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the auxiliary, or after the verb itself when it has no auxilia ry: as, “ I did not touch him ;" or, “ I touched him not.”
In an interrogative sentence, or when a question is asked, the nominative case follows the principal verb or the auxiliary : as, “ Was it he ?” “ Did Alexander conquer the Persians ?"
In an imperative sentence, when a thing is commanded to be, to do, to suffer, or not, the nominative case likewise follows the verb or the auxiliary: as, Go, thou traitor !" “Do thou go :” “ Haste ye away :" unless the verb let be used; as,
“ Let us be gone.” A phrase is two or more words rightly put together, making sometimes part of a sentence, and sometimes a whole sentence.
The principal parts of a simple sentence are, the subject, the attribute, and the object.
The subject is the thing chiefly spoken of; the attribute is the thing or action affirmed or denied of it; and the object is the thing affected by such action.
The nominative denotes the subject, and usually goes before the verb or attribute; and the word or phrase, denoting the object, follows the verb; as, “A wise man governs his passions.” Here, a wise man is the subject; governs, the attribute, or thing affirmed; and his pas
l sions, the object.
Syntax principally consists of two parts, Concord ada Government.
Concord is the agreement which one word has with another, in gender, number, case, or person.
Government is that power which one part of speech has over another, in directing its mood, tense, or case.
To produce the agreement and right disposition of words in a sentence, the following rules and observations should be carefully studied.
RULE I. A Verb must agree with its nominative case, in number and person : as, “I learn;" “ Thou art improved." “ The birds sing."
The following are a few instances of the violation of this rule.“ What signifies good opinions, when our practice is bad ?" " what signify." 6 There's two or three of us, who have seen the work :" " there are.” “ We may suppose there was more impostors than one :" “ there were more.” “ I have considered what have been said on both sides in this controversy:" " what has been said." “ If thou would be healthy, live temperately : “ if thou wouldst.”
Thou sees how little has been done :" " thou seest." “ Though thou cannot do much for the cause, thou
may and should do something :” “ canst not, mayst, and shouldst.” “Full many a flower are born to blush unseen:" " is born." “A conformity of inclinations and qualities prepare us for friendship :" " prepares us.” “A variety of blessings have been conferred upon us :" "has been.” “ In piety and virtue consist the happiness of man:" " consists.” “ To these precepts are subjoined a copious selection of rules and maxims :" " is subjoined."
41. The infinitive mood, or part of a sentence, is sometimes put as the nominative case to the verb: as, “ To see the sun is pleasant;" “ To be good is to be happy;" “A desire to excel others in learning and virtue is commendable;" "That warm climates should accelerate the growth of the human body, and shorten its duration, is very reasonable to believe ;" “ To be temperate in eating and drinking, to use exercise in the open air, and to preserve the mind free from tumultuous emotions, are the best preservatives of health.
The chief practical notes under each Rule, are regularly numbered, in order to make them correspond to the examples in the volume of Exercises.
2. Every verb, except in the infinitive mood, or the par. ticiple, ought to have a nominative case, either expressed or implied: "as, “Awake ; arise ;" that is, “ Awake ye ; arise ye.”
We shall here add some examples of inaccuracy, in the use of the verb without its nominative case. “ As it hath pleased bim of his goodness to give you safe deliverance, and hath preserved you in the great danger," &c. The verb " hath preserved,” has here no nominative case, for it cannot be properly supplied by the preceding word, “him,” which is in the objective case. It ought to be, " and as he hath preserved you ;" or rather, "and to preserve you." 6 If the calm in which he was born, and lasted so long, had continued ;” “and which lasted," &c. « These we have extracted from an historian of undoubted credit, and are the same that were practised,” &c.; they are the same. “ A man whose inclinations led him to be corrupt, and had great abilities to manage the busi ness ;" “and who hail,” &c. “A cloud gathering in the north ; which we have helped to raise, and may quickly break in a storm upon our heads;" “and which may quickly."
3. Every nominative case, except the case absolute, and when an address is made to a person, should belong to some verb, either expressed or implied : as, “ Who wrote this book ?” “ James ;" that is, “ James wrote it.” “ To whom thus Adam," that is, “spoke."
One or two instances of the improper use of the nominative case, without any verb, expressed or implied, to answer it, may be sufficient to illustrate the usefulness of the preceding observation.
" Which rule, if it had been observed, a neighbouring prince would have wanted a great deal of that incense which hath been offered up to him.” The pronoun it is here the nominative case to the verb “ observed ;” and which rule, is left by itself, a nominative case without any. verb following it. This form of expression, though improper, is very common. It ought to be, “ If this rule had been observed," &c. “Man, though he has great variety of thoughts, and such from which others as well as himself might receive profit and delight, yet they are all within his own breast.” In this sentence, the nominative man stands alone and unconnected with any verb, either expressed or implied. It should be, “ Though man has, great variety," &c.
4. When a verb comes between two nouns, either of which may be understood as the subject of the affirmation, it may agree with either of them: but some regard must be had to that which is more naturally the subject of it, as also to that which stands next to the verb: as, “ His meat was locusts and wild honey ;?“ A great cause of the low state of industry were the restraints put upon it;" wages of sin isoleath."
5. When the nominative case has no personal tense of verb, but is put before a participle, independently on the rest of the sentence, it is called the case absolute : as, ". Shame being lost, all virtue is lost ;" “ That having been discussed long ago, there is no occasion to resume it."
As in the use of the case absolute, the case is, in English, always the nominative, the following example is erroneous, in making it the objective. “ Solomon was of this mind; and I have no doubt he made as wise and true proverbs, as any body has done since; him only excepted, who was a much greater and wiser man than Solomon.” It should be, " he only excepted.”
The nominative case is commonly placed before the verb; but sometimes it is put after the verb, if it is a simple tense ; and between the auxiliary, and the verb or participle, if a compound tense : as,
1st, When a question is asked, a command given, or-a
wish expressed: as, “Confidest thou in me ?” « Read thou ;" "Mayst thou be happy!" "Long live the King !"
2d, When a supposition is made without the conjunction if : as, “ Were it not for this ;" “ Had I been there."
3d, When a verb neuter is used: as, On a sudden ap peared the king."
4th, When the verb is preceded by the adverbs, here, there, then, thence, hence, thus, &c.: as, “ Here am I ;" “There was he slain ;"" " Then cometh the end;" “ Thence ariseth his grief ;" “ Hence proceeds his anger ;" “ Thus was the affair settleil."
5th, When a sentence depends on neither or nor, so as to be coupled with another sentence; as, “ Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
Some grammarians assert, that the phrases, as follows, as appears, form what are called impersonal verbs; and should, therefore, be confined to the singular number: as, “The arguments advanced were nearly as follows 7" “ The positions were as appears incontrovertible :" that is, follows," " as it appears.” If we give (say they) the sentence a different urn, and instead of as, say
the verb is no longer termed impersonal; but properly agrees with its nominative, in the plural number : as, arguments advanced were nearly such as follow ;" “ The positions were such as appear incontrovertiblef.”
They who doubt the accuracy of Horne Tooke's statement, “ That as, however and whenever used in English, means the same as it, or that, or nhich ;" and who are not satisfied whether the verbs, in the sentences first mentioned,
† These grammarians are supported by general usage, and by the authority of an eminent critic on language and composition. “When a verb is used impersonally," says Dr. Campbell in his Philosophy of Rhetoric, " it ought undoubtedly to be in the singular number, whether the neuter pronoun be expressed or understood. For this reason; analogy and usage favour this mode of expression: “ The conditions of the agreement were as follows ;" and not, us follom. A few late writers have inconsiderately adopted this last form, through à mistake of the construction. For the same reason, we ought to say, I shall consider his censures so far only is concerns my Eriend's conduct:“ an! 00 .so far as concern.'