« PreviousContinue »
of Prepositions. PREPOSITIONS serve to connect words with one another, and to show the relation between them. They are, for the most part, put before nouns and pronouns,
; as, “ He went from London to York;" “ She is above
: disguise;" “ They are instructed by him.”
The following is a list of the principal prepositions : Of into
above at to within below
on or upon for without between
beneath down after with under from before about in through beyond
behind' against Verbs are often compounded of a verb and a preposition; as, to uphold, to invest, to overlook : and this composition sometimes gives a new sense to the verb; as, to understand, to withdraw, to forgive. But in English, the preposition is more frequently placed after the verb, and separately from it, like an adverb, in which situation it is not less apt to affect the sense of it, and to give it a new meaning; and may still be considered as belonging to the verb, and as a part of it. As, to cast, is to throw; but to cast up, or to compute, an account, is quite a different thing: thus, to fall on, to bear out, to give over, &o. So that the meaning of the verb, and the propriety of the phrase, depend on the preposition subjoined.
In the composition of many words, there are certain syllables employed; which Grammarians have called inseparable prepositions: as, be, con, mis, &c. in bedeck, conjoin, mistake : but as they are not words of any kind, they cannot properly be called a species of preposition.
One great use of prepositions, in English, is, to express
those relations, which, in some languages, are chiefly marked by cases, or the different endings of nouns. page 54. The necessity and use of them will appear from the following examples. If we say, "he writes a pen,"
they ran the river," “ the tower fell the Greeks," " Lambeth is Westminster-abbey," there is observable, in each of these expressions, either a tetal want of connexion, or such a connexion as produces falsehood or nonsense : and it is evident, that, before they can be turned into sense, the, vam cancy must be filled up by some connecting word : as thus, “ He writes with a pen;" “ they ran towards the river ;'* " the tower fell upon the Greeks ;" “ Lambeth is over. against Westminster-abbey." We see by these instances, how prepositions may be necessary to connect those words, which in their signification are not naturally connected.
Prepositions, in their original and literal acceptation, seem to have denoted relations of place ; but they are now used figuratively to express other relations. For example, as they who are above have in several respects the advantage of such as are below, prepositions expressing high and low places are used for superiority and inferiority in general : as, " He is above disguise;" we serve under a good master;"
;"! " he rules over a willing people ;" “ we should do nothing beneath our character.”
The importance of the prepositions will be further perceived by the explanation of a few of them. · Of denotes possession or belonging, an effect or consequence, and other relations connected with these : as, * The house of my friend;" that is, “the house belonging to my friend;" “ He died of a fever ;" that is, « in consequence of a fever."
To, or unto, is opposed to from; as, 6 He rode from Salisbury to Winchester."
For indicates the cause or motive of any action or cir cumstance, &c. as, “ He loves her for (that is, on accoun of) her amiable qualities."
By is generally used with reference to the cause, agent, means, &c.; as, “ He was killed by a fall :" that is, fall was the cause of his being killed ;" “ This house was built by him;" that is," he was the builder of it."
With denotes the act of accompanying, uniting, &c. : as, “We will go with you ;" “ They are on good terms with each other." _With also alludes to the instrument or means ; as, “ He was cut with a knife.”
In relates to time, place, the state or manner of being or acting, &c. : as, “ He was born in (that is, during) the year 1720;" “He dwells in the city;" “ She lives in affluence."
Into is used after verbs that imply motion of any kind : as, He retired into the country;"
;" “ Copper is converted into brass."
Within, relates to something comprehended in any place or time : 6. They are within the house ;" “ He began and finished his work within the limited time."
The signification of without is opposite to that of within : as, “She stands without the gate:" But it is more frequently opposed to with ; as, “ You may go without me.”
The import and force of the remaining prepositions will be readily understood, without a particular detail of them. We shall, therefore, conclude this head with observing, that there is a peculiar propriety in distinguishing the use of the prepositions by and with ; which is observable in sentences like the following : “He walks with a staff by moonlight;" “He was taken by stratagem, and killed with a sword.” Put the one preposition for the other, and say, "he walks
" by a staff with moonlight;"" he was taken with stratagem, and killed by a sword;" and it will appear, that they differ in signification more than one, at first view, would be apt to imagine.
Some of the prepositions have the appearance and effect of conjunctions; as, “ After their prisons were thrown open,” &c. · Before I die ;" “ They made haste to be prepared against their friends arrived "" but if the noun
time, which is understood, be added, they will lose their eonjunctive form ; as, “ After the time when) their prisons," &c.
The prepositions after, before, above, beneath, and several others, sometimes appear to be adverbs, and may be so considered : as, “ They had their reward soon after ; He died not long before ;" “He dwells above:" but if the nouns time and place be added, they will lose their adverbial form; as, “He died not long before that time," &c.
Of Conjunctions. A CONJUNCTION is a part of speech that is chiefly used to connect sentences; so as, out of two or more sentences, to make but one. It sometimes connects only words.
Conjunctions are principally divided into two sorts, the COPULATIVE and the DISJUNCTIVE.
The Conjunction Copulative serves to connect or to continue a sentence, by expressing an addition, a supposition, a cause, &c.; as, “ He and his brother reside in London;" “ I will go if he will accompany me;" * You are happy, because you are good.”
The Conjunction Disjunctive serves, not only to connect and continue the sentence, but also to express opposition of meaning in different degrees : as, Though he was frequently reproved, yet he did not reform;" “They came with her, but they went away without her.”
The following is a list of the principal Conjunctions. : The Copulative. And, if, that, both, then, since, for,
because, therefore, wherefore. The Disjunctive. But, or, nor, as, than, lest, though,
unless, either, neither, yet, notwithstanding. The same word is occasionally used both as a conjunction and as an adverb; and sometimes, as a preposition. “I
rest then upon this argument;" then is here a conjunction: in the following phrase, it is an adverb ;:“ He arrived then, and not before.” ; “I submitted ; for it was vain to resist:” in this sentence, for is a conjunction; in the next, it is a preposition: “ He contended for victory only.”. In the first of the following sentences, since is a conjunction; in the second, it is a preposition; and in the third, an adverb: “ Since we must part, let us do it peaceably :” “I have not seen him since that time :" “ Our friendship commenced. long since."
Relative pronouns as well as conjunctions, serve to connect sentences : as, Blessed is the man who feareth the Lord, and keepeth his commandments.""
A relative pronoun possesses the force both of a pronoun.' and a connective. Nay, the union by relatives is rather closer, than that by mere conjunctions. The latter may form two or more sentences into one ; but, by the former, several sentences may incorporate in one and the sameclause of a sentence. Thus, thou seest a man, and he is called Peter," is a sentence consisting of two distinct. clauses, united by the eopulative and : but," the man whom thou seest is called Peter,” is a sentence of one clause, and not less comprehensive than the other.
Conjunctions very often unite sentences, when they appear to unite only words ; as in the following instances :
Duty and interest forbid vicious indulgences;" “ Wig-. dom or folly governs us.
». Each of these forms of expres-sion contains two sentences, namely ; Duty forbids vicious indulgences; interest forbids vicious indulgences ;" Wisdom governs us, or folly governs us."
Though the conjunction is commonly used to connect sentences together, yet, on some occasions, it merely connects words, not sentences; as, " The king and queen are an amiable pair ; where the affirmation cannot refer to each ; it being absurd to say, that the king or the queen only is an amiable pair. So in the instances," two and