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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 an 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 nre proper nouns ?— What are common nouns ?—When are nouns of the third person; and when of the second? —Whai, besides person, have nouns?
"James, give me the loriting-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?
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 ' 'an 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 "TAemore 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 o-f 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,
foodness, whiteness—and verbal or participial nouns; as, egimning, reading, being. 2*
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?
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 cs, 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, "The scholar's duty;" "My father's house." When the plural ends in s, and commonly when the singular terminates in double v, the apostrophe alone is added ; as, " On eagles' wings;" " For goodness' sake."—The objective case expresses the object of an action, or relation, and generally follows either an active verb, or a preposition; as, "John assists Charles;" "They live in Boston."
What is gender ?—How many genders are there ?—What does the masculine gender denote ?—What does the feminine ?—What the neuter ?—What is number ?—Of how many numbers are nouns ?—What does the singular number express ?—What does the plural ?— How is the plural of nouns generally formed? —How many cases have English nouns ?—<■ What does the. nominative case express ?— What is said of the possessive case ?—What of the objective case?
"A man shall leave his father, and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh."
How many nouns are there in this sentence? Which of them are of the masculine gender? —Which feminine?—Which is neuter?—Are they of the singular or plural number?
"The boy plays."—What gender, number, and case is boy?