Imágenes de páginas

Masc. Nephew Prince Prophet Poet Patrọn Ram Son Stag. Shepherd Tutor Viscount Uncle Widower Wizard Whoremonger

Fem. Niece Princess Prophetess Poetess Patronefs Ewe Daughter Hind + Shepherders

Tutoress + Viscountess

Aunt Widow + Witch Whore

18. Nouns have two Cafes ; the Nominitive*, and the Genitivet. The genitive Case is formed by adding s, with an Apostrophe, to the Nominative: as, Men, Men's ; Ox, Ox's.

* From nominativus (à nomino), naming

+ From genitivus (à gigno), natural or belonging to, and therefore some Authors have called it the posesive Case.

NOTE 18. In the Formation of this case,

I have

I have .complied with a late Refinement, and what I really think a corrupt Cultom. The genitive Calé, in my Opinion, might be much more properly formed by adding s, or, when the Pronunciation requires it, es, without an Apostrophe: as Men, Mens; Ox, Oxes; Horse, Horfes ; Als, Alles.

This Cafe undoubtedly came from the Saxon; and the best Engli/ Writers after the Norman Conquest, even down to the Time of Chaucer and the Reformation, formed it just in the same Manner they did the plural Number, viz. by the Addition of s, es, or is, and were rather sparing in the Ule of it. After that the is and es were discontinued by Degrees, though the latter, in a few Instances, is retained to this Day in the Version of the Bible.

As to the Apostrophe, it was seldom used to distinguish the genitive Case till about the Beginning of the present Century, and then seems to have been introduced by Mistake. At that Time the genitive Cafe was supposed to have had its original from a Contraction; as, John's Book, for John his Book : But that Notion has been fufficiently exploded : And therefore the Use of the Apostrophe, especially in those Inftances where the Pronunciation requires an additional Syllable, is, I prefume, quite indefenâble. To write Ox's, Ass's, Fox's, and at the fame Time pronounce it Oxes, Ales, Foxes, * is such a Departure froin the original For

mation, at least in Writing, and such an inconsistent Use of the Apoftrophe, as cannot be


equalled perhaps in any other Language; and though it may be said that the Apostrophe has some Propriety as a Note of Distinction, yet no one, I think, who has any Knowledge of Grammar, can well mistake the plural Num ber for the genitive Case. However, it appears to me, 'at present, to be a Distinction of very little Importance. Formerly there were Notes used to distinguish the ablative Cafe fingular of Latin Nouns of the first Declension, and the genitive of the fourth, which are now laid aside by correct Writers; and I cannot but think that, some time or other, this will be the Fate of the Apostrophe in the genitive Case.



19. N Adjective is a Word that

fignifies the Quality of any Person, place, or Thing: as, a good Man; a great City ; a fine House.

20. Most Adjectives have, at least, two Degrees of Comparison ; which are commonly called the Comparative and the Superlative.

* From ad, to, and jacio, to put.

21. The

21. The Comparative is formed, for the most Part, by adding er to the Positive : as, long, longer; short, Morter : The Superlative, by as, long, longeft, &c.

22. These Degrees of Comparison are frequently formed by the Adverbs,very, infinitely, more, most, less, leaft: as, more short, very, moft, or infinitely short ; lefs common, least common, &c.

23. There are a few Adjectives pe.. culiar in their Comparison : as, good, better, beft; bad, worse, worft, &c.


24. A Pronoun is a Word used in,

of to the too frequent Repetition of the same

Note. 21. Long is the positive State of the Adjective; and therefore, as many Authors observe, cannot be properly called a Step or Degree.

* From pro, for, and Nomen, a Noun.


Word : as,
« The Man is merry,

he laughs, he sings.

25. The following Promuns (it only excepted) have three Cases, Nominative, Genitive, and Accusative*, in each Number

[blocks in formation]


From accuso, to accuse, because this Cafe neceives the Force or Accusation of the Verb.

NOTE 25. Soi Grammarians would have mine, thine, ours, jours, &c, to be the only ge


« AnteriorContinuar »