the former we can always add an object; with the latter no object is possible.

214. Is (in its various forms) and several other verbs may be used to frame sentences in which some word or words in the predicate describe or define the subject).

Such verbs are called copulative (that is, “joining”) verbs.

Is in this use is often called the copula (or “link”).

  • Time is money.
  • Grant was a tireless worker.
  • Macbeth became a tyrant.
  • His swans always prove geese.
  • The current is sluggish.
  • Lions are carnivorous.
  • This village looks prosperous.
  • The consul’s brow grew stern.
  • The queen turned pale.

In the first four examples, the copulative verb (the simple predicate) is followed by a predicate nominative; in the last five by a predicate adjective.

The copulative verbs are intransitive, since they take no object. Sometimes, however, they are regarded as a third class distinct both from transitive and intransitive verbs.

215. The verb is is not always a copula. It is sometimes emphatic and has the sense of exist.

  • I think. Therefore I am. [That is, I exist.]
  • Whatever is, is right. [The second is is the copula.]

Most of the other copulative verbs may be used in some sense in which they cease to be copulative.

  • The lawyer proved his case.
  • Walnut trees grow slowly.
  • Mr. Watson grows peaches.
  • The wheel turned slowly on the axle.
  • He turned his head and looked at me.

INFLECTION OF VERBS

216. Verbs have inflections of tense, person and number, and mood. They also have the distinction of voice, which is expressed by the help of verb-phrases.

Tense indicates time; person and number correspond with person and number in substantives; mood shows the manner in which the action is expressed; voice indicates whether the subject acts or is acted upon.

TENSE OF VERBS

217. The tense of a verb indicates its time.

Verbs have forms of tense to indicate present, past, or future time.

1. A verb in the present tense refers to present time.

2. A verb in the past tense refers to past time.

3. A verb in the future tense refers to future time.

The present, the past, and the future are called simple tenses.

Present Tense Past Tense Future Tense
He lives here. He lived here. He will live here.
The sun shines. The sun shone. The sun will shine.
I know him. I knew him. I shall know him.
FORMS OF THE PRESENT AND THE PAST

218. The present and the past tense have special forms of inflection.

For the moment we will consider the form which the verb has when its subject is the first personal pronoun I.

In the present tense the verb has its simplest form, without any inflectional ending.

  • I like it.
  • I hope for the best.
  • I dwell in the wilderness.
  • I find him amusing.

219. The past tense is formed in two ways, and a verb is classed as weak or strong in accordance with the way in which it forms this tense.

1. Weak verbs form the past tense by adding ed, d, or t to the present.

Examples:

  • mend, mended;
  • select, selected;
  • fill, filled;
  • glow, glowed;
  • talk, talked;
  • revere, revered;
  • dwell, dwelt.

2. Strong verbs form the past tense by changing the vowel of the present, without the addition of an ending.

Examples:

  • drink, drank;
  • begin, began;
  • come, came;
  • rise, rose;
  • bind, bound;
  • cling, clung;
  • stick, stuck;
  • wear, wore.

Weak verbs are sometimes called regular, and strong verbs irregular verbs.

For a list of the strong verbs.

Note. The terms strong and weak were first applied to verbs for a somewhat fanciful reason. The strong verbs were so called because they seemed to form the past tense out of their own resources, without calling to their assistance any ending. The weak verbs were so called because they could not form the past tense without the aid of the ending ed, d, or t.

220. The ending that is written ed is fully pronounced only when d or t precedes (as,–thread, threaded; attract, attracted). Otherwise, e is silent, so that the ending becomes, in pronunciation, d or t (as,–entered, pronounced enter’d; rocked, pronounced rockt).

In poetry and the solemn style, however, the silent e in the ending ed is sometimes restored to its ancient rights.

221. Many weak verbs show special irregularities in the past tense.

1. Make has made in the past, and have has had.

2. Some verbs in -nd and -ld form their past tense by changing this d to t.

Examples:

  • bend, bent;
  • send, sent;
  • lend, lent;
  • rend, rent;
  • spend, spent;
  • build, built.

3. A few verbs add d or t in the past and also change the vowel of the present. Thus,–

sell sold
tell told
shoe shod
say said (pronounced sed)
hear heard (pronounced herd)
bring brought
buy bought
catch caught
seek sought
beseech besought
teach taught
methinks methought

Work has an old past tense wrought, common in poetry; its usual past is worked. For must, would, etc.

4. Some verbs that have a long vowel sound in the present have in the past a short vowel sound before the ending t.

Examples:

  • creep, crept;
  • keep, kept;
  • sleep, slept;
  • sweep, swept;
  • weep, wept;
  • feel, felt;
  • deal, dealt (pronounced delt);
  • mean, meant (pronounced ment);
  • lose, lost;
  • leave, left.

5. Some verbs in d or t preceded by a long vowel sound have a short vowel in the past but add no ending.

Examples:

  • bleed, bled;
  • breed, bred;
  • feed, fed;
  • speed, sped;
  • lead, led;
  • read (pronounced reed), read (pronounced red);
  • meet, met;
  • light, lit (also lighted).

6. Some verbs in d or t have in the past the same form as in the present.

Examples:

  • shed, past shed;
  • spread, past spread;
  • bet, past bet;
  • hit, past hit;
  • set, past set;
  • put, past put;
  • shut, past shut;
  • cut, past cut;
  • hurt, past hurt;
  • cast, past cast.

Note. The verbs in 5 and 6 might appear to be strong verbs, since they have no ending in the past and some of them change the vowel. They are, however, all weak verbs. Their lack of ending is due to the fact that the d or t of the termination has been absorbed in the final d or t of the verb itself. Thus, the past set was originally settë (dissyllabic), and this form, after the loss of -ë, became indistinguishable in sound from set, the present.

For lists of irregular weak verbs.

PERSON AND NUMBER–THE PERSONAL ENDINGS

222. A verb must agree with its subject in number and person.

Verbs, like substantives, have two numbers (singular and plural) and three persons (first, second, and third).

The singular number denotes a single person or thing. The plural number denotes more than one person or thing.

The first person denotes the speaker; the second person denotes the person spoken to; the third person denotes the person or thing spoken of.

223. The inflections of person and number in verbs may be seen by framing sentences with the personal pronouns as subjects. Thus,–

Present Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I walk. 1. We walk.
2. Thou walk-est. 2. You walk.
3. He walk-s [old form, walk-eth]. 3. They walk.
Past Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I walked. 1. We walked.
2. Thou walked-st. 2. You walked.
3. He walked. 3. They walked.

From the sentences it is evident (1) that the person and number of a verb are usually shown by its subject only, but (2) that some verb-forms have special endings which denote person and number.

224. The endings by means of which a verb indicates person and number are called personal endings.

1. In the present tense a verb has two personal endings, est for the second person singular and s for the third person singular (old form eth).

The first person singular and all three persons of the plural are alike. The simplest form of the verb is used and no personal ending is added.

2. The past tense has but one personal ending,–est or st in the second person singular.

The forms in est or st are confined to poetry and the solemn style. In ordinary language, the second person plural is used to address a single person.

The following table shows the personal endings of the present and the past tense:–

Personal Endings
Present Tense Past Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL
1. [no ending] 1. [no ending] 1. [no ending] 1. [no ending]
2. -est, -st 2. [no ending] 2. -est, -st 2. [no ending]
3. -s [old, -eth] 3. [no ending] 3. [no ending] 3. [no ending]
Conjugation of the Present and the Past

225. The inflection of a verb is called its conjugation. When we inflect a verb we are said to conjugate it.

Conjugation of the Weak Verb Walk
Present Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I walk. 1. We walk.
2. Thou walkest. 2. You walk.
3. He walks. 3. They walk.
Past Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I walked. 1. We walked.
2. Thou walkedst. 2. You walked.
3. He walked. 3. They walked.
Conjugation of the Strong Verb Find
Present Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I find. 1. We find.
2. Thou findest. 2. You find.
3. He finds. 3. They find.
Past Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I found. 1. We found.
2. Thou foundest. 2. You found.
3. He found. 3. They found.
Conjugation of the Copula
Present Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I am. 1. We are.
2. Thou art. 2. You are.
3. He is. 3. They are.
Past Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I was. 1. We were.
2. Thou wast. 2. You were.
3. He was. 3. They were.

Note. The English verb formerly had more personal endings. In Chaucer, for instance, the typical inflection of the present is:–

Singular Plural
1. I walkë. 1. We walken (or walkë).
2. Thou walkest. 2. Ye walken (or walkë).
3. He walketh. 3. They walken (or walkë).

The disappearance of all weak final e’s in the fifteenth century reduced the first person singular and the whole plural to the single form walk. Later, walks (a dialect form) was substituted for walketh, and still later the second person singular was replaced in ordinary use by the plural. The result has been that in modern speech there are only two common forms in the present tense,–walk and walks. In poetry and the solemn style, however, walkest and walketh are still in use. The plural in en is frequently adopted by Spenser as an ancient form (or archaism): as,–“You deemen the spring is come.”

Special Rules of Number and Person

226. When the subject is compound, the number of the verb is determined by the following rules:–

1. A compound subject with and usually takes a verb in the plural number.

  • My brother and sister play tennis.
  • The governor and the mayor are cousins.

2. A compound subject with or or nor takes a verb in the singular number if the substantives are singular.

  • Either my brother or my sister is sure to win.
  • Neither the governor nor the mayor favors this appointment.

3. A compound subject with and expressing but a single idea sometimes takes a verb in the singular number.

The sum and substance [= gist] of the matter is this.

Note. This construction is rare in modern English prose. It is for the most part confined to such idiomatic phrases as end and aim (= purpose), the long and short of it, etc. The poets, however, use the construction freely (as in Kipling’s “The tumult and the shouting dies”).

4. If the substantives connected by or or nor differ in number or person, the verb usually agrees with the nearer.

  • Either you or he is to blame.
  • Neither you nor he is an Austrian.
  • Neither John nor we were at home.
  • Neither the mayor nor the aldermen favor this law.

But colloquial usage varies, and such expressions are avoided by careful writers. The following sentences show how this may be done:–

  • Either you are to blame, or he is.
  • One of you two is to blame.
  • Neither of you is an Austrian.
  • He is not afraid; neither am I.
  • Both John and we were away from home.

227. In such expressions as the following, the subject is not compound, and the verb agrees with its singular subject:–

  • The governor with his staff is present.
  • John, as well as Mary, is in London.
  • Tom, along with his friends Dick and Bob, is taking a sail.

228. Nouns that are plural in form but singular in sense commonly take a verb in the singular number.

  • Economics is an important study.
  • The gallows has been abolished in Massachusetts.

In some words usage varies. Thus, pains, in the sense of care or effort, is sometimes regarded as a singular and sometimes as a plural.

Great pains has (or have) been taken about the matter.

229. Collective nouns take sometimes a singular and sometimes a plural verb.

When the persons or things denoted are thought of as individuals, the plural should be used. When the collection is regarded as a unit, the singular should be used.

  • 1. The Senior Class requests the pleasure of your company. [Here the class is thought of collectively, acting as a unit.]
  • 2. The Senior Class are unable to agree upon a president. [Here the speaker has in mind the individuals of whom the class is composed.]
  • 3. The nation welcomes Prince Joseph. [The whole nation unites as a single individual to welcome a distinguished guest.]
  • 4. The American nation are descended from every other nation on earth. [The separate qualities of the individuals who constitute the nation are in the speaker’s mind.]

230. A number in the sense of “several” or “many” regularly takes the plural; the number takes the singular.

  • A number of sailors were loitering on the pier.
  • The number of tickets is limited.

231. Half, part, portion, and the like, take either the singular or the plural according to sense.

  • Half of a circle is a semicircle.
  • Half of the passengers were lost.

232. A verb which has for its subject a relative pronoun is in the same person and number as the antecedent. For examples.

Errors are especially common in such sentences as,–

  • This is one of the strangest sights that ever were seen. [The antecedent of that is sights (not one); hence the relative (that) is plural, and accordingly the verb is plural (were, not was).]
  • Mr. Winn’s oration was among the most eloquent that have [NOT has] been delivered in this state for many years.
  • This is one of the finest paintings there are in the hall. [For the omission of the relative.]
THE FUTURE TENSE

233. The future tense is a verb-phrase consisting of the auxiliary verb shall or will followed by the infinitive without to.

The following table shows the form of the future for each of the three persons (1) in assertions and (2) in questions:–

Future Tense
Assertions (Declarative)
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I shall fall. 1. We shall fall.
2. Thou wilt fall. 2. You will fall.
3. He will fall. 3. They will fall.
Questions (Interrogative)
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. Shall I fall? 1. Shall we fall?
2. Shalt thou fall? 2. Shall you fall?
3. Will he fall? 3. Will they fall?

234. Common errors are the use of will for shall (1) in the first person in assertions and questions, and (2) in the second person in questions.

In the following sentences the first person of the future tense is correctly formed:–

I shall [NOT will] drown. Shall [NOT will] I drown?
I shall [NOT will] fail. Shall [NOT will] I fail?
We shall [NOT will] sink. Shall [NOT will] we sink?

The verb-phrases with shall express merely the action of the verb in future time. They do not indicate any willingness or desire on the part of the subject.

Contrast the following sentences, in which I will or we will is used:–

  • I will go with you.
  • I will give you what you ask.
  • I will not endure it.
  • We will allow you to enter.
  • We will have the truth.

Here the verb-phrases with will do not (as in the previous examples of I shall) express the action of the verb in future time. They express the present willingness or desire or determination of the speaker to do something in the future.

Hence such verb-phrases with will in the first person are not forms of the future tense. They are special verb-phrases expressing willingness or desire.

235. In the first person shall, not will, is the auxiliary of the future tense in both assertions and questions. It denotes simple futurity, without expressing willingness, desire, or determination.

Will in the first person is used in promising, threatening, consenting, and expressing resolution. It never denotes simple futurity.

I. Simple Futurity (Future Tense)
  • I shall be eighteen years old in July. [Not: will be.]
  • Hurry, or we shall miss our train. [Not: will miss.]
  • We shall be glad to see him. [Not: will be.]
II. Promises, Threats, etc.
  • I will subscribe to your fund. [Promise.]
  • We will do our best. [Promise.]
  • I will discharge you if you are late again. [Threat.]
  • We will permit you to go. [Consent.]
  • I will have obedience. [Resolution.]

I’ll and we’ll are contractions of I will and we will and can never stand for I shall and we shall.

  • I’ll meet you at noon. [Promise.]
  • I’ll never consent. [Resolution.]
  • We’ll be revenged on you. [Threat.]

236. When willingness is expressed by an adjective, I shall is correct; when by an adverb, I will. Thus,–

  • I shall be glad to help you.
  • I will gladly help you.

Note. Such expressions as I shall be glad, I shall be willing, I shall be charmed to do this, express willingness not by means of shall but in the adjectives glad, willing, charmed. To say, “I will be glad to do this,” then, would be wrong, for it would be to express volition twice. Such a sentence could only mean “I am determined to be glad to do this.”

On the other hand, in “I will gladly help you,” volition is expressed by the verb-phrase will help and the adverb merely modifies the phrase by emphasizing the speaker’s willingness. Hence I will is correct.

237. Will, when emphasized, always expresses determination on the part of the subject, even in the second and third persons.

  • I WILL go, no matter what you say.
  • {You WILL | He WILL} act foolishly, in spite of my advice.

238. In the second person Shall you? not Will you? is the proper form of the future tense in questions.

Will you? always denotes willingness, consent, or determination, and never simple futurity.

Note that in questions in the second person, the auxiliary used is the same as that expected in the answer.

I. Future Tense (Simple Futurity)
  • Shall you be disappointed if he does not come? [I shall.]
  • Shall you regret his absence? [I shall.]
  • Shall you go by boat or by train? [I shall go by boat.]
II. Verb-Phrase denoting Willingness, etc.
  • Will you write often? [I will.]
  • Will you allow me to help you? [I will.]
  • Will you be so kind as to open the window? [I will.]

239. Shall in the second and third persons is not the sign of the future tense in declarative sentences.

It is used in commanding, promising, threatening, and expressing resolution, the volition being that of the speaker.

  • Thou shalt not kill. [Command.]
  • You shall have the hat before Monday. [Promise.]
  • You shall pay for this insult! [Threat.]
  • She shall not regret her generosity. [Resolution.]

In prophetic language, shall is common in the second and third persons, even when there is no idea of commanding or the like.

The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood.–Joel ii. 31.

240. In military orders and official communications, custom permits the more courteous will in the place of shall in the second and third persons.

  • You will immediately report for orders.
  • Heads of Departments will submit their estimates before January first.

For shall and will in subordinate clauses.

241. Future time may also be expressed by the present tense, or by about or going with the infinitive.

  • We sail for Havana on Tuesday.
  • They are about to begin the study of Greek.
COMPLETE OR COMPOUND TENSES

242. Completed action is denoted by special verb-phrases made by prefixing to the past participle some form of the auxiliary verb have.

These are called the complete or compound tenses.

There are three complete or compound tenses,–the perfect (or present perfect), the pluperfect (or past perfect), and the future perfect.

1. The perfect (or present perfect) tense denotes that the action of the verb is complete at the time of speaking. It is formed by prefixing have (hast, has) to the past participle.

  • I have learned my lesson.
  • He has convinced me.

Note. With several verbs of motion the auxiliary be is sometimes used instead of have: as,–“My friends are gone” (or “have gone”); “Your time is come” (or “has come”).

2. The pluperfect (or past perfect) tense denotes that the action was completed at some point in past time. It is formed by prefixing had (hadst) to the past participle.

  • Before night fell, I had finished the book.
  • When Blake had spoken, Allen rose to reply.

3. The future perfect tense denotes that the action will be completed at some point in future time. It is formed by prefixing the future tense of have (shall have, etc.) to the past participle.

Before I hear from you again, I shall have landed at Naples.

The future perfect tense is rare except in very formal writing.

243. The forms of the past participle will be studied in. Meanwhile, the following practical rule will serve every purpose:–

The past participle is that verb-form which is used after I have.

Examples:

  • [I have] mended,
  • tried,
  • swept,
  • bought,
  • broken,
  • forgotten,
  • found,
  • sunk,
  • dug.

244. A verb-phrase made by prefixing having to the past participle is called the perfect participle.

Having reached my destination, I stopped.

A verb-phrase made by prefixing to have to the past participle is called the perfect infinitive.

I am sorry to have missed you.

245. Three forms of the verb are so important that they are called the principal parts. These are:–

  • (1) the first person singular of the present;
  • (2) the first person singular of the past;
  • (3) the past participle.
Present Past Past Participle
(I) walk (I) walked walked
(I) think (I) thought thought
(I) see (I) saw seen
(I) come (I) came come
(I) make (I) made made

VOICE–ACTIVE AND PASSIVE

246. Voice is that property of verbs which indicates whether the subject acts or is acted upon.

There are two voices, active and passive.

1. A verb is in the active voice when it represents the subject as the doer of an act.

  • Richard shot the bear.
  • Mr. Hardy builds carriages.
  • Dr. Wilson has cured my father.

2. A verb is in the passive voice when it represents the subject as the receiver or the product of an action.

  • The bear was shot by Richard.
  • Carriages are built by Mr. Hardy.
  • My father has been cured by Dr. Wilson.

247. The passive voice of a verb is expressed by a verb-phrase made by prefixing some form of the copula (is, was, etc.) to the past participle.

In the passive voice of the complete tenses, the past participle been follows the proper form of the auxiliary have (as in the third example in).

The passive of the infinitive is made by prefixing to be (perfect, to have been) to the past participle. Thus,–

  • Present infinitive passive: to be struck.
  • Perfect infinitive passive: to have been struck.

248. The following table gives the conjugation of the verb strike in the active and passive of the six tenses:–

Active Voice Passive Voice
Present Tense
SINGULAR
1. I strike. 1. I am struck.
2. Thou strikest. 2. Thou art struck.
3. He strikes. 3. He is struck.
PLURAL
1. We strike. 1. We are struck.
2. You strike. 2. You are struck.
3. They strike. 3. They are struck.
Past Tense
SINGULAR
1. I struck. 1. I was struck.
2. Thou struckest. 2. Thou wast (or wert) struck.
3. He struck. 3. He was struck.
PLURAL
1. We struck. 1. We were struck.
2. You struck. 2. You were struck.
3. They struck. 3. They were struck.
Future Tense
SINGULAR
1. I shall strike. 1. I shall be struck.
2. Thou wilt strike. 2. Thou wilt be struck.
3. He will strike. 3. He will be struck.
PLURAL
1. We shall strike. 1. We shall be struck.
2. You will strike. 2. You will be struck.
3. They will strike. 3. They will be struck.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
SINGULAR
1. I have struck. 1. I have been struck.
2. Thou hast struck. 2. Thou hast been struck.
3. He has struck. 3. He has been struck.
PLURAL
1. We have struck. 1. We have been struck.
2. You have struck. 2. You have been struck.
3. They have struck. 3. They have been struck.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
SINGULAR
1. I had struck. 1. I had been struck.
2. Thou hadst struck. 2. Thou hadst been struck.
3. He had struck. 3. He had been struck.
PLURAL
1. We had struck. 1. We had been struck.
2. You had struck. 2. You had been struck.
3. They had struck. 3. They had been struck.
Future Perfect Tense
SINGULAR
1. I shall have struck. 1. I shall have been struck.
2. Thou wilt have struck. 2. Thou wilt have been struck.
3. He will have struck. 3. He will have been struck.
PLURAL
1. We shall have struck. 1. We shall have been struck.
2. You will have struck. 2. You will have been struck.
3. They will have struck. 3. They will have been struck.
Use of the Passive Voice

249. Any sentence of which the predicate is a transitive verb followed by an object, may be changed from the active to the passive form without affecting the sense.

  • Active. Richard shot the bear.
  • Passive. The bear was shot by Richard.

In this change, (1) bear, the object of the active verb shot, becomes the subject of the passive verb was shot; and (2) Richard, the subject of the active verb shot, becomes by Richard, an adverbial phrase, modifying the passive verb was shot. Thus we have the rule:–

The object of the active verb becomes the subject of the passive, and the subject of the active verb becomes in the passive an adverbial phrase modifying the predicate verb.

Active Voice Passive Voice
My cat caught a bird. A bird was caught by my cat.
Austin thanked Charles. Charles was thanked by Austin.
The bullet penetrated a tree. A tree was penetrated by the bullet.
Sargent painted that portrait. That portrait was painted by Sargent.
The fireman had saved the child. The child had been saved by the fireman.

250. Intransitive verbs are ordinarily used in the active voice only.

  • The bystanders laughed.
  • The watchdogs bark.
  • Snow is falling.

251. An intransitive verb followed by a preposition is often used in the passive, the object of the preposition becoming the subject of the verb.

Active Voice Passive Voice
Everybody laughed at him. He was laughed at by everybody.
The attorney general has not yet passed upon this bill. This bill has not yet been passed upon.
He has tampered with this lock. This lock has been tampered with.
The cart ran over me. I was run over by the cart.

Other examples are:

  • talk about (= discuss),
  • look or inquire into (= investigate),
  • look upon (= regard),
  • jeer at (= deride),
  • reason with,
  • object to,
  • insist upon,
  • act upon.

Note. In this idiom, the preposition is treated like an ending attached to the verb to make it transitive. In other words, laugh at, pass upon, etc., are treated as compound verbs, and the object of the preposition is, in effect, the object of the compound. In the passive, this object becomes the subject and the preposition (now lacking an object) remains attached to the verb. The passive construction is well established, but not always graceful.

252. The passive of some verbs of choosing, calling, naming, making, and thinking may be followed by a predicate nominative.

Active Voice Passive Voice
(PREDICATE OBJECTIVE) (PREDICATE NOMINATIVE)
We elected John president. John was elected president.
The Roman people called the chief friend. The chief was called friend by the Roman people.
The herald proclaimed him emperor. He was proclaimed emperor by the herald.

Note. In the active voice, these verbs may take two objects referring to the same person or thing,–a direct object and a predicate objective. In the passive, the direct object becomes the subject, and the predicate objective becomes a predicate nominative, agreeing with the subject.

Object of the Passive

253. When a verb takes both a direct and an indirect object, one of the two is often retained after the passive, the other becoming the subject. Thus,–

1. The indirect object is retained.

Active Voice Passive Voice
My aunt gave me this watch. This watch was given me by my aunt.
We allowed them free choice. Free choice was allowed them.
He allowed each speaker an hour. An hour was allowed each speaker.
Congress granted me a pension. A pension was granted me.

Note. The preposition to is often inserted in the passive construction, especially with a noun; as,–“A small pension was granted to Dr. Johnson.”

2. The direct object is retained.

Active Voice Passive Voice
We allowed them their choice. They were allowed their choice.
He allowed each speaker an hour. Each speaker was allowed an hour.
They showed me the way. I was shown the way.
Experience has taught me wisdom. I have been taught wisdom by experience.

The direct object after a passive verb is often called the retained object.

Note. This construction, though common, is avoided by many careful writers, except in a few well-established idioms. Its habitual use gives one’s style a heavy and awkward air. Instead of “He was given permission,” one may say “He received permission”; instead of “I was given this watch by my aunt,” either “It was my aunt who gave me this watch” or “This watch was a present from my aunt.”

254. The verb ask, which may take two direct objects,–one denoting the person, the other the thing,–sometimes retains its second object in the passive construction.

  • Active. We asked him his opinion.
  • Passive. He was asked his opinion.

PROGRESSIVE VERB-PHRASES

255. In addition to the tense-forms already described, verbs have so-called progressive forms.

The progressive form of a tense represents the action of the verb as going on or continuing at the time referred to.

  • I ate my dinner.
  • I was eating my dinner.
  • While I was quietly reading by my fireside, strange things were taking place in the square.

Both ate and was eating are in the past tense. But ate merely expresses a past action, whereas was eating describes this action as continuing or in progress in past time.

256. The progressive form is a verb-phrase made by prefixing to the present participle some form of the verb to be.

Progressive Form
Active Voice Present Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I am striking. 1. We are striking.
2. Thou art striking. 2. You are striking.
3. He is striking. 3. They are striking.

So in the other tenses:

Past I was striking, etc.
Future I shall be striking, etc.
Perfect I have been striking, etc.
Pluperfect I had been striking, etc.
Future perfect I shall have been striking, etc.
Passive Voice
Present I am being struck, etc.
Past I was being struck, etc.

257. In the passive, the progressive forms are confined to the present and the past tense.

  • He is being helped by his brother. [Present.]
  • I am being trained by Arthur Ray. [Present.]
  • When I called, tea was being served. [Past.]

258. In subordinate clauses, the verb is (in its various forms) with its subject is often omitted in progressive phrases.

  • While waiting for the train, I bought a newspaper. [That is, While I was waiting.]
  • Though

[he was]

swimming vigorously, he could not stem the tide. When [I am] reading, I like to have the light shine over my left shoulder.

In parsing, the omitted words should be supplied.

259. For such progressive forms as is building for is being built.

EMPHATIC VERB-PHRASES

260. The present or the past of a verb in the active voice may be expressed with emphasis by means of a verb-phrase consisting of do or did and the infinitive without to.

Such a phrase is called the emphatic form of the present or past tense.

“I do see you” and “I did go” differ from “I see you” and “I went” merely in emphasis. Hence do see is called the emphatic form of the present tense of see, and did go the emphatic form of the past tense of go.

261. In questions and in negative statements the emphatic forms are used without the effect of emphasis.

Did you go? I did not go.

Note. Do often stands for some other verb which has just been used: as, “Jack swims better than I do,” “You looked as tired as she did.” This idiom comes from the omission of the infinitive in the verb-phrase:–“Jack swims better than I do [swim].”

In poetry and older English the verb-phrase with do or did in declarative sentences often carries no emphasis, but merely takes the place of the present or past: as,–“The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

MOOD OF VERBS

262. Mood is that property of verbs which shows the manner in which the action or state is expressed.

Mood (or mode) is derived from the Latin word modus, “manner.”

Compare the following sentences, noting the form of the verb in each:

  • Richard is quiet.
  • Is Richard quiet?
  • If Richard were quiet, I might study.
  • Richard, be quiet.

In the first and second sentences, the form is is used to assert or question a fact; in the third, the form were expresses a condition or supposition that is contrary to fact; in the fourth, the form be expresses a command or request.

The difference in form seen in the verb in these sentences is called a difference of mood.

263. There are three moods,–the indicative, the imperative, and the subjunctive.

1. The indicative is the mood of simple assertion or interrogation, but it is used in other constructions also.

2. The imperative is the mood of command or request.

3. The subjunctive mood is used in certain special constructions of wish, condition, and the like.

Thus, in the examples in, is is in the indicative, were in the subjunctive, and be in the imperative mood.

I. INDICATIVE MOOD

264. The ordinary forms of the indicative mood in the active and the passive voice and in all six tenses,–present, past, future, perfect (or present perfect), pluperfect (or past perfect), and future perfect,–may be seen in the table on.

For the progressive form of the indicative; for the emphatic form.

265. The commonest uses of the indicative mood are in statements or questions as to matters of fact; but it may express almost any other form of thought. Thus,

  • Time and tide wait for no man. [Assertion.]
  • How goes the world with you? [Interrogation.]
  • How it rains! [Exclamation.]
  • If the river rises, the dam will be swept away. [Supposition.]
  • I suspect that he has absconded. [Doubt.]
  • I hope that John will come soon. [Desire.]
  • Though Ellen dislikes algebra, she never shirks. [Concession.]
  • You will report for duty immediately. [Command.]
  • Will you allow me to use your knife? [Request.]

Note. The indicative and the subjunctive were originally quite distinct in form, and each had its own set of constructions. But, as our language has grown simpler in its structure, the forms of these two moods have become almost identical, and the uses of the indicative have been greatly multiplied at the expense of the subjunctive. Indeed, there is scarcely any variety of thought expressed by the subjunctive or the imperative for which the indicative cannot also be employed. It is therefore impossible to frame any satisfactory definition of the indicative. Its functions are too varied to be included in one general statement. The indicative is often described as the mood which asserts thought as a fact, and the subjunctive as the mood which expresses thought as supposition (or as mere thought). But the indicative, as well as the subjunctive, may express supposition, condition, doubt, desire, concession, etc. Hence the definitions in are as exact as the facts of the language allow. All the efforts of grammarians to devise more “accurate” definitions break down when tested by actual usage.

II. IMPERATIVE MOOD

266. The imperative is the mood of command or request.

  • Hurry!
  • Lie down.
  • Shut the door.
  • Have patience.
  • Light the lamp.
  • Show us the way.
  • Wait a moment.
  • Come to dinner.

The imperative has both voices, active and passive, but only one tense,–the present. It has both numbers, the singular and the plural, but only one person, the second. It has the same form for both the singular and the plural.

267. 1. The imperative active is the verb in its simplest form.

For examples.

The imperative of the verb to be is be. Thus,–

  • Be brave.
  • Be careful.
  • Be sure you are right.
  • Be here at noon.

2. The imperative passive is a verb-phrase consisting of be and a past participle.

  • Be trusted rather than feared.
  • Study your failures and be instructed by them.

268. The subject of an imperative is seldom expressed unless it is emphatic.

The subject, when expressed, may precede the imperative: as,–You sit here.

Note. In older English, the subject often followed the imperative: as,–Go thou, Go you, Hear ye. This use is now confined to the solemn style and to poetry.

269. The emphatic form of the imperative consists of the imperative do, followed by the infinitive without to.

  • Do tell me what he said.
  • Do stand still.

The form with do is often used when the subject is expressed as,–Do you remain.

270. Prohibition (or negative command) is commonly expressed by means of the form with do.

  • Do not open a closed door without knocking.
  • Do not forget to say “thank you.”

In poetry and the solemn style prohibition is often expressed by the simple imperative with not.

  • Tell me not what too well I know.
  • Devise not evil against thy neighbor.
  • Seek not to learn my name.

271. Commands are sometimes expressed in the indicative by means of shall or will.

  • Thou shalt not steal.
  • You will leave the room immediately.

For such expressions as “Forward!” “Off with you!” and the like.

For the imperative in conditions.

III: SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD
Forms of the Subjunctive

272. The subjunctive mood is used in certain special constructions of wish, condition, and the like.

In older English, the subjunctive forms were common in a variety of uses, as they still are in poetry and the solemn style. In ordinary prose, however, subjunctive forms are rare, and in conversation they are hardly ever heard, except in the case of the copula be.

The subjunctive forms of be are the following:–

Subjunctive Mood
Present Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. If I be. 1. If we be.
2. If thou be. 2. If you be.
3. If he be. 3. If they be.
Past Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. If I were. 1. If we were.
2. If thou wert. 2. If you were.
3. If he were. 3. If they were.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. If I have been. 1. If we have been.
2. If thou have been. 2. If you have been.
3. If he have been. 3. If they have been.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. If I had been. 1. If we had been.
2. If thou hadst been. 2. If you had been.
3. If he had been. 3. If they had been.

If is used in the paradigm because it is in clauses beginning with if that the subjunctive is commonest in modern English; but if is of course no part of the subjunctive inflection.

273. In other verbs, the subjunctive active has the same forms as the indicative, except in the second and third persons singular of the present and the perfect, which are like the first person:–

Present Perfect
1. If I strike. 1. If I have struck.
2. If thou strike. 2. If thou have struck.
3. If he strike. 3. If he have struck.

In the passive subjunctive, the subjunctive forms of the copula are used as auxiliaries:–present, If I be struck; past, If I were struck; perfect, If I have been struck; pluperfect, If I had been struck.

274. Progressive verb-phrases in the subjunctive may be formed by means of the copula:–present, If I be striking; past, If I were striking. The present is rare; the past is common.

Uses of the Subjunctive

Subjunctive in Wishes and Exhortations

275. The subjunctive is often used in wishes or prayers.

  • Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
  • Heaven help him!
  • The saints preserve us!
  • God bless you!
  • Long live the king!
  • O that I had listened to him!
  • O that we were rid of him!

In the first five examples, the wish is expressed in an independent sentence. In the last two, the construction is subordinate,–the that-clause being the object of an unexpressed “I wish”.

276. The subjunctive be is often omitted when it may easily be supplied.

  • Peace [be] to his ashes!
  • Honor [be] to his memory!
  • Honor [be] to whom honor is due!

277. Wishes are often introduced by may or would.

  • May you never want!
  • Would that he were safe!
  • Would you were with us! [For Would that.]

May and would in such expressions were originally subjunctives; would stands for I would, that is, I should wish. Want in the first example is an infinitive without to. For wishes expressed by the infinitive.

278. Exhortations in the first person plural sometimes take the subjunctive in elevated or poetical style.

  • Hear we the king!
  • Join we in a hymn of praise!

Exhortation is ordinarily expressed by let us followed by the infinitive without to.

  • Let us join hands.
  • Let us have peace.
  • Let’s camp here.

Let is a verb in the imperative mood, us is its object, and the infinitive (join, have, camp) depends on let.

Subjunctives in Concessions, Conditions, etc.

279. The subjunctive is used after though, although, to express an admission or concession not as a fact but as a supposition.

  • Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.
  • Though he were to beg this on his knees, I should still refuse.

When the concession is stated as an admitted fact, the indicative is regular.

  • Although he is a foreigner, he speaks good English.
  • Though he sometimes sings, he is not now in good voice.

280. After if and unless, expressing condition, the subjunctive may be used in a variety of ways.

  • 1. If this be gold, our fortune is made. [It may or may not be gold.]
  • 2. If he confess, I shall overlook the offence. [He may or may not confess.]
  • 3. Unless he confess, he cannot be convicted. [He may or may not confess.]
  • 4. If this were gold, our fortune would be made. [It is not gold; hence our fortune is not made.]
  • 5. If he stood before me at this moment, I should tell him my opinion. [He does not stand before me; hence I do not tell him.]
  • 6. If he had confessed, I should have overlooked his fault. [He did not confess; hence I did not overlook it.]
  • 7. Unless he had confessed, he could not have been convicted. [He did confess; hence he was convicted.]

In conditional clauses, the present subjunctive denotes either present or future time. It puts the supposed case doubtfully, but not necessarily as improbable. (See examples 1–3.)

The past subjunctive refers to present time. It implies that the supposed case is not now a fact. (See examples 4 and 5.)

The pluperfect (or past perfect) subjunctive refers to past time. It implies that the supposed case was not a fact. (See 6 and 7.)

For details of conditional sentences.

281. Concession or condition may be expressed by the subjunctive without though or if, the verb preceding the subject, which is sometimes omitted.

I. Concession

  • Try as we may, we cannot swim to that rock.
  • Say what he will, he can never convince me.
  • Come what will, I’ll stand my ground.
  • Be that as it may, my mind is made up.

II. Condition

  • Were I asked, I could tell all the facts. [If I were asked, etc.]
  • Had I known, I would have written to you. [If I had known, etc.]
  • I shall be twenty years old, come Tuesday. [If Tuesday come, etc.]
  • I will go, rain or shine. [If it rain, or if it shine, etc.]
  • Be he prince or be he pauper, every guest is welcome here.

Note. The subjunctive in these concessive and conditional uses is really the same as that in exhortations. “Try [we] as we may” means literally, “Let us try as hard as we can,” and this has the force of “However hard we try” or “Although we try ever so hard.”

282. After as if (as though), the past subjunctive is used.

  • He looks as if he were about to speak. [Not: as if he was about to speak.]
  • I act as if I were crazy. [Not: as if I was crazy.]

283. The subjunctive may express not what is or was, but what would be or would have been, the case.

  • It were safer to travel by day. [It would be safer, etc.]
  • I had been wiser had I forded the river. [I should have been wiser if I had.]

This construction is old-fashioned. Modern English commonly uses should (or would) be, should (or would) have been, instead.

284. The subjunctive is occasionally used after that, lest, before, until, etc., in subordinate clauses referring to the future and commonly expressing purpose or expectation.

  • Take heed that he escape not. [Purpose.]
  • Give him food lest he perish. [Purpose.]
  • Let us tarry until he come. [Expectation.]

This construction is confined to poetry and the solemn or formal style. In ordinary language the indicative or a verb-phrase with may is used.

  • Take heed that he does not escape.
  • Give him food in order that he may not perish.
  • Let us wait till he comes.

285. The past subjunctive had is common in had rather and similar phrases.

  • I had rather wait a day.
  • You had better leave the room.
  • He had as lief go as stay.

Note. Had in this construction is sometimes condemned as erroneous or inelegant; but the idiom is well-established.

Might better, would better, and would rather may be used instead of had better, etc.; but would better is improper in the first person.

286. The subjunctive forms are often replaced by verb-phrases containing the auxiliaries may, might, could, would, should.

1. In wishes.

  • May you live long and prosper!
  • May he never repent this act!
  • Ah, could I but live a hundred years!

2. In concessions and conditions.

  • Though {I | you | he} should fail, there would still be hope.
  • If {I | you | he} should fail, all would be lost.

3. In sentences expressing not what is or was, but what would be or would have been, the case.

  • {I should | You would | He would} write to Charles if I knew his address.
  • It would have been better to telegraph.

4. In subordinate clauses introduced by that, lest, before, until, etc..

  • I will take care that nothing may prevent.
  • I took care that nothing {might | should} prevent.
  • The general determined to wait until fresh troops should arrive.

POTENTIAL VERB-PHRASES

USE OF MODAL AUXILIARIES

287. Several auxiliary verbs are used to form verb-phrases indicating ability, possibility, obligation, or necessity.

Such verb-phrases are called potential phrases, that is, “phrases of possibility.”

The auxiliary verbs used in potential phrases are:–may, can, must, might, could, would, and should. They are called modal auxiliaries and are followed by the infinitive without to.

  • We may ask him a few questions.
  • I can manage a motor car.
  • You must inquire the way.
  • He might give you a chance.
  • I could show you his house if you would permit me.
  • I should enjoy a sea-voyage.

Note. The fact that give, etc., in such phrases as can give, are infinitives may be seen by comparing “I can strike” with “I am able to strike,” “I may strike” with “I am permitted to strike,” “I must strike” with “I am obliged to strike,” and so on. In earlier periods of the language, when the infinitive had a special ending (-an or -en), the nature of the construction was unmistakable.

288. Potential phrases may be arranged in tables of conjugation, like that on. They are often called, collectively, the potential mood.

Active Voice
Present Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I may strike. 1. We may strike.
2. Thou mayst strike. 2. You may strike.
3. He may strike. 3. They may strike.
Past Tense
1. I might strike. 1. We might strike.
2. Thou mightst strike. 2. You might strike.
3. He might strike. 3. They might strike.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
1. I may have struck. 1. We may have struck.
2. Thou mayst have struck. 2. You may have struck.
3. He may have struck. 3. They may have struck.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
1. I might have struck.37 1. We might have struck.
2. Thou mightst have struck. 2. You might have struck.
3. He might have struck. 3. They might have struck.
Passive Voice
Present Tense
I may be struck, etc. We may be struck, etc.
Past Tense
I might be struck, etc. We might be struck, etc.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
I may have been struck, etc. We may have been struck, etc.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
I might have been struck, etc. We might have been struck, etc.

289. Can (past tense, could) regularly indicates that the subject is able to do something.

  • John can ride a bicycle.
  • Harry could swim.

290. May (past tense, might) indicates (1) permission, (2) possibility or doubtful intention, (3) a wish.

  • (1) You may borrow my pencil.
  • I told him that he might join our party.
  • (2) He may accept my offer.
  • You might not like it.
  • (3) May good fortune attend you!

291. In asking permission, the proper form is “May I?” not “Can I?” With negatives, however, can is more common than may, except in questions. Thus,–

  • Question. May I (or mayn’t I) play ball this morning?
  • Answer. No, you cannot; but you may play this afternoon.

292. Must expresses necessity or obligation.

  • We must all die sometime.
  • You must wait for the train.
  • You must not be discouraged by failure.

Note. Must, though originally a past tense, is in modern English almost always used as a present. Past necessity may be expressed by had to with the infinitive: as,–“I had to wait for the train.”

293. Ought with the present infinitive, expresses a present duty or moral obligation; with the perfect infinitive, a past duty or obligation. Should is often used in the same sense.

  • I ought to write that letter. [Present.]
  • You ought not to object. [Present.]
  • This roof ought to be mended. [Present.]
  • I ought to have known better. [Past.]
  • Your dog ought not to have been unleashed. [Past.]
  • You should be careful. [Present.]
  • The garden should have been weeded yesterday. [Past.]

Note. Ought is really an old past tense of the verb owe, but is now always a present. Its former meaning may be seen in Dame Quickly’s “You ought him a thousand pound” (Shakspere, 1 Henry IV, iii. 3. 152).

Had should never be prefixed to ought.

Correct Incorrect
You ought to stay at home. You had ought to stay at home.
We oughtn’t to make so much noise. We hadn’t ought to make so much noise.
John ought to begin, oughtn’t he? John ought to begin, hadn’t he?

294. Should and ought sometimes express what would certainly be expected in the case supposed.

  • Three weeks {should | ought to} suffice.
  • If the train is on time, he {should | ought to} arrive at six.

295. Would in all three persons sometimes indicates habitual action in the past.

  • I would gaze at the sea for hours at a time.
  • Whenever we asked Edward about his adventures, he would begin to talk of something else.

SPECIAL RULES FOR SHOULD AND WOULD

296. Should is the past tense of shall, and would is the past tense of will. Hence the rules for should and would are similar to those for shall and will. But there is much variation, especially in subordinate clauses.

I. IN SIMPLE SENTENCES AND INDEPENDENT CLAUSES

297. Except in certain kinds of subordinate clauses, the distinction between should and would is practically the same as that between shall and will.

When the auxiliary verb expresses futurity without any idea of wishing, consenting, or the like, the forms are as follows:–

Assertions (Declarative)
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I should fall. 1. We should fall.
2. Thou wouldst fall. 2. You would fall.
3. He would fall. 3. They would fall.
Questions (Interrogative)
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. Should I fall? 1. Should we fall?
2. Shouldst thou fall? 2. Should you fall?
3. Would he fall? 3. Would they fall?

298. Common errors are the use of I would for I should in assertions, and that of Would I? and Would you? for Should I? and Should you? in questions.

The correct forms are shown in the following sentences.

I. I should (we should) and I would (we would) in assertions:–

  • 1. I should break my neck if I fell.
  • 2. I should hesitate to try this experiment.
  • 3. I shouldn’t wonder if he escaped.
  • 4. We should regret any misunderstanding.
  • 5. I should wish to examine the plans again before deciding.
  • 6. I should be glad to accept any fair offer.
  • 7. I would give five dollars for a ticket.
  • 8. I would help you if I could.
  • 9. I would never agree to such a proposition.
  • 10. We would rather die than surrender.
  • 11. We would pay our bill to-day if we had the money.
  • 12. I would gladly accept any fair offer.

In the first six examples, I (or we) should is correct, because the auxiliary gives no suggestion of the speaker’s will (or volition). In the last six, on the contrary, the speaker’s willingness or desire is plainly expressed by the auxiliary, and I (or we) would is therefore used.

Note. In such sentences as the fifth,–“I should wish to examine the plans again before deciding,”–wish expresses volition. Hence “I would wish” is incorrect, for it expresses volition twice and can mean only “I desire to wish.” On the same principle we say “I should prefer,” “I should be glad,” etc..

Sometimes either I would or I should may be used, but with a difference in meaning. Thus, in the eighth example, “I should help you” might be substituted for “I would help you.” This change, however, makes the remark sound less cordial and sympathetic; for I should (unlike I would) gives no hint of the speaker’s desire to be of service.

II. Should I (or we)? in questions:–

  • 1. Should I break my neck if I fell?
  • 2. Should I be poisoned if I ate those berries?
  • 3. Should I take cold without my overcoat?
  • 4. Should I disturb you if I were to practise my music lesson?
  • 5. Should we run aground if we missed the channel?

Note. Would I? is confined, for the most part, to questions in which one repeats the words or thought of another. Thus,–“You would give five dollars for a ticket.” “Would I? No, I wouldn’t!” In this use it is chiefly colloquial.

III. Should you? and Would you? in questions:–

  • 1. Should you drown if the boat were to capsize? [Yes, I should drown, for I do not know how to swim.]
  • 2. Should you despair if this plan were a failure? [No, I should not, for I have other resources.]
  • 3. Should you think that ten yards of velvet would be enough? [Yes, I should think so.]
  • 4. Should you be offended if I were to speak frankly? [No, I should not be offended.]
  • 5. Should you wish to examine the plans again before deciding? [Yes, I should (see note under I, above).]
  • 6. Would you wear a hat or a cap? [I would wear a cap if I were you.]
  • 7. Would you study Greek if you were in my place? [Yes, I would.]
  • 8. Would you accept my apology if it were offered? [Certainly, I would accept it gladly.]
  • 9. Would you be so kind as to lend me your compasses? [Certainly I would lend them, if I had not lost them.]
  • 10. Would you allow me to use your name as a reference? [I would.]

The choice between should and would in these sentences corresponds to the form expected in the answer.

299. The chief occasions on which Would you? is correct are:–(1) in asking advice in a matter of doubt, and (2) in asking consent or permission.

In examples 6 and 7 in, III, the speaker asks advice; in 8, 9, and 10, he asks consent or permission.

300. Note that the proper forms are I should like, Should I like? and Should you like?

  • I should like to read that book.
  • Should I like to go to Rome? Indeed, I should.
  • Should you like to receive a copy of our catalogue? [I should like to receive one.]

Note. Would is very common in these phrases, even among writers of repute, but it is still contrary to the best usage. The reason for should is the same as in I should wish, I, note).

301. I’d and we’d are contractions of I would and we would. Hence they can never stand for I should and we shoul.

302. Should in the second and third persons may be used in simple declarative sentences and independent clauses to express the will of the speaker.

  • If I had my way, you should be prosecuted. [That is: I would take care that you were prosecuted.]
  • If I had the money, you should be paid immediately. [Compare: You shall be paid.]
  • If I were you, she should not regret her generosity. [Compare: She shall not regret it.]
II. SHOULD AND WOULD IN SUBORDINATE CLAUSES

303. In some kinds of subordinate clauses, the use of should and would differs considerably from that in simple sentences and principal clauses.

The following classes require attention:–(1) clauses of purpose or expectation, (2) conditional and concessive clauses, (3) clauses expressing volition not that of the subject, (4) clauses stating something as an idea, (5) indirect discourse.

304. In subordinate clauses expressing the purpose or expectation with which anything is done, shall and should are used in all three persons.

  • Charleton took great pains that {I | you | they} should understand the details of the treaty.
  • Scott {is | was} very careful that nothing {shall | should} interfere with his plans.
  • They took every precaution lest {I | you | he} should suspect the plot.
  • Anderson waited patiently until {I | you | they} should arrive with the horses.
  • We strained every nerve to reach the cave before the storm should break.

305. In conditional or concessive clauses expressing a future supposed case doubtfully, shall and should are used in all three persons; but will and would are proper when the subject is thought of as wishing or consenting.

  • 1. What would happen if {I | you | he} should not carry out the commander’s instructions?
  • 2. If {I | you | he} should miss the steamer, our friends would be alarmed.
  • 3. Whoever {shall | should} violate this law {shall | should} pay the penalty. [That is: If anybody shall violate, etc.]
  • 4. Whenever {I | you | he} shall find an opportunity, let us try the experiment. [That is: If ever I shall find, etc.]
  • 5. He promised to assist you whenever you should need help. [Whenever = if ever.]
  • 6. Though {we | you | they} should fail, others would make the attempt. [Concession.]
  • 7. Though Evans should disappoint me, I should not lose confidence in him.
  • 8. Vernon will do his part if {I | you | they} will coOperate with him.
  • 9. If {I | you | he} will only make the effort, success is certain.
  • 10. Edmund would reveal the secret if {I | you | they} would assist him in his search for the treasure.
  • 11. If we would take pains, our parents would be satisfied.
  • 12. Whoever will join us may be sure of a pleasant and profitable journey. [That is: If any one will join us, he may be sure, etc.]

When a future supposed case is admitted or conceded as certain, will may be used in the second and third persons to denote mere futurity.

  • Though {you | he} will certainly fail, {you | he} may make the attempt.
  • Though the ship will not sink for some hours, let us take to the boats.

306. Shall and should are often used in the second and third persons in subordinate clauses to express volition which is not that of the subject.

  • Templeton insists that you shall accompany him.
  • This letter directs where you shall station yourself.
  • We gave orders that the gates should be closed.
  • My wish is that {you | he} should remain at home.
  • The law prescribed when and to whom the tax should be paid.

307. When a clause with that states something, not as a fact but as an idea to be considered, should is the proper auxiliary in all three persons.

  • I am not surprised that you should find your lesson rather difficult. [That is: “When I consider the matter, I do not find the idea surprising.” In “I am not surprised that you find,” etc., the subordinate clause makes the statement as a fact.]
  • It is strange that Tom should neglect his swimming lessons. [Contrast: It is strange that Tom neglects.]
  • That Napoleon should have chafed at captivity is only natural. [Contrast: That Napoleon chafed.]

308. For shall and will, should and would, in indirect discourse.

THE INFINITIVE

309. The infinitive is a verb-form that has some of the properties of a noun. Its two-sided character comes out clearly when it is used as the subject of a sentence.

  • 1. To hope is our only resource.
  • 2. To flatter is not my custom.
  • 3. To sleep was an impossibility.
  • 4. To surrender seemed disgraceful.
  • 5. To choose wisely was my greatest difficulty.
  • 6. To scale the wall was the work of a moment.

Each of these infinitives (to hope, to flatter, etc.) is a noun, for each is the simple subject of a sentence. Besides, an ordinary noun may be substituted for each infinitive with no change in meaning; as,–“Hope is our only resource”; “Flattery is not my custom”; “Sleep was an impossibility.”

But each of these infinitives is also a verb,–for (1) it expresses action; (2) it may be modified by an adverb, as in No. 5; (3) it takes an object if it is transitive, as in No. 6.

An infinitive (as the examples show) has regularly no subject and therefore lacks both number and person. Hence it is not bound by the general rule for the agreement of a verb with its subject. From this fact it derives its name, infinitive, which means “unrestricted” or “free from limitations.”

310. The infinitive is a verb-form which partakes of the nature of a noun. It expresses action or state in the simplest possible way, without person or number.

It is commonly preceded by the preposition to, which is called the sign of the infinitive.

To is not, in strictness, a part of the infinitive, but it may be so regarded for convenience, since the infinitive, in most of its uses, is preceded by to.

Note. To sometimes stands for an infinitive in careless speech: as,–“You may go if you wish to” (that is, “if you wish to go”). Such expressions are to be avoided. It is better to say, “You may go if you wish.”

311. The infinitive often lacks to, especially in verb-phrases with the auxiliaries will, shall, may, can, must, might, could, would, should, do, did. For examples.

312. The infinitive has two tenses,–the present and the perfect.

1. The present infinitive is the verb in its simplest form, usually preceded by to: as,–to live, to teach, to bind, to strike.

2. The perfect infinitive is made by prefixing the infinitive of the auxiliary verb have to the past participle: as,–to have lived, to have taught, to have bound, to have struck.

313. An infinitive may be modified by an adverb, an adverbial phrase, or an adverbial clause.

  • To write legibly is a valuable accomplishment.
  • It would be useless to search longer.
  • They allowed him to go in peace. [Adverbial phrase.]
  • To dive among those weeds would be folly.
  • Theodore promises to come when I send for him. [Adverbial clause.]

No modifier should be inserted between to and the infinitive.

  • I beg you to inquire carefully into this matter. [Not: to carefully inquire.]
  • Mr. Harris moved to postpone the question indefinitely. [Not: to indefinitely postpone.]
  • I expect always to be poor. [Not: to always be poor.]

Note. Careless writers pay slight attention to this rule, and some good writers and speakers defy it, hoping to break it down. But it is unquestionably still in accord with the best usage.

314. The infinitive may take an object if its meaning allows.

  • I long to visit Italy.
  • My mother feared to enter the house.
  • To launch a boat was impossible.
  • To grant your request is a pleasure.
  • To give him money is useless. [Money is the direct object of to give, and him the indirect object.]

315. The infinitive is used in a variety of constructions,–(1) as a noun, (2) as an adjective modifier or adverbial modifier, (3) in the so-called infinitive clause.

I. THE INFINITIVE AS NOUN

316. The infinitive is used in various noun constructions,–as subject, as predicate nominative, as nominative of exclamation, as appositive, as object of certain prepositions, as modifier.

317. An infinitive with or without a complement or modifiers, may be used as the subject of a sentence, as a predicate nominative, or as an appositive.

  • To descend was extremely difficult. [Subject.]
  • To secure a seat was impossible.
  • To sing well requires practice.
  • His delight was to travel. [Predicate nominative.]
  • The governor’s policy is to wait.
  • My wish is to see you immediately.
  • To decide was to act. [The first infinitive is the subject, and the second is a predicate nominative.]
  • Both alternatives, to advance and to retreat, seemed equally hazardous. [Apposition with the subject.]
  • My first plan, to tunnel under the wall, proved a failure.
  • He has but one aim in life, to succeed. [Apposition with the object.]
  • I have written with a definite purpose, to dissuade you.
  • I give you three choices,–to buy, to lease, or to build.

318. An infinitive in the predicate is often in apposition with the expletive subject it.

  • It was a pleasure to see him. [Instead of: To see him was a pleasure.]
  • It is easy to understand you.
  • It will be impossible to forget.
  • It proved very difficult to find evidence against him.

In this use the infinitive, though grammatically in apposition with it, is really the subject of the thought.

319. The infinitive may be used as the object of the prepositions but, except, about.

  • There was nothing to do but walk (or to walk).
  • He will do anything except resign (or except to resign).
  • We are about to object. [An idiom expressing futurity.]
  • The train is about to start.

Note. Can but and cannot but are distinct idioms. (1) In “I can but thank you,” but is an adverb (= only). The sentence means: “I can only thank you–simply that and nothing more!” (2) In “I cannot but thank you,” but is a preposition (= except). The idiom is shortened from “I cannot choose but thank you,”–that is, “I have no choice except to do so,” or, in other words, “I cannot help it.”

The infinitive after for (now a gross error) was once in good use: as,–

What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol for to sing.–Herrick.

320. The infinitive may be used as a nominative of exclamation.

  • To sleep! perchance to dream!
  • To suffer and be silent!
  • O to be a boy again! [A wish.]
  • O to have lived in the brave days of old!
II. THE INFINITIVE AS A MODIFIER

321. An infinitive may be used as an adjective modifier of a noun or as an adverbial modifier of an adjective.

In this use the infinitive is said to depend on the word which it modifies.

With Nouns (Adjective Modifier) With Adjectives (Adverbial Modifier)
An opportunity to advance came. The men are ready to advance.
Determination to win brings success. John is eager to win.
Willingness to oblige makes friends. I shall be glad to oblige you.
I wish I had the ability to swim. We are all able to swim.
His anxiety to please us was laughable. He is anxious to please everybody.

Note. This use is due to the fact that the infinitive with to is really a prepositional phrase. Thus, “determination to win” is equivalent to “determination for victory,” and “eager to win” to “eager for victory.” The adjective force of the infinitive comes out clearly in “nothing to eat,” where to eat is practically synonymous with eatable.

In its adjective use, the present infinitive sometimes shows no distinction in voice, so that the active and the passive are interchangeable: as,–“a house to let” or “to be let”; “an axe to grind” or “to be ground.” In such expressions the active form is usually preferable.

322. The infinitive without to may be used as an adjective modifier after the direct object of see, hear, feel, and some other verbs of like meaning.

  • I saw the policeman arrest him.
  • Hear the sea roar!
  • Can you feel the ground tremble?
  • Ruth watched the tide come in.

In this use the infinitive is practically equivalent to a participle. Compare “I heard him shout” with “I heard him shouting.” Hence the substantive may be regarded as an object, and the infinitive as its modifier. But the construction closely approaches that of an infinitive clause.

323. An infinitive may modify a verb (1) by completing its meaning, or (2) by expressing the purpose of the action.

I. Complementary Infinitive
  • The ship began to roll.
  • The rain continued to fall heavily.
  • Every boy desires to succeed.
  • The officer neglected to watch his men.
  • The prisoners attempted to escape.
  • You promised to come to-night.

After dare, the complementary infinitive may or may not have to. Thus,–“I dare not do it”; “Who will dare to speak?”

II. Infinitive of Purpose
  • He went to New York to study medicine.
  • He opened his lips to speak.
  • She closed her eyes to shut out the sight.
  • Elsa lifted the cover to see what was inside.
  • The conductor signalled to stop the train.
  • Harold waited to assist his teacher.

Both the complementary infinitive and the infinitive of purpose may be regarded as adverbial phrases modifying the verb.

Note. After some verbs the infinitive approaches the construction of a pure noun and is often regarded as an object. Thus,–“I desire to see you” (compare “I desire a sight of you”). It is simpler, however, to regard all such infinitives as complementary and to treat them as adverbial modifiers. For it is impossible to distinguish the construction of the infinitive after certain adjectives (as in “I am eager to see you”) from its construction after such verbs as wish and desire.

III. THE INFINITIVE CLAUSE

324. A peculiar infinitive construction often replaces a that-clause as the object of a verb. Thus,–

I wished {that he should go. | him to go.}

In the first sentence, the noun clause that he should go is the object of wished; in the second, this clause is replaced by him to go, but without any change in meaning. This expression consists of two parts:–(1) him, a pronoun in the objective case, which replaces the subject he; and (2) an infinitive to go, which replaces the predicate should go. Thus it is plain that him to go is also a noun clause, of which him is the subject, and to go the predicate. Such an expression is called an infinitive clause.

325. A kind of clause, consisting of a substantive in the objective case followed by an infinitive, may be used as the object of certain verbs.

Such clauses are called infinitive clauses, and the substantive is said to be the subject of the infinitive.

The subject of an infinitive is in the objective case.

Infinitive clauses are used (1) after verbs of wishing, commanding, advising, and the like, and (2) after some verbs of believing, declaring, and perceiving. Thus,–

  • The colonel commanded them to charge [= that they should charge].
  • I believe him to be trustworthy [= that he is trustworthy].
  • The judge declared him to be a dangerous man [= that he was, etc.].

After a few verbs the infinitive without to is used in infinitive clauses.

  • Mr. Esmond bade his servant pack a portmanteau and get horses. [Compare: ordered his servant to pack, etc.]
  • What makes him cry? [Compare: What causes him to cry?]
  • I let him sleep. [Compare: I allowed him to sleep.]

Note. Ordinarily the infinitive cannot assert and hence has no subject. The infinitive clause is, therefore, a peculiar exception, for him to go makes an assertion as clearly as that he should go does. That him is really the subject of to go and not the object of wished is manifest, for I wished him makes no sense. The object of wished is the whole clause (him to go).

Originally, to be sure, the noun or pronoun in the objective was felt to be the object of the main verb, and this relation may still be felt in “I ordered him to go”; but even here the real object of ordered is the clause (as may be seen in “I ordered the castle to be blown up”). The substantive has come to be the real subject of the infinitive, and should be so treated in parsing.

326. A predicate pronoun after to be in an infinitive clause is in the objective case, agreeing with the subject of the infinitive.

Care should be taken not to confuse this construction with the predicate nominative.

Predicate Pronoun after to be Predicate Nominative
I believed it to be her. I believed that it was she.
We know the author to be him. We know that the author is he.
The author is known to be he.
He thought Richard to be me. He thought that Richard was I.
Richard was thought to be I.
We suspected the intruders to be them. We suspected that the intruders were they.

Note the case of the relatives and of the predicate pronouns in the following sentences:–

  • A boy whom I thought to be honest deceived me. [Whom is the subject of the infinitive to be and is therefore in the objective case.]
  • A boy who, I thought, was honest deceived me. [Who is the subject of was and is therefore nominative. I thought is parenthetical.]
  • A boy whom I believe to be him just passed me.
  • A boy who, I believe, was he, just passed me.

327. An infinitive clause may be the object of the preposition for. Thus,–

  • I wrote for him to come. [The clause him to come is the object of for; him is the subject of to come.]
  • They are waiting on the shore
    For the bark to take them home.–Noel.
  • I long for him to come back.

328. An infinitive clause with for may be used as a subject, as a predicate nominative, or as the object of a preposition.

  • For us to delay would be fatal to your enterprise. [Compare: Our delay would be fatal.]
  • Our best plan is for the boat to shoot the rapids. [Predicate nominative agreeing with the subject plan.]
  • I see no way out of the difficulty except for them to offer an apology. [Compare: except the offer of an apology on their part.]

PARTICIPLES

329. Certain words unite in themselves some of the properties of adjectives with some of the properties of verbs. Such words are called participles. Thus,–

Shattered and sinking, but gallantly returning the enemy’s fire, the frigate drifted out to sea.

Shattered, sinking, and returning are verb-forms which are in some respects similar to infinitives: for (1) they express action; (2) they have no subject to agree with, and hence have neither person nor number; and (3) one of them takes a direct object. They differ from infinitives, however, in that they resemble, not nouns, but adjectives, for they describe the substantive frigate to which they belong.

Such verb-forms are called participles, because they share (or participate in) the nature of adjectives.

330. The participle is a verb-form which has no subject, but which partakes of the nature of an adjective and expresses action or state in such a way as to describe or limit a substantive.

  • Who thundering comes on blackest steed?–Byron.
  • Clinging to the horns of the altar, voiceless she stood.–De Quincey.
  • Deserted, surrounded, outnumbered, and with everything at stake, he did not even deign to stand on the defensive.–Macaulay.
  • Shrouded in such baleful vapors, the genius of Burns was never seen in clear azure splendor, enlightening the world.–Carlyle.
FORMS OF PARTICIPLES

331. Verbs have three participles,–the present, the past, and the perfect.

332. The present participle ends in -ing. It usually describes an action as taking place at the same time with some other action.

  • Tom came sauntering up the path.
  • The beggar shambled down the steps, grumbling.
  • Reaching for the flower, I lost my balance.

333. The present participle often refers to time preceding that denoted by the predicate verb.

  • Rising from his chair, he bowed. [That is, when he had risen.]
  • Learning that your brother was in trouble, I hastened to his aid.

334. The past participle is always associated with the idea of past time or completed action.

1. The past participle of a weak verb has the same form as the past tense.

Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle
I mend chairs. I mended the chairs. The chairs are mended.
I sweep the rooms. I swept the rooms. The rooms are swept.
I seek treasure. I sought treasure. Treasure is sought.
I lose money. I lost money. The money is lost.

2. The past participle of strong verbs shows a change from the vowel of the present tense.

All strong verbs had originally the ending en (n) in the past participle, but this ending has been lost in many verbs.

Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle
He speaks. He spoke. (He has) spoken.
He draws. He drew. (He has) drawn.
He sings. He sang. (He has) sung.
He wins. He won. (He has) won.

The forms show great variety and must be learned by practice

335. The perfect participle is made by prefixing having to the past participle.

  • Having mended the watch, I sent it to the owner.
  • Having lost his money, James was forced to walk home.

336. The present participle is used in forming the progressive verb-phrases .

The past participle is used in forming the complete tenses  and the passive voice.

CONSTRUCTIONS OF PARTICIPLES

337. Since the participle has adjective properties, its constructions are in the main like those of adjectives.

338. A participle is said to belong to the substantive which it describes or limits.

  • Rupert, missing his companion, stepped to the door. [The present participle missing belongs to the subject Rupert.]
  • Rising, she opened the window. [Rising belongs to she.]
  • I heard the rain falling. [Falling belongs to the object rain.]
  • Tom’s arm, broken by the blow, hung useless. [The past participle broken belongs to the subject arm.]
  • Having climbed the hill with great difficulty, I stopped to rest. [The perfect participle having climbed belongs to the subject I.]

339. A participle should not be used without some substantive to which it may belong.

  • Right: Entering the room, we saw a strange sight. [The participle entering belongs to the pronoun we.]
  • Wrong: Entering the room, a strange sight was seen. [Since there is no substantive to which entering can belong, it has no construction.]

Apparent exceptions are concerning, considering, pending, generally speaking, etc. The first three may be classed as prepositions, the last as an independent participle.

We fought every day, and, generally speaking, twice every day.–De Quincey.

Note. The rule in does not apply to such phrases as on entering, after investigating, etc., in which the words in -ing are not participles, but verbal nouns. Thus the following sentences are grammatical:–“On entering the room, a strange sight appeared”; “After investigating the subject, the plan was adopted.” Such expressions, however, should be used with caution, since they are sometimes awkward or ambiguous.

340. A participle may be modified by an adverb, an adverbial phrase, or an adverbial clause.

  • Smiling brightly, she extended her hand. [Adverb.]
  • He leaped forward, shrieking with all his might. [Adverbial phrase.]
  • Laughing until he cried, he sank into a chair. [Adverbial clause.]

341. A participle may take an object if its meaning allows.

  • I found the old man mending his net.
  • Lifting the box, he moved toward the door.
  • Giving me a friendly nod, he passed on. [Here nod is the direct object of giving, and me is the indirect object.]

The participle, with its modifiers and such other words as are attached to it, is sometimes called a participial phrase.

342. A participle may be used as a pure adjective.

  • A grinning boy confronted me.
  • A battered hat hung on the peg.
  • Kate was playing with a broken doll.
  • We could hear a rushing stream.
  • Willing hands make light work.
  • He was struck by a spent ball.

343. The past participle is often used as a predicate adjective expressing state or condition.

This construction is easily confused with the passive of verbs. The distinction may be seen in the following examples:–

  • The rain began to fall heavily, and every time a gust of wind struck us we were drenched by it.
  • When the rain at last ceased, we were drenched [that is, very wet].

In the first sentence, were drenched is the past passive of the verb drench (compare the active “every time a gust of wind struck us, it drenched us”). In the second, the participle drenched expresses mere condition, and is therefore a predicate adjective. The distinction, however, is not always sharp, and in cases of doubt the phrase may be taken together as a passive verb.

Note. The real test is the following. Whenever a person or thing is distinctly present to the mind as the doer of the action, we have a passive verb-phrase. Whenever, on the other hand, the participle merely describes condition with no thought of its being the result of an antecedent act, the construction is that of a predicate adjective.

Nominative Absolute

344. A substantive, with the participle belonging to it, is often used to make a peculiar form of adverbial modifying phrase: as,–

The wind failing, we lowered the sail.

Here the wind failing is equivalent to an adverbial phrase (on the failure of the wind) or an adverbial clause (when the wind failed). It defines the time of the action.

{The wind failing, | On the failure of the wind, | When the wind failed,} we lowered the sail.

345. A substantive, with a participle, may express the cause, time, or circumstances of an action.

This is called the absolute construction.

The substantive is in the nominative case and is called a nominative absolute.

  • My knife slipping, I cut myself severely. [The phrase my knife slipping is equivalent to because my knife slipped: it expresses cause.]
  • Two days having elapsed, we again set forward. [The phrase in italics is equivalent to when two days had elapsed: it expresses time.]
  • Evenings he read aloud, his wife sewing by his side. [The phrase expresses one of the circumstances that attended the reading.]
  • This done, proceed to business. [The phrase this done is equivalent to the clause since (or when) this is done, and indicates cause or time.]

Note. This construction is called absolute (that is, “free” or “loosened”) because the substantive is not in any one of the constructions (subject, object, apposition, etc.) which ordinarily attach nouns grammatically to other words in the sentence. Nevertheless, the whole phrase, though standing apart from the rest of the sentence, is in meaning an adverbial modifier of some verb.

346. The participle being is sometimes omitted in the absolute construction.

  • Allen once mayor, my chance of advancement would be ruined. [That is: Allen once being mayor.]
  • Peter stood before me, his hands in his pockets.
  • His clothing in shreds, he presented a sorry sight.

VERBAL NOUNS IN -ING (PARTICIPIAL NOUNS)

347. English has a large and important class of verbal nouns that end in -ing, and that serve as the names of actions.

These are identical in form with present participles, for which they are frequently mistaken. The distinction, however, is clear, for the present participle is never used as the name of an action. Hence no such word in -ing that is a subject or an object, or stands in any other noun construction, can be a participle.

  • While I was travelling in Mexico, I met with an accident. [Participle.]
  • Travelling broadens the mind. [Verbal noun, used as subject.]
  • He enjoys travelling. [Verbal noun, used as object of a verb.]
  • He spends his time in travelling. [Verbal noun, object of a preposition.]
  • Tom’s favorite exercise is swimming. [Verbal noun, predicate nominative.]
  • This sport, fishing, has been called the contemplative man’s recreation. [Verbal noun, in apposition with sport.]

That nouns in -ing are real nouns may be proved by putting ordinary nouns in their place.

Travelling broadens the mind. Travel broadens the mind.
Talking is useless. Talk is useless.
He is afraid of falling. He is afraid of a fall.

348. From nearly every English verb there may be formed a verbal noun in -ing.

Verbal nouns in -ing have the form of present participles, but the construction of nouns.

They are often called participial nouns.

Such nouns are freely used, either by themselves or in a series along with ordinary nouns.

  • Mining is a dangerous occupation.
  • Painting and sculpture are sister arts.
  • The Indians of Massachusetts spent their time in hunting, fishing, agriculture, and warfare.
  • Reading, writing, and arithmetic are jocosely called “the three r’s.”

349. Verbal nouns in -ing have certain properties of the verb.

1. Verbal nouns in -ing may take a direct or an indirect object if their meaning allows.

  • Digging gold seems to the uninitiated like finding buried treasure.
  • Lending him money is useless; it merely fosters his unthrifty habits. [Here the noun lending, which is the simple subject of the sentence, takes both a direct object (money) and an indirect object (him), precisely as the verb lend might do.]

2. A verbal noun in -ing may take an adverbial modifier.

Speaking extemporaneously is good practice. [Here the verbal noun speaking is the simple subject; but it is modified by the adverb extemporaneously, precisely as if it were a verb.]

But verbal nouns in -ing, like other nouns, may be modified by adjectives.

Extemporaneous speaking is good practice.

3. To the verbal nouns being and having, past participles may be attached, so as to give the effect of voice and tense.

  • After being instructed in my duties, I was ordered to wait on the king.
  • There were grave doubts expressed as to his having seen the mastodon.
  • After having been treated in so harsh a fashion, I had no wish to repeat the interview.

Such expressions are verbal noun-phrases.

350. Verbal nouns in -ing are similar in some of their constructions to infinitives used as nouns.

Infinitive as Noun Verbal Noun in -ing
To swim was difficult. Swimming was difficult.
My business is to make shoes. My business is making shoes.
To see is to believe. Seeing is believing.

Nouns in -ing are sometimes called infinitives or gerunds.

351. A noun in -ing may be used as an adjective, or as the adjective element in a compound noun.

  • The sleeping car was completely wrecked.
  • William has plenty of spending money.

Note. Other examples are:–a working day, an ironing board, drinking water, smelling salts, marching orders, a walking tour, a swimming race, a vaulting pole. In such cases it makes little difference whether the two nouns are taken together as a compound, or whether the first is regarded as an adjective modifying the second. The difference between this use and that of the participle is perfectly clear. A “sleeping dog” is a dog that sleeps; a “sleeping car” is a car for sleeping. Sometimes, indeed, either explanation is possible. Thus, a “hoisting engine” may be understood either as an “engine that hoists,” or as an “engine for hoisting.” But it is better to class these exceptions with the nouns in -ing.

352. When a verbal noun in -ing is preceded by an article or any other adjective, it cannot take an object.

  • {Shooting song-birds | The shooting of song-birds} is forbidden.
  • {Launching a ship | The launching of a ship} requires care and skill.
  • {Drawing maps | The drawing of maps} is a useful exercise.
  • {Eating confectionery constantly | Constant eating of confectionery} is bad for the teeth.
  • My business is {driving wells. | the driving of wells.}

Observe that, in each instance, the object (song-birds, ship, maps, confectionery, wells) is replaced by a prepositional phrase when an article or other adjective precedes the verbal noun.

Note. In such expressions as “I went a-fishing,” a is a shortened form of the preposition on, and fishing is a verbal noun used as its object. When a is omitted we have “I went fishing,” “The house is building,” and the like, in which the word in -ing seems to be a participle, but is really the object of the omitted a (= on).

353. The possessive case of a noun or pronoun may be used to limit a verbal noun in -ing.

  • I was sure of its being he. [Not: it.]
  • I heard of Allen’s being elected. [Not: Allen.]

LESSON 95.

PREPOSITIONS

354. A preposition is a word placed before a substantive to show its relation to some other word in the sentence.

The substantive which follows a preposition is called its object and is in the objective case.

A phrase consisting of a preposition and its object, with or without other words, is called a prepositional phrase.

  • On the floor lay a heap of nuts.
  • He stood behind the tree for some time.
  • From morning till night he remained at his post.
  • The fire destroyed everything except a few articles of furniture.

A prepositional phrase may be either adjective or adverbial.

Thus, in the first example, of nuts is an adjective phrase modifying the noun heap, and on the floor is an adverbial phrase modifying the verb lay. In the second sentence, the verb stood is modified by two adverbial phrases, behind the tree and for some time.

355. The following list includes most of the prepositions:

  • aboard
  • about
  • above
  • according to
  • across
  • after
  • against
  • along
  • along with
  • amid, amidst
  • among, amongst
  • apart from
  • around
  • as for, as to
  • at
  • athwart
  • barring
  • because of
  • before
  • behind
  • below
  • beneath
  • beside, besides
  • between
  • betwixt
  • beyond
  • but (= except)
  • by
  • by dint of
  • by means of
  • by reason of
  • by virtue of
  • by way of
  • concerning
  • considering
  • despite
  • down
  • during
  • ere
  • except, excepting
  • for
  • for the sake of
  • from
  • from among
  • from between
  • from under
  • in
  • in accordance with
  • in addition to
  • in case of
  • in compliance with
  • in consequence of
  • in consideration of
  • in front of
  • in lieu of
  • in opposition to
  • in place of
  • in preference to
  • in regard to
  • in spite of
  • inside (inside of)
  • instead of
  • into
  • notwithstanding
  • of
  • off
  • on
  • on account of
  • out of
  • outside (outside of)
  • over
  • over against
  • past
  • pending
  • regarding
  • respecting
  • round
  • round about
  • save, saving
  • since
  • through
  • throughout
  • to, unto
  • touching
  • toward, towards
  • under
  • underneath
  • until, till
  • up
  • upon
  • with
  • within
  • without
  • with reference to
  • with regard to
  • with respect to

Note. Such expressions as by means of, in accordance with, in spite of, etc., are really phrases, but may be regarded as compound prepositions.

Several participles like concerning, considering, pending, are common in a prepositional use and are therefore included in the list.

For a (a form of on) in abed, asleep, afire, a-fishing, etc..

Per is confined to the strictly commercial style except in such expressions as perforce, per cent, per annum.

356. A preposition may stand at the end of a sentence or clause.

  • Whom did you ask for? [Compare: For whom did you ask?]
  • The box which it came in has been destroyed. [Compare: The box in which it came.]

Note. This order, though informal, is common in the best authors; but, if carelessly used, it may result in awkwardness of style. Sometimes a relative which is the object of the preposition is omitted. Thus, in the second sentence, which might be dropped, and the object of in would then be “which, understood.” For “He was laughed at,” and the like.

In poetry a preposition sometimes follows its object directly: as,–“Barefoot plod I the cold ground upon” (Shakspere).

357. Certain adverbial expressions like “on Sunday,” “on March first,” occur both with and without the preposition.

  • He came Sunday (or, on Sunday).
  • We sail March first (or, on March first).

Note. The forms without on are good colloquial English, but are avoided in the more formal style. No preposition need be supplied in parsing. The noun is an adverbial objective.

358. Care is required in the use of pronouns as the objects of prepositions.

  • {He has been very friendly | The old house will seem lonely | That makes no difference} to you and me. [Not: you and I.]
  • {Tom’s carelessness makes trouble | There are letters at the post office} for you and me.
  • I have invitations for {you and him. | you and her.}
  • He will divide the reward between you and me.
  • {Whom are you waiting for? | Whom were you speaking to?} [Not: who.]

359. Several words are used either as adverbs or prepositions.

As Adverb As Preposition
I fell down. I fell down the steps.
Stand by! He stood by the window.
A big dog ran behind. A dog ran behind the carriage.
Keep off! Keep off the grass.

Other examples are:–

  • aboard,
  • above,
  • after,
  • along,
  • before,
  • below,
  • beneath,
  • beside,
  • between,
  • beyond,
  • ere,
  • in,
  • inside,
  • on,
  • outside,
  • past,
  • round,
  • since,
  • under,
  • up,
  • within,
  • without.

For words used either as prepositions or as conjunctions

360. Prepositions show various distinctions in use and meaning which must be learned by practice and by the study of synonyms in a large dictionary.

The following groups afford opportunity for such study:–

  • at, in;
  • in, into;
  • between, among, amid;
  • on, upon;
  • from, off;
  • round, around, about;
  • to, with;
  • beside, besides;
  • agree with, agree to;
  • change for, change with;
  • disappoint in, of;
  • differ with, from;
  • confide in, to;
  • correspond with, to;
  • part from, with;
  • compare to, with;
  • join with, to;
  • connect with, to;
  • come up with, to;
  • talk to, with;
  • speak to, with;
  • hang on, from, to;
  • live at, in, on;
  • argue with, against;
  • contend with, against;
  • depart from, for, at, on, in.

LESSON 96.

CONJUNCTIONS

361. Conjunctions connect words or groups of words.

Conjunctions are either coOrdinate or subordinate.

1. A coOrdinate conjunction connects words or groups of words that are independent of each other.

  • 1. Hay and grain are sold here.
  • 2. Will you take tea or coffee?
  • 3. He was pale but undaunted.
  • 4. The messenger replied courteously but firmly.
  • 5. The troops embarked rapidly but without confusion.
  • 6. Noon came, and the task was still unfinished.
  • 7. We must hide here until night falls and the street is deserted.

In each of the first four sentences, the conjunction (and, or, but) connects single words that are in the same construction (subjects, objects, predicate adjectives, adverbs). In the fifth, but connects an adverb with an adverbial phrase (both being modifiers of the verb embarked). In the sixth, and joins the two coOrdinate clauses of a compound sentence. In the seventh, and joins two coOrdinate clauses which, taken together, make up the subordinate clause until … deserted; this clause may therefore be called a compound subordinate clause.

2. A subordinate conjunction connects a subordinate clause with the clause on which it depends.

  • Harmon did not quail, though he saw the danger.
  • Take this seat, if you prefer.
  • I hesitated because I remembered your warning.
  • Unless you reform, your career will be ruined.

362. The chief coOrdinate conjunctions are:–

  • and (both … and)
  • not only … but also
  • or (either … or)
  • nor (neither … nor)
  • but
  • for
  • however
  • moreover
  • therefore
  • then
  • yet
  • still
  • nevertheless
  • notwithstanding

Several of these are much used for transition, whether from sentence to sentence or from one paragraph to another.

Such are:–

  • however,
  • moreover,
  • therefore,
  • then,
  • nevertheless,
  • notwithstanding,
  • yet,
  • still.

363. Then is an adverb when it denotes time, a conjunction when it denotes consequence or the like.

  • Then the boat glided up to the pier. [Time.]
  • Men are imperfect creatures: we must not, then, expect them to be angels. [Consequence.]

364. Yet and still are adverbs when they express time or degree, conjunctions when they connect.

  • We have not started yet. [Time.]
  • It is still raining. [Time.]
  • This hatchet is dull, but that is duller still. [Degree.]
  • I miss him, yet I am glad he went. [Conjunction.]
  • I like dogs; still I do not care to own one. [Conjunction.]

365. For and notwithstanding may be either prepositions or conjunctions.

Prepositions Conjunctions
I am waiting for you. We must go, for it is late.
Jane is coming, notwithstanding the storm. It is a hard storm. She will come, notwithstanding.

Note. For is sometimes classified as a subordinate conjunction, but the fact that it may be used to begin an independent sentence (even when such a sentence opens a paragraph) justifies its inclusion among the coOrdinates.

366. The chief subordinate conjunctions are:–

  • although, though
  • as
  • as if (as though)
  • because
  • if
  • lest
  • since (= because)
  • than
  • that
  • unless
  • whereas
  • whether (whether … or)

A few phrases may be regarded as compound conjunctions. Such are:–in order that, so that, provided that, in case that, but that, as if, as though, even if. Provided, and in case (without that) may also be used as conjunctions: as,–“I will go provided it doesn’t rain.”

367. The subordinate conjunction that is often omitted when it may readily be supplied.

  • He said [that] he was starving.
  • They feared [that] they were betrayed.
  • I cannot believe [that] you would try to injure me.

Note. This omission is similar to that of the relative pronoun. It is extremely common, not only in colloquial language but also in literature, whether prose or verse.

368. As and since in the sense of “because,” and while in the sense of “though,” are conjunctions.

When denoting time, as is an adverb, while is a noun or an adverb, and since is an adverb or a preposition.

  • As (or since) you will not listen, I will say no more. [Conjunction.]
  • As we crossed the bridge, I looked down at the rushing stream. [Adverb.]
  • Ten years have passed since my uncle went to sea. [Adverb.]
  • The house has been empty since Christmas. [Preposition.]

369. Conjunctions used in pairs are called correlative conjunctions.

The chief correlatives are:–

  • both … and
  • not only … but also
  • either … or
  • neither … nor
  • though … yet (still)
  • although … yet (still)
  • since … therefore
  • if … then

Examples of correlatives may be seen in the following sentences:–

  • Both lions and wolves are carnivorous.
  • The culprit looked both angry and ashamed.
  • William II is not only German Emperor but also King of Prussia.
  • Either brass or copper will do.
  • Neither Keats nor Shelley lived to be old.
  • He asked me whether I was an Austrian or a Russian.
  • Though the roads were very bad, yet he managed to reach Utica before midnight.
  • Although he has wronged me, still I cannot believe he is my enemy.
  • Since four is the square of two, therefore two is the square root of four.
  • If Allen’s testimony is true, then Gilbert’s must be false.

370. But is used as a subordinate conjunction in the sense of but that or unless.

  • There is no doubt but that they are murderers.–Shelley.
  • Your uncle must not know but [= but that] you are dead.–Shakspere.
  • Ne’er may I look on day but [= unless] she tells your highness the truth.–Shakspere. [This use is obsolete.]
  • There is not a wave of the Seine but is associated in my mind with the first rise of the sandstones and forest pines of Fontainebleau.–Ruskin.
  • There was nobody but loved her.

Note. In the last two examples the subject of the subordinate clause is omitted:–“There is not a wave but [it] is associated,” “There was nobody but [he] loved her.” In such cases, but is sometimes regarded as a relative pronoun.

Notwithstanding is used as a subordinate conjunction in the sense of though.

I shall go, notwithstanding the road is said to be impassable.

371. Relative adverbs are similar in their use to conjunctions, and are therefore often called conjunctive adverbs.

Note. Most conjunctions, historically considered, are merely adverbs (or adverbial phrases) which have come to be used in so peculiar a way as to form a special class among the parts of speech. Thus the adverbs since and while become conjunctions when they cease to denote time; because is a corruption of the phrase by cause; but is developed from an old adverb meaning “outside.”

LESSON 97.

INTERJECTIONS

372. An interjection is a cry or other exclamatory sound expressing surprise, anger, pleasure, or some other emotion or feeling.

Examples:

  • O (or oh),
  • ah,
  • hullo (holloa, halloo),
  • bah,
  • pshaw,
  • fie,
  • whew,
  • tut-tut,
  • st (often spelled hist),
  • ha,
  • aha,
  • ha ha,
  • ho,
  • hey,
  • hum,
  • hem,
  • heigh-ho (heigh-o),
  • alas,
  • bravo,
  • lo.

When written, interjections are often followed by an exclamation point (!).

373. Among interjections are properly included calls to animals (like “whoa!”) and imitations of sounds such as “mew!” “cock-a-doodle-do!” “ding dong!” “swish!” “tu-whit-tu-who!”

374. Interjections usually have no grammatical connection with the phrases or sentences in which they stand.

Hence they are counted among the “independent elements” of a sentence.

Sometimes, however, a substantive is connected with an interjection by means of a preposition. Thus,–

  • O for a camera!
  • Alas for my hopes!

Adjectives and adverbs are also found in this use: as,–“Good for you!” “Up with it!”

Note. All such expressions are often regarded as elliptical sentences, as if “O for a camera!” stood for “O, I wish for a camera!” and “Good for you!” for “That is good for you!” But it is better to treat them as exclamatory phrases. Other exclamatory phrases are “Dear me!” “Goodness gracious!” “O my!” and the like.

375. Almost any part of speech may be used as an exclamation.

  • Nonsense! I do not believe it.
  • Fire!
  • Halt!
  • Good! I like that!
  • Forward!
  • On!
  • Away!
  • Back, villains!
  • I! not a bit of it!
  • But—-!

Such words are often called interjections, but it is better to describe them as nouns, adjectives, etc., used in exclamation, and to confine the term interjection to words which belong to no other part of speech.

Note. Thus nonsense! and fire! are nouns in the exclamatory nominative; I! is a pronoun in the same construction; halt! is a verb in the imperative (compare hark! hush! behold! look!); good! is an adjective; forward! on! away! and back! are adverbs; but! is a conjunction.

The following examples illustrate various exclamatory expressions,–words, phrases, and sentences:–

  • 1. How late I shuddered on the brink!–Young.
  • 2. “Right! right!” a thousand tongues exclaimed.–Southey.
  • 3. The pale stars are gone!–Shelley.
  • 4. Poor widowed wretch! “‘twas there she wept in vain.–Campbell.
  • 5. O heartfelt raptures! Bliss beyond compare!–Burns.
  • 6. “‘Tis done! dread Winter spreads his latest glooms.–Thomson.
  • 7. Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly.–Shakspere.
  • 8. I had–ah! have I now?–a friend.–Byron.
  • 9. “To arms!” cried Mortimer, and couched his quivering lance.–Gray.
  • 10. O for the gentleness of old Romance!–Keats.
  • 11. “Run!” exclaims she, with a toss of indignant astonishment.–Carlyle.
  • 12. Can he keep himself still if he would! Oh, not he!–Wordsworth.

LESSON 98.

CLAUSES AS PARTS OF SPEECH

376. A clause is a group of words that forms part of a sentence and that contains a subject and a predicate.

A clause used as a part of speech is called a subordinate clause.

377. A subordinate clause may be introduced by (1) a relative or an interrogative pronoun, (2) a relative or an interrogative adverb, (3) a subordinate conjunction.

The relative pronouns are: who, which, what, that (= who or which), as (after such or same), and the compound relatives whoever, whichever, whatever. Their uses have already been studied

The chief relative adverbs are: where, whence, whither, wherever, when, whenever, while, before, after, till, until, since, as, how, why.

The interrogative pronouns are: who, which, what.

The interrogative adverbs are: where, when, whence, whither, how, why.

The most important subordinate conjunctions are: because, since (= because), though, although, if, unless, that (in order that, so that), lest, as, as if, as though, than, whether (whether … or).

378. According to their use as parts of speech, subordinate clauses are adjective, adverbial, or noun clauses.

I. ADJECTIVE CLAUSES

379. A subordinate clause that modifies a substantive is called an adjective clause.

  • {Able men | Men of ability | Men who show ability} can always find employment.
  • {Treeless spots | Spots without trees | Spots where no trees grew} were plainly visible.

In each of these groups, a noun (men, spots) is modified (1) by an adjective, (2) by an adjective phrase, (3) by an adjective clause. The sense remains unchanged.

380. Adjective clauses may be introduced (1) by relative pronouns, (2) by relative adverbs of place (where, whence, whither, etc.) or time (when, while, etc.).

II. ADVERBIAL CLAUSES

381. A subordinate clause that serves as an adverbial modifier is called an adverbial clause.

  • Jack spoke {thoughtlessly. | without thinking. | before he thought.}
  • The schoolhouse stands {there. | at the crossroads. | where the roads meet.}
  • We pay our rent {monthly. | on the first of every month. | when the first of the month comes.}

In each of these groups, the verb (spoke, stands, pay) is modified (1) by an adverb, (2) by an adverbial phrase, (3) by an adverbial clause.

382. Adverbial clauses may be introduced (1) by relative adverbs (when, where, before, etc.); (2) by subordinate conjunctions (if, though, because, etc.); (3) by relative or interrogative pronouns.

383. Adverbial clauses oftenest modify verbs, but they are also common as modifiers of adjectives and adverbs.

  • Angry because he had failed, he abandoned the undertaking. [The clause modifies angry.]
  • I am uncertain which road I should take. [The clause modifies uncertain.]
  • Farther than eye could see extended the waste of tossing waters. [The clause modifies farther.]
  • Here, where the cliff was steepest, a low wall protected the path. [The clause modifies here.]

384. An adverbial clause with that may be used to modify verbs and adjectives.

  • He rejoiced that the victory was won.
  • I am glad that you are coming.
  • He was positive that no harm had been done.
  • They were unwilling that the case should be brought to trial.

Note. In this use that is equivalent either to “because” or to “as to the fact that.” The clause may be explained as a noun clause in the adverbial objective construction.

For the classification of adverbial clauses according to their meaning (place, time, cause, concession, etc.).

III. NOUN (OR SUBSTANTIVE) CLAUSES

385. A subordinate clause that is used as a noun is called a noun (or substantive) clause.

  • {Agreement | To agree | That we should agree} seemed impossible.
  • {Victory | To win | That we should win} was out of the question.
  • The merchant feared {loss. | to lose. | that he might lose money.}
  • I expect {success. | to succeed. | that I shall succeed.}

In each of these groups a noun (agreement, victory, etc.) is replaced (1) by an infinitive, (2) by a noun clause. In the first two examples, the noun clause is the subject; in the last two, it is the object of a verb (feared, expect).

386. Noun clauses may be used in any of the more important constructions of nouns:–(1) as subject, (2) as direct object of a transitive verb, (3) in apposition with a substantive, (4) as a predicate nominative.

  • That Milton was spared has often caused surprise. [Subject.]
  • Brutus said that CAEsar was a tyrant. [Object of said.]
  • CAEsar commanded that the prisoners should be spared. [Object.]
  • I wish that you would work harder. [Object.]
  • The traveller inquired where he could find the inn. [Object.]
  • He asked me what my name was. [Second object of asked.]
  • My fear that the bridge might fall proved groundless. [Apposition with fear.]
  • One fact is undoubted,–that the state of America has been kept in continual agitation.–Burke. [Apposition with fact.]
  • The old saying is that misery loves company. [Predicate nominative.]

387. Noun clauses may be introduced (1) by the subordinate conjunctions that, whether (whether … or), and if (in the sense of whether); (2) by the interrogative pronouns who, which, what; (3) by the interrogative adverbs where, whence, whither, how, why, when.

388. Noun clauses are common as objects of verbs (1) of commanding, desiring, etc.; (2) of telling, thinking, etc.; (3) of asking, doubting, etc.

See (1) clauses of purpose; (2) indirect discourse; (3) indirect questions.

Object clauses frequently omit that.

  • Charles said [that] he was sorry.
  • I hope you will come.
  • I wish he would help me.

For the infinitive clause replacing a that-clause as object.

389. A noun clause may be used as the retained object of a passive verb.

Active Voice (Clause as Object) Passive Voice (Retained Object)
They informed me that the train was late. I was informed that the train was late.
Charles told us that the ice was thin. We were told that the ice was thin.
They asked me whether (or if) I liked tennis. I was asked whether I liked tennis.

390. A noun clause may be the object of a preposition.

  • I see no reason for a lawsuit except that both parties are stubborn. [Compare: except the stubbornness of both.]
  • She never studies, except when she can find nothing else to do.
  • I could say nothing but [=except] that I was sorry.
  • Justice was well administered in his time, save where the king was party.–Bacon.
  • She could see me from where she stood.
  • There is a dispute as to which of the miners first staked out the claim.

For a noun clause used as an adverbial objective

391. Noun clauses with that are common in the predicate when the expletive it is the grammatical subject.

  • It was plain that war was at hand.
  • It was clear that this administration would last but a very short time.
  • It must be admitted that there were many extenuating circumstances.
  • It was by slow degrees that Fox became a brilliant and powerful debater.
  • It was under the command of a foreign general that the British had triumphed at Minden.

In such sentences the real subject of the thought is the clause. This, however, may be regarded as grammatically in apposition with it, as if one said “It (that war was at hand) was plain.”

Note. This useful idiom enables us to adopt a kind of inverted order, and thus to shift the emphasis. Contrast “That war was at hand was plain” with “It was plain that war was at hand.” In the former sentence, the noun clause is made prominent; in the latter, the adjective plain.

392. The following sentences, taken from distinguished authors of different periods, illustrate the usefulness of the noun clause in its various constructions.

  • 1. That the king would ever again have received Becket into favor is not to be believed.–Southey.
  • 2. That in education we should proceed from the simple to the complex is a truth which has always been to some extent acted on.–Spencer.
  • 3. How great his reputation was, is proved by the embassies sent to him.–Coleridge.
  • 4. It vexed old Hawkins that his counsel was not followed.–Fuller.
  • 5. It became necessary, at last, that I should arouse both master and valet to the expediency of removing the treasure.–Poe.
  • 6. There is no doubt that breeds may be made as different as species in many physiological characteristics.–Huxley.
  • 7. The main definition you could give of old Marquis Mirabeau is, that he was of the pedant species.–Carlyle.
  • 8. The fact seems to be that we have survived the tremendous explosion.–Brougham.
  • 9. The question is, whether the feigned image of poesy, or the regular instruction of philosophy, have the more force in teaching.–Sidney.
  • 10. I feared that some serious disaster had befallen my friend.–Poe.
  • 11. I think with you that the most magnificent object under heaven is the great deep.–Cowper.
  • 12. Aureolus soon discovered that the success of his artifices had only raised up a more determined adversary.–Gibbon.
  • 13. Harold alleged that he was appointed by Edward.–Temple.
  • 14. That we shall die, we know.–Shakspere.
  • 15. Her Majesty has promised that the treaty shall be laid before her Parliament.–Swift.
  • 16. Deerslayer proposed that they should circle the point in the canoe.–Cooper.
  • 17. I remembered how soft was the hand of Sleep.–Landor.
  • 18. I cannot see what objection can justly be made to the practice.–Reynolds.
  • 19. No man knew what was to be expected from this strange tribunal.–Macaulay.
  • 20. We may imagine with what sensations the stupefied Spaniards must have gazed on this horrid spectacle.–Prescott.
  • 21. Observe how graciously Nature instructs her human children.–Coleridge.
  • 22. My friend asked me if there would not be some danger in coming home late.–Addison.
  • 23. A message came that the committee was sitting at Kensington Palace.–Thackeray.
  • 24. Jeffreys had obtained of the king a promise that he would not pardon her.–Burnet.
  • 25. The present age seems pretty well agreed in an opinion that the utmost scope and end of reading is amusement only.–Fielding.
  • 26. He suddenly alarmed me by a startling question–whether I had seen the show of prize cattle that morning in Smithfield.–Lamb.
  • 27. I am told that the Lancashire system is perfect.–Kingsley.

LESSON 99.

THE MEANINGS OF SUBORDINATE CLAUSES

393. Subordinate clauses may be classified not only according to their use as parts of speech, but also, in quite a different way, in accordance with their various meanings. These distinctions in idea are of capital importance for the accurate and forcible expression of thought.

394. The variety of meanings which subordinate clauses may express is great, but most of these meanings come under the following heads:–(1) place or time, (2) cause, (3) concession, (4) purpose, (5) result, (6) condition, (7) comparison, (8) indirect discourse, (9) indirect question.

The general meaning of the clause is usually indicated by the word which introduces it.

I. CLAUSES OF PLACE AND TIME

395. An adjective or an adverbial clause may express place or time.

I. Adjective Clauses
  • The house where the robbery occurred is No. 14.
  • The bridge over which we rode is in ruins.
  • There is a point beyond which you cannot go.
  • The day when (or on which) I was to sail arrived at last.
  • The day before you came was rainy.
  • His terror while it thundered was pitiable.
II. Adverbial Clauses
  • Remain where I can see you.
  • That belongs where you found it.
  • Whithersoever I go, fear dogs my steps.
  • Whenever the bell rings, you must take down the receiver.
  • Esmond heard the chimes as he sat in his own chamber.
  • I have lived in Cairo since my father died.

396. Adjective clauses of place and time may be introduced by relative pronouns (see examples above).

Adjective and adverbial clauses of place and time may be introduced by relative adverbs. Thus,–

  • Place: where, whence, whither, wherever, whithersoever, wherefrom, whereto, etc.
  • Time: when, whenever, while, as, before, after, until, since.

For as and since in causal clauses for while in concessive clauses.

397. Clauses of time are sometimes shortened by the omission of the copula and its subject.

  • When [he was] rescued, he was almost dead.
  • Tom was attacked by cramp while swimming across the river.

II. CAUSAL CLAUSES

398. An adverbial clause may express cause.

Causal clauses are introduced by the subordinate conjunctions because, since, as, inasmuch as, and sometimes that.

  • I came home because I was tired.
  • As the day was clear, we decided to climb the mountain.
  • Since you will not relent, you must take the consequences.
  • We were glad that the wreck was no worse.
  • Tom was delighted that his friend was safe.

Since is a preposition or an adverb when it denotes time; as is an adverb when it denotes time. Both since and as are conjunctions when they express cause. For as used as a relative pronoun

III. CONCESSIVE CLAUSES

399. An adverbial clause may express concession.

A concessive clause is usually introduced by a subordinate conjunction, though, although, or even if. It admits (or concedes) some fact or supposition in spite of which the assertion in the main clause is made.

  • Although I do not like his manners, I respect his character.
  • We won the game, though we expected to lose.
  • Even if you fail, you will have gained experience.
  • Even if you were a king, you would find somebody or something more powerful than yourself.
  • Though he should read books forever, he would not grow wise.

Note. While is often used as a weaker or more courteous synonym for although.

The main clause, when it follows the concessive clause, may be emphasized by means of yet, still, nevertheless.

  • Although the task was heavy, yet his courage never failed. [Although and yet are correlative conjunctions.]
  • Though his reputation was great at home, yet it was greater abroad.

Concessive clauses sometimes omit the copula and its subject.

  • Though [he was] tired, he was not disheartened.
  • This punishment, though perhaps necessary, seems rather severe.

400. For the distinction between the indicative and the subjunctive in concessive clauses; for that between should and would.

401. A concessive clause may be introduced by the conjunction as, or by a relative pronoun or a relative adverb.

  • {Whatever you say, | Whichever argument you present, | However much you object,} he will carry his point.
  • Weak as I am, I will make the effort.
  • Gay as the scene was, “‘twas but a dreary place for Mr. Esmond.

Note. The adverbial use of however is quite distinct from its use as a coOrdinate conjunction.

402. Concession is sometimes expressed by a subjunctive clause without a conjunction to introduce it.

  • Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.
  • I will help you, cost what it may!

IV–V. CLAUSES OF PURPOSE AND OF RESULT

403. A subordinate clause may express purpose or result.

I. Clauses of Purpose
  • These men died that we might live.
  • I will take care that you are not harmed.
  • John worked day and night that the plans might be ready in time.
  • We threw our ballast overboard, so that the airship might clear the treetops.
  • All our arrangements have been made with the utmost precision, in order that the ship may be launched promptly and without accident.
II. Clauses of Result
  • He has recovered his strength, so that he can now work.
  • The town stood at the foot of the volcano, so that every building was destroyed.
  • Quentin started so suddenly that he almost dropped his weapon.
  • His rancor against the duke was so apparent that one saw it in the first half-hour’s conversation.
  • Their minds were so much embittered that they imputed to each other nothing less than deliberate villany.
  • You make such a noise that I cannot hear the music.

404. Clauses of purpose may be introduced by the subordinate conjunction that or by a phrase containing it (so that, in order that, to the end that, etc.).

Negative clauses of purpose may be introduced by that … not or by lest. For lest with the subjunctive.

  • Take heed lest thou fall.
  • I feared lest I might anger thee.–Shakspere.

405. Clauses of result may be introduced by the phrase so that, consisting of the adverb so and the subordinate conjunction that; or by that alone, especially when so, such, or some similar word stands in the main clause.

406. A clause of purpose or of result may be either an adverbial clause (as in) or a substantive clause.

  • I intend that you shall be elected. [Object.]
  • My intention is that you shall be appointed. [Predicate nominative.]
  • The result is that he is bankrupt. [Predicate nominative.]
  • His exertions had this effect, that the vote was unanimous. [Appositive.]

407. A substantive clause of purpose is often used as the object of a verb of commanding, desiring, or the like.

  • The general ordered that the fort should be blown up.
  • The prisoner begged that his fetters might be struck off.

408. For subordinate clauses with shall or should, implying purpose or expectation.

409. Purpose may be expressed by the infinitive with to or in order to, and result by the infinitive with to or as to.

  • He abandoned his profession to [or in order to] become a missionary. [Purpose.]
  • He was kind enough to help me. [Result. Compare: He was so kind that he helped me.]
  • He was so kind as to help me. [Result.]

Negative result is often expressed by the adverb too and the infinitive.

Iron is too heavy to float. [Compare: Iron is so heavy that it does not float.]

410. Purpose may be expressed by an infinitive clause.

  • The teacher intended us to finish the book. [Compare: The teacher intended that we should finish the book.]
  • The foreman ordered the engine to be stopped. [Compare: The foreman ordered that the engine should be stopped.]

VI. CONDITIONAL SENTENCES

411. A clause that expresses a condition introduced by if, or by some equivalent word or phrase, is called a conditional clause.

A sentence that contains a conditional clause is called a conditional sentence.

  • If it rains, we shall remain at home.
  • I shall attend the convention if I am in town.
  • I will take this book, if you please.

412. A conditional sentence in its simplest form consists of two parts:–

(1) A subordinate (adverbial) clause, commonly introduced by if, and expressing the condition.

(2) A main clause expressing the conclusion, that is, the statement which is true in case the condition expressed in the if-clause is true.

Thus in the first example in, the condition is if it rains; the conclusion is we shall remain at home.

Either the condition or the conclusion may come first.

The conditional clause is often called the protasis, and the conclusion is often called the apodosis.

The conclusion of a conditional sentence may be declarative, interrogative, imperative, or exclamatory.

  • If you go to Philadelphia, where shall you stay? [Interrogative.]
  • Sit here, if you wish. [Imperative.]
  • If you win the prize, how glad I shall be! [Exclamatory.]

413. A conditional clause may be introduced by provided (or provided that), granted that, supposing (or suppose), on condition that.

  • I will permit you to go, on condition that you come home early.
  • You may have the money, provided you will put it in the bank.
  • Supposing (or suppose) it rains, what shall we do?

Suppose is really an imperative and supposing a participle, the clause being the object.

414. A negative condition is commonly introduced by if … not or unless.

  • I will wait for him, if you do not object.
  • Unless you overcome that habit, you will be ruined.

415. Double (or alternative) conditions may be introduced by whether … or.

  • Whether he goes or stays, he must pay a week’s board. [Compare: If he goes or if he stays, etc.]
  • He is determined to buy that car, whether you approve or not. [That is: if you approve or if you do not approve.]

416. A conditional clause may be introduced by whoever, whenever, or some similar compound.

  • Whoever offends, is punished. [Compare: If anybody offends, he is punished.]
  • Whoever shall offend, shall be punished.
  • Whomever you ask, you will be disappointed. [Compare: If you shall ask anybody.]
  • He will come whenever [= if ever] he is called.

Note. In older English and in poetry, who is common in this construction: as,–“Who [= whoever] steals my purse, steals trash” (Shakspere).

417. A conditional clause sometimes omits the copula and its subject.

  • I will go if [it is] necessary.
  • If [it is] possible, come to-morrow.

The if-clause is sometimes used as an exclamation, with the conclusion omitted.

If I only had a rifle!

418. A condition may be expressed by means of an assertion, a question, an imperative, or the absolute construction.

  • We take the receiver from the hook, and the operator answers. We replace it, and the connection is broken. [Compare: If we take the receiver from the hook, the operator answers, etc.]
  • Press that button, and the bell will ring.
  • Do you refuse? Then you must take the consequences.
  • We shall sail on Monday, weather permitting.

Note. In such cases, there is no subordinate conditional clause. Thus, in the first example, we have two independent coOrdinate clauses, making a compound sentence.

FORMS OF CONDITIONS

419. Conditional sentences show great variety of form, but it is easy to classify them according to the time of the supposed case and the degree of doubt that the speaker expresses.

420. Conditions may be present, past, or future.

Present and Past Conditions

421. Present and past conditions may be either (1) non-committal or (2) contrary to fact.

1. A condition is non-committal when it implies nothing as to the truth or falsity of the case supposed.

If James is angry, I am sorry. [Perhaps James is angry, perhaps not.]

2. A condition is contrary to fact when it implies that the supposed case is not or was not true.

If James were angry, I should be sorry. [James is not angry.]

422. In a non-committal present condition, the if-clause takes the present indicative; in a non-committal past condition, the past, the perfect, or the pluperfect.

The conclusion may be in any form that the sense allows.

I. Present Condition, Non-committal
  • If this pebble is a diamond, {it is valuable. | guard it carefully. | you have made a great discovery. | you will get a large sum for it. | why are you so careless of it? | what a prize it is!}
  • If it is raining, shut the window.
  • If Jack lives in this house, {he is a lucky boy. | ring the bell. | he has moved since last May.}
II. Past Condition, Non-committal
  • If that pebble was a diamond, {it was valuable. | why did you throw it away? | go back and look for it.}
  • If Tom has apologized, {he has done his duty. | you ought to excuse him. | forgive him.}

If John had reached home before we started, he must have made a quick journey.

In each of these examples, the speaker declines to commit himself as to the truth of the supposed case. Perhaps the pebble was a diamond, perhaps not; Tom may or may not have apologized; whether or not John had reached home, we cannot tell.

423. In a condition contrary to fact, the if-clause takes the past subjunctive when the condition refers to present time, the pluperfect subjunctive when it refers to past time.

The conclusion regularly takes should or would .

  • If John were here, I should recognize him. [Present condition, present conclusion.]
  • If John were here, I should have recognized him before this. [Present condition, past conclusion.]
  • If I had offended him, I should have regretted it. [Past condition, past conclusion.]
  • If I had then offended him, I should regret it now. [Past condition, present conclusion.]

In each of these sentences, the speaker distinctly implies that the supposed case (or condition) is (or was) not a fact. It follows, of course, that the conclusion is not a fact:–John is not here; therefore I do not recognize him.

424. In conditions contrary to fact, the subjunctive without if is common. In this use, the subject follows the verb.

  • Were he my friend, I should expect his help. [= If he were my friend. Present condition, contrary to fact.]
  • Had he been my friend, I should have expected his help. [= If he had been my friend. Past condition, contrary to fact.]

Note. In older English, the subjunctive may be used in both clauses: as,–“He were no lion, were not Romans hinds” (Shakspere).

Future Conditions

425. Future conditions always imply doubt, for no one can tell what may or may not happen to-morrow.

426. In all future conditions, some verb-form denoting future time is used in both clauses.

1. In a future condition which suggests nothing as to the probability or improbability of the case supposed, the present indicative is regularly used in the if-clause, and the future indicative in the conclusion.

If it rains to-morrow, I shall not go.

In very formal or exact language a verb-phrase with shall may be used in the if-clause: as,–“If it shall rain to-morrow, I shall not go.”

2. The present subjunctive is sometimes used in the if-clause. This form commonly suggests more doubt than the present indicative.

If it rain to-morrow, I shall not go.

3. In a future condition which puts the supposed case rather vaguely, often with a considerable suggestion of doubt, a verb-phrase with should or would is used in both clauses.

If it should rain to-morrow, I should not go.

For the use of should or would in such clauses.

A phrase with were to may replace the should-phrase in the if-clause. This form often emphasizes the suggestion of doubt.

If it were to rain to-morrow, I should not go.

The past subjunctive may stand in the if-clause instead of the should-phrase.

If it rained to-morrow, I should not go.

Note. The comparative amount of doubt implied in the different kinds of future conditions cannot be defined with precision; for it varies with the circumstances or the context, and often depends on emphasis or the tone of the voice. Thus, in “if it should rain to-morrow,” should may be so emphasized as to make the supposed case seem highly improbable, whereas an emphasis on to-morrow would have a very different effect. As to the subjunctive, its use is often due rather to the writer’s liking for that mood than to any special doubt in his mind.

427. For even if in concessive clauses,  for as if in clauses of comparison, for if (in the sense of whether) in indirect questions.

VII. CLAUSES OF COMPARISON

428. An adverbial clause introduced by as if may express comparison.

  • You speak as if you were angry.
  • He breathes as if he were exhausted.
  • She cared for me as if I had been her son.

As though is also used, but as if is now preferred by most writers.

The subjunctive were, not the indicative was, is used after as if.

429. As and than, as subordinate conjunctions, introduce clauses of comparison or degree.

  • You are as old as he [is].
  • I am younger than you [are].
  • He weighs as much as I [weigh].
  • I pity you more than [I pity] her.

When the verb is omitted, the substantive that follows as or than is in the same case in which it would stand if the verb were expressed. Thus,–

  • You are stronger than he. [Not: than him.]
  • I see you oftener than him. [Not: than he.]
  • He plays a better game than I. [Not: than me.]
  • They will miss John more than me. [That is: more than they miss me.]

VIII. INDIRECT DISCOURSE

430. A quotation may be direct or indirect.

A direct quotation repeats a speech or thought in its original form.

  • I replied: “I am sorry to hear it.”
  • “Henceforth,” he explained, “I shall call on Tuesdays.”
  • “You must see California,” she insisted.
  • “Elizabeth no longer lives here,” he said.
  • “I know nothing about it,” was the witness’s reply.
  • “Where,” thought I, “are the crew?”

An indirect quotation repeats a speech or thought in substance, but usually with some change in its form.

An indirect quotation, when a statement, is a subordinate clause dependent on some word of saying or thinking, and introduced by the conjunction that.

  • I replied that I was sorry to hear it. [Direct: I am sorry.]
  • He explained that henceforth he should call on Tuesdays.
  • She insisted that I must see California.

A direct quotation begins with a capital letter, unless it is a fragment of a sentence. It is enclosed in quotation marks.

An indirect quotation begins with a small letter. It usually has no quotation marks.

431. A substantive clause introduced by that may be used with verbs and other expressions of telling, thinking, knowing, and perceiving, to report the words or thought of a person in substance, but usually with some change of form.

Such clauses are said to be in the indirect discourse.

For distinction, a remark or a thought in its original form (as in a direct quotation) is said to be in the direct discourse.

432. Statements in indirect discourse, being substantive clauses, may be used in various noun constructions: (1) as object of some verb of telling, thinking, or the like, (2) as subject, (3) as predicate nominative, (4) as appositive.

  • He said that the box was empty. [Object.]
  • That the box was empty was all he could say. [Subject.]
  • My remark was that the bill is a menace. [Predicate nominative.]
  • Your remark, that the bill is a menace, has aroused vigorous protest. [Apposition.]

433. The conjunction that is often omitted.

  • Jack said [that] he was sorry.
  • I hope [that] you can come.
  • I know he is too busy a man to have leisure for me.–Cowper.

434. In indirect discourse, after the past or the pluperfect tense, the present tense of the direct discourse becomes past, and the perfect becomes pluperfect.

  • 1. Direct: I am tired.
  • Indirect: John {said | had said} that he was tired.
  • 2. Direct: I have won.
  • Indirect: John {said | had said} that he had won.

But a general or universal truth always remains in the present tense.

  • Direct: Air is a gas.
  • Indirect: I told him that air is a gas.
  • Indirect: I had told him a hundred times that air is a gas.

435. The clause with that in indirect discourse is sometimes replaced by an infinitive clause.

  • The jury declared him to be innocent. [Compare: The jury declared that he was innocent.]
  • Morton admitted them to be counterfeit. [Compare: Morton admitted that they were counterfeit.]

In these sentences, him and them are, of course, the subjects of the infinitives, not the objects of declared and admitted.

436. When the verb of telling or thinking is in the passive voice, three constructions occur:–

1. A clause with that is used as the subject of the passive verb.

That Rogers desires the office is commonly reported.

2. The expletive it is used as the grammatical subject, and a that-clause follows the passive verb.

It is commonly reported that Rogers desires the office.

3. The subject of the that-clause becomes the subject of the passive verb, and the verb of the clause is replaced by an infinitive.

Rogers is commonly reported to desire the office.

The choice among these three idioms is largely a matter of emphasis or euphony. The first may easily become heavy or awkward, and it is therefore less common than either of the others.

Note. The third of these idioms is often called the personal construction, to distinguish it from the second, in which the grammatical subject is the impersonal it. The infinitive in this third idiom may be regarded as a peculiar adverbial modifier of the passive verb.

Further examples of the three constructions with passive verbs of telling, thinking, etc., are the following:–

  • That in vivacity, humor, and eloquence, the Irish stand high among the nations of the world is now universally acknowledged.–Macaulay.
  • It is admitted that the exercise of the imagination is most delightful.–Shelley.
  • It must be owned that Charles’s life has points of some originality.–Stevenson.
  • Porto Bello is still said to be impregnable, and it is reported the Dutch have declared war against us.–Gray.
  • He was generally believed to have been a pirate.–Lytton.
  • Pope may be said to write always with his reputation in his head.–Johnson.
  • She was observed to flutter her fan with such vehement rapidity that the elaborate delicacy of its workmanship gave way.–Hawthorne.
  • This is said to be the only château in France in which the ancient furniture of its original age is preserved.–Longfellow.

437. A substantive clause with that is common after it seems, it is true, it is evident, and similar expressions.

  • It seems that Robert has lost all his money.
  • It is true that genius does not always bring happiness with it.
  • It is evident that Andrews tells the truth.

This construction is really the same as that in.

438. The uses of shall and will, should and would, in indirect discourse are the same as in the direct, with the following exception:–

When the first person with shall or should in direct discourse becomes the second or third person in the indirect, shall or should is retained.

  • Direct: You say, “I shall die.”
  • Indirect: You say that you shall die.
  • Direct: You said, “I shall die.”
  • Indirect: You said that you should die.
  • Direct: He says, “I shall die.”
  • Indirect: He says that he shall die.
  • Direct: He said, “I shall die.”
  • Indirect: He said that he should die.

The reason for the retention of shall or should is that, in such cases, the second or third person of the indirect discourse represents the first person of the direct.

The change from shall (after says) to should (after said) is a mere change of tense, according to the rule in.

Note. The general principle is, to retain in the indirect discourse the auxiliary of the direct, simply changing the tense if necessary. This principle of course covers the use of you or he shall or should to represent I shall or should. There is, however, one important exception to the general principle: when its application would result in the use of I will or I would to express mere futurity, I shall or I should is employed. Thus, John says to Charles, “If you fall overboard, you will drown”; but Charles, reporting this, must say, “John tells me that, if I fall overboard, I shall [NOT will] drown.” The general rule, then, may be stated as follows: The indirect discourse retains the auxiliary of the direct (with a change in tense, if necessary), unless such retention makes will or would express simple futurity in the first person,–in that case, shall or should is used.

439. The following sentences illustrate the correct use of shall and will, should and would, in the indirect discourse:–

  • 1. He writes me that he believes he shall be at Eton till the middle of November.–Gray. [Direct: I shall be at Eton.]
  • 2. He that would pass the latter part of his life with honor and decency, must, while he is young, consider that he shall one day be old.–Johnson. [Direct: I shall one day be old.]
  • 3. Could he but reduce the Aztec capital, he felt that he should be safe.–Prescott. [Direct: I shall be safe.]
  • 4. Plantagenet took it into his head that he should like to learn to play at bowls.–Disraeli. [Direct: I should like.]
  • 5. He answered that he should be very proud of hoisting his flag under Sir John’s command.–Southey. [Direct: I shall (or should) be, etc.]
  • 6. He knew that if he applied himself in earnest to the work of reformation, he should raise every bad passion in arms against him.–Macaulay. [Direct: If I apply myself …, I shall raise, etc.]
  • 7. He was pleased to say that he should like to have the author in his service.–Carlyle. [Direct: I should like.]
  • 8. Mr. Tristram at last declared that he was overcome with fatigue, and should be happy to sit down.–Henry James. [Direct: I should be happy.]
  • 9. She vowed that unless he made a great match, she should never die easy.–Thackeray. [Direct: Unless you make a great match, I shall never die easy.]
  • 10. You think now I shall get into a scrape at home. You think I shall scream and plunge and spoil everything.–George Eliot. [Direct: She will get into a scrape, etc.]
  • 11. You in a manner impose upon them the necessity of being silent, by declaring that you will be so yourself.–Cowper. [Determination: I will be silent.]
  • 12. He [Swift] tells them that he will run away and leave them, if they do not instantly make a provision for him.–Jeffrey. [Threat: I will run away.]
  • 13. The king declared that he would not reprieve her for one day.–Mackintosh. [Direct: I will not.]
  • 14. Horace declares that he would not for all the world get into a boat with a man who had divulged the Eleusinian mysteries.–Cowper. [Direct: I would not.]
  • 15. I called up Sirboko, and told him, if he would liberate this one man to please me, he should be no loser.–Speke. [Direct: If you will liberate, etc., you shall be no loser.]
  • 16. We concluded that, if we did not come at some water in ten days’ time, we would return.–De Foe. [Direct: If we do not, etc., we will return.]
  • 17. With a theatrical gesture and the remark that I should see, he opened some cages and released half a dozen cats.–W. J. Locke. [Direct: You shall see.]

IX. INDIRECT QUESTIONS

440. A question expressed in the form actually used in asking it is called a direct question.

  • What is your name?
  • “What is your name?” he asked.

The direct form may be retained when the question is quoted or reported, as in the second example above. Often, however, a question is quoted or reported, not in the direct form, but in the form of a subordinate clause: as,–

He asked what my name was.

Such a clause is called an indirect question.

441. An indirect question expresses the substance of a direct question in the form of a subordinate clause.

Indirect questions depend on verbs or other expressions of asking, doubting, thinking, perceiving, and the like.

  • Franklin asked where the difficulty lay. [Direct question: “Where does the difficulty lie?”]
  • The sergeant wondered how he should escape. [Direct question: “How shall I escape?”]
  • I have not decided which train I shall take. [Direct question: “Which train shall I take?”]

442. Both direct and indirect questions may be introduced (1) by the interrogative pronouns who, which, what; (2) by the interrogative adverbs when, where, whence, whither, how, why.

Indirect questions may be introduced by the subordinate conjunctions whether (whether … or) and if.

The use of tenses in indirect questions is the same as in the indirect discourse.

  • The constable inquired whether (or if) I lived in Casterbridge. [His question was: Do you live in Casterbridge?]
  • Your father wishes to know if you have been playing truant. [Direct question: Have you been playing truant?]
  • I considered whether I should apply to Kent or to Arnold. [Direct question: Shall I apply to Kent or to Arnold?]

443. Indirect questions are usually noun clauses. They may be used in various noun constructions: (1) as object of some verb of asking or the like, (2) as subject, (3) as predicate nominative, (4) as appositive, (5) as object of a preposition.

  • The skipper asked what had become of the cook. [Object.]
  • He was asked what his profession was. [Retained object after the passive.]
  • How we could escape was a difficult question. [Subject.]
  • The problem was how they should find food. [Predicate nominative.]
  • The question who was to blame has never been settled. [Apposition with question.]
  • They all felt great perplexity as to what they should do. [Object of a preposition.]

An indirect question may be an adverbial clause.

  • They were uncertain what course they should take. [The clause modifies uncertain.]
  • Edmund was in doubt where he should spend the night. [The clause modifies the adjective phrase in doubt.]

444. Since the pronouns who, which, and what may be either interrogative or relative, an indirect question may closely resemble a relative clause. These two constructions, however, are sharply distinguished. A relative clause always asserts something. An indirect question, on the contrary, has an interrogative sense which may be seen by turning the question into the direct form.

The sailor who saved the child is a Portuguese. [The clause who saved the child is a relative clause, for it makes a distinct assertion about the sailor,–namely, that he saved the child. Who is a relative pronoun and sailor is its antecedent.]

{I asked | I do not know | It is still a question | It is doubtful} who saved the child. [Here the clause who saved the child makes no assertion. On the contrary, it expresses a question which may easily be put in a direct form with an interrogation point: “Who saved the child?” Who is an interrogative pronoun. It has no antecedent.]

The following examples further illustrate the difference between these two constructions:–

  • 1. I foresee the course which he will take. [Relative clause.]
  • I foresee which course he will take. [Indirect question.]
  • 2. I heard what he said. [Relative clause. What = “that which.”]
  • I wondered what he said. [Indirect question. What is an interrogative pronoun.]
  • 3. This is the man who brought the news. [Relative clause.]
  • The king asked who brought the news. [Indirect question.]
  • 4. Here is a paper which you must sign. [Relative clause.]
  • The clerk will tell you which paper you must sign. [Indirect question.]

Note. In such a sentence as “Tom knows who saved the child,” the indirect question may at first appear to be a relative clause with an omitted antecedent (the man, or the person). If, however, we insert such an antecedent (“Tom knows the man who saved the child”), the meaning is completely changed. In the original sentence, it is stated that Tom knows the answer to the question, “Who saved the child?” In the new form of the sentence, it is stated that Tom is acquainted with a certain person, and to this is added an assertion about this person in the form of a relative clause.

445. An indirect question is sometimes expressed by means of an interrogative pronoun or adverb followed by an infinitive.

  • Whom to choose is a serious question. [Direct question: Whom shall we choose?]
  • John asked what to do. [John’s question was: What shall I do?]
  • I know where to go. [Direct question: Where shall I go?]
  • Tell me when to strike the bell.
  • I was at a loss how to reply.
  • I am in doubt how to begin this essay.

In the first four examples the italicized phrase is used as a noun (either as subject or object). In the fifth, the phrase how to reply is adverbial, modifying the adjective phrase at a loss.

446. The subjunctive was formerly common in indirect questions, and is still occasionally used after if or whether.

  • I doubt if it be true.
  • Elton questioned whether the project were wise.

447. The rule for shall (should) and will (would) in indirect questions is, to retain the auxiliary used in the direct question, merely changing the tense (shall to should; will to would) when necessary.

I. Mere Futurity
1. Direct: What shall I do?  
Indirect: I wonder what I shall do. You ask me what you shall do. He asks me what he shall do. I wondered what I should do. You asked me what you should do. He asked me what he should do.  
2. Direct: Shall you lose your position?  
Indirect: {I ask | He asks} you if you shall lose your position. {I asked | He asked} you if you should lose your position.  
3. Direct: Will Charles lose his position?  
Indirect: I ask if Charles will lose his position. {I | You | Tom} asked if Charles would lose his position.  
II. Volition
4. Direct: Will you help me?  
Indirect: You ask if I will help you. He asks if I will help him. You asked if I would help you. He asked if I would help him. {I asked him | You asked him | Tom asked him} if he would {help me. | help you. | help him.}  

Note. There is a single exception to the rule in. When, in changing from a direct to an indirect question, the third person with will or would becomes the first, shall or should is substituted unless volition is expressed. Thus, John says to Thomas, “Will Charles die of his wound?” Charles, reporting John’s question, says, “John asked Thomas whether I should die of my wound.” Compare, note.


ANALYSIS

LESSON 100.

THE STRUCTURE OF SENTENCES

448. Analysis is a Greek word which means “the act of dissolving or breaking up.” In grammar it is applied to the separation of a sentence into its constituent parts, or elements. To dissect a sentence in this way is to analyze it.

The elements which make up a sentence are: (1) the simple subject; (2) the simple predicate; (3) modifiers; (4) the complements,–direct object, predicate objective, predicate adjective, predicate nominative; and (5) the so-called independent elements,–the interjection, the vocative (or nominative of direct address), the exclamatory nominative, and various parenthetical expressions.

449. The absolute essentials for a sentence are a substantive as subject and a verb as predicate. By combining these two indispensable elements, in various ways, with modifiers and complements, the sentence may be extended to any length desired. Indeed, the sole limits are the constructive skill of the writer and the hearer’s ability to follow the thought without losing the thread.

In the present chapter, we shall consider how sentences are built up, or constructed. Our starting point in this study will be the simple sentence.

SIMPLE SENTENCES

450. The following statement is a simple sentence, for it contains but one subject and one predicate:–

The polar bear | lives in the Arctic regions.

The framework or skeleton of this simple sentence consists of the subject noun bear (the simple subject) and the predicate verb lives (the simple predicate). To make the complete subject, bear takes as modifiers the two adjectives the and polar; to make the complete predicate, lives takes as modifier the adverbial phrase in the Arctic regions.

By attaching another simple subject to bear we make a compound subject. Similarly, we make a compound predicate by adding another verb.

The polar bear and the walrus | live and thrive in the Arctic regions.

The compound subject is bear and walrus; the compound predicate is live and thrive. Both verbs are modified by the adverbial phrase in the Arctic regions. The sentence itself is still a simple sentence.

In each of the following simple sentences either the subject or the predicate or both are compound:–

  • Games and carols closed the busy day.–Rogers.
  • The stars leap forth, and tremble, and retire before the advancing moon.–George Meredith.
  • Madame Defarge knitted with nimble fingers and steady eyebrows, and saw nothing.–Dickens.
  • Work or worry had left its traces upon his thin, yellow face.–Doyle.
  • Crows flutter about the towers and perch on every weathercock.–Irving.
  • He gained the door to the landing, pulled it open, and rushed forth.–Lytton.
  • Countrymen, butchers, drovers, hawkers, boys, thieves, idlers, and vagabonds of every low grade, were mingled together in a dense mass.–Dickens.
  • There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique plows and the harrows.–Longfellow.
  • Both Augustus and Peters joined with him in his design and insisted upon its immediately being carried into effect.–Poe.
  • Women and children, from garrets alike and cellars, through infinite London, look down or look up with loving eyes upon our gay ribbons and our martial laurels.–De Quincey.

COMPOUND SENTENCES

451. If we attach another simple sentence to that in, the result is a compound sentence.

The polar bear | lives in the Arctic regions, || but || it | sometimes reaches temperate latitudes.

This is manifestly a compound sentence, for it consists of two coOrdinate clauses, joined by the conjunction but.

The framework of the second clause consists of the subject it and the simple predicate reaches. To make the complete predicate, the verb reaches takes not only a modifier (the adverb sometimes), but a complement,–the direct object latitudes, which completes the meaning of the verb. This noun is itself modified by the adjective temperate. Both clauses are simple, for each contains but one subject and one predicate.

452. Obviously, almost any number of simple sentences may be joined (with or without conjunctions) to make one compound sentence.

The quiet August noon has come;
A slumberous silence fills the sky;
The fields are still, the woods are dumb,
In glassy sleep the waters lie.–Bryant.

  • States fall, arts fade, but Nature does not die.–Byron.
  • The court was sitting; the case was heard; the judge had finished; and only the verdict was yet in arrear.–De Quincey.
  • He softly blushed; he sighed; he hoped; he feared; he doubted; he sometimes yielded to the delightful idea.–Thackeray.
  • A mob appeared before the window, a smart rap was heard at the door, the boys hallooed, and the maid announced Mr. Grenville.–Cowper.
  • His health had suffered from confinement; his high spirit had been cruelly wounded; and soon after his liberation he died of a broken heart.–Macaulay.

COMPLEX SENTENCES

453. The simple sentence in may be made complex by means of a subordinate clause used as a modifier.

  • The polar bear, which lives in the Arctic regions, sometimes reaches temperate latitudes.
  • The polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes when the ice drifts southward.

In the first example, the simple subject (bear), besides its two adjective modifiers (the and polar), takes a third, the adjective clause which lives in the Arctic regions. The sentence, then, is complex: the main clause is the polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes; the subordinate clause is which lives in the Arctic regions.

The second sentence is also complex. The main clause is the same as in the first (the polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes). The subordinate clause is when the ice drifts southward, an adverbial modifier of the predicate verb reaches.

COMPOUND AND COMPLEX CLAUSES

454. Two or more coOrdinate clauses may be joined to make one compound clause.

  • The polar bear, which lives in the Arctic regions and whose physical constitution is wonderfully adapted to that frigid climate, sometimes reaches temperate latitudes.
  • The polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes when the floes break up and when the ice drifts southward.

In the first example, the italicized words form a compound adjective clause, modifying the noun bear. It consists of two coOrdinate adjective clauses joined by and. These clauses are coOrdinate because they are of the same order or rank in the sentence, each being (if taken singly) an adjective modifier of the noun.

In the second example, the predicate verb reaches is modified by a compound adverbial clause, similarly made up.

455. A clause is complex when it contains a modifying clause.

The polar bear, which lives in the Arctic regions when it is at home, sometimes reaches temperate latitudes.

Here the adjective clause which lives in the Arctic regions when it is at home is complex, for it contains the adverbial clause when it is at home, modifying the verb lives.

COMPOUND COMPLEX SENTENCES

456. Two or more independent complex clauses may be joined to make a compound complex sentence.

The brown bear, of which there are several varieties, is common in the temperate regions of the Eastern Hemisphere; || and || the polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes when the ice drifts southward.

This is a compound complex sentence, for it consists of two complex clauses joined by the coOrdinate conjunction and. Each of these two clauses is independent of the other, for each might stand by itself as a complex sentence.

The first complex clause contains an adjective clause, of which there are several varieties, modifying bear; the second contains an adverbial clause, when the ice drifts southward, modifying reaches.

457. A sentence consisting of two or more independent clauses is also classed as a compound complex sentence if any one of these is complex.

  • The brown bear is common in the temperate regions of the Eastern Hemisphere; || and || the polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes when the ice drifts southward.
  • The brown bear, of which there are several varieties, is common in the temperate regions of the Eastern Hemisphere; || and || the polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes.

Both of these are compound complex sentences. In one, the first clause is simple  and the second is complex. In the other, the first clause is complex and the second is simple.

LESSON 101.

ANALYSIS OF SENTENCES

SIMPLE SENTENCES

458. In analyzing a simple sentence, we first divide it into the complete subject and the complete predicate. Then we point out the simple subject with its modifiers, and the simple predicate with its modifiers and complement (if there is one). If either the subject or the predicate is compound, we mention the simple subjects or predicates that are joined.

1. The polar bear lives in the Arctic regions.

This is a simple sentence. The complete subject is the polar bear; the complete predicate is lives in the Arctic regions. The simple subject is the noun bear; the simple predicate is the verb lives. Bear is modified by the adjectives the and polar; lives is modified by the adverbial phrase in the Arctic regions. This phrase consists of the preposition in; its object, the noun regions; and the adjectives the and Arctic, modifying regions.

2. The polar bear and the walrus live and thrive in the Arctic regions.

The complete subject is the polar bear and the walrus. Two simple subjects (bear and walrus) are joined by the conjunction and to make a compound subject, and two simple predicates (live and thrive) are joined by and to make a compound predicate. Live and thrive are both modified by the adverbial phrase in the Arctic regions.

COMPOUND SENTENCES

459. In analyzing a compound sentence we first divide it into its coOrdinate clauses, and then analyze each clause by itself. Thus,–

The polar bear lives in the Arctic regions, but it sometimes reaches temperate latitudes.

This is a compound sentence consisting of two coOrdinate clauses joined by the conjunction but: (1) the polar bear lives in the Arctic regions and (2) it sometimes reaches temperate latitudes. The complete subject of the first clause is the polar bear [and so on, as in, above]. The subject of the second clause is it; the complete predicate is sometimes reaches temperate latitudes. The simple predicate is reaches, which is modified by the adverb sometimes and is completed by the direct object latitudes. The complement latitudes is modified by the adjective temperate.

COMPLEX SENTENCES

460. In analyzing a complex sentence, we first divide it into the main clause and the subordinate clause.

1. The polar bear, which lives in the Arctic regions, sometimes reaches temperate latitudes.

This is a complex sentence. The main clause is the polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes; the subordinate clause is which lives in the Arctic regions. The complete subject of the sentence is the polar bear, which lives in the Arctic regions; the complete predicate is sometimes reaches temperate latitudes. The simple subject is bear, which is modified by the adjectives the and polar and by the adjective clause which lives in the Arctic regions. The simple predicate is reaches, which is modified by the adverb sometimes and completed by the direct object latitudes. This complement, latitudes, is modified by the adjective temperate. The subordinate clause is introduced by the relative pronoun which. [Then analyze the subordinate clause.]

2. The polar bear reaches temperate latitudes when the ice drifts southward.

This is a complex sentence. The main clause is the polar bear reaches temperate latitudes; the subordinate clause is when the ice drifts southward. The complete subject of the sentence is the polar bear; the complete predicate is reaches temperate latitudes when the ice drifts southward. The simple subject is bear, which is modified by the adjectives the and polar. The simple predicate is reaches, which is modified by the adverbial clause when the ice drifts southward, and completed by the noun latitudes (the direct object of reaches). The complement latitudes is modified by the adjective temperate. The subordinate clause is introduced by the relative adverb when. [Then analyze the subordinate clause.]

3. The polar bear, which lives in the Arctic regions when it is at home, sometimes reaches temperate latitudes.

This is a complex sentence. The main clause is the polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes; the subordinate clause is which lives in the Arctic regions when it is at home, which is complex, since it contains the adverbial clause when it is at home, modifying the verb lives.

4. He says that the polar bear lives in the Arctic regions.

This is a complex sentence. The main clause is he says; the subordinate clause is that the polar bear lives in the Arctic regions. The subject of the sentence is he, the complete predicate is says that the polar bear lives in the Arctic regions. The simple predicate is says, which is completed by its direct object, the noun clause that … regions, introduced by the conjunction that. [Then analyze the subordinate clause.]

5. That the polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes is a familiar fact.

This is a complex sentence. The main clause (is a familiar fact) appears as a predicate only, since the subordinate clause (that the polar bear sometimes reaches temperate latitudes) is a noun clause used as the complete subject of the sentence. The simple predicate is is, which is completed by the predicate nominative fact. This complement is modified by the adjectives a and familiar. The subordinate clause, which is used as the complete subject, is introduced by the conjunction that. [Then analyze this clause.]

COMPOUND COMPLEX SENTENCES

461. In analyzing a compound complex sentence, we first divide it into the independent clauses (simple or complex) of which it consists, and then analyze each of these as if it were a sentence by itself.

See the examples in.

LESSON 102.

MODIFIERS

462. The various kinds of modifiers and complements have all been studied in preceding chapters,–each in connection with the construction which it illustrates. For purposes of analysis, however, it is necessary to consider modifiers as such and complements as such.

The topics will be taken up in the following order:–(1) modifiers,–of the subject, of the predicate; (2) complements; (3) modifiers of complements; (4) modifiers of modifiers.

463. A word or group of words that changes or modifies the meaning of another word is called a modifier.

  • {Men | Able men | Men of ability} can always find employment.
  • {Walls | Battlemented walls | Walls with battlements} usually enclosed mediAEval cities.
  • {Cottages | English cottages | Cottages in England} are often thatched.
  • The boy listened {eagerly. | with eagerness.}
  • I coughed {purposely. | on purpose.}
  • The bullet passed {harmlessly. | without doing harm.}

464. Modifiers may be attached not only to substantives and verbs, but also to adjectives and adverbs.

All modifiers of substantives are called adjective modifiers; all modifiers of verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are called adverbial modifiers.

Note. The terms adjective modifier and adjective are not synonymous. All adjectives are adjective modifiers, but all adjective modifiers are not adjectives. Thus, in “Henry’s skates are rusty,” the possessive noun Henry’s is an adjective modifier, since it limits the noun skates as an adjective might do.

465. A group of words used as a modifier may be either a phrase or a clause.

  • {Able men | Men of ability | Men who have ability} can always find employment.
  • I spoke {thoughtlessly. | without thinking. | before I thought.}

A phrase or a clause used as an adjective modifier is called an adjective phrase or clause.

A phrase or a clause used as an adverbial modifier is called an adverbial phrase or clause.

Adjective and adverbial clauses are always subordinate, because they are used as parts of speech.

MODIFIERS OF THE SUBJECT

466. Any substantive in the sentence may take an adjective modifier, but modifiers of the subject are particularly important.

The simple subject may be modified by (1) an adjective, an adjective phrase, or an adjective clause; (2) a participle; (3) an infinitive; (4) a possessive; (5) an appositive.

I. ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVE PHRASES, ADJECTIVE CLAUSES

467. The simple subject may be modified by an adjective, an adjective phrase, or an adjective clause.

  • {Ivory trinkets | Trinkets of ivory | Trinkets which were carved from ivory} lay scattered about.
  • {Treeless spots | Spots without trees | Spots where no trees grew} were plainly visible.

In each of these groups of sentences, the subject of the first sentence is modified by an adjective, that of the second by an adjective phrase, that of the third by an adjective clause.

Most adjective phrases are prepositional, as in the examples.

468. An adjective clause may be introduced by a relative pronoun or a relative adverb. For lists.

I. Relative Pronouns
  • The architect who designed this church was a man of genius.
  • The painter whom Ruskin oftenest mentions is Turner.
  • A piece of amber which is rubbed briskly will attract bits of paper.
  • The day that I dreaded came at last.
  • The plain through which this river flows is marvelously fertile.
  • The book from which I got this information is always regarded as authoritative.
  • A friend in whom one can trust is a treasure beyond price.
  • The boys with whom he associates do him no good.
II. Relative Adverbs
  • The spot where the Old Guard made their last stand is marked by a bronze eagle.
  • The morning when I arrived in Rome is one of my pleasantest memories.
  • The year after Ashton left home brought fresh disaster.
  • The land whence Scyld drifted in his magic boat will never be known.

Note. A preposition and a relative pronoun may often replace a relative adverb. Thus, in the second example, on which might be substituted for when.

II. PARTICIPLES

469. The subject may be modified by a participle (with or without modifier or complement).

  • 1. Smiling, the child shook his head.
  • 2. My aunt, reassured, took up her book again.
  • 3. The prisoner sank back exhausted.
  • 4. Exasperated beyond endurance, the captain cut the rope.
  • 5. John, obeying a sudden impulse, took to his heels.
  • 6. Having broken one oar, Robert had to scull.
  • 7. The natives, fearing captivity above all things, leaped into the river.
  • 8. Albert left the room, looking rather sullen.

In the fourth example the participle is modified by an adverbial phrase; in the fifth and sixth, it has an object; in the seventh, it has both an object and a modifier; in the eighth, it is followed by the predicate adjective sullen. In analysis, the whole participial phrase (consisting of the participle and accompanying words) may be treated as an adjective phrase modifying the subject; but it is simpler to regard the participle as the modifier, and then to enumerate its modifiers, etc., separately.

Thus, in the seventh example, the simple subject natives is modified by the participle fearing, which has for a complement captivity (the direct object) and is modified by the adverbial phrase above all things.

Note. A participle, though a modifier of the subject, has at the same time a peculiar relation to the predicate, because it may take the place of an adverbial clause. Thus, in the seventh example, fearing is practically equivalent to the clause because they feared, which, if substituted for the participle, would of course modify the predicate verb leaped. This dual office of the participle comes from its twofold nature as (1) an adjective and (2) a verb. In analyzing, we treat the participle as an adjective modifier of the noun to which it belongs; but its function as a substitute for an adverbial clause is an important means of securing variety in style.

III. INFINITIVES

470. The subject may be modified by an infinitive.

  • Eagerness to learn was young Lincoln’s strongest passion.
  • Desire to travel made Taylor restless.
  • The wish to succeed prompted him to do his best.
  • Ability to write rapidly is a valuable accomplishment.
  • Howard’s unwillingness to desert a friend cost him his life.

In the fourth example, the infinitive has an adverbial modifier (rapidly); and in the fifth, it has a complement, its object (friend). In such instances, two methods of analysis are allowable, as in the case of participial phrases.

IV. POSSESSIVES

471. The subject may be modified by a substantive in the possessive case.

Such a substantive may be called a possessive modifier.

  • Napoleon’s tomb is in Paris.
  • A man’s house is his castle.
  • One’s taste in reading changes as one grows older.
  • A moment’s thought would have saved me.
  • The squirrel’s teeth grow rapidly.
  • The Indians’ camp was near the river.
  • His name is Alfred.
  • Your carriage has arrived.

In each of these examples, a substantive in the possessive case modifies the subject by limiting its meaning precisely as an adjective would do.

Note. An adjective phrase may often be substituted for a possessive. Thus, in the first example, instead of “Napoleon’s tomb” one may say “the tomb of Napoleon”.

V. APPOSITIVES

472. The subject may be modified by a substantive in apposition.

  • Meredith the carpenter lives in that house.
  • Herbert, our captain, has broken his leg.
  • The idol of the Aztecs, a grotesque image, was thrown down by the Spaniards.
  • Many books, both pamphlets and bound volumes, littered the table. [Here the subject (books) is modified by two appositives.]

Appositives often have modifiers of their own.

Thus carpenter is modified by the adjective the, captain by the possessive our, image by the adjectives a and grotesque.

In analyzing, the whole appositive phrase (consisting of the appositive and attached words) may be regarded as modifying the subject. It is as well, however, to treat the appositive as the modifier and then to enumerate the adjectives, etc., by which the appositive itself is modified.

473. A noun clause may be used as an appositive, and so may be an adjective modifier.

  • The question whether Antonio was a citizen was settled in the affirmative. [Here the italicized clause is used as a noun in apposition with question.]
  • The statement that water freezes seems absurd to a native of the torrid zone. [The clause that water freezes is in apposition with statement.]

An adjective in the appositive position is often called an appositive adjective. “A sword, keen and bright, flashed from the soldier’s scabbard.”

MODIFIERS OF THE PREDICATE

474. The simple predicate, being a verb or verb-phrase, can have only adverbial modifiers.

The simple predicate may be modified by (1) an adverb, an adverbial phrase, or an adverbial clause, (2) an infinitive, (3) an adverbial objective, (4) a nominative absolute, (5) an indirect object, (6) a cognate object.

I. ADVERB, ADVERBIAL PHRASE, ADVERBIAL CLAUSE

475. The simple predicate may be modified by an adverb, an adverbial phrase, or an adverbial clause.

  • The landlord collects his rents {monthly. | on the first of every month. | when the first of the month comes.}
  • The old schoolhouse stands {there. | at the cross-roads. | where the roads meet.}
  • We left the hall {early. | before the last speech. | while the last speech was being delivered.}

In each of these groups, the simple predicate of the first sentence is modified by an adverb, that of the second by an adverbial phrase, and that of the third by an adverbial clause.

Most adverbial phrases are prepositional.

Adverb Adverbial Phrase
speedily with speed
furiously with fury
lately of late
instantly in an instant
there in that place
rapidly at a rapid rate
skillfully in a skillful manner
with skill
promptly on the instant
to-morrow on the morrow
unwillingly against my will

Peculiar adverbial phrases are:–

  • to and fro,
  • now and then,
  • up and down,
  • again and again,
  • first and last,
  • full speed,
  • full tilt,
  • hit or miss,
  • more or less,
  • head first,
  • upside down,
  • inside out,
  • sink or swim,
  • cash down.

476. An adverbial clause that modifies a verb may be introduced by (1) a relative adverb, or (2) a subordinate conjunction.

I. Relative Adverbs
  • Our colonel was always found where the fighting was fiercest.
  • When I give the signal, press the button.
  • Whenever I call, you refuse to see me.
  • Miller arrived after the play had begun.
  • Everybody listened while the vagrant told his story.
  • My uncle laughed until the tears came.
  • The prisoner has not been seen since he made his escape.
II. Subordinate Conjunctions
  • Archer resigned because his health failed.
  • I will give the address if you will let me choose my subject.
  • Brandon insisted on walking, although the roads were dangerous.
  • The child ran with all her might lest she should be too late.
  • I gave you a front seat in order that you might hear.
  • The town lies at the base of a lofty cliff so that it is sheltered from the north wind.
II. INFINITIVE

477. The simple predicate may be modified by an infinitive.

  • He lay down to rest.
  • I stopped to listen.
  • The fire continued to burn.
  • The wind began to subside.
  • Jack worked hard to fell the tree.
  • Will did his best to win the prize.
  • Kate began to weep bitterly.
  • That draughtsman seems to be remarkably skilful.

The infinitive may have a complement or a modifier, as in the last four examples.

III. ADVERBIAL OBJECTIVE

478. The simple predicate may be modified by an adverbial objective.

  • I have waited ages.
  • We have walked miles.
  • Arthur practised weeks.

The addition of modifiers to the adverbial objective makes an adverbial phrase.

  • Walter ran the entire distance.
  • He stayed a whole day.
  • I will forgive you this time.
  • He came at me full tilt.
  • The wind blew all night.
  • Come with me a little way.

In the first sentence, the adverbial phrase the entire distance modifies the verb ran as an adverb would do. This phrase consists of the noun distance with its adjective modifiers, the and entire.

IV. NOMINATIVE ABSOLUTE

479. The simple predicate may be modified by a nominative absolute.

A substantive in the absolute construction makes with its modifiers an adverbial phrase.

  • The ship having arrived, we all embarked.
  • We shall sail on Tuesday, weather permitting.
  • That done, repair to Pompey’s theatre.
  • The bridge across the chasm being only a single tree trunk, we hesitated to attempt the passage.

In the first sentence, the adverbial absolute phrase, the ship having arrived, is equivalent to the adverbial prepositional phrase, on the arrival of the ship, and defines the time of the action expressed by the verb embarked.

V. INDIRECT OBJECT

480. The simple predicate may be modified by an indirect object.

  • He gave me a watch. [= He gave a watch to me.]
  • Tom told me the whole story. [= Tom told the whole story to me.]

In these sentences, the indirect object me, being equivalent to a prepositional phrase, is an adverbial modifier.

The objective of service is also an adverbial modifier.

VI. COGNATE OBJECT

481. The simple predicate may be modified by a cognate object or by a phrase containing such an object.

  • The officer looked daggers at me [= looked at me angrily].
  • The shepherd sang a merry song [= sang merrily].
  • The skipper laughed a scornful laugh [= laughed scornfully].

In the first sentence, the cognate object (daggers) modifies the predicate verb (looked) as the adverb angrily would do. It is therefore an adverbial modifier. In the second and third sentences the modifier of the predicate verb (sang, laughed) is an adverbial phrase consisting of a cognate object (song, laugh) with its adjective modifiers (a merry, a scornful).

LESSON 103.

COMPLEMENTS

482. 1. Some verbs have a meaning that is complete in itself. Such a verb needs only a subject. When this has been supplied, we have a sentence, for the mere verb, without any additional word or words, is capable of being a predicate.

  • Birds fly.
  • Fishes swim.
  • The sun shines.
  • The moon rose.
  • The man scowled.
  • The girl laughed.
  • The owls hooted.
  • The clock ticked.

Verbs of this kind are sometimes called complete verbs, or verbs of complete predication.

2. Other verbs are not, by themselves, capable of serving as predicates. Thus,–

  • The Indians killed —-.
  • Mr. Harris makes —-.
  • Tom is —-.
  • The man seemed —-.

These are not sentences, for the predicate of each is unfinished. The verb requires the addition of a substantive or an adjective to complete its sense.

  • The Indians killed deer.
  • Mr. Harris makes shoes.
  • Tom is captain.
  • The man seemed sorry.

Verbs of this kind are often called incomplete verbs, or verbs of incomplete predication.

Note. The meaning of the verb determines to which of these classes it belongs. Accordingly, the same verb may belong to the first class in some of its senses and to the second in others.

483. A substantive or adjective added to the predicate verb to complete its meaning is called a complement.

Complements are of four kinds,–the direct object, the predicate objective, the predicate nominative, and the predicate adjective.

In the examples in, deer and shoes are direct objects,–the former denoting the receiver of the action, the latter denoting the product; captain is a predicate nominative, denoting the same person as the subject Tom; sorry is a predicate adjective describing the subject man.

Complements may, of course, be modified. If they are substantives, they may take adjective modifiers; if adjectives, they may take adverbial modifiers.

484. For convenience, the definitions of the four kinds of complements are here repeated, with examples.

1. THE DIRECT OBJECT

485. Some verbs may be followed by a substantive denoting that which receives the action or is produced by it. These are called transitive verbs. All other verbs are called intransitive.

A substantive that completes the meaning of a transitive verb is called its direct object.

The direct object is often called the object complement, or merely the object of the verb.

  • Alfred has broken his arm.
  • Morse invented the electric telegraph.
  • Black foxes command a high price.
  • You have accomplished a task of great difficulty.
  • Have you lost the dog which your uncle gave you?
  • He asked me the news. [Two direct objects.]

Most of these objects are modified,–arm by the possessive his; telegraph by the and electric; price by a and high; task by the adjective phrase of great difficulty; dog by the and by the adjective clause which your uncle gave you.

486. A noun clause may be used as the direct object of a verb.

  • You promised that my coat should be ready to-day.
  • The mayor ordered that the street should be closed for three hours.
  • I begged that my passport might be returned to me.

For further examples.

2. THE PREDICATE OBJECTIVE

487. Verbs of choosing, calling, naming, making, and thinking may take two objects referring to the same person or thing.

The first of these is the direct object, and the second, which completes the sense of the predicate, is called a predicate objective.

The predicate objective is often called the complementary object or the objective attribute.

  • The people have elected Chamberlain governor.
  • Peter calls Richard my shadow.
  • The court has appointed you the child’s guardian.
  • John thinks himself a hero.

488. An adjective may serve as a predicate objective. Thus,–

  • I thought your decision hasty.
  • I call that answer impertinent.
  • The jury found the prisoner guilty.
  • Your letter made him joyful.

Care should be taken not to confuse adverbs with adjectives in -ly serving as predicate objectives.

  • You called him sickly. [Adjective.]
  • You called him early. [Adverb.]

After the passive, a predicate objective becomes a predicate nominative.

3. THE PREDICATE NOMINATIVE

489. A substantive standing in the predicate, but describing or defining the subject, agrees with the subject in case and is called a predicate nominative.

A predicate nominative is often called a subject complement or an attribute.

The predicate nominative is common after is and other copulative verbs, and after certain transitive verbs in the passive voice.

  • Chemistry is a useful science.
  • Boston is the capital of Massachusetts.
  • Jefferson became President.
  • This bird is called a flamingo.
  • Mr. Hale was appointed secretary.
  • Albert has been chosen captain of the crew.
  • You are a friend upon whom I can rely.

In most of the examples, the predicate nominative has one or more modifiers. In the first sentence, science is modified by the two adjectives a and useful; in the second, capital is modified by the adjective phrase of Massachusetts; in the last, friend is modified by the adjective clause upon whom I can rely.

For the distinction between the predicate nominative and the direct object.

490. A noun clause may be used as a predicate nominative.

  • My plan is that the well should be dug to-morrow.
  • His intention was that you should remain here.
  • The result is that he is bankrupt.
  • Ruth’s fear was that the door might be locked.

491. An infinitive may be used as a predicate nominative.

  • To hear is to obey.
  • My hope was to reach the summit before dark.
  • Their plan was to undermine the tower.
  • My habit is to rise early.

The infinitive may have a complement or modifiers. In the second and third examples, it takes an object; in the fourth it is modified by an adverb.

4. THE PREDICATE ADJECTIVE

492. An adjective in the predicate belonging to a noun or pronoun in the subject is called a predicate adjective.

A predicate adjective completes the meaning of the predicate verb and is therefore a complement

Like the predicate nominative, the predicate adjective is common after copulative verbs and after certain transitive verbs in the passive voice.

  • John was angry.
  • My knife is growing dull.
  • The task seemed very easy.
  • The report proved false in every particular.
  • The boat was thought unsafe.
  • The cover was made perfectly tight.

In some of these examples, the predicate adjective has a modifier. In the third, easy is modified by the adverb very; in the fourth, false is modified by the adverbial phrase in every particular; in the last, tight is modified by perfectly.

493. An adjective phrase may be used as a predicate adjective. Thus,–

  • Richard was out of health. [Compare: Richard was ill.]
  • Rachel seemed in a passion. [Compare: seemed angry.]
  • This act is against my interests. [Compare: is harmful to me.]

The adjective phrase may consist of an infinitive with or without the preposition about.

  • I was about to speak.
  • This house is to let.
  • I am to sail to-morrow.

LESSON 104.

MODIFIERS OF COMPLEMENTS AND OF MODIFIERS

COMPLEMENTS MODIFIED

494. Complements, being either substantives or adjectives, may be modified in various ways, most of which have been noted.

1. A substantive used as a complement may have the same kinds of modifiers that are used with the subject.

2. An adjective complement admits only adverbial modifiers.

495. The following sentences illustrate the modifiers of substantive complements:–

  • Herbert lost a gold watch. [The direct object (watch) is modified by the adjectives a and gold.]
  • The duke built towers of marble. [The direct object (towers) is modified by the adjective phrase of marble.]
  • My father built the house in which I was born. [The direct object (house) is modified by the adjective the and the adjective clause in which I was born.]
  • I saw a man running across the field. [The direct object (man) is modified by the adjective a and the participle running.]
  • You have forfeited your right to vote. [The direct object (right) is modified by the possessive pronoun your and the infinitive to vote.]
  • I have seen Henry’s brother. [The direct object (brother) is modified by the possessive noun Henry’s.]
  • I must ask my brother, the mayor. [The direct object (brother) is modified by the possessive pronoun my and the appositive mayor.]
  • The guild has elected Walter honorary president. [The predicate objective (president) is modified by the adjective honorary.]
  • Her husband is an old soldier. [The predicate nominative (soldier) is modified by the adjectives an and old.]
  • Her sons are veterans of the Franco-Prussian war. [The predicate nominative (veterans) is modified by the adjective phrase of the Franco-Prussian war.]
  • They are rivals in business. [The predicate nominative (rivals) is modified by the adjective phrase in business.]
  • The author is Will Jewell, who was formerly editor ofThe Pioneer.” [The predicate nominative (Will Jewell) is modified by the adjective clause who was formerly editor, etc.]
  • Baldwin is the man standing under the tree. [The predicate nominative (man) is modified by the adjective the and the participle standing.]
  • Your chief fault is your inclination to procrastinate. [The predicate nominative (inclination) is modified by the possessive pronoun your and the infinitive to procrastinate.]
  • This man is Gretchen’s brother. [The predicate nominative (brother) is modified by the possessive noun Gretchen’s.]
  • The first to fall was the bugler, John Wilson. [The predicate nominative (bugler) is modified by the adjective the and the appositive John Wilson.]

496. Adjective clauses are very common as modifiers of substantive complements.

  • Have you lost the watch that your cousin gave you?
  • This is the very spot where the temple of Saturn stood.
  • The general issued an order that all non-combatants should be treated well.
  • We have abundant proof that during his stay on the Continent, Bacon did not neglect literary and scientific pursuits.

497. An adjective used as a complement may be modified by an adverb, an adverbial phrase, or an adverbial clause.

  • I am very sorry for you. [Sorry is modified by the adverb very and the adverbial phrase for you.]
  • Charles seems {rather | very | extremely} angry.
  • The road is rough {in places. | where they are repairing it.}
  • The whole tribe appeared eager for war.
  • He grew envious of his successful rival.
  • Be zealous in every righteous cause.
  • The chief’s face looked dark with passion.
  • He was selfish beyond belief. [The predicate adjective (selfish) is modified by the adverbial phrase beyond belief.]
  • Ellen seemed desirous that her friends should admire her.
  • The secretary appeared unwilling to resign.

MODIFIERS OF OTHER MODIFIERS

498. Modifiers may themselves be modified.

The chief varieties of such modification are illustrated in the following sentences.

I. Adjectives or adjective phrases may be modified by adverbs or by words or groups of words used adverbially.

  • A very old man came to the door.
  • An exceedingly dangerous curve lay beyond the bridge.
  • This rather odd proposal interested us.
  • The quay is miles long. [Adverbial objective.]
  • At least five different amendments have been offered. [Five is modified by the adverbial phrase at least.]
  • The general, wholly in the dark as to the enemy’s intentions, ordered an advance. [The adjective phrase in the dark is modified by wholly.]
  • Quite at his ease, John began to speak. [At his ease is modified by quite.]
  • Her smile, pathetic in its weariness, quickly faded. [The adverbial phrase modifies pathetic]
  • This sleeve is a good two inches short. [The phrase modifies short.]

II. Possessive nouns may be modified by adjectives or by possessives.

  • The poor man’s days are numbered.
  • Honest Tom’s face shone with delight.
  • The faithful animal’s head drooped.
  • My uncle’s barn is on fire.
  • John’s brother’s name is Reginald.

III. Appositives may be modified by adjectives or by groups of words used as adjectives.

  • Joe, the old butler, met me at the station.
  • Sam, the cunning rascal, had stolen the oars.
  • Her mother, a woman of fashion, sadly neglected her.
  • The other, the man at the table, laughed rudely.
  • Ferdinand Oliver, the engineer who had charge of the construction, proved incompetent.
  • Two Englishmen, friends whom I visited last summer, are coming to New York in December.

IV. Adverbs or adverbial phrases may be modified by adverbs or by words or groups of words used adverbially.

  • Jane plays very well.
  • Robert spoke almost hopefully.
  • She answered quite at random.
  • I write to him at least once a year.

499. An adjective may be modified by an infinitive.

  • Unable to move, I suffered torments of anxiety.
  • The sailors, eager to reach the island, plunged into the sea.
  • Reluctant to act, but unwilling to stand idle, Burwell was in a pitiful state of indecision.

500. Adjective and adverbial clauses are very common as modifiers of modifiers.

  • Geronimo, an old chief who bore the scars of many battles, led the attack. [The adjective clause modifies the appositive chief.]
  • The servant, angry because he had been rebuked, slammed the door as he went out.
  • The hunter, confident that the deer had not heard him, took deliberate aim.
  • The fugitive, in a panic lest he should be overtaken, made frantic efforts to scale the cliff. [The adverbial clause modifies the adjective phrase in a panic.]

LESSON 105.

INDEPENDENT ELEMENTS

501. A word or group of words that has no grammatical connection with the sentence in which it stands is called an independent element.

Independent elements are of four kinds,–interjections, vocatives (or nominatives by direct address), exclamatory nominatives, and parenthetical expressions.

  • Ah! why did I undertake this task?
  • Help arrived, alas! too late.
  • You are a strange man, Arthur.
  • Mary, come here!
  • Poor Charles! I am sorry for him.
  • Clothes! clothes! you are always wanting clothes.
  • Lucky she! we are all envious of her prospects.

The first two sentences contain interjections; the second two, vocatives (or nominatives by direct address); the last three, exclamatory nominatives.

When the independent word has a modifier (as in the fifth and seventh examples), the whole phrase may be treated as an independent element.

502. A word or group of words attached to or inserted in a sentence as a mere comment, without belonging either to the subject or the predicate, is said to be parenthetical.

  • The market, indeed, was already closed.
  • Peter, to be sure, was not very trustworthy.
  • The house, at all events, is safe.
  • The road is, I admit, very hilly.
  • Luttrell’s method, it must be confessed, was a little disappointing.
  • Richard was not a bad fellow, after all.

503. In analysis, an independent element is mentioned by itself, and not as a part of the complete subject or the complete predicate.

LESSON 106.

COMBINATIONS OF CLAUSES

504. The use of subordinate clauses as complements and modifiers, and as modifiers of complements and of modifiers, may produce sentences of great length and complicated structure.

Such sentences, if skilfully composed, are not hard to follow. Their analysis requires merely the intelligent application of a few simple principles, which have already been explained and illustrated.

505. These principles may be summed up as follows:–

I. All clauses are either independent or subordinate. A clause is subordinate if it is used as a part of speech (noun, adjective, or adverb); otherwise, it is independent.

II. CoOrdinate means “of the same rank” in the sentence.

1. Two or more independent clauses in the same sentence are manifestly coOrdinate.

  • The fire blazed and the wood crackled. [Two declarative clauses.]
  • What is your name, and where were you born? [Interrogative clauses.]
  • Sit down and tell me your story. [Imperative clauses.]

2. Two or more subordinate clauses are coOrdinate with each other when they are used together in the same construction,–as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

Such a group may be regarded as forming one compound subordinate clause.

  • The truth is, that I have no money and that my friends have forsaken me. [Noun clauses.]
  • The Indians, who were armed with long lances, and who showed great skill in using them, made a furious attack on the cavalry. [Adjective clauses.]
  • When he had spoken, but before a vote had been taken, a strange tumult was heard in the outer room. [Adverbial clauses.]

In the first example, we have a compound noun clause; in the second, a compound adjective clause; in the third, a compound adverbial clause.

3. CoOrdinate clauses are either joined by coOrdinate conjunctions (and, or, but, etc.), or such conjunctions may be supplied without changing the sense.

The good-natured old gentleman, who was friendly to both parties, [AND] who did not lack courage, AND who hated a quarrel, spoke his mind with complete frankness.

III. A subordinate clause may depend on another subordinate clause.

  • The horse shied when he saw the locomotive. [The subordinate clause depends upon the independent (main) clause.]
  • The horse shied when he saw the locomotive, which was puffing violently. [The second subordinate clause depends upon the first, being an adjective modifier of locomotive.]

In such cases, the whole group of subordinate clauses may be taken together as forming one complex subordinate clause.

Thus, in the second example, when he saw the locomotive, which was puffing violently may be regarded as a complex adverbial clause modifying shied, and containing an adjective clause (which was puffing violently).

506. From the principles summarized in, it appears that–

Clauses (like sentences) may be simple, compound, or complex.

1. A simple clause contains but one subject and one predicate, either or both of which may be compound.

2. A compound clause consists of two or more coOrdinate clauses.

3. A complex clause consists of at least two clauses, one of which is subordinate to the other.

507. The unit in all combinations of clauses is clearly the simple sentence, which, when used as a part of a more complicated sentence, becomes a simple clause.

The processes used in such combinations, as we have seen, are really but two in number,–coOrdination and subordination.

CoOrdination of clauses produces compound sentences or compound clauses; subordination of one clause to another produces complex sentences or complex clauses.

508. Every sentence, however long and complicated, belongs (in structure) to one of the three classes,–simple, compound, and complex.

SIMPLE SENTENCES

509. A simple sentence may have a compound subject or predicate (or both), and may also include a number of modifiers and complements.

Obviously, then, a simple sentence need not be short. It remains simple in structure so long as it contains but one simple or compound subject and one simple or compound predicate. Thus,–

1. You leave Glasgow in a steamboat, go down the Clyde fourteen miles, and then come to Dumbarton Castle, a huge rock five or six hundred feet high, not connected with any other high land, and with a fortress at the top.–Webster.

The length of this sentence is due partly to its compound predicate, partly to the modifier (and modifiers of the modifier) attached to the noun Dumbarton Castle.

2. He was little disposed to exchange his lordly repose for the insecure and agitated life of a conspirator, to be in the power of accomplices, to live in constant dread of warrants and king’s messengers, nay, perhaps, to end his days on a scaffold, or to live on alms in some back street of the Hague.–Macaulay.

This sentence is lengthened by means of a series of infinitives used as adverbial modifiers of the complement disposed (a participle used as an adjective). Each of these infinitives takes a complement or a modifier (or both).

3. The arbitrary measures of Charles I, the bold schemes of Strafford, and the intolerant bigotry of Laud, precipitated a collision between the opposite principles of government, and divided the whole country into Cavaliers and Roundheads.–May.

Both the subject and the predicate are compound. Each of the three nouns in the compound subject has modifiers. The two verbs in the compound predicate have each a complement, and the second has an adverbial modifier (a phrase).

4. Twenty of the savages now got on board and proceeded to ramble over every part of the deck and scramble about among the rigging, making themselves much at home and examining every article with great inquisitiveness.–Poe.

The predicate is compound. The sentence is extended by the use of participles (making and examining), which modify the simple subject twenty.

  • 5. She was tumbled early, by accident or design, into a spacious closet of good old English reading, without much selection or prohibition, and browsed at will upon that fair and wholesome pasturage.–Lamb.
  • 6. The mermaid was still seen to glide along the waters, and mingling her voice with the sighing breeze, was often heard to sing of subterranean wonders, or to chant prophecies of future events.–Scott.
  • 7. With early dawn, they were under arms, and, without waiting for the movement of the Spaniards, poured into the city and attacked them in their own quarters.–Prescott.
  • 8. Arming a desperate troop of slaves and gladiators, he overpowered the feeble guard of the domestic tranquillity of Rome, received the homage of the Senate, and, assuming the title of Augustus, precariously reigned during a tumult of twenty-eight days.–Gibbon.

Note. A simple sentence with compound predicate often differs very slightly from a compound sentence. Thus in examples 4–7 the insertion of a single pronoun (they, she) to serve as a subject for the second verb (proceeded, browsed, etc.) will make the sentence compound.

COMPOUND AND COMPLEX SENTENCES

510. Every sentence that is not simple must be either compound or complex.

A sentence is compound if it consists of two or more independent clauses; complex, if it consists of one independent (main) clause and one or more subordinate clauses.

511. An ordinary compound sentence consists of two or more coOrdinate simple clauses.

Such a sentence may be of great length (as in the last example below), but its structure is usually transparent.

  • A cricket chirps on the hearth, | and | we are reminded of Christmas gambols long ago.–Hazlitt.
  • The moments were numbered; | the strife was finished; | the vision was closed.–De Quincey.
  • The old king had retired to his couch that night in one of the strongest towers of the Alhambra, | but | his restless anxiety kept him from repose.–Irving.
  • The clock has just struck two; | the expiring taper rises and sinks in the socket; | the watchman forgets his hour in slumber; | the laborious and the happy are at rest; | and | nothing wakes but meditation, guilt, revelry, and despair.–Goldsmith.
  • The present, indeed, is not a contest for distant or contingent objects; | it is not a contest for acquisition of territory; | it is not a contest for power and glory; | as little is it carried on merely for any commercial advantage, or any particular form of government; | but | it is a contest for the security, the tranquillity, and the very existence of Great Britain, connected with that of every established government and every country in Europe.–Pitt.

512. A complex sentence, in its most elementary form, consists of one simple independent (main) clause and one simple subordinate clause.

  • The gas exploded when I struck a match.
  • Though he is idle, he is not lazy.
  • The carpenter who fell from the roof has recovered from his injuries.
  • Their eyes were so fatigued with the eternal dazzle and whiteness, that they lay down on their backs upon deck to relieve their sight on the blue sky.–Keats.
  • The shouts of thousands, their menacing gestures, the fierce clashing of their arms, astonished and subdued the courage of Vetranio, who stood, amidst the defection of his followers, in anxious and silent suspense.–Gibbon.

513. Both compound sentences and complex sentences admit of much variety in structure, according to the nature and the relations of the clauses that compose them.

COMPOUND COMPLEX SENTENCES

514. Any or all of the coOrdinate clauses that make up a compound sentence may be complex. In that case, the sentence is called a compound complex sentence.

Note. Compound complex sentences form a special class or subdivision under the general head of compound sentences.

Old Uncle Venner was just coming out of his door, with a wood-horse and saw on his shoulder; and, trudging along the street, he scrupled not to keep company with PhÅ“be, so far as their paths lay together; nor, in spite of his patched coat and rusty beaver, and the curious fashion of his tow-cloth trousers, could she find it in her heart to outwalk him.–Hawthorne.

This sentence consists of three coOrdinate clauses, each independent of the others. These are joined by the coOrdinate conjunctions and, nor. The first and the third clause are simple, but the second clause is complex. Hence the whole forms one compound complex sentence.

The complex clause consists of two clauses, the second of which is subordinate to the first. Taken as a whole, however, this complex clause is manifestly coOrdinate with the two simple clauses, since the three form a series joined by coOrdinate conjunctions.

515. Further examples of compound complex sentences are:–

  • 1. The people drove out King Athamas, because he had killed his child; and he roamed about in his misery, till he came to the Oracle in Delphi.–Kingsley.
  • 2. Society is the stage on which manners are shown; novels are their literature.–Emerson.
  • 3. We keep no bees, but if I lived in a hive I should scarcely have more of their music.–Cowper.
  • 4. The same river ran on as it had run on before, but the cheerful faces that had once been reflected in its stream had passed away.–Froude.
  • 5. There are some laws and customs in this empire very peculiar; and if they were not so directly contrary to those of my own dear country, I should be tempted to say a little in their justification.–Swift.
  • 6. Here they arrived about noon, and Joseph proposed to Adams that they should rest awhile in this delightful place.–Fielding.
  • 7. I never saw a busier person than she seemed to be; yet it was difficult to say what she did.–C. Brontë.
  • 8. Malaga possessed a brave and numerous garrison, and the common people were active, hardy, and resolute; but the city was rich and commercial, and under the habitual control of opulent merchants, who dreaded the ruinous consequences of a siege.–Irving.
  • 9. The Spaniards were not to be taken by surprise; and, before the barbarian horde had come within their lines, they opened such a deadly fire from their heavy guns, supported by the musketry and crossbows, that the assailants were compelled to fall back slowly, but fearfully mangled, to their former position.–Prescott.
  • 10. Her cheeks were as pale as marble, but of a cold, unhealthy, ashen white; and my heart ached to think that they had been bleached, most probably, by bitter and continual tears.–Hood.
  • 11. The hawk, having in spiral motion achieved the upper flight, fell like a thunderbolt on the raven, stunned him with the blow, clutched him in his talons, folded him in his wings, and, the hawk undermost, they tumbled down like a black ball, till within a short distance from the earth.–Trelawny.

In this sentence they were is understood after till.

VARIETIES OF THE COMPLEX SENTENCE

516. A complex sentence may be expanded either by compounding the main clause, or by increasing the number of subordinate clauses. Both methods may be used in the same sentence.

517. The independent (main) clause of a complex sentence may be compound.

  • When they saw the ship, they shouted for joy and some of them burst into tears.
  • As they turned down from the knoll to rejoin their comrades, the sun dipped and disappeared, and the woods fell instantly into the gravity and grayness of the early night.–Stevenson.
  • The eye of the young monarch kindled and his dark cheek flushed with sudden anger, as he listened to proposals so humiliating.–Prescott.
  • Sharpe was so hated in Scotland during his life, and his death won him so many friends, or pitying observers, that it is not easy to write of him without prejudice or favor.–A. Lang.
  • As has been the case with many another good fellow of his nation, his life was tracked and his substance wasted by crowds of hungry beggars and lazy dependents.–Thackeray.

Note that the subordinate clause depends on the compound main clause, not upon either of its members.

Thus, in the first example, the subordinate clause (when they saw the ship) depends upon the compound main clause, they shouted for joy and some of them burst into tears. It is an adverbial modifier of both shouted and burst.

518. Though a complex sentence can have but one (simple or compound) main clause, there is, in theory, no limit to the number of subordinate clauses.

519. Subordinate clauses may be attached to the main clause (1) as separate modifiers or complements; (2) in a coOrdinate series of clauses, all in the same construction, and forming one compound clause; (3) in a series of successively subordinate clauses, forming one complex clause.

520. Two or more subordinate clauses may be attached to the main clause separately, each as a distinct modifier or complement.

  • The bridge, which had been weakened by the ice, fell with a crash while the locomotive was crossing it. [The first subordinate clause is an adjective modifier of bridge; the second is an adverbial modifier of fell.]
  • The architect who drew the plans says that the house will cost ten thousand dollars. [The first subordinate clause is an adjective modifier of architect; the second is a complement, being the object of says.]
  • Isabella, whom every incident was sufficient to dismay, hesitated whether she should proceed.–H. Walpole.
  • As the boat drew nearer to the city, the coast which the traveller had just left sank behind him into one long, low, sad-colored line.–Ruskin.
  • Those dangers which, in the vigor of youth, we had learned to despise, assume new terrors as we grow old.–Goldsmith.
  • When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears.–Hardy.
  • As Florian Deleal walked, one hot afternoon, he overtook by the wayside a poor aged man, and, as he seemed weary with the road, helped him on with the burden which he carried, a certain distance.–Pater.
  • While Joe was absent on this errand, the elder Willet and his three companions continued to smoke with profound gravity and in a deep silence, each having his eyes fixed on a huge copper boiler that was suspended over the fire.–Dickens.

521. Two or more subordinate clauses in the same construction, forming one compound clause, may be attached to the main clause as a modifier or complement.

  • 1. The truth was that Leonard had overslept, that he had missed the train, and that he had failed to keep his appointment.
  • 2. The guide told us that the road was impassable, that the river was in flood, and that the bridge had been swept away.
  • 3. Ellis, whose pockets were empty and whose courage was at a low ebb, stared dismally at the passing crowd.
  • 4. Before the battle was over and while the result was still in doubt, the general ordered a retreat.
  • 5. After we had arrived at the hotel, but before we had engaged our rooms, we received an invitation to stay at the castle.
  • 6. My first thought was, that all was lost, and that my only chance for executing a retreat was to sacrifice my baggage.–De Quincey.
  • 7. The author fully convinced his readers that they were a race of cowards and scoundrels, that nothing could save them, that they were on the point of being enslaved by their enemies, and that they richly deserved their fate.–Macaulay.

In the first and second examples, three coOrdinate noun clauses are joined to make one compound clause, which is used as a complement,–as a predicate nominative in the first sentence, as the direct object of told in the second.

In the third example, a compound adjective clause modifies Ellis. In the fourth and fifth, a compound adverbial clause modifies the predicate verb (ordered, received). In the seventh, four that-clauses unite in one compound clause.

522. Two or more successively subordinate clauses, forming one complex clause, may be joined to the main clause as a modifier or complement.

In such a series, the first subordinate clause is attached directly to the main clause, the second is subordinate to the first, the third to the second, and so on in succession.

In the course of my travels, I met a good-natured old gentleman, (a) who was born in the village (b) where my parents lived (c) before they came to America.

Here gentleman (a complement in the main clause) is modified by the adjective clause who was born in the village (a). Village, in clause a, is modified by the adjective clause where my parents lived (b). Lived, the predicate verb of clause b, is modified by the adverbial clause before they came to America (c).

Thus it appears that a is subordinate to the main clause, and that b, in turn, is subordinate to a, and c to b. In other words, the three clauses (a, b, c) are united to make one complex clause,–who was born in the village where my parents lived before they came to America. This clause, taken as a whole, serves as an adjective modifier describing gentleman.

523. Further examples of the successive subordination of one clause to another may be seen in the following sentences:–

  • I have passed my latter years in this city, where I am frequently seen in public places, though there are not above half-a-dozen of my select friends that know me.–Addison.
  • In this manner they advanced by moonlight till they came within view of the two towering rocks that form a kind of portal to the valley, at the extremity of which rose the vast ruins of Istakar.–Beckford.
  • The young fellow uttered this with an accent and a look so perfectly in tune to a feeling heart, that I instantly made a vow I would give him a four-and-twenty sous piece, when I got to Marseilles.–Sterne. [The conjunction that is omitted before I would.]
  • Three years had scarcely elapsed before the sons of Constantine seemed impatient to convince mankind that they were incapable of contenting themselves with the dominions which they were unqualified to govern.–Gibbon.
  • Mr. Lewis sent me an account of Dr. Arbuthnot’s illness, which is a very sensible affliction to me, who, by living so long out of the world, have lost that hardness of heart contracted by years and general conversation.–Swift.

Note. The method of forming complex clauses by successive subordination, if overworked, produces long, straggling, shapeless sentences, as in the following example from Borrow:–“I scouted the idea that Slingsby would have stolen this blacksmith’s gear; for I had the highest opinion of his honesty, which opinion I still retain at the present day, which is upwards of twenty years from the time of which I am speaking, during the whole of which period I have neither seen the poor fellow nor received any intelligence of him.” A famous instance of the use of this structure for comic effect is “The House that Jack Built.”

SPECIAL COMPLICATIONS

524. The processes of coOrdination and subordination may be so utilized in one and the same sentence as to produce a very complicated structure.

Examples of such sentences are given below, for reference. Their structure, however elaborate, is always either complex or compound complex.

I. IN COMPLEX SENTENCES

525. The following sentences are complex. They contain either compound or complex clauses, or both.

1. They preferred the silver with which they were familiar, and which they were constantly passing about from hand to hand, to the gold which they had never before seen, and with the value of which they were unacquainted.–Macaulay.

The main clause of this complex sentence is they preferred the silver to the gold. To this are separately attached  two adjective clauses, both compound: (1) with which … hand, modifying silver; (2) which they had … unacquainted, modifying gold.

2. All London crowded to shout and laugh round the gibbet where hung the rotting remains of a prince who had made England the dread of the world, who had been the chief founder of her maritime greatness and of her colonial empire, who had conquered Scotland and Ireland, who had humbled Holland and Spain.–Macaulay.

The sentence is complex. The main clause is all London crowded to shout and laugh round the gibbet. The rest of the sentence (where … Spain) forms one long complex adjective clause, modifying gibbet. In this complex clause, the first clause (where … prince) has dependent on it a compound adjective clause (modifying prince), made up of four coOrdinate clauses, each beginning with who. The subordination of this compound clause to that which precedes (where … prince) produces the long complex subordinate clause where … Spain.

3. As we cannot at present get Mr. Joseph out of the inn, we shall leave him in it, and carry our reader on after Parson Adams, who, his mind being perfectly at ease, fell into a contemplation on a passage in Æschylus, which entertained him for three miles together, without suffering him once to reflect on his fellow-traveller.–Fielding.

In this complex sentence, two subordinate clauses are separately attached to the main clause: (1) the adverbial clause as … inn; (2) the adjective clause who … fellow-traveller. This latter clause is complex, since it contains the adjective clause which … fellow-traveller, dependent on who … Æschylus, and modifying passage.

4. As I sit by my window this summer afternoon, hawks are circling about my clearing; the tantivy of wild pigeons, flying by twos and threes athwart my view, or perching restlessly on the white pine boughs behind my house, gives a voice to the air; a fishhawk dimples the glassy surface of the pond and brings up a fish; a mink steals out of the marsh before my door and seizes a frog by the shore; the sedge is bending under the weight of the reed-birds flitting hither and hither; and for the last half hour I have heard the rattle of railroad cars, now dying away and then revving like the beat of a partridge, conveying travellers from Boston to the country.–Thoreau.

This sentence is complex. Its main clause is compound, consisting of a series of six coOrdinate simple clauses. The whole of this long compound main clause is modified by the adverbial clause with which the sentence begins (as … afternoon).

5. That they had sprung from obscurity, that they had acquired great wealth, that they exhibited it insolently, that they spent it extravagantly, that they raised the price of everything in their neighborhood, from fresh eggs to rotten boroughs; that their liveries outshone those of dukes, that their coaches were finer than that of the Lord Mayor, that the examples of their large and ill-governed households corrupted half the servants in the country; that some of them, with all their magnificence, could not catch the tone of good society, but in spite of the stud and the crowd of menials, of the plate and the Dresden china, of the venison and the Burgundy, were still low men,–these were things which excited, both in the class from which they had sprung, and in that into which they attempted to force themselves, that bitter aversion which is the effect of mingled envy and contempt.–Macaulay.

This complex sentence, though very long, is perfectly easy to follow. It begins with a long compound noun clause (consisting of nine coOrdinate that-clauses). This would be the subject of the main predicate verb were, but for the fact that the pronoun these is inserted to act as the subject (referring back to the compound noun clause and summing it up in a single word). To the complement things is attached the adjective clause which excited … contempt. This clause is complex, for it contains three adjective clauses, (1) from which they had sprung (modifying class), (2) into which … themselves (modifying that), and (3) which is … contempt (modifying aversion). All three are separately attached to the clause on which they depend, which excited that bitter aversion. Thus all that portion of the sentence which follows things forms one complex clause, modifying that noun.

6. That I may avoid the imputation of throwing out, even privately, any loose, random imputations against the public conduct of a gentleman for whom I once entertained a very warm affection, and whose abilities I regard with the greatest admiration, I will put down, distinctly and articulately, some of the matters of objection which I feel to his late doctrines and proceedings, trusting that I shall be able to demonstrate to the friends whose good opinion I would still cultivate, that not levity, nor caprice, nor less defensible motives, but that very grave reasons, influence my judgment.–Burke.

This is a fine example of a long, but well-constructed complex sentence. The main clause is I will put down, distinctly and articulately, some of the matters of objection. Upon this simple clause, everything else in the sentence depends in one way or another.

II. IN COMPOUND COMPLEX SENTENCES

526. Any complex sentence, however elaborate, may be used as one of the coOrdinate complex clauses that make up a compound complex sentence.

1. While the king was treated at this rude rate, Cromwell, with his army, was in Scotland, obstructing the motions that were making in his favor; but on the approach of the Scots, who were much superior in number, he was forced to retire towards Dunbar, where his ships and provisions lay.–Burnet.

In this compound complex sentence, both coOrdinate clauses are complex. In each, the main clause has two subordinate clauses attached to it separately.

2. They had seen me cut the cables, and thought my design was only to let the ships run adrift, or fall foul on each other; but when they perceived the whole fleet moving in order, and saw me pulling at the end, they set up such a scream of grief and despair as it is almost impossible to describe or conceive.–Swift.

In this compound complex sentence, both of the two coOrdinate clauses are complex. The first contains the noun clause [that] my design … each other, used as the object of thought. The second contains two subordinate clauses, separately attached to the main clause (they set … despair). For the infinitive cut. The infinitive to let is used as a predicate nominative; it has as its object the infinitive clause the ships … each other, containing two infinitives, run and fall.

3. While things went on quietly, while there was no opposition, while everything was given by the favor of a small ruling junto, Fox had a decided advantage over Pitt; but when dangerous times came, when Europe was convulsed with war, when Parliament was broken up into factions, when the public mind was violently excited, the favorite of the people rose to supreme power.–Macaulay.

This compound complex sentence consists of two complex clauses, joined by the coOrdinate conjunction but. In each of these, the subordinate clause is compound, consisting of several coOrdinate adverbial clauses introduced by relative adverbs (while in the first, when in the second).

4. The clear and agreeable language of his despatches had early attracted the notice of his employers; and before the Peace of Breda he had, at the request of Arlington, published a pamphlet on the war, of which nothing is now known, except that it had some vogue at the time, and that Charles, not a contemptible judge, pronounced it to be very well written.–Macaulay.

In this compound complex sentence, the first coOrdinate clause is simple, the second is complex. In the second, the adjective clause of which nothing is known has dependent on it the group of words except … well written, consisting of the preposition except and its object (the compound noun clause, that … time, and that … well written). This group serves as an adjective modifier of the noun nothing. The whole passage of which … well written forms a complex adjective clause, modifying pamphlet. It to be very well written is a complement, being an infinitive clause used as the object of pronounced.

LESSON 107.

ELLIPTICAL SENTENCES

527. Good usage does not demand that all sentences shall be absolutely complete. It often allows (and sometimes requires) the omission of words that, though necessary to the construction, are so easily supplied by the mind that it would be mere waste of time to utter them.

528. The omission of a word or words necessary to the grammatical completeness of a clause or sentence is called ellipsis.

A clause or sentence that shows ellipsis is said to be elliptical.

Ellipsis is a Greek word meaning “omission.”

In the following examples the omitted words are supplied in brackets.

  • [I] thank you.
  • [I] pray do not [you] move.
  • [You] pass me that book.
  • Her hair is light, her eyes [are] dark blue.
  • Some of the strangers spoke French, others [spoke] Spanish.
  • Some of the patriots were armed with old flintlocks, others [were armed] with swords, still others [were armed] with pitchforks.
  • When

[he was]

a youth, he travelled in the East. Though

[he is]

timid, he is no coward. They were amused, though [they were] somewhat vexed. While

[we were]

drifting downstream, we grounded on a sand bar. If

[it is]

possible, send me word to-night. You shall have the money this week, if [it is] necessary. They marched slowly as if [they were] worn out. Why

[are]

these tears? Why

[are you]

so dejected? He was ten years of age, his brother [was] eight [years of age]. I have more confidence in James than [I have] in Edmund. Mary is younger than George [is young]. Tom likes you better than [he likes] me. You like him better than I do [like him]. I like him better than Charles does [like him]. This racket is not so heavy as that [is heavy]. You are not so old as I [am old]. Peace

[be]

to his memory! This is the only pencil [that] I have. Is that the boy [whom] you hired yesterday? They say [that] you are going to Europe soon.

529. The examples in show that most cases of ellipsis fall under two heads:

1. To avoid repetition, words are often omitted in one part of the sentence when they occur in another part.

2. Pronouns, the conjunction that, and some forms of the verb is, are often omitted when they are readily supplied.

Under the second head come (1) the ellipsis of the subject (thou or you) in imperative sentences, (2) that of relative pronouns in the objective case, (3) that of is, are, etc. (with the subject pronoun) in subordinate clauses introduced by when, though, if, and the like.

Note. The so-called “telegraphic style” omits I with any verb or with all verbs. It should be confined to telegrams, where space is money.

530. Adverbs indicating direction (like forward, back) are often used without a verb in imperative sentences.

  • Forward, brave companions!
  • Down on your knees!
  • Up, guards, and at them!

Note. In older English, the omission of the verb of motion was common, even in sentences not imperative, as in the following examples from Julius CAEsar:–“We’ll along ourselves, and meet them”; “Shall we on, and not depend on you?”

531. The ellipsis of the subordinate conjunction that is very common, especially in indirect discourse.

  • I know [that] you are my friend.
  • Jack said [that] the boat had sunk.
  • He told me [that] he was sorry.

532. Many constructions, originally elliptical, have become established idioms in which no ellipsis is felt. In such cases it is usually better to take the sentence as it stands, and not to supply the omitted words.

Thus, in “He eats as if he were famished” the italicized words are properly treated as a subordinate clause modifying eats and introduced by the compound conjunction as if. Yet in strictness this construction is an ellipsis for “He eats as [he would eat] if he were famished.”

533. Various ellipses are illustrated in the following sentences:–

  • 1. Although in a friendly country, they marched always as if in a land of enemies.
  • 2. The aspect of the country was as wild and dreary as the climate.
  • 3. Do not serious and earnest men discuss Hamlet as they would Cromwell or Lincoln?–Lowell.
  • 4. Not so with the others.
  • 5. Though rather shy and distrustful of this new acquaintance, Rip complied with his usual alacrity.
  • 6. Arras was famed for its rich tapestries, Brussels for its carpets, Cambrai for its fine cambric, Lisle for its thread and the fabrics woven from it.
  • 7. Every day brings its task, which, if neglected, is doubled on the morrow.
  • 8. It is not easy to recover an art when once lost.
  • 9. I wish you would go down with me to Newstead.
  • 10. The men are all soldiers, and war and the chase their sole occupation.
  • 11. While in this state of irresolution, she was startled by a low knock.
  • 12. The house was tall, the skylight small and dirty, the day blind with fog.
  • 13. I little thought you would have deserted me.
  • 14. He is the best Oriental scholar I know.
  • 15. Cromwell was evidently laying, though in an irregular manner, the foundations of an admirable system.
  • 16. He was a foot taller than I.
  • 17. This concerns you rather than me.
  • 18. My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul.

EXERCISES

EXERCISE 1

1. Tell whether each of the following sentences is declarative, interrogative, imperative, or exclamatory. If a sentence is both declarative and exclamatory, mention the fact. Mention the subject and the predicate of each sentence. Note all instances of the inverted order.

1. You need not answer this letter. 2. Many surmises of evil alarm the hearts of the people.–Longfellow. 3. Here I am again in the land of old Bunyan. 4. Me this uncharter’d freedom tires.–Wordsworth. 5. Twilight’s soft dews steal o’er the village green.–Rogers. 6. Were there many robbers in the band? 7. How will posterity the deed proclaim!–Byron. 8. At dawn the towers of Stirling rang.–Scott. 9. You cannot recall the spoken word.–Emerson. 10. The boughs over my head seemed shadowy with solemn thoughts as well as with rustling leaves.–Hawthorne. 11. So you don’t like Raphael! 12. All around lay a frightful wilderness. 13. Why does the sea moan evermore?–Rossetti. 14. What lonely straggler looks along the wave?–Byron. 15. Off went his wig! 16. For some minutes he continued to scrutinize the drawing minutely. 17. Our strength grows out of our weakness.–Emerson. 18. Rudely carved was the porch. 19. What hopes the prince to gain by Lacy’s death? 20. Trust thyself.

21. The rest of the men were morose and silent. 22. Here are the ruins of the emperor’s palace. 23. Now rumbles along the carriage of some magnate of the city. 24. Wild was the life we led. 25. How poor, and dull, and sleepy, and squalid it seemed! 26. Built are the house and the barn. 27. With what tenderness he sings! 28. Marked ye the younger stranger’s eye? 29. One or two idlers, of forbidding aspect, hung about in the murky gaslight. 30. Several mountains crowned with snow shone brilliantly in the distance. 31. Follow me through this passage. 32. Stop me not at your peril. 33. Carry thou this scroll to the castle.

2. Write ten interrogative sentences concerning each topic. Reply in declarative sentences.

  • (1) The American Revolution;
  • (2) the Pilgrim Fathers;
  • (3) the history of your own state;
  • (4) the government of the United States;
  • (5) hygiene;
  • (6) the manufactures (or other industries) of your town or city.

3. Write ten imperative sentences, each giving an order concerning–

  • (1) the playing of a game;
  • (2) the building or sailing of a boat;
  • (3) the care of the health;
  • (4) the manufacture of some article of common use;
  • (5) the writing of a business letter.

4. Write ten exclamatory sentences. Tell whether each is declarative, interrogative, or imperative.

EXERCISE 2

1. Tell the parts of speech (including verb-phrases).

1. The rain pattered upon the roof and the sky gloomed through the dusty garret windows.–Hawthorne. 2. Make yourself necessary to somebody.–Emerson. 3. I have a regard for every man on board that ship, from the captain down to the crew. 4. “An artist,” said Michael Angelo, “must have his measuring tools not in the hand, but in the eye.”–Emerson. 5. Time had wintered o’er his locks. 6. Must we in all things look for the how, and the why, and the wherefore? 7. Power dwells with cheerfulness.–Emerson. 8. What hurrahs rang out! 9. He sneaked about with a gallows air. 10. So! you see things go on as when you were with us.

11. Rigby and his brother hirelings frightened them with hideous fables and ugly words.–Disraeli. 12. These are prize peaches. 13. Ha ha! how vilely doth this cynic rhyme! 14. O Antony, beg not your death of us. 45. Wordsworth was praised to me in Westmoreland because he afforded to his country neighbors an example of a modest household where comfort and culture were secured without display.

16. Shake hands with this knot of good fellows. 17. He had been deserted by the Moderates. 18. The moderate Liberals held a meeting very early in the struggle. 19. After a dreadful night of anxiety, perplexity, and peril, the darkness, which I thought had lasted an eternity, slowly disappeared.–Trelawny.

2. Use the following words in sentences of your own:–

  • Sleep (noun, verb);
  • dry (adjective, verb, noun);
  • very (adverb, adjective);
  • express (noun, verb, adjective);
  • bellow (verb, noun);
  • American (adjective, noun);
  • future (adjective, noun);
  • to-morrow (noun, adverb);
  • flower (noun, verb);
  • sovereign (noun, adjective);
  • summer (noun, verb, adjective);
  • double (adjective, adverb, verb);
  • well (adjective, adverb);
  • fast (adjective, adverb, noun, verb);
  • content (noun, adjective, verb);
  • last (adjective, adverb, verb, noun);
  • down (adverb, preposition);
  • for (preposition, conjunction);
  • downright (adjective, adverb);
  • home (noun, adjective, adverb);
  • lower (adjective, adverb, verb);
  • iron (noun, adjective, verb);
  • off (adverb, preposition, adjective);
  • up (adverb, preposition);
  • high (adjective, adverb, noun);
  • except (verb, preposition);
  • inside (adjective, adverb, preposition, noun);
  • past (noun, adjective, preposition);
  • what (adjective, pronoun, interjection);
  • round (noun, adjective, verb, preposition, adverb);
  • sound (noun, verb, adjective, adverb);
  • black (noun, verb, adjective);
  • all (noun, adjective, adverb);
  • open (noun, adjective, verb);
  • while (noun, verb).

EXERCISE 3

Point out the infinitives and the participles. Tell when they occur in verb-phrases. Use them in sentences.

1. I did wrong to smile. 2. Luttrell adjured me with mock pathos to spare his blushes. 3. I begged my friend Sir Roger to go with me into her hovel. 4. I was wonderfully pleased to see the workings of instinct in a hen followed by a brood of ducks. 5. A man’s first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart.–Addison. 6. I was highly entertained to see the gentlemen of the county gathering about my old friend, and striving who should compliment him most. 7. He was let loose among the woods as soon as he was able to ride on horseback. 8. Plutarch says very finely that a man should not allow himself to hate even his enemies. 9. It gives me a serious concern to see such a spirit of dissension in the country.

10. It was his intention to remain there for two or three days. 11. Every part of every carriage had been cleaned, every horse had been groomed. 12. Liberated from the embarrassments of the city, and issuing into the broad uncrowded avenues of the northern suburbs, we soon begin to enter upon our natural pace of ten miles an hour. 13. The beggar, rearing himself against the wall, forgets his lameness. 14. Three miles beyond Barnet, we see approaching another private carriage. 15. We saw many lights moving about as we drew near.

EXERCISE 4

1. Mention the simple subject and the simple predicate of each sentence in Exercise 1. Tell whether the simple subject is a noun or a pronoun, and whether the simple predicate is a verb or a verb-phrase.

2. Study in the same way your own sentences in Exercise 1.

3. Divide each sentence into the complete subject and the complete predicate. If the sentence has a compound subject, mention the substantives that compose it; if the sentence has a compound predicate, mention the verbs (or verb-phrases).

1. The Queen and Prince Albert came to London from Windsor on Saturday morning. 2. You and Lockhart must not abandon the good cause. 3. I saw that he was weak, and took advantage of a pause to remind him not to forget his drive. 4. Two or three of my English biographies have something of the same historical character. 5. Lord Grey, Clanricarde, Labouchere, Vernon Smith, and Seymour will fill up the places. 6. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains.–Irving. 7. He looked round, and could see nothing but a crow winging its solitary flight across the mountain. 8. They suddenly desisted from their play and stared at him. 9. The sea flashes along the pebbly margin of its silver beach, forming a thousand little bays and inlets, or comes tumbling in among the cliffs of a rock-bound coast, and beats against its massive barriers with a distant, hollow, continual roar.–Longfellow.

10. A wide gateway ushered the traveller into the interior of the building, and conducted him to a low-roofed apartment, paved with round stones. 11. The strange visitant gruffly saluted me, and, after making several ineffectual efforts to urge his horse in at the door, dismounted and followed me into the room.–Whittier. 12. The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion.–Lowell. 13. They will slink into their kennels in disgrace, or perchance run wild and strike a league with the wolf and the fox.–Thoreau. 14. Strong will and keen perception overpower old manners and create new.–Emerson. 15. Neither Aristotle, nor Leibnitz, nor Junius, nor Champollion has set down the grammar-rules of this dialect. 16. His mantle and hood were of the best Flanders cloth, and fell in ample and not ungraceful folds. 17. A deep fosse or ditch was drawn round the whole building.

EXERCISE 5

1. Point out the noun-phrases, verb-phrases, adjective phrases, and adverbial phrases. Which of these phrases are prepositional?

1. Sometimes he spent hours together in the great libraries of Paris. 2. He assumed the garb of a common sailor, and in this disguise reached the Dutch coast in safety. 3. Some of the frigate’s men were still endeavoring to escape. 4. Was Milton rich or at his ease when he composed “Paradise Lost”? 5. It was a cold-blooded exhibition of marksmanship. 6. He then continued on to the place of rendezvous at Speedwell’s Iron Works on Troublesome Creek.–Irving. 7. The gates of Amsterdam had been barred against him. 8. They heard his confession with suspicion and disdain. 9. The stagecoach always drew up before the door of the cottage. 10. The wind moaned through the silent streets. 11. The clouds are scudding across the moon. 12. Steele had known Addison from childhood. 13. A broad ray of light fell into the garret.–Dickens. 14. The fate of his insulted and broken-hearted brother still rankled in his mind. 15. All day with fruitless strife they toiled.–Scott.

2. Fill each blank with a single word. Substitute for the word a phrase with the same meaning. Mention in each instance (1) the part of speech, (2) the kind of phrase.

  • 1. He spoke to me —-.
  • 2. The grounds were shut in by a high —- wall.
  • 3. The fire engine —- past.
  • 4. The three girls were laughing —-.
  • 5. The poor child looked —- at the toys.
  • 6. Harold —- the bunch of grapes.
  • 7. The proprietor is a —- man.
  • 8. The archbishop placed upon the king’s head a —- crown.
  • 9. The book which I hold in my hand is —-.
  • 10. The —- ordered the Conqueror to open fire.
  • 11. The enemy retreated —-.
  • 12. The rain —- heavily all day.
  • 13. The rain came down —- all day.
  • 14. The —- is in his office.
  • 15. A —- boy came to the door.
  • 16. My brother is president of —-.

EXERCISE 6

1. Tell whether each sentence is simple, compound, or complex. If the sentence is compound, divide it into its independent clauses, and mention the simple subject (noun or pronoun) and the simple predicate (verb or verb-phrase) of each clause.

If the sentence is complex, divide it into the main (independent) and the subordinate clause, and tell whether the latter is used as an adjective or as an adverb.

1. The great gate slowly opened, and a steward and several serving-men appeared. 2. The victors set fire to the wigwams and the fort; the whole was soon in a blaze; many of the old men, the women, and the children perished in the flames. 3. Night closed in, but still no guest arrived. 4. The black waves rolled by them, and the light at the horizon began to fade, and the stars were coming out one by one.–William Black. 5. Mr. Nickleby closed an account book which lay on his desk. 6. By ceaseless action all that is subsists.–Cowper. 7. When the morning broke, the Moorish army had vanished. 8. At midnight, when the town was hushed in sleep, they all went quietly on board. 9. Fortune had cast him into a cavern, and he was groping darkly round. 10. I paced the deserted chambers where he had composed his poem. 11. I strove to speak; my voice utterly failed me. 12. The only avenue by which the town could be easily approached, was protected by a stone wall more than twenty feet high and of great thickness.

13. The night fell tempestuous and wild, and no vestige of the hapless sloop was ever after seen. 14. The simple majesty of this anecdote can gain nothing from any comment which we might make on it. 15. Raleigh speaks the language of the heart of his country when he urges the English statesmen to colonize Guiana.–Froude. 16. Men, in their youth, go to push their fortune in the colony; they succeed; they acquire property there; they return to their native land; they continue to draw the income from their colonial estates.–Brougham. 17. The moonlight glistened upon traces of the gilding which had once covered both rider and steed. 18. While this brief conversation passed, Donatello had once or twice glanced aside with a watchful air. 19. Pray for us, Hilda; we need it.

2. Divide the compound complex sentences into their coOrdinate clauses. Tell whether each of these clauses, when standing alone, is a simple or a complex sentence.

1. It would be dark before he could reach the village, and he heaved a heavy sigh when he thought of encountering the terrors of Dame Van Winkle. 2. Language gradually varies, and with it fade away the writings of authors who have lived their allotted time. 3. The tallest and handsomest men whom England could produce guarded the passage from the palace gate to the river-side, and all seemed in readiness for the queen’s coming forth, although the hour was yet so early. 4. Edward the Confessor died on the fifth of January, 1066, and on the following day an assembly of the thanes and prelates present in London, and of the citizens of the metropolis, declared that Harold should be their king.

EXERCISE 7

1. Point out all the common nouns and all the proper nouns. Mention all the examples of personification.

1. There Guilt his anxious revel kept.–Scott. 2. The first vessel we fell in with was a schooner, which, after a long chase, we made out to be an American. 3. You will be sauntering in St. Peter’s perhaps, or standing on the Capitol while the sun sets. 4. I am very deep in my Aristophanes. 5. I saw a most lovely Sir Joshua at Christie’s a week ago.–Fitz Gerald. 6. I hear there is scarce a village in England that has not a Moll White in it.–Addison. 7. Such a spirit is Liberty. At times she takes the form of a hateful reptile. She grovels, she hisses, she stings. But woe to those who in disgust shall venture to crush her!–Macaulay. 8. Rough Wulfstane trimmed his shafts and bow.–Scott. 9. To-day we have been a delightful drive through Ettrick Forest, and to the ruins of Newark–the hall of Newark, where the ladies bent their necks of snow to hear “The Lay of the Last Minstrel.”–Maria Edgeworth.

10. The same waves wash the moles of the new-built Californian towns, and lave the faded but still gorgeous skirts of Asiatic lands, older than Abraham; while all between float milky-ways of coral isles, and low-lying, endless, unknown Archipelagoes and impenetrable Japans.–Melville. 11. The duchess said haughtily that she had done her best for the Esmonds. 12. To see with one’s own eyes men and countries is better than reading all the books of travel in the world.–Thackeray. 13. Defeat and mortification had only hardened the king’s heart. 14. Earth, Ocean, Air, beloved brotherhood!–Shelley. 15. The iron tongue of St. Paul’s has told twelve. 16. The Indians, brandishing their weapons, answered only with gestures of angry defiance.

2. Point out all the abstract, all the collective, and all the compound nouns.

1. The poet binds together by passion and knowledge the vast empire of human society.–Wordsworth. 2. The country is now showing symptoms of greenness and warmth. 3. When the public are gone, we at once put up the great iron shutters. 4. Washington returned to headquarters at Newbury. 5. The Bruce’s band moves swiftly on.–Scott. 6. He shall with speed to England.–Shakspere. 7. Soon were dismissed the courtly throng.–Scott. 8. Sickness, desertion, and the loss sustained at Guilford Courthouse had reduced his little army. 9. A detachment was sent against them. 10. Never before this summer have the kingbirds, handsomest of flycatchers, built in my orchard. 11. The young suddenly disperse on your approach, as if a whirlwind had swept them away.–Thoreau. 12. This lighthouse, known to our mariners as Cape Cod or Highland Light, is one of our “primary seacoast lights.” 13. We have some salt of our youth in us.–Shakspere. 14. Thou hast nor youth nor age.–Shakspere.

15. The passion for hunting had revived with Washington on returning to his old hunting grounds. 16. A circle there of merry listeners stand.–Byron. 17. The act of the Congress of Vienna remains the eternal monument of their diplomatic knowledge and political sagacity.–Disraeli. 18. Lee undertook the task with alacrity. 19. A row of surfboats and canoes lay along the beach. 20. The situation he had held as aide-de-camp to the commander-in-chief had given him an opportunity of observing the course of affairs. 21. The ground was frozen to a great depth. 22. He was aware of his unpopularity. 23. The stern old war-gods shook their heads.–Emerson.

24. Freckled nest eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn tree.–Keats.

25. Fair morn ascends, and sunny June has shed
Ambrosial odors o’er the garden-bed,
And wild bees seek the cherry’s sweet perfume
Or cluster round the full-blown apple-bloom.–Campbell.

26. For in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure.–Milton.

27. Steer, helmsman, till you steer our way
By stars beyond the line.–Campbell.

28. Say I sent thee thither:
I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.–Shakspere.

EXERCISE 8

1. Make a list containing thirty nouns, ten in each of the three genders. Use each of these nouns in a sentence.

2. Write ten sentences, each containing a noun of common gender.

3. Write sentences containing the masculine forms corresponding to the feminine forms in this list, and the feminine forms corresponding to the masculine:–

  • earl,
  • abbess,
  • schoolmaster,
  • porter,
  • hind,
  • mare,
  • ram,
  • sire,
  • witch,
  • sultan,
  • czar,
  • widow,
  • marquis,
  • executor,
  • salesman,
  • tailor,
  • hero,
  • bride,
  • songster,
  • great-uncle,
  • nephew,
  • buck,
  • horseman,
  • bachelor,
  • belle.

4. Mention the gender and the number of each noun. Tell whether the gender is shown by the form, by the meaning, or by both. Whenever it is possible, give the plural of each noun that is singular, and the singular of each noun that is plural.

1. Oft Music changed, but never ceased her tone.–Byron. 2. Grace Crawley was at this time living with the two Miss Prettymans.–Trollope. 3. The Catos and the Scipios of the village had gathered in front of the hotel. 4. This gunner was an excellent mathematician, a good scholar, and a complete sailor.–Defoe. 5. I was, in fact, in the chapel of the Knights Templars.–Irving. 6. The luckless culprit was brought in, forlorn and chapfallen, in the custody of gamekeepers, huntsmen, and whippers-in, and followed by a rabble rout of country clowns.–Irving. 7. The hare now came still nearer to the place where she was at first started.–Budgell. 8. The Fairfaxes were no longer at hand.–Irving. 9. All the peers and peeresses put on their coronets. 10. Time is no longer slow; his sickle mows quickly in this age.–Disraeli. 11. Under the humblest roof, the commonest person in plain clothes sits there massive, cheerful, yet formidable, like the Egyptian colossi.–Emerson.

12. Within forty-eight hours, hundreds of horse and foot came by various roads to the city. 13. The hart and hind wandered in a wilderness abounding in ferny coverts and green and stately trees.–Disraeli. 14. The ship had received a great deal of damage, and it required some time to repair her.–Defoe. 15. When Mary, the nurse, returns with the little Miss Smiths from Master Brown’s birthday party, she is narrowly questioned as to their behavior. 16. Of all our fleet, consisting of a hundred and fifty sail, scarce twelve appeared.–Smollett. 17. Hindoos, Russians, Chinese, Spaniards, Portuguese, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Genoese, Neapolitans, Venetians, Greeks, Turks, descendants from all the builders of Babel, come to trade at Marseilles, sought the shade alike.–Dickens. 18. There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail.–Tennyson. 19. I had desire to see the old family seat of the Lucys.–Irving.

20. The Miss Lambs were the belles of little Britain.–Irving. 21. Lord Culloden at length appeared with his daughters, Ladies Flora and Grizell.–Disraeli. 22. Still his honied wealth Hymettus yields.–Byron. 23. Josephine has been made executrix of her father’s estate. 24. Georgette crouched by the fire, reading a wonderful tale of kings, princesses, enchanted castles, knights and ladies, monks and nuns, wizards and witches. 25. She was a vixen when she went to school.–Shakspere. 26. Keep a gamester from the dice and a good student from his book.–Shakspere. 27. They are sheep and calves which seek out assurance in that.–Shakspere. 28. A score of good ewes may be worth ten pounds.–Shakspere. 29. Let ay’s seem no’s and no’s seem ay’s.–Gay.

30. She clasps a bright child on her upgathered knee;
It laughs at the lightning, it mocks the mixed thunder
Of the air and the sea.–Shelley.

EXERCISE 9

1. Write sentences in which the following words, letters, or figures are used in the plural number:–

  • German,
  • radius,
  • lens,
  • moose,
  • wharf,
  • index,
  • piano,
  • thesis,
  • 4,
  • 500,
  • p,
  • q,
  • and,
  • syllabus,
  • staff,
  • die,
  • s,
  • t,
  • seraph,
  • hero,
  • stimulus,
  • crisis,
  • elf,
  • heathen,
  • brother-in-law,
  • July,
  • March,
  • spoonful,
  • memorandum,
  • Miss Allen,
  • Master
  • Allen,
  • Mr. Hayes,
  • General Raymond,
  • Knight Templar,
  • head (of cattle),
  • animalcule,
  • potato,
  • valley,
  • formula,
  • penny,
  • curriculum,
  • dwarf,
  • man-child.

2. Write sentences in which the following nouns are used in the singular number:–

  • strata,
  • phenomena,
  • alumnAE,
  • alumni,
  • candelabra,
  • species,
  • cherubim,
  • errata,
  • bacteria,
  • Japanese,
  • beaux,
  • vertebrAE,
  • Messrs.,
  • theses,
  • oases.

EXERCISE 10

Mention all the nouns that are in the nominative case, and give the construction (or syntax) of each,–as subject, predicate nominative, vocative (or nominative of direct address), exclamatory nominative, or nominative in apposition.

1. A weary lot is thine, fair maid.–Scott. 2. At last, our small acquaintance, Ned Higgins, trudged up the street, on his way to school.–Hawthorne. 3. The soil is in general a moist and retentive clay. 4. Rumors alone were their guides through a wild and desolate country.–Longfellow. 5. Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler?–Shakspere. 6. Ralph was an Eton boy, and hence, being robust and shrewd, a swimmer and a cricketer. 7. Here Harold was received a welcome guest.–Scott. 8. The tall Highlander remained obdurate. 9. The beams and rafters, roughly hewn and with strips of bark still on them, and the rude masonry of the chimneys, made the garret look wild and uncivilized. 10. Deathlike the silence seemed. 11. Sorrow and silence are strong, and patient endurance is godlike.–Longfellow. 12. Fly, fly, detested thoughts, forever from my view!–Beattie. 13. Time must not be counted by calendars, but by sensation, by thought.–Disraeli.

14. This is the history of Charlotte Corday. 15. The nabobs soon became a most unpopular class of men. 16. Before him stretched the long, laborious road, dry, empty, and white.–Hardy. 17. With the great mass of mankind, the test of integrity in a public man is consistency.–Macaulay. 18. These are trifles, Mr. Premium. 19. My thanks are due to you for your trouble and care. 20. Here’s my great uncle, Sir Richard Ravelin. 21. Rowley, my old friend, I am sure you congratulate me. 22. David, you are a coward! 23. Here come other Pyncheons, the whole tribe, in their half-a-dozen generations. 24. Uncle Venner, trundling a wheelbarrow, was the earliest person stirring in the neighborhood. 25. Up the chimney roared the fire, and brightened the room with its broad blaze. 26. Liberty! freedom! tyranny is dead!–Shakspere. 27. The hostess’s daughter, a plump Flanders lass, with long gold pendants in her ears, was at a side window.–Irving.

28. Horses! can these be horses that bound off with the action and gesture of leopards?–De Quincey. 29. Peace! silence! Brutus speaks. 30. The rains, frosts, and tempests splinter the chalk above and the waves gnaw it away below.–Geikie.

EXERCISE 11

1. Point out all the nouns in the possessive case, and parse them according to the model in.

1. James’s parliament contained a most unusual proportion of new ministers. 2. I live in general quietly at my brother-in-law’s in Norfolk. 3. There is a small cottage of my father’s close to the lawn gates. 4. We had found, in that day’s heap of earth, about fifty pounds’ weight of gold dust.–Defoe. 5. Much the most striking incident in Burns’s life is his journey to Edinburgh. 6. As to freaks like this of Miss Brooke’s, Mrs. Cadwallader had no patience with them.–George Eliot. 7. Homeward they bore him through the dark woods’ gloom.–Morris. 8. The eye travels down to Oxford’s towers.–Arnold. 9. I obeyed all my brother’s military commands with the utmost docility. 10. Tellson’s wanted not elbowroom, Tellson’s wanted no light, Tellson’s wanted no embellishment. Noakes & Co.’s might, or Snooks Brothers’ might; but Tellson’s–thank heaven!–Dickens.

2. Examine the nouns in the possessive case in 1 (above), and tell which of the possessives might be replaced by an of-phrase. Mention particularly those passages in which the possessive would not be used in modern prose.

3. Write sentences containing the possessive singular of–

  • Henry,
  • James,
  • Thomas,
  • Mr. Fox,
  • child,
  • Charles Price,
  • Mrs. Gibbs,
  • Edward,
  • General Edwards,
  • horse,
  • Hortense,
  • Miss Bellows,
  • father-in-law,
  • Major Ellis,
  • commander-in-chief,
  • Thompson and Howard (a firm),
  • Eustis and Morris (a firm),
  • Messrs. Cartwright and Robbins,
  • Apollo,
  • Brutus,
  • Ulysses.

4. Write sentences containing the possessive plural of–

  • Englishman,
  • fireman,
  • washerwoman,
  • fox,
  • sheep,
  • horse,
  • ox,
  • child,
  • emperor,
  • empress,
  • robin,
  • Norman,
  • German,
  • hawk,
  • Knight Templar,
  • lady,
  • sailor,
  • heir,
  • heiress,
  • teacher,
  • whale,
  • walrus,
  • critic,
  • poet,
  • vireo.

5. In which of the sentences that you have written (under 3 and 4) would it be possible to substitute an of-phrase for the possessive? In which of them (if any) would this phrase be preferable? Why?

EXERCISE 12

Parse the nouns in the objective case, according to the model in. Tell the particular construction in each instance,–direct object, predicate objective, indirect object, etc.

1. Such was the narrative of Jack Grant, the mate. 2. Rippling waters made a pleasant moan.–Byron. 3. Swiftly they hurried away to the forge of Basil the blacksmith.–Longfellow. 4. A pale fog hung over London. 5. So like a shattered column lay the king.–Tennyson. 6. Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song.–Wordsworth. 7. A blighted spring makes a barren year.–Johnson. 8. Dark and neglected locks overshadowed his brow. 9. Imagine the wind howling, the sea roaring, the rain beating. 10. Lay these vain regrets aside. 11. Birds of passage sailed through the leaden air. 12. Authority forgets a dying king.–Tennyson. 13. Three years she grew in sun and shower.–Wordsworth. 14. The sound of horns came floating from the valley, prolonged by the mountain echoes. 15. Hours had passed away like minutes. 16. Your mistrust cannot make me a traitor.–Shakspere.

17. She halted a moment before speaking. 18. The room opened on a terrace adorned with statues and orange trees. 19. The sun is coming down to earth, and the fields and the waters shout to him golden shouts.–Meredith. 20. England is unrivalled for two things–sports and politics.–Disraeli. 21. Thus we lived several years in a state of much happiness. 22. The old gentleman’s whole countenance beamed with a serene look of indwelling delight. 23. I am reading Selwyn’s “Correspondence,” a remarkable book. 24. I have lived my life.–Tennyson. 25. My heart is like a singing bird.–Christina Rossetti. 26. How like a winter hath my absence been.–Shakspere. 27. Three weeks we westward bore.–Longfellow. 28. It rains pitchforks.–Fitz Gerald. 29. The sublimer and more passionate poets I still read, by snatches and occasionally.–De Quincey. 30. Coningsby slept the deep sleep of youth and health.–Disraeli.

31. Thou mightst call him a goodly person. 32. My father named me Autolycus. 33. A country fellow brought him a huge fish. 34. I’ll make you the queen of Naples. 35. You call honorable boldness impudent sauciness.–Shakspere. 36. Sir Roger generally goes two or three miles from his house before he beats about in search of a hare or partridge. 37. This misconception caused Washington some embarrassment. 38. I now thank you for Beattie, the most agreeable and amiable writer I ever met with.–Cowper.

EXERCISE 13

1. Write fifteen sentences, each containing a transitive verb and its direct object.

2. Substitute a pronoun for each noun in the objective case.

3. Write ten sentences containing both a direct object and a predicate objective.

4. Use in sentences fifteen of the verbs in the list in, each with both a direct and an indirect object.

5. For each indirect object, substitute to with an object. Change the order, if necessary.

6. Write ten sentences, each containing a cognate object.

7. Write ten sentences, each containing an adverbial objective.

8. Write ten sentences, each containing a noun in apposition with a noun in the objective case.

EXERCISE 14

Parse every noun, according to the models in.

1. Pennon and banner wave no more. 2. They soon gained the utmost verge of the forest, and entered the country inhabited by men without vice.–Goldsmith. 3. Our avenue is strewn with the whole crop of autumn’s withered leaves.–Hawthorne. 4. He is the rich man who can avail himself of all men’s faculties.–Emerson. 5. Like an awakened conscience, the sea was moaning and tossing.–Longfellow. 6. He again called and whistled after his dog. 7. She wrote and addressed a hurried note. 8. The light and warmth of that long-vanished day live with me still. 9. Violet and primrose girls, and organ boys with military monkeys, and systematic bands very determined in tone if not in tune, filled the atmosphere.–Meredith. 10. The blood left Wilfrid’s ashen cheek. 11. Give us manners, virtue, freedom, power!–Wordsworth. 12. A great deal of shrubbery clusters along the base of the stone wall, and takes away the hardness of its outline.

13. I travelled the whole four hundred miles between this and Madras on men’s shoulders. 14. Here we set up twelve little huts like soldiers’ tents. 15. Swiftly they glided away, like the shade of a cloud on the prairie. 16. Athens, even long after the decline of the Roman empire, still continued the seat of learning, politeness, and wisdom.–Goldsmith. 17. Four times the sun had risen and set. 18. Speak! speak! thou fearful guest! 19. The oak rose before me like a pillar of darkness. 20. Another long blast filled the old courts of the castle with its echoes, and was answered by the warder from the walls. 21. Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife!–Scott. 22. Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while? 23. Sounds of a horn they heard, and the distant lowing of cattle. 24. Homer was always his companion now. 25. Forgive me these injurious suspicions. 26. O, pride! pride! it deceives me with the subtlety of a serpent. 27. I made Mr. Wright’s gardener a present of fifty sorts of plant seeds. 28. Your mother and I last week made a trip to Gayhurst, the seat of Mr. Wright, about four miles off. 29. Beneath the shelter of one hut, in the bright blaze of the same fire, sat this varied group of adventurers. 30. The cares of to-day are seldom the cares of to-morrow.–Cowper.

EXERCISE 15

1. Parse the personal pronouns, using the models in.

1. She peeped from the window into the garden. 2. The little marquis immediately threw himself into the attitude of a man about to tell a long story. 3. It pours and it thunders, it lightens amain.–Scott. 4. Master, master, look about you! 5. Leontine, with his own and his wife’s fortune, bought a farm of three hundred a year.–Addison. 6. The Tories carry it among the new members six to one.–Swift. 7. I wrote to him, but could tell him nothing. 8. On the next morning after breakfast the major went out for a walk by himself. 9. Their hearts quaked within them, at the idea of taking one step farther. 10. Mrs. Forrester’s surprise was equal to ours. 11. It’s twenty years since he went away from home. 12. I seated myself in a recess of a large bow window. 13. At the last moment his heart failed him, and he looked round him for some mode of escape. 14. A friend of mine has been spending some time at Sir Walter Scott’s.

15. Send me a letter directed to me at Mr. Watcham’s. 16. I have lately received from my bookseller a copy of my subscribers’ names. 17. We came in our first morning’s march to very good springs of fresh water. 18. We are both of us inclined to be a little too positive. 19. Heyne’s best teacher was himself.–Carlyle.

20. Aspasia, you have lived but few years in the world, and with only one philosopher–yourself. 21. I got to the side in time to see a huge liner’s dim shape slide by like a street at night; she would have been invisible but for her row of lights. 22. The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep.–Wordsworth. 23. I am he they call Old Care.–Peacock. 24. The sharp and peevish tinkle of the shop-bell made itself audible. 25. The heroes themselves say, as often as not, that fame is their object. 26. He seems to himself to touch things with muffled hands. 27. She took counsel with herself what must be done. 28. The head of the Pyncheons found himself involved in serious financial difficulties. 29. Ha! here is Hepzibah herself!

2. Write sentences in which the personal pronoun of the first person is used as direct object, as indirect object, as predicate nominative; in the possessive singular with a noun; in the possessive singular without a noun.

3. Fill the blanks with personal pronouns of the first or the third person.

  • 1. He thought the burglars were —-.
  • 2. He mistook the burglars for —-.
  • 3. William is better at his lessons than —-.
  • 4. It is —-.
  • 5. These are —-.
  • 6. Nobody volunteered except Edward and —-.
  • 7. —- boys have formed a debating club.
  • 8. Mr. Jones is going to give —- boys a baseball field.
  • 9. Who is there? —-.
  • 10. Between you and —-, I am not sorry that he has resigned.
  • 11. If I were —- I would study art.
  • 12. Arthur likes you better than —-.
  • 13. Behind Ruth and —- came the guest of honor.
  • 14. Automobiles are not for such as —-.
  • 15. It was —- that Joseph meant.
  • 16. —- two are always together.
  • 17. Richard dislikes everybody, —- most of all.

4. Write sentences in which myself, yourself, ourselves, himself, herself, themselves are used (1) intensively, (2) reflexively as direct object, (3) reflexively as indirect object.

EXERCISE 16

1. Parse the demonstratives and the indefinites. In parsing the word, tell whether it is used as a pronoun or as an adjective. If it is used as a pronoun, tell the number and the case and give the reason for the case. If it is used as an adjective, mention the substantive which it modifies.

1. What is the meaning of all this? 2. On either side extended a ruinous wooden fence. 3. You have seen that picture, then! 4. This very Judge Pyncheon was the original of the miniature. 5. Twenty years ago this man was equally capable of crime or heroism; now he is fit for neither.–Stevenson. 6. None are all evil. 7. Solitude has many a dreary hour. 8. Every science has its hitherto undiscovered mysteries.–Goldsmith. 9. The same day we visited the shores of the isle in the ship’s boats. 10. None but picked recruits were enlisted. 11. A longing for the brightness and silence of fallen snow seizes him at such times. 12. Such were Addison’s talents for conversation. 13. Nicholas Vedder! why, he is dead and gone these eighteen years! 14. What a lamentable situation was that of the poor baron! 15. Several houses were pillaged and destroyed.

16. Each warrior was a chosen man. 17. See how yond justice rails upon yond simple thief!–Shakspere. 18. Our naval annals owe some of their interest to the fantastic and beautiful appearance of old warships.–Stevenson. 19. Some are too indolent to read anything till its reputation is established.–Johnson. 20. In both sexes, occasionally, this lifelong croak, accompanying each word of joy or sorrow, is one of the symptoms of settled melancholy.–Hawthorne. 21. Such voices have put on mourning for dead hopes. 22. Another phenomenon was a package of lucifer matches. 23. How few appear in those streets which but some few hours ago were crowded! 24. This was a very different camp from that of the night before.

25. Alternations of wild hope and cold despair succeeded each other. 26. The poor know best how to console each other’s sorrows. 27. Everybody has his own interpretation for that picture. 28. I strove with none, for none was worth my strife.–Landor. 29. Scarcely any of the items in the above-drawn parallel occurred to PhÅ“be. 30. He went about moping. None spake to him. No one would play with him.–Lamb. 31. Ah, that good Kent! He said it would be thus. 32. How easy is the explanation to those who know! 33. There has been a quarrel between him and Hepzibah this many a day.

2. Fill each blank with a personal pronoun.

  • 1. Each of us should do —- best.
  • 2. Everybody thinks —- own way is wise.
  • 3. If anybody has a better plan, now is the time for —- to speak.
  • 4. It was an old-fashioned picnic, every person furnishing —- share of the provisions.
  • 5. When anybody is talking, it is bad manners to interrupt —-.

EXERCISE 17

1. Parse the relative pronouns, using the models in.

1. The lights in the shops could hardly struggle through the heavy mist, which thickened every moment. 2. I shall not budge from the position that I have taken up. 3. The land of literature is a fairy land to those who view it at a distance.–Irving. 4. I hate people who meet Time half-way.–Lamb. 5. The weather, which had been stormy and unsettled, moderated toward the evening. 6. He that once indulges idle fears will never be at rest.–Johnson. 7. The only ford by which the travellers could cross was guarded by a party of militia. 8. One dark unruly night she issued secretly out of a small postern gate of the castle, which the enemy had neglected to guard. 9. I paused to contemplate a tomb on which lay the effigy of a knight in complete armor. 10. He who loves the sea loves also the ship’s routine.–Conrad. 11. There were two or three indefatigable men among them, by whose courage and industry all the rest were upheld.–Defoe.

12. Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea.–Wordsworth. 13. They slander thee sorely who say thy vows are frail.–Moore. 14. The first great poet whose works have come down to us, sang of war long before war became a science or a trade.—Macaulay. 15. The gusts that drove against the high house seemed ready to tear it from its foothold of rock. 16. At its western side is a deep ravine or valley, through which a small stream rushes. 17. A weak mother, who perpetually threatens and never performs, is laying up miseries both for herself and for her children.–Spencer. 18. As they approached, a raven, who sat upon the topmost stone, black against the bright blue sky, flapped lazily away.–Kingsley. 19. To such of her neighbors as needed other attention, she would give her time, her assistance, her skill. 20. It was such a battle-axe as Rustum may have wielded in fight upon the banks of Oxus. 21. I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike.

2. Point out the descriptive and the restrictive relatives in 1 (above).

3. Write ten sentences, each containing a descriptive relative; ten sentences, each containing a restrictive relative.

4. Fill the blanks with relatives. In the first eight sentences, at least, use who or whom.

  • 1. This is the boy —- I recommended.
  • 2. The boy —- I recommended is a Swede.
  • 3. The boy —- brought the letter is not the one —- I recommended.
  • 4. I told Anna, —- I knew would keep my secret.
  • 5. I told Anna, —- I knew I could trust.
  • 6. I told Anna, —- I knew to be trustworthy.
  • 7. I told Anna, —- I knew intimately.
  • 8. No one —- you know lives in this street.
  • 9. All —- I can say is, I am sorry.
  • 10. Give me the same horse —- I had yesterday.
  • 11. A dog, —- showed his teeth and growled, blocked the way.
  • 12. Choose the partner —- you like best.
  • 13. The policeman was leading a little child —- had lost its mother.
  • 14. Take such measures —- you deem necessary.
  • 15. Take —- measures seem necessary.
  • 16. Take the measures —- seem to you necessary.
  • 17. My hat is of the same size —- yours.
  • 18. This is the picture —- I am so proud of.
  • 19. This is the picture of —- I am so proud.
  • 20. The man —- is talking to Henry is the one —- owns this house.

5. Supply the relatives that are “understood”

  • 1. It was a bold step she had taken.
  • 2. I am not altogether unqualified for the business I have in hand.
  • 3. His taste of books is a little too just for the age he lives in.
  • 4. Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.
  • 5. Who is the wittiest man you know?
  • 6. Morton was the only friend I had.
  • 7. That sonata was the first piece I learned.
  • 8. Ten dollars is the price he asks.
  • 9. Are you the man I bought the coat of?
  • 10. This is the book we are reading evenings.
  • 11. Take any seat you like.
  • 12. “Faust” is the only opera I care for.
  • 13. I have done all I can.

EXERCISE 18

Parse the relatives.

1. Whatever wisdom and energy could do William did. 2. Whatever is done skilfully appears to be done with ease. 3. We must suspect what we see, distrust what we hear, and doubt even what we feel!–Miss Burney. 4. Whoever has been in a state of nervous agitation, must know that the longer it continues the more uncontrollable it grows.–Irving. 5. Time hath reft whate’er my soul enjoyed.–Byron. 6. The gallant major showed no hesitation whatever. 7. Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill Mountains. 8. A recollection of what I had seen and felt the preceding night still haunted my mind. 9. Hard work was what he needed now. 10. Whatever regrets Mrs. Thorverton might indulge in secret, she had had the strength of mind to hide them. 11. Like all weak men, they had recourse to what they called strong measures. 12. We see in him a freer, purer development of whatever is noblest in ourselves. 13. Sir Roger was what you call a fine gentleman. 14. Sweet princes, what I did, I did in honor.–Shakspere. 15. He was really interested in what Coningsby had seen and what he had felt. 16. What was to be seen at Naples, Addison saw.

EXERCISE 19

Parse the interrogative pronouns, mentioning gender, number, person, and case. If the interrogative word is an adjective, tell what noun it limits.

1. Who would not sing for Lycidas? 2. What that sigh meant I cannot say. 3. Columns, arches, pyramids, what are they but heaps of sand? 4. Which of the two was daughter to the duke? 5. Whom next shall we summon from the dusty dead?–Lamb. 6. Why! Peggy, what have you brought us? 7. What’s fame? A fancied life in others’ breath.–Pope. 8. To what shall I compare it? 9. And what art thou, O melancholy voice?–Shelley. 10. Proud sufferer, who art thou? 11. What were Swigby’s former pursuits I can’t tell. What need we care? Hadn’t he five hundred a year? Ay, that he had.–Thackeray. 12. What does it matter? 13. Which way have you looked for Master Caius? 14. What business had they in Prussia?

EXERCISE 20

Fill each blank with who or whom, as the construction may require.

  • 1. He asked me —- was elected.
  • 2. From —- did she hear this news?
  • 3. To —- did you apply for assistance?
  • 4. —- do you regard as the better scholar of the two?
  • 5. —- shall I ask for the key?
  • 6. —- did you see when you called?
  • 7. —- do you think is the best physician in town?
  • 8. —- can I trust in such an emergency?
  • 9. With —- have you discussed this affair?
  • 10. —- do you suppose this letter is from?
  • 11. —- do you suppose I am?
  • 12. —- do you suppose I saw?
  • 13. —- do you think will help us?

EXERCISE 21

Point out each pronoun; tell to what class it belongs, and give its construction.

1. His mind now misgave him. 2. Under the dark and haunted garret were attic chambers which themselves had histories. 3. Passion itself is very figurative, and often bursts out into metaphors.–Goldsmith. 4. He had a wiry, well-trained, elastic figure, a stiff military throw-back of his head, and a springing step, which made him appear much younger than he was. 5. It was the owl that shrieked. 6. Slowly, slowly, slowly the days succeeded each other. 7. Say nothing to the men, but have all your wits about you. 8. He saw that it would be dark long before he could reach the village. 9. I must do myself the justice to open the work with my own history. 10. Economy in our affairs has the same effect upon our fortunes which good breeding has upon our conversations.–Steele. 11. It was a cloudy night, with frequent showers of rain. 12. “Fair sirs,” said Arthur, “wherefore sit ye here?” 13. Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.–Byron. 14. This is my son, mine own Telemachus.–Tennyson.

15. Richard bade them adieu. 16. Ye men of Kent, “‘tis victory or death!–Wordsworth. 17. We dined yesterday with your friend and mine, the most companionable and domestic Mr. C. 18. Great is the power of the man who has nothing to lose.–Doyle. 19. Each hamlet started at the sound. 20. Look on me with thine own calm look. 21. Mr. Rigby was not a man who ever confessed himself at fault. 22. They were conversing with much earnestness among themselves. 23. He heard the deep behind him, and a cry before. 24. When Deerslayer reached the fire, he found himself surrounded by no less than eight grim savages. 25. Mine hostess, indeed, gave me a long history how the goblet had been handed down from generation to generation. 26. The uncle and nephew looked at each other for some seconds without speaking. 27. We had yet seen no wild beasts, or, at least, none that came very near us.–Defoe. 28. We envy you your sea-breezes. 29. Which is he that killed the deer? 30. There was the choice, and it was still open to him to take which side he pleased. 31. There is always something to worry you. It comes as regularly as sunrise.

EXERCISE 22

1. Point out every adjective. Tell whether it is descriptive or definitive and mention the substantive to which it belongs. If the adjective can be compared, give its three degrees of comparison.

1. The old, unpainted shingles of the house were black with moisture. 2. “My very dog,” sighed poor Rip, “has forgotten me!” 3. Loud was the lightsome tumult on the shore.–Byron. 4. Sweet are the shy recesses of the woodland. 5. Rows of pewter and earthen dishes glittered along the dresser. 6. The major spoke in a matter-of-fact way. 7. The sheep and the cow have no cutting teeth, but only a hard pad in the upper jaw.–Huxley. 8. The faint, foggy daylight glimmered dimly on the bare floor and stairs. 9. He wiped his serious, perplexed face on a red bandanna handkerchief, a shade lighter than his complexion. 10. The yellow moonlight sleeps on all the hills.–Beattie. 11. The young hostess seemed to perform her office with a certain degree of desperate determination. 12. This warning is meant in a friendly spirit.

13. The house remained untenanted for three years. 14. Numberless torrents, with ceaseless sound, descend to the ocean. 15. The contest between the two branches of the legislature lasted some days longer.

2. Write five sentences containing descriptive adjectives; five containing definitive adjectives.

3. Write sentences containing demonstrative, indefinite, relative, and interrogative adjectives.

4. Write sentences in which the indefinite article is directly followed by–

  • honorable,
  • youthful,
  • yew,
  • ewe,
  • euphonious,
  • historical,
  • history,
  • hymn,
  • humble,
  • hilarious,
  • university,
  • express,
  • horticultural,
  • oratorio,
  • automatic,
  • heritage,
  • harmonious.

EXERCISE 23

Point out the comparatives and the superlatives. Mention any superlatives used for emphasis.

1. The Governor-General is the frankest and best-natured of men. 2. The company grew merrier and louder as their jokes grew duller. 3. A knock alarmed the outer gate. 4. At once there came the politest and friendliest reply. 5. Many a poet has been poorer than Burns, but no one was ever prouder.–Carlyle. 6. The last tyrant ever proves the worst.–Pope. 7. The profoundest secrecy was observed in the whole transaction. 8. Earth has not anything to show more fair. 9. The natural principle of war is to do the most harm to our enemy with the least harm to ourselves.–Irving. 10. During the rest of the journey, Rose was in the strangest state of mind. 11. There’s not a nobler man in Rome than Antony. 12. Little he ate, and less he spake. 13. Our journey hither was through the most beautiful part of the finest country in the world. 14. Meanwhile the throng without was constantly becoming more numerous and more savage. 15. Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force. 16. She might have been more lenient.

17. You’ll have to be more practical. 18. How does a love of gain transform the gravest of mankind into the most contemptible and ridiculous!–Goldsmith. 19. Most authors speak of their fame as if it were quite a priceless matter.

20. Loveliest and best! thou little know’st
The rank, the honor, thou hast lost!–Scott.

21. Of two such lessons, why forget
The nobler and the manlier one?–Byron.

EXERCISE 24

1. Parse each adverb by telling whether it is an adverb of manner, time, place, or degree, and by mentioning the verb, adjective, or adverb which it modifies. Compare the adverbs which are capable of comparison.

1. A great part of the island is rather level. 2. They had worked very hard and very cheerfully. 3. When spake I such a word? 4. We can ill spare the commanding social benefits of cities.–Emerson. 5. She looked up and met his eyes, and thereupon both became very grave. 6. The silence of the prairie at night was well-nigh terrible. 7. Far in the West there lies a desert land. 8. The whistling ploughman stalks afield. 9. Swiftly they glided along. 10. He has only just arrived in England. 11. Fast the white rocks faded from his view. 12. Whole ranks instantly laid down their pikes and muskets. 13. Thick clouds of dust afar appeared. 14. Bitter sobs came thick and fast. 15. How long are you going to be in Paris? 16. To-morrow I intend to hunt again. 17. Answer made King Arthur, breathing hard. 18. Some of us laughed heartily. 19. They had spoken simply and openly about that from the very start.

2. Form an adverb of manner from each of the following adjectives. Use each adverb in a sentence. Tell what it modifies.

  • Proud,
  • careless,
  • vehement,
  • tender,
  • vigorous,
  • dainty,
  • brave,
  • formal,
  • courteous,
  • blunt,
  • sharp,
  • keen,
  • weary,
  • heavy,
  • true,
  • skilful,
  • legible.

3. Fill each blank with an adverb of degree modifying the adjective or the adverb.

  • 1. Ogilvie was —- lucky that day.
  • 2. They were thought to be —- fashionable people.
  • 3. She made her objections —- delicately as she could.
  • 4. July has been —- hot.
  • 5. Carlyle was —- dainty about his food.
  • 6. Jack did not come early —- to find a seat.
  • 7. The tide runs —- fast round this point.
  • 8. The balloon soared —- high that it disappeared.
  • 9. The fugitive reached the pier —- late to take the steamer.
  • 10. The bear growled —- savagely that the dogs were frightened.
  • 11. You write —- more legibly than I.

EXERCISE 25

1. Point out the relative adverbs, and mention the subordinate clause introduced by each. Tell whether each adverb expresses time, place, or manner.

1. Just as the sun went down, they heard a murmur of voices. 2. On waking, he found himself on the green knoll whence he had first seen the old man of the glen. 3. There is no place of general resort wherein I do not often make my appearance. 4. Wherever he determines to sleep, there he prepares himself a sort of nest. 5. I hastened to the spot whence I had come. 6. Where rolled the ocean, thereon was his home.–Byron. 7. Where shineth thy spirit, there liberty shineth too!–Moore. 8. He will look on the world, wheresoever he can catch a glimpse of it, with eager curiosity. 9. Until Lady Glenmore came to call next day, we heard of nothing unusual. 10. When she and Miss Pole left us, we endeavored to subside into calmness. 11. Small service is true service while it lasts. 12. Long before we saw the sea, its spray was on our lips. 13. As they ascended, Rip every now and then heard long rolling peals, like distant thunder. 14. The village clock struck five as Mr. Millbank and his guests entered the gardens of the mansion. 15. When only a small space was left between the armies, the Highlanders suddenly drew their broadswords and rushed forward with a fearful yell.–Macaulay. 16. When he rejoined his companions, he said something to them in Welsh.

2. Point out the interrogative adverbs, and tell what each modifies.

1. Why look’st thou so? 2. Whence came ye, jolly satyrs? whence came ye?–Keats. 3. Where now shall I go, poor, forsaken, and blind?–Campbell. 4. Why weep ye by the tide?–Scott. 5. See how the world its veterans rewards!–Pope. 6. How wildly will ambition steer!–Dryden. 7. Where have you been these twenty long years? 8. Here was a CAEsar! When comes such another?–Shakspere. 9. When shall we three meet again? 10. History is clarified experience, and yet how little do men profit by it! Nay, how should we expect it of those who so seldom are taught anything by their own?–Lowell. 11. Why did you not bring what I asked for?

3. Write ten sentences containing relative adverbs; ten containing interrogative adverbs.

EXERCISE 26

1. Point out the comparatives and superlatives. Tell whether each is an adjective or an adverb.

1. I thought it the most prudent method to lie still. 2. When the people observed I was quiet, they discharged no more arrows. 3. You know your own feelings best. 4. He was taller than any of the other three who attended him. 5. The song and the laugh grew less and less frequent. 6. The harder I try to forget it, the more it comes into my mind. 7. The night grew darker and darker; the stars seemed to sink deeper in the sky. 8. I answered in a few words, but in a most submissive manner. 9. Their sight is much more acute than ours. 10. The natives came by degrees to be less apprehensive of any danger from me. 11. Whoever performs his part with the most agility, and holds out longest in leaping, is rewarded with the blue-colored silk. 12. It received less damage than I expected. 13. Long live the most puissant king of Lilliput! 14. Fast are the flying moments, faster are the hoofs of our horses. 15. Nigh come the strangers and more nigh.–Scott.

2. Write sentences containing either the comparative or the superlative of the following words:–

  • merry,
  • uncomfortable,
  • ill,
  • joyfully,
  • northern,
  • old (both forms),
  • far,
  • in,
  • out,
  • early,
  • little (adjective),
  • little (adverb),
  • badly,
  • often,
  • worthy,
  • wonderful,
  • accurate,
  • far,
  • nigh,
  • top,
  • much,
  • severe.

3. Write six sentences containing adverbs which are incapable of comparison; six containing adjectives which are incapable of comparison.

EXERCISE 27

1. Write five sentences in which cardinal numerals are adjectives, five in which they are nouns. Use the same numerals in the ordinal form as adjectives, as nouns.

2. Write five sentences, each containing a numeral adverb; five containing an adverbial phrase that includes a numeral.

EXERCISE 28

1. Point out all the verbs and verb-phrases. Tell whether each is transitive or intransitive. Tell which are copulative; which are auxiliary. Mention any examples of the copula.

1. Little tasks make large return. 2. We must now return to the fortress of Tillietudlem and its inhabitants. 3. Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty. 4. The sunshine might now be seen stealing down the front of the opposite house. 5. He sat apart from them all, and looked at them with a melancholy, haughty countenance; while the rest hallooed and sang and laughed, and the room rang. 6. You cannot relieve me, but you may add to the torments I suffer. 7. One gains nothing by attempting to shut out the sprites of the weather. They come in at the keyhole; they peer through the dripping panes; they insinuate themselves through the crevices of the casement, or plump themselves down chimney astride of the raindrops.–Whittier. 8. A large lamp threw a strong mass of light upon the group. 9. The baron pardoned the young couple on the spot. 10. Every now and then he would turn his head slowly round.

11. The river sleeps along its course and dreams of the sky and of the clustering foliage. 12. A severe gale compelled him to seek shelter. 13. Miss Betsy Barker dried her eyes and thanked the Captain heartily. 14. Pray you, look not sad. 15. I am! yet what I am who cares, or knows?–Clare. 16. After all, it is a glorious pastime to find oneself in a real gale of wind, in a big ship, with not a rock to run against within a thousand miles.–Kingsley. 17. We will talk over all this another time. 18. What is progress? Movement. But what if it be movement in the wrong direction?–Disraeli. 19. They say you are a melancholy fellow. 20. The valiant Clifford is no more. 21. The wreck had evidently drifted about for many months; clusters of shellfish had fastened about it, and long seaweed flaunted at its sides.–Irving. 22. Times grew worse and worse with Rip Van Winkle as years of matrimony rolled on.

2. Frame twenty sentences, each containing a verb-phrase. Use the auxiliaries mentioned in. Let some of the sentences be interrogative.

3. Make a list of twenty verbs that are transitive in one sense, intransitive in another. Use these verbs in sentences.

4. Illustrate the absolute use of transitive verbs by framing ten sentences.

5. Make a list of six copulative verbs. Use them in sentences. Frame sentences in which the same verbs are not copulative .

6. Use the copula  in twenty sentences, several of which shall illustrate its use in verb-phrases.

EXERCISE 29

1. Write ten sentences in each of which a weak (or regular) verb is used in the past tense; ten, in each of which a strong (or irregular) verb is used in the past tense.

2. Construct sentences in which the past tense of each of the following verbs is used: drink, lie, sow, get, wake, dwell, sing, pay, bid, light, bereave, build, ride, hang, swim, lay, split, shrink, slay, wring, weave, thrive, spin, tread, shake, burst, slink, dive, flee, fly, swing, wet, fling, kneel, let, chide.

3. Point out all the verbs (except the copula and auxiliaries) in Exercise 28, 1, and conjugate them in the present and the past tense. Tell which are weak (regular) and which are strong (irregular). Account for the person and number.

EXERCISE 30

1. Fill each blank with am, is, or are.

  • 1. England and the United States —- at peace.
  • 2. Neither Arthur nor John —- right.
  • 3. Either a saw or an axe —- necessary.
  • 4. Either you or Dorothy —- going.
  • 5. You and I —- going.
  • 6. You and he —- going.
  • 7. Is it Mr. Allen or is it his children who —- going?
  • 8. Either he —- going or you —-.
  • 9. Either you —- going or I —-.
  • 10. The sum and substance of the article —- this.
  • 11. Half the sheep —- missing.
  • 12. A number of Italians —- present.
  • 13. The number of Italians in this town —- small.
  • 14. Mathematics —- my most difficult study.
  • 15. The number of applicants —- not sufficient
  • 16. A number of reasons —- alleged.
  • 17. The jury —- in agreement.
  • 18. The jury —- being charged by the judge.
  • 19. The committee —- composed of five members.
  • 20. The committee —- always wrangling with one another.
  • 21. I, who —- only a beginner, cannot compete with Richards, who —- an expert.
  • 22. He is one of those men who —- always out of work.
  • 23. I am not a man who —- easily frightened.
  • 24. Walter is one of the best fellows there —- in this town.
  • 25. Is it the king and queen who —- coming?
  • 26. Is it the king or the queen who —- coming?
  • 27. They made me, who —- the shyest of mortals, respond to a toast.
  • 28. A gift of four hundred books, eighteen maps, and ten plaster casts —- to be made to our school.
  • 29. Vocal and instrumental music —- taught here.
  • 30. Neither vocal nor instrumental music —- taught here.
  • 31. Neither elementary nor advanced physics —- taught here.
  • 32. Neither organic nor inorganic chemists —- trained here.
  • 33. One or two pages —- missing.
  • 34. Physics, together with algebra and Latin, —- taught the first year.
  • 35. Stevenson’s “Memories and Portraits” —- lying on the table.
  • 36. The insurgent general with ten of his followers —- said to have surrendered.
  • 37. James, as well as his sisters, —- coming.
  • 38. Six months —- a long time to wait.
  • 39. A series of lectures —- given here every winter.

2. Make a list of ten collective nouns. Use them in sentences (1) with a singular verb, (2) with a plural verb. Explain the difference in meaning.

3. Use the relative who in ten sentences in which the antecedent is in the first or the second person.

EXERCISE 31

1. Explain the use of will and shall in the following sentences.

1. We shall never forget what you have done for us. 2. “You ought to know my military secretary,” said the general, as Lothair entered, “and therefore I will introduce you.” 3. I am very patient; I will wait. 4. If I do return, I will vote against them. But I will not return. I have made up my mind to that. 5. I will send you Jennings’s poem, if you like. 6. You will of course make a drawing and an estimate, and send them to me 7. Do congratulate her for me, will you? 8. Another Athens shall arise.–Shelley. 9. “I won’t allow it!” cried Lady Niton, “he sha’n’t go!” 10. Shall I find you at home if I call some day soon, between five and six o’clock? 11. You must be convinced, and on reflection you will be convinced. 12. Before my journey to Rochdale, you shall have due notice where to address me. 13. I consider myself a first-rate shot, and you shall practise with me. 14. Shall I ever forget that party? 15. Shall you hunt to-morrow, Mr. Deronda? 16. When shall you be at Cambridge?

17. Lady St. Jerome is a little indisposed–a cold caught at one of her bazaars. She will hold them, and they say that no one ever sells so much.–Disraeli. 18. Will you be good enough to keep an account of all the manuscripts you receive, for fear of omission? 19. O rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.–Tennyson. 20. Will you forward the inclosed immediately to Corbet, whose address I do not exactly remember? 21. Byron was no common man: yet if we examine his poetry with this view, we shall find it far enough from faultless.–Carlyle. 22. I shall be in town by Sunday next, and will call and have some conversation on the subject of Westall’s proposed design. 23. Will you go down, dear? I will follow you in a moment. 24. Will not your trip to Bath afford you an opportunity to take a peep at Weston? 25. Never, as long as I live, will I speak to you again, nor shall Harry, whom you have humiliated!

26. Yet he for whom I grieve shall never know it. 27. Shall you let him go to Italy? 28. Prone to the dust Oppression shall be hurled.–Campbell. 29. You sha’n’t go on with this affair, I tell you, Harry. 30. I shall probably return this evening, but I will see you before I go.–Trollope. 31. In the interim I shall leave town; on Sunday I shall set out for Herefordshire, from whence, when wanted, I will return. 32. If my father does not return with me in the spring, it shall not be for want of urging on my part.–Cooper.

2. Fill each blank with will or shall.

  • 1. I —- be glad to see you.
  • 2. We —- be obliged to go home early.
  • 3. I —- help you whenever you wish.
  • 4. I promise that he —- not trouble you again.
  • 5. You —- be kind enough to take your seat.
  • 6. We —- miss our train, I fear.
  • 7. I must hurry or I —- be late.
  • 8. Robert —- have as much as is good for him.
  • 9. Arthur —- disobey me in spite of all I can do.
  • 10. Arthur —- obey you, I am sure.
  • 11. Arthur —- obey me, or I —- punish him.
  • 12. If we reject these offers, we —- regret it.
  • 13. I —- no longer endure his insolence.
  • 14. —- they return in season for dinner?
  • 15. I —- have to excuse you this time, I suppose.
  • 16. I —- gladly see you at any time.
  • 17. You —- not leave this room until you have confessed.
  • 18. He —- give you the money, I feel confident.
  • 19. He —- give you the money, or I —- have no more to do with him.
  • 20. —- we allow them to do as they please?

3. Write declarative sentences, using will or shall in the first person (singular or plural) to express a threat, a promise, resolution, consent, desire, determination, simple futurity.

4. Fill the blanks in the following questions with will or shall. Write sentences (using will or shall) in answer.

  • 1. —- you promise to do better?
  • 2. —- you make any promises if he insists?
  • 3. —- we miss our train?
  • 4. —- we go? Just ask us!
  • 5. —- I go now? I fear I am wearying you.
  • 6. —- I tell you what I really think?
  • 7. —- you call a cab for me, if you please?
  • 8. —- you be glad to see him?
  • 9. —- you see me if I call at one o’clock?
  • 10. —- we see you this evening?
  • 11. —- you be kind enough to open that door, or —- I?
  • 12. —- you miss your brother?
  • 13. —- we wait here, or —- you relent and let us go with you?
  • 14. —- we allow this evil to continue?
  • 15. —- you forgive me?

EXERCISE 32

1. Name all the complete (or compound) tenses and explain their formation.

1. Four long years in the times of the war had he languished a captive.–Longfellow. 2. The adventurer has subsequently returned to his native country. 3. Spiders had built their webs in the angles of the walls and ceilings. 4. Whole fleets had been cast away. Large mansions had been blown down. 5. I am just returned from staying three days at a delightful inn by the river Ouse, where we always go to.–Fitz Gerald. 6. In the evening we reached a village where I had determined to pass the night. 7. I have sent by the Gisbornes a copy of the “Elegy on Keats.” 8. I have really done my best. 9. Our visits to the islands have been more like dreams than realities. 10. We are here arrived at the crisis of Burns’s life. 11. The chills of a long winter had suddenly given way; the north wind had spent its last gasp; and a mild air came stealing from the west. 12. The officer at last turned away, having satisfied himself that the room was empty. 13. Carson will have reached shelter long before this.

2. Construct ten sentences in which the verbs in Exercise 29, 2 are used in the perfect tense.

3. Turn the verbs in these sentences into the pluperfect tense; into the future perfect tense. Write sentences in which the same verbs are used as perfect participles; as perfect infinitives.

EXERCISE 33

1. Tell whether each verb is in the active or the passive voice.

2. If the verb is active, change it to the passive, and make such other changes as may be necessary. If the verb is passive, change it to the active.

3. Conjugate each verb in the tense in which it occurs.

1. The customs of mankind are influenced in many ways by climate. 2. The door, which was slightly ajar, was suddenly pushed open. 3. The landlord handed the stranger the newspaper. 4. After a short pause, my host resumed his narration. 5. During the greater part of that night my slumbers were disturbed by strange dreams. 6. Not a word was spoken, not a sound was made. 7. The great willow tree had caught and retained among its leaves a whole cataract of water. 8. Early in the morning I was awakened by the voices of Peter and his wife. 9. He that is loudly praised will be clamorously censured.–Johnson. 10. Out of this story he formed a tragedy. 11. The assailants were repulsed in their first attack, and several of their bravest officers were shot down in the act of storming the fortress sword in hand. 12. This fatal question has disturbed the quiet of many other minds. 13. No genius was ever blasted by the breath of critics.–Johnson. 14. The jury then heard the opinion of the judge.

15. What cruel maxims are we taught by a knowledge of the world!–Miss Burney. 16. Their departure made another material change at Mansfield. 17. The appearance of a housemaid prevented any further conversation. 18. Each word of this leave-taking was overheard by Kezia. 19. Before nine o’clock next morning the two canoes were installed on a light country cart. 20. An old harper was summoned from the servants’ hall. 21. He had been wounded at Waterloo. 22. This advice struck the disputants dumb. 23. Through the night were heard the mysterious sounds of the desert. 24. A violent storm of rain obliged them to take shelter in an inn. 25. Far was heard the fox’s yell.–Scott. 26. Adams highly commended the doctor’s opinion.

4. Rewrite the following sentences, changing the form of the verbs from active to passive, or from passive to active. Notice the effect upon subjects and objects.

1. I was brought up by my uncle. 2. I have found them. 3. We were delayed by the storm. 4. They were warned by the pilot. 5. She saw us. 6. That winter will never be forgotten by any of us. 7. You surprise me. 8. Will you meet me? 9. Was he struck by a bullet? 10. Have you forgotten me? 11. How the crowd cheered him! 12. Tom, the blacksmith, makes horseshoes. 13. The schooner was run down by the steamship. 14. The old man has opened a little shop. 15. Mary has invited Ellen. 16. Mary might have invited Ellen. 17. Mary will invite Ellen. 18. The storm has made great havoc along the coast. 19. The children have been called home by their nurse. 20. He vexes me. 21. The tower was struck by lightning yesterday. 22. A policeman helped her over the crossing. 23. I was amused by your letter.

5. Use each of the following verbs in both the active and the passive of the past, the future, and the perfect (or present perfect):–send, bring, teach, drink, get, set, lay, leave, find, forget.

6. Use each of the verbs in the active voice of the past tense with both a direct and an indirect object. Change to the passive.

EXERCISE 34

1. Point out all the progressive and all the emphatic verb-phrases. Mention the tense and voice of each. Note any instances where do and did are not emphatic.

1. Thus did the long sad years glide on. 2. Now pray do settle in England. 3. Meanwhile, I go about in my little ship, where I do think I have two honest fellows to deal with. 4. I remember. I do indeed remember–too well! 5. Not until it was broad daylight did I quit the haunted house. 6. Do but look on her eyes. 7. Roland reached the boat just as the gang plank was being hauled in. 8. We are being entertained by the Archers. 9. The man at our wheel was spinning his spokes desperately to avoid banging into vessels we could not see, but whose bells were ringing everywhere about us. 10. Wild weeds are gathering on the wall. 11. I did actually pick up a French crown piece, worth about a dollar and six cents, near high-water mark. 12. I was loitering about the old gray cloisters of Westminster Abbey. 13. The friends of Coningsby were now hourly arriving. 14. My eyes have been leaving me in the lurch again.

15. They had been for some time passing through narrow gorges of the mountains, along the edges of a tumbling stream. 16. We are just sitting down to dinner with a pleasant party. 17. The large Newfoundland house-dog was standing by the door. 18. “Do thou,” said Bertram, “lead the way.”–Scott. 19. Music in his ears his beating heart did make. 20. Over the hillsides the wild knell is tolling.–Holmes.

2. Write sentences in which the verb teach is used in the present progressive, past progressive, future progressive, perfect progressive, pluperfect progressive, and future perfect progressive tenses of the active voice.

3. Write ten questions containing some form of do (or did).

EXERCISE 35

Point out all the verbs in the imperative or the subjunctive mood. Tell the subjects of the imperatives and explain the forms and uses of the subjunctives.

1. And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords.–Shakspere. 2. I think you had better speak to Lady Corisande yourself. 3. My dear boy, God bless thee a thousand times over! 4. O that the desert were my dwelling place! 5. “Rest we here,” Matilda said.–Scott. 6. Go where thy destiny calls thee. 7. Now Hesper guide my feet.–Akenside. 8. O that such hills upheld a freeborn race!–Byron. 9. Perish those riches which are acquired at the expense of my honor or my humanity!–Goldsmith. 10. Would all were well! but that will never be.–Shakspere. 11. The distaff were more fitting for you. 12. Robert hesitated, as if he were inclined to refuse. 13. Do what they might, the hook was in their gills.–George Meredith. 14. Fare you well, fair gentlemen.–Shakspere. 15. Suffice it to say, the robbers were defeated. 16. Disclose thy treachery, or die! 17. Let us not be influenced by any angry feelings. 18. Be that as it may, Kidd never returned to recover his wealth.

19. I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward’s.–Shakspere. 20. Move we on.–Scott. 21. Mark that the signal-gun be duly fired.–Byron. 22. The hull drives on, though mast and sail be torn. 23. I am glad that you liked my song, and, if I liked the others myself so well as that I sent you, I would transcribe them for you also.–Cowper. 24. I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts.–Shakspere. 25. If there be change, no change I see.–Landor. 26. Be it as thou wilt. 27. Weep you no more, sad fountains. 28. If thou leave thy father, he will die.–Wordsworth. 29. Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald.–Shakspere. 30. Learn thou his purpose. 31. Come, go we in procession to the village.–Shakspere. 32. The destruction of property which took place within a few weeks would be incredible, if it were not attested by witnesses unconnected with each other and attached to very different interests.

33. I wish I were as I have been,
Hunting the hart in forest green.–Scott.

34. Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.–Shakspere.

35. Buried be all that has been done,
Or say that naught is done amiss.–Crabbe.

EXERCISE 36

Fill each blank with a verb in the appropriate form.

  • 1. O that he —- here!
  • 2. Would that I —- there!
  • 3. If he —- a little older, I should take him into partnership.
  • 4. —- you asked me to go, I should have refused.
  • 5. —- you to ask me, I should refuse.
  • 6. If you —- there, I should have seen you.
  • 7. I am glad I saw the play, even if I —- a little disappointed.
  • 8. I should have been glad to see the play, even if I —- a little disappointed.
  • 9. I should be glad to see the play, even if I —- a little disappointed.
  • 10. I shall be glad to see the play, even if I —- a little disappointed.
  • 11. Though he —- to increase my salary, I should not remain in his employ. [Use the copula.]
  • 12. Unless he —- to increase my salary, I should not remain in his employ. [Use the copula.]
  • 13. When Tom saw you, you looked as if you —- angry. [Use the copula.]
  • 14. When Tom sees you, I suppose you will look as if you —- angry.
  • 15. I must remind him to post this letter, lest he —- it.

EXERCISE 37

Explain the meaning of each potential verb-phrase, and parse the phrase. In parsing such a phrase, describe it merely as a potential verb-phrase and tell the tense, voice, person, and number, without assigning it to any mood.

1. Enough! You may depart. 2. Men should travel. 3. What must be shall be. That’s a certain text.–Shakspere. 4. At times, with a strong effort, he would glance at the open door which still seemed to repel his eyes. 5. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.–Emerson. 6. It was sometimes sad enough to watch him as he sat alone. He would have a book near him, and for a while would keep it in his hands.–Trollope. 7. O, my friend! may I believe you? May I speak to you? 8. Presently he faced Adrian, crying, “And I might have stopped it!” 9. Nothing is impossible to the man who can will.–Emerson. 10. A scholar may be a well-bred man, or he may not.–Emerson. 11. “I trust we’re at liberty to enter,” said the elder lady with urbanity. “We were told that we might come at any time.” 12. I sent for you that I might have your counsel and assistance. 13. I could no longer doubt the doom prepared for me.

14. I am as well as I can expect to be under the excitement which I suffer. 15. I can become a party to no such absurd proceeding. 16. I could scarcely refrain from tears. 17. Come! we must go back. 18. We must be strangers to each other in future. 19. As my horse must now have eaten his provender, I must needs thank you for your good cheer, and pray you to show me this man’s residence, that I may have the means of proceeding on my journey.

EXERCISE 38

1. Fill each blank with can or may.

  • 1. —- I borrow your pen?
  • 2. Yes, you —-.
  • 3. No, you —- not.
  • 4. I —- swim across this river some day, for I know well enough that I —-.
  • 5. I shall ask my father if I —- swim across this river. I know well enough that I —-.
  • 6. My father is confident that I —- swim across the river safely.
  • 7. My father says that I —- swim across the river if I will wait until he —- go with me.
  • 8. —- I trouble you to give me that tennis racket?
  • 9. It —- be that you will regret this.
  • 10. It —- not be that you will regret this.
  • 11. —- you take a vacation this year, or is permission still refused?
  • 12. Why not ask if you —- take a vacation?
  • 13. You —- take your vacation after I have taken mine.
  • 14. The weather man says we —- hope for sunshine to-morrow.
  • 15. He —- be thankful that he escaped so easily.
  • 16. When you are twenty-one, you —- have your own way.

2. Write sentences asking permission in the first, second, and third persons. Write sentences (1) granting these requests; (2) refusing them.

EXERCISE 39

1. Justify the use of the auxiliary (should or would). In some of the sentences, should might be substituted for would. Which are they?

1. If I were you, I would not dwell too much on this fancy of yours. 2. I have neither servants nor clothes, and, if it had not been for these good people, I should not have had food. 3. I should delight in having her for a sister-in-law. 4. I should hardly wish to go out before Friday. 5. I shouldn’t wonder if this made him set his teeth. 6. Well, that’s over! and I’m sure neither Oliver nor I would go through it again for a million of money. 7. If I were you, I would turn it over in my mind. 8. I should be afraid to express myself in this manner, if the matter were not clear and indisputable.–Burke. 9. I should like to remain where I am for another week or ten days. 10. Would you do me the favor to look at a few specimens of my portrait-painting?–Dickens. 11. “Would you come?” she said, with a serious, searching glance, and in a kind of coaxing manner.–“I should be an intruder, my dear lady,” said Theodore, declining the suggestion.–Disraeli.

12. I should not like to be out of my seat were the House in session.–W. J. Locke. 13. If I were you I would not tempt Fate by remaining here a day longer.–W. E. Norris. 14. Candidates would rather, I suppose, climb in at a window than be absolutely excluded.–Cowper. 15. Impey would not hear of mercy or delay. 16. I should not be surprised if he were here immediately. 17. There’s a plantation of sugar-canes at the foot of that rock: should you like to look?–George Eliot.

2. Explain the use of the auxiliary (shall, should, or will, would) in each subordinate clause.

1. With this purpose in view, he sent a skilful architect to build him such a palace as should be fit for a man of his vast wealth to live in. 2. Their majesties commanded me to submit to whatever Bobadilla should order in their name. 3. Should you find yourself able to push on to Braemar, your visit will be most welcome. 4. It’s a simple affair enough, if you’ll just leave it as it stands. 5. Fearing to awaken Joseph a second time, lest he should again hazard all by his thoughtlessness, he crept softly out of the wigwam. 6. I watched the grapes from day to day till they should have secreted sugar enough from the sunbeams. 7. If an old prophecy should come to pass, we may see a man, some time or other, with exactly such a face as that. 8. He kept his heart continually open, and thus was sure to catch the blessing from on high, when it should come.–Hawthorne. 9. This law provided that the presidency of Bengal should exercise a control over the other possessions of the Company. 10. It is time that we should proceed.

11. It is necessary that he should have some work to do. 12. I shall be thankful if you will condescend to enlighten my ignorance. 13. It was natural that the leading authors should affect a style of levity and derision.–Jeffrey. 14. I will take care that you shall not be troubled by him again. 15. That the Duke of Wellington should cordially approve is singular enough. 16. “Boys,” interrupted Wilder, “it is now proper that you should know something of my future movements.”–Cooper. 17. We all stood ready to succor them if there should be occasion.–Defoe. 18. You are so well qualified for the task yourself that it is impossible you should need any assistance; at least, it is hardly possible that I should afford you any.–Cowper. 19. The brave sufferer refused to purchase liberty, though liberty to him would have been life, by recognizing the authority which had confined him. 20. I meant that he should walk off, but he did not choose to understand me. 21. When time shall serve, you shall have the fruit of my labors.–Cowper.

22. I shall be so glad if you will tell me what to read.–George Eliot. 23. I protest against such a combat, until the king of England shall have repaid the fifty thousand bezants.–Scott. 24. Unless something should go wrong, I flatter myself that the performance will elicit your generous approbation. 25. A seat in the cabinet was offered to him, on condition that he would give efficient support to the ministry in Parliament. 26. The proposition which he made was, that Fox should be Secretary of State.

27. That night he put forth a proclamation, directing that the posts should be stopped, and that no person should, at his peril, venture to harbor the accused members.–Macaulay. 28. Hyde interfered, and proposed that the question should be divided. 29. I am sorry that you should be bothered in this way. 30. I am sorry that Murray should groan on my account.–Byron. 31. There are old brass andirons, waiting until time shall revenge them on their paltry substitutes. 32. Should he be acquitted, that, I imagine, should end the matter. 33. A rumor was circulated that some new pageant was about to be exhibited, which should put a fitting close to the splendid festivities. 34. If this new purpose of conquest shall be abandoned, Richard may yet become King of Jerusalem by compact.–Scott. 35. Saladin desires no converts save those whom the holy prophet shall dispose to submit themselves to his law. 36. Pride now came to Montezuma’s aid, and, since he must go, he preferred that it should appear to be with his own free will. 37. God forbid that I should regret those gifts!

EXERCISE 40

1. Point out each infinitive and explain its construction as noun, as complementary infinitive, as infinitive of purpose, as modifier of a noun or an adjective, or as part of a verb-phrase (with an auxiliary).

2. Point out any modifiers or objects of infinitives.

1. To advance toward London would have been madness. 2. To trace the exact boundary between rightful and wrongful resistance is impossible.–Macaulay. 3. I was too young to keep any journal of this voyage. 4. The baron hastened to receive his future son-in-law. 5. It was her habit to go over to the deanery. 6. He could not consent to turn his back upon a party of helpless travellers. 7. The fixed purpose of these men was to break the foreign yoke. 8. Here rise no cliffs the vale to shade. 9. They saw the gleaming river seaward flow. 10. She perceived one of the eyes of the portrait move. 11. His first scheme was to seize Bristol. 12. The first business of the Commons was to elect a Speaker. 13. The old man frequently stretched his eyes ahead to gaze over the tract that he had yet to traverse. 14. When other things sank brooding to sleep, the heath appeared slowly to awake and listen.–Hardy. 15. All were anxious to hear the story of the mysterious picture. 16. I see the lights of the village gleam through the rain and the mist. 17. Then the bishop rose from his chair to speak.

18. To dismiss him from his high post was to emancipate him from all restraint. 19. This is not a time to hesitate. 20. Burghers hastened to man the wall. 21. I felt Leslie’s hand tremble on my arm. 22. He heard a mighty bowstring twang.–Morris. 23. Mr. Ralph Nickleby sat in his private office one morning, ready dressed to walk abroad. 24. I put down the letters, and began to muse over their contents. 25. Waves of clear sea are, indeed, lovely to watch. 26. Halifax had now nothing to give. 27. The neighborhood seemed to breathe a tranquil prosperity. 28. It is always perilous to adopt expediency as a guide. 29. Soldiers were drawn up to keep the passage clear.

3. Write sentences containing an infinitive used as subject, as predicate nominative, as appositive, as the object of a preposition, as an adjective; a complementary infinitive; an infinitive of purpose; an infinitive used with shall, with will, with must.

4. Note any modifiers or objects that you have used with the infinitives.

EXERCISE 41

1. Point out each infinitive clause. Mention the verb of which it is the object. Find the subject of each infinitive. When it is possible, substitute a that-clause for the infinitive clause.

1. It might seem irreverent to make the gray cathedral and the tall time-worn palaces echo back the exuberant vociferation of the market. 2. We have made you wait. 3. We then went to Pembroke College, and waited on his old friend Dr. Adams, the master of it, whom I found to be a most polite, pleasing, communicative man.–Boswell. 4. The doctor expects Captain Starbuck to recover. 5. For a good sailor to foul the first buoy was ludicrous enough. 6. Will you ask Annie to feed the parrot? 7. I believe it to be a speaking likeness. 8. I suppose them to be utterly ignorant of their own condition.

9. Hepzibah bade her young guest sit down. 10. Calamity and peril often force men to combine. 11. He knew himself to be a liar whom nobody trusted. 12. I must not ask the reader to suppose that he was cheerful. 13. I felt this melancholy to be infectious. 14. No one on seeing Mr. Crawley took him to be a happy man, or a weak man, or an ignorant man, or a wise man.–Trollope. 15. Humanity impelled him to rescue the poor wretch.

2. Write sentences containing infinitive clauses used after verbs of wishing, commanding, believing, declaring, perceiving.

3. Fill each blank with a personal pronoun.

  • 1. He believes the author to be —-. [First person.]
  • 2. He believes that the author is —-. [First person.]
  • 3. I knew the thief to be —-. [Third person.]
  • 4. I thought that the thief was —-. [Third person.]
  • 5. We thought the strangers to be —-. [Third person.]
  • 6. We thought that the strangers were —-. [Third person.]

4. Fill each blank with who or whom.

  • 1. The man —- I believe to be responsible for this accident is the engineer.
  • 2. I believe that the man —- is responsible for this accident is the engineer.
  • 3. My knock was answered by a lad —- I believed to be a lodger.
  • 4. You are not the person —- I believed you to be.

EXERCISE 42

1. Point out all the participles, present and past, and tell what substantive each modifies. Mention such as are used as pure adjectives. Mention any modifiers or objects of participles.

1. The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done.–Whitman. 2. Even the tight windows and the heavy silken curtains drawn close could not shut out the sound of the driving sleet. 3. Godolphin was not a reading man. 4. Mr. Sikes, dragging Oliver after him, elbowed his way through the thickest of the crowd. 5. Betrayed, deserted, disorganized, unprovided with resources, begirt with enemies, the noble city was still no easy conquest. 6. Thus regretted and cautioned on all hands, Mordaunt took leave of the hospitable household. 7. Far away, an angry white stain undulating on the surface of steely-gray waters, shot with gleams of green, diminished swiftly, without a hiss, like a patch of pure snow melting in the sun.–Conrad. 8. I set her on my pacing steed.–Keats.

9. But the poor traveller paused here barely for a minute, and then went on, stumbling through the mud, striking his ill-covered feet against the rough stones in the dark, sweating in his weakness, almost tottering at times, and calculating whether his remaining strength would serve to carry him home.–Trollope. 10. His teeth are set, his hand is clenched. 11. Passing through the ravine, they came to a hollow, like a small amphitheatre. 12. He found the house gone to decay–the roof fallen in, the windows shattered, and the doors off the hinges. 13. And now, sir, when you next go to the British Museum, look for a poet named Vaughan. 14. A heavy sea struck us on our starboard quarter, almost throwing us on our beam-ends. 15. He stood chuckling and rubbing his hands, and scarcely hearing a word the parson said. 16. The light struggles dimly through windows darkened by dust. 17. We sailed merrily forward for several days, meeting with nothing to interrupt us.

2. Write sentences containing the past participles of six weak verbs; of six strong verbs.

3. Write sentences containing a participle used as a pure adjective; a participle used as a predicate adjective; a participle modified adverbially; a participle taking an object.

4. Write ten sentences each containing a perfect participle. Substitute for each a clause introduced by when.

EXERCISE 43

Explain all examples of the nominative absolute. Substitute a modifying clause in each sentence.

1. A carriage, drawn by half a dozen horses, came driving at a furious rate, the postilions smacking their whips like mad. 2. As far as the eye could reach, the sea in every direction was of a deep blue color, the waves running high and fresh, and sparkling in the light. 3. For some years past there had been a difficulty about the rent, things not having gone at the Dragon of Wantly as smoothly as they had used to go. 4. He began to talk rapidly, all diffidence subdued. 5. Noon coming, and the Doctor not returning, Mr. Lorry advised with Lucie. 6. The second mate falling ill during the passage, I was promoted to officer of the watch. 7. The dog now roused himself and sat on his haunches, his ears moving quickly backward and forward. 8. This done, Mazeppa spread his cloak. 9. She was seated alone, her arms on the table, her head bent down. 10. There being some time upon his hands, he left his luggage at the cloak-room, and went on foot along Bedford Street to the church.

EXERCISE 44

1. Point out the present participles, and also the verbal nouns in -ing (participial nouns). Show the difference. Mention any modifiers or complements used with either.

1. The consternation was extreme. Some were for closing the gates and resisting; some for submitting; some for temporizing. 2. A troop of strange children ran at his heels, hooting after him, and pointing at his gray head. 3. The wicket opened on a stone staircase leading upward. 4. Watching and toil were to me pleasure, for my body was strong, and my spirits winged. 5. The lingerings of decent pride were visible in her appearance. 6. His deep bass voice had a quavering in it, his eyes looked dim, and the lines on his face were deep. 7. There were several French privateers hovering on the coast. 8. He does not like talking of these matters to strangers. 9. Miss Matty cared much more for the circumstance of her being a very good card-player. 10. His discourse was broken off by his man’s telling him he had called a coach. 11. Swallows and martens skimmed twittering about the eaves. 12. I have loved, lived with, and left the sea without ever seeing a ship’s tall fabric of sticks, cobwebs, and gossamer go by the board.–Conrad.

13. The sexton was a meek, acquiescing little man, of a bowing, lowly habit; yet he had a pleasant twinkling in his eye. 14. The rain always made a point of setting in just as he had some outdoor work to do. 15. I have been employed this morning in composing a Latin motto for the king’s clock. 16. Two more of the boats were lost by being stove and swamped alongside. 17. I heard the ripple washing in the reeds. 18. After wandering through two or three streets, I found my way to Shakspere’s birthplace. 19. Rip’s heart died away at hearing of these sad changes in his home and friends. 20. The fish did not bite freely, and we frequently changed our fishing ground without bettering our luck. 21. Lady Niton sat blinking and speechless. 22. I cannot help hearing things, and reading things, and observing things, and they fill me with disquietude. 23. Here was circumstance after circumstance goading me onward. 24. I sat staring at a book of my own making. 25. That thought actually drove out of my head the more pressing danger.

2. Write sentences in which (1) a verbal noun and (2) a present participle are formed from–

  • run,
  • hunt,
  • leap,
  • swim,
  • strike,
  • find,
  • speak,
  • sing,
  • shout,
  • play,
  • skate,
  • blow,
  • spend,
  • listen,
  • eat,
  • move,
  • translate,
  • recite,
  • murmur,
  • whisper,
  • read,
  • talk,
  • complain,
  • paint,
  • build,
  • give,
  • breathe,
  • teach,
  • flow,
  • shine.

3. Whenever it is possible, substitute either a noun or an infinitive for each verbal noun in your sentences.

4. Select three of these verbal nouns, and write other sentences in which each is used (1) as a subject, (2) with a direct and an indirect object, (3) with an adjective modifier, (4) with an adverbial modifier.

EXERCISE 45

1. Point out and parse the prepositions and conjunctions.

In parsing a preposition, tell (1) the object, and (2) the word to which the preposition shows the relation of the object.

In parsing a conjunction, indicate the words or groups of words which it connects, tell whether it is coOrdinate or subordinate, and mention its correlative if it has one.

1. Neither witch nor warlock crossed Mordaunt’s path. 2. But I will be bolder, and do not doubt to make it good, though a paradox, that one great reason why prose is not to be used in serious plays, is, because it is too near the nature of converse.–Dryden. 3. All down that immense vista of gloomy arches there was one blaze of scarlet and gold. 4. No doubt, something of Shakspere’s punning must be attributed to his age, in which direct and formal combats of wit were a favorite pastime of the courtly and accomplished.–Coleridge. 5. Bodily labor is of two kinds: either that which a man submits to for his livelihood, or that which he undergoes for his pleasure.–Addison. 6. Early upon the morrow the march was resumed. 7. The camp was broken up, and the troops were sent to quarters in different parts of the country. 8. My attention was called off for a moment by the cries of birds and the bleatings of sheep. 9. This is well to be weighed, that boldness is ever blind, for it seeth not dangers and inconveniences.–Bacon. 10. At a little distance from Sir Roger’s house, among the ruins of an old abbey, there is a long walk of aged elms. 11. Then I sent you the Greek instead of the Persian whom you asked for?–Fitz Gerald. 12. Rowland’s allowance at college was barely sufficient to maintain him decently, and, his degree nevertheless achieved, he was taken into his father’s counting-house to do small drudgery on a proportionate stipend.

13. Though this lady never expressed an idea, Richard was not mistaken in her cleverness. 14. If I am tired, your letter will refresh me. 15. The young ladies however, and Mr. Pecksniff likewise, remained in the very best of spirits in spite of these severe trials, though with something of a mysterious understanding among themselves. 16. He went along almost gaily, nor felt the fatigue of the road.

2. Write sentences in which, the following words are used as indicated:–

  • for (preposition,
  • conjunction),
  • then (conjunction,
  • adverb),
  • notwithstanding
  • (preposition,
  • conjunction),
  • since (preposition,
  • adverb,
  • relative adverb),
  • until (preposition,
  • relative adverb),
  • as (conjunction,
  • relative pronoun,
  • relative adverb),
  • that (conjunction,
  • relative pronoun,
  • demonstrative adjective,
  • demonstrative pronoun),
  • but (preposition,
  • conjunction).

3. Construct sentences containing either and or, neither and nor, whether and or, not only and but also, both and and, though, if, because.

4. Construct six sentences containing coOrdinate conjunctions; six containing subordinate conjunctions; six containing relative adverbs.

EXERCISE 46

Point out all interjections, all other parts of speech used here in exclamation, and all exclamatory phrases.

1. Ring the alarum-bell! Murder and treason!–Shakspere. 2. Kipling is by far the most promising young man who has appeared since–ahem–I appeared.–Stevenson. 3. O, to be in England! 4. “Courage!” he said, and pointed toward the land.–Tennyson. 5. Ah! my lord Arthur, whither shall I go? 6. Alas for my credulous fancy! 7. Tut, man! we must take things as they come. 8. O day, the last of all my bliss on earth!–Marlowe. 9. Adieu, fair Cadiz! yea, a long adieu!–Byron. 10. Peace, sister, peace! 11. Fie, fie, my brother! 12. How now, Thersites? what, lost in the labyrinth of thy fury? 13. Farewell for the present, my dear sir. 14. O Jupiter! how weary are my spirits!–Shakspere. 15. Guilty, my lord, guilty! I confess, I confess! 16. Hence, you long-legg’d spinners, hence! 17. O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted! 18. Faith, he is gone unto the taming school. 19. But, soft! whom have we here?

20. A Tory! a Tory! a spy! a refugee! hustle him! away with him! 21. What! this gentleman will outtalk us all. 22. Up, up, Glentarkin! rouse thee, ho!–Scott. 23. And now good-bye, my dear fellow. 24. Ahem! you remember, friend? Grand triumphs those, eh?

EXERCISE 47

1. Construct ten sentences in which the simple subject (noun or pronoun) is modified by an adjective clause; ten in which the simple predicate is modified by an adverbial clause.

2. Tell the construction (as subject, predicate nominative, object, etc.) of each noun clause in. Mention the simple subject and predicate of each clause.

EXERCISE 48

1. Tell whether each of the subordinate clauses expresses place, time, cause, or concession. Is the clause adjective or adverbial? What introduces it? What does it modify?

1. Though often misled by prejudice and passion, he was emphatically an honest man. 2. When a prisoner first leaves his cell, he cannot bear the light of day. 3. As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den.–Bunyan. 4. He postponed his final decision till after the Parliament should have reassembled. 5. They gave a dismal croak or two, and hopped aside into the darkest corner, since it was not yet their hour to flap duskily abroad. 6. Calmly and sadly she waited, until the procession approached her. 7. Half the task was not done when the sun went down. 8. However I might be disposed to trust his probity, I dare not trust his prejudices. 9. After a little more conversation we strolled to the stable, where my horse was standing. 10. As we approached the house, we heard the sound of music, and now and then a burst of laughter. 11. His face was not cruel, though it was desperate.

12. We again set out for the hut, at which we deposited our golden burdens. 13. It will be midnight before we arrive at our inn. 14. Though I was not particularly well supplied with money, I had enough for the expenses of my journey. 15. The day, though it began brightly, had long been overcast. 16. As there were no men in the company, the girls danced with each other. 17. Although without fear, I did not neglect to use all proper precautions. 18. When I return, I shall find things settled. 19. Clifford, as the company partook of their little banquet, grew to be the gayest of them all. 20. The mill where Will lived with his adopted parents stood in a falling valley between pinewoods and great mountains. 21. As Ichabod approached this fearful tree, he began to whistle. 22. Infected be the air whereon they ride!–Shakspere. 23. So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they.

24. Since you will not help me, I must trust to myself. 25. When they beheld his face, they recognized Basil the blacksmith. 26. This is the third day since we came to Rome. 27. Amsterdam was the place where the leading Scotch and English assembled. 28. These considerations might well have made William uneasy, even if all the military means of the United Provinces had been at his absolute disposal. 29. Although the breeze had now utterly ceased, we had made a great deal of way during the night.

2. Illustrate clauses of place, time, cause, and concession, by constructing twenty sentences, five for each.

3. Tell whether the clauses are adjective or adverbial. What does each modify?

4. See if you can replace your clauses of time by participles or adverbial phrases.

EXERCISE 49

1. Point out the clauses of purpose and those of result.

1. The weather was so bad I could not embark that night. 2. She opened the casement that the cool air might blow upon her throbbing temples. 3. So intent were the servants upon their sports, that we had to ring repeatedly before we could make ourselves heard. 4. The consequence was that, according to the rules of the House, the amendment was lost. 5. Therefore I am going this way, as I told you, that I may be rid of my burden. 6. Tess’s friends lived so far off that none could conveniently have been present at the ceremony. 7. Sometimes I was afraid lest I should be charged with ingratitude. 8. There is such an echo among the old ruins and vaults that, if you stamp but a little louder than ordinary, you hear the sound repeated.–Addison. 9. They durst not speak without premeditation, lest they should be convicted of discontent or sorrow. 10. My purpose was, to admit no testimony of living authors, that I might not be misled by partiality, and that none of my contemporaries might have reason to complain.–Johnson. 11. It is King Richard’s pleasure that you die undegraded.

2. Write five sentences containing each a clause of purpose; of result; an infinitive clause expressing purpose.

3. Write ten sentences in which the infinitive (without a subject) expresses purpose.

4. Review Exercise 40.

EXERCISE 50

1. Tell whether the conditional clauses in the following sentences are non-committal or contrary to fact, and whether they represent present, past, or future condition.

1. Should Hayley be with you, tell him I have given my friend Mr. Rose an introductory letter to him. 2. If the judgment against him was illegal, it ought to have been reversed. If it was legal, there was no ground for remitting any part of it. 3. If I ever saw horror in the human face, it was there. 4. His affliction would have been insupportable, had not he been comforted by the daily visits and conversations of his friend. 5. We perish if they hear a shot.–Scott. 6. Can Freedom breathe if Ignorance reign?–Holmes. 7. If power be in the hands of men, it will sometimes be abused. 8. If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars.–Clough. 9. If you write to Moore, will you tell him that I shall answer his letter the moment I can muster time and spirits? 10. If you have any good news to tell, it will not be unwelcome; if any bad, you need not be afraid. 11. I feel quite as much bored with this foolery as it deserves, and more than I should be, if I had not a headache. 12. Will you let me offer you this little book? If I had anything better, it should be yours.

13. I shall hope, if we can agree as to dates, to come to you sometime in May. 14. If I could only get to work, we could live here with comfort. 15. If he had been left to himself, he would have whistled life away in perfect contentment. 16. If this frolic should lay me up with a fit of rheumatism, I shall have a blessed time with Dame Van Winkle. 17. I know that two and two make four, and should be glad to prove it, if I could,–though, I must say, if by any sort of process I could convert two and two into five, it would give me much greater pleasure.–Byron. 18. I would not say this if I could help it. 19. If you are disposed to write–write; and if not, I shall forgive your silence, and you will not quarrel with mine. 20. Had not exercise been absolutely necessary for our well-being, nature would not have made the body so proper for it.–Addison. 21. Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must first be overcome.–Johnson. 22. If fashion gives the word, every distinction of beauty, complexion, or stature ceases.–Goldsmith.

2. Write twenty sentences, each containing a conditional clause. Tell whether each condition refers to present, past, or future time. Which of them are contrary to fact?

EXERCISE 51

1. Point out the clauses of comparison and explain such forms of verbs or pronouns as may require comment.

1. Dull as a flower without the sun, he sat down upon a stone. 2. He sighed as if he would break his heart. 3. The modern steamship advances upon a still and overshadowed sea with a pulsating tremor of her frame, an occasional clang in her depths, as if she had an iron heart in her iron body.–Conrad. 4. It would have been as difficult, however, to follow up the stream of Donatello’s ancestry to its dim source, as travellers have found it to reach the mysterious fountains of the Nile. 5. I will become as liberal as you. 6. The triumph was as destructive to the victorious as to the vanquished. 7. The public conduct of Milton must be approved or condemned, according as the resistance of the people to Charles the First shall appear to be justifiable or criminal. 8. There was no one in all Clavering who read so many novels as Madame Fribsby. 9. No kind of power is more formidable than the power of making men ridiculous.–Macaulay.

10. The leader of the orchestra was sawing away at his violin as savagely as if he were calling on his company to rush up and seize a battery of guns.–Black. 11. He shouts as if he were trying his voice against a northwest gale of wind. 12. The playground seemed smaller than when I used to sport about it. 13. The blood in me ran cold, and I drew in my breath as if I had been struck. 14. There are few things more formidable than the unwonted anger of a good-natured man.–Miller. 15. Nor was Lochiel less distinguished by intellectual than by bodily vigor. 16. He showed less wisdom than virtue. 17. He was as courageous an animal as ever scoured the woods. 18. As fierce a beak and talon as ever struck–as strong a wing as ever beat, belonged to Swift.–Thackeray.

19. Homer’s description of war had as much truth as poetry requires.–Macaulay. 20. Of all the objects I have ever seen, there is none which affects my imagination so much as the sea.–Addison. 21. “Somebody must go,” murmured Mrs. Heathcliff, more kindly than I expected. 22. We do not so often disappoint others as ourselves.–Johnson. 23. The battle raged as fiercely on the lake as on the land. 24. The young man looked down on me from the corner of his eyes, for all the world as if there were some mortal feud unavenged between us.–E. Brontë.

2. Write ten sentences containing as if with a subjunctive.

3. Insert personal pronouns of the first or third person.

  • 1. You are much stronger than —-.
  • 2. Your anger hurts yourself more than it hurts —-.
  • 3. You are not so studious as —-.
  • 4. He was quite as much to blame as —-.
  • 5. I blame myself rather than —-.
  • 6. You should rather blame yourself than —-.
  • 7. How much older are you than —-?
  • 8. Is Jack more ambitious than —-?
  • 9. Do you wish to please yourself more than —-?
  • 10. Your conduct was less censurable than —-.

EXERCISE 52

1. Change the direct statements to indirect discourse, prefixing He said. Thus,–

  • Supper was announced shortly after my arrival.
  • He said that supper was announced shortly after his arrival.

Be careful to make the proper changes in person and tense.

1. Supper was announced shortly after my arrival. 2. Misery loves company. 3. Iron floats in mercury. 4. The grime and sordidness of the House of the Seven Gables seem to have vanished. 5. Nothing is to be seen. 6. Straws show which way the wind blows. 7. I remained undecided whether or not to follow my servant. 8. Rest of mind and body seems to have reëstablished my health. 9. The fortifications consist of a simple wall overgrown with grass and weeds. 10. Fire is a good servant but a bad master. 11. Not a cheer was heard; not a member ventured to second the motion. 12. The most rigid discipline is maintained. 13. Without our consent, such an expedition cannot legally be undertaken. 14. The newspapers will happily save me the trouble of relating minute particulars.

15. The ringing of bells is at an end; the rumbling of the carriages has ceased; the pattering of feet is heard no more. 16. My mind has been much disturbed, and too agitated for conversation. 17. While all this is taking place within the Towers, vast bodies of people are assembling without. 18. The spelling and handwriting are those of a man imperfectly educated. 19. I have an unconquerable repugnance to return to my chamber. 20. I like to see a man know his own mind.

2. Change into a direct statement each clause that is in the indirect discourse. Mention the construction of the clause (as subject, object, etc.).

1. The booming of a gun told them that the last yacht had rounded the lightship. 2. All of a sudden she thought she heard something move behind her. 3. Though they spoke French fluently, I perceived that it was not their native language. 4. I soon found that, in making the acquaintance of the young man, I had indeed made a valuable acquisition. 5. I thanked him, but said that Dr. Johnson had come with me from London, and I must return to the inn and drink tea with him; that my name was Boswell, and I had travelled with him in the Hebrides. 6. I discovered that he was wonderfully fond of interfering with other people’s business. 7. I had heard that he had been unhappy, that he had roamed about, a fevered, distempered man, taking pleasure in nothing. 8. I had observed that the old woman for some time past had shown much less anxiety about the book. 9. I learned that times had gone hard with her. 10. I perceived that the objects which had excited my curiosity were not trees, but immense upright stones.

11. That no man can legally promise what he cannot legally perform is a self-evident proposition.–Mackintosh. 12. That there are some duties superior to others will be denied by no one. 13. It can hardly be doubted that the highest obligation of a citizen is that of contributing to preserve the community. 14. Reports had been brought back that six Christians were lingering in captivity in the interior of the country. 15. If it be true that, by giving our confidence by halves, we can scarcely hope to make a friend, it is equally true that, by withdrawing it when given, we shall make an enemy.–Prescott. 16. He concluded with the assurance that the whole fleet would sail on the following day. 17. Pen protested that he had not changed in the least.

3. Write five sentences in which indirect discourse is expressed by an infinitive clause.

EXERCISE 53

1. Change each of the sentences quoted at the end of into one of the other two passive constructions described in that section.

2. Write ten sentences in each of which a clause in the indirect discourse is the subject of a passive verb.

EXERCISE 54

1. Explain the use of shall, should, will, or would in each instance. Change the indirect discourse to the direct.

1. I believe I should like to live in a small house just outside a pleasant English town all the days of my life.–Fitz Gerald. 2. The sultan said he would oblige us with donkeys or anything else if we would only give him a few more pretty cloths.–Speke. 3. I think that I should like it to be always summer. 4. He often told his friends afterwards, that unless he had found out this piece of exercise, he verily believed he should have lost his senses.–Addison. 5. Do you remember once saying to me that you hoped you should never leave Brentham? 6. I knew that he would not have accepted office in 1841–1842 if he could have avoided it. 7. Promise you will give him this little book of drawings. 8. I have often thought that there has rarely passed a life of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful.–Johnson. 9. She said, very quietly, that she wished to speak to him after breakfast, and that he would find her in her sitting room. 10. Lady Annabel had promised the children that they should some day ride together to Marringhurst.

11. One of them told us that he would make us a canoe. 12. Promise, Marion–pray promise you will not even mention my name to him when you write next. 13. He felt that no argument of his would be of any use. 14. I know very well that I shall sign my own death warrant on the day when I retire from business. 15. She knew very well now that Grandcourt would not go without her; but if he must tyrannize over her, he should not do it precisely in the way he would choose. She would oblige him to stay in the hotel. 16. They were afraid that they should not long be able to put him off with promises. 17. Bungay replied that he should be happy to have dealings with Mr. Pendennis.

2. Fill the blanks with the proper auxiliary (shall or should, or will or would).

  • 1. Your father said that he —- be glad to see me.
  • 2. I told him that I —- be obliged to dismiss him.
  • 3. I wrote that we —- gladly accept his invitation.
  • 4. My friends believed that I —- not be willing to go.
  • 5. Robert thinks that he —- have to work evenings.
  • 6. Robert says that I —- have to work evenings.
  • 7. They say that Robert —- work evenings, although he ought not.
  • 8. I promised that Robert —- not work evenings.
  • 9. I told Mary that I was sure she —- succeed.
  • 10. Mary said she had no doubt that I —- succeed.
  • 11. Mary will say that she has no doubt I —- succeed.
  • 12. I repeat that I have no doubt you —- succeed.
  • 13. He declared that you —- go, even against your will.
  • 14. The report is that we —- dissolve partnership.

3. Change the indirect statements in the sentences which you have just made to direct statements.

EXERCISE 55

1. Some, but not all, of the following sentences contain indirect questions. Point out these questions and tell what introduces them (interrogative pronoun, interrogative adverb, subordinate conjunction). Mention the construction of each interrogative clause (as subject, object, etc.).

2. Turn each indirect question into a direct question.

3. Point out such relative clauses as you find in the sentences. Are they adjective or adverbial modifiers?

1. Warrington did not know what his comrade’s means were. 2. He could scarcely tell whether she was imbued with sunshine, or whether it was a glow of happiness that shone out of her. 3. I started the question whether duelling was consistent with moral duty.–Boswell. 4. The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way to the gate. 5. He knew not what to make of the letter. 6. I hardly heard what he said. 7. Every one knows practically what are the constituents of health or of virtue.–Newman. 8. Think calmly over what I have written. 9. Then she asked him whence he was and whither he was going; and he told her. 10. What to expect, he knew not. 11. Theseus wondered what this immense giant could be. 12. Hack says it was Mrs. Bungay who caused all the mischief. 13. The question was how best to extricate the army from its perilous position. 14. Addison was a delightful companion when he was at his ease. 15. I doubt whether the wisest of us know what our own motives are.

16. I puzzled my head for some time to find out which of the two cases was the more applicable. 17. I returned to the studies which I had neglected. 18. I cannot tell how I dared to say what I did. 19. How long he slept he could not say. 20. Fanny, in dismay at such an unprecedented question, did not know which way to look, or how to be prepared for an answer.–Miss Austen. 21. What my course of life will be when I return to England is very doubtful. 22. I cannot tell you how vaingloriously I walked the streets. 23. Then I told what a tall, upright, graceful person their great-grandmother Field once was. 24. When the bean-vines began to flower on the poles, there was one particular variety which bore a vivid scarlet blossom. 25. I know not which way I must look. 26. Why she submitted, Mrs. Turpin could not have told you. 27. I began to become conscious what a strange den that sanctum was. 28. How Ferguson escaped, was, and still is, a mystery. 29. How far he felt the force of this obligation will appear in the sequel.

4. Write sentences containing indirect questions introduced by who, which, what, when, how, why, whether, if.

5. Fill the blanks with who or whom. Tell, in each sentence, whether who or whom is an interrogative or a relative pronoun.

  • 1. I know —- it was that broke the window.
  • 2. I know —- it was that you saw.
  • 3. I know —- you saw.
  • 4. I know the person —- you saw.
  • 5. I asked if the man —- we saw was Douglas.
  • 6. I asked if the boy —- broke the window was Archer.
  • 7. I know —- it was you overheard.
  • 8. Tell me —- it is that I resemble.
  • 9. Tell me —- I resemble.
  • 10. Tell me —- you think I resemble.
  • 11. Tell me if I resemble anybody —- you know.

6. Turn all the indirect questions which you have just written into direct questions.

7. Construct sentences in which each of the verbs (or verb-phrases) is followed by an indirect question:–

  • asked,
  • tell,
  • inquire,
  • is learning,
  • see,
  • might discover,
  • had heard,
  • have
  • found,
  • doubt,
  • have perceived,
  • is thinking,
  • wonders,
  • knew,
  • was told,
  • understands,
  • to comprehend,
  • is,
  • could ascertain,
  • has reported,
  • will announce.

EXERCISE 56

1. Turn each indirect question into the direct form. Explain the use of shall, should, will, would.

1. “I doubt,” said Donatello, “whether they will remember my voice now.” 2. I did not know whether to resent his language or pursue my explanations. 3. I clambered to its apex, and then felt much at a loss as to what should be next done. 4. How we shall live I cannot imagine. 5. When I shall get to town I cannot divine, but it will be between this and Christmas. 6. I scarcely know which of us three would be the sorriest. 7. I can feel for you, because I know what I should feel in the same situation. 8. Let us see if she will know you. 9. I wonder how you will answer me a year hence. 10. I asked if Georgiana would accompany her. 11. You must see the carriage, Jane, and tell me if you don’t think it will suit Mrs. Rochester exactly, and whether she won’t look like Queen Boadicea, leaning back against those purple cushions.–C. Brontë. 12. Catherine had no idea why her father should be crosser or less patient in his ailing condition than he was in his prime. 13. Mr. Hindley will have to proceed to extremities,–see if he won’t!

2. Fill the blanks with the proper auxiliary (shall, should, will, would). Then change each indirect question to the direct form.

  • 1. Tom asked me if I —- like to go with him.
  • 2. They inquired whether I —- prefer to go or to stay.
  • 3. She asked me if I —- help her.
  • 4. Tell me whether he —- consent or not.
  • 5. He wishes to know if you —- recommend him.
  • 6. I was in doubt whether I —- succeed or fail.
  • 7. I do not know whether you —- find her at home or at her uncle’s.
  • 8. He is in doubt whether or not he —- get the appointment.
  • 9. We think we —- like to sail on the twentieth.
  • 10. He thinks he —- like to be a farmer.

EXERCISE 57

1. Mention the substantives that make up the compound subjects and the verbs that make up the compound predicates in; in Exercise 4.

2. See if you can make any of the sentences compound by inserting personal pronouns as subjects.

3. Divide each compound sentence in and in Exercise 6 into the independent coOrdinate clauses that compose it.

4. Make each sentence in complex by inserting or adding a subordinate clause. Is your clause adjective or adverbial? What does it modify?

5. Divide each complex sentence in Exercises 17, 25, 39 (2), 48–51, into the independent (main) clause and the subordinate clause.

EXERCISE 58

1. Analyze (according to the directions in) the simple sentences in Exercise 1. In analyzing, describe each sentence as declarative, interrogative, etc. If the sentence is imperative, supply the subject.

2. Analyze the compound and the complex sentences in Exercises 6, 17, 25, 39 (2), 48–51.

3. Analyze the compound complex sentences in.

EXERCISE 59

1. Point out the adjectives used as modifiers of the subject. Substitute for each an adjective phrase; an adjective clause.

1. Standing in the door was a tearful child. 2. A tall Scot shut off my view. 3. An iron mask concealed the prisoner’s face. 4. Honorable men pay their debts. 5. A tumble-down shed stood in the hollow. 6. A three-cornered hat was cocked over one of his ears. 7. The American Indians are becoming extinct. 8. An experienced stenographer should spell correctly. 9. A deep fosse or ditch was drawn round the whole building. 10. The royal army was assembled at Salisbury. 11. The mid-day meal was excellent. 12. The morning mist lies heavy upon yonder chain of islands.

2. Construct sentences, using the following adjective phrases as modifiers of the subject:–

  • of great height;
  • in a red hat;
  • with black hair;
  • from Cairo;
  • to Indianapolis;
  • from India;
  • with high gables;
  • of brilliant plumage;
  • on the rear platform;
  • in a state of intense agitation;
  • between the two ships;
  • over the mountain;
  • on the summit of the tower.

3. Substitute (if possible) an adjective clause for each adjective phrase in the sentences you have just written.

4. Point out all participles used as modifiers of the simple subject in Exercise 42. Write ten sentences containing such modifiers.

5. Construct ten sentences similar to those in (with infinitives modifying the simple subject).

6. Write ten sentences containing nouns or pronouns in the possessive case used as modifiers of the subject.

7. Write ten sentences containing nouns in apposition with the subject; five in which a noun clause is thus used.

EXERCISE 60

1. Point out all the adverbs used to modify the simple predicate. Substitute for each an adverbial phrase or clause.

1. The witness chose his words deliberately. 2. The old man moved slowly down the street. 3. I carefully avoided making that promise. 4. Do not speak so loud. 5. I am eagerly looking forward to your visit. 6. That golf ball must have hit him hard. 7. Allan has played in public twice. 8. I shall call you early. 9. We often see your eccentric friend. 10. The priest shook his head doubtfully. 11. Your father barely escaped drowning. 12. The next morning Chester awoke late. 13. The accident happened here. 14. The captain had gone below. 15. Marion refuses to go by coach unless she can sit outside. 16. Frank left home three years ago, and has not been heard from since. 17. Look yonder and tell us where the path lies.

18. We were then presented to Governor Gore. 19. I have not been there since April. 20. Bruce was afterward ashamed of his discouragement. 21. The sun will soon set. 22. You are expected to arrive in good season hereafter. 23. Alice cannot spell correctly. 24. The Indian suddenly disappeared. 25. The girl laughed carelessly. 26. The moose fell heavily to the earth. 27. He passionately longs to see Italy. 28. All foreigners seem to speak rapidly. 29. Edith listened attentively.

2. Write ten sentences in which the simple predicate is modified by an infinitive  by an adverbial objective or by a phrase containing one; by a nominative absolute; by an indirect object; by a cognate object.

3. Point out the complementary infinitives and the infinitives of purpose in Exercise 40, and tell what verb each modifies.

EXERCISE 61

1. Point out the complements and describe each (as direct object, predicate nominative, etc.). Analyze the sentences.

1. The most amazing wonder of the deep is its unfathomable cruelty.–Conrad. 2. Music is Love in search of a word.–Lanier. 3. The destination of the fleet was still a matter of conjecture. 4. The reports from the front made Washington anxious. 5. Plato says that the punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is, to live under the government of worse men.–Emerson. 6. I thought your book an imposture; I think it an imposture still.–Johnson. 7. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people. 8. The old gray porter raised his torch. 9. This you will call impudence. 10. Firm and irrevocable is my doom. 11. In return for mere board and lodging, Topham became Mr. Starkey’s assistant. 12. It was they who attacked us.

13. Serene will be our days and bright. 14. Warwick thought the situation awkward, but he held his peace. 15. If there were not too great a risk of the dispersion of their fleet, I should think their putting to sea a mere manÅ“uver to deceive.–Irving. 16. I thought “Aladdin” capital fun.–Stevenson. 17. The faces of the father and mother had a sober gladness; the children laughed; the eldest daughter was the image of Happiness at seventeen; and the aged grandmother, who sat knitting in the warmest place, was the image of Happiness grown old. 18. His stories were what frightened people worst of all. 19. The old man was nervous, fidgety, and very pale. 20. I am growing old, the grey hairs thicken upon me, my joints are less supple, and, in mind as well as body, I am less enterprising than in former years.–Southey. 21. I was uneasy about my letter. 22. Confidence is almost everything in war. 23. He thinks me a troublesome fellow.

24. At the end of this strange season, Burns gloomily sums up his gains and losses. 25. Little fire grows great with little wind.–Shakspere. 26. As he rose to walk, he found himself stiff in the joints. 27. Noise had been my native element. 28. I caught tantalizing glimpses of green fields, shut from me by dull lines of high-spiked palings. 29. One house in a back street was bright with the cheerful glare of lights.

2. Write ten simple sentences, each containing the direct object of a verb; a predicate objective; a predicate nominative; a predicate adjective. Analyze your sentences.

EXERCISE 62

1. Point out any modifiers of complements in the sentences called for in Exercise 61, 2. Introduce other modifiers of complements if you can without injuring the sentences.

2. Write sentences similar to those in, taking care to include in each a complement modified.

3. Write ten sentences, each containing a substantive complement modified by an adjective clause

; an adjective complement modified by an adverbial clause. Analyze your sentences.

4. Point out all modifiers of complements in Exercises 12 and 22.

5. Analyze the sentences in

EXERCISE 63

1. Write ten sentences illustrating adjectives (or adjective phrases) modified either by adverbs or by groups of words used adverbially.

2. Write ten sentences, each containing a possessive noun modified; an appositive modified; an adverbial phrase modified.

3. Write ten sentences illustrating the use of adjective or adverbial clauses as modifiers of modifiers.

4. Analyze the sentences in.

EXERCISE 64

Point out the independent elements. Tell whether each is an interjection, a vocative (nominative by direct address), an exclamatory nominative, or a parenthetical expression. Analyze the sentences.

1. The king, Melfort said, was determined to be severe. 2. O Mary, go and call the cattle home. 3. Pardon me, my dear fellow. 4. Between ourselves, I shall not be sorry to have a quiet evening. 5. Knowledge, indeed, and science express purely intellectual ideas.–Newman. 6. Oh! oh! pictures don’t pay. 7. To make a long story short, the company broke up. 8. True, our friend is already in his teens. 9. To use a ready-made similitude, we might liken universal history to a magic web.–Carlyle. 10. Poor fellows! they only did as they were ordered, I suppose. 11. The world, as we said, has been unjust to him. 12. Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear.

13. Peace! count the clock. 14. Excuse, no doubt, is in readiness for such omission. 15. The lord–for so I understood he was–looked at me with an air of surprise. 16. Lo, CAEsar is afraid. 17. Delay not, CAEsar; read it instantly. 18. My counsel, I need not say, made full use of this hint. 19. My small services, you remember, were of no use. 20. I knew–one knows everything in dreams–that they had been slain. 21. I knew it, I say, to be a fallacy. 22. Liberty! freedom! tyranny is dead! 23. Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.

EXERCISE 65

1. Analyze the simple sentences in; the compound sentences in; the complex sentences in; the compound complex sentences in.

2. Study the examples in, and explain their structure orally. Tell whether the various subordinate clauses are simple, compound, or complex, and why. Give the construction of each. Analyze the sentences.

3. Construct five complex sentences on the principle of.

EXERCISE 66

1. Study the sentences in until you can explain their structure.

2. Find, in some good English or American author, ten sentences of considerable length and explain their structure.

EXERCISE 67

1. Analyze the sentences in. Explain the ellipsis in each sentence.

2. Supply the word or words omitted in each of the elliptical sentences in Explain the ellipsis in each sentence.

3. Analyze the sentences in.

4. Write five sentences illustrating each of the following kinds of ellipsis:–(1) the subject of an imperative; (2) a relative pronoun; (3) the conjunction that; (4) the copula and its subject with while, when, though, if; (5) ellipsis in a clause with as or than.

EXERCISE 68

The following compound, complex, and compound complex sentences will give further practice in analysis and in study of the relations of clauses.

1. Deerslayer hesitated a single instant ere he plunged into the bushes. 2. The mind of man is like a clock that is always running down and requires to be as constantly wound up.–Hazlitt. 3. He became sensible that his life was still in imminent peril. 4. A young author is apt to run into a confusion of mixed metaphors, which leave the sense disjointed, and distract the imagination.–Goldsmith. 5. Everybody kept his head as best he might and scrambled for whatever he could get. 6. The dialogue had been held in so very low a whisper that not a word of it had reached the young lady’s ears. 7. The captain screwed his lips up, and drummed on the table, but he did not speak. 8. Poor Andrew Fern had heard that his townsman’s sloop had been captured by a privateer. 9. Through the grounds we went, and very pretty I thought them. 10. He sometimes made doleful complaint that there were no stagecoaches, nowadays.

11. Lights gleamed in the distance, and people were already astir. 12. That few men celebrated for theoretic wisdom live with conformity to their precepts, must be readily confessed.–Johnson. 13. Down went Pew with a cry that rang high into the night. 14. Pluck the dog off, lest he throttle him. 15. I knew that the worst of men have their good points. 16. A rumor spread that the enemy was approaching in great force. 17. Mr. Henry went and walked at the low end of the hall without reply; for he had an excellent gift of silence. 18. It is a bright brisk morning, and the loaded wagons are rolling cheerfully past my window. 19. The musician was an old gray-headed negro, who had been the itinerant orchestra of the neighborhood for more than half a century. 20. After he had waited three hours, the general’s patience was exhausted, and, as he learned that the Mexicans were busy in preparations for defence, he made immediate dispositions for the assault.–Prescott.

21. As I rode along near the coast, I kept a very sharp lookout in the lanes and woods. 22. Every man desires to live long, but no man would be old.–Swift. 23. If my face had been pale the moment before, it now glowed almost to burning. 24. The sentinels who paced the ramparts announced that the vanguard of the hostile army was in sight. 25. Her heart was happy and her courage rose. 26. There is a report that Clifford is to be secretary. 27. The season of winter, when, from the shortness of the daylight, labor becomes impossible, is in Zetland the time of revel, feasting, and merriment. 28. Every log which is carried past us by the current has come from an undiscovered country. 29. The fair heavens shone over the windy blue seas, and the green island of Ulva lay basking in the sunlight. 30. The greatest event was, that the Miss Jenkynses had purchased a new carpet for the drawing room. 31. My grandfather made a bow to the motley assemblage as he entered. 32. Talk to a man about himself, and he is generally captivated.

33. Pen was as elated as if somebody had left him a fortune. 34. When the morning dawned, the king gazed with admiration at the city, which he hoped soon to add to his dominions.–Irving. 35. No one doubts that the sloth and the ant-eater, the kangaroo and the opossum, the tiger and the badger, the tapir and the rhinoceros, are respectively members of the same orders.–Huxley. 36. The traveller, a man of middle age, wrapped in a gray frieze cloak, quickened his pace when he had reached the outskirts of the town, for a gloomy extent of nearly four miles lay between him and his home. 37. It was a scene on which I had often looked down, but where I had never before beheld a human figure. 38. He found that he had undertaken a task which was beyond his power. 39. In the Dutch garden is a fine bronze bust of Napoleon, which Lord Holland put up in 1817, while Napoleon was a prisoner at Saint Helena.

40. The girl’s was not one of those natures which are most attracted by what is strange and exceptional in human character. 41. Mrs. Pendennis was sure that he would lead her dear boy into mischief, if Pen went to the same college with him. 42. I had been some time at sea before I became aware of the fact that hearing plays a perceptible part in gauging the force of the wind. 43. The Macedonian conqueror, when he was once invited to hear a man that sang like a nightingale, replied with contempt, that he had heard the nightingale herself; and the same treatment must every man expect, whose praise is that he imitates another.–Johnson. 44. Tie a couple of strings across a board and set it in your window, and you have an instrument which no artist’s harp can rival.–Emerson. 45. I was on the point of asking what part of the country he had chosen for his retreat. 46. That no man can lawfully promise what he cannot lawfully do is a self-evident proposition.–Mackintosh.

47. How far the governor contributed towards the expenses of the outfit is not very clear. 48. The next epoch in the history of Russia was that of Peter the Great, whose genius overcame the obstacles consequent on the remoteness of its situation, and opened to its people the career of European industry, arts, and arms.–Alison. 49. As the chase lengthens, the sportsmen drop off, till at last the foremost huntsman is left alone, and his horse, overcome with fatigue, stumbles and dies in a rocky valley.–Jeffrey. 50. The Lowland knight, though startled, repeats his defiance; and Sir Roderick, respecting his valor, by a signal dismisses his men to their concealment, and assures him anew of his safety. 51. I stood awe-struck–I cannot tell how long–watching how the live flame-snakes crept and hissed, and leapt and roared, and rushed in long horizontal jets from stack to stack before the howling wind, and fastened their fiery talons on the barn-eaves, and swept over the peaked roofs, and hurled themselves in fiery flakes into the yard beyond.–Kingsley. 52. When I was at Grand Cairo, I picked up several Oriental manuscripts, which I have still by me.–Addison. 53. Often have I wondered at the temerity of my father, who, in spite of an habitual general respect which we all in common manifested towards him, would venture now and then to stand up against him in some argument touching their youthful days.–Lamb. 54. By all means begin your folio; even if the doctor does not give you a year, even if he hesitates about a month, make one brave push and see what can be accomplished in a week.–Stevenson.

APPENDIX

LISTS OF VERBS

In the first list, only such verb forms are given as are indisputably correct in accordance with the best prose usage of the present day. The pupil may feel perfectly safe, therefore, in using the forms registered in this list

A few verbs (marked *) which are seldom or never used in ordinary language are included in this list. These have various irregularities. A few verbs are partly strong and partly weak.

Weak verbs are printed in italics.

For the modal auxiliaries

I

Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle
abide abode abode
am (subjunc., be) was been
arise arose arisen
awake awoke, awaked awaked
bear bore borne, born
beat beat Beaten
beget begot Begotten
begin began Begun
behold beheld Beheld
bend bent Bent
bereave bereft, bereaved bereft, bereaved
beseech besought Besought
bet bet Bet
bid (command) bade Bidden
bid (money) bid Bid
bind bound Bound
bite bit Bitten
bleed bled Bled
bless)
blow blew blown
break broke broken
breed bred bred
bring brought brought
build built built
burn
Burst burst burst
Buy bought bought
Cast cast cast
catch caught caught
Chide chid chidden
choose Chose chosen
*cleave (split) cleft, clove cleft, cleaved (cloven, adj.)
Cling clung clung
Come came come
Cost cost cost
Creep crept crept
crow
Curse
Cut cut cut
dare
Deal dealt dealt
Dig dug dug
Do did done
Draw drew drawn
dream
dress
drink drank drunk (drunken, adj.)
drive drove driven
dwell dwelt dwelt
eat ate eaten
Engrave
Fall fell fallen
Feed fed fed
Feel felt felt
Fight fought fought
Find found found
Flee fled fled
Fling flung flung
Fly flew flown
Forbear forbore forborne
Forget forgot forgotten
Forsake forsook forsaken
Freeze froze frozen
freight
Get got Got
gird
Give gave given
Go went gone
grave
grind ground ground
grow grew grown
hang hung, hanged hung, hanged
have had had
hear heard Heard
heave hove, heaved hove, heaved
hew hewed hewn
hide hid hidden
hit hit hit
hold held held
hurt hurt hurt
keep kept kept
kneel
knit
know knew known
lade laded laded, laden
Lay laid laid
Lead led led
Learn
leave left left
lend lent lent
let let let
lie (recline) lay Lain
light lighted or lit lighted or lit
lose lost lost
make made made
mean meant meant
meet met met
mow
pay paid paid
pen(shut up)
Put put put
quit
read rĕad rĕad
*reave reft, reaved reft, reaved
reeve rove rove
rend rent rent
rid rid rid
ride rode ridden
ring rang rung
rise rose risen
*rive rived riven, rived
run ran run
say said said
see saw seen
seek sought sought
*seethe (transitive) sod, seethed seethed (sodden, adj.)
sell sold sold
send sent sent
set set set
sew
shake shook shaken
shape
Shave shaved shaved (shaven, adj.)
shear
Shed shed shed
Shine shone shone
Shoe shod shod
Shoot shot shot
Show showed shown
shred
shrink shrank shrunk (shrunken, adj.)
*shrive shrove, shrived shriven, shrived
shut shut shut
sing sang sung
sink sank sunk
sit sat sat
slay slew slain
sleep slept slept
slide slid slid, slidden
sling slung slung
slink slunk slunk
slit slit slit
smell
Smite smote smitten
Sow sowed sowed, sown
Speak spoke spoken
Speed
Spell
spend spent spent
spill
Spin spun spun
Spit spit spit
Split split split
Spoil
spread spread spread
spring sprang sprung
stand stood stood
Stave stove, staved stove, staved
stay
Steal stole stolen
Stick stuck stuck
Sting stung stung
Stink stunk stunk
strew strewed strewn
stride strode stridden
strike struck struck (stricken, adj.)
string strung strung
strive strove striven
swear swore sworn
sweat
sweep swept swept
swell swelled swelled, swollen
swim swam swum
swing swung swung
take took taken
teach taught taught
tear tore torn
tell told told
think thought thought
thrive throve, thrived thriven, thrived
throw threw thrown
thrust thrust thrust
tread trod trodden
wake woke, waked woke, waked
wax (grow)
Wear wore worn
Weave wove woven
wed
weep wept wept
wet wet wet
win won won
wind wound wound
wring wrung wrung
write wrote written

Bear, break, drive, get (beget, forget), speak, spin, stink, swear, tear, have an archaic past tense in a: bare, brake, drave, gat, spake, etc.

Beat, beget (forget), bite, break, forsake, hide, ride, shake, speak, weave, write, and some other verbs have archaic forms of the past participle like those of the past tense. The participles in en, however, are now the accepted forms. Chid and trod are common participial forms.

Begin, drink, ring, shrink, sing, sink, spring, swim, often have in poetry a u-form (begun, sung, etc.) in the past tense as well as in the past participle. This form (though good old English) should be avoided in modern speech.

Bend, beseech, bet, build, burst, catch, dwell, rend, split, wet, have archaic or less usual forms in ed: bended, beseeched, betted, etc. Builded is common in the proverbial “He builded better than he knew.” Bursted is common as an adjective: “a bursted bubble.”

Bid, “to command,” has sometimes bid in both the past tense and the past participle; bid, “to offer money,” has these forms regularly.

Blend, leap, lean, have usually blended, leaped, leaned; but blent, leapt, leant are not uncommon.

Clothe has commonly clothed; but clad is common in literary use, and is regular in the adjectives well-clad, ill-clad (for which ordinary speech has substituted well-dressed, badly or poorly dressed).

Dive has dived; but dove (an old form) is common in America.

Plead has past tense and past participle pleaded. Plead (pronounced plĕd) is avoided by careful writers and speakers.

Prove has past tense and past participle proved. The past participle proven should be avoided.

Work has past tense and past participle worked. Wrought in the past tense and the past participle is archaic, but is also modern as an adjective (as in wrought iron).

Some verbs have rare or archaic weak forms alongside of the strong forms; thus digged, shined, past tense and past participle of dig, shine; showed, past participle of show.

Ate and eaten are preferred to eat (pronounced Ä•t).

Quoth, “said,” is an old strong past tense. The compound bequeath has bequeathed only.

Miscellaneous archaisms are the past tenses sate for sat, trode for trod, spat for spit; also writ for wrote and written, rid for rode and ridden, strewed and strown for strewn.

II

The following verbs vary between ed and t (d) in the past tense and the past participle. In some of them, this variation is a mere difference of spelling. In writing, the ed forms are preferred in most cases; in speaking, the t forms are very common.

bless blessed, blest
burn burned, burnt
curse cursed, curst
dare dared (less commonly, durst)
dream dreamed, dreamt
dress dressed, drest
gird girded, girt
kneel kneeled, knelt
knit knit, knitted
learn learned, learnt
pen (shut up) penned, pent
quit quitted, quit
shred shredded, shred
smell smelled, smelt
speed sped, speeded
spell spelled, spelt
spill spilled, spilt
spoil spoiled, spoilt
stay stayed, staid
sweat sweated, sweat
wed wedded

III

The following verbs have regular ed forms in modern prose, but in poetry and the high style sometimes show archaic forms.

Present Tense Past Tense Past Participle
crow crowed, crew crowed, crown
freight freighted freighted, fraught (figurative)
grave graved graved, graven
engrave engraved engraved, engraven
mow mowed mowed, mown
sew sewed sewed, sewn
shape shaped shaped, shapen
shear sheared, shore sheared, shorn
wax (grow) waxed waxed, waxen

IV

The present tense of may, can, shall, is an old strong past. Hence the first and third persons singular are alike:–I may, he may. The actual past tenses of these verbs are weak forms:–might, could, should. Must is the weak past tense of an obsolete t, and is almost always used as a present tense.

Dare and owe originally belonged to this class. Owe has become a regular weak verb, except for the peculiar past tense ought, which is used in a present sense; dare has in the third person dare or dares, and in the past dared, more rarely durst. The archaic wot “know,” past wist, also belongs to this class. Will is inflected like shall, having will in the first and third singular, wilt in the second singular, and would in the past.

CONJUGATION OF THE VERB TO BE

INDICATIVE MOOD
Present Tense
SINGULAR PLURAL
1. I am. We are.
2. Thou art. You are.
3. He is. They are.
Past Tense
1. I was. We were.
2. Thou wast (wert). You were.
3. He was. They were.
Future Tense
1. I shall be. We shall be.
2. Thou wilt be. You will be.
3. He will be. They will be.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
1. I have been. We have been.
2. Thou hast been. You have been.
3. He has been. They have been.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
1. I had been. We had been.
2. Thou hadst been. You had been.
3. He had been. They had been.
Future Perfect Tense
1. I shall have been. We shall have been.
2. Thou wilt have been. You will have been.
3. He will have been. They will have been.
SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD
Present Tense
1. If I be. If we be.
2. If thou be. If you be.
3. If he be. If they be.
Past Tense
1. If I were. If we were.
2. If thou wert. If you were.
3. If he were. If they were.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
1. If I have been. If we have been.
2. If thou have been. If you have been.
3. If he have been. If they have been.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
1. If I had been. If we had been.
2. If thou hadst been. If you had been.
3. If he had been. If they had been.
Imperative Mood. Present. Sing. and Pl. Be [thou or you].
Infinitive. Present, to be; Perfect, to have been.
Participles. Present, being; Past, been; Perfect, having been.

CONJUGATION OF THE VERB TO STRIKE

ACTIVE VOICE
INDICATIVE MOOD
Present Tense
1. I strike. We strike.
2. Thou strikest. You strike.
3. He strikes. They strike.
Past Tense
1. I struck. We struck.
2. Thou struckest. You struck.
3. He struck. They struck.
Future Tense
1. I shall strike. We shall strike.
2. Thou wilt strike. You will strike.
3. He will strike. They will strike.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
1. I have struck. We have struck.
2. Thou hast struck. You have struck.
3. He has struck. They have struck.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
1. I had struck. We had struck.
2. Thou hadst struck. You had struck.
3. He had struck. They had struck.
Future Perfect Tense
1. I shall have struck. We shall have struck.
2. Thou wilt have struck. You will have struck.
3. He will have struck. They will have struck.
SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD
Present Tense
1. If I strike. If we strike.
2. If thou strike. If you strike.
3. If he strike. If they strike.
Past Tense
1. If I struck. If we struck.
2. If thou struck. If you struck.
3. If he struck. If they struck.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
1. If I have struck. If we have struck.
2. If thou have struck. If you have struck.
3. If he have struck. If they have struck.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
1. If I had struck. If we had struck.
2. If thou hadst struck. If you had struck.
3. If he had struck. If they had struck.
Imperative Mood. Present. Sing. and Pl. Strike [thou or you].
Infinitive. Present, to strike; Perfect, to have struck.
Participle. Present, striking; Past, struck; Perfect, having struck.
PASSIVE VOICE
INDICATIVE MOOD
Present Tense
1. I am struck. We are struck.
2. Thou art struck. You are struck.
3. He is struck. They are struck.
Past Tense
1. I was struck. We were struck.
2. Thou wast (or wert) struck. You were struck.
3. He was struck. They were struck.
Future Tense
1. I shall be struck. We shall be struck.
2. Thou wilt be struck. You will be struck.
3. He will be struck. They will be struck.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
1. I have been struck. We have been struck.
2. Thou hast been struck. You have been struck.
3. He has been struck. They have been struck.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
1. I had been struck. We had been struck.
2. Thou hadst been struck. You had been struck.
3. He had been struck. They had been struck.
Future Perfect Tense
1. I shall have been struck. We shall have been struck.
2. Thou wilt have been struck. You will have been struck.
3. He will have been struck. They will have been struck.
SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD
Present Tense
1. If I be struck. If we be struck.
2. If thou be struck. If you be struck.
3. If he be struck. If they be struck.
Past Tense
1. If I were struck. If we were struck.
2. If thou wert struck. If you were struck.
3. If he were struck. If they were struck.
Perfect (or Present Perfect) Tense
1. If I have been struck. If we have been struck.
2. If thou have been struck. If you have been struck.
3. If he have been struck. If they have been struck.
Pluperfect (or Past Perfect) Tense
1. If I had been struck. If we had been struck.
2. If thou hadst been struck. If you had been struck.
3. If he had been struck. If they had been struck.
Imperative Mood. Present. Sing. and Pl. Be [thou or you] struck.
Infinitive. Present, to be struck; Perfect, to have been struck.
Participles. Present, being struck; Past, struck; Perfect, having been struck.

USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS

1. Every sentence begins with a capital letter.

2. Every line of poetry begins with a capital letter.

3. The first word of every direct quotation begins with a capital letter.

Note. This rule does not apply to quoted fragments of sentences.

4. Every proper noun or abbreviation of a proper noun begins with a capital letter.

5. Most adjectives derived from proper nouns begin with capital letters; as,–American, Indian, Swedish, Spenserian.

Note. Some adjectives derived from proper nouns have ceased to be closely associated in thought with the nouns from which they come, and therefore begin with small letters. Thus,–voltaic, galvanic, mesmeric, maudlin, stentorian.

6. Every title attached to the name of a person begins with a capital letter.

  • Mr. Thomas Smith
  • John Wilson, Esq.
  • Miss Allerton
  • Dr. F. E. Wilson
  • C. J. Adams, M.D.
  • President Grant
  • Professor Whitney
  • Sir Walter Raleigh

7. In titles of books, etc., the first word, as well as every important word that follows, begins with a capital letter.

8. The interjection O and the pronoun I are always written in capital letters.

9. Personal pronouns referring to the Deity are often capitalized.

Note. Usage varies: the personal pronouns are commonly capitalized when they refer to the Deity, the relatives less frequently. The rule is often disregarded altogether when its observance would result in a multitude of capitals, as in the Bible and in many hymn books and works of theology.

10. Common nouns and adjectives often begin with capital letters when they designate the topics or main points of definitions or similar statements. Such capitals are called emphatic (or topical) capitals.

Note. Emphatic (or topical) capitals are analogous to capitals in the titles of books (see Rule 7), but their use is not obligatory. They are especially common in text-books and other elementary manuals.

RULES OF PUNCTUATION

The common marks of punctuation are the period, the interrogation point, the exclamation point, the comma, the semicolon, the colon, the dash, marks of parenthesis, and quotation marks. The hyphen and the apostrophe may be conveniently treated along with marks of punctuation.

I

1. The period, the interrogation point, and the exclamation point are used at the end of sentences. Every complete sentence must be followed by one of these three marks.

The end of a declarative or an imperative sentence is marked by a period. But a declarative or an imperative sentence that is likewise exclamatory may be followed by an exclamation point instead of a period.

The end of a direct question is marked by an interrogation point.

An exclamatory sentence in the form of an indirect question is followed by an exclamation point; as,–“How absolute the knave is!”

2. A period is used after an abbreviation.

3. An exclamation point is used after an exclamatory word or phrase.

Note. This rule is not absolute. Most interjections take the exclamation point. With other words and with phrases, usage differs; if strong feeling is expressed, the exclamation point is commonly used, but too many such marks deface the page.

II

The comma is used–

1. After a noun (or a phrase) of direct address (a vocative nominative). Thus,–

  • John, tell me the truth.
  • Little boy, what is your name?

Note. If the noun is exclamatory, an exclamation point may be used instead of a comma.

2. Before a direct quotation in a sentence. Thus,–

The cry ran through the ranks, “Are we never to move forward?”

Note. When the quotation is long or formal, a colon, or a colon and a dash, may be used instead of a comma, especially with the words as follows.

3. After a direct quotation when this is the subject or the object of a following verb. Thus,–

“They are coming; the attack will be made on the center,” said Lord Fitzroy Somerset.

“I see it,” was the cool reply of the duke.

Note. If the quotation ends with an interrogation point or an exclamation point, no comma is used.

4. To separate words, or groups of words, arranged in a coOrdinate series, when these are not connected by and, or, or nor.

If the conjunction is used to connect the last two members of the series but omitted with the others, the comma may be used before the conjunction.

  • I found two saws, an axe, and a hammer.
  • They were so shy, so subtle, and so swift of foot, that it was difficult to come at them.
  • It would make the reader pity me to tell what odd, misshapen, ugly things I made.
  • They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose.

Note 1. Commas may be used even when conjunctions are expressed, if the members of the series consist of several words, or if the writer wishes to emphasize their distinctness.

Note 2. Clauses in a series are commonly separated by semicolons unless they are short and simple.

5. To set off words and phrases out of their regular order. Thus,–

Seated on her accustomed chair, with her usual air of apathy and want of interest in what surrounded her, she seemed now and then mechanically to resume the motion of twirling her spindle.–Scott.

6. To separate a long subject from the verb of the predicate. Thus,–

To have passed them over in an historical sketch of my literary life and opinions, would have seemed to me like the denial of a debt.–Coleridge.

7. To set off an appositive noun or an appositive adjective, with its modifiers. Thus,–

I have had the most amusing letter from Hogg, the Ettrick minstrel.

There was an impression upon the public mind, natural enough from the continually augmenting velocity of the mail, but quite erroneous, that an outside seat on this class of carriages was a post of danger.–De Quincey.

Note 1. Many participial and other adjective phrases come under this head. Thus,–

The genius, seeing me indulge myself on this melancholy prospect, told me I had dwelt long enough upon it.–Addison.

Note 2. If a noun and its appositive are so closely connected as to form one idea, no comma is used. Thus,–

My friend Jackson lives in San Francisco.

Note 3. An intensive pronoun (myself, etc.) is not separated by a comma from the substantive which it emphasizes.

Note 4. A series of words or phrases in apposition with a single substantive is sometimes set off, as a whole, by a comma and a dash.

8. To set off a subordinate clause, especially one introduced by a descriptive relative. Thus,–

I am going to take a last dinner with a most agreeable family, who have been my only neighbors ever since I have lived at Weston.–Cowper.

Note. No comma is used before a restrictive relative. Thus,–

  • I want to know many things which only you can tell me.
  • Perhaps I am the only man in England who can boast of such good fortune.

9. To set off a phrase containing a nominative absolute. Thus,–

They had some difficulty in passing the ferry at the riverside, the ferryman being afraid of them.–Defoe.

10. To set off however, nevertheless, moreover, etc., and introductory phrases like in the first place, on the one hand, etc.

11. To set off a parenthetical expression. For this purpose commas, dashes, or marks of parenthesis may be used.

When the parenthetical matter is brief or closely related to the rest of the sentence, it is generally set off by commas. Thus,–

I exercised a piece of hypocrisy for which, I hope, you will hold me excused.–Thackeray.

When it is longer and more independent, it is generally marked off by dashes, or enclosed in marks of parenthesis. The latter are less frequently used at present than formerly.

The connection of the mail with the state and the executive government–a connection obvious, but yet not strictly defined–gave to the whole mail establishment an official grandeur.–De Quincey.

Note. Brackets are used to indicate insertions that are not part of the text.

III

The clauses of a compound sentence may be separated by colons, semicolons, or commas.

1. The colon is used–

a. To show that the second of two clauses repeats the substance of the first in another form, or defines the first as an appositive defines a noun. Thus,–

This was the practice of the Grecian stage. But Terence made an innovation in the Roman: all his plays have double actions.–Dryden.

b. To separate two groups of clauses one or both of which contain a semicolon. Thus,–

At that time, news such as we had heard might have been long in penetrating so far into the recesses of the mountains; but now, as you know, the approach is easy, and the communication, in summer time, almost hourly: nor is this strange, for travellers after pleasure are become not less active, and more numerous, than those who formerly left their homes for purposes of gain.–Wordsworth.

Note. The colon is less used now than formerly. The tendency is to use a semicolon or to begin a new sentence.

2. The semicolon is used when the clauses are of the same general nature and contribute to the same general effect, especially if one or more of them contain commas. Thus,–

The sky was cloudless; the sun shone out bright and warm; the songs of birds, and hum of myriads of summer insects filled the air; and the cottage garden, crowded with every rich and beautiful tint, sparkled in the heavy dew like beds of glittering jewels.–Dickens.

3. The comma may be used when the clauses are short and simple.

Note. The choice between colon, semicolon, and comma is determined in many cases by the writer’s feeling of the closer or the looser connection of the ideas expressed by the several clauses, and is to some extent a matter of taste.

IV

1. In a complex sentence, the dependent clause is generally separated from the main clause by a comma. But when the dependent clause is short and the connection close, the comma may be omitted.

Note. A descriptive relative clause is preceded by a comma, a restrictive relative clause is not.

2. The clauses of a series, when in the same dependent construction, are often separated by semicolons to give more emphasis to each. Thus,–

[Mrs. Battle] was none of your lukewarm gamesters, your half-and-half players, who have no objection to take a hand if you want one to make up a rubber; who affirm that they have no pleasure in winning; that they like to win one game and lose another; that they can while away an hour very agreeably at a card table, but are indifferent whether they play or no; and will desire an adversary who has slipped a wrong card, to take it up and play another.–Lamb.

V

1. A direct quotation is enclosed in quotation marks.

Note. If the quotation stands by itself and is printed in different type, the marks may be omitted.

2. A quotation within a quotation is usually enclosed in single quotation marks.

3. In a quotation consisting of several paragraphs, quotation marks are put at the beginning of each paragraph and at the end of the last.

Note. For the punctuation before a quotation.

4. When a book, poem, or the like, is referred to, the title may be enclosed in quotation marks or italicized.

VI

1. Sudden changes in thought and feeling or breaks in speech are indicated by dashes. Thus,–

Eh!–what–why–upon my life, and so it is–Charley, my boy, so it’s you, is it?–Lever.

2. Parenthetical expressions may be set off by dashes.

3. A colon, or colon and dash, may precede an enumeration, a direct quotation, or a statement formally introduced,–especially with as follows, namely, and the like. Before an enumeration a comma and a dash may be used. Thus,–

  • There are eight parts of speech:–nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Or–
  • There are eight parts of speech,–nouns, pronouns, etc.

4. The dash is sometimes used to strengthen a comma (as in the last paragraph but one).

VII

1. The apostrophe is used–

  • a. To mark the omission of a letter or letters in contractions.
  • b. As a sign of the possessive or genitive.
  • c. To indicate the plural of letters, signs, etc.

2. The hyphen is used–

  • a. When the parts of a word are separated in writing.
  • b. Between the parts of some compound words. (See the dictionary in each case.)

RULES OF SYNTAX

1. The subject of a verb is in the nominative case.

2. A substantive standing in the predicate, but describing or defining the subject, agrees with the subject in case and is called a predicate nominative.

3. A substantive used for the purpose of addressing a person directly, and not connected with any verb, is called a vocative.

A vocative is in the nominative case, and is often called a nominative by direct address or a vocative nominative.

4. A substantive used as an exclamation is called an exclamatory nominative or a nominative of exclamation.

5. A substantive, with a participle, may express the cause, time, or circumstances of an action.

This is called the absolute construction.

The substantive is in the nominative case and is called a nominative absolute.

6. The possessive case denotes ownership or possession.

7. The object of a verb or preposition is in the objective case.

8. A substantive that completes the meaning of a transitive verb is called its direct object, and is said to be in the objective case.

9. A verb of asking sometimes takes two direct objects, one denoting the person and the other the thing.

10. Verbs of choosing, calling, naming, making, and thinking may take two objects referring to the same person or thing.

The first of these is the direct object, and the second, which completes the sense of the predicate, is called a predicate objective

11. Some verbs of giving, telling, refusing, and the like, may take two objects, a direct object and an indirect object.

The indirect object denotes the person or thing toward whom or toward which is directed the action expressed by the rest of the predicate.

12. A verb that is regularly intransitive sometimes takes as object a noun whose meaning closely resembles its own.

A noun in this construction is called the cognate object of the verb and is in the objective case.

13. A noun, or a group of words consisting of a noun and its modifiers, may be used adverbially. Such a noun is called an adverbial objective.

14. An appositive is in the same case as the substantive which it limits.

15. A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in gender, number, and person.

16. Relative pronouns connect dependent clauses with main clauses by referring directly to a substantive in the main clause.

This substantive is the antecedent of the relative.

A relative pronoun must agree with its antecedent in gender, number, and person.

The case of a relative pronoun has nothing to do with its antecedent, but depends on the construction of its own clause.

17. A relative pronoun in the objective case is often omitted.

18. The relative pronoun what is equivalent to that which, and has a double construction:–(1) the construction of the omitted or implied antecedent that; (2) the construction of the relative which.

19. The compound relative pronouns may include or imply their own antecedents and hence may have a double construction.

The compound relatives are sometimes used without an antecedent expressed or implied.

20. An adjective is said to belong to the substantive which it describes or limits.

21. Adjectives may be classified, according to their position in the sentence, as attributive, appositive, and predicate adjectives.

1. An attributive adjective is closely attached to its noun and regularly precedes it.

2. An appositive adjective is added to its noun to explain it, like a noun in apposition.

3. A predicate adjective completes the meaning of the predicate verb, but describes or limits the subject.

For the use of an adjective as predicate objective.

22. The comparative degree, not the superlative, is used in comparing two persons or things.

The superlative is used in comparing one person or thing with two or more.

23. Relative adverbs introduce subordinate clauses and are similar in their use to relative pronouns.

24. A verb must agree with its subject in number and person .

25. A compound subject with and usually takes a verb in the plural number.

26. A compound subject with or or nor takes a verb in the singular number if the substantives are singular.

27. Nouns that are plural in form but singular in sense commonly take a verb in the singular number.

28. Collective nouns take sometimes a singular and sometimes a plural verb.

When the persons or things denoted are thought of as individuals, the plural should be used. When the collection is regarded as a unit, the singular should be used.

29. A verb is in the active voice when it represents the subject as the doer of an act.

30. A verb is in the passive voice when it represents the subject as the receiver or the product of an action.

The object of the active verb becomes the subject of the passive, and the subject of the active verb becomes in the passive an adverbial phrase modifying the predicate verb.

31. When a verb takes both a direct and an indirect object, one of the two is often retained after the passive, the other becoming the subject.

32. The indicative is the mood of simple assertion or interrogation, but it is used in other constructions also.

33. The imperative is the mood of command or request.

34. The subject of an imperative is seldom expressed unless it is emphatic.

The subject, when expressed, may precede the imperative: as,–You go, You read.

35. The subjunctive mood is used in certain special constructions of wish, condition, and the like.

For particulars and examples

For modal auxiliaries

36. An infinitive, with or without a complement or modifiers, may be used as the subject of a sentence, as a predicate nominative, or as an appositive.

37. An infinitive may be used as the object of the prepositions but, except, about.

38. The infinitive may be used as a nominative of exclamation.

39. An infinitive may modify a verb by completing its meaning, or by expressing the purpose of the action.

40. An infinitive may be used as an adjective modifier of a noun or as an adverbial modifier of an adjective.

In this use the infinitive is said to depend on the word which it modifies.

41. A kind of clause, consisting of a substantive in the objective case followed by an infinitive, may be used as the object of certain verbs.

Such clauses are called infinitive clauses, and the substantive is said to be the subject of the infinitive.

The subject of an infinitive is in the objective case.

Infinitive clauses are used (1) after verbs of wishing, commanding, advising, and the like, and (2) after some verbs of believing, declaring, and perceiving.

An infinitive clause may be the object of the preposition for.

An infinitive clause with for may be used as a subject, as a predicate nominative, or as the object of a preposition.

42. The participle is a verb-form which has no subject, but which partakes of the nature of an adjective and expresses action or state in such a way as to describe or limit a substantive.

43. A participle is said to belong to the substantive which it describes or limits.

44. A participle should not be used without some substantive to which it may belong.

45. An infinitive or a participle, like any other verb-form, may take an object if its meaning allows.

46. Infinitives and participles, like other verb-forms, may be modified by adverbs, adverbial phrases, or adverbial clauses.

47. Verbal (or participial) nouns in -ing have the form of present participles, but the construction of nouns.

48. Verbal nouns in -ing have certain properties of the verb.

1. Verbal nouns in -ing may take a direct or an indirect object if their meaning allows.

2. A verbal noun in -ing may take an adverbial modifier.

But verbal nouns in -ing, like other nouns, may be modified by adjectives.

49. A noun in -ing may be used as an adjective, or as the adjective element in a compound noun.

50. The substantive which follows a preposition is called its object and is in the objective case.

51. A coOrdinate conjunction connects words or groups of words that are independent of each other.

52. A subordinate conjunction connects a subordinate clause with the clause on which it depends.

53. Interjections usually have no grammatical connection with the phrases or sentences in which they stand.

Sometimes, however, a substantive is connected with an interjection by means of a preposition.

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