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“ The horse is a noble animal ;" * The dog is a faithful crea ture;"
;" “ The wind blows;" “ The wolves were howling in the woods.” In these examples, we do not refer to any particular lunaticks, poets, lovers, horses, dogs, winds, wolves, and woods, but we refer to these particular classes of things, in contradistinction to other objects or classes. The phrase, “ Neither the ona nor the other,” is an idiom of the language.
Remarks.—This method of elucidating the articles, which is popular with Blair, Priestley, Lowth, Johnson, Harris, Beattie, Coote, Murray, and many other distinguished philologists, is discarded by some of our modern writers. But, by proving that this theory is exceptionable, they by no means make it appear, that it ought, therefore, to be rejected.
Exceptionable or not, they have not been able to supply its place with one that is more convenient in practice. Neither have they adopted one less ex ceptionable. The truth is, after all which can he done to render the definitions and rules of gramnar comprehensive and accurate, they will still be found, when critically cxamined by men of learning and science, more or less exceptionable. These exceptions and imperfections are the unavoidable consequence of the imperfections of the language. Language, as well as every thing else of human invention, will always be imperfect. Consequently, a perfect system of grammatical principles, would not suit it. A perfect grainiar will not be produced, until some perfect being writes it for a perfect language; and a perfect language will not be constructed, until some super-lum:un agency is employed in its production. All grammatical principles and systems which are not perfect, are exceptionable.
NOTES. 1. The article is omitted before nouns implying the different virtues, vices, passions, qualities, sciences, arts, mekls, herhs, &c.; as, “ Modesty is becoming; Falsehcod is cdious; Grammar is useful,”' &c.
2. The article is not prefixed to proper nouns; as, Barron killed Decatur ; except by way of eminence, or for the sake of distinguishing a particular samily, or when some noun is understood; as, “ He is not a Franklin ; Ile is a Lee, or of the family of the Lees; We sailed down the (river) Missouri.”
3. An adjective is frequently placed between the article and the noun with which the article agrees; as, "A good boy; an industrious man.” Some. times the adjective precedes the article; as, “ As great a man as Alcxander; Such a shame."
4. In referring to many individuals, when we wish to bring cach separato. ly under consideration, the indefinite article is sometimes placed between the adjective many and a singular noun; as, “Where many a rosebud rears its blushing head;" "Full many a flower is born to blush unsccn.”
5. The definite article the is frequently applied to adverbs in the compara. tive or superlative degrce; as, “ The more I cxarnine it, the belter I likc it; I like this the least of any."
You may proceed and parse the following articles, when you shall have committed this
SYSTEMATICK ORDER OF PARSING. The order of parsing an Article, is an article, and why?-definite or indefinite, and why?with what noun does it agree?-RULE.
“He is the son of a king." The is an article, a word prefixed to a noun to límit its signification--definite, it limits the noun to a particular object-it belongs to the noun “son,” according to
RULE 2. The definite article the belongs to nouns in the singular or plural number.
A is an article, a word placed before a noun to limit its signification-indefinite, it limits the noun to one of a kind, but to no particular oneit agrees with "king," agreeably to
Rule 1. The article a or an agrees with nouns in the singulur number only.
NOTE. By considering the original meaning of this article, the propriety of Rule 1, will appear. A or an, (formerly written ane,) being equivalent to one, any one, or some one, cannot be prefixed to nouns in the plural number. There is, however, an exception to this rule. A is placed before a plural noun when any of the following adjectives come between the article and the noun: few, great many, dozen, hundred, thousanıb, million ; as, a few men, a thousand houses, f-c.
After having parsed these articles several times over, please to read this third lecture. Ihree times. Then turn back, and exainine the second lecture critically, observing to parse every example according to the directions previously given, which will prepare you to parse systematically, all the articles, nouns, and verbs in these subsequent
EXERCISES IN PARSING. A bird sings. An eagle flies. Mountains stand. The mul titude pursue pleasure. The reaper reaps the farmer's grain. Farmers mow the grass. Farmers' boys spread the hay. The clerk sells the merchant's goods. An ostrich outruns an Arab's horse. Cecrops founded Athens. Gallileo invented the telescope. James Macpherson translated Ossian's poems. Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe. Doctor Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning-rod. Washington Irving wrote the Sketch-Book.
I will now offer a few remarks on the misapplication of the articles, which, with the exercise of your own discriminating powers, will enable you to use them with propriety. But, before you proceed, please to answer the following
QUESTIONS NOT ANSWERED IN PARSING.
How many articles are there?--In what sense is a noun taken, when it has no article to limit it ?--Repeat the order of parsing an article.—What rule applies in parsing the definite article ? What rule in parsing the indefinile?
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 h is 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
EXAMPLES. 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 omit ted: 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 cor rupting; 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 forses 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 Bentence 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.”
FALSE SYNTAX. Corn in the garden, grows well; but corn in the field, doce not. How does the tobacco sell ? The tobacco is dear. How do you like the study of the grammar? The grammar is
pleasing study. A candid temper is proper for the man World is wide. The man is mortal. And I persecuted this way into the death. The earth, the air, the fire, and the water, are the four elements of the old philosophers.
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 clcar. A noun is the nume 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 comprehensin, or to determine their extension. Those which effect the former object, are called adjectives, or attributes ; and those which effect the latter, restrictives. 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 Qdjectives; and such as denote their situation or number, are restrictives
Adjectives were originally nouns or verbo
in italicks are adjectives, because each expresses a quality 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, oi they attribute to him some particular property.
Some adjectives restrict or limit the signification of the pouns
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 iror blooms, red hot iron plato.
You will frequently find the adjective placed after the noun ; as, “Those unen 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 :-or, a pleasant prospect, a longdeserted dwelling, an American soldier, a Greek Testament. Are these words adjectives, distant, yonder, peaceful, long-sided, double-headed ? Å distant object or thing, yonder hill, s.c. They are. They will make sense with a noun after them.Adjectives sometimes become adverbs. Tiris matter will be
Some consider the adjective, in its present application, exactly cguivalent to a noun connected to another noun by means of juxtaposition, of a prepo sition, or of a corresponding fiexion. “ A golden cup,” say they, “is the same as a gold cup, or a cup of gold.” But this principle appears to be exception able.“ 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 rirtuous 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, joir, 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
Left is the past participle of the verb leave Hornc Touke defines right to