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Adverbs are compared as follows;
more • most
best Adverbs ending in ly are compared by more and most, or less and least; as, wisely, more wisely, most wisely. More and most, less and least, so much used in the comparison of adjectives, are themselves adverbs, qualifying the adjectives to which they are joined.
Adverbs seem originally to have been contrived to express compendiously in one word, what must otherwise have required two or more: as, “He acted wisely,” for, he acted with wisdom; “ prudently,” for, with prudence; “ He did it here," for, he did it in this place; “ exceedingly,” for, to a great degree; “ often and seldom;" for many, and for a few times; “ very,” for, in an eminent degree, &c.-Phrases which do the office of adverbs, may properly be termed adverbial phrases. “They labour none at all; They work a great deal.”—Here, the phrases in italics may be called adverbial phrases, because they qualify the verbs.
There are many words in the English language, that are sometimes used as adjectives, and sometimes as adverbs: as, “More men than women were there;” or, “ I am more diligent than he.” In the former sentence, more is evidently an adjective, and in the latter an adverb. There are others that are sometimes used as substantives; and sometimes as adverbs; as, “Today's lesson is longer than yesterday's:" here to-day and yesterday are substantives, because they are words that make sense of themselves, and admit besides of a possessive case; but in the phrase, “He came home yesterday, and sets out again to-day,” they are adverbs of time; because they answer to the question when. The adverb much is used as all three: as, “Where much is given, much is required;" “ Much money has been expended;" “ It is much better to go than to stay.” In the first of these sentences, much is a substantive; in the second, it is an adjective; and in the third, an adverb. In short, nothing but the sense can determine what they are.
-- Adverbs, though very numerous, may be reduced to certain classes, the chief of which are those of Number, Order, Place, Time, Quantity, Manner or Quality, Doubt, Affirmation, Negation, Interrogation, and Comparison.
1. Of number: as, “ Once, twice, thrice,”' &c.
2. Of order: as, “First, secondly, thirdly, fourthly, fifthly, lastly, finally,” &c.
3. Of place: as, “Here, there, where, elsewhere, anywhere, somewhere, nowhere, herein, whither, hither, thither, upwards, downwards, forwards, backwards, whence, hence, thence, whithersoever, &c.
4. Of time.
Of time past: as, “ Already, before, lately, yesterday, heretofore, hitherto, long since, long ago," &c.
Of time to come: as, “ To-morrow, not yet, hereafter, henceforth, henceforward, by and by, instantly, presently, immediately, straightways,” &c.
Of time indefinite: as, “ Oft, often, oft-times, oftentimes, sometimes, soon, seldom, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, always, when, then, ever, never, again,” &c. .
5. Of quantity: as, “ Much, little, sufficiently, how much, enough, abundantly," &c.
6. Of manner or quality: as, “ Wisely, foolishly, justly, unjustly, quickly, slowly,” &c. Adverbs of quality are the most numerous kind; and they are generally formed by adding the termination ly to an adjective or participle, or changing le into ly: as, “ Bad, badly; cheerful, cheerfully; able, ably; admirable, admirably.”
7. Of doubt: as, “Perhaps, peradventure, possibly, perchance."
8. Of affirmation; as, “Verily, truly, undoubtedly, doubtless, certainly, yea, yes, surely, indeed, really,”
9. Of negation : as, “ Nay, no, not, by no means, not at all, in no wise,” &c.
10. Of interrogation : as, “How, why, wherefore, whither," &c.
11. Of comparison : as, “More, most, better, best, · worse, worst, less, least, very, almost, little, alike," &c.
Besides the adverbs already mentioned, there are
many which are formed by a combination of several of the prepositions with the adverbs of place, here, there and where : as, “Hereof, thereof, whereof; hereunto, thereto, whereto ; hereby, thereby, whereby; herewith, therewith, wherewith ; herein, therein, wherein ; therefore, (i. e. there-for,) wherefore, (i. e. where-for,) hereupon, or hereon, thereupon, or thereon, whereupon, or whereon, &c. Except therefore, these are seldom used.
In some instances, the preposition suffers no change, but becomes an adverb merely by its application : as, when we say, “he rides about ;" “ he was near falling ;" “ but do not after lay the blame on me.”
There are also some adverbs, which are composed of nouns, and the letter a used instead of at, on, &c.; as, “ Aside, athirst, afoot, asleep, aboard, ashore, abed, aground, afloat,” &c.
The words, when and where, and all others of the same nature, such as, whence, whither, whenever, wherever, &c. may be properly called adverbial conjunctions; because, they participate the nature both of adverbs and conjunctions : of conjunctions, as they conjoin sentences ; of adverbs, as they denote the attributes either of time or of place.
It may be particularly observed, with respect to the word therefore, that it is an adverb, when, without joining sentences, it only gives the sense of, for that reason." When it gives that sense, and also connects, it is a conjunction: “ He is good, therefore he is happy.” The same observation may be extended to the words consequently, accordingly, and the like. When these are subjoined to and, or joined to if, since, &c. they are adverbs, the connexion being made without their help : when they appear single, and unsupported by any other connective, they may be called conjunctions..
The inquisitive scholar may naturally ask, what necessity there is for adverbs of time, when verbs are provided with tenses, to show that circumstance. The answer is, though tenses may be sufficient to denote the greater distinctions of time, yet, to denote them all by the tenses would be a perplexity without end. What a variety of forms must be given to the verb, to denote yesterday, to-day, to-morrow, formerly, lately, just now,
now, immediately, presently, soon, hereafter, &c. It was this consideration that made the adverbs of time necessary, over and above the tenses.
II. Of Prepositions.-Other words, besides those enumerated on the list, in the lesson, are occasionally used as prepositions ; such as around, amidst, betwixt, except, athwart, towards, besides, throughout, worth, notwithstanding.
The manner in which prepositions connect words and show the relation between them, will be best illustrated by examples. Expressions such as these, “ She looks me; I walk the window; we went Boston, ” &c. do not make complete sense, because the verbs are not properly. connected with the words following, and the relation between them is not pointed out. But insert in each sentence a preposition, and the sense is then complete ; as, “ She looks at me ; I walk by the window; we went towards Boston.”
Verbs are frequently compounded of verbs and prepósitions; as, to uphold, to invest, to overlook; and this composition gives a new sense to the verb. But the preposition is placed more frequently after the verb, and separate from it, in which case it does not less affect the sense. Thus, to cast means to throw; but to cast up an account means to compute it. So to fall on, to bear out, to give over, &c. have very different meanings from what they would, if the prepositions or adverbs (as they may be called) were not used.
The importance of the prepositions will be further perceived, by the explanation of a few of them. Of denotes possession, or an effect or consequence, and other relations connected with these ; as, “ The house of my friend,” that is, belonging to my friend ; “ He died of a fever," that is, in consequence of a fever.
To or unto is opposed to from; as, “He rode from Boston to Worcester.”
By is generally used with reference to the cause, agent, means, &c. as, “ He was killed by a fall,” that is, a fall caused his death ; “ The house was built by him," that is, he was the builder.
With denotes the act of accompanying, uniting, &c. as, “ We will go with you; They are friends with each other.?'_With also alludes to the instrument or means; as “ He was cut with a knife."
There is a peculiar propriety in distinguishing the use of the prepositions by and with, as will appear in sentences like the following : “He walks with a staff by moonlight; he sits by the fire with his dog.” Exchange these prepositions, and say, “He walks by a staff with moonlight ; he sits with the fire by his dog ;” and it will appear that they differ in signification more than one, at first view, would be apt to imagine.
In relates to time, place, and the state or manner of being or acting : as, “He was born in the year 1800, dwells in the city, and lives in affluence.”
Into is used after verbs that imply motion of any kind; as, “He went into the country; copper is turned into brass."
Within relates to something comprehended in any place or time ; as, “ They are within the house."
Without is opposite in signification to within ; as, “She stands without the gate.” It is also opposite to with ; as, “ You may go without me.”
Prepositions, as well as some other sorts of words, have a variety of significations. The following are some of the various meanings attached to the preposition for. 1. It signifies, because of: as, “Let me sing praises
for his mercies and blessings.” 2. With regard to, with respect to: as, “ For me, no
other happiness I own.". In the character of : as, “Let her go for an ungrate
ful woman.” 4. By means of; by interposition of : as, “ If it were not
for Divine Providence, the world would be a
scene of confusion." 5. For the sake of : as, “He died for those who knew
him not.” 6. Conducive to: as, “ It is for the general good.”
With intention of going to a certain place: as, “We
sailed from Peru for China."