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better, best; bad, worse, roorst; little, less, least; much, more, most ; this means;" "What is the neros ?”
With regard to the using of adjectives and other qualifying words, care must be taken, or your language wili frequently amount to absurdity, or nonsense. Let the following general remark, which is better than a dozen rules, pot you on your guard. Whenever you utter a sentence, or put your pen op paper to write, weigh well in your mind the meaning of the words which you are about to employ. See that they convey precisely the ideas which you wish to express by them, and thus you will avoid innumerable errours. In speaking of a man, we may say, with propriety, he is very wicked, or etceedingly lavish, because the terms wicked and lavish are adjectives that admit of comparison; but, if we take the words in their literal acceptation, there is a solecisna in calling a man very honest, or exceedingly just, for the words honest and just, literally admit of no comparison. In point of fact, a man is honest or dishonest, just or unjust : there can be no medium or excess in this respect. Very correct, very incorrect, very right, very wrong, are common expressions; but they are not literally proper. What is not correct, must be incorrect; and that which is not incorrect, must be correct : what is not right, must be wrong; and that which is not wrong, must be right. To avoid that circumlocution which must otherwise take place, our best speakers and writers, however, frequently compare adjectives which do not literally admit of comparison: “The most established practice;" most uncertain method ;" * Irving, as a writer, is far more accurate than Addi son;" “ The metaphysical inyestigations of our philosophical grammars, are still more incomprehensible to the learner.” Comparisons like these, should generally be avoided; but sometimes they are so convenient in practice, as to render them admissible. Such expressions can be reconciled with the principles of grammar, only by considering them as figurative,
Comparative members of sentences, should be set in direct opposition to each other; as “Pope was rich, but Goldsmith was poor.” The following sentences are inaccurate : “Solomon was wiser than Cicero was eloquent. “The principles of the reformation were deeper in the prince's mind than to de easily eradicated." This latter sentence contains no comparison at all; neither does it literally convey any meaning. Again, if the Psalmist had said, “I am the wisest of my teachers,” he would have spoken absurdly, because the phrase would imply, that he was one of his teachers. But in saying, "I am wiser than my teachers," he does not consider himself one of them, but places himself in contradistinction to them.
Before you proceed any farther, you may answer the following
QUESTIONS NOT ANSWERED IN PARSING.
What is the distinction between a noun and an adjective ?-By what sign may an adjective be known?- Are participler ever used as adjectives ?-Does gender, person, number, or case, belong to adjectives?-How are they varied ?-Name the three degrees of comparison.-What effect have less and least m comparing adjectives ?—Repeat the order of parsing an ad jective. What rule applies in parsing an adjective?—What rule in parsing a verb agreeing with a noun of multitude conveying unity of idea ?—What Note should be applied in parsing an ad. jective which belongs to a pronoun ?What Note iv parsing sumeral adjectives ?
QUESTIONS ON THE NOTES. Ripeat all the various ways of forining the degrees of comparison, mentioned in the first five Notes.-Compare these adjectives, ripe, frugal, mischierous, happy, able, good, litlle, much or many, near, lute, old.-Name some adjectives that are always in the superlative, and never compared.-Are compound adjectives conpared ?—What is said of the termination ish, and of the adverb very ?--When does an adjective become a noun ?--'Vhat character does a noun assume when placed before another noun ?-How can you prove that custom is the standard of grammatical accuracy?
QUESTIONS ON THE PHILOSOPHICAL NOTES. How are adnouns divided ? What constitutes the true character of an adjective ?--What are the signification and denotenent of the terminations, en, ed, and ig ?-What do left and own signify?--Name the free ways in which restrictives are applied. Ilow was numeration originally performed ? -What is said of twain, twenty, score, and the ordinal numbers ?--What is said of the changes produced in the meaning of words, by the principle of association ?
EXERCISES IN FALSE SYNTAX. Note 9, under Rule 18. Double Comparatives and Superlalires should be avoided; such as, worser, lesser, more deeper, more wickeder &c. : chiefest, supremest, perfectest, rightest; or more perfect, most perfect, most supreme, &c.
Virtue confers the most supreme dignity on man, and it should be his chiefest desire.
He made the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.
The phrases “most supreme,” and “chiefest,” in the first sentence, are ricorrect, because supreme and chief are in the superlauve degree without having the superlative form superadded, which addition makes them double Bilperlatives.' They should be written, “confers suprene dignity,” and is his chief desire."
We can say, one thing is less than another, or smaller than another, because the adjectives less and smaller are in the comparative degree; but the phrase “lesser light,” in the second sentence, is inaccurate. Lesser is a double comparative, which, according to the preceding Note, should be avoided. Lesser is as incorrect as badıler, gooiler, worser. “The smaller light,” would be less exceptionable. You can correct the following wit aout my assistance. Correct them four times over.
The pleasures of the understanding are more preferable than those of imagination or sense.
The tongue is like a race-ho.se, which runs the faster the esser weight it carries.
The nightingale's voice is the most sweetest in the grove.
The first witness gave a strong proof of the fact ; the next a more stronger still; but the last witness, the most stronges of all.
He gave the fullest and the most sincere proof of the true. friendship
A PARTICIPLE is a word derived from a verb, and partakes of the nature of a verb, and also of an adjective.
Verbs have three participles, the present of imperfect, the perfect, and the compound.
The present or imperfect participle denotes action or being continued, but not perfected. It always ends in ing; as, ruling, being: “I am writing a letter."
The perfect participle denotes action or being perfected or finished, When derived from a regular verb, it ends in ed, and corresponds with the imperfect tense; as, ruled, smiled: “The letter is written."
The compound participle implies action or being completed before the time referred to. It is formed hy placing having before the perfect participle; as, having rulcél, having been ruled: “Having written the letter, he mailed it.”
The term Participle comes from the Latin word 'participio, which signifies to partakel; and this name is given to this part of speech, because it partakes of the nature of the verb and of the adjective.
Participles are formed by adding to the verb the termination ing, ed, or en. Ing signifies the same as the noun being. When postfixed to the noun-stats of the verb, the compound word thus forined, expresses a continued state of the verbal denotement. It implies that what is meant by the verb, is being continued. En is an alteration of an, the Saxon verbalizing adjunct ; ed is a contraction of dede ; and the terminations d and t, are a contraction of edo Participles ending in ed or en, usually denote the dodo, dede, doed, did, done, or finished state of what is meant by the verb. The book is printed. It is a print-ed or print-done book, or such a one as the done act of printing has made it. The book is wrilten; 1. c. it has received the do:re or finish-ed act of uril-ing it.
Participles bear the same relation to verbs, that adnouns do to nouns They might, therefore, be styled verbal adjectives. But that theory which ranks them with adnouns, appears to rest on a sandy foundation. In clasai
By many writers, the participle is classed with the verb, and treated as a part of it; but, as it has no nominative, partakes of the nature of an adjective, requires many syntactical rules which apply not to the verb, and, in some other respects, has properties peculiar to itself
, it is believed that its character is sufficiently distinct from the verb, to cntitle it to the rank of a separate part of speech. It is, in fact, the connecting link between, not only the adjective and the verb, but also the noun and the verb.
All participles are compound in their meaning and office. Like verbs, they express action and being, and denote time; and, like adjectives, they describe the nouns of which they denote the action or being. In the sentences, The boatman is crossing the river ; I see a man labouring in the field; Charles is standing; you perceive that the participles crossing and labouring express the actions of the boatman and the man, and standing the state of being of Charles. In these respects, then, they partake of the nature of verbs. You also notice, that they describe the several nouns associated with them, like describing adjectives; and that, (in this respect they participate the properties of adjectives, And,
furthermore, you observe that they denote actions which are still going on ; that is, incomplete or unfinished actions ; for which reason we call them imperfect participles.
Perhaps I can illustrate their character more clearly. When the imperfect or present and perfect participles are placed before nouns, they become defining or describing adjectives, and are denominated participal adjectives ; as, A loving companion); The rippling stream; Roaring winds ; A willed leaf; An accoinplished scholar. Here the words loving, rippling, roaring, willcd, and accomplished, describe or define the nouns with which they are associated. And where the participles are placed after their nouns, they have, also, this descriptive quality. "If I say, I fying words, we ought to be guided more by their manner of meaning, and their inferential meaning, than by their primitive, essential signification,
"I have a broken plate;" i. e. I have a plate-broken; "I have broken a plate." It there is no difference in the essential meaning of the word broken, in these two constructions, it cannot be denied, that there is a wide diffcr. ence in the meaning inferred by custom; which difference depends on the manner in which the term is applied. The former construction denotes, that I possess a plate which was broken, (whether with or without my agency, is not intimated) perhaps, one hundred or one thousand years ago; whereas. the meaning of the latter is, that I performed the act of reducing the plate from a whole to a broken state ; and it is not intimated whether I possess it, or some one ofse. It appears reasonable, that, in a practical grainmar, at least, any word which occurs in constructions differing so widely, may properly be classed with different parts of speech. This illustration likewise establishes the propriety of retaining what we call the perfect tense of the verb,
see the moon rising; The horse is running a race, The dog is
See the selling sun. Sce the moon rising.
See the rising moon. The wind is roaring.
Ilear the roaring wind. The twig is broken.
The broken twig fell. The vessel anchored in the bay,
The anchored vessel sproads lost her mast.
her sail. The present or imperfect participle is known by its ending in ing; as, floating, riding, hearing, seeing These are derived from the verbs float, ride, hear, and see. But some words end. ing in ing are not participles; such as evening, morning, hireling, sapling, uninteresting, unbelieving, uncontrolling. When you parse a word ending in ing, you should always consider whether it comes from a verb or not. There is such a verb as interest, hence you know that the word interesting is a participle; but there is no such verb as uninterest, consequently, uninteresting can not be a participle : but it is an adjective; as, an uninteresting story. You will be able very easily to distinguish the participle from the other parts of speech, when you shall havo acquired a more extensive knowledge of the verb.
Speak the participles from each of these verbs, learn, walk shun, smile, sail, conquer, manage, reduce, relate, discover, overrate, disengage. Thus, Pres. learning, Perf. learr.ed, Comp. having learned. Pres. walking, Perf. walked, Com. pound, having walked, and so on.
You may now commit the order of parsing a participle, and then proceed with me.
SYSTEMATICK ORDER OF PARSING, The order of parsing a PARTICIPLE, is--a parti ciple, and why ?-—from what verb is it derived ?speak the three-present, perfect, or compound and why ?-to what does it refer or belong RULE.