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NOTE. Every nominative case, except the case absolute and independent, should belong to some verb expressed or understood; as, "To whom thus, Adam;" that is, epoke.


Him Destroyed,

Or won to what may work his utter loss,
All this will follow soon.

Note. Two substantives, when they come together, and do not signify the same thing, the former must be in the genitive


Virtue, however it may be neglected for a time, men are so constituted as ultimately to acknowledge and respect genuine merit.



Two or more nouns, or nouns and pronouns, signifying the same thing, are put, by apposition, in the same case; as, "Paul the apostle," Joram the king" "Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel, wrote many proverbs."

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NOTE. A noun is sometimes put in apposition with a sentence; as, "The sheriff has just seized and sold his valuable library—(which was) a misforture that greatly depressed him."


We ought to love God, he who created and sustains all things

The pronoun he in this sentence, is improperly used in the nominative case. It is the object of the action of the transitive verb "love," and put by apposition with "God;" therefore it should be the objective case, him, according to Ruie 7. (Repeat the Rule, and correct the following.)

I saw Juliet and her brother, they that you visited.
They slew Varus, he that was mentioned before.
It was John, him who preached repentance.

Adams and Jefferson, them who died on the fourth of July, 1826, were both signers and the firm supporters of the Declaration of Independence.

Augustus the Roman emperor, him who succeeded Julius Cæsar, is variously described by historians.


Two or more nouns, or nouns and pronouns, in the singular number, connected by copulative conjunctions, must have verbs, nouns, and pronouns, agreeing with them in the plural; as, "Socrates and Plato were wise; they were emi nent philosophers."

NOTE 1. When each or every relates to two or more nominatives in the singular, although connected by a copulative, the verb must agree with each of them in the singular; as, "Every leaf, and every twig, and every drop of water, teems with life."

2. When the singular nominative of a complex sentence, has another noun joined to it with a preposition, it is customary to put the verb and pronoun agreeing with it, in the singular; as, "Prosperity with humility, renders is possessor truly amiable;" "The General, also, in conjunction with the officers, has applied for redress."


Coffee and sugar grows in the West Indies: it is exported in large quantities.

Two singular nouns coupled together, form a plural idea. The verb grows is improper, because it expresses the action of both its nominatives, "coffee and sugar," which two nominatives are connected by the copulative conjunction, and; therefore the verb should be plural, grow; and then it would agree with coffee and sugar, according to Rule 8. (Repeat the Rule.) The pronoun it, as it represents both the nouns, "coffee and sugar," ought also to be plural, they, agreeably to Rule 8. The sentence should be written thus, "Coffee and sugar grow in the West Indies: they are exported in large quantities."

Time and tide waits for no man.

Patience and diligence, like faith, removes mountains.
Life and health is both uncertain.

Wisdom, virtue, happiness, dwells with the golden mediocrity. The planetary system, boundless space, and the immense ocean, affects the mind with sensations of astonishment.

What signifies the counsel and care of preceptors, when you think you have no need of assistance?

Their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished. Why is whiteness and coldness in snow?

Obey the commandment of thy father, and the law of thy mother: bind it continually upon thy heart.

Pride and vanity always render its possessor despicable in the eyes of the judicious.

There is errour and discrepance in the schemes of the orthoepists, which shows the impossibility of carrying them into effect.


Every man, woman, and child, were numbered.

Not proper; for, although and couples things together so as to present the wh at one view, yet every has a contrary effect: it distributes them, and brings each separately and singly under consideration. Were numbered is therefore improper. It should be, "was numbered," in the singular, according to the Note. (Repeat it.)

When benignity and gentleness reign in our breasts, every person and every occurrence are beheld in the most favourable light.


Two or more nouns, or nouns and pronouns, in the singular number, connected by disjunctive conjunctions, must have verbs, nouns, and pronouns, agreeing with them in the singular; as, "Neither John nor James has learned his lesson."

NOTE 1. When singular pronouns, or a noun and pronoun, of different persons, are disjunctively connected, the verb must agree, in person, with that which is placed nearest to it; as, "Thou or I am in fault; I or thou art to blame; I, or thou, or he, is the author of it." But it would be better to say, "Either I am to blame or thou art," &c.

2. When a disjunctive occurs between a singular noun or pronoun and a plural one, the verb must agree with the plural noun or pronoun, which should generally be placed next to the verb; as, "Neither poverty nor riches were injurious to him ;" "I'or they were offended by it."" Constructions like these ought generally to be avoided.


Ignorance or negligence have caused this mistake.

The verb, have caused, in this sentence, is improperly used in the plural, because it expresses the action, not of both, but of either the one or the other of its nominatives; therefore it should be in the singular, has caused; and then it would agree with "ignorance or negligence," agreeably to Rule 9 (Repeat the Rule.)

A circle or a square are the same in idea.

Neither whiteness nor redness are in the porphyry.
Neither of them are remarkable for precision.

Man is not such a machine as a clock or a watch, which move merely as they are moved.

When sickness, infirmity, or reverse of fortune, affect us, the sincerity of friendship is proved.

Man's happiness or misery are, in a great measure, put into his own hands.

Despise no infirmity of mind or body, nor any condition of life, for they may be thy own lot.

The prince, as well as the people, were blameworthy.


A collective noun or noun of multitude, conveying unity of idea, generally has a verb or pronoun agreeing with it in the singular; as, "The meeting was large, and it held three hours."

NOTE. Rules 10, and 11, are limited in their application. See page 59. FALSE SYNTAX.

The nation are powerful.

The fleet were seen sailing up the channel.

The church have no power to inflict corporal punishment

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The flock, and not the fleece, are, or cught to be, the objects of the shepherd's care.

That nation was once powerful; but now they are feeble.


A noun of multitude, conveying plurality of idea, must have a verb or pronoun agreeing with it in the plural; as, "The council were divided in their sentiments.'



My people doth not consider.

The multitude eagerly pursues pleasure as its chief good. The committee was divided in its sentiments, and it has referred the business to the general meeting.

The people rejoices in that which should give it sorrow.


A noun or pronoun in the possessive case, is governed by the noun it possesses; as, "Man's happiness;" "Its value is great.”

NOTE. 1. When the possessor is described by a circumlocution, the possessive sign should generally be applied to the last term only; as, "The duke of Bridgewater's canal; The bishop of Landaff's excellent book; The captain of the guard's house." This usage, however, ought generally to be avoided. The words do not literally convey the ideas intended. What nonsense to say, "This is the governour of Ohio's house!"

2. When nouns in the possessive case are in apposition, and follow each other in quick succession, the possessive sign is generally annexed to the last only; as, "For David my servant's sake; John the Baptist's head; The canal was built in consequence of De Witt Clinton the governour's advice."

But when a pause is proper, and the governing noun not expressed, the sign should be applied to the first possessive only, and understood to the rest; as, "I reside at Lord Stormont's, my old patron and benefactor." 3. Its, the possessive case of it, is often improperly used for 'tis, or, it is ; as, "Its my book: Its his," &c. ; instead of, "It is my book; or, 'Tis my book; It is his; or, 'Tis his."

4. Participles frequently govern nouns and pronouns in the possessive case; as, "In case of his majesty's dying without issue, &c.; Upon God's having ended all his works, &c.; I remember its being reckoned a great exploit; At my coming in he said," &c. But in such instances, the participle with its adjuncts may be considered a substantive phrase, according to Nota 2, Rule 28.

5. Phrases like these, "A work of Washington Irving's; A brother of Joseph's; A friend of mine; A neighbour of yours," do not, as some have supposed, each contain a double possessive, or two possessive cases, but they may be thus construed; "A work of (out of, or, among the number of) Washington Irving's works; that is, One of the works of Washington Irving; One of the brothers of Joseph; One friend of my friends; One neighbour of your neighbours."

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Homers works are much admired.

Nevertheless, Asa his heart was not perfect with the Lord.
James Hart, his book, bought August the 19, 1829.

Note 1. It was the men's, women's, and children's lot to suffer great calamities.

This is Peter's, John's, and Andrew's occupation.
Note 2. This is Campbell's the poet's production.

The silk was purchased at Brown's, the mercer's and habordasher's.

Note 4. Much will depend on the pupil composing frequently
Much depends on this rule being observed.

The measure failed in consequence of the president neglect ing to lay it before the council.


Personal pronouns must agree with the nouns for which they stand, in gender and number; as, "John writes, and he will soon write well."

NOTE. You, though frequently employed to represent a singular noun, is always plural in form; therefore the verb connected with it should be plural; as, "My friend, you were mistaken." See pages 99 and 100.


Every man will be rewarded according to their works.

Incorrect, because the pronoun their does not agree in gender or number with the noun "man," for which it stands; consequently Rule 13, is violated. Their should be his; and then the pronoun would be of the masculine gender, singular number, agreeing with man, according to Rule 13. (Repeat the Rule.)

An orator's tongue should be agreeable to the ear of their audience.

Rebecca took goodly raiment, and put them on Jacob.

Take handfuls of ashes, and let Moses sprink.e it towards heaven, in the sight of Pharaoh, and it shall become small dust. No one should incur censure for being tender of their reputa


Note. Horace, you was blamed; and I think you was worthy of censure.

Witness, where was you standing during the transaction? How far was you from the defendant?


Relative pronouns agree with their antecedents, gender, person, and number; as, "Thou who lovest wisdom;" "I who speak from experience."


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