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QUESTIONS ON THE NOTES.
Before what nouns is the article omitted?-Is the article the ever applied to adverbs?--Give examples.-What is the meaning of a or an ?-When is a or an placed before a plural noun ?-From what are a, the, and that derived? EXERCISES IN FALSE SYNTAX.
NOTE TO RULE 1. An is used before a vowel or silent h, and a before a consonant or u long, and also before the word
It is not only disagreeable to the ear, but, according to this note, improper to say, a apple, a humble suppliant, an hero, an university, because the word apple begins with a vowel, and h is not sounded in the word humble, for which reasons a should be an in the first two examples; but, as the his sounded in hero, and the u is long in university, a ought to be prefixed to these words thus, an apple, an humble suppliant: a hero, a university. You may correct the following
A enemy, a inkstand, a hour, an horse, an herald, an heart, an heathen, an union, a umbrella, an useful book, many an one. This is an hard saying. They met with an heavy loss. He would not give an hat for an horse.
NOTE 1, TO RULE 2. The articles are often properly omitted: when used they should be justly applied, according to their distinct character; as, "Gold is corrupting; The sea is green; A lion is bold." It would be improper to say, The gold is corrupting; Sea is green; Lion is bold.
The grass is good for horses, and the wheat for men. Grass is good for the horses, and wheat for the men. Grass looks well. Wheat is blighted. ·
In the first of these sentences, we are not speaking of any particular kind of grass or wheat, neither do we wish to limit the meaning to any particular crop or field of grass, or quantity of wheat; but we are speaking of grass and wheat generally, therefore the article the should be omitted. In the second sentence, we do not refer to any definite kind, quality, or number of horses or men; but to horses and men generally; that is, the terms are here used to denote whole species, therefore, the article should be omitted, and the sentence should read thus, "Grass is good for horses, and wheat for men."
In the third and fourth examples, we wish to limit our meaning to the crops of grass and wheat now on the ground, which, in contradistinction the crops heretofore raised, are considered as particular objects, therefore we should say, "The grass looks well; The wheat is blighted."
NOTE 2. When a noun is used in its general sense, the article should be omitted; as, "Poetry is a pleasing art;" "Oranges grow in New-Orleans."
Corn in the garden, grows well; but corn in the fieid, does not. How does the tobacco sell? The tobacco is dear. How do you like the study of the grammar? The grammar is a
A candid temper is proper for the inanThe man is mortal. And I persecuted this The earth, the air, the fire, and the water,
An ADJECTIVE is a word added to a noun to express its quality or kind, or to restrict its meaning; as, a good man, a bad man, a free man, an unfortunate man, one man, forty men.
In the phrases, a good apple, a bad apple, a large apple, a small apple, a red apple, a white apple, a green apple, a sweet apple, a sour apple, a bitter apple, a round apple, a hard apple, a soft apple, a mellow apple, a fair apple, a May apple, an early apple, a late apple, a winter apple, a crab apple, a thorn apple, a well-tasted apple, an ill-looking apple, a water-cored apple, you perceive that all those words in italicks are, adjectives, because each expresses some quality or property of the noun apple, or it shows what kind of an apple it is of which we are speaking.
The distinction between a noun and an adjective is very clear. A noun is the name of a thing; but an adjective denotes simply the quality or property of a thing. This is fine cloth. In this example, the difference between the word denoting the thing, and that denoting the quality of it, is easily perceived. You certainly cannot be at a loss to know, that the word cloth expresses the name, and fine, the quality, of the thing; consequently fine must be an adjective. If I say, He is a wise man, a prudent man, a wicked man, or an ungrateful man, the words
Adnoun, or Adjective, comes from the Latin, ad and jicio, to add to.
Adnouns are a class of words added to nouns to vary their comprehension, or to determine their extension. Those which effect the former object, are called adjectives, or attributes; and those which effect the latter, restricties. It is not, in all cases, easy to determine to which of these classes an adnoun should be referred. Words which express simply the qualities of nouns, are adjectives; and such as denote their situation or number, are restrictives.
Adjectives were originally nouns or verbs,
in italicks are adjectives, because each expresses a qualing of the noun man. And, if I say, He is a tall man, a short man, a white man, a black man, or a persecuted man, the words, tall, short, white, black, and persecuted, are also adjectives, because they tell what kind of a man he is of whom I am speaking, or they attribute to him some particular property.
Some adjectives restrict or limit the signification of the nouns to which they are joined, and are, therefore, sometimes called definitives; as, one era, seven ages, the first man, the whole mass, no trouble, those men, that book, all regions.
Other adjectives define or describe nouns, or do both; as, fine silk, blue paper, a heavy shower, pure water, green mountains, bland breezes, gurgling rills, glass window, window glass, beaver hats, chip bonnets, blackberry ridge, Monroe garden, Juniata iron, Cincinnati steam-mill.
Some adjectives are secondary, and qualify other adjectives; as, pale red lining, dark blue silk, deep sea green sash, soft iron blooms, red hot iron plate.
You will frequently find the adjective placed after the noun; as, "Those men are tall; A lion is bold; The weather is calm; The tree is three feet thick."
Should you ever be at a loss to distinguish an adjective from the other parts of speech, the following sign will enable you to tell it. Any word that will make sense with the word thing added, or with any other noun following it, is an adjective; as, a high thing, a low thing, a hot thing, a cold thing, an unfinished thing, a new-fashioned thing:-01, a pleasant prospect, a longdeserted dwelling, an American soldier, a Greek Testament. Are these words adjectives, distant, yonder, peaceful, long-sided, double-headed? A distant object or thing, yonder hill, &c. They are? They will make sense with a noun after them.Adjectives sometimes become adverbs. This matter will be
Some consider the adjective, in its present application, exactly equivalent to a noun connected to another noun by means of juxtaposition, of a prepo sition, or of a corresponding flexion. "A golden cup," say they, "is the same as a gold cup, or a cup of gold." But this principle appears to be exceptionable. "A cup of gold," may mean either a cup-full of gold, or a cup made of gold. "An oaken cask," signifies an oak cask, or a cask of oak; i. e. a cask made of oak; but a beer cask, and a cask of beer, are two different things. A virtuous son; a son of virtue.
The distinguishing characteristick of the adjective, appears to consist in its both naming a quality, and attributing that quality to some object.
The terminations en, ed, and ig, (our modern y,) signifying give, add, join, denote that the names of qualities to which they are postfixed, are to be attributed to other nouns possessing such qualities: wood-en, wood-y. See page 37.
Left is the past participle of the verb leave. Horne Tooke defines right to
explained in Lecture VI. In parsing, you may generally know an adjective by its qualifying a noun or pronoun.
Most words ending in ing are present participles. These are frequently used as adjectives; therefore, most participles will make sense with the addition of the word thing, or any other noun, after them; as, a pleasing thing, a moving spectacle, mouldering ruins.
In the Latin language, and many others, adjectives, like nouns have gender, number, and case; but in the English language, they have neither gender, person, number, nor case. These properties belong to creatures and things, and not to their qualities; therefore gender, person, number, and case, are the properties of nouns, and not of adjectives.
Adjectives are varied only to express the degrees of comparison. They have three degrees of comparison, the Positive, the Comparative, and the Superlative.
The positive degree expresses the quality of an object without any increase or diminution; as, good, wise, great.
The comparative degree increases or lessens the positive in signification; as, better, wiser, greater, less wise.
be that which is ordered or directed. The right hand is that which your parents and custom direct you to use in preference to the other. And when you employ that in preference, the other is the leaved, leav'd, or left hand; i. e. the one leaved or left. "The one shall be taken, and the other (leaved) left."
Own. Formerly, a man's own was what he worked for, own being a past participle of a verb signifying to work.
Restrictives. Some restrictives, in modern times, are applied only to singular nouns; such as a or an, another, one, this, that, each, every, either. Others, only to plural nouns; as, these, those, two, three, few, several, all. But most restrictives, like adjectives, are applied to both singular and plural nouns. first, second, last, the, former, latter, any, such, same, some, which, what.
Numerals. All numeration was, doubtless, originally performed by the fingers; for the number of the fingers is still the utmost extent of its signification. Ten is the past participle of tynan, to close, to shut in. The hands tyned, tened, closed, or shut in, signified ten; for there numeration closed. To denote a number greater than ten, we must begin again, ten and one, ten and two, &c.
COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES
More and most form the comparative and superlative degrees by increasing the positive; and less and least, by diminishing it.
wise, holy, frugal,
Comparison by increasing the positive.
Comparison by diminishing the positive.
Words used in counting, are called numeral adjectives of the cardinal kind; as, one, two, three, four, twenty, fifty, &c.
Words used in numbering, are called numeral adjectives of the ordinal kind; as, first, second, third, fourth, twentieth, fiftieth, &c.
NOTE. The words many, few, and several, as they always refer to an indefinite number, may be properly called numeral adjectives of the indefinite kind.
1. The simple word, or Positive, becomes the Comparative by adding r, or er; and the Positive becomes the Superlative, by adding st, or est, to the end of it; as, Pos. wise, Com. wiser, Sup. wisest; rich, richer, richest; bold, bolder, boldest. The adverbs, more and most, less and least, when placed before the adjective, have the same effect; as, Pos. wise, Com. more wise, Sup. most wise; Pos. wise, Com. less wise, Sup. least wise.
Twain, (twa-in, twa-ain, twa-ane) is a compound of two (twa, twae, twee, twi, two or dwo or due) and one (ane, ain, an.) It signifies two units joined, united, aned, or oned. Twenty (twa-ane-ten) signifies two tens aned, oned, or united. Things separated into parcels of twenty each, are called scores. Score is the past participle of shear, to separate.
The Ordinals are formed like abstract nouns in eth. Fifth, sixth, or tenth, is the number which fiv-eth, six-eth, ten-eth, or mak-eth up the number five, six, or ten.
Philosophical writers who limit our acceptation of words to that in which they were originally employed, and suppose that all the complicated, yet often definable, associations which the gradual progress of language and inteject has connected with words, are to be reduced to the standard of our