Imágenes de páginas

99. Pronominal adjectives; such as, ten, for. ty, fifty, &c. and some others, seem to have a genitive case regularly formed by adding s to the nominative: as, ten, tens.

NOTE. The other pronouns, which; what, &c. have tió variation,

VERB.* şo. A Verb is a word that signifies the action or being of a person, place, or thing: as, the man calls; the city stands; the tree falls; I am,

31. The verb that signifies merely being, is neuter: as, I am; he is. Verbs that signify do. ing are active: as, I speak the word; I wrote the letter. Verbs that express something suffered or sustained by the object, are passive: as, I am loved; Hannibal was conquered at last.

* From verbum, a word; a verb being the principal word in a sentence.

NOTE 31. Properly speaking, there is ao passive verb in the English language; for though I am loved, is commonly called a passive verb, yet loved is n'o part of the verb, but a participle, or adjective, derived of the verb love.

I am very sensible that the greatest manat perhaps, that ever yet wrote on this subject, is of a different opinion. He says, “ there are three kinds of verbs; "s active, passive, and neuter." And when he comes to the grammatical resolution of this sentence, " whom I am well pleased,he tells us--". That am " is the indicative mode, present tine, and first person + Dr. Lowth, followed by Buchanan,

es In

[ocr errors]

32. The noun or pronoun that stands before the active verbs in the above examples, may be called the agent, and that which stands before the ncuter, the subject of the verb: but the noun or pronoun that follows the active verbs, in the same examples, may be called the object of the verb.

33. There are four modes,* or ways of using the verb; the indicative, the imperative, the potential, and the infinitive.

34. The indicativcă expresses the action or being, directly and absolutely: as, I am; he lores.

35. The imperative commands or forbids; aș, come, go, fear him, love him.

singular of the neuter verb, to be; well, an adverb; pleased, the passive participle of the verb, to please, making with the auxiliary verb, am, a passive verb." The consideration of this, I must confess, could by po means induce me to suppress the above pote.

lu parsing, every word should be considered as a distinct part of speech : for though two or more words may be united to form a mode, a tense, or a comparison; yet it seems quite improper to unite two or more words to make a noun, a verb, an adjective, &c.

Verbs intransitive, or such as do not pass over or convey their force to any object; as, sleep, walk, run, &c. are commonly, though perhaps not very proper ly, called neuter verbs. * From modus, a manner,

From indico, to shew.
From imperó, to command,


[ocr errors]

may not lore.

36. The potential* expresses the action or -being, as possible or impossible, lit or unfit : as,


I 37. The infinitive t expresses the action or being indeterminately: as, to be; to love.

38. There are five tenses, or times; the e prca sent, the imperfect, the perfect, the pluperfect, and the future.

39. The present tense expresses the time that now is: as, I love, or am loving.

40. The imperfect denotes the time past indeterminately : as, I loved, or wus loving,

41. The perfect denotes the time past determinately:as, I have lover, or have been loving.

42. The pluperfect denotes the time past, as prior to some other point of time specified in the sentence: as, I had loved, or had been loving

Note 36. This mode or form of the verb does not, I think, in any case coincide with the indicative, It always has some respect to the power, will, &c. of the agent, by which, even when conditionality is out of the question, it is distinguished from the merely declarative form : the one declares the action done, or to be done, without any further consideration; the other declares not the action done, or to be done, but the ability, inability, &c. of the agent to perform that action; and is therefore properly stiled the potential mode. * From potentialis (à possum), to be able.

+ From infinitivus, without bounds,

[ocr errors]

43. The future denotes the time to come; as, I will or shall love ; or, will or shall be loving.

44. These modes and tenses are partly formed by the verb itself, and partly by the assistance of signs.

45. There are two modes formed from the verb itself: the indicative; as, I love: and the imperative; as, love thou.

46. The auxiliary* signs are, to, do, did,

Note 43. These formations of the several teoses seem to have respect both to the time and state of the action signified by the verb. The present tense denotes the time that now is, and the action unfinished: as, I write, or, I am now writing the letter. The im perfect denotes the time past indeterminately, and the action to have been completed at any past time that may be specified: as, wrote the letter; or, I began and finished the writing of the letter, this morning, yes, terday, a week ago, &c. The perfect denotes the time just past, and the action fully completed : as, I have wrilten the letter; or, I have just now finished the writing of the letter. The pluperfect denotes the time fast, and the action to have been completed prior to some other circumstance specified in the sentence: as, I had written the letter; or, I had finished the writing of the letter, before you came in. The future denotes the time to come, and the action to be completed a any future time that may be mentioned; as, I will, write the letter, or I will begin and finish the writing of the letter, to-night, to-morrow, &c.

The other forms of these tenses, viz. I am wriling, I was writing, I have been writing, I had been writing, I will be writing, seem for the most part to have the action undetermined.

* From auxilior, to help.

have, had, shall, will, may, can, must, might, zould, could, should.

47. To, is a sign of the infinitive mode: as, to be; to love.

48. May, can, must, might, would, could, should, and their inflections, mayest, canst, mightest, wouldest or wouldst, couldest or coulist, shouldest or shouldst, are signs of the potential mode.

49. Do, and its inflections, dost, doth or doos, are signs of the present tense..

50. Did, and its inflection, didst, are signs of the imperfect tense.

51. Have, and its inflections, hast, hath or has, are signs of the perfect tense.

52. Įlad, and its inflection, hadst, are signs of the pluperfect tense.

53. Shall and will, and their inflections, shalt and wilt, are signs of the future tense.

54. In verbs there is a reference to three persons in each number; as, singular, I lovlig

Note. The auxiliary signs seem to have the nature of adverbs.

Do, have, and will, when they are not joined to verbs to distinguish the circumstance of time, are absolutely verbs: as, I do it; I have it; I will it.

* From inflecto, to change (the ending).

« AnteriorContinuar »