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Articles are little qualifying words used before nouns, and must be considered as adjectives.

There are in English two articles; a (or an), and the.

A (or an) is the numeral article, and is a less emphatic form of the numeral adjective one.1

The is the demonstrative article, and is a less emphatic form of the demonstrative pronoun this or that.2

The numeral article (a) is used before words beginning with a consonant, or an h asperate; as a pin, a book, a house, a hammer.

The form an (one) was formerly used before

1 The article a is called numeral, because it is in fact only a softer form of the numeral adjective one; the whole difference between one and a being that the former specifies the number more emphatically than the latter. One book means not more than that number; a book means any one book you choose. In the continental languages, the same word stands for both one and a, as in French, un livre; in German, ein Buch; in Italian, un libro, &c. There is no doubt that the English article a was once in the same condition; and that the following changes have taken place in it: 1. One; 2. Ane (still found in old Scottish poetry); 3. An; 4. A.

2 The article the is called demonstrative, because it demonstrates or points out certain beings or things. It bears the same relation to the demonstrative pronoun this or that as the numeral article does to one. The same connection may be observed in Continental languages. In German, der, 'the,' is only a contraction of dieser, 'this.' The Italian il and the French le are the first and second syllables of the Latin ille, ‘that.'

both vowels and consonants; but it is now confined to those cases where a vowel, or an h mute, begins the following word; as, an apple, an orange, an hour, an heir.

The words in the following list, though beginning with vowels, require the article a before

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The following words beginning with an

asperate, but having the accent on the second syllable, require the article an before them.

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orator gave us ——— harangue which lasted two hours.

They were not used to so heavy considered heretical opinion. family! He bore on his shield

yoke. It was What united heraldic device. It

A must precede words beginning with an open u; as, a unit, a uniform. When the initial u is close, an must be used; as, an unjust sentence,' 'an unbeliever,' &c.

is well known as- historical fact. That was heroic action. I only follow usual practice. This prince had hereditary claim to the crown. It is at least

year since I saw him. What.

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harmonious effect! You will do injustice. My friend is. excellent man. Imagine horizon bathed in floods of gold! Such one I beheld this morning. He


usurious interest. Hannibal cherished

hostility against the Romans, remarkable in youth of his age. Every man forms unit in society. The room was of hexagonal shape. Mr. G. is historian of eminence. How much

hexameter line consists of six feet.


This has now

become universal practice. She went into
hysterical fit. One of the gates has the figure of
unicorn placed on the top. He was dressed in
form of a new pattern. This is
which few would be inclined to argue.
union productive of much happiness.

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unihypothesis on That was


Nouns are either concrete or abstract.

A noun is concrete when it is the name of a thing which possesses substance, and which can be perceived by the senses; as, man, stone, tree.1

A noun is abstract when it denotes qualities or

The word concrete is derived from the Latin concretus, 'united in growth,' and the term is applied to all nouns which represent material substance, the particles of which are united so as to form a solid mass.

states of being, or action considered independently of the persons or things in which they may exist; as, virtue, friendship, kindness.1


The learner is to copy out the following sentences, underlining all the concrete, and doubly underlining all the abstract nouns.

The horse and his rider were swallowed up in the waves. Prudence is commendable. Alexander's greatest vice was his anger. The ship sailed down the river. The father sent his son to fetch the books. We find here neither prejudice nor partiality. My cousin is living in Edinburgh. The governor apprehended much danger from the violence of the people. The shepherd has lost his crook.' I shall never forget your kindness. We had the greatest difficulty in quelling the insurrection. Of whom did you buy your maps? He is a man of the strictest integrity. Several villages are seen from the road. He is held in the highest esteem. The people were all dispersed, and their property was sold. The water of this fountain is used medicinally. His features are noble and dignified. The house occupies a commanding position. This mountain cannot be ascended without great difficulty. The summit of this

1 Abstract is from the Latin abstractus, the participle of the verb abstrahere, and literally means 'drawn from.' The human mind has the power of abstracting, or drawing away, any one quality from an object of sense, and considering it apart from all others which may belong to that object, or apart from the object itself. The word 'man' is a concrete noun; but we can abstract from 'man' his height, his talent, his virtue, and many other qualities; and these are therefore called 'abstract.'

peak is more than 4000 feet above the level of the sea. The vine had entwined itself among the loftiest branches of the trees. They regarded their pastor with the greatest respect and affection. The emperor has proclaimed war. An army of 60,000 men was brought

into the field. The soldiers were all wounded. I must now draw our correspondence to a close. The trees are covered with leaves. Notwithstanding his assertions, I shall not change my course of conduct. The boats were rowed by four men. A damp climate produces fever. The field is covered with daisies and buttercups.




1. Nouns denoting species of animals or things, are called common; as, horse, tree, river.

2. Nouns denoting individual persons, animals, or things, are called proper; as, George, Rome, Thames.


Copy out the following sentences, underlining the common, and doubly underlining the proper nouns.

Vienna is the capital of Austria. In the night there arose a violent storm. Some of the houses in London were unroofed. Have you ever been in Switzerland ? The Duke of Wellington commanded the British army at Waterloo. I received a letter from my cousin. Richard I. went on a crusade. On Tuesday I expect some friends. There is a report that a battle has been


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