Page images

The plural others is only used when apart from the noun to which it refers, whether expressed or understood : as, “ When you have perused these papers, I will send you the others.“ He pleases some, but he disgusts others.” Wher: this pronoun is joined to nouns, either singular or plural, it has no variation : as,

" the other man,'

" " the other men.”' The following phrases may serve to exemplify the indefinite pronouns.

Some of you are wise and good ;" “ A few of them were idle, the others industrious ;" “Neither is there any that is unexceptionable;" “One ought to know one's own mind;" “ They were all present;" “ Such is the state of man, that he is never at rest ;'' “ Some are happy, while others are miserable."

The word another is composed of the indefinite article prefixed to the word other.

None is used in both numbers : as, “ None is so deaf as. he that will not hear;"- “ None of those are equal to these." It seems originally to have signified, according to its derivation, not one, and therefore to have had no plural; but there is good authority for the use of it in the plural num

None that go unto her return again.” Prov. ii. 19. Terms of peace were none vouchsaf’d.” Milton. “None of them are varied to express the gender.” “.None of them have different endings for the numbers.” Lowth's Introduction.

None of their productions are extant.” BLAIR. We have endeavoured to explain the nature of the adjective pronouns, and to distinguish and arrange them intelligibly : but it is difficult, perhaps impracticable, to define and divide them in a manner perfectly unexceptionable Some of them, in particular, may seem to require a different arrangement. We presume, however, that, for every useful purpose, the present classification is sufficiently correct. All the pronouns, except the personal and relative, may indeed, in a general view of them, be considered as definitive pronouns, because they define or ascertain the extent of the common name, or general term, to

ber: as,

which they refer, or are joined; but as each class of them does this, inore or less exactly, or in a manner peculiar to itself, a division adapted to this circumstance appears to be suitable to the nature of things, and the understanding of learners.

It is the opinion of some respectable grammarians, that the words this, thal, any, some, such, his, their, our, &c. are pronouns, when they are used separately from the nouns to which they relate ; but that, when they are joined to those nouns, they are not to be considered as belonging to this species of words; because, in this association, they rather ascertain a substantive, than supply the place of one. They assert that, in the phrases, "give me that,this is John's” and “such were some of you,” the words in italics are pronouns; but that, in the following phrases, they are not pronouns ;

this book is instructive,” “ soine boys are ingenious," "my health is declining,” “our hearts are deceitful,” &c. Other grammarians think, that all these words are pure adjectives; and that none of them can properly be called pronouns; as the genuine pronoun stands by itself, without the aid of a noun expressed or understood. They are of opinion, that in the expressions, “ Give me that;" "this is John's," &c. the noun is always understood, and must be supplied in the mind of the reader: as, “ Give me that book ;" This book is John's;" " and such persons were some persons amongst you.”.

Somne writers are of opinion that the pronouns should be classed into substantive and adjective pronouns. Under. the former, they include the personal and the relative; under the latter, all the others. But this division, though a neat one, does not appear to be accurate. All the relative pronouns will not range under the substantive head.We have distributed these parts of grammar, in the mode which we think most correct and intelligible : but, for the information of students, and to direct their inquiries on the subject, we state the different opinions of several judiciousgrammarians. , See the Octavo Grammar on these points.


Of Verbs. SECTION 1. Of the nature of Verbs in general. A VERB is a word which signifies to BE, to do, or to SUFFER; as, “I am, I rule, I am ruled.”

Verbs are of three kinds; ACTIVE, PASSIVE, and NEUTER. They are also divided into REGULAR, IRREGULAR, and DEFECTIVE.

A Verb Active expresses an action, and necessarily implies an agent, and an object acted upon: as, to love; "I love Penelope.”

A Verb Passive expresses a passion or a suffering, or the receiving of an action; and necessarily implies an object acted upon, and an agent by which it is acted upon : as, to be loved; “Penelope is loved by me."

A Verb Neuter expresses neither action nor passion, but being, or a state of being : as, “I am, I sleep, I sitt."

The verb active is also called transitive, because the action passes over to the object, or has an effect upon some

+ Verbs have been distinguished by some writers, into the following kinds.

ist. Active-transitive, or those which denote an action that passed from the agent to some object : as, Cæsar conquered Pompey.

2d. Active-intransitive, or those which express that kind of action, which has no effect upon any thing beyond the agent himself : as, Cæsar walked.

3d. Passive, or those which express, not action, but passion, whether pleasiog or painful :'as, Portia wag loved ; Pompey was conquered.

4th. Neuter, or those which express an attribute that consists neither in action nor passion : as, Cæsar stood.

This appears to be an orderly arrangement. But if the class of active-intransitive verbs were admitted, it would rather perplex than assist the learner: for the difference between verbs active and neuter, as transitive and intransitive, is easy and obvious ; but the difference between verbs absolutely neuter and intransitively active, is not always clear. It is, indeed, often sery difficult to be ascertained.


other thing : as, « The tutor instructs his pupils.; "I esteem the man."

Verbs neuter may properly be denominated intransitives, because the effect is confined within the subject, and does not pass over to any object: as," I sit, he lives, they sleep.”

Some of the verbs that are usually ranked among neu. ters, make a near approach to the nature of a verb active; but they may be distinguished from it by their being intransitive: as, to run, to walk, to ily, &c. The rest are more obviously neuter, and more clearly expressive of a middle state between action and passion; as, to stand, to lie, to sleep, &c.

In English, many verbs are used both in an active and a neuter signification, the construction only determining of which kind they are: as, to flatten, signifying to make even or level, is a verb active; but when it signifies to grow dull or insipid, it is a verb neuter.

A neuter verb, by the addition of a preposition, may become a compound active verb. To smile is a neuter verb; it cannot, therefore, be followed by an objective case, nor be construed as a passive verb. We cannot say, she smiled him, or, he was smiled. But to smile on being a compound active verb, we properly say, she smiled on him; he was smiled.on by fortune in



Auxiliary or helping Verbs, are those by the help of which the English verbs are principally conjugated. They are, do, be, have, shall, will, may, can, with their variations; and let and must, which have no variationt.


In our definition of the verb, as a part of speech which signifies to be, to do, or to suffer, &c. we have included every thing, either expressly or by necessary consequence,

Let, as a principal verb, has lettest and letteth ; but as a helping verb it admita of no variation

This ap

that is essential to its nature, and nothing that is not essential to it. This definition is warranted by the authority of Dr. Lowth, and of many other respectable writers on grainmar. There are, however, some grammarians, who consider assertion as the essence of the verb. But, as the participle and the infinitive, if included in it, would prove insuperable objections to their scheme, they have, without hesitation, denied the former a place in the verb, and declared the latter to be merely an abstract noun. pears to be going rather too far in support of an hypothesis. It seems to he incumbent on these grammarians, to reject also the imperative mood. What part of speech would they make the verbs in the following sentence? “Depart instantly : improve your time : forgive us our sins." Will it be said, that the verbs in these phrases are assertions ?

In reply to these questions, it has been said, that “Depart instantly," is an expression equivalent to, “I desire you to depart instantly ;" and that as the latter phrase implies affirmation or assertion, so does the former. But, supposing the phrases to be exactly alike in sense, the reasoning is not conclusive. ist. In the latter phrase, the only part implying affirmation, is, "I desire.” The words “ to depart,” are in the infinitive mood, and contain no assertion: they affirm nothing. 2d. The position is not tenable, that “Equivalence in sense implies similarity in grammatical nature.” It proves too much, and therefore nothing. This mode of reasoning would confound the acknowledged grammatical distinction of words. A pronoun, on this principle, may be proved to be a noun; a noun, a verb; an adverb, a noun and preposition ; the superlative degree, the comparative; the imperative mood, the indicative; the future tense, the present; and so on: because they may respectively be resolved into similar meanings. Thus, in the sentence, " I desire you to depart,” the words to depart, may be called

noun, because they are equivalent in sense to the noun departure, in the

« PreviousContinue »