Page images

“We ought to have denyed ourselves"

“ All these with ceasless praise, his works behold,

Both day and night.” “ The worship of God is an aweful service.” “Wisdom alone is truely fair.”—

The learner is requested not only to correct the preceding inaccuracies, but to refer to the rule, of which each is a violation.

LESSON V. The second part of Grammar is ETYMOLOGY, which treats of the different sorts of words, their various modifications, and their derivation.

There are in English nine sorts of words, or parts of specch, viz. the article, the noun, the adjective, the pronoun, the verb, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.

An ARTICLE is a word prefixed to nouns, to point them out, and to show how far their signification extends; as, a garden, the woman. -In English there are two articles, a and the. A becomes an before a vowel, or silent h; as, an acorn, an hour.

A or an is called the indefinite article; because it is used to point out one single thing of a kind, in other respects indeterminate; as, “Give me a book.”

The is called the definite article; because it points out what particular thing of the kind is meant; as, “ Give me the book."

A noun, without any article to limit it, is taken in its widest sense.

A Noun is the name of any thing that exists, or of which we have any notion; as, man, virtue, Boston. The noun may generally be distinguished by its taking an article before it, or by its making complete sense of itself. -Nouns are either proper or common. Proper nouns are the names appropriated to individuals; as, George, London. Common nouns stand for kinds, containing many sorts, or for sorts, containing many individuals under them; as, animal, man, tree.

Most nouns are either of the second or third person. They are of the third, when the thing signified is spoken of; and of the second, when it is spoken to. . They have also gender, number, and case.


What is English Grammar? _Of what does Etymology treat ?-How many parts of speech are there in English ?-What are they?--What is an article ?-How many articles are there in English ?-When does a become an? -What is a or on called ?-_Why is it so called? — What is the called ?-Why is it so called ?-What is a noun ?--How may the noun be distinguished ?— What are proper nouns?What are common nouns ?---When are nouns of the third person; and when of the second ? ----What, besides person, have nouns?

ILLUSTRATION. James, give me the writing-book, with an inkstand, and a pen." .

How many articles are there in this sentence ?-Which is definite, and which are indefinite ?-Why is an used, rather than a, before inkstand ?-How many nouns are there in the sentence?-Which is proper, and which are common?- Which is in the second person, and which in the third ?

Study the lesson an hour, William, and then you will write a few lines.

How many articles are there in this sentence ?-Which is definite, and which indefinite ?- Why is an used before hour ?-Which of the nouns in the sentence are common, and which proper ?Which are in the third person, and which in the second ?

REVIEW. An must be used before a word beginning with an h that is not silent, if the accent is on the second syllable; as “an heroic action, an historical account.”

A must be used rather than an before words beginning with u long ; as a union, a university. A is also used before one ; as many a one." &c.

The article is omitted before nouns denoting the different virtues, vices, passions, qualities, sciences, arts, metals, herbs, &c. as “ prudence is commendable ; falsehood is odious.”

It is also omitted before proper names, except when they are used by way of distinction, or eminence ; as “ He is a Howard ; * Every man is not a Newton."

When an adjective is used with a noun, it is commonly placed between the article and noun ; as "ban agreeable woman ;' « a virtuous child.” On some occasions,

however, the adjective precedes the article; as “Such a shame;" “ Too careless a writer."

The indefinite article is sometimes placed between the adjective many, and a singular noun; as “ Full many a gem; Full many a flower.

The indefinite article is joined to nouns in the singular number only. Those nouns must be excepted which have an adjective before them expressing or implying number; as a few houses; a dozen, a hundred, a thousand men.

The definite article is joined to nouns in either number.

The definite article is often applied to adverbs in the comparative and superlative degree; as “ The more I examine it the better I like it. I like this the least of any."

The article, though a small word, is a very important one; as on the correct position and proper use of it the sense of almost every sentence essentially depends.

It is thought by some, since a or an means one, and the means the same as that or these, that both the articles should be regarded as adjectives, or adjective pronouns. But it appears from the preceding examples that they are used in many instances where one could not be substituted for the indefinite article, or that or these for the definite, and make tolerable sense. Hence, whatever may have been their original signification, it is clear they are now to be regarded as constituting a distinct part of speech.

When proper nouns have an article annexed to them, they become common; as “ He is the Cicero of his age.” “He is reading the lives of the twelve Cesars.” Common nouns may also be used to signify individuals, by the addition of articles or pronouns; as “The boy is studious; that girl is discreet.”

Besides the division of nouns into common and proper, there are collective nouns; as, the multitude, the people, the army-abstract nouns, or the names of qualities; as, goodness, whiteness-and verbal or participial nouns; as, beginning, reading, being.

[ocr errors]

Questions on the Review. Is an ever used before a word beginning with h that is not silent?-Is a ever used before a word beginning with a vowel?-Before what nouns is the article commonly omitted ?-_Is the indefinite article ever joined to nouns in the plural number?-Is the article ever joined to any other words besides nouns?--What other kinds of nouns are there, except common and proper?

LESSON VI. GENDER is the distinction of sex. There are three genders, the masculine, the feminine, and the neuter. The masculine gender denotes animals of the male kind; as, man, horse. The feminine gender signifies animals of the female kind; as, woman, hen.--The neuter gender denotes objects which are neither male nor female; as, house, garden, &c.

NUMBER is the consideration of an object, as one, or more. Nouns are of two numbers, the singular and plural. The singular number expresses but one object; as, chair, table. The plural signifies more objects than one; as, chairs, tables. The plural of nouns is generally formed, by adding s, or es, to the singular; as, dove, doves; box, boxes.

Nouns in English have three CASES, the nominative, the possessive, and the objective. - The nominative case simply expresses the name of a thing, or the subject of the verb; as, “ The boy plays;" “ The girls learn.”The possessive case expresses the relation of property, or possession ; and has an apostrophe, with the letter s coming after it; as,

« PreviousContinue »