An Advanced English Grammar with Exercises (Part 1)

George Lyman Kittredge and Frank Edgar Farley


This grammar is intended for students who have already receivedinstruction in the rudiments. Still, every such textbook must beginat the beginning. Part One, therefore, which occupies pp. 1–24, givesa succinct treatment of the Parts of Speech in the Sentence and oftheir substitutes, the Phrase and the Clause, concluding with a Summaryof Definitions. Thus it clears the way for what follows, and may beutilized as a review, if the student needs to refresh his memory.

Part Two deals specifically and fully with Inflections and Syntax (pp.

25–182). It includes also a chapter on the use of subordinate clausesas nouns, adjectives, and adverbs (pp. 157–162), as well as a chapterin which such clauses are logically classified in accordance with theirparticular offices in the expression of thought (pp. 163–182).

Part Three (pp. 183–226) develops the subject of Analysis in itsnatural order, first explaining how sentences are put together, andthen illustrating the process by which they may be resolved into theirconstituent parts. Modifiers and Complements are classified, and theso-called Independent Elements are discussed. There is added a specialchapter on Combinations of Clauses, in which the grammatical andlogical relations of coördination and subordination are set forth, andtheir functions in the effective use of language are considered. Thisportion of the book, it is hoped, will be especially useful to studentsof English composition.

The Appendix furnishes lists of verbs, tables of conjugation, rulesfor capitals and marks of punctuation, a summary of important rules ofsyntax, and a brief history of the English language.

The Exercises (pp. 227–290) are collected at the end of the text, soas not to break continuity. References prefixed to each, as well aspage-numbers in the Table of Contents, enable the teacher to attachthem, at will, to the topics which they concern. The passages forparsing, analysis, etc., have been carefully selected from a widerange of eminent British and American writers. The name of the authoris often appended to the quotation, when the passage is particularlynoteworthy either for its contents or its form. In most cases, however,this has not been done; but the student may always feel confident thathe is occupying himself with specimens of English as actually composedby distinguished authors. The constructive exercises call particularattention to those matters in which error is especially prevalent.

An advanced grammar must aim to be serviceable in two ways. It shouldafford the means for continuous and systematic study of the subjector of any part of it; and it should also be useful for reference inconnection with the study of composition and of literature. With thislatter end in view, many notes and observations have been included,in smaller type, to show the nature and development of the variousforms and constructions, and to point out differences between theusage of to-day and that which the student observes in Shakspere andother English classics. The fulness of the index makes it easy to findanything that the volume contains.

In accordance with the desire of many teachers, certain topics ofimportance have been treated with unusual thoroughness. Among these maybe mentioned the uses of _shall_ and _will_, _should_ and _would_, theinfinitive and the infinitive clause, conditional sentences, indirectdiscourse, and the combination of clauses in sentences of differentkinds.

The authors are indebted to several teachers for suggestions andcriticism. Particular acknowledgment is due to Mr. Theodore C.

Mitchill, of the Jamaica High School, New York, and Mr. C. L. Hooper,of the Chicago Normal School.


[_The numbers in the first column refer to the pages of the text; thosein the second column to the pages of the Exercises._]INTRODUCTION TEXT  EXERCISES

Language and Grammar                                     xiGrammar and Usage                                        xvSummary of General Principles                          xviiENGLISH GRAMMAR PART ONE--THE PARTS OF SPEECH IN THE SENTENCEThe Sentence--Subject and Predicate                       1        227Kinds of Sentences                                        2        227The Eight Parts of Speech Defined                         3        228The Same Word as Different Parts of Speech                9        229Infinitives and Participles                              11        229Comparative Importance of the Parts of Speech            13Simple and Complete Subject and Predicate                14        230Compound Subject and Predicate                           15        230Substitutes for the Parts of Speech                      16        231Phrases--Noun, Verb, Adjective, Adverbial                16        231Clauses--Independent and Subordinate                     16        232Compound and Complex Sentences                           17        232Compound Complex Sentences                               18        232Clauses as Parts of Speech                               19        232Summary of Definitions                                   21PART TWO--INFLECTION AND SYNTAX CHAPTER I--INFLECTION

Inflection in General                                    25Summary of Inflections                                   26CHAPTER II--NOUNS Classification--Common Nouns and Proper Nouns            27        233Special Classes--Abstract, Collective, Compound          29        234Inflection of Nouns                                      30        235Gender                                                   31        235Number                                                   34        235Person                                                   39        236Case                                                     40        237Nominative Case                                          41        237Possessive Case                                          43        238Objective Case                                           47        239Parsing of Nouns                                         54        240CHAPTER III--PRONOUNS Personal Pronouns                                        55        241Gender and Number of Personal Pronouns                   56        241Case of Personal Pronouns                                57        241The Self-Pronouns (Compound Personal Pronouns)           60        241Adjective Pronouns--Demonstratives                       62        243Adjective Pronouns--Indefinites                          64        243Relative Pronouns                                        66        244The Relative Pronoun _What_                              71        246Compound Relative Pronouns                               72        246Interrogative Pronouns                                   73        246Parsing of Pronouns                                      74        247CHAPTER IV--ADJECTIVES Classification of Adjectives                             75        248Adjectives--the Articles                                 77        248Comparison of Adjectives                                 79        249Irregular Comparison                                     81        249CHAPTER V--ADVERBS Classification of Adverbs                                83        250Relative and Interrogative Adverbs                       86        251Comparison of Adverbs                                    87        252Use of the Comparative and Superlative                   88        252Numerals--Adjectives, Nouns, Adverbs                     89        252CHAPTER VI--VERBS Classification of Verbs                                  91        253Auxiliary Verbs--Verb-Phrases                            91        253Transitive and Intransitive Verbs                        92        253Copulative Verbs                                         93        253Inflection of Verbs                                      94        254Tense of Verbs                                           94        254Present and Past Tenses                                  94        254Weak (Regular) and Strong (Irregular) Verbs              95        254Person and Number                                        97        254The Personal Endings                                     97        254Conjugation of the Present and the Past                  98        254Special Rules of Number and Person                      100        254The Future Tense--_Shall_ and _Will_                    102        256Complete or Compound Tenses                             106        258Voice--Active and Passive                               107        258Conjugation of the Six Tenses                           108        258Use of the Passive Voice                                110        258Progressive Verb-Phrases                                113        260Emphatic Verb-Phrases                                   114        260Mood of Verbs                                           115        261Indicative Mood                                         115        261Imperative Mood                                         116        261Subjunctive Mood--Forms                                 118        261Uses of the Subjunctive                                 119        261Potential Verb-Phrases (Modal Auxiliaries)              124        262Special Rules for _Should_ and _Would_                  127        264The Infinitive                                          132        266The Infinitive as a Noun                                134        266The Infinitive as a Modifier                            136        266The Infinitive Clause                                   137        267Participles--Forms and Constructions                    140        268Nominative Absolute                                     144        269Verbal Nouns in _-ing_ (Participial Nouns)              145        269CHAPTER VII--PREPOSITIONS List of Prepositions                                    148        270Special Uses of Prepositions                            149        270CHAPTER VIII--CONJUNCTIONS Coördinate (or Coördinating) Conjunctions               151        270Subordinate (or Subordinating) Conjunctions             153        270Correlative Conjunctions                                153        270CHAPTER IX--INTERJECTIONS Interjections                                           155        272Exclamatory Expressions                                 155        272CHAPTER X--CLAUSES AS PARTS OF SPEECH Clauses as Parts of Speech                              157        272Adjective Clauses                                       157        272Adverbial Clauses                                       158        272Noun (or Substantive) Clauses                           159        272CHAPTER XI--THE MEANINGS OF SUBORDINATE CLAUSESClauses of Place and Time                               163        272Causal Clauses                                          164        272Concessive Clauses                                      164        272Clauses of Purpose and Result                           166        274Conditional Sentences                                   167        274Forms of Conditions                                     169        274Present and Past Conditions                             170        274Future Conditions                                       171        274Clauses of Comparison                                   173        275Indirect Discourse                                      173        277_Shall_ and _Will_, _Should_ and _Would_ in Indirect Discourse                               177        278Indirect Questions                                      179        280_Shall_ and _Will_, _Should_ and _Would_ in Indirect Questions                               182        281PART THREE--ANALYSIS


Analysis--the Elements                                  183        282Simple Sentences                                        184        282Compound Sentences                                      185        282Complex Sentences                                       186        282Compound and Complex Clauses                            186        287Compound Complex Sentences                              187        283CHAPTER II--ANALYSIS OF SENTENCES Simple Sentences                                        188        283Compound Sentences                                      188        283Complex Sentences                                       189        283Compound Complex Sentences                              190        283CHAPTER III--MODIFIERS Modifiers in General                                    191        283Modifiers of the Subject                                192        283Modifiers of the Predicate                              196        284CHAPTER IV--COMPLEMENTS Use of Complements                                      200        285The Direct Object                                       201        285The Predicate Objective                                 202        285The Predicate Nominative                                202        285The Predicate Adjective                                 203        285CHAPTER V--MODIFIERS OF COMPLEMENTS AND OF MODIFIERSModifiers of Complements                                205        286Modifiers of Other Modifiers                            207        286CHAPTER VI--INDEPENDENT ELEMENTS Four Kinds of Independent Elements                      209        286Parenthetical Expressions                               209        286CHAPTER VII--COMBINATIONS OF CLAUSES General Principles                                      210        287Coördination and Subordination                          210        287Clauses--Simple, Compound, Complex                      211        287Complex Sentences                                       186        282Simple Sentences with Compound Subject or Predicate     212        287Compound and Complex Sentences                          213        287Compound Complex Sentences                              215        287Varieties of the Complex Sentence                       216        287Special Complications in Complex Sentences              220        288Special Complications in Compound Complex Sentences     222        288CHAPTER VIII--ELLIPTICAL SENTENCES Ellipsis in Clauses and Sentences                       224        288Varieties of Ellipsis                                   225        288Examples of Elliptical Constructions                    226        288EXERCISES Exercises on Part One                                              227Exercises on Part Two                                              233Exercises on Part Three                                            282APPENDIX Lists of Verbs                                                     291Conjugation of the Verb _to be_                                    300Conjugation of the Verb _to strike_                                301Use of Capital Letters                                             305Rules of Punctuation                                               306Rules of Syntax                                                    311The English Language                                               316INDEX                                                                321INTRODUCTION LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR


Language is the expression of thought by means of spoken or writtenwords.

The English word _language_ comes (through the French _langue_) fromthe Latin _lingua_, “the tongue.” But the tongue is not the only organused in speaking. The lips, the teeth, the roof of the mouth, the softpalate (or uvula), the nose, and the vocal chords all help to producethe sounds of which language consists. These various organs make up onedelicate and complicated piece of mechanism upon which the breath ofthe speaker acts like that of a musician upon a clarinet or other windinstrument.

Spoken language, then, is composed of a great variety of sounds madewith the vocal organs. A word may consist of one sound (as _Ah!_ or _O_or _I_), but most words consist of two or more different sounds (as_go_, _see_, _try_, _finish_). Long or short, however, a word is merelya sign made to express thought.

Thought may be imperfectly expressed by signs made with the head, thehands, etc. Thus, if I grasp a person’s arm and point to a dog, he mayunderstand me to ask, “Do you see that dog?” And his nod in reply maystand for “Yes, I see him.” But any dialogue carried on in this waymust be both fragmentary and uncertain. To express our thoughts fully,freely, and accurately, we must use words,--that is, signs made withthe voice. Such voice-signs have had meanings associated with them bycustom or tradition, so that their sense is at once understood by all.

Their advantage is twofold: they are far more numerous and varied thanother signs; and the meanings attached to them are much more definitethan those of nods and gestures.

Written words are signs made with the pen to represent and recallto the mind the spoken words (or voice-signs). Written language(that is, composition) must, of necessity, be somewhat fuller thanspoken language, as well as more formal and exact. For the reader’sunderstanding is not assisted by the tones of the voice, the changingexpressions of the face, and the lively gestures, which help to makespoken language intelligible.

Most words are the signs of definite ideas. Thus, _Charles_, _captain_,_cat_, _mouse_, _bread_, _stone_, _cup_, _ink_, call up images orpictures of persons or things; _strike_, _dive_, _climb_, _dismount_,express particular kinds of action; _green_, _blue_, _careless_,_rocky_, _triangular_, _muscular_, enable us to describe objects withaccuracy. Even general terms like _goodness_, _truth_, _courage_,_cowardice_, _generosity_, have sufficiently precise meanings, forthey name qualities, or traits of character, with which everybody isfamiliar.

By the use of such words, even when not combined in groups, we canexpress our thoughts much more satisfactorily than by mere gestures.

The utterance of the single word “Charles!” may signify: “Hullo,Charles! are you here? I am surprised to see you.” “Bread!” may suggestto the hearer: “Give me bread! I am very hungry.” “Courage!” may bealmost equivalent to, “Don’t be down-hearted! Your troubles will soonbe over.” Language, however, is not confined to the utterance of single words.

To express our thoughts we must put words together,--we must combinethem into groups; and such groups have settled meanings (just as wordshave), established (like the meanings of single words) by the customsor habits of the particular language that we are speaking or writing.

Further, these groups are not thrown together haphazard. We mustconstruct them in accordance with certain fixed rules. Otherwise weshall fail to express ourselves clearly and acceptably, and we may evensucceed in saying the opposite of what we mean.

In constructing these groups (which we call +phrases+, +clauses+, and+sentences+) we have the aid of a large number of short words like_and_, _if_, _by_, _to_, _in_, _is_, _was_, which are very differentfrom the definite and picturesque words that we have just examined.

They do not call up distinct images in the mind, and we should findit hard to define any of them. Yet their importance in the expressionof thought is clear; for they serve to join other words together, andto show their relation to each other in those groups which make upconnected speech.

Thus, “box heavy” conveys some meaning; but “_The_ box _is_ heavy” isa clear and definite statement. _The_ shows that some particular boxis meant, and _is_ enables us to make an assertion about it. _And_, in“Charles and John are my brothers,” indicates that Charles and John areclosely connected in my thought, and that what I say of one appliesalso to the other. _If_, in “If Charles comes, I shall be glad to seehim,” connects two statements, and shows that one of them is a meresupposition (for Charles may or may not come).

In grouping words, our language has three different ways of indicatingtheir relations: (1) the forms of the words themselves; (2) theirorder; (3) the use of little words like _and_, _if_, _is_, etc.

I. +Change of form.+ Words may change their form. Thus the word _boy_becomes _boys_ when more than one is meant; _kill_ becomes _killed_when past time is referred to; _was_ becomes _were_ when we arespeaking of two or more persons or things; _fast_ becomes _faster_ whena higher degree of speed is indicated. Such change of form is called+inflection+, and the word is said to be +inflected+.

Inflection is an important means of showing the relations of wordsin connected speech. In “Henry’s racket weighs fourteen ounces,”the form _Henry’s_ shows at once the relation between Henry and theracket,--namely, that Henry owns or possesses it. The word _Henry_,then, may change its form to _Henry’s_ to indicate ownership orpossession.

II. +Order of words.+ In “John struck Charles,” the way in which thewords are arranged shows who it was that struck, and who received theblow. Change the order of words to “Charles struck John,” and themeaning is reversed. It is, then, the +order+ that shows the relationof _John_ to _struck_, and of _struck_ to _Charles_.

III. +Use of other words.+ Compare the two sentences:The train _from_ Boston has just arrived.

The train _for_ Boston has just arrived.

Here _from_ and _for_ show the relation between the _train_ and_Boston_. “The Boston train” might mean either the train _from_ Bostonor the train _for_ Boston. By using _from_ or _for_ we make the senseunmistakable.

Two matters, then, are of vital importance in language,--the forms ofwords, and the relations of words. The science which treats of thesetwo matters is called +grammar+.

+Inflection is a change in the form of a word indicating some change inits meaning.+

+The relation in which a word stands to other words in the sentence iscalled its construction.+ +Grammar is the science which treats of the forms and the constructionsof words.+

+Syntax is that department of grammar which treats of the constructionsof words.+

Grammar, then, may be said to concern itself with two mainsubjects,--inflection and syntax.

English belongs to a family of languages--the Indo-EuropeanFamily[1]--which is rich in forms of inflection. This richness maybe seen in other members of the family,--such as Greek or Latin. TheLatin word _homo_, “man,” for example, has eight different inflectionalforms,--_homo_, “a man”; _hominis_, “of a man”; _homini_, “to aman,” and so on. Thus, in Latin, the grammatical construction of aword is, in general, shown by that particular inflectional ending(or termination) which it has in any particular sentence. In theAnglo-Saxon period,[2] English was likewise well furnished with suchinflectional endings, though not so abundantly as Latin. Many of these,however, had disappeared by Chaucer’s time (1340–1400), and stillothers have since been lost, so that modern English is one of theleast inflected of languages. Such losses are not to be lamented. Bydue attention to the order of words, and by using _of_, _to_, _for_,_from_, _in_, and the like, we can express all the relations denoted bythe ancient inflections. The gain in simplicity is enormous.


Since language is the expression of thought, the rules of grammaragree, in the main, with the laws of thought. In other words, grammaris usually logical,--that is, its rules accord, in general, with theprinciples of logic, which is the science of exact reasoning.

The rules of grammar, however, do not derive their authority fromlogic, but from good usage,--that is, from the customs or habitsfollowed by educated speakers and writers. These customs, of course,differ among different nations, and every language has therefore itsown stock of peculiar constructions or turns of expression. Suchpeculiarities are called +idioms+.

Thus, in English we say, “It is I”; but in French the idiom is “C’estmoi,” which corresponds to “It is me.” Many careless speakers ofEnglish follow the French idiom in this particular, but their practicehas not yet come to be the accepted usage. Hence, though “C’est moi” iscorrect in French, we must still regard “It is me” as ungrammatical inEnglish. It would, however, become correct if it should ever be adoptedby the great majority of educated persons.

Grammar does not enact laws for the conduct of speech. Its business isto ascertain and set forth those customs of language which have thesanction of good usage. If good usage changes, the rules of grammarmust change. If two forms or constructions are in good use, thegrammarian must admit them both. Occasionally, also, there is roomfor difference of opinion. These facts, however, do not lessen theauthority of grammar in the case of any cultivated language. For insuch a language usage is so well settled in almost every particularas to enable the grammarian to say positively what is right and whatis wrong. Even in matters of divided usage, it is seldom difficult todetermine which of two forms or constructions is preferred by carefulwriters.

Every language has two standards of usage,--the colloquial andthe literary. By “colloquial language,” we mean the language ofconversation; by “literary language,” that employed in literarycomposition. Everyday colloquial English admits many words, forms,phrases, and constructions that would be out of place in a dignifiedessay. On the other hand, it is an error in taste to be always “talkinglike a book.” Unpractised speakers and writers should, however, beconservative. They should avoid, even in informal talk, any word orexpression that is of doubtful propriety. Only those who know what theyare about, can venture to take liberties. It is quite possible to becorrect without being stilted or affected.[3]Every living language is constantly changing. Words, forms, andconstructions become +obsolete+ (that is, go out of use) and otherstake their places. Consequently, one often notes in the older Englishclassics, methods of expression which, though formerly correct, areungrammatical now. Here a twofold caution is necessary. On the onehand, we must not criticise Shakspere or Chaucer for using the Englishof his own time; but, on the other hand, we must not try to defend ourown errors by appealing to ancient usage.

Examples of constructions once in good use, but no longer admissible,are: “the best of the two” (for “the better of the two”); “the mostunkindest cut of all”; “There’s two or three of us” (for _thereare_); “I have forgot the map” (for _forgotten_); “Every one of theseletters are in my name” (for _is_); “I think it be” (for _is_).

The language of poetry admits many old words, forms, and constructionsthat are no longer used in ordinary prose. These are called +archaisms+(that is, ancient expressions). Among the commonest archaisms are_thou_, _ye_, _hath_, _thinkest_, _doth_. Such forms are also common inprose, in what is known as the +solemn style+, which is modelled, ingreat part, on the language of the Bible.[4]In general, it should be remembered that the style which one usesshould be appropriate,--that is, it should fit the occasion. A shortstory and a scientific exposition will differ in style; a familiarletter will naturally shun the formalities of business or legalcorrespondence. Good style is not a necessary result of grammaticalcorrectness, but without such correctness it is, of course, impossible.


1. Language is the expression of thought by means of spoken or writtenwords.

2. Words are the signs of ideas.

Spoken words are signs made with the vocal organs; written words aresigns made with the pen to represent the spoken words.

The meanings of these signs are settled by custom or tradition in eachlanguage.

3. Most words are the signs of definite ideas: as,--_Charles_,_captain_, _cat_, _strike_, _dive_, _climb_, _triangular_, _careless_.

Other words, of less definite meaning, serve to connect the moredefinite words and to show their relations to each other in connectedspeech.

4. In the expression of thought, words are combined into groups calledphrases, clauses, and sentences.

5. The relation in which a word stands to other words in the sentenceis called its construction.

The construction of English words is shown in three ways: (1) by theirform; (2) by their order; (3) by the use of other words like _to_,_from_, _is_, etc.

6. Inflection is a change in the form of a word indicating some changein its meaning: as,--_boy_, _boy’s_; _man_, _men_; _drink_, _drank_.

7. Grammar is the science which treats of the forms and theconstructions of words.

Syntax is that department of grammar which treats of the constructionsof words.

8. The rules of grammar derive their authority from good usage,--thatis, from the customs or habits followed by educated speakers andwriters.




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


+1.+ +A sentence is a group of words which expresses a completethought.+

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 slovenlylanguage.

Some of these sentences are short, expressing a very simple thought;others are comparatively long, because the thought is more complicatedand therefore requires more words for its expression. But every oneof them, whether short or long, is complete in itself. It comes to adefinite 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 thatis spoken of; the predicate is that which is said of the subject.+Thus, in the first example in § 1, the subject is _fire_ and thepredicate is _burns_. In the third, the subject is _rain_; thepredicate, _is falling_. In the last, the subject is _a man whorespects himself_; the predicate, _should never condescend to useslovenly language_.

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

+3.+ +Sentences may be declarative, interrogative, imperative, orexclamatory.+

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 otheremotion 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 almostalways omitted, because it is +understood+ by both speaker and hearerwithout being expressed.

Such omitted words, which are present (_in idea_) to the minds ofboth speaker and hearer, are said to be “understood.” Thus, in “Openthe window,” the subject is “_you_ (understood).” If expressed, thesubject would be emphatic: as,--“_You_ open the window.”+5.+ The subject of a sentence commonly precedes the predicate, butsometimes 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 inthe +inverted order+. This order is especially common in interrogativesentences.

Where is your boat?

When was your last birthday?

Whither wander you?--SHAKSPERE.


+6.+ If we examine the words in any sentence, we observe that they havedifferent 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 thoughtbetween _forest_ and _roamed_; _the_ +limits+ the meaning of _forest_,showing that one particular forest is meant. Thus each of these wordshas its +special office+ (or +function+) +in the sentence+.

+7.+ +In accordance with their use in the sentence, words aredivided into eight classes called parts of speech,--namely, nouns,pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, andinterjections.+ 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.


+9.+ +A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. It designates aperson, place, or thing without naming it.+ In “_I_ am ready,” the pronoun _I_ is a convenient substitute forthe speaker’s name. In “_You_ have forgotten _your_ umbrella,”the pronouns _you_ and _your_ designate the person to whom one isspeaking.

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 differencebetween them is merely that the noun designates a person, place, orthing 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 itsantecedent.+

_Frank_ introduced the boys to _his_ father. [_Frank_ is theantecedent 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 asubstantive.+[5]

This it usually does by indicating some quality.

+An adjective is said to belong to the substantive which it describesor limits.+

+13.+ An adjective limits a substantive by restricting the range of itsmeaning.

The noun _box_, for example, includes a great variety of objects. Ifwe say _wooden_ box, we exclude boxes of metal, of paper, etc. If weuse a second adjective (_small_) and a third (_square_), we limit thesize and the shape of the box.

Most adjectives (like _wooden_, _square_, and _small_) +describe+ aswell as limit. Such words are called +descriptive adjectives+.

We may, however, limit the noun _box_ to a single specimen by means ofthe adjective _this_ or _that_ or _the_, which does not +describe+, butsimply points out, or +designates+. Such words are called +definitiveadjectives+.[6] 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 makean 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 verbsto 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,” theauxiliaries _might_ and _have_ help _invited_ to express action thatwas +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 inconnection with the inflection of verbs.

The auxiliary verb regularly comes first in a verb-phrase, and may beseparated 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 beused to frame sentences in which some word or words in the predicatedescribe 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 thesubject (_gold_) in such a way that _a metal_ serves as a descriptionor definition of _gold_.

In sentences 4–7, _becomes_, _seemed_, _proved_, and _grows_ aresimilarly used.

In such sentences _is_ and other verbs that are used for the samepurpose 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_.[8]V. ADVERBS +18.+ +An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an adjective, oranother adverb.+

To +modify+ a word is to change or affect its meaning in some way.

Thus in “The river fell _rapidly_,” the adverb _rapidly_ modifiesthe 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 whatdegree or extent?” +19.+ Observe that adverbs modify verbs in much the same way in whichadjectives modify nouns.


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 ofanother word is called a modifier.+ Adjectives and adverbs, then, are both +modifiers+. Adjectives modifysubstantives; adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.


+20.+ +A preposition is a word placed before a substantive to show itsrelation 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_ isthe object of the preposition _of_, and _river_ is the object of thepreposition _on_.

+21.+ A preposition often has more than one object.

Over _hill_ and _dale_ he ran.

He was filled with _shame_ and _despair_.


+22.+ +A conjunction connects words or groups of words.+A conjunction differs from a preposition in having no object, and inindicating 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_ youare afraid,” “I came _because_ you sent for me,” “Take my key, _but_do not lose it,” “Sweep the floor _and_ dust the furniture,” eachconjunction connects the entire group of words preceding it with theentire group following it.


+23.+ +An interjection is a cry or other exclamatory sound expressingsurprise, anger, pleasure, or some other emotion or feeling.+Interjections usually have no grammatical connection with the groups ofwords 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 ofspeech it belongs.+ +The same word may be sometimes one part of speech, sometimes another.+Words of entirely separate origin, meaning, and use sometimes look andsound alike: as in “The minstrel sang a plaintive _lay_,” and “He _lay_on the ground.” But the following examples (§ 25) show that the sameword may have more than one kind of grammatical office (or function).

It is the +meaning+ which we give to a word +in the sentence+ thatdetermines its classification as a part of speech.

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


NOUNS                        ADJECTIVES

_Rubber_ comes from South    This wheel has a _rubber_ tire.


That _brick_ is yellow.      Here is a _brick_ house.

The _rich_ have a grave      A _rich_ merchant lives here.


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


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.


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, see § 191.


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, see pp. 62–65.


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_.


+26.+ Two classes of verb-forms illustrate in a striking way the factthat the same word may belong to different parts of speech; for theyreally belong to two different parts of speech at one and the sametime. These are the +infinitive+ (which is both +verb+ and +noun+) andthe +participle+ (which is both +verb+ and +adjective+).

+27.+ Examples of the +infinitive+ may be seen in the followingsentences:

_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 thesentence, and (2) the noun _effort_ or _exertion_ might be put inthe place of _to struggle_. Similarly, the noun _escape_ might besubstituted for _to escape_; and, in the third sentence, _regularexercise_ (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 (_toexercise_) is modified by an adverb (_regularly_). Such forms,therefore, are noun-forms of the verb. They are classed with verbs, andare called +infinitives+.

+28.+ +The infinitive is a verb-form which partakes of the nature of anoun. It is commonly preceded by the preposition _to_, which is calledthe sign of the infinitive.+ +29.+ The infinitive without _to_ is used in a great variety ofverb-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 beseen by comparing the following sentences:--“I intend _to go_,” “Johnis sure _to win_,” “Mary is permitted _to recite_,” “Jack is able _toswim_.” +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 bothexpress action, and _sinking_ is modified by the adverb _slowly_. But_shattered_ and _sinking_ have also the nature of +adjectives+, forthey are used to describe the noun _frigate_. Such words, then, areadjective forms of the verb. They are classed as verbs, and are called+participles+, because they share (or participate in) the nature ofadjectives.

+31.+ +The participle is a verb-form which has no subject, but whichpartakes of the nature of an adjective and expresses action or state insuch a way as to describe or limit a substantive.+A participle is said to +belong to+ the substantive which it describesor 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 severaldifferent endings, which will be studied in connection with theinflection of verbs (§ 334).

+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 justifiesone in classifying each as a distinct part of speech (so as to maketen parts of speech instead of eight). But it is more convenient toinclude them under the head of verbs, in accordance with the usualpractice.


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

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

Substantives enable us to +name or designate+ persons, places, orthings, and verbs enable us to +make statements+ about them. Bothsubstantives and verbs, then, are absolutely necessary in framingsentences. Without a substantive, there can be no +subject+; without averb, 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 andverbs. Their function is to +modify+ other parts of speech, that is, tochange their meaning in some way. Thus adjectives modify substantives(by describing or limiting), and adverbs usually modify verbs (byindicating _how_, _when_, or _where_ the action took place). Withoutsubstantives, there would be no use for adjectives; without verbs,there would be little use for adverbs.

+Prepositions+ and +conjunctions+ are also less important thansubstantives and verbs. Their office is to connect and to showrelation. Of course, there would be no place for connectives if therewere nothing to connect.

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

+35.+ A sentence may consist of but two words,--a noun or pronoun (thesubject) and a verb (the predicate). Thus,Charles | swims.

Commonly, however, either the subject or the predicate, or both, willcontain 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 actionis performed. The subject noun (_Charles_) and the predicate verb(_swims_) are the chief words in the sentence, for neither could beomitted without destroying it. They form, so to speak, the frame orskeleton of the whole. Either of the two modifiers, the adjective orthe adverb, or both, might be omitted, without destroying the sentence;for this would still exist as the expression of a thought (_Charlesswims_), though the thought would be less definite and exact than it iswhen 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 itsmeaning, forms the complete subject.+ +The simple predicate, with such words as explain or complete itsmeaning, 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 +simplesubject+ 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 infavor of the Governor General.

_Salutes_ | _were fired_ from the batteries.

The _Clives_ | _had been settled_ ever since the twelfth century onan 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 +compoundsubject+, and two or more simple predicates to make one +compoundpredicate+.

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 inconfusion.

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 progressdifficult.

+38.+ +A compound subject or predicate consists of two or more simplesubjects or predicates, joined, when necessary, by conjunctions.++Either the subject or the predicate, or both, may be compound.+In the first example in § 37, two simple subjects (_Charles_ and_Henry_) are joined by the conjunction _and_ to make a compoundsubject. In the fourth, four substantives (_hats_, _caps_, _boots_,_gloves_) form a series in which the last two are joined by _and_. Inthe fifth, sixth, and seventh, the predicates are compound; in theeighth, both the subject and the predicate.

+39.+ The following conjunctions may be used to join the members of acompound subject or predicate: _and_ (_both_ ... _and_), _or_ (_either_... _or_; _whether_ ... _or_), _nor_ (_neither_ ... _nor_).



+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_), andmodifies _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 apredicate, 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 § 40, _The Father of Waters_ is a noun-phrase;_with blue eyes_, an adjective phrase; _at the window_, an adverbialphrase; _are looking_, a verb-phrase.

+42.+ Many adjective and adverbial phrases consist of a +prepositionand 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 itsobject, with or without other words, may be called prepositionalphrases.+ CLAUSES--COMPOUND AND COMPLEX SENTENCES

+43.+ Phrases must be carefully distinguished from +clauses+. Thedifference is that a clause contains a subject and a predicate and aphrase does not.

+44.+ +A clause is a group of words that forms part of a sentence andthat 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 betweenthe clauses in the first sentence is very different from that betweenthe clauses in the second.

In the first example, each of the two clauses makes a separateand distinct statement, and might stand by itself as a simplesentence,--that is, as a sentence having but one subject and onepredicate. These clauses are joined by the conjunction _and_, which isnot a part of either. No doubt the speaker feels that there is somerelation in thought between the two statements, or he would not haveput them together as clauses in the same sentence. But there is nothingin the form of expression to show what that relation is. In otherwords, the two clauses are grammatically +independent+, for neither ofthem modifies (or affects the meaning of) the other. The clauses aretherefore said to be +coördinate+,--that is, of the same “order” orrank, and the sentence is called +compound+.

In the second example, on the contrary, the relation between the twoclauses is indicated with precision. One clause (_the train started_)makes the main statement,--it expresses the chief fact. Hence it iscalled the +main+ (or +principal+) +clause+. The other clause (_whenthe bell rang_) is added because the speaker wishes to +modify+ themain 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 thatof an adverb (_promptly_) or an adverbial phrase (_on the stroke of thebell_). For this purpose alone it exists, and not as an independentstatement. 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. Whenthus constructed, a sentence is said to be +complex+.

+45.+ An ordinary +compound sentence+ (as we have seen in § 44) is madeby joining two or more simple sentences, each of which thus becomes an+independent coördinate clause+.

In the same way we may join two or more +complex sentences+, using themas clauses to make one compound sentence:The train started when the bell rang, | and | Tom watched until thelast car disappeared.

This sentence is manifestly +compound+, for it consists of two+coördinate clauses+ (_the train started when the bell rang_; _Tomwatched until the last car disappeared_) joined by _and_. Each of thesetwo clauses is itself +complex+, for each could stand by itself as acomplex sentence.

Similarly, a +complex+ and a +simple+ sentence may be joined ascoördinate clauses to make a compound sentence.

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

Such a sentence, which is +compound in its structure+, but in which oneor more of the coördinate clauses are +complex+, is called a +compoundcomplex sentence+.[9] +46.+ +A clause is a group of words that forms part of a sentence andthat contains a subject and a predicate.+ +A clause used as a part of speech is called a subordinate clause. Allother clauses are said to be independent.+ +Clauses of the same order or rank are said to be coördinate.++Sentences may be simple, compound, or complex.+1. +A simple sentence has but one subject and one predicate, either orboth of which may be compound.+ 2. +A compound sentence consists of two or more independent coördinateclauses, which may or may not be joined by conjunctions.+3. +A complex sentence consists of two or more clauses, one of which isindependent and the rest subordinate.+ +A compound sentence in which one or more of the coördinate clauses arecomplex 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. [Bothsubject and predicate are compound.] II. COMPOUND SENTENCES

Shakspere was born in 1564; he died in 1616. [Two coördinate clauses;no conjunction.]

A rifle cracked, and the wolf fell dead. [Two clauses joined by theconjunction _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 improvedit. [Two clauses joined by _but_.] Either you have neglected to write or your letter has failed to reachme. [Two clauses joined by _either_ ... _or_.]The following conjunctions may be used to join coördinate clauses:_and_ (_both_ ... _and_), _or_ (_either_ ... _or_), _nor_ (_neither_... _nor_), _but_, _for_.


Examples will be found in §§ 48–50.


+47.+ +Subordinate clauses+, like phrases, are used as +parts ofspeech+. They serve as substitutes for +nouns+, for +adjectives+, orfor +adverbs+.

1. +A subordinate clause that is used as a noun is called a noun (orsubstantive) clause.+ 2. +A subordinate clause that modifies a substantive is called anadjective clause.+

3. +A subordinate clause that serves as an adverbial modifier is calledan 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 itis more fully expressed. In the first sentence, the subject is thenoun _success_; in the second, the subject is the noun clause, _thatwe should succeed in this plan_. This clause is introduced by theconjunction _that_; the simple subject of the clause is the pronoun_we_, and the simple predicate is the verb-phrase _should succeed_. Thefirst 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 useof (1) an +adjective+, (2) an +adjective phrase+, (3) an +adjectiveclause+, as a modifier of the subject noun.

{An _honorable_ man | A man _of honor_ | A man _who values hishonor_} will not lie.

{A _seasonable_ word | A word _in season_ | A word _that is spoken atthe right moment_} may save a soul.

{My _native_ land | The land _of my birth_ | The land _where I wasborn_} 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 theuse of (1) an +adverb+, (2) an +adverbial phrase+, (3) an +adverbialclause+, 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 seethat elm_.} The game began {_punctually_. | _on the stroke of one_. | _when theclock 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. ThoughEnglish has a huge stock of words, it cannot provide a separate nounor adjective or adverb for every idea. By grouping words, however, inphrases and clauses we, in effect, make a great variety of new nouns,adjectives, and adverbs, each precisely fitted to the needs of themoment in the expression of thought.



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, orexclamatory.

(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 otheremotion in the form of an exclamation or cry.

A declarative, an interrogative, or an imperative sentence may also beexclamatory.


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

The subject of a sentence designates the person, place, or thing thatis 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 itsmeaning, forms the complete subject.

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

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

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


9. In accordance with their use in the sentence, words are dividedinto eight classes called parts of speech,--namely, nouns, pronouns,adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, andinterjections.

(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 orlimits.

An adjective which describes is called a descriptive adjective; onewhich 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 expressaction or state of some particular kind.

_Is_ (in its various forms) and several other verbs may be used toframe sentences in which some word or words in the predicate describeor define the subject. In such sentences, _is_ and other verbs that areused for the same purpose are called copulative (that is, “joining”)verbs.

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

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

Adjectives and adverbs are both modifiers.

(6) A preposition is a word placed before a substantive to show itsrelation 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 expressingsurprise, anger, pleasure, or some other emotion or feeling.

10. The meaning of a word in the sentence determines to what part ofspeech 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 anoun. It is commonly preceded by the preposition _to_, which is calledthe sign of the infinitive.

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

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

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



13. A group of connected words, not containing a subject and apredicate, 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 andits object, with or without other words, may be called prepositionalphrases.


15. A clause is a group of words that forms part of a sentence and thatcontains 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 coördinate.

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

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

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

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

A compound sentence in which one or more of the coördinate clauses arecomplex 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 (orsubstantive) clause.

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

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





+52.+ +Inflection is a change of form in a word indicating some changein 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 thequality; or to _largest_, _happiest_, _best_, to denote the highestdegree.

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 ofa final letter or syllable (_dog_, _dogs_; _look_, _looked_), (2) bythe substitution of one letter for another (_man_, _men_), or (3) by acomplete change of form (_good_, _better_, _best_).

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

NOTE. Some forms which we regard as due to inflection are reallydistinct 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 thehead of inflection.

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


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_)


Comparison { Positive Degree

{ Comparative Degree

{ Superlative Degree


Number { Singular }

{ Plural   }

} _Verb agrees with Subject_

Person { 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)



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 commonnouns.+ 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 classof 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 beginwith 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 thinkof one particular person, whom we are calling by his own name. Whenwe say _man_, on the contrary, we are not calling any single personby name: we are using a noun which applies, in common, to all themembers 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 particularname 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 whichare perhaps ordinarily used as other parts of speech.

EXAMPLES: James Russell Lowell, Washington Elm, Eiffel Tower, Firthof 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 (§ 41); but, sinceall are particular names, they may be regarded as proper nouns.

+58.+ A proper noun becomes a common noun when used as a name that maybe 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 aspecial 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 qualityor emotion is sometimes regarded as a person.

This usage is called +personification+, and the object, animal, orquality 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 isusually written with a capital letter.

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


+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, SeniorClass, School Board.

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

They believe in _fraternity_. [Abstract.]

The student joined a _fraternity_. [Collective.]+63.+ Abstract nouns are usually common, but become proper when thequality or idea is personified (§ 60).

Collective nouns may be either proper or common.

+64.+ +A noun consisting of two or more words united is called acompound 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, insurancecompany; (2) proper nouns,--Johnson, Williamson, Cooperstown,Louisville, Holywood, Elk-horn, Auburndale, Stratford-on-Avon, LowellJunction.

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

NOTE. The first part of a compound noun usually limits the secondafter the manner of an adjective. Indeed, many expressions may beregarded either (1) as compounds or (2) as phrases containing anadjective and a noun. Thus _railway conductor_ may be taken as acompound noun, or as a noun (_conductor_) limited by an adjective(_railway_).


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

1. +Gender is distinction according to sex.+2. +Number is that property of substantives which shows whether theyindicate one person or thing or more than one.+3. +Person is that property of substantives which shows whether theydesignate (1) the speaker, (2) the person spoken to, or (3) the personor thing spoken of.+ 4. +Substantives have inflections of case to indicate their grammaticalrelations to verbs, to prepositions, or to other substantives.+These four properties of substantives are included under inflectionfor convenience. In strictness, however, nouns are inflected fornumber and case only. Gender is shown in various ways,--usually bythe meaning of the noun or by the use of some pronoun. Person isindicated by the sense, by the pronouns used, and by the form of theverb.


+66.+ +Gender is distinction according to sex.++Nouns and pronouns may be of the masculine, the feminine, or theneuter 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 femininegender.+

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 theneuter gender.+

EXAMPLES: pencil, light, water, star, book, dust, leaf, it.

A noun or pronoun which is sometimes masculine and sometimes feminineis 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 itstands 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+ (§ 60).

Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams

The blue Mediterranean.--SHELLEY.

Stern daughter of the Voice of God!


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, itis customary to use _she_ and _her_. In like manner, _he_ is used inspeaking of the sun and of most animals, without reference to sex,although _it_ often designates an insect or other small creature, andeven 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 theanimal 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 beused in such a sentence as, “I have a dog _who_ loves children.”+70.+ The +gender+ of masculine and of feminine nouns may be shown invarious ways.

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


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[10]

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


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. Theending _ess_ is not so common as formerly. Usage favors _proprietor_,_author_, _editor_, etc., even for the feminine (rather than theharsher forms _proprietress_, _authoress_, _editress_), wheneverthere 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 indicategender.

EXAMPLES: manservant, maidservant; mother bird; cock sparrow, hensparrow; boy friend, girl friend; he-wolf, she-wolf.

6. The gender of a noun may be indicated by some accompanying part ofspeech, 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 oftenregarded as inflections. In reality, however, the masculine and thefeminine are different words. Thus, _baroness_ is not an inflectionalform of _baron_, but a distinct noun, made from _baron_ by addingthe ending _ess_, precisely as _barony_ and _baronage_ are made from_baron_ by adding the endings _y_ and _age_. The process is ratherthat of +derivation+ or noun-formation than that of inflection.


+71.+ +Number is that property of substantives which shows whether theyindicate 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. Theplural number denotes more than one person, place, or thing.++72.+ +Most nouns form the plural number by adding _s_ or _es_ to thesingular.+ EXAMPLES: mat, mats; wave, waves; problem, problems; bough, boughs;John, Johns; nurse, nurses; tense, tenses; bench, benches; dish,dishes; class, classes; fox, foxes.


1. If the singular ends in _s_, _x_, _z_, _ch_, or _sh_, the pluralending 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 theending _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 formtheir plural in _s_:banjo






















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

1. Nouns ending in _y_ preceded by a consonant change _y_ to _i_ andadd _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 wordsending 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 pluralsregularly: as,--_Germans_, _Mussulmans_. _Norman_ also forms itsplural 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 twoplurals:--“six thousand _years_,” “twelve _year_ since.”+77.+ A few nouns have two plurals, but usually with some difference inmeaning.


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 usuallytakes 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, andwords 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:[12]SINGULAR               PLURAL alumna (feminine)      alumnæ

alumnus (masculine)    alumni

amanuensis             amanuenses

analysis               analyses

animalculum            animalcula[13]

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              { formulæ

{ formulas

genius               { genii

{ geniuses

genus                  genera

gymnasium            { gymnasia

{ gymnasiums

hippopotamus           hippopotami

hypothesis             hypotheses

larva                  larvæ

memorandum           { memoranda

{ memorandums

nebula                 nebulæ

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               vertebræ

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_[14]). Thename 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 notbe used in a formal invitation or reply, or in addressing a letter.

4. The plural of _Master_ is _Masters_. The name remains in thesingular. Thus,--

_Master Jackson_, plural _the Masters Jackson_.

Other titles usually remain in the singular, the name taking theplural form: as,--_the two General Follansbys_. But when two or morenames follow, the title becomes plural: as,--_Generals Rolfe andJohnson_.

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

Such are many names of qualities (as _cheerfulness_, _mirth_), ofsciences (as _chemistry_[15]), of forces (as _gravitation_).

Many nouns, commonly used in the singular only, may take a plural insome 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 _smallpocks_), 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 itboth as a singular and as a plural. Thus,--“_This news_ was broughtto Richard” (_King John_, v. 3. 12); “But wherefore do I tell _thesenews_ to thee?” (_1 Henry IV_, iii. 2. 121). In a few words modernusage varies. The following nouns are sometimes singular, sometimesplural: _alms_, _amends_, _bellows_, _means_, _pains_ (in the senseof “effort”), _tidings_.


+85.+ +Person is that property of substantives which shows whether theydenote (1) the speaker, (2) the person spoken to, or (3) the personspoken of.+ +A substantive is in the first person when it denotes the speaker, inthe second person when it denotes the person spoken to, in the thirdperson 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 withits form, but is indicated by the sense or connection; (2) that certainpronouns denote person with precision. Thus, _I_ is always of the firstperson; _you_ of the second; and _he_ of the third. These personalpronouns will be treated in Chapter III.


+86.+ +Substantives have inflections of case to indicate theirgrammatical relations to verbs, to prepositions, or to othersubstantives.+ 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 inform. In some pronouns, however, there is a difference (as,--_I_, _me_;_he_, _him_).


+87.+ The inflection of a substantive is called its +declension+. To+decline+ a noun is to give its case-forms in order, first in thesingular number and then in the plural. Thus,SINGULAR _Nominative_    boy        horse      fly       chimney_Possessive_    boy’s      horse’s    fly’s     chimney’s_Objective_     boy        horse      fly       chimneyPLURAL _Nominative_    boys       horses     flies     chimneys_Possessive_    boys’      horses’    flies’    chimneys’_Objective_     boys       horses     flies     chimneysSINGULAR _Nominative_    calf       lass       man       deer_Possessive_    calf’s     lass’s     man’s     deer’s_Objective_     calf       lass       man       deerPLURAL _Nominative_    calves     lasses     men       deer_Possessive_    calves’    lasses’    men’s     deer’s_Objective_     calves     lasses     men       deerNOMINATIVE CASE +88.+ The +nominative case+ is used in the following constructions:(1) the subject, (2) the predicate nominative, (3) the vocative, (ornominative 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 completesubject is _the boy’s face_. In the fourth, _men_ is the simplesubject; 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 definingthe subject, agrees with the subject in case and is called a predicatenominative.+ 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 particularlyimportant with respect to pronouns (§ 119).

I am _he_.    Are you _she_?

It is _I_.    It was _we_ who did it.

The predicate nominative is commonest after the copula _is_ (inits various forms). It will be further studied in connection withintransitive and passive verbs (§§ 214, 252).

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 +nominativeby 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 directaddress+, because it stands by itself, unconnected with any verb.

That a vocative is really in the nominative case may be seen in theuse of the pronoun _thou_ in this construction: as,--I will arrestthee, _thou_ traitor (see § 115).

4. +A substantive used as an exclamation is called an exclamatorynominative (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 asinterjections (§ 375).

5. +A substantive added to another substantive to explain it andsignifying the same person or thing, is called an appositive and issaid 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 thenominative 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_. [Appositionwith predicate nominative.] NOTE. _Apposition_ means “attachment”; _appositive_ means “attachednoun or pronoun.” An appositive modifies the noun with which itis in apposition much as an adjective might do (compare “Balboa,a _Spaniard_” with “_Spanish_ Balboa”). Hence it is classed as anadjective modifier.


+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 itis attached as an adjective might do. Hence it is classed as anadjective 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 thepossessive 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, thechildren’s hour.

NOTE. In older English the possessive of most nouns was written aswell 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_. Theuse of an apostrophe in the possessive is a comparatively moderndevice, due to a misunderstanding. Scholars at one time thought the_s_ of the possessive a fragment of the pronoun _his_; that is, theytook such a phrase as _George’s book_ for a contraction of _Georgehis book_. Hence they used the apostrophe before _s_ to signifythe supposed omission of part of the word _his_. Similarly, in thepossessive plural, there was thought to be an omission of a final_es_; that is, such a phrase as _the horses’ heads_ was thought to bea contraction of the _horseses_ heads. Both these errors have longbeen exploded.

+91.+ Nouns like _sheep_ and _deer_, which have the same form in boththe singular and the plural, usually take _’s_ in the possessive plural.

Thus, _the deer’s tracks_ would be written, whether one deer or morewere meant.


1. Monosyllabic nouns ending in _s_ or an _s_-sound usually make theirpossessive 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. Therule accords with the best usage; but it is not absolute, for usagevaries. Hence forms like _Charles’_ and _Wells’_ cannot be condemnedas positively wrong, though _Charles’s_ and _Wells’s_ are preferable.

In speaking, the shorter form is often ambiguous, for there is nodifference 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, andnot accented on the last syllable, may make their possessive singularby adding _’s_, or may take no ending in the possessive.

In the latter case, an apostrophe is added in writing, but in soundthere 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 mustoften use the longer form to prevent ambiguity; for _Williams’_ and_William’s_, _Roberts’_ and _Robert’s_, _Robbins’_ and _Robin’s_, areindistinguishable in sound.

NOTE. Nouns of two or more syllables ending in _s_ or an _s_-soundand 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 ofcourse be added in the possessive. Thus,--_Descartes’s_ philosophy(pronounced _Daycárt’s_).

Use of the Possessive Case

+93.+[16] Possession may be denoted by a phrase with _of_ as well as bythe possessive case. The distinction between the two forms cannot bebrought under rigid rules, but the following suggestions will be of use.

I. In older English and in poetry the possessive case of nouns isfreely used, but in modern prose it is rare unless the possessor is aliving 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 _NewYork_” (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 orharshness: as,--“the jewels _of the ladies_” (rather than “the_ladies’_ jewels”)[17], “the wings _of the geese_” (rather than “the_geese’s_ wings”).

2. With nouns denoting a quality, an act, or the like, either thepossessive or the _of_-phrase is proper: as,--“_John’s_ generosity,”or “the generosity _of John_”; “_John’s_ condition,” or “thecondition _of John_”; “the _guide’s_ efforts,” or “the efforts _ofthe guide_”; “_Cæsar’s_ death,” or “the death _of Cæsar_.”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,” forexample, 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_ andits object.

(1) The earth’s surface, the sun’s rays, the moon’s reflection, thepit’s mouth, a rope’s end, his journey’s end, at his wit’s end, theship’s keel, the water’s edge, the cannon’s mouth, out of harm’sway, 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, astone’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.), thepossessive 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 inexpressions 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, see § 115. For the use of_whose_, see § 152.

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

Brown, Jones, and Richardson’s factories. [Brown, Jones, andRichardson are partners.] It is George and William’s turn to take the boat. [George and Williamare 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 individualhad a factory of his own; and “George’s and William’s answers werecorrect,” if each boy answered independently of the other.

+95.+ In +compound nouns+ the last part takes the possessive sign. Soalso 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; thelady-in-waiting’s duties; the coal dealer’s prices; Edward VII’sreign; the King of England’s portrait; half a year’s delay; in threeor four months’ time; a cable and a half’s length; the pleasure ofMajor Pendennis and Mr. Arthur Pendennis’s company (THACKERAY).

NOTE. Noun-phrases often contain two substantives, the second ofwhich is in apposition with the first. In such phrases, _of_ isgenerally preferable to the possessive. Thus, we may say either “Tomthe blacksmith’s daughter” or “the daughter of Tom the blacksmith”;but “the son of Mr. Hill the carpenter” is both neater and clearerthan “Mr. Hill the carpenter’s son.” The use of _’s_ is also avoidedwith a very long phrase like “the owner of the house on the otherside of the street.” An objective may stand in apposition with a possessive, the latterbeing equivalent to _of_ with an object. Thus,--“I am not yet ofPercy’s mind [= of the mind of Percy], the _Hotspur_ of the North”(SHAKSPERE).

+96.+ The noun denoting the object possessed is often omitted when itmay 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_. (See § 122.)

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 anextension of this construction by analogy. See § 122.


+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 (§§20–21).

+98.+ The +object of a verb+ may be (1) the direct object, (2) thepredicate 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 (§ 109), (6) in appositionwith another objective (§ 110), and (7) as the subject of an infinitive(§ 111).

1. Direct Object

+99.+ +Some verbs may be followed by a substantive denoting that whichreceives the action or is produced by it. These are called transitiveverbs. All other verbs are called intransitive.+1. That man _struck_ my _dog_.

2. The arrow _hit_ the _target_.

3. Cæsar _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 +receiverof the action+. Thus, in the first sentence, the _dog_ receives theblow; in the second, the _target_ receives the action of hitting. InNos. 5–7, the verb is followed by a noun denoting the +product+ of theaction. For example, the _corn_ is +produced+ by the action expressedby the verb _raises_.

In each example, the noun that follows the verb +completes the sense+of the verb. “That man _struck_ ----.” “Struck _whom_?” “He struckthe _dog_.” Until _dog_ is added the sense of the verb _struck_ isincomplete.

+100.+ +A substantive that completes the meaning of a transitive verbis called its direct object, and is said to be in the objective case.+Thus, in the examples above, _dog_ is the direct object of thetransitive verb _struck_; _target_ is the direct object of_hit_,--and so on. Each of these nouns is therefore in the +objectivecase+.

+The direct object is often called the object complement, or theobject 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 § 99. We observe that the verbs(unlike those in § 99) admit no object, since their meaning is completewithout the addition of any noun to denote the receiver or productof 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+ (§ 88, 2) must not be confused withthe +direct object+. They resemble each other in two particulars: (1)both stand in the predicate, and (2) both complete the meaning of theverb. But they differ utterly in their relation to the subject of thesentence. ForThe +predicate nominative+ describes or defines the +subject+. Henceboth 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 thecontrary, it designates that upon which the subject acts. Hence the twosubstantives regularly[18] 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 thepredicate verb (§ 483).

+103.+ A verb of _asking_ sometimes takes +two direct objects+, onedenoting 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, whichcompletes 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 orthe 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 towardwhich is directed the action expressed by the rest of the predicate.+DIRECT OBJECT ONLY        DIRECT OBJECT AND INDIRECT OBJECTDick 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 thefollowing 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 theindirect object without changing the sense.+Since the indirect object is equivalent to an adverbial phrase, it isclassed as a modifier of the verb.

Thus, in “Dick sold _John_ his bicycle,” _John_ is an adverbialmodifier of the predicate verb _sold_.

The indirect object is sometimes used without a direct objectexpressed. 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 ofthe indirect object. But the two constructions differ widely insense, and should be carefully distinguished. To do an act _to_ aperson 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 thisconstruction 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 similarto the indirect object (§ 105). The nature of the construction may beseen (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 theobjective after _like_, _unlike_, and _near_ are all survivals of olddative constructions. Besides the case of the direct object (oftencalled +accusative+), English once had a case (called the +dative+)which meant _to_ or _for_ [somebody or something]. The dative case iseasily distinguished in Greek, Latin, and German, but in English ithas long been merged in form with the ordinary objective.

4. Cognate Object

+108.+ +A verb that is regularly intransitive sometimes takes as objecta noun whose meaning closely resembles its own.++A noun in this construction is called the cognate object of the verband 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 objectrepeats the idea of the verb, often with some modification, andmay be classed as an adverbial modifier. Its difference from thedirect 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, see § 120.

5. Adverbial Objective

+109.+ +A noun, or a phrase consisting of a noun and its modifiers, maybe 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 ormodifiers forms an +adverbial phrase+ (§ 41).

6. Objective in Apposition

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

Yesterday I saw Williams the _expressman_. [Apposition with thedirect object of _saw_.] Tom gave his friend _John_ a book. [Apposition with the indirectobject _friend_.]

He lives with Andrews the _blacksmith_. [Apposition with the objectof the preposition _with_.] This rule follows from the general principle that an appositive is inthe same case as the substantive to which it is attached (§ 88, 5).

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 theinfinitive (§ 325).


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

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


1. Frank shot a wolf.

_Frank_ is a proper noun of the masculine gender, in the singularnumber and third person. It is in the nominative case, because it isthe 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 theobjective case, because it is the object [or direct object] of thetransitive verb _shot_.

2. Jane, come here.

_Jane_ is a proper noun of the feminine gender, in the singularnumber and second person. It is in the nominative case, being used asa vocative (or in direct address).

3. The rope is fifteen feet long.

_Feet_ is a common noun of the neuter gender, in the plural numberand third person. It is in the objective case, being used as anadverbial modifier of the adjective _long_.

4. Edgar’s boat is a sloop.

_Edgar’s_ is a proper noun of the masculine gender, in the singularnumber and third person. It is in the possessive case, modifying thenoun _boat_.



+113.+ +A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. It designates aperson, 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, andperson+ (§ 11).

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+.


+115.+ +The personal pronouns serve to distinguish (1) the speaker, (2)the person spoken to, and (3) the person, place, or thing spoken of+ (§85).

They are declined as follows:--


SINGULAR                        PLURAL

_Nominative_    I               _Nominative_    we_Possessive_    my _or_ mine    _Possessive_    our _or_ ours_Objective_     me              _Objective_     usTHE 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_ yeTHE 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            themUnlike nouns, most of the personal pronouns have distinct forms for thenominative and the objective.

NOTE. The possessive case of personal pronouns never has theapostrophe. Thus,--_its_, _yours_, _theirs_.

The form _it’s_ is proper only as a contraction of _it is_.


+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. Theneuter use lasted until the seventeenth century. Thus,That same eye whose bend doth awe the world Did lose _his_ lustre.--SHAKSPERE, _Julius Cæsar_, i. 2. 123.

+117.+ _Thou_, _thy_, _thine_, _thee_, and _ye_ are old forms stillfound in poetry and the solemn style.

In ordinary prose, _you_, _your_, and _yours_ are the only forms usedfor the second person, whether singular or plural. Yet _you_, even whendenoting a single person, always takes the verb-forms that go withplural subjects. Thus,My friend, _you were_ [NOT _was_] in error.

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

NOTE. Members of the Society of Friends (commonly called Quakers) andof some other religious bodies use _thee_ and _thy_ in their ordinaryconversation.

_Ye_ was formerly the regular nominative plural, and _you_ theobjective; but the forms were afterwards confused. _Ye_ has gone outof use except in poetry and the solemn style, and _you_ is now theregular form for both nominative and objective.

Where an objective form _ye_ is found printed instead of _you_ (asoften in Shakspere,--“A southwest blow on _ye_”), it represents anindistinct pronunciation of _you_ rather than the old nominative_ye_. This indistinct sound may still be heard in rapid or carelessspeech (“I’ll tell yer the truth”).

_Ye_ as an abbreviation for _the_ (as in “_ye_ old town”) has nothingto do with the pronoun _ye_. The _y_ simply stands for the characterþ (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 insteadof _I_, _my_, and _me_, because the writer represents the wholeeditorial staff. This practice should not be followed in ordinarycomposition.

A sovereign ruler may use _we_, _our_, and _us_ when speakingof himself in proclamations and other formal documents. Thisconstruction 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 Cæsar_) is not a contraction of _them_, but of_hem_, an old objective plural of _he_.



+119.+ +Nominative constructions+ of the personal pronouns are the sameas those of nouns (§ 88).

_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+, see § 345.

Care must be taken not to use an objective form when a predicatenominative 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 isthought of. In this use, _it_ is said to be +impersonal+.

NOTE. An impersonal _it_ also occurs as a cognate object (§ 108)in colloquial language: as,--“Hang it!” “Go it!” “He went it.”“He farmed it for a year.” Other examples of the indefinite andimpersonal _it_ in various constructions are: “We are roughing _it_.”“Keep _it_ up.” “You’ll catch _it_.” “Let _it_ all go.” “He made apoor job of _it_.” “He made a success of _it_.”2. _It_ often serves as grammatical subject merely to introduce theverb _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 commonlyomitted: as,--“Shut the door.” NOTE. The subject _I_ is sometimes omitted in wishes (as, “_Would_ hewere 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. Thesecome from the gradual wearing away and final disappearance of thepronoun _thou_ (_canst thou_, _canstow_, _canstë_, _canst_).


+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 commonlyin 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 ischiefly colloquial.

NOTE. In older English and in poetry _mine_ and _thine_ are commoninstead 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_,” see § 96.

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

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”? [Twobooks.] OBJECTIVE CASE

+124.+ The commonest constructions in which personal pronouns take the+objective case+ are the following:1. Object of a preposition (§ 97): as,--

Take it from _him_.

2. Direct object of a transitive verb (§ 99): as,I will find _you_.

3. Indirect object of a transitive verb (§ 105): as,He gave _me_ a dollar.

4. Subject of an infinitive (see § 325).

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 ofthe old dative, as in the indirect object (see § 107).

The compounds _thereof_, _therewith_, _therefrom_, etc., areequivalent to _of it_, _with it_, _from it_, etc.: as,--“Proclaimliberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants _thereof_”(_Leviticus_ xxv. 10).

For the impersonal _it_ as cognate object, see § 120.

THE _SELF_-PRONOUNS (COMPOUND PERSONAL PRONOUNS)+125.+ The three +compound personal pronouns+ are made by adding theword _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 writtenas two words, _one’s self_ (§ 139).

Observe that _yourself_ is singular, and _yourselves_ plural. _Hisself_and _theirselves_ are incorrect forms. _Ourself_ (not _ourselves_) isthe compound pronoun corresponding to the royal _we_ (§ 118).

What touches us _ourself_ shall be last served.--SHAKSPERE.

+126.+ 1. +The compound personal pronouns may be used to emphasizesubstantives.+

+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 itrefers.

2. +The compound personal pronouns may be used as the objects oftransitive verbs or of prepositions when the object denotes the sameperson 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”) becausethey +refer back+ to the subject and repeat its meaning in an objectconstruction.

NOTE. A reflexive pronoun sometimes refers to a substantive in theobjective 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” (see § 106). This idiom survives in colloquiallanguage (as, “I have hurt _me_,” “I have bought _me_ a rifle”), butit is avoided in writing except in a few expressions such as: “I mustlook about _me_”; “We gazed about _us_”; “Look behind _you_.”+127.+ The adjective _own_ is sometimes inserted between the first andthe 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 possessiveand by the adjective _own_, but the phrases may be regarded ascompound pronouns. Other adjectives are sometimes inserted betweenthe possessive and _self_: as,--my _very_ self, his _worthless_ self.

+128.+ The intensive pronouns are sometimes used without a substantive.


It is _myself_. [_Myself_ = _I myself_.]

You are hardly _yourself_ to-day.

In poetry and older English, the intensives are even found assubjects: as,--“_Ourself_ will mingle with society” (_Macbeth_).

+129.+ The intensive pronouns should not be used as simple personalpronouns.

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


+131.+ +The demonstratives are _this_ (plural, _these_), _that_(plural, _those_). They point out persons or things for specialattention.+ 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.[19]    _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 outsomething 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 simplesubject of the sentence “This camera is expensive” is the noun_camera_, which is modified by the adjective _this_. The subject ofthe sentence “_This_ is expensive” is the pronoun _this_.

NOTE. _Yon_, _yond_, and _yonder_ are common as demonstratives inolder English and in poetry. Thus,--“Nerissa, cheer _yon_ stranger”(_Merchant of Venice_). “Question _yond_ man” (_As You Like It_). “Isnot _yond_ Diomed?” (_Troilus and Cressida_). “Call _yonder_ fellowhither” (_Henry V_). “Is _yonder_ the man?” (_As You Like It_).

+132.+ Demonstratives have only the inflection of number. They have thesame form for all three genders. The nominative and objective cases arealike; 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 anoun.

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.


+135.+ +The indefinite pronouns point out objects less clearly ordefinitely 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 anadjective.

+137.+ _None_ may be either singular or plural. When it meansdistinctly _not one_, it is singular. In many instances eitherconstruction 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 bythe best usage.

+139.+ _One_ (possessive _one’s_) is often used as an indefinitepersonal pronoun. Thus,_One_ does not like _one’s_ [NOT _his_ or _their_] motives to bedoubted.

The use of _his_ (for _one’s_) to refer back to a preceding _one_ isfound in respectable writers, but is contrary to the best usage.

For the indefinite use of _we_, _you_, _they_, see § 118.

+140.+ _All_, _several_, _few_, _many_, and similar words areoften classed as indefinites. They may be used as adjectives or assubstantives. _Everybody_, _everything_, _anybody_, _anything_,_somewhat_, _aught_, _naught_,[20] etc., are called indefinite nouns.

+141.+ Care should be taken in framing such sentences as thefollowing:--

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.) (see § 113).

NOTE. When the antecedent is of common gender (as in the lastexample), the personal pronouns (_he_, _his_, _him_) may be regardedas of common gender also. In very precise or formal language, one maysay _he or she_, _his or her_: as,--“Each of us must lead _his orher_ own life”; but this form of expression is to be avoided unlessthe distinction is clearly necessary.

+142.+ When used as adjectives, none of the indefinites have any formsof inflection. The same is true when they are pronouns, except asfollows:_Others_ is used as the plural of _another_. The possessive formsare:--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.


+143.+ +Relative pronouns+ have a peculiar function in the sentence,since they serve both as +pronouns+ and as +connectives+. Their use maybe 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 (§ 44). In No. 1, the two clausesare connected by the conjunction _and_, which belongs to neither; thepronoun _he_, which stands for _sailor_, is the subject of the secondclause. In No. 2, there is no conjunction; instead, we find the word_who_, which replaces _and he_. This _who_ is a +pronoun+, since itstands 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 +coördinate+. Neither serves as amodifier, and each might stand alone as a complete sentence (“Thisis the sailor.” “He saved my life”). The sentence is compound (§44). In No. 2, on the contrary, the clause _who saved my life_ is a+subordinate+ or +dependent clause+, for it is used as an adjectivemodifier of the noun _sailor_, which it limits by showing whatparticular sailor is meant. The sentence is +complex+ (§ 44). Thedependent clause (_who saved my life_) is connected with the mainclause (_this is the sailor_) by the pronoun _who_, which refers to_sailor_.

+144.+ +Relative pronouns connect dependent clauses with main clausesby referring directly to a substantive in the main clause.+[21]+This substantive is the antecedent of the relative+ (§ 11).

Thus in § 143 the noun _sailor_ is the antecedent of _who_.

_Relative_ means “carrying back.” These pronouns are so calledbecause 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 theplural:--

_Nominative_  who      which

_Possessive_  whose    whose

_Objective_   whom     which

_That_, _as_, and _what_ are not inflected. They have the same form forboth nominative and objective and are not used in the possessive case.

+146.+ _As_ may be used as a relative pronoun when _such_ stands in themain 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_ areneuter; _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_, see §§ 368, 428–429. For _but_ in suchsentences as “There was nobody _but_ believed him,” see § 370.

+149.+ +A relative pronoun must agree with its antecedent in gender,number, and person.+ The sentences in § 148 illustrate the agreement of the relative withits antecedent in +gender+.

Since relative pronouns have the same form for both numbers and for allthree persons, their +number and person+ must be discovered, in eachinstance, 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 isparticularly necessary when it is the +subject of the clause+, for theform of the verb varies (as the examples show) according to the numberand person of the subject (§ 222). Hence the rule for the agreement ofa relative with its antecedent is of much practical importance.

+150.+ +The case of a relative pronoun has nothing to do with itsantecedent, but depends on the construction of its own clause.+The servant _who_ opened the door wore livery. [_Who_ is in thenominative case, being the subject of _opened_.]He discharged his servant, _who_ immediately left town. [_Who_ is inthe nominative case, since it is the subject of _left_, although itsantecedent (_servant_) is in the objective.]The servant _whom_ you discharged has returned. [_Whom_ is in theobjective case, since it is the direct object of _discharged_. Theantecedent (_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, beingthe 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” (_JuliusCæsar_), that is, “There are two or three of us _who have_ seen,”etc. The same omission is often made in rapid or careless colloquialspeech. It is approved in clauses with _there_ in such sentences as“He is one of the best men there are in the world” (§ 232).

+152.+ Certain questions of +gender+ call for particular attention.

1. _Which_ is commonly used in referring to the lower animals unlessthese are regarded as persons. This is true even when _he_ or _she_ isused of the same animals (§ 69).

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 thenorthern boundary of the province.

Jack was fishing with a bamboo rod, to the end _of which_ he had tieda short piece of ordinary twine.

She was gazing into the pool, _whose_ calm surface reflected herfeatures like a mirror. [“The surface _of which_” would not sound sowell.] 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., areequivalent to _of which_, _from which_, etc. (cf. § 124).

Thus,--“Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing _wherewith_ hisfather blessed him” (_Genesis_ xxvii. 41).


+153.+ The clause introduced by a relative pronoun is an +adjectiveclause+, since it serves as an adjective modifier of the antecedent (§143). There are two different ways in which the antecedent may be thusmodified.

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 simplyto +describe+ the Italian, not to identify him. The flower is a meredetail of the picture.

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

+154.+ +A relative pronoun that serves merely to introduce adescriptive fact is called a descriptive relative.++A relative pronoun that introduces a clause confining or limiting theapplication of the antecedent is called a restrictive relative.+Thus in the first example in § 153, _who_ is a descriptive relative; inthe second, it is a restrictive relative.

+155.+ Before a descriptive relative we regularly make a pause inspeaking, but never before a restrictive relative. Hence the rule:+A descriptive relative is preceded by a comma; a restrictive relativeis not.+ Three sailors, _who_ were loitering on the pier, sprang to the rescue.

A clumsy weapon, _which_ I took for a blunderbuss, hung over thefireplace.

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 thethird act of “King Lear.” +156.+ _Who_, _which_, and _that_ are all used as restrictiverelatives; but some writers prefer _that_ to _which_, especially in thenominative case.

NOTE. _That_ is not now employed as a descriptive relative, thoughit was common in this use not very long ago. Thus in 1844 Disraeliwrote: “The deer, _that_ abounded, lived here in a world as savage asthemselves” (_Coningsby_, book iii, chapter 5).

The omission of the relative (§ 151) is possible only when therelative is restrictive.

The boy [_whom_] I saw at your house has left town. [Restrictive.]Charles, _whom_ I saw yesterday, had not heard the news.



+157.+ The relative pronoun _what_ is equivalent to _that which_, andhas 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_, beingequivalent 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 objectof _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 regardthe whole clause (_what was said_; _what is said to him_; _what helearns_) as a +noun clause+. Thus the clause _what was said_ in thefirst sentence would be the subject of _is_; in the second and thirdsentences, the clause would be the object of _remembers_. _What_, inthe first sentence, would be parsed as the subject of _was said_;in the second, as the subject of _is said_; and in the third, asthe object of _learns_. Neither view is incorrect, and each hasits special advantages. The student may well be familiar with bothmethods, remembering that grammar cannot be treated like mathematics.


+158.+ +The compound relative pronouns are formed by adding _ever_ or_soever_ to _who_, _which_, and _what_.+ They are declined as follows:--


_Nominative_  whoever (whosoever)      whichever (whichsoever)_Possessive_  whosever (whosesoever)      ----        _Objective_   whomever (whomsoever)    whichever (whichsoever)_Whatever_ (_whatsoever_) has no inflection. The nominative and theobjective are alike, and the possessive is supplied by the phrase _ofwhatever_ (_of whatsoever_).

The phrase _of whichever_ (_of whichsoever_) is used instead of_whosever_ exactly as _of which_ is used instead of _whose_ (§ 152).

+159.+ +The compound relative pronouns may include or imply their ownantecedents 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 thesubject of _calls_.] _Whoever calls_ must be admitted. [Here the antecedent _he_ isomitted, being implied in _whoever_. _Whoever_ has therefore adouble construction, being the subject of both _calls_ and _must beadmitted_.] 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 isthe 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 antecedentexpressed 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 §159. “Whoever deserts you, I will remain faithful,” is practicallyequivalent to “Whoever deserts you, let him desert you! I will remainfaithful.” No antecedent, however, is felt by the speaker, and hencenone need be supplied in parsing. Compare concessive clauses (§ 401).

+161.+ _Which_, _what_, _whichever_, and _whatever_ are often used asadjectives.

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 relativeshave when they are used as pronouns (§ 159). Thus,Take _whichever_ pen is not in use. [Here _pen_ is both the directobject of _take_, and the subject of _is_.] _Whoso_ for _whosoever_ and _whatso_ for _whatsoever_ are common inolder English.


+163.+ +The interrogative pronouns are _who_, _which_, and _what_. Theyare used in asking questions.+[22] _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 ofany gender.

+165.+ The +objective+ _whom_ often begins a question (as in the thirdexample in § 163). 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 peculiarform 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 aninterjection.

+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 themasculine gender, the singular number, and the nominative case, beingthe subject of the verb _was_.

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

_Whom_ is a relative pronoun of the masculine gender, singularnumber, and third person, agreeing with its antecedent, _policeman_.

It is in the objective case, being the direct object of thetransitive verb _met_.

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

_Whose_ is a relative pronoun of the masculine gender, singularnumber, 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 femininegender, singular number, and possessive case, modifying the noun_birthday_.

5. He injured _himself_ severely.

_Himself_ is a compound personal pronoun of the third person, usedreflexively. It is of the masculine gender, singular number, andthird person, agreeing with its antecedent, _he_. It is in theobjective case, being the direct object of the transitive verb_injured_.




+169.+ +An adjective is a word which describes or limits a substantive.++An adjective is said to belong to the substantive which it describesor limits.+ +An adjective which describes is called a descriptive adjective; onewhich points out or designates is called a definitive adjective+ (§ 13).

Most adjectives are descriptive: as,--_round_, _cold_, _red_, _angry_,_graceful_, _excessive_, _young_, _sudden_, _Roman_.

NOTE. Many descriptive adjectives are +compound+ (see § 64):as,--steadfast, lionlike, fireproof, downright, heartsick,everlasting, brown-eyed, broad-shouldered, ill-tempered, dear-bought,far-fetched, never-ending, self-evident, self-important. “He wasa _matter-of-fact_ person.” “Tom is _hail-fellow-well-met_ witheverybody.” “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 froma proper noun, is called a +proper adjective+ and usually begins with acapital 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 letterbecause 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_ timeis it?); numeral adjectives (as, _two_ stars; the _third_ year); the+articles+, _a_ (or _an_) and _the_.

Pronouns used as adjectives (often called pronominal adjectives) havebeen studied under Pronouns--demonstratives (§§ 131–134), indefinites(§§ 135–142), relatives (§§ 143–162), interrogatives (§§ 163–167).

Numeral adjectives will be treated, along with other numerals (nounsand adverbs), in §§ 204–208.

The articles will be treated in §§ 173–180.

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

1. An +attributive adjective+ is closely attached to its noun andregularly precedes it.

The _angry_ spot doth glow on Cæsar’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 anoun in apposition (§ 88, 5).

NOUN IN APPOSITION                APPOSITIVE ADJECTIVEThe castle, a _ruin_,             The castle, _ancient_ and _ruinous_,stood on the edge of the cliff.   stood on the edge of the cliff.

Bertram, the _ringleader_,        Bertram, _undaunted_,refused to surrender.             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) andother copulative verbs, particularly _become_ and _seem_ (§ 17).

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 tothat of the predicate nominative (§ 88, 2). Both are known as+complements+, because they complete the meaning of a verb.

After _look_, _sound_, _taste_, _smell_, _feel_, a predicate adjectiveis 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, see § 492.

For the use of an adjective as predicate objective, see § 104.


+173.+ +The adjectives _a_ (or _an_) and _the_ are called articles.+1. +The definite article _the_ points out one or more particularobjects 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 merelyone 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 ancientform 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+ (fromthe Latin _genus_, “kind” or “sort”). The singular number with thegeneric _the_ is practically equivalent to the plural without anarticle. Thus in the first example the sense would be the same if wehad, “_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 Utopianscheme, such a one.

This rule covers all words beginning with _eu_ and many beginningwith _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 firstsyllable, _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 quitesilent, so that the word practically begins with a vowel. Usagevaries, but careful writers favor the rule here given. _An_ wasformerly more common before _h_ than at present.

+178.+ With two or more connected nouns or adjectives the articleshould be repeated whenever clearness requires (cf. § 123).

I have consulted _the_ secretary and _the_ treasurer. [“The secretaryand treasurer” would imply that the same person held both offices.]I found _an_ anchor and _a_ chain. [“An anchor and chain” wouldsuggest 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 strictlycommercial language.

+180.+ When used with adjectives, the articles precede, except in a fewphrases: 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 useand meaning, see § 195.

For the preposition _a_ (as in “He went _a_-fishing”), see § 352.


+181.+ In +comparing+ objects with each other, we may use threedifferent 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 threeforms are called +degrees of comparison+.

+182.+ +The degrees of comparison indicate by their form in what degreeof 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 hasno special ending.+ It merely describes the quality, without expressing or suggesting anycomparison.

Thomas is _strong_.

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

2. +The comparative degree of an adjective is formed by adding thetermination _er_ to the positive degree.+ It denotes that the quality exists in the object described in a higherdegree 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 positivedegree.+

It denotes that the quality exists in the highest degree in the objectdescribed.

Herbert is _strongest_ of the three.

Other examples of the +comparison of adjectives+ are:POSITIVE DEGREE    COMPARATIVE DEGREE    SUPERLATIVE DEGREErich               richer                richestpoor               poorer                poorestfast               faster                fastestfirm               firmer                firmest+183.+ RULES OF SPELLING.

1. Adjectives ending in silent _e_ drop this letter before thecomparative 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 consonantdouble 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 moresyllables are so compared. Thus,recent, more recent, most recent; terrible, more terrible, mostterrible; 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 notbe regarded as comparison of the adjective. “Superlative” means “inthe highest degree,” and is not applicable to _least terrible_, whichmeans “terrible in the _lowest_ degree.”IRREGULAR COMPARISON +185.+ Several adjectives have irregular comparison.[23]POSITIVE            COMPARATIVE            SUPERLATIVEbad (evil, ill)     worse                  worstfar                 farther                farthest----                further                furthestgood                better                 bestlate                later, latter          latest, lastwell (in health)    better                 little              less, lesser           leastmuch, many          more                   most_Old_ has comparative _older_ or _elder_, superlative _oldest_ or_eldest_. _Elder_ or _eldest_ may be used with certain nouns ofrelationship, or in the phrases _the elder_ and _the eldest_.

This is my _elder_ brother.    My brother is _older_ than yours.

Jane was the _eldest_          I shall wear my _oldest_ clothes.

of six children.

_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 “thevery 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 ofthe other degrees are commonly wanting.

POSITIVE             COMPARATIVE        SUPERLATIVE----                 (former)           foremosthind                 hinder             hindmost----                 inner              inmost, innermost(out, _adverb_)    { outer              outmost, outermost{ (utter)            utmost, uttermost (up, _adverb_)       upper              uppermost----                 ----               endmost----                 nether             nethermosttop                  ----               topmost----                 ----               furthermostnorth                ----               northmostnorthern             (more northern)    northernmostsouth                ----               southmostsouthern             (more southern)    southernmosteast, eastern        (more eastern)     easternmostwest, western        (more western)     westernmostNOTE. The ending _-most_ is not the adverb _most_. It is a very oldsuperlative ending _-mest_ changed under the influence of the adverb_most_.

+187.+ For adjectives incapable of comparison, see § 202. For specialrules for the use of comparative and superlative, see §§ 199–203.

+188.+ In +parsing+ an adjective, tell whether it is descriptive ordefinitive, mention the substantive to which it belongs, and specifythe degree of comparison.



+189.+ +An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an adjective, oranother 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+.[24] 1. Adverbs of manner answer the question “How?” “In what way?”They modify verbs or adjectives, rarely adverbs. Most of them areformed 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 modifyverbs. 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 modifyverbs. 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 modifyadjectives.

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 fromthe fact that they answer the question “How?” Thus,--“His eyes wereblue.” “_How_ blue?” “_Dark_ blue.”NOTE. In the oldest English many adverbs ended in _-ë_, as if formeddirectly from adjectives by means of this ending. Thus, the adjectivefor _hot_ was _hāt_, side by side with which was an adverb _hātë_(dissyllabic), meaning _hotly_. In the fourteenth century thisdistinction was still kept up. Thus, Chaucer used both the adjective_hōt_ and the dissyllabic adverb _hōtë_, meaning _hotly_. Between1400 and 1500 all weak final _e_’s disappeared from the language. Inthis way the adverb _hotë_, for example, became simply _hot_. Thusthese adverbs in _-ë_ became identical in form with the correspondingadjectives. Hence in the time of Shakspere there existed, in commonuse, not only the adjective _hot_, but also the adverb _hot_(identical in form with the adjective but really descended fromthe 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 withoutending to the adjective use and to restrict the adverbial functionto 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 remainin good use, and must not be regarded as erroneous.

In poetry, moreover, such adverbs are freely employed; as,--“The boylike a gray goshawk stared _wild_.” [In prose: stared _wildly_.]For adverbial phrases, see §§ 41–42, 475.

For the adverbial objective, see § 109.

+192.+ _Yes_ and _no_ are peculiar adverbs used in assenting anddenying. Thus,--

Are you hungry?


NOTE. As now used, _yes_ and _no_ stand for complete sentences.

Originally, however, they were modifiers, and hence they are stillclassed as adverbs. The original meaning of _no_ was “never.” Compare_never_ as an emphatic negative in modern English: as,--“Will yousurrender?” “_Never!_” The oldest affirmative adverb was _yea_. _Yes_was originally a compound of _yea_ with a form of _so_, and was usedin 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 phrasemay easily be seen when the sentence is supplied. Thus,--“Will youhelp me?” “_Certainly_ [I _will help_ you].”+193.+ _There_ is often used merely to introduce a sentence in theinverted order (§ 5).

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 similarin 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 alsointroduces 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 oftencalled +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 withMalays. [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 senseof “although,” are classed as conjunctions (§ 368).

The clauses introduced by relative adverbs may be either adjective oradverbial (§§ 49–50, 379–382).

NOTE. In “_The_ more you waste, _the_ sooner you will want” (andsimilar sentences) _the_ is not an article, but an old case-formof the pronoun _that_, used as an adverb of degree. We may expandthe sentence as follows: “_To what extent_ you waste more, _to thatextent_ 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?


+197.+ +Adverbs have three degrees of comparison,--the positive, thecomparative, 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.


far   }     { farther        { farthest

forth }     { further        { furthest

ill   }       worse            worst

badly }

nigh          nigher         { nighest

{ next

well          better           best

{ latest

late          later          { last

little        less             least

much          more             most

These adverbs in the main have the same forms as the adjectivesstudied in § 185 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_ isnow used in the comparative only.


+199.+ +The comparative degree, not the superlative, is used incomparing two persons or things.+ +The superlative is used in comparing one person or thing with two ormore.+

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 dislikethe _latter_.

The same principle applies to adverbs.

John runs _faster_ than Tom. [Here the acts of two persons arecompared.]

Which of you three can run _fastest_? [Here the acts of more than twoare compared.]

NOTE. In older English the superlative sometimes occurs when only twoobjects are thought of. This use is still found in a few proverbialphrases: as,--“Put your _best_ foot _foremost_.”+200.+ The superlative is sometimes used merely for emphasis, withoutimplying 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 inolder 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 oradverb (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, incapableof comparison. Such are:1. Adjectives expressing a quality as absolute or complete, and adverbsderived 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 commonlysaid to be incapable of comparison, but this is an error. For eachof 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 lowerdegree of the qualities that make up absolute perfection,” so thatwe may describe one statue as _more perfect_ than another, or one ofthree statues as the _most perfect_ of them all. In this use, whichis unobjectionable, we simply admit that nothing in the world isabsolutely flawless, and assert that the three statues approach idealperfection 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].


+204.+ +Words indicating number are called numerals. They areadjectives, 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 isa predicate adjective limiting _boy_ (§ 172, 3). 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 maytake 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 arenow 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 itconsists.

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 manytimes 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 andthe solemn style.




+209.+ +A verb is a word which can assert something (usually an action)concerning a person, place, or thing+ (§ 14).

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 (§ 15).+The leaves _are turning_.

The money _has been found_.

+210.+ Certain verbs, when used to make verb-phrases, are calledauxiliary (that is, “aiding”) verbs, because they help other verbs toexpress action or state of some particular kind (§ 16).

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 byother 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+ (§ 99).

+Some verbs may be followed by a substantive denoting that whichreceives the action or is produced by it. These are called transitiveverbs. All other verbs are called intransitive.++A substantive that completes the meaning of a transitive verb iscalled its direct object.+ In the following sentences, the first four verbs are +transitive+ (withobjects), 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 beintransitive 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, merelyto express action without any indication of the direct object.+TRANSITIVE VERB                    TRANSITIVE VERB USED ABSOLUTELYWITH OBJECT EXPRESSED 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 anda 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 beused to frame sentences in which some word or words in the predicatedescribe or define the subject (§ 17).

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 simplepredicate[26]) is followed by a predicate nominative (§ 88, 2); in thelast five by a predicate adjective (§ 172, 3).

The copulative verbs are intransitive, since they take no object.

Sometimes, however, they are regarded as a third class distinct bothfrom transitive and intransitive verbs.

+215.+ The verb _is_ is not always a copula. It is sometimes emphaticand 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 whichthey 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.


+216.+ Verbs have inflections of +tense+, +person+ and +number+, and+mood+. They also have the distinction of +voice+, which is expressedby the help of verb-phrases.

+Tense+ indicates time; +person+ and +number+ correspond with personand number in substantives; +mood+ shows the manner in which the actionis expressed; +voice+ indicates whether the subject acts or is actedupon.


+217.+ +The tense of a verb indicates its time.+[27]+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.[28]+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 TENSEHe _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.


+218.+ The +present+ and the +past+ tense have special forms ofinflection.

For the moment we will consider the form which the verb has when itssubject is the first personal pronoun _I_.

+In the present tense the verb has its simplest form, without anyinflectional 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 thistense.

1. +Weak verbs form the past tense by adding _ed_, _d_, or _t_ to thepresent.+

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 thepresent, without the addition of an ending.+EXAMPLES: drink, drank; begin, began; come, came; rise, rose; bind,bound; cling, clung; stick, stuck; wear, wore.[29]Weak verbs are sometimes called +regular+, and strong verbs +irregularverbs+.

For a list of the strong verbs see pp. 291–297.

NOTE. The terms +strong+ and +weak+ were first applied to verbs fora somewhat fanciful reason. The strong verbs were so called becausethey seemed to form the past tense out of their own resources,without calling to their assistance any ending. The weak verbs wereso called because they could not form the past tense without the aidof the ending _ed_, _d_, or _t_.

+220.+ The ending that is written _ed_ is fully pronounced onlywhen _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 +pasttense+.

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 ofthe 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 usualpast is _worked_. For _must_, _would_, etc., see p. 299.

4. Some verbs that have a long vowel sound in the present have in thepast 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.[30]5. Some verbs in _d_ or _t_ preceded by a long vowel sound have a shortvowel 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 thepresent.

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, sincethey 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 tothe fact that the _d_ or _t_ of the termination has been absorbed inthe final _d_ or _t_ of the verb itself. Thus, the past _set_ wasoriginally _settë_ (dissyllabic), and this form, after the loss of_-ë_, became indistinguishable in sound from _set_, the present.

For lists of irregular weak verbs, see pp. 291–299.


+222.+ +A verb must agree with its subject in number and person.++Verbs, like substantives, have two numbers (singular and plural) andthree persons (first, second, and third).+ +The singular number denotes a single person or thing. The pluralnumber denotes more than one person or thing.++The first person denotes the speaker; the second person denotes theperson spoken to; the third person denotes the person or thing spokenof.+ +223.+ The inflections of +person and number+ in verbs may be seen byframing sentences with the personal pronouns as subjects. Thus,PRESENT TENSE SINGULAR                                  PLURAL1. I walk.                                1. We walk.

2. Thou walk-_est_.                       2. You walk.

3. He walk-_s_ [old form, walk-_eth_].    3. They walk.


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 someverb-forms have special +endings+ which denote person and number.

+224.+ +The endings by means of which a verb indicates person andnumber are called personal endings.+ 1. In the present tense a verb has two personal endings, _est_ for thesecond person singular and s for the third person singular (old form_eth_).

The first person singular and all three persons of the plural arealike. The simplest form of the verb is used and no personal ending isadded.

2. The past tense has but one personal ending,--_est_ or _st_ in thesecond person singular.[31] 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 asingle person.

The following table shows the +personal endings+ of the present and thepast tense:--



SINGULAR               PLURAL

1. [_no ending_]     1. }

2. -est, -st         2. } [_no ending_]

3. -s [_old_, -eth]  3. }



1. [_no ending_]  1. }

2. -est, -st      2. } [_no ending_]

3. [_no ending_]  3. }


+225.+ The inflection of a verb is called its +conjugation+ (§ 53).

When we inflect a verb we are said to +conjugate+ it.



SINGULAR                PLURAL

1. I walk.              1. We walk.

2. Thou walkest.[32]    2. You walk.

3. He walks.            3. They walk.


SINGULAR                PLURAL

1. I walked.            1. We walked.

2. Thou walkedst.       2. You walked.

3. He walked.           3. They walked.



SINGULAR                PLURAL

1. I find.              1. We find.

2. Thou findest.        2. You find.

3. He finds.            3. They find.


SINGULAR                PLURAL

1. I found.             1. We found.

2. Thou foundest.       2. You found.

3. He found.            3. They found.



SINGULAR                PLURAL

1. I am.                1. We are.

2. Thou art.            2. You are.

3. He is.               3. They are.


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. InChaucer, 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 (§191) reduced the first person singular and the whole plural to thesingle form _walk_. Later, _walks_ (a dialect form) was substitutedfor _walketh_, and still later the second person singular wasreplaced in ordinary use by the plural. The result has been thatin modern speech there are only two common forms in the presenttense,--_walk_ and _walks_. In poetry and the solemn style, however,_walkest_ and _walketh_ are still in use. The plural in _en_ isfrequently 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 (§ 38), the number of the verb isdetermined by the following rules:1. A compound subject with _and_ usually takes a verb in the pluralnumber.

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 singularnumber 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 sometimestakes 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 forthe most part confined to such idiomatic phrases as _end and aim_ (=_purpose_), _the long and short of it_, etc. The poets, however, usethe construction freely (as in Kipling’s “The tumult and the shoutingdies”).

4. If the substantives connected by _or_ or _nor_ differ in number orperson, 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 bycareful 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 notcompound, 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 commonlytake a verb in the singular number (§ 84).

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 aplural.

Great _pains has_ (or _have_) been taken about the matter.

+229.+ +Collective nouns+ take sometimes a singular and sometimes aplural verb.

When the persons or things denoted are thought of as +individuals+, theplural should be used. When the collection is regarded as a +unit+, thesingular should be used.[33] 1. The Senior Class _requests_ the pleasure of your company. [Herethe class is thought of +collectively+, acting as a unit.]2. The Senior Class _are_ unable to agree upon a president. [Here thespeaker has in mind the +individuals+ of whom the class is composed.]3. The nation _welcomes_ Prince Joseph. [The whole nation unites as asingle individual to welcome a distinguished guest.]4. The American nation _are_ descended from every other nation onearth. [The separate qualities of the individuals who constitute thenation are in the speaker’s mind.] +230.+ A _number_ in the sense of “several” or “many” regularly takesthe 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 thesingular 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 thesame person and number as the antecedent. For examples, see § 149.

Errors are especially common in such sentences as,This is one of the strangest sights that ever _were_ seen. [Theantecedent 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 theomission of the relative, see § 151.] THE FUTURE TENSE

+233.+ The +future tense+ is a verb-phrase consisting of the auxiliaryverb _shall_ or _will_ followed by the infinitive without _to_ (§ 29).

The following table shows the form of the +future+ for each of thethree 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.


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 +secondperson+ in +questions+.

In the following sentences the first person of the future tense iscorrectly 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+ onthe part of the subject.

Contrast the following sentences, in which _I will_ or _we will_ isused:--

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 examplesof _I shall_) express the action of the verb in future time. Theyexpress the +present willingness+ or +desire+ or +determination+ of thespeaker to do something in the future.

Hence such verb-phrases with _will_ in the first person are notforms of the future tense. They are special verb-phrases expressingwillingness or desire.

+235.+ +In the first person _shall_, not _will_, is the auxiliary ofthe future tense in both assertions and questions. It denotes simplefuturity, without expressing willingness, desire, or determination+.

+_Will_ in the first person is used in promising, threatening,consenting, and expressing resolution. It never denotes simplefuturity.+ 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 cannever 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_ iscorrect; 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 beto express volition twice. Such a sentence could only mean “_I amdetermined_ to be glad to do this.” On the other hand, in “I _will gladly help_ you,” volition isexpressed by the verb-phrase _will help_ and the adverb merelymodifies the phrase by emphasizing the speaker’s willingness. Hence_I will_ is correct.

+237.+ _Will_, when +emphasized+, always expresses determination on thepart 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 properform of the future tense in questions.+ +_Will you?_ always denotes willingness, consent, or determination, andnever simple futurity.+ Note that in questions in the second person, the auxiliary used is thesame as that expected in the answer.


_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 ofthe +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 thirdpersons, even when there is no idea of commanding or the like.

The sun _shall be turned_ into darkness and the moon intoblood.--_Joel_ ii. 31.

+240.+ In military orders and official communications, custom permitsthe more courteous _will_ in the place of _shall_ in the second andthird persons.

You _will_ immediately report for orders.

Heads of Departments _will submit_ their estimates before Januaryfirst.

For _shall_ and _will_ in subordinate clauses, see pp. 130–132.

+241.+ Future time may also be expressed by the present tense, or by_about_ or _going_ with the infinitive (§ 319).

We _sail_ for Havana on Tuesday.

They are _about to begin_ the study of Greek.


+242.+ +Completed action+ is denoted by special +verb-phrases+ madeby 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 ofthe 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 sometimesused instead of _have_: as,--“My friends _are gone_” (or “_havegone_”); “Your time _is come_” (or “_has come_”).

2. +The pluperfect (or past perfect) tense denotes that the action wascompleted 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 completedat some point in future time. It is formed by prefixing the futuretense 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 § 334.

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 participleis called the +perfect participle+.

_Having reached_ my destination, I stopped.

A verb-phrase made by prefixing _to have_ to the past participle iscalled the +perfect infinitive+.

I am sorry _to have missed_ you.

+245.+ Three forms of the verb are so important that they are calledthe +principal parts+. These are:(1) the first person singular of the present;(2) the first person singular of the past; (3) the 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


+246.+ +Voice is that property of verbs which indicates whether thesubject 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 thedoer 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 asthe 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-phrasemade by prefixing some form of the copula (is, was, etc.) to the pastparticiple.+ In the passive voice of the +complete tenses+, the past participle_been_ follows the proper form of the auxiliary _have_ (as in the thirdexample in § 246, 2).

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


1. I strike.                 1. I am struck.

2. Thou strikest.            2. Thou art struck.

3. He strikes.               3. He is struck.


1. We strike.                1. We are struck.

2. You strike.               2. You are struck.

3. They strike.              3. They are struck.



1. I struck.                 1. I was struck.

2. Thou struckest.           2. Thou wast (_or_ wert) struck.

3. He struck.                3. He was struck.


1. We struck.                1. We were struck.

2. You struck.               2. You were struck.

3. They struck.              3. They were struck.



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.


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.



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.


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.



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.


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.



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.


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.


+249.+ Any sentence of which the predicate is a transitive verbfollowed by an object, may be changed from the active to the passiveform 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_, anadverbial phrase, modifying the passive verb _was shot_. Thus we havethe rule:+The object of the active verb becomes the subject of the passive, andthe subject of the active verb becomes in the passive an adverbialphrase modifying the predicate verb.+ ACTIVE VOICE                        PASSIVE VOICEMy 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 savedby the fireman.

+250.+ +Intransitive verbs+ are ordinarily used in the active voiceonly.

The bystanders _laughed_.

The watchdogs _bark_.

Snow is _falling_.

+251.+ An intransitive verb followed by a preposition is often used inthe passive, the object of the preposition becoming the subject of theverb.

ACTIVE VOICE                         PASSIVE VOICEEverybody _laughed_ at him.          He _was laughed at_ by everybody.

The attorney general _has_           This bill _has_ not yetnot yet _passed upon_ this bill.     _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, _laughat_, _pass upon_, etc., are treated as compound verbs, and the objectof the preposition is, in effect, the object of the compound. Inthe passive, this object becomes the subject and the preposition(now lacking an object) remains attached to the verb. The passiveconstruction 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+ (§88, 2).

ACTIVE VOICE                           PASSIVE VOICE(PREDICATE OBJECTIVE)                  (PREDICATE NOMINATIVE)We elected John _president_.           John was elected _president_.

The Roman people called                The chief was calledthe chief _friend_.                    _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 referringto the same person or thing,--a +direct object+ and a +predicateobjective+ (§ 104). In the passive, the direct object becomes thesubject, and the predicate objective becomes a predicate nominative,agreeing with the subject (§ 88, 2).


+253.+ When a verb takes both a +direct+ and an +indirect object+, oneof the two is often retained after the passive, the other becoming thesubject. Thus,1. The +indirect object+ is retained.

ACTIVE VOICE                          PASSIVE VOICEMy 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 allowedeach _speaker_.

Congress granted _me_ a pension.      A pension was granted _me_.

NOTE. The preposition _to_ is often inserted in the passiveconstruction, especially with a noun; as,--“A small pension wasgranted _to Dr. Johnson_.” 2. The +direct object+ is retained.

ACTIVE VOICE                          PASSIVE VOICEWe allowed them their _choice_.       They were allowed their _choice_.

He allowed each speaker an _hour_.    Each speaker was allowedan _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 +retainedobject+.

NOTE. This construction, though common, is avoided by many carefulwriters, except in a few well-established idioms. Its habitual usegives one’s style a heavy and awkward air. Instead of “He was givenpermission,” one may say “He received permission”; instead of “I wasgiven this watch by my aunt,” either “It was my aunt who gave me thiswatch” or “This watch was a present from my aunt.”+254.+ The verb _ask_, which may take two direct objects,--one denotingthe person, the other the thing,--sometimes retains its second objectin the passive construction (§ 103).

ACTIVE.  We asked _him_ his _opinion_.

PASSIVE. He was asked his _opinion_.


+255.+ In addition to the tense-forms already described, verbs haveso-called +progressive forms+.

+The progressive form of a tense represents the action of the verb asgoing 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 _weretaking_ place in the square.

Both _ate_ and _was eating_ are in the past tense. But _ate_ merelyexpresses 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 thepresent 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.


PRESENT    I am being struck, etc.

PAST       I was being struck, etc.

+257.+ In the passive, the progressive forms are confined to thepresent 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, WhileI 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 leftshoulder.

In parsing, the omitted words should be supplied.

+259.+ For such progressive forms as _is building_ for _is beingbuilt_, see § 352.


+260.+ +The present or the past of a verb in the active voice may beexpressed 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 pasttense.+

“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+ ofthe present tense of _see_, and _did go_ the emphatic form of thepast tense of _go_.

+261.+ In questions and in negative statements the emphatic forms areused 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 theverb-phrase:--“Jack swims better than I _do_ [_swim_].”In poetry and older English the verb-phrase with _do_ or _did_ indeclarative sentences often carries no emphasis, but merely takes theplace 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 whichthe 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 assertor 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 adifference of +mood+.

+263.+ +There are three moods,--the indicative, the imperative, and thesubjunctive.+

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 ofwish, condition, and the like.+ Thus, in the examples in § 262, _is_ is in the +indicative+, _were_ inthe +subjunctive+, and _be_ in the +imperative+ mood.


+264.+ The ordinary +forms+ of the +indicative mood+ in the activeand the passive voice and in all six tenses,--present, past, future,perfect (or present perfect), pluperfect (or past perfect), and futureperfect,--may be seen in the table on pp. 108–110.

For the +progressive form+ of the indicative, see § 256; for the+emphatic form+, see § 260.

+265.+ The commonest +uses+ of the +indicative mood+ are in statementsor questions as to matters of fact; but it may express almost any otherform 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 quitedistinct in form, and each had its own set of constructions. But,as our language has grown simpler in its structure, the forms ofthese two moods have become almost identical, and the uses of theindicative have been greatly multiplied at the expense of thesubjunctive. Indeed, there is scarcely any variety of thoughtexpressed by the subjunctive or the imperative for which theindicative cannot also be employed. It is therefore impossible toframe any satisfactory definition of the indicative. Its functionsare too varied to be included in one general statement. Theindicative is often described as the mood which asserts thought _asa fact_, and the subjunctive as the mood which expresses thought assupposition (or _as mere thought_). But the indicative, as well asthe subjunctive, may express supposition, condition, doubt, desire,concession, etc. Hence the definitions in § 263 are as exact as thefacts of the language allow. All the efforts of grammarians to devisemore “accurate” definitions break down when tested by actual usage.


+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 onetense,--the +present+. It has both numbers, the +singular+ and the+plural+, but only one person, the +second+. It has the same form forboth the +singular+ and the +plural+.

+267.+ 1. +The imperative active is the verb in its simplest form.+For examples, see § 266.

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 pastparticiple.+

_Be trusted_ rather than feared.

Study your failures and _be instructed_ by them.

+268.+ +The subject of an imperative is seldom expressed unless it isemphatic.+

The subject, when expressed, may precede the imperative: as,--_You sithere_.

NOTE. In older English, the subject often followed the imperative:as,--_Go thou, Go you, Hear ye._ This use is now confined to thesolemn 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,--_Doyou remain_.

+270.+ +Prohibition+ (or +negative command+) is commonly expressed bymeans 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 thesimple 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_ (§§ 239–240).

Thou _shalt_ not _steal_.

You _will leave_ the room immediately.

For such expressions as “Forward!” “Off with you!” and the like, see§ 530.

For the imperative in +conditions+, see § 418.



+272.+ +The subjunctive mood is used in certain special constructionsof wish, condition, and the like.+ In older English, the +subjunctive+ forms were common in a variety ofuses, as they still are in poetry and the solemn style. In ordinaryprose, however, subjunctive forms are rare, and in conversation theyare hardly ever heard, except in the case of the +copula+ _be_.

The subjunctive forms of _be_ are the following:SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD


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.


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.


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.


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_ isof course no part of the subjunctive inflection.

+273.+ In other verbs, the +subjunctive active+ has the same forms asthe +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 (§272) are used as auxiliaries:--present, _If I be struck_; past, _If Iwere struck_; perfect, _If I have been struck_; pluperfect, _If I hadbeen struck_. (See table, p. 304.) +274.+ +Progressive verb-phrases+ in the subjunctive may be formed bymeans of the copula:--present, _If I be striking_; past, _If I werestriking_. The present is rare; the past is common.


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 independentsentence. In the last two, the construction is subordinate,--the_that_-clause being the object of an unexpressed “I wish” (§ 407).

+276.+ The subjunctive _be_ is often omitted when it may easily besupplied.

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_ inthe first example is an infinitive without _to_ (§ 311). For wishesexpressed by the infinitive, see § 320.

+278.+ +Exhortations+ in the first person plural sometimes take thesubjunctive 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 theinfinitive 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 theinfinitive (_join_, _have_, _camp_) depends on _let_.

Subjunctives in Concessions, Conditions, etc.

+279.+ +The subjunctive is used after _though_, _although_, to expressan 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 begold.]

2. If he _confess_, I shall overlook the offence. [He may or may notconfess.]

3. Unless he _confess_, he cannot be convicted. [He may or may notconfess.]

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 myopinion. [He does _not_ stand before me; hence I do not tell him.]6. If he _had confessed_, I should have overlooked his fault. [He didnot confess; hence I did not overlook it.] 7. Unless he _had confessed_, he could not have been convicted. [Hedid confess; hence he was convicted.] In conditional clauses, the +present subjunctive+ denotes either+present+ or +future+ time. It puts the supposed case doubtfully, butnot necessarily as improbable. (See examples 1–3.)The +past subjunctive+ refers to +present+ time. It implies that thesupposed 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, see pp. 167–172.

+281.+ +Concession+ or +condition+ may be expressed by the+subjunctive+ without _though_ or _if_, the verb preceding the subject,which is sometimes omitted.


_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.


_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 isreally the same as that in exhortations (§ 278). “_Try_ [_we_] aswe may” means literally, “_Let us try_ as hard as we can,” and thishas the force of “However hard we try” or “_Although we try_ ever sohard.” +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_ aboutto 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 wiserif 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 futureand 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_ andsimilar 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 erroneousor inelegant; but the idiom is well-established.

_Might better_, _would better_, and _would rather_ may be usedinstead of _had better_, etc.; but _would better_ is improper in thefirst person.

+286.+ The subjunctive forms are often replaced by verb-phrasescontaining the auxiliaries _may_, _might_, _could_, _would_, _should_.

1. In wishes (§ 277).

_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 (§§ 279–280).

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 (§ 283).

{I _should_ | You _would_ | He _would_} _write_ to Charles if I knewhis address.

It _would have been_ better to telegraph.

4. In subordinate clauses introduced by _that_, _lest_, _before_,_until_, etc. (§ 284).

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_.



+287.+ +Several auxiliary verbs are used to form verb-phrasesindicating ability, possibility, obligation, or necessity.+Such verb-phrases are called +potential phrases+, that is, “phrases ofpossibility.” The auxiliary verbs used in +potential phrases+ are:--_may_, _can_,_must_, _might_, _could_, _would_, and _should_. They are called +modalauxiliaries+ 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_, areinfinitives may be seen by comparing “I can _strike_” with “I am able_to strike_,” “I may _strike_” with “I am permitted _to strike_,” “Imust _strike_” with “I am obliged _to strike_,” and so on. In earlierperiods 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 pp. 108–110. They are often called, collectively, the+potential mood+.



SINGULAR                        PLURAL

1. I may strike.[34]            1. We may strike.

2. Thou mayst strike.           2. You may strike.

3. He may strike.               3. They may strike.


1. I might strike.[35]          1. We might strike.

2. Thou mightst strike.         2. You might strike.

3. He might strike.             3. They might strike.


1. I may have struck.[36]       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.


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.



I may be struck, etc.             We may be struck, etc.


I might be struck, etc.           We might be struck, etc.


I may have been struck, etc.      We may have been struck, etc.


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 ourparty.

(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 inquestions. 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 Englishalmost 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 dutyor moral obligation; with the +perfect infinitive+, a past duty orobligation. _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_, butis now +always+ a present. Its former meaning may be seen in DameQuickly’s “You _ought_ him a thousand pound” (SHAKSPERE, _1 HenryIV_, iii. 3. 152).

_Had_ should never be prefixed to _ought_.

CORRECT                                 INCORRECTYou _ought_ to stay at home.            You had ought to stay at home.

We _ought_n’t to make so much noise.    We hadn’t ought to makeso much noise.

John ought to begin, _ought_n’t he?     John ought to begin, hadn’t he?

+294.+ _Should_ and _ought_ sometimes express what would certainly beexpected 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 +habitualaction+ in the past.

_I would_ gaze at the sea for hours at a time.

Whenever we asked Edward about his adventures, _he would begin_ totalk of something else.


+296.+ _Should_ is the past tense of _shall_, and _would_ is the pasttense of _will_. Hence the rules for _should_ and _would_ are similarto those for _shall_ and _will_ (§§ 233–239). But there is muchvariation, especially in subordinate clauses.

I. IN SIMPLE SENTENCES AND INDEPENDENT CLAUSES+297.+ Except in certain kinds of subordinate clauses, the distinctionbetween _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.


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_ inassertions, 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 should_n’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, becausethe auxiliary gives no suggestion of the speaker’s will (or volition).

In the last six, on the contrary, the speaker’s willingness or desireis plainly expressed by the auxiliary, and _I_ (or _we_) _would_ istherefore used.

NOTE. In such sentences as the fifth,--“I should wish to examine theplans again before deciding,”--_wish_ expresses volition. Hence “I_would_ wish” is incorrect, for it expresses volition twice and canmean only “I desire to wish.” On the same principle we say “I shouldprefer,” “I should be glad,” etc. (see § 236).

Sometimes either _I would_ or _I should_ may be used, but with adifference in meaning. Thus, in the eighth example, “I should helpyou” might be substituted for “I would help you.” This change,however, makes the remark sound less cordial and sympathetic; for _Ishould_ (unlike _I would_) gives no hint of the speaker’s desire tobe 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 inwhich one repeats the words or thought of another. Thus,--“_Youwould_ 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, _Ishould_ 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 wereyou.] 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, _Iwould_ accept it gladly.] 9. _Would you_ be so kind as to lend me your compasses? [Certainly _Iwould_ 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 correspondsto the form expected in the answer (§ 238).

+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 § 298, 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 ofrepute, but it is still contrary to the best usage. The reason for_should_ is the same as in _I should wish_ (§ 298, 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 should_ (§ 235).

+302.+ _Should_ in the +second+ and +third persons+ may be used insimple declarative sentences and independent clauses to express thewill of the speaker (§ 239).

If I had my way, _you should_ be prosecuted. [That is: I would takecare that you were prosecuted.] If I had the money, _you should_ be paid immediately. [Compare: _Youshall_ be paid.]

If I were you, _she should_ not regret her generosity. [Compare: _Sheshall_ 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 andprincipal clauses.

The following classes require attention:--(1) clauses of purpose orexpectation (§ 304), (2) conditional and concessive clauses (§ 305),(3) clauses expressing volition not that of the subject (§ 306), (4)clauses stating something as an idea (§ 307), (5) indirect discourse (§308).

+304.+ In subordinate clauses expressing the +purpose+ or +expectation+with which anything is done, _shall_ and _should_ are used in all threepersons.

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_ suspectthe 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 +futuresupposed case+ doubtfully, _shall_ and _should_ are used in +all threepersons+; but _will_ and _would_ are proper when the subject is thoughtof as +wishing+ or +consenting+.

1. What would happen if {_I_ | _you_ | _he_} _should_ not carry outthe commander’s instructions?

2. If {_I_ | _you_ | _he_} _should_ miss the steamer, our friendswould 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 ustry 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 makethe attempt. [Concession.] 7. Though _Evans should_ disappoint me, I should not lose confidencein him.

8. Vernon will do his part if {_I_ | _you_ | _they_} _will_ coöperatewith him.

9. If {_I_ | _you_ | _he_} _will_ only make the effort, success iscertain.

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 profitablejourney. [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 merefuturity.

Though {_you_ | _he_} _will_ certainly fail, {you | he} may make theattempt.

Though the _ship will_ not sink for some hours, let us take to theboats.

+306.+ _Shall_ and _should_ are often used in the second and thirdpersons in subordinate clauses to express volition which is not that ofthe 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+ butas an +idea+ to be considered, _should_ is the proper auxiliary in allthree persons.

I am not surprised that you _should_ find your lesson ratherdifficult. [That is: “When I consider the matter, I do not find theidea surprising.” In “I am not surprised _that you find_,” etc., thesubordinate 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 +indirectdiscourse+, see §§ 438–439.


+309.+ The +infinitive+ is a +verb-form+ that has some of theproperties of a +noun+ (§ 28). Its two-sided character comes outclearly 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 ordinarynoun 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 expressesaction; (2) it may be modified by an adverb, as in No. 5; (3) it takesan object if it is transitive, as in No. 6.

An infinitive (as the examples show) has regularly no subject andtherefore lacks both number and person. Hence it is not bound by thegeneral rule for the agreement of a verb with its subject (§ 222). Fromthis fact it derives its name, +infinitive+, which means “unrestricted”or “free from limitations.”[38] +310.+ +The infinitive is a verb-form which partakes of the nature ofa 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 thesign of the infinitive.+ _To_ is not, in strictness, a part of the infinitive, but it may be soregarded for convenience, since the infinitive, in most of its uses, ispreceded 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 goif you wish.”

+311.+ The infinitive often lacks _to_, especially in verb-phraseswith the auxiliaries _will_, _shall_, _may_, _can_, _must_, _might_,_could_, _would_, _should_, _do_, _did_. For examples, see pp. 102,114, 124.

+312.+ The infinitive has two tenses,--the +present+ and the +perfect+.

1. The +present infinitive+ is the verb in its simplest form, usuallypreceded by _to_: as,--_to live_, _to teach_, _to bind_, _to strike_.

2. The +perfect infinitive+ is made by prefixing the infinitive of theauxiliary verb _have_ to the past participle (§ 243): as,--_to havelived_, _to have taught_, _to have bound_, _to have struck_.

+313.+ An infinitive may be modified by an +adverb+, an +adverbialphrase+, 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 carefullyinquire.] Mr. Harris moved to postpone the question indefinitely. [NOT: toindefinitely postpone.] I expect always to be poor. [NOT: to always be poor.]NOTE. Careless writers pay slight attention to this rule, and somegood writers and speakers defy it, hoping to break it down. But it isunquestionably 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 _togive_, 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) inthe so-called +infinitive clause+.


+316.+ The infinitive is used in various +noun constructions+,--assubject, as predicate nominative, as nominative of exclamation, asappositive, as object of certain prepositions, as modifier.

+317.+ +An infinitive with or without a complement or modifiers, may beused as the subject of a sentence, as a predicate nominative, or as anappositive.+ _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, andthe second is a predicate nominative.] Both alternatives, _to advance_ and _to retreat_, seemed equallyhazardous. [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 theobject.]

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 theexpletive subject _it_.

It was a pleasure _to see_ him. [Instead of: To see him was apleasure.]

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 (see § 120, 2).

+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 _canbut_ 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_). Theidiom is shortened from “I cannot _choose but_ thank you,”--that is,“I have _no choice except_ to do so,” or, in other words, “I cannothelp 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+ (§88, 4).

_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!


+321.+ +An infinitive may be used as an adjective modifier of a noun oras an adverbial modifier of an adjective.+ +In this use the infinitive is said to depend on the word which itmodifies.+

WITH NOUNS                     WITH ADJECTIVES(ADJECTIVE MODIFIER)           (ADVERBIAL MODIFIER)An opportunity _to advance_    The men are _ready to advance_.


Determination _to win_         John is eager _to win_.

brings success.

Willingness _to oblige_        I shall be glad _to oblige_ you.

makes friends.

I wish I had the ability       We are all able _to swim_.

_to swim_.

His anxiety _to please_ us     He is anxious _to please_ everybody.

was laughable.

NOTE. This use is due to the fact that the infinitive with _to_ isreally a prepositional phrase (§ 42). Thus, “determination _to win_”is equivalent to “determination for victory,” and “eager _to win_” to“eager _for victory_.” The adjective force of the infinitive comesout clearly in “nothing _to eat_,” where _to eat_ is practicallysynonymous with _eatable_.

In its adjective use, the present infinitive sometimes shows nodistinction in voice, so that the active and the passive areinterchangeable: as,--“a house _to let_” or “_to be let_”; “an axe_to grind_” or “_to be ground_.” In such expressions the active formis usually preferable.

+322.+ The infinitive without _to_ may be used as an adjective modifierafter the direct object of _see_, _hear_, _feel_, and some other verbsof 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_.” Hencethe substantive may be regarded as an object, and the infinitive asits modifier. But the construction closely approaches that of aninfinitive clause (§§ 324–325).

+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+ maybe regarded as +adverbial phrases+ modifying the verb.

NOTE. After some verbs the infinitive approaches the constructionof 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 treatthem as adverbial modifiers. For it is impossible to distinguish theconstruction of the infinitive after certain adjectives (as in “I ameager _to see_ you”) from its construction after such verbs as _wish_and _desire_.


+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 theobject of _wished_; in the second, this clause is replaced by _him togo_, but without any change in meaning. This expression consists oftwo parts:--(1) _him_, a pronoun in the objective case, which replacesthe subject _he_; and (2) an infinitive _to go_, which replaces thepredicate _should go_. Thus it is plain that _him to go_ is also a nounclause, of which _him_ is the subject, and _to go_ the predicate. Suchan expression is called an +infinitive clause+.

+325.+ +A kind of clause, consisting of a substantive in the objectivecase followed by an infinitive, may be used as the object of certainverbs.+ +Such clauses are called infinitive clauses, and the substantive issaid 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_.[39] 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 infinitiveclauses.

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 nosubject (§ 309). The infinitive clause is, therefore, a peculiarexception, for _him to go_ makes an assertion as clearly as _thathe should go_ does. That _him_ is really the subject of _to go_ andnot the object of _wished_ is manifest, for _I wished him_ makes nosense. The object of _wished_ is the whole clause (_him to go_).

Originally, to be sure, the noun or pronoun in the objective wasfelt to be the object of the main verb, and this relation may stillbe 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 tobe blown up”). The substantive has come to be the real subject of theinfinitive, and should be so treated in parsing.

+326.+ A +predicate pronoun+ after _to be_ in an infinitive clause isin the +objective case+, agreeing with the subject of the infinitive.

Care should be taken not to confuse this construction with the+predicate nominative+ (§ 88, 2).

PREDICATE PRONOUN AFTER _TO BE_    PREDICATE NOMINATIVEI 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         We suspected that the intrudersto be _them_.                      were _they_.

Note the case of the +relatives+ and of the +predicate pronouns+ in thefollowing sentences:A boy _whom_ I thought to be honest deceived me. [_Whom_ is thesubject of the infinitive _to be_ and is therefore in the objectivecase.] A boy _who_, I thought, was honest deceived me. [_Who_ is the subjectof _was_ and is therefore nominative. _I thought_ is parenthetical (§502).] 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_.


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 apredicate nominative, or as the object of a preposition.

_For us to delay_ would be fatal to your enterprise. [Compare: _Ourdelay_ would be fatal.] Our best plan is _for the boat to shoot the rapids_. [Predicatenominative agreeing with the subject _plan_.]I see no way out of the difficulty except _for them to offer anapology_. [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 arecalled +participles+ (§ 31). Thus,_Shattered_ and _sinking_, but gallantly _returning_ the enemy’sfire, the frigate drifted out to sea.

_Shattered_, _sinking_, and _returning_ are verb-forms which are insome respects similar to infinitives: for (1) they express action; (2)they have no subject to agree with, and hence have neither person nornumber; and (3) one of them takes a direct object. They differ frominfinitives, 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 (orparticipate in) the nature of adjectives.

+330.+ +The participle is a verb-form which has no subject, but whichpartakes of the nature of an adjective and expresses action or state insuch 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.--DEQUINCEY.

_Deserted_, _surrounded_, _outnumbered_, and with everything atstake, he did not even deign to stand on the defensive.--MACAULAY.

_Shrouded_ in such baleful vapors, the genius of Burns was never seenin clear azure splendor, _enlightening_ the world.--CARLYLE.


+331.+ Verbs have three participles,--the +present+, the +past+, andthe +perfect+.

+332.+ The +present participle+ ends in _-ing_. It usually describes anaction 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 thatdenoted 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 pasttime or completed action.+ 1. +The past participle of a weak verb has the same form as the pasttense.+[40]

PRESENT TENSE         PAST TENSE              PAST PARTICIPLEI _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 vowelof the present tense.+ +All strong verbs had originally the ending _en_ (_n_) in the pastparticiple, but this ending has been lost in many verbs.+PRESENT TENSE    PAST TENSE     PAST PARTICIPLEHe _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. (See pp.

291–297 for a list.)

+335.+ The +perfect participle+ is made by prefixing _having_ to thepast 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 progressiveverb-phrases (§§ 255–259).

The past participle is used in forming the complete tenses (§§ 242–244)and the passive voice (§ 247).


+337.+ Since the participle has adjective properties, its constructionsare in the main like those of adjectives.

+338.+ +A participle is said to belong to the substantive which itdescribes or limits.+ Rupert, _missing_ his companion, stepped to the door. [The presentparticiple _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 towhich 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. [Sincethere is no substantive to which _entering_ can belong, it has noconstruction.] Apparent exceptions are _concerning_, _considering_, _pending_,_generally speaking_, etc. The first three may be classed asprepositions (§ 355), the last as an independent participle.

We fought every day, and, _generally speaking_, twice every day.--DEQUINCEY.

NOTE. The rule in § 339 does not apply to such phrases as _onentering_, _after investigating_, etc., in which the words in _-ing_are not participles, but verbal nouns (§ 348). Thus the followingsentences are grammatical:--“_On entering_ the room, a strange sightappeared”; “_After investigating_ the subject, the plan was adopted.”Such expressions, however, should be used with caution, since theyare 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 directobject of _giving_, and _me_ is the indirect object.]The participle, with its modifiers and such other words as areattached 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. Thedistinction may be seen in the following examples:The rain began to fall heavily, and every time a gust of wind struckus we _were drenched_ by it.

When the rain at last ceased, we were _drenched_ [that is, _verywet_].

In the first sentence, _were drenched_ is the past passive of theverb _drench_ (compare the active “every time a gust of wind struckus, it _drenched_ us”). In the second, the participle _drenched_expresses mere condition, and is therefore a predicate adjective. Thedistinction, however, is not always sharp, and in cases of doubt thephrase may be taken together as a passive verb.

NOTE. The real test is the following. Whenever a person or thing isdistinctly present to the mind as the doer of the action, we havea passive verb-phrase. Whenever, on the other hand, the participlemerely describes condition with no thought of its being the result ofan antecedent act, the construction is that of a predicate adjective(§ 172, 3).


+344.+ A substantive, with the participle belonging to it, is oftenused 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 thefailure 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 windfailed_,} 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 nominativeabsolute.+

_My knife slipping_, I cut myself severely. [The phrase _my knifeslipping_ is equivalent to _because my knife slipped_: it expresses+cause+.] _Two days having elapsed_, we again set forward. [The phrase initalics is equivalent to _when two days had elapsed_: it expresses+time+.] Evenings he read aloud, _his wife sewing by his side_. [The phraseexpresses one of the +circumstances+ that attended the reading.]_This done_, proceed to business. [The phrase _this done_ isequivalent to the clause _since_ (or _when_) _this is done_, andindicates +cause+ or +time+.] NOTE. This construction is called +absolute+ (that is, “free”or “loosened”) because the substantive is not in any one of theconstructions (subject, object, apposition, etc.) which ordinarilyattach nouns grammatically to other words in the sentence.

Nevertheless, the whole phrase, though standing apart from the restof the sentence, is in meaning an adverbial modifier of some verb.

+346.+ The participle _being_ is sometimes omitted in the absoluteconstruction.

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.


+347.+ English has a large and important class of +verbal nouns+ thatend in _-ing_, and that serve as the +names of actions+.

These are identical in form with +present participles+, for which theyare frequently mistaken. The distinction, however, is clear, for thepresent participle is never used as the name of an action. Hence nosuch word in _-ing_ that is a subject or an object, or stands in anyother noun construction, can be a participle.

While I was _travelling_ in Mexico, I met with an accident.


_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 apreposition.] Tom’s favorite exercise is _swimming_. [Verbal noun, predicatenominative.]

This sport, _fishing_, has been called the contemplative man’srecreation. [Verbal noun, in apposition with _sport_.]That nouns in _-ing_ are real nouns may be proved by putting ordinarynouns 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 verbalnoun in _-ing_.+

+Verbal nouns in _-ing_ have the form of present participles, but theconstruction of nouns.+ They are often called +participial nouns+.

Such nouns are freely used, either by themselves or in a series alongwith 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 threer’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 iftheir meaning allows.+ Digging _gold_ seems to the uninitiated like finding buried_treasure_.

Lending _him money_ is useless; it merely fosters his unthriftyhabits. [Here the noun _lending_, which is the simple subject of thesentence, 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 beattached, so as to give the effect of voice and tense.+After _being instructed_ in my duties, I was ordered to wait on theking.

There were grave doubts expressed as to his _having seen_ themastodon.

After _having been treated_ in so harsh a fashion, I had no wish torepeat the interview.

Such expressions are +verbal noun-phrases+.

+350.+ Verbal nouns in _-ing_ are similar in some of theirconstructions to infinitives used as nouns (p. 135).

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 theadjective element in a +compound noun+ (§ 64).

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 walkingtour_, _a swimming race_, _a vaulting pole_. In such cases itmakes little difference whether the two nouns are taken togetheras a compound, or whether the first is regarded as an adjectivemodifying the second. The difference between this use and that ofthe participle is perfectly clear. A “_sleeping_ dog” is a dog _thatsleeps_; 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 exceptionswith the nouns in _-ing_.

+352.+ +When a verbal noun in _-ing_ is preceded by an article or anyother 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 andskill.

{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 +prepositionalphrase+ when an article or other adjective precedes the verbal noun.

NOTE. In such expressions as “I went a-fishing,” _a_ is a shortenedform of the preposition _on_, and _fishing_ is a verbal noun used asits object. When _a_ is omitted we have “I went fishing,” “The houseis building,” and the like, in which the word in _-ing_ seems to be aparticiple, but is really the object of the omitted _a_ (= _on_).

+353.+ The possessive case of a noun or pronoun may be used to limit averbal noun in _-ing_.

I was sure of its _being_ he. [NOT: _it_.]

I heard of Allen’s _being_ elected. [NOT: _Allen_.]CHAPTER VII


+354.+ +A preposition is a word placed before a substantive to show itsrelation to some other word in the sentence.++The substantive which follows a preposition is called its object andis in the objective case.+ +A phrase consisting of a preposition and its object, with or withoutother 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 phrasemodifying the noun _heap_, and _on the floor_ is an adverbial phrasemodifying the verb _lay_. In the second sentence, the verb _stood_ ismodified by two adverbial phrases, _behind the tree_ and _for sometime_.

+355.+ The following list includes most of the prepositions:aboard



according to





along with

amid, amidst

among, amongst

apart from


as for, as to




because of





beside, besides




but (= except)


by dint of

by means of

by reason of

by virtue of

by way of







except, excepting


for the sake of


from among

from between

from under


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






on account of

out of

outside (outside of)


over against






round about

save, saving




to, unto


toward, towards



until, till






with reference to

with regard to

with respect to

NOTE. Such expressions as _by means of_, _in accordance with_, _inspite of_, etc., are really phrases, but may be regarded as compoundprepositions.

Several participles like _concerning_, _considering_, _pending_, arecommon in a prepositional use and are therefore included in the list(§ 339).

For _a_ (a form of _on_) in _abed_, _asleep_, _afire_, _a-fishing_,etc., see § 352.

_Per_ is confined to the strictly commercial style except in suchexpressions as _perforce_, _per cent_, _per annum_ (§ 179).

+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 isomitted (see § 151). Thus, in the second sentence, _which_ might bedropped, and the object of _in_ would then be “_which_, understood.”For “He was laughed at,” and the like, see § 251.

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 Marchfirst,” 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 areavoided in the more formal style. No preposition need be supplied inparsing. The noun is an adverbial objective (§ 109).

+358.+ Care is required in the use of +pronouns+ as the +objects ofprepositions+.

{He has been very friendly | The old house will seem lonely | Thatmakes no difference} to you and _me_. [NOT: you and _I_.]{Tom’s carelessness makes trouble | There are letters at the postoffice} 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+.


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, see pp.


+360.+ Prepositions show various distinctions in use and meaning whichmust be learned by practice and by the study of synonyms in a largedictionary.

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.



+361.+ +Conjunctions connect words or groups of words.++Conjunctions are either coördinate or subordinate.+[41]1. +A coördinate conjunction connects words or groups of words that areindependent 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 ofthe verb _embarked_). In the sixth, _and_ joins the two coördinateclauses of a compound sentence (§ 44). In the seventh, _and_ joinstwo coördinate clauses which, taken together, make up the subordinateclause _until ... deserted_; this clause may therefore be called acompound subordinate clause (see § 454).

2. +A subordinate conjunction connects a subordinate clause with theclause 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 +coördinate conjunctions+ are:and (both ... and)

not only ... but also

or (either ... or)

nor (neither ... nor)











Several of these are much used for +transition+, whether from sentenceto 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 itdenotes consequence or the like.

_Then_ the boat glided up to the pier. [Time.]Men are imperfect creatures: we must not, _then_, expect them to beangels. [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 orconjunctions.

PREPOSITIONS                     CONJUNCTIONSI am waiting _for_ you.          We must go, _for_ it is late.

Jane is coming,                  It is a hard storm.

_notwithstanding_ the storm.     She will come, _notwithstanding_.

NOTE. _For_ is sometimes classified as a subordinate conjunction, butthe fact that it may be used to begin an independent sentence (evenwhen such a sentence opens a paragraph) justifies its inclusion amongthe coördinates.

+366.+ The chief +subordinate conjunctions+ are:although, though


as if (as though)




since (= because)





whether (whether ... or)

A few phrases may be regarded as compound conjunctions. Suchare:--_in order that_, _so that_, _provided that_, _in case that_,_but that_, _as if_, _as though_, _even if_. _Provided_, and _incase_ (without _that_) may also be used as conjunctions: as,--“I willgo _provided_ it doesn’t rain.” +367.+ The subordinate conjunction _that_ is often omitted when it mayreadily 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 (§151). It is extremely common, not only in colloquial language butalso in literature, whether prose or verse.

+368.+ _As_ and _since_ in the sense of “because,” and _while_ in thesense of “though,” are conjunctions.

When denoting +time+, _as_ is an adverb, _while_ is a noun or anadverb, and _since_ is an adverb or a preposition.

_As_ (or _since_) you will not listen, I will say no more.


_As_ we crossed the bridge, I looked down at the rushing stream.


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 Uticabefore 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 rootof 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 _butthat_ or _unless_.

There is no doubt _but that_ they are murderers.--SHELLEY.

Your uncle must not know _but_ [= _but that_] you aredead.--SHAKSPERE.

Ne’er may I look on day _but_ [= _unless_] she tells your highnessthe truth.--SHAKSPERE. [This use is obsolete.]There is not a wave of the Seine _but_ is associated in mymind with the first rise of the sandstones and forest pines ofFontainebleau.--RUSKIN.

There was nobody _but_ loved her.

NOTE. In the last two examples the subject of the subordinate clauseis omitted:--“There is not a wave _but_ [_it_] is associated,” “Therewas nobody _but_ [_he_] loved her.” In such cases, _but_ is sometimesregarded 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, andare therefore often called +conjunctive adverbs+ (§§ 194–195).

NOTE. Most conjunctions, historically considered, are merely adverbs(or adverbial phrases) which have come to be used in so peculiar away as to form a special class among the parts of speech. Thus theadverbs _since_ and _while_ become conjunctions when they cease todenote time; _because_ is a corruption of the phrase _by cause_;_but_ is developed from an old adverb meaning “outside.”CHAPTER IX INTERJECTIONS

+372.+ +An interjection is a cry or other exclamatory sound expressingsurprise, 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 thephrases or sentences in which they stand.+ Hence they are counted among the “independent elements” of a sentence(§ 501).

Sometimes, however, a substantive is connected with an interjection bymeans 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 ellipticalsentences, as if “O for a camera!” stood for “O, I wish for acamera!” and “Good for you!” for “That is good for you!” But it isbetter to treat them as +exclamatory phrases+.[42] Other exclamatoryphrases 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.



_Good!_ I like that!




_Back_, villains!

_I!_ not a bit of it!


Such words are often called interjections, but it is better to describethem as nouns, adjectives, etc., used in exclamation, and to confinethe term +interjection+ to words which belong to no other part ofspeech.

NOTE. Thus _nonsense!_ and _fire!_ are nouns in the exclamatorynominative; _I!_ is a pronoun in the same construction; _halt!_ is averb in the imperative (compare _hark!_ _hush!_ _behold!_ _look!_);_good!_ is an adjective; _forward!_ _on!_ _away!_ and _back!_ areadverbs; _but!_ is a conjunction.

The following examples illustrate various +exclamatoryexpressions+,--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 indignantastonishment.--CARLYLE.

12. Can he keep himself still if he would! Oh, not he!--WORDSWORTH.



+376.+ +A clause is a group of words that forms part of a sentence andthat contains a subject and a predicate.+ +A clause used as a part of speech is called a subordinate clause (§46).+

+377.+ A subordinate clause may be introduced by (1) a relative or aninterrogative pronoun, (2) a relative or an interrogative adverb, (3) asubordinate conjunction.

The +relative pronouns+ are: _who_, _which_, _what_, _that_ (=_who_ or _which_), _as_ (after _such_ or _same_), and the compoundrelatives _whoever_, _whichever_, _whatever_. Their uses have alreadybeen studied (pp. 66–73).

The chief +relative adverbs+ are: _where_, _whence_, _whither_,_wherever_, _when_, _whenever_, _while_, _before_, _after_, _till_,_until_, _since_, _as_, _how_, _why_ (p. 86).

The +interrogative pronouns+ are: _who_, _which_, _what_ (§§ 163–165).

The +interrogative adverbs+ are: _where_, _when_, _whence_,_whither_, _how_, _why_.

The most important +subordinate conjunctions+ are: _because_, _since_(= _because_), _though_, _although_, _if_, _unless_, _that_ (_inorder that_, _so that_), _lest_, _as_, _as if_, _as though_, _than_,_whether_ (_whether ... or_).

+378.+ According to their use as parts of speech, subordinate clausesare +adjective+, +adverbial+, or +noun clauses+.


+379.+ +A subordinate clause that modifies a substantive is called anadjective clause+ (§ 47).

{_Able_ men | Men _of ability_ | Men _who show ability_} can alwaysfind employment.

{_Treeless_ spots | Spots _without trees_ | Spots _where no treesgrew_} were plainly visible.

In each of these groups, a noun (_men_, _spots_) is modified (1) by anadjective, (2) by an adjective phrase, (3) by an adjective clause. Thesense 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.).


+381.+ +A subordinate clause that serves as an adverbial modifier iscalled an adverbial clause (§ 47).+ Jack spoke {_thoughtlessly_. | _without thinking_. | _before hethought_.}

The schoolhouse stands {_there_. | _at the crossroads_. | _where theroads meet_.}

We pay our rent {_monthly_. | _on the first of every month_. | _whenthe first of the month comes_.} In each of these groups, the verb (_spoke_, _stands_, _pay_) ismodified (1) by an adverb, (2) by an adverbial phrase, (3) by anadverbial 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 interrogativepronouns.

+383.+ Adverbial clauses oftenest modify verbs, but they are alsocommon as modifiers of adjectives and adverbs.

Angry _because he had failed_, he abandoned the undertaking. [Theclause 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 andadjectives.

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 “asto the fact that.” The clause may be explained as a noun clause inthe adverbial objective construction (§ 109).

For the classification of adverbial clauses according to their meaning(place, time, cause, concession, etc.), see pp. 163–182.


+385.+ +A subordinate clause that is used as a noun is called a noun(or substantive) clause (§ 47).+ {_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 losemoney_.}

I expect {_success_. | _to succeed_. | _that I shall succeed_.}In each of these groups a noun (_agreement_, _victory_, etc.) isreplaced (1) by an infinitive, (2) by a noun clause. In the first twoexamples, the noun clause is the subject; in the last two, it is theobject of a verb (_feared_, _expect_).

+386.+ Noun clauses may be used in any of the more importantconstructions of nouns:--(1) as +subject+, (2) as +direct object+ ofa 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 Cæsar was a tyrant_. [Object of _said_.]Cæsar 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_. [Appositionwith _fear_.] One fact is undoubted,--_that the state of America has been kept incontinual agitation_.--BURKE. [Apposition with _fact_.]The old saying is _that misery loves company_. [Predicate nominative.]+387.+ Noun clauses may be introduced (1) by the subordinateconjunctions _that_, _whether_ (_whether ... or_), and _if_ (in thesense of _whether_); (2) by the interrogative pronouns _who_, _which_,_what_; (3) by the interrogative adverbs _where_, _whence_, _whither_,_how_, _why_, _when_ (§ 196).

+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 (§ 406); (2) indirect discourse (§§431–437); (3) indirect questions (§ 443).

Object clauses frequently omit _that_ (§ 367).

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, see §§324–325.

+389.+ A noun clause may be used as the +retained object+ of a passiveverb (§ 253).

ACTIVE VOICE                     PASSIVE VOICE(CLAUSE AS OBJECT)               (RETAINED OBJECT)They informed me                 I was informed_that the train was late_.       _that the train was late_.

Charles told us                  We were told_that the ice was thin_.         _that the ice was thin_.

They asked me _whether_          I was asked _whether I liked tennis_.

(or _if_) 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 arestubborn_. [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 wasparty_.--BACON.

She could see me from _where she stood_.

There is a dispute as to _which of the miners first staked out theclaim_.

For a noun clause used as an adverbial objective, see § 384.

+391.+ Noun clauses with _that_ are common in the predicate when theexpletive _it_ is the grammatical subject (§ 120, 2).

It was plain _that war was at hand_.

It was clear _that this administration would last but a very shorttime_.

It must be admitted _that there were many extenuating circumstances_.

It was by slow degrees _that Fox became a brilliant and powerfuldebater_.

It was under the command of a foreign general _that the British hadtriumphed 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_, asif one said “_It_ (that war was at hand) was plain.”NOTE. This useful idiom enables us to adopt a kind of inverted order(§ 5), and thus to shift the emphasis. Contrast “_That war was athand_ was plain” with “_It was plain_ that war was at hand.” In theformer sentence, the noun clause is made prominent; in the latter,the adjective _plain_.

+392.+ The following sentences, taken from distinguished authors ofdifferent periods, illustrate the usefulness of the noun clause in itsvarious constructions.

1. That the king would ever again have received Becket into favor isnot to be believed.--SOUTHEY.

2. That in education we should proceed from the simple to the complexis a truth which has always been to some extent acted on.--SPENCER.

3. How great his reputation was, is proved by the embassies sent tohim.--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 andvalet to the expediency of removing the treasure.--POE.

6. There is no doubt that breeds may be made as different as speciesin many physiological characteristics.--HUXLEY.

7. The main definition you could give of old Marquis Mirabeau is,that he w


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