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by er and est; and dissyllables by more and most; as, Mild, milder, mildest: frugal, more frugal, most frugal. Dyssyllables ending in y, as, happy, lovely; and in le after mute, as, able, ample; or accented on the last syllable, as, discreet, polite; easily admit of er and est; as, Happier, happiest: abler, ablest: politer, politest. Words of more than two syllables hardly ever admit of these terminations. In some words the superlative is formed by adding the adverb most to the end of them; as, nethernost, uttermost, or utmost, undermost, úppermost, foremost.
The comparative may be so employed, as to express the same pre-eminence or inferiority as the superlative. Thus the sentence, Of all acquirements virtue is the most valuable, conveys the same sentiment as the following: Virtue is more valuable than every other acquirement. In English, as in most languages, there are some words of very common use that are irregular in respect to comparison; as, Good, better, best: bad, worse, worst: little, less, least; much or many, more, most: near, nearer, nearest or next: late, later, latest or last: old, older or elder, oldest or eldest; and a few others.
An adjective put without a substantive, with the definite article before it, becomes a substantive in senso and meaning, and is written as a substantive; as, Providence rewards the good, and punishes the bad.
Various nouns, placed before other nouns, assume the nature of adjectives; as, Sea fish, wine vessel, corn field, meadow ground, &c.
Numeral adjectives are either cardinal, or ordinal; cardinal, as, one, two, three, &c. ; ordinal, as, first, second, third, &c.
OF PRONOUNS. A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun, to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word; as, The man is happy; he is benevolent: he is useful.
The particle pro, means for, or instead of.-The literal definition of pronoun, then, is a word used instead of a noun. Its use, as expressed above, is to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word. Thus, had we no pronouns in the language, instead of saying, The man is happy; he is benevolent; he is useful; we should be under the necessity of repeating the noun in every succeeding member of the sentence; as, The man is happy; the man is benevolent; the man is useful.-Cases would frequently occur in which the repetition would be still more disagreeable. The following may serve as an example: John attends well to his studies; he is a good boy; he will soon get his lesson, and be ready to recite it to his instructer This sentence, had we no pronouns, would be expressed thus: John attends well to John's studies; John is a good boy; John will soon get John's lesson, and be ready to recite it to John's instructer. From these examples, it is easy to see the importance of the pronoun.
There are three kinds of pronouns, viz. the Personal, Relative, and Adjective Pronouns.
PERSONAL PRONOUNS. There are five Personal Pronouns, viz. 1, thou or you, he, she, it; with their plurals, we, ye or you, they.
Personal pronouns admit of person, number, gender, and case. The persons
of pronouns are three in each number, viz.
I is the first person
Plural. They is the third person This account of persons will be very intelligible, when we reflect that there are three may be the subject of discourse; first, the person who speaks, may speak of himself; secondly, he may speak of the person to whom he addresses himself; thirdly, he may speak of some other person; and as the speakers, the person spoken to, and the other persons spoken of, may be many, so each of these persons must have the plural number.
The numbers of pronouns, like those of substantives, are two, the singular and the plural; as, I, thou or you, he; we, ye or you, they.
The gender of pronouns has respect only to the third person singular, he, she, it. He is masculine, She is feminine, It is neuter.
The persons speaking, and spoken to, being at the same time the subjects of the discourse, are supposed to be present; from which, and other circumstances, their sex is commonly known, and needs not to be marked by a distinction of gender in the pronouns: but the third person, or thing spoken of, being absent, and in many respects unknown, it is necessary that it should be marked by a distinction of gender; accordingly the pronoun singular of the third person has the three genders, he, she, it.
Ye or you,
Thee or you:
Pronouns have three cases; the nominative, the possessive, and the objective.
The objective case of a pronoun has, in general, a form different from that of the nominative of the possessive case.
The personal pronouns are thus declined:
Thou or you.
Thine or yours.
gen: cral to some word or phrase going before, which on this account is called the antecedent. Antecedent means going before. The noun or pronoun, therefore, that goes before the relative, and for which the relative stands, and to which it refers is its antecedent; as, The man is happy who lives virtuously. Here man is the antecedent of who.
Relative pronouns are sometimes used interrogatively; they have then no antecedent, but refer to something subsequent; as, Who gave you those books? Charles. Here, the name Charles, to which the relative refers, instead of going before, comes ufter it, o, is subsequent to it.
The relatives are who, which, that, what, and sometimes as.
36. Who is applied to persons, which to animals and inanimate things; as, He is a friend who is faithful in adversity; The bird which sung so sweetly is flown; This is the tree which produces no fruit.
What is a kind of compound relative, including both the antecedent and the relative, and is mostly equivalent to that which ; as, This is what I wanted; that is to say, the thing which I wanted.
That, as a relative, is often used to prevent the too frequent repetition of who and which. It is applied to both persons and things; as, He that acts wisely deserves praise: Modesiy is a quality that highly adorns a woman. Who is of both numbers, and is thus declined:
Singular and Plural.
Whom. Which, that and what, are likewise of both numbers, but they do not vary in their termination; except that whose is sometiines used as the possessive case of which; as,
“ The fruit
-“ Pure was the joy without alloy, Whose very rapture is tranquillity.” By the use of this license, one word is substituted for three; as, Philosophy, whose end is to instruct us in the knowledge of nature; for, Philosophy, the end of which is to instruct us, &c.
Who, which and what have sometimes the words soever and ever annexed to them; as, whosoever or whoever, whichsoever or whichever, wkatsoever or whatever.