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of Vortex?-In what instances is the apostrophics omitted, in forming the possessive case?-Decline Man.-Decline Mother.
LESSON VII. An adjective is a word added to a noun, to express its quality; as, “ an industrimus man.”_ The only variation which adjectives admit, is that of the degress of comparison. There are three degrees of comparison ; the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. The positive state expresses the quality of an object, without any increase or diminutior ; as, wise, great. The comparative degree increases or lessens the positive in signification; as, wiser, greater. The superlative degree increases or lessens the positive, to the utmost; as, wisest, greatest.
If the simple word, or positive, have but one syllable, the comparative is formed by the addition of r, or er; and the superlative by the addition of st, or est, to the end of it; as, wise, wiser, wisest,-great, greater, greatest. But if the positive consists of more than one syllable, the comparative and superlative are usually formed by prefixing more, and most; or less, and least; as, beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful; virtuous, less virtuous, least virtuous.
To determine whether a word is an adjective, add the noun thing; and if the expression makes complete sense, it is an adjective. The adjective, when the article precedes it and no noun follows it, is used as a noun.
QUESTIONS. What is an adjective ?-What variation does the adjective admit?-How many degrees of comparison have adjectives, and what are they? ---What does the positive state express ?---What is said of the comparative degree?--What of the superlative? In adjectives of one syllable, how is the comparative and the superlative degree formed ?-How are they formed, when the positive consists of more than one syllable?-How may you determine whether a word is an adjective ?When is the adjective used as a noun ?
ILLUSTRATION. " The day was fair, and windy, and cold." Which are the adjectives in this sentence ?
What is their degree of comparison ?-Of what noun do they express the quality ?
“A greater, wiser, and better man than Washington, we have never seen. He was the bravest commander, the most profound statesman, and the most disinterested citizen, which our country has ever produced.”-How many adjectives are there in these two sentences ?Which are they ?-Which of them are comparatives, and which superlatives ?
" God loves the virtuous and the good.” — Which are the adjectives in this sentence ? How are these adjectives used ?- What is the comparative and superlative degree, in each of the following adjectives; tall, short, high,
low, white, black, good, bad, ugly, lovely, extravagant?
REVIEW. Adjectives expressing the different numbers are called numeral adjectives. These are either cardinal or or dinal. The cardinal are one, two, three, &c. the ordinal, first, second, third, &c.
If we consider the subject of comparison attentively, we shall perceive that the degrees of it are infinite, or at least indefinite. A mountain is larger than a mite; by how many degrees? How much bigger is the earth than a grain of sand? By how many degrees was Socrates wiser than Alcibiades? Or by how many is snow whiter than paper ?-It is plain that to these, and to many similar questions, no definite answers can be returned. It is not possible to accommodate our speech to the numberless gradations which exist; nor would it be convenient, if it were possible..
The termination ish may be accounted in some sort a degree of comparison, by which the signification is diminished below the positive; as black, blackish; salt, saltish.
The word rather is very properly used to express a small degree or excess of a quality; as “ She is rather profuse in her expenses."
Dissyllables are sometimes compared without the help of more and most, &c.; as, happier, happiest; abler, ablest. But words of more than two syllables hardly ever admit of these terminations.
In some words, the superlative is formed by adding most to the end of them; as, nethermost, utmost, undermost, uppermost, foremost.
There are some words in common use of very irreg. ular comparison; as, good, better, best; bad, worse, worst; little, less, least; much or many, more, most, &c.
Various nouns placed before other nouns assume the nature of adjectives; as, sea fowl, wine vessel, corn field, meadow ground, &c.
The minuter degrees of comparison, which we have said are infinite, may be expressed intelligibly, if not accurately, by the help of adverbs; as, “Virtue is greatly preferable to riches;" “ Socrates was much wiser than Alcibiades.” “ Snow is vastly whiter than paper.” “ The tide is considerably higher to day, than it was yesterday.” “ God is infinitely greater than all his creatures."
When the words very, exceedingly, &c. are put before the positive, it has been called the superlative of eninence, to distinguish it from the other, which is called the superlative of comparison; thus very eloquent is the superlative of eminence; but most eloquent is the superlative of comparison.
Numeral adjectives, and such as denote the figure of bodies, admit of no comparison; as “ The two hundredth year, a circular table, a quadrangular court, a conical piece of metal.” The same holds true in all attributives denoting definite qualities, of whatever nature; as, present, mortal, right, universal, supreme, &c.
Questions on the Review. What are numeral adjectives ?-How are these divided?-What is said of the termination ish ?-Are nouns ever used as adjectives ?--When ?-How are the minuter shades of comparison expressed ?-.What has been called the superlative of eminence ?--What adjectives admit of no degrees of comparison ?
· LESSON VIII. A PRONOUN is a word used instead of a noun, to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word. There are three kinds of pronouns, the personal, the relative, and the adjective.-The PERSONAL PRONOUNS are five, viz. I, thoui, he, she, it; with their plurals, we, ye or you, they, Personal pronouns admit of number, person, gender, and case. They are of two numbers, the singular, and the plural ; and of three persons, in each of these
numbers. Gender has respect only to the third person singular of the personal pronouns as, he, she, it. These pronouns have three cases; the nominative, the possessive, and the objective.
The personal pronouns are thus declined:
Thou. Ye or you.
Some of the pronouns are often prefixed to the word self, in which case they form what are denominated compound personal pronouns ; as, myself, thyself, himself, herself, itself; ourselves, yourselves, themselves.
What is a pronoun ?-How many kinds of pronouns are there ?-How many personal pronouns ?--Of what do personal pronouns admit?-Of how many numbers and persons are they?-_What is said of the gender of