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action will be fully accomplished, at or before the time of another future action or event; as, "/ shall have dined at one o'clock."


What belong to verbs ?—How many numbers and persons have they ?—What is mode? —How many modes have verbs, and what are they ?—What is said of the indicative mode ?—For what is the imperative mode used ?—What does the potential mode imply? —How does the subjunctive mode represent an action ?—What is said of the infinitive mode ?—How many variations of tense are there, and what are they ?—How does the present tense represent an action ?—How does the imperfect ?—How the perfect ?—How does the pluperfect ?—How does the first future ?—What is said of the second future?


Mode defined to consist in the changes which the verb undergoes, to signify the various intentions of the mind, and the'various modifications and circumstances of action.

Though the imperative mode derives its name from its intimation of command, it is used on occasions of a'very opposite nature, even in the humblest supplications; as, "Give us this day, our daily bread."

It has been questioned whether the potential mode differs materially from the indicative. But as the indicative mode simply indicates or declares a thing, it is manifest that the potential, which modifies the declaration, and introduces an idea quite distinct from it, must be sufficiently different, to warrant a corresponding distinction of mode.

The subjunctive mode may be signified by any conjunction expressing a condition, doubt, supposition, &c. such ns, if, though, although, whether, lest, unless, &c.

The subjunctive mode is always attended by another verb, expressed or understood, and consequently is never used in a strictly simple sentence.

As the indicative mode is changed into the subjunctive, by prefixing a conjunction expressing a condition, doubt, supposition, &c. so the potential mode may in like manner be turned into the subjunctive; as, " If J could icam; though he should increase in wealth.''

The infinitive mode is distinguished from all others, by its admitting no nominative before it. A verb, in any mode, except the infinitive, is called a finite verb, because it is limited, by its nominative, in regard to its number and person. A simple sentence is one which contains but one nominative, and one finite verb. It may contain another verb in the infinitive mode,, and still be a simple sentence; as, " I wish to speak," &.c.

The present tense, preceded by the words when, before, after, as soon as, &c, is sometimes used to point out the relative time of & future action; as," When he arrives, he will hear the news." Or " He will "hear the news before he arrives, or as soon as he arrives, or soon after he arrives."

We sometimes use this tense, in speaking of persons long since dead; as, " Seneca reasons well; Job speaks feelingly." In animated historical narration, the present is often substituted for the imperfect tense; as, " He enters the field of conflict; he fights and conquers."

In this tense, we usually express continued action; as, ,fHe rides out frequently; he goes into the country every summer; I am building me a house."

The imperfect and perfect tenses both denote a thing that is past; but the perfect denotes it in such a manner that there is still actually remaining some part of the time to slide away, wherein we declare the thing has been done; whereas the imperfect denotes the thing or action past in such a manner, that nothing remains of that time in which it was done. Thus, speaking of the present century, we say, " Philosophers have made great discoveries in the present century;" but, speaking of the last century, we say, " Philosophers made great discoveries in the last century." "He has been much afflicted this year; he was much afflicted last year." "He has been hereto-day; he reas here yesterday."

In general, the perfect tense may be used, wherever the action is connected with the present tense, by the actual existence either of the author or of the work, though it may have been performed many centuries ago; but if neither the author nor the work remains, it cannot properly be used. Thus we may say, "Cicero has written beautiful orations," because his orations remain; but we cannot so properly say, " Cicero has written poems,". because his poetry is lost. We may properly say, "con<querors have been cruel," because conquerors still exist;, but we cannot say, " Alexander has been cruel," because Alexander no longer lives.

The perfect tense, like the present, if preceded by the words, when, after, as soon as, &c. is often used to denote the relative time of a future action; as, " I will attend to his business when 1 have finished my letter," or " as soon as I have finished my letter."

It ought to be observed, in addition to the remarks here made on the tenses, that some of the modes often carry with them somewhat of a future tense or meaning. This is perhaps always the case with the imperative mode. Love thou, do this—referring necessarily to an action, not done, or doing, but to be done. This is also the case with the infinitive mode, present tense. "I am to be there; she chooses to come to-morrow." The same also may be said of the subjunctive mode. "If he come, he will see me."

We may farther observe, that the auxiliaries should and would, in the imperfect tense,' are used to express a present and future meaning, as well as a past. "It is my desire that he should come to-morrow."—It follows from these remarks that the real time of the verb is not always to be determined by the form of it, so much as by the nature and drift of the sentence.

In employing the different tenses, the two following things ought to be chiefly regarded, viz. the relation which the several tenses have to one another, in respect offline; and the notice which they give of an action's bein^r completed or not completed.

Questions on the Review. How may mode be defined?—Does the imperative mode always give a command?—What are the conjunctions which denote the subjunctive mode.^—Is the subjunctive mode eves used in a simple sentence ?—Can the potential mode be changed into the subjunctive?—How is the infinitive mode distinguished from all others?— What is called a finite verb ?—How are the imperfect and perfect tenses distinguished?—Do any of the modes ever carry with them a future meaning?—In employing the different tenses, what is chiefly to be regarded?


The conjugation of a verb is the regular combination and arrangement of its several numbers, persons, modes, and tenses.

The auxiliary and active verb to have, is conjugated in the following manner:

Indicative Mode.



1 I had had

2 Thou hadst had 8 He had had

Pluperfect Tense.


1 We had had

2 Ye or you had had

3 They had had First Future Tense.

Singular. Plural

1 I dull or will have l We shall or will have

3 He shall or will have 3 They shall or will have

Second Future Tense.

Singular. plura,

1 I shall have had i We shall have had 3 He will have had , 3 They will have had

Imperative Mode.

Singular. pmra,

2 Have thou, or do thou have 2 Have ye, or do ye or you hav*

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