Imágenes de páginas

The principal of them are these.

Perf. or Pass. Part

could, May,

might, Shall,

should, Will,

would, Must,

must, Ought,


quoth, That the verbs must and ought have both a present and past signification, appears from the following sentences : “I must own that I am to blame;" “ He must have been mistaken;" “ Speaking things which they ought not;" “ These ought ye to have dune.”

In most languages there are some verbs which are defective with respect to persons. These are denominated imper sonal verbs. 'They are used only in the third person, because they refer to a subject peculiarly appropriated to that person; as, “ It rains, it snows, it hails, it lightens, it thunders.” But as the word impersonal implies a total absence of persons, it is improperly applied to those verbs which have a person: and hence it is manifest, that there is no such thing in English, nor indeed, in any language, as a sort of verbs really im. personal.

The whole number of verbs in the English language, regular and irregular, simple and compounded, taken together, is about 4300. The number of irregular verbs, the defective included, is about 177.*

Some Grammarians have thought that the English verbs, as well as those of the Greek, Latin, French, and other languages, might be classed into several conjugations; and that the three different terminations of the participle might be the distinguishing characteristics. They have accordingly proposed three conjugations; namely, the first to consist of verbs, the participles of which end in id, or its contraction t; the second, of those ending in ght; and the third of those in en. But as the verbs of the first conjugation, would so greatly exceed in number those of both the others, as may be seen by the preceding account of them; and as those of the third conjugation are so various in their form, and incapable of being reduced to one plain rule; it seems better in practice, as Dr. Lowth justly observes, to consider the first in ed as the only regular form, and the other as deviations from it ; after the example of the Saxon and German Grammarians. * The whole number of words, in the English language, is about thirty-five


Before we close the account of the verbs, it may afford instruction to the learners, to be informed, more particularly than they have been, that different nations have made use of different contrivances for marking the tenses and moods of their verbs. The Greeks and Latins distinguish them, aswell as the cases of their nouns, adjectives, and participles, by varying the termination, or otherwise changing the form oi the word; retaining, however, those radical Jetters, which prove the inflection to be of the same kindred with its root.

The modern tongues, particularly the English, abound in auxiliary words, which vary the meaning of the noun, or the verb, without requiring any

considerable varieties of inflection. Thus, I do love, I did love, I have loved, I had loved, I shall love, have the same import with amo, amabam, amavi, amaveram, amabo. It is obvious, that a language, like the Greek and Latin, which can thus comprehend in one word the meaning of two or three words, must have some advantages over those which are not so comprehensive. Perhaps, indeed, it may not be more perspicuous; but, in the arrangement of words, and consequently in harmony and energy, as well as in conciseness, it may be much more elegant.


Of Adverbs. An Adverb is a part of speech joined to a verb, an adjective, and sometimes to another adverb, to express some quality or circumstance respecting it : as, “ Hereads well;"> " A truly good man;" “ He writes very correctly." Some adverbs are compared, thus

Soon, sooner, soonest ;" “ often, oftener, oftenést.” Those ending in ly, are compared by more and most : as,“ Wisely, more wisely, most wisely."

Adverbs seem originally to have been contrived to express compendiously in one word, what must otherwise have required two or more; as, “ He acted wisely,” for, he acted with wisdom; prudently,” for with prudence; "He did it here,” for, he did it in this place; “ exceedingly," for, to a great degree; often and seldom,” for many, and for few times; “very,” for, in an eminent degree, &c.

There are many words in the English language that are sometimes used as adjectives, and sometimes as adverbs : as, “ More men than women were there;" or, “I am more diligent than he." In the former sentence more is evidently an

verbs: as, “ To-day's lesson is longer than yesterday's;" here to-day and yesterday are substantives, because they are words that make sense of themselves, and admit besides of a genitive case : but in the phrase, “ He came home yester day, and sets out again to-day,” they are adverbs of time; because they answer to the question when. The adverb much is used as all three : as,“Where much is given, much is required;" "Much money has been expended ;* “ It is much better to go than to stay.". In the first of these sentences, much is a substantive; in the second, it is an adjective; and in the third, an adverb. In short, nothing but the sense cani determine what they are.

Adverbs, though very numerous, may be reduced to cer tain classes, the chief of which are those of Number, Order, Place, Time, Quantity, Manner or Quality, Doubt, Affirmation, Negation, Interrogation, and Comparison.

1. Of number : as, “ Once, twice, thrice," &c.

2. Of order: as, “ First, secondly, thirdly, fourthly, fifthly, lastly, finally,” &c.

3. Of place : as, “Here, there, where, elsewhere, any where, somewhere, nowhere, herein, whither, hither, thither, upward, downward, forward, backward, whence, hence, thence, whithersoever,” &c.

4. Of time.
Of time present : as, “ Now, to-day," &c.

Oftime past: as, “ Already, before, lately, yesterday, heretofore, hitherto, long since, long ago,” &c.

Of time to come : as, “ To-morrow, not yet, hereafter, henceforth, henceforward, hy and by, instantly, presently, immediately, straightways, &-c.

Of time indefinite : as, “ Oft, often, oft-times, often-times, sometimes, soon, seldom, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, al ways, when, then, ever, never, again," &c.

5. Of quantity : as “Much, little, sufficiently, how much, how great, enough, abundantly,” &c.

6. Of manner or quality: as, "Wisely, foolishly, justly unjustly, quickly, slowly,” 8c. Adverbs of quality are the most numerous kind; and they are generally formed hy ad ding the termination by to an adjective or participle, or changing le into ly : as, “ Bad, badly; cheerful, cheerfully; able, ably; admirable, admirably.”

7. Of doubt; as, “ Perhaps, peradventure, possibly, per chance."

3. Of affirmation : as, “ Verily, truly, undoubtedly, doubtAnss, certainly, yea, yes, surely, indeed, really,” &c.



9. Of negation : as, “ Nay, no, not, by no means, not at all, in no wise,” &c.

10. Of interrogation : as," How, why, wherefore, whether,” 8.c.

11. of comparison : as, “ More, most, better, best, worse, worst, less, least, very, almost, little, alike,” &c.

Besides the adveros already mentioned, there are many which are formed hy a combination of several of the prepositions with the adverbs of place here, there, and where : 'as, "Hereof, thereof, whereof; hereto, thereto, whereto; hereby, thereby, whereby; herewith, therewith, wherewith; hereu), therein, wherein ; therefore, (i. e. there for,) wherefore, (i e, where for,) hereupon or hereon, thereupon or thereon, whereupon or whereon, &c. Except therefore, these are seldom used.

In some instances the preposition suffers no change, but hecomes an adverb merely by its application: as when we say, “he rides about ;" "he was near falling ;" " but do not afier lay the blame on me.”

There are also some adverbs, which are composed of nouns, and the letter a used instead of at, on, &-c. : as, “ Aside, athirst, afoot, ahead, asleep, aboard, ashore, abed, aground, alloat,"' &c.

The words when and where, and all others of the same nature, such as, whence, whither, ichenever, wherever, &c. may be properly called adverbial conjunctions, because they participate the nature both of adverbs and conjunctions : of conjunctions, as they conjoin sentences; of adverbs, as they de. note the attributes either of time or of place.

It may be particularly observed with respect to the word therefore, that it is an adverb, when, without joining sentences, it only gives the sense of, for that reason. When it gives that sense, and also connects, it is a conjunction : as, “ He is good, therefore he is happy.” The same observation may be extended to the words consequently, accordingly, and the like. When these are subjoined to and, or joined to if, since, &c. they are adverbs, the connexion being made without their help: when they appear single, and unsupported by any other connective, they may be called conjunctions.

Thé inquisitive scholar may naturally ask, what necessity there is for adverbs of time, when verbs are provided with tenses, to show that circumstance. The answer is, though tenses may be sufficient to denote the greater distinctions of time. vet. to denote them all by the tenses would be a pers

lately, just now, now, immediately, presently, soon, hereafter, &c. It was this consideration that made the adverbs of time necessary, over and above the tenses.


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Of Prepositions. PREPOSITIONS serve to connect words with one another, and to show the relation between them. They are, for the most part, put before nouns and pronouns, as, “ He went from London to York;"? “ She is above disguise;" “ They are instructed by him.”

The following is a list of the principal prepositions : Of into

off within below fur without between up

among by

beneath down with under from

before about in

through beyond behind against Verbs are often compounded of a verb and a preposition: as, to uphold, to invest, to overlook: and this composition sometimes gives a new sense to the verh; as, to understand, to withdraw, to forgive. But in English, the preposition is more frequently placed after the verb, and separately from it, like an adverb, in which situation it is not less apt to affect the sense of it, and to give it a new meaning; and may still be considered as belonging to the verb, and as a part of it. As, to cast, is to throw; but to cast up, or to compute, an account, is quite a different thing: thus, to fall on, to bear out, to give over, &c. So that the meaning of the verb, and the proprie, ty of the phrase, depend on the preposition subjoined.

In the composition of many words, there are certain syllables einployed, which Grammarians have called inseparable prepositions: as, be, con, mis, &c. in bedeck, conjoin, mistakė, : but as they are not words of any kind, they canno properly be called a species of preposition.

One great use of prepositions, in English, is, to express those relations, which, in some languages, are chiefly marked by cases, or the different endings of nouns. See page 38.

The necessity and use of them will appear from the following examples. If we say, “ he writes a pen,” “ they ran the river,

;" " the tower fell the Greeks,” "Lambeth is Westminster-abbey,” there is observable, in each of these expressions, either a total wart of connexion, or such a connexion as produces falsehood or nonsense: and it is evident, that, before they can he turned in to sense, the vacancy must be filled

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