Higher Lessons in English
by Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg
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Lesson 87.—Give and illustrate the Cautions respecting connected relative clauses; the relative in clauses not restrictive; the use of that instead of who or which; the position of the relative clause; and the use of this and that, the one and the other.

Lesson 89.—Define an adjective. What two classes are there? Define them. What adjectives do not limit? Illustrate.

Lesson 90.—Give and illustrate the Cautions respecting the use of the adjectives an, a, and the; and the use of a few and few, a little and little.

Lesson 91.—Give and illustrate the Cautious respecting the choice and the position of adjectives.

Lesson 93.—Define a verb. What are transitive verbs? Intransitive? Illustrate. What distinction is made between the object and the object complement? What are regular verbs? Irregular? Illustrate. What are the several classes of adverbs? Define them. What is a conjunctive adverb?

Lesson 93.—Give and illustrate the Cautions respecting the choice and the position of adverbs, the use of double negatives, and the use of adverbs for adjectives and of adjectives for adverbs.

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Lesson 95.—Define a preposition. Name some of the common prepositions. What is said of some prepositions ending in ing? Of but, except, and save? Of certain compound prepositions? When do prepositions become adverbs?

Lesson 98.—Give and illustrate the Caution as to the choice of prepositions. What, in general, is the difference between in and into?

Lesson 99.—Give and illustrate the two Cautions relating to the use of prepositions.

Lesson 100.—Define a conjunction. What are the two great classes of conjunctions, and what is their difference? What other parts of speech besides conjunctions connect? What are adverbs that connect called? Into what three classes are co-ordinate connectives subdivided? Give some of the conjunctions and the conjunctive adverbs of each class. What three kinds of clauses are connected by subordinate connectives? The connectives of adverb clauses are subdivided into what classes? Give a leading connective of each class.

Lessons 104, 105.—Illustrate two or more offices of each of the connectives as, if, lest, since, that, when, where, and while.

Lesson 107.—Give and illustrate the four Cautions relating to the construction of connectives.

Lesson 109.—Illustrate the offices of what, that, and but.

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Schemes for the Conjunction, Preposition, and Interjection.

(The numbers refer to Lessons.)

Co-Ordinate. THE CONJUNCTION. Classes. + Subordinate + 106-107.

THE PREPOSITION. No Classes (95, 98, 99).

THE INTERJECTION. No Classes (20, 21).


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Introductory Hints.—You have learned that two words may express a thought, and that the thought may be varied by adding modifying words. You are now to learn that the meaning or use of a word may be changed by simply changing its form. The English language has lost most of its inflections, or forms, so that many of the changes in the meaning and the use of words are not now marked by changes in form. These changes in the form, the meaning, and the use of the parts of speech we call their Modifications. [Footnote: Those grammarians that attempt to restrict number, case, mode, etc.—what we here call Modifications—to form, find themselves within bounds which they continually overleap. They define number, for instance, as a form, or inflection, and yet speak of nouns "plural in form but singular in sense," or "singular in form but plural in sense;" that is, if you construe them rigorously, plural or singular in form but singular or plural form in sense. They tell you that case is a form, and yet insist that nouns have three cases, though only two forms; and speak of the nominative and the objective case of the noun, "although in fact the two cases are always the same in form"—the two forms always the same in form!

On the other hand, those that make what we call Modifications denote only relations or conditions of words cannot cling to these abstract terms. For instance, they ask the pupil to "pronounce and write the possessive of nouns," hardly expecting, we suppose, that the "condition" of a noun will be sounded or written; and they speak of "a noun in the singular with a plural application," in which expression singular must be taken to mean singular form to save it from sheer nonsense.

We know no way to steer clear of Scylla and keep out of Charybdis but to do what by the common use of the word we are allowed; viz., to take Modifications with such breadth of signification that it will apply to meaning and to use, as well as to form. Primarily, of course, it meant inflections, used to mark changes in the meaning and use of words. But we shall use Modifications to indicate changes in meaning and use when the form in the particular instance is wanting, nowhere, however, recognizing that as a modification which is not somewhere marked by form.]

Modifications of Nouns and Pronouns.


The boy shouts. The boys shout. The form of the subject boy is changed by adding an s to it. The meaning has changed. Boy denotes one lad; boys, two or more lads. This change in the form and the meaning of nouns is called Number; the word boy, denoting one thing, is in the Singular Number; and boys, denoting more than one thing, is in the Plural Number. Number expresses only the distinction of one from more than one; to express more precisely how many, we use adjectives, and say two boys, four boys, many or several boys.


Modifications of the Parts of Speech are changes in their form, meaning, and use.

Number is that modification of a noun or pronoun which denotes one thing or more than one.

The Singular Number denotes one thing.

The Plural Number denotes more than one thing.


RULE.—The plural of nouns is regularly formed by adding s to the singular.

To this rule there are some exceptions.

When the singular ends in a sound that cannot unite with that of s, es is added and forms another syllable.[Footnote: In Anglo-Saxon, as was the plural termination for a certain class of nouns. In later English, as was changed to es, which became the regular plural ending; as, bird-es, cloud-es. In modern English, e is dropped, and s is joined to the singular without increase of syllables. But, when the singular ends in an s-sound, the original syllable es is retained, as two hissing sounds will not unite.]

Remark.—Such words as horse, niche, and cage drop the final e when es is added. See Rule 1, Lesson 137.

Direction.—Form the plural of each of the following nouns, and note what letters represent sounds that cannot unite with the sound of s:—

Ax or axe, arch, adz or adze, box, brush, cage, chaise, cross, ditch, face, gas, glass, hedge, horse, lash, lens, niche, prize, race, topaz.

The following nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant add es without increase of syllables.

Direction.—Form the plural of each of the following nouns:—

Buffalo, calico, cargo, echo, embargo, grotto, hero, innuendo, motto, mosquito, mulatto, negro, portico (oes or os), potato, tornado, torpedo, veto, volcano.

The following nouns in o preceded by a consonant add s only.

Direction.—Form the plural of each of the following nouns:—

Canto, domino (os or oes), duodecimo, halo, junto, lasso, memento, octavo, piano, proviso, quarto, salvo, solo, two, tyro, zero (os or oes).

Nouns in o preceded by a vowel add s.

Bamboo, cameo, cuckoo, embryo, folio, portfolio, seraglio, trio.

Common nouns [Footnote: See Rule 2, Lesson 127. In old English, such words as lady and fancy were spelled ladie, fancie. The modern plural simply retains the old spelling and adds s,] in y after a consonant change y into i and add es without increase of syllables. Nouns in y after a vowel add s.

Direction.—Form the plural of each of the following nouns:—

Alley, ally, attorney, chimney, city, colloquy, [Footnote: U after q is a consonant] daisy, essay, fairy, fancy, kidney, lady, lily, money, monkey, mystery, soliloquy, turkey, valley, vanity.

The following nouns change f or fe into ves.

Direction.—Form the plural of each of the following nouns:—

Beef, calf, elf, half, knife, leaf, life, loaf, self, sheaf, shelf, staff, [Footnote: Staff (a stick or support), staves or staffs; staff (a body of officers), staffs. The compounds of staff are regular; as, flagstaffs.] thief, wharf, [Footnote: In England, generally wharfs.] wife, wolf.

The following nouns in f and fe are regular.

Direction.—Form the plural of each of the following nouns:—

Belief, brief, chief, dwarf, fife, grief, gulf, hoof, kerchief, proof, reef, roof, safe, scarf, strife, waif.

(Nouns in ff, except staff, are regular; as, cuff, cuffs.)

The following plurals are still more irregular.

Direction.—Learn to form the following plurals:—

Child, children; foot, feet; goose, geese; louse, lice; man, men; mouse, mice; Mr., Messrs.; ox, oxen; tooth, teeth; woman, women.

(For the plurals of pronouns, see Lesson 124.)

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Some nouns adopted from foreign languages still retain their original plural forms. Some of these take the English plural also.

Direction.—Learn to form the following plurals:—

Analysis, analyses; antithesis, antitheses; appendix, appendices or appendixes; automaton, automata or automatons; axis, axes; bandit, banditti or bandits; basis, bases; beau, beaux or beaus; cherub, cherubim or cherubs; crisis, crises; datum, data; ellipsis, ellipses; erratum, errata; focus, foci: fungus, fungi or funguses; genus, genera; hypothesis, hypotheses; ignis fatuus, ignes fatui; madame, mesdames; magus, magi; memorandum, memoranda or memorandums; monsieur, messieurs; nebula, nebulae; oasis, oases; parenthesis, parentheses; phenomenon, phenomena; radius, radii or radiuses; seraph, seraphim or seraphs; stratum, strata; synopsis, synopses; terminus, termini; vertebra, vertebrae; vortex, vortices or vortexes.

The following compound nouns, in which the principal word stands first, vary the first word; as, sons-in-law.

Direction.—Form the plural of the following words:—

Aid-de-camp, attorney-at-law, billet-doux, [Footnote: Plural, billets-doux, pronounced bil'-la:-doo:z ] commander-in-chief, court-martial, cousin-german, father-in-law, hanger-on, man-of-war.

The following, and most compounds, vary the last word; as, pailfuls, gentlemen. [Footnote: Pails full is not a compound. This expression denotes a number of pails, each full.]

Direction.—Form the plural of each of the following nouns:—

Courtyard, dormouse, Englishman, fellow-servant, fisherman, Frenchman, forget-me-not, goose-quill, handful, maid-servant, man-trap, mouthful, pianoforte, portemonnaie, spoonful, stepson, tete-a-tete, tooth-brush.

The following nouns (except Norman) are not compounds of man—add s to all.

Brahman, German, Mussulman, Norman, Ottoman, talisman.

The following compounds vary both parts; as, man-singer, men-singers.

Direction.—Form the plural of each of the following nouns:—

Man-child, man-servant, woman-servant, woman-singer.

Compounds consisting of a proper name preceded by a title form the plural by varying either the title or the name; as, the Miss Clarks or the Misses Clark; but, when the title Mrs. is used, the name is usually varied; as, the Mrs. Clarks. [Footnote: Of the two forms, the Miss Clarks and the Misses Clark, we believe that the former is most used by the best authors. The latter, except in formal notes or when the title is to be emphasized, is rather stiff if not pedantic. Some authorities say that, when a numeral precedes the title, the name should always be varied; as, the two Miss Clarks.

The forms, the Misses Clarks and the two Mrs. Clark, have little authority.]

Direction.—Form the plural of the following compounds:—

Miss Jones, Mr. Jones, General Lee, Dr. Brown, Master Green.

A title used with two or more different names is made plural; as, Drs. Grimes and Steele, Messrs. Clark and Maynard.

Direction.—Put each of the following expressions in its proper form:—

General Lee and Jackson; Miss Mary, Julia, and Anna Scott; Mr, Green, Stacy, & Co.

Letters, figures, and other characters add the apostrophe and s to form the plural; [Footnote: Some good writers form the plural of words named merely as words, in the same way; as, the if's and and's; but the (') is here unnecessary.] as, a's, 2's, ——'s.

+Direction.+—Form the plural of each of the following characters:—S, i, t, +, x, [Dagger], 9, 1, 1/4, [Yough], [Cyrillic: E].

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Some nouns have two plurals differing in meaning.

Direction.Learn these plurals and their meanings:

Brother, brothers (by blood), brethren (of the same society). Cannon, cannons (individuals), cannon (in a collective sense). Die, dies (stamps for coining), dice (cubes for gaming). Fish, fishes (individuals), fish (collection). [Footnote: The names of several sorts of fish, as, herring, shad, trout, etc. are used in the same way. The compounds of fish, as codfish, have the same form in both numbers.] Foot, feet (parts of the body), foot (foot-soldiers). Genius, geniuses (men of genius), genii (spirits). Head, heads (parts of the body), head (of cattle). Horse, horses (animals), horse (horse-soldiers). Index, indexes (tables of reference), indices (signs in algebra). Penny, pennies (distinct coins), pence (quantity in value). Sail, sails (pieces of canvas), sail (vessels). Shot, shots (number of times fired), shot (number of balls).

The following nouns and pronouns have the same form in both numbers.

Direction.Study the following list:

Bellows, corps, [Footnote: The singular is pronounced ko:r, the plural ko:rz.] deer, gross, grouse, hose, means, odds, pains (care), series, sheep, species, swine, vermin, who, which, that (relative), what, any, none.

(The following have two forms in the plural).

Apparatus, apparatus or apparatuses; heathen, heathen or heathens.

(The following nouns have the same form in both numbers when used with numerals; they add s in other cases; as, four score, by scores.)

Dozen, score, yoke, hundred, thousand.

The following nouns have no plural.

(These are generally names of materials, qualities, or sciences.)

Names of materials when taken in their full or strict sense can have no plural, but they may be plural when kinds of the material or things made of it are referred to; as, cottons, coffees, tins, coppers.

Direction.Study the following list of words:

Bread, coffee, copper, flour, gold, goodness, grammar (science, not a book), grass, hay, honesty, iron, lead, marble, meekness, milk, molasses, music, peace, physiology, pride, tin, water.

The following plural forms are commonly used in the singular.

Acoustics, ethics, mathematics, politics (and other names of sciences in ics), amends, measles, news.

The following words are always plural.

(Such words are generally names of things double or multiform in their character.)

Direction.—Study the following list:—

Aborigines, annals, ashes, assets, clothes, fireworks, hysterics, literati, mumps, nippers, oats, pincers, rickets, scissors, shears, snuffers, suds, thanks, tongs, tidings, trousers, victuals, vitals.

The following were originally singular forms, but they are now treated as plural.

Alms (Anglo-Saxon aelmaesse), eaves (A. S. efese), riches (Norman French richesse).

The following have no singular corresponding in meaning.

Colors (flag), compasses (dividers), goods (property), grounds (dregs), letters (literature), manners (behavior), matins (morning service); morals (character), remains (dead body), spectacles (glasses), stays (corsets), vespers (evening service).

(The singular form is sometimes an adjective.)

Bitters, greens, narrows, sweets, valuables, etc.

Collective nouns are treated as plural when the individuals in the collection are thought of, and as singular when the collection as a whole is thought of.

Examples.—The committee were unable to agree, and they asked to be discharged. A committee was appointed, and its report will soon be made.

(Collective nouns have plural forms; as, committees, armies.)

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Direction.—Write the plural of the singular nouns and pronouns in the following list, and the singular of those that are plural; give the Rule or the Remark that applies to each; and note those that have no plural, and those that have no singular:

Hope, age, bench, bush, house, loss, tax, waltz, potato, shoe, colony, piano, kangaroo, pulley, wharf, staff, fife, loaf, flagstaff, handkerchief, Mr., child, ox, beaux, cherubim, mesdames, termini, genus, genius, bagnio, theory, galley, muff, mystery, colloquy, son-in-law, man-of-war, spoonful, maid-servant, Frenchman, German, man-servant, Dr. Smith, Messrs. Brown and Smith, x, 1/2, deer, series, bellows, molasses, pride, politics, news, sunfish, clothes, alms, goods, grounds, greens, who, that.

Direction.Give five words that have no plural, five that have no singular, and five that have the same form in both numbers.

Direction.Correct the following plurals, and give the Remark that applies to each:

Stagees, foxs, mosquitos, calicos, heros, soloes, babys, trioes, chimnies, storys, elfs, beefs, scarves, oxes, phenomenons, axises, terminuses, genuses, mother-in-laws, aldermans, Mussulmen, teeth-brushes, mouthsful, attorney-at-laws, man-childs, geese-quills, 2s, ms. swines.

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The number of a noun may be determined not only by its form but also by the verb, the adjective, and the pronoun used in connection with it.

Remark.These scissors are so dull that I cannot use them. The plurality of scissors is here made known in four ways. In the following sentence this, is, and it are incorrectly used: This scissors is so dull that I cannot use it.

Direction.—Construct sentences in which the number of each of the following nouns shall be indicated by the form of the verb, by the adjective, and by the pronoun used in connection with it:—

(With the singular nouns use the verbs is, was, and has been; the adjectives an, one, this, and that; the pronouns he, his, him, she, her, it, and its.)

(With the plural nouns use the verbs are, were, and have been; the adjectives these, those, and two; the pronouns they, their, and them.)

Bellows, deer, fish, gross, means, series, species, heathen, trout, iron, irons, news, eaves, riches, oats, vermin, molasses, Misses, brethren, dice, head (of cattle), pennies, child, parent, family, crowd, meeting.

Direction.—Compose sentences in which the first three of the following adjective pronouns shall be used as singular subjects, the fourth as a plural subject, and the remainder both as singular and as plural subjects:—

Each, either, neither, both, former, none, all, any.

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+Introductory Hints+.—The lion was caged. The lioness was caged. In the first sentence something is said about a male lion, and in the second something is said about a female lion. The modification of the noun to denote the sex of the thing which it names is called +Gender+. Lion, denoting a male animal, is in the +Masculine Gender; and lioness, denoting a female animal, is in the +Feminine Gender+. Names of things that are without sex are said to be in the +Neuter Gender+. Such nouns as cousin, child, friend, neighbor are either masculine or feminine. Such words are sometimes said to be in the Common Gender.

Sex belongs to the thing; and gender, to the noun that names the thing. Knowing the sex of the thing or its lack of sex, you know the gender of the noun in English that names it; for in our language gender follows the sex. But in such modern languages as the French and the German, and in Latin and Greek, the gender of nouns naming things without reference to sex is determined by the likeness of their endings in sound to the endings of words denoting things with sex. The German for table is a masculine noun, the French is feminine, and the English, of course, is neuter. [Footnote: In Anglo-Saxon, the mother-tongue of our language, gender was grammatical, as in the French and the German; but, since the union of the Norman-French with the Anglo-Saxon to form the English, gender has followed sex.]

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Gender is that modification of a noun or pronoun which denotes sex.

The Masculine Gender denotes the male sex.

The Feminine Gender denotes the female sex.

The Neuter Gender denotes want of sex.

Gender Forms.

No English nouns have distinctive neuter forms, but a lew have different forms to distinguish the masculine from the feminine.

The masculine is distinguished from the feminine in three ways:—

1st. By a difference in the ending of the words.

2d. By different words in the compound names.

3d. By using words wholly or radically different.

Ess is the most common ending for feminine nouns. [Footnote: The suffix ess came into the English language from the Norman-French. It displaced the feminine termination of the mother-tongue (A. S. estre, old English ster). The original meaning of ster is preserved in spinster. Er (A. S. ere) was originally a masculine suffix; but it now generally denotes an agent without reference to sex; as, read-er, speak-er.]

Direction.—Form the feminine of each of the following masculine nouns by adding e s s :—

Author, baron, count, deacon, giant, god (see Rule 3, Lesson 127), heir, host, Jew, lion, patron, poet, prince (see Rule 1, Lesson 127), prior, prophet, shepherd, tailor, tutor.

(Drop the vowel e or o in the ending of the masculine, and add ess.)

Actor, ambassador, arbiter, benefactor, conductor, director, editor, enchanter, hunter, idolater, instructor, preceptor, tiger, waiter.

(Drop the masculine er or or, and add the feminine ess.)

Adventurer, caterer, governor, murderer, sorcerer.

(The following are somewhat irregular.)

Direction.—Learn these forms:

Abbot, abbess; duke, duchess; emperor, empress; lad, lass; marquis, marchioness; master, mistress; negro, negress.

Ess was formerly more common than now. Such words as editor and author are now frequently used to denote persons of either sex.

Direction.—Give five nouns ending in e r or o r that may be applied to either sex.

Some words, mostly foreign, have various endings in the feminine.

Direction.—Learn the following forms:—

Administrator, administratrix; Augustus, Augusta; beau, belle; Charles, Charlotte; Cornelius, Cornelia; czar, czarina; don, donna; equestrian, equestrienne; executor, executrix; Francis, Frances; George, Georgiana; Henry, Henrietta; hero, heroine; infante, infanta; Jesse, Jessie; Joseph, Josephine; Julius, Julia or Juliet; landgrave, landgravine; Louis, Louisa or Louise; Paul, Pauline; signore or signor, siguora; sultan, sultana; testator, testatrix; widower, widow.

In some compounds distinguishing words are prefixed or affixed.

Direction.—Learn the following forms:—

Billy-goat, nanny-goat; buck-rabbit, doe-rabbit; cock-sparrow, hen-sparrow; Englishman, Englishwoman; gentleman, gentlewoman; grandfather, grandmother; he-bear, she-bear; landlord, landlady; man-servant, maid-servant; merman, mermaid; Mr. Jones, Mrs. or Miss Jones; peacock, peahen.

Words wholly or radically different are used to distinguish the masculine from the feminine.

(This is a matter pertaining to the dictionary rather than to grammar.)

Direction.—Learn the following forms:—

Bachelor, maid; buck, doe; drake, duck; earl, countess; friar or monk, nun; gander, goose; hart, roe; lord, lady; nephew, niece; sir, madam; stag, hind; steer, heifer; wizard, witch; youth, damsel or maiden.

The pronoun has three gender forms:—Masculine he, feminine she, and neuter it. [Footnote: It, although a neuter form, is used idiomatically to refer to a male or a female as, It was John; It was Mary.]

Direction.—Give five examples of each of the three ways of distinguishing the masculine from the feminine.

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Gender as a matter of orthography is of some importance, but in grammar it is chiefly important as involving the correct use of the pronouns he, she, and it.

When a singular noun is used so as to imply persons of both sexes, it is commonly represented by a masculine pronoun. [Footnote: When it is necessary to distinguish the sexes, both the masculine and the feminine pronoun should be used; as, Each person was required to name his or her favorite flower.]

Example.—Every person has his faults.

The names of animals are often considered as masculine or feminine without regard to the real sex.

Examples.—The grizzly bear is the most savage of his race. The cat steals upon her prey.

Remark.—The writer employs he or she according as he fancies the animal to possess masculine or feminine characteristics. He is more frequently employed than she.

The neuter pronoun it is often used with reference to animals and very young children, the sex being disregarded.

Examples.—When the deer is alarmed, it gives two or three graceful springs. The little child reached out its hand to catch the sunbeam.

Remark.—It is quite generally used instead of he or she, in referring to an animal, unless some masculine or feminine quality seems to predominate.

Inanimate things are often represented as living beings, that is, they are personified, and are referred to by the pronoun he or she.

Example.—The oak shall send his roots abroad and pierce thy mold.

Remark.—The names of objects distinguished for size, power, or sublimity are regarded as masculine; and the names of those distinguished for grace, beauty, gentleness, or productiveness are considered as feminine. Personification adds beauty and animation to style.

Direction.—Study what is said above, and then fill each of the blanks in the following sentences with a masculine, a feminine, or a neuter pronoun, and in each case give the reason for your selection:—

1. No one else is so much alone in the universe as —— who denies God. 2. A person's manners not unfrequently indicate —— morals, 3. Everybody should think for ——. 4. The forest's leaping panther shall yield —— spotted hide. 5. The catamount lies in the boughs to watch —— prey. 6. The mocking-bird poured from —— little throat floods of delirious music. 7. The wild beast from —— cavern sprang, the wild bird from —— grove. 8. The night-sparrow trills —— song. 9. The elephant is distinguished for —— strength and sagacity. 10. The bat is nocturnal in —— habits. 11. The dog is faithful to —— master. 12. The child was unconscious of —— danger. 13. The fox is noted for —— cunning. 14. Belgium's capital had gathered then —— beauty and —— chivalry. 15. Despair extends —— raven wing. 16. Life mocks the idle hate of —— arch-enemy, Death. 17. Spring comes forth —— work of gladness to contrive. 18. Truth is fearless, yet —— is meek and modest.

Direction.—Write sentences in which the things named below shall be personified by means of masculine pronouns:—

Death, time, winter, war, sun, river, wind.

Direction.—Write sentences in which the things named below shall be personified by means of feminine pronouns:—

Ship, moon, earth, spring, virtue, nature, night, England.

Caution.—Avoid changing the gender of the pronoun when referring to the same antecedent.

Direction.—Correct these errors:—

1. The polar bear is comparatively rare in menageries, as it suffers so much from the heat that he is not easily preserved in confinement. 2. The cat, when it comes to the light, contracts and elongates the pupil of her eye. 3. Summer clothes herself in green, and decks itself with flowers. 4. War leaves his victim on the field, and homes desolated by it mourn over her cruelty.

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Introductory Hints.—Number and gender, as you have learned, are modifications affecting the meaning of nouns and pronouns—number being almost always indicated by form, or inflection; gender, sometimes. There are two modifications which do not refer to changes in the meaning of nouns and pronouns but to their different uses and relations. These uses and relations are not generally indicated by form, or inflection.

I, Paul, have written. Paul, thou art beside thyself. He brought Paul before Agrippa. In these three sentences the word Paul has three different uses, though, as you see, its form is not changed. In the first it is used to name the speaker; in the second, to name the one spoken to; in the third, to name the one spoken of. These different uses of nouns and pronouns and the forms used to mark these uses constitute the modification called Person. I, thou, and he are personal pronouns, and, as you see, distinguish person by their form. I, denoting the speaker, is in the First Person; thou, denoting the one spoken to, is in the Second Person; and he, denoting the one spoken of, is in the Third Person.

Instead of I a writer or speaker may use the plural we; and through courtesy it came to be customary, except among the Friends, or in the language of prayer and poetry, to use the plural you instead of thou.

The bear killed the man. The man killed the bear. The bear's grease was made into hair oil. In the first sentence the bear is represented as performing an act; in the second, as receiving an act; in the third, as possessing something. These different uses of nouns and pronouns and the forms used to mark these uses constitute the modification called Case. A noun used as subject is in the Nominative Case; used as object complement it is in the Objective Case; and used to denote possession it is in the Possessive Case.

Some of the pronouns have a special form for each case; but of nouns the possessive case is the only one that is now marked by a peculiar form. We inflect below a noun from the Anglo-Saxon, [Footnote: The Anglo-Saxon cases are nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative; the Latin are nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, and ablative; the English are nominative, possessive (genitive), and objective.

ANGLO-SAXON. Hlaford, lord. Singular. Plural. Nom. hlaford, hlaford-as. Gen. hlaford-es, hlaford-a. Dat. hlaford-e, hlaford-um. Acc. hlaford, hlaford-as. Voc. hlaford, hlaford-as.

LATIN. Dominus, lord. Singular. Plural. Nom. domin-us, domin-i. Gen. domin-i, domin-orum. Dat. domin-o, domin-is. Acc. domin-um, domin-os. Voc. domin-e, domin-i. Ab. domin-o, domin-is.

ENGLISH. Lord. Singular. Nom. lord, Pos. lord-'s, Obj. lord; Plural. Nom. lord-s, Pos. lord-s', Obj. lord-s.]

and one from the Latin, the parent of the Norman-French, in order that you may see how cases and the inflections to mark them have been dropped in English. In English, prepositions have largely taken the place of case forms, and it is thought that by them our language can express the many relations of nouns to other words in the sentence better than other languages can by their cumbrous machinery of inflection.


Person is that modification of a noun or pronoun which denotes the speaker, the one spoken to, or the one spoken of.

The First Person denotes the one speaking.

The Second Person denotes the one spoken to.

The Third Person denotes the one spoken of.

A noun is said to be of the first person when joined as an explanatory modifier to a pronoun of the first person; as, I, John, saw these things; We Americans are always in a hurry. [Footnote: It is doubtful whether a noun is ever of the first person. It may be said that, in the sentence I, John, saw these things, John speaks of his own name, the expression meaning, I, and my name is John, etc.]

A noun is of the second person when used as explanatory of a pronoun of the second person, or when used independently as a term of address; as, Ye crags and peaks; Idle time, John, is ruinous.

Direction.—Compose sentences in which there shall be two examples of nouns and two of pronouns used in each of the three persons.

Person Forms.

Personal pronouns and verbs are the only classes of words that have distinctive person forms.

Direction.—From the forms of the pronouns given in Lesson 124, select and write in one list all the first person forms; in another list, all the second person forms; and in another, all the third person forms.

Person is regarded in grammar because the verb sometimes varies its form to agree with the person of its subject; as, I see; Thou seest; He sees.


Case is that modification of a noun or pronoun which denotes its office in the sentence.

The Nominative Case of a noun or pronoun denotes its office as subject or as attribute complement.

The Possessive Case of a noun or pronoun denotes its office as possessive modifier.

The Objective Case of a noun or pronoun denotes its office as object complement, or as principal word in a prepositional phrase.

A noun or pronoun used independently is said to be in the nominative case.

Examples.—I am, dear madam, your friend. Alas, poor Yorick! He being dead, we shall live. Liberty, it has fled! (See Lesson 44.)

A noun or pronoun used as explanatory modifier is in the same case as the word explained—"is put by apposition in the same case."

Examples.—The first colonial Congress, that of 1774, addressed the King, George III. He buys is goods at Stewart's, the dry-goods merchant.

A noun or pronoun used as objective complement is in the objective case.

Examples.—They made him speaker. He made it all it is.

A noun or pronoun used as attribute complement of a participle or an infinitive is in the same case (Nom. or Obj.) as the word to which it relates as attribute.

Examples.—Being an artist, he appreciated it. I proved it to be him.

Remark.—When the assumed subject of the participle or the infinitive is a possessive, the attribute complement is said to be in the nominative case; as, Its being he [Footnote: The case of he in these examples is rather doubtful. The nominative and the objective forms of the pronoun occur so rarely in such constructions that it seems impossible to determine the usage. It is therefore a matter of no great practical importance.

Some, reasoning from the analogy of the Latin, would put the attribute complement of the abstract infinitive in the objective, supposing for and some other word to be understood; as, For one to be him, etc. Others, reasoning from the German, to which our language is closely allied, would put this complement in the nominative.

The assumed subject of the infinitive being omitted when it is the same in sense as the principal subject, him, in the sentence I wish (me or myself) to be him, is the proper form, being in the same case as me.] should make no difference. When the participle or the infinitive is used abstractly, without an assumed subject, its attribute complement is also said to be in the nominative case; as, To be he [Footnote: See footnote above.] is to be a scholar; Being a scholar is not being an idler.

Direction.—Study carefully the Definitions and the Remark above, and then compose sentences in which a noun or a pronoun shall be put in the nominative case in four ways; in the objective in five ways; in the possessive in two ways.

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Direction.Analyze the following sentences, and give the case of each noun and pronoun:

1. Not to know what happened before we were born is to be always a child. 2. His being a Roman saved him from being made a prisoner. 3. I am this day weak, though anointed king.

Explanation.—Nouns used adverbially are in the objective case because equivalent to the principal word of a prepositional phrase. (See Lesson 35.)

4. What made Cromwell a great man was his unshaken reliance on God. 5. Amos, the herdsman of Tekoa, was not a prophet's son. 6. Arnold's success as teacher was remarkable.

Explanation.Teacher, introduced by as and used without a possessive sign, is explanatory of Arnold's.

7. Worship thy Creator, God; and obey his Son, the Master, King, and Saviour of men. 8. Bear ye one another's [Footnote: For the use of one another, see Lesson 124.] burdens.

Explanation.—The singular one is explanatory of the plural ye, or one another's may be treated as a compound.

9. What art thou, execrable shape, that darest advance? 10. O you hard hearts! you cruel men of Rome! 11. Everybody acknowledges Shakespeare to be the greatest of dramatists. 12. Think'st thou this heart could feel a moment's joy, thou being absent? 13. Our great forefathers had left him naught to conquer but his country.

(For the case of him see explanation of (3) above.)

14. I will attend to it myself.

Explanation.—Myself may be treated as explanatory of I.

15. This news of papa's puts me all in a flutter. [Footnote: See second foot-note, page 247.] 16. What means that hand upon that breast of thine? [Footnote: See second foot-note, page 247.]

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TO THE TEACHER.—We do not believe that the chief end of the study of grammar Is to be able to parse well, or even to analyze well, though without question analysis reveals more clearly than parsing the structure of the sentence, and is immeasurably superior to it as intellectual gymnastics. We would not do away with parsing altogether, but would give it a subordinate place.

But we must be allowed an emphatic protest against the needless and mechanical quoting, in parsing, of "Rules of Syntax." When a pupil has said that such a noun is in the nominative case, subject of such a verb, what is gained by a repetition of the definition in the Rule: "A noun or a pronoun which is the subject of a finite verb is in the nominative case"? Let the reasons for the disposition of words, when given at all, be specific.

Parsing—a word is giving its classification, its modifications, and its syntax, i.e., its relation to other words.

Direction.—Select and parse in full all the nouns and pronouns found in the first ten sentences of Lesson 120. For the agreement of pronouns, see Lesson 142.

Model for Written Parsing.—Elizabeth's favorite, Raleigh, was beheaded by James I.

CLASSIFICATION. MODIFICATIONS. SYNTAX. - - Per- Num- Gen- Nouns. Kind. son. ber. der. Case. - - Elizabeth's Prop. 3d Sing. Fem. Pos. Mod. of favorite. favorite Com. 3d Sing. Mas. Nom. Sub. of was beheaded. Raleigh Prop. 3d Sing. Mas. Nom. Expl. Mod. of favorite. James I. Prop. 3d Sing. Mas. Obj. Prin. word of Prep. phrase.

TO THE TEACHER.—For exercises in parsing nouns and pronouns, see Lessons 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 44, 46, 59, 60, 71, 73, 78, 80, and 81. Other exercises may be selected from examples previously given for analysis, and parsing continued as long as you think it profitable.

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Nouns have two case forms, the simple form, common to the nominative and the objective case, and the possessive form.

+RULE.—The Possessive Case of nouns is formed in the singular by adding to the nominative the apostrophe and the letter s ('s); in the plural by adding (') only. If the plural does not end in s, ('s) are both added. [Footnote: In Anglo-Saxon, es was a genitive (possessive) ending of the singular; as, sta:n, genitive sta:n-es. In old English, es and is were both used. In modern English, the vowel is generally dropped, and (') stands in its place. The use of the apostrophe has been extended to distinguish the possessive from other forms of the plural.

Some have said that our possessive ending is a remnant of the pronoun his. Phrases like, "Mars his sword," "The Prince his Players," "King Lewis his satisfaction" are abundant in Early, and in Middle, English. But it has been proved that the his in such expressions is an error that gained its wide currency largely through the confusion of early English orthography.

Professor Hadley has clearly shown that the Saxon termination has never dropped out of the language, but exists in the English possessive ending to-day.]

Examples.—Boy's, boys', men's.

Remark.—To avoid an unpleasant succession of hissing sounds, the s in the possessive singular is sometimes omitted; as, conscience' sake, goodness' sake, Achilles' sword, Archimedes' screw (the s in the words following the possessive here having its influence). In prose this omission of the s should seldom occur. The weight of usage inclines to the use of s in such names as Miss Rounds's, Mrs. Hemans's, King James's, witness's, prince's. Without the s there would be no distinction, in spoken language, between Miss Round's and Miss Rounds', Mrs. Heman's and Mrs. Hemans'.

Remark.—Pronounce the ('s) as a separate syllable (= es) when the sound of s will not unite with the last sound of the nominative.

Remark.—When the singular and the plural are alike in the nominative, some place the apostrophe after the s in the plural to distinguish it from the possessive singular; as, singular, sheep's; plural, sheeps'.

Direction.—Study the Rule and the Remarks given above, and then write the possessive singular and the possessive plural of each of the following nouns:—

Actor, elephant, farmer, king, lion, genius, horse, princess, buffalo, hero, mosquito, negro, volcano, junto, tyro, cuckoo, ally, attorney, fairy, lady, monkey, calf, elf, thief, wife, wolf, chief, dwarf, waif, child, goose, mouse, ox, woman, beau, seraph, fish, deer, sheep, swine.

Compound names and groups of words that may be treated as compound names add the possessive sign to the last word; as, a man-of-war's rigging, the queen of England's palace,[Footnote: In parsing the words queen and England separately, the ('s) must be regarded as belonging to queen; but the whole phrase queen of England's may be treated as one noun in the possessive case.] Frederick the Great's verses.

Remark.—The possessive plural of such terms is not used.

The preposition of with the objective is often used instead of the possessive case form—David's Psalms = Psalms of David.

Remarks.—To denote the source from which a thing proceeds, or the idea of belonging to, of is used more frequently than ('s).

The possessive sign ('s) is confined chiefly to the names of persons, and of animals and things personified. We do not say the tree's leaves, but the leaves of the tree.

The possessive sign however is often added to names of things which we frequently hear personified, or which we wish to dignify, and to names of periods of time, and to words denoting value; as, the earth's surface, fortune's smile, eternity's stillness, a year's interest, a day's work, a dollar's worth, two cents' worth.

By the use of of, such expressions as witness's statement, mothers-in-law's faults may be avoided.

Direction.—Study carefully the principles and Remarks given above, and then make each of the following terms indicate possession, using either the possessive sign or the preposition of, as may seem most appropriate, and join an appropriate name denoting the thing possessed:—

Father-in-law, William the Conqueror, king of Great Britain, aid-de-camp, Henry the Eighth, attorney-at-law, somebody else,[Footnote: In such expressions as everybody else's business, the possessive sign is removed from the noun and attached to the adjective. (See Lesson lai.) The possessive sign should generally be placed immediately before the name of the thing possessed.] Jefferson, enemy, eagle, gunpowder, book, house, chair, torrent, sun, ocean, mountain, summer, year, day, hour, princess, Socrates.

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As the possessive is the only case of nouns that has a distinctive inflection, it is only with this case that mistakes can occur in construction.

Caution.—When several possessive nouns modify the same word and imply common possession, the possessive sign is added to the last only. If they modify different words, expressed or understood, the sign is added to each.

Explanation.—William and Henry's boat; William's and Henry's boat. In the first example, William and Henry are represented as jointly owning a boat; in the second, each is represented as owning a separate boat—boat is understood after William's.

Remark.—When the different possessors are thought of as separate or opposed, the sign may be repeated although joint possession is implied; as, He was his father's, mother's, and sister's favorite; He was the King's, as well as the people's, favorite.

Direction.—Correct these errors, and give your reasons:—

1. The Bank of England was established in William's and Mary's reign. 2. Messrs. Leggett's, Stacy's, Green's, & Co.'s business prospers. 3. This was James's, Charles's, and Robert's estate. 4. America was discovered during Ferdinand's and Isabella's reign. 5. We were comparing Caesar and Napoleon's victories. 6. This was the sage and the poet's theme.

Explanation.—If an article precedes the possessive, the sign is repeated.

7. It was the king, not the people's, choice. 8. They are Thomas, as well as James's, books.

Caution.—When a possessive noun is followed by an explanatory word, the possessive sign is added to the explanatory word only. But, if the explanatory word has several modifiers, or if there are more explanatory words than one, only the principal word takes the sign.

Remarks.—When a common noun is explanatory of a proper noun, and the name of the thing possessed is omitted, the possessive sign may be added either to the modifying or to the principal word; as, We stopped at Tiffany, the jeweler's, or We stopped at Tiffany's, the jeweler.

If the name of the thing possessed is given, the noun immediately before it takes the sign.

Direction.—Correct these errors:—

1. This is Tennyson's, the poet's, home. 2. I took tea at Brown's, my old friend and schoolmate's. 3. This belongs to Victoria's, queen of England's, dominion. 4. This province is Victoria's, queen of England's. 5. That language is Homer's, the greatest poet of antiquity's. 6. This was Franklin's motto, the distinguished philosopher's statesman's. 7. Wolsey's, the cardinal's, career ended in disgrace.

Direction.—-Tell which of the sentences above may be improved by using other forms to denote possession. (See the following Caution.)

Caution.—The relation of possession may be expressed not only by ('s) and by of but by the use of such phrases as belonging to, property of, etc. In constructing sentences be careful to secure smoothness and clearness and variety by taking advantage of these different forms.

Direction.—Improve the following sentences:—

1. This is my wife's father's opinion.

Correction.—This is the opinion of my wife's father, or held by my wife's father.

2. This is my wife's father's farm. 3. France's and England's interest differs widely. 4. Frederick the Great was the son of the daughter of George I. of England. 5. My brother's wife's sister's drawings have been much admired. 6. The drawings of the sister of the wife of my brother have been much admired.

Of is not always equivalent to the ('s),

Explanation.—The president's reception means the reception given by the president, but the reception of the president means the reception given to the president.

Direction.—Construct sentences illustrating the meaning of the following expressions:—

A mother's love, the love of a mother; a father's care, the care of a father; my friend's picture, a picture of my friend.

Caution.—Often ambiguity may be prevented by changing the assumed subject of a participle from a nominative or an objective to a possessive.

Direction.—Correct these errors:—

1. The writer being a scholar is not doubted.

Correction.—This is ambiguous, as it may mean either that the writer is not doubted because he is a scholar, or that the writer's scholarship is not doubted. It should be, The writer's being [Footnote: The participle may be modified not only, as here, by a noun in the possessive but by the articles a and the—-as said in Lesson 37. Whether it be the imposing a tax or the issuing a paper currency.—Bagehot. Not a making war on them, not a leaving them out of mind, but the putting a new construction upon them, the taking them from under the old conventional point of view.—Matthew Arnold. Poltroonery is the acknowledging an infirmity to be incurable.—Emerson. The giving away a man's money.—Burke. It is not the finding of a thing but the making something out of it, after it is found, that is of consequence.—Lowell.

As seen in this last quotation, the participle may be followed by a preposition and so become a pure noun (Lesson 38).] a scholar is not doubted, or That the writer is a scholar is not doubted.

2. I have no doubt of the writer being a scholar. 3. No one ever heard of that man running for office. 4. Brown being a politician prevented his election. 5. I do not doubt him being sincere. 6. Grouchy being behind time decided the fate of Waterloo.

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DEFINITION.—Declension is the arrangement of the cases of nouns and pronouns in the two numbers.

Direction.—Learn the following declensions:—

Declension of Nouns.

LADY. BOY. MAN. Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural.

Nom. lady, ladies, boy, boys, man, men, Pos. lady's, ladies', boy's, boys', man's, men's, Obj. lady; ladies. boy; boys. man; men.

Declension of Pronouns.


FIRST PERSON. SECOND PERSON— SECOND PERSON— _common form_ _old form_. _Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural.

Nom. I, we,* you, you, thou, ye(+) or you Pos. my or our or your or your or thy or ye(+) or you mine,+ ours, yours, yours, thine, yours, Obj. me; us. you; you. thee; you.

[Footnote *: Strictly speaking, we can hardly be the plural of I, says Professor Sweet, for I does not admit of plurality. We means I and you, I and he, I and she, or I and they, etc.]

[Footnote +: The forms mine, ours, yours, thine, hers, and theirs are used only when the name of the thing possessed is omitted; as, Yours is old, mine is new = Your book is old, etc. Mine and thine were formerly used before words beginning with a vowel sound; as, thine enemy, mine honor.

The expression a friend of mine presents a peculiar construction. The explanation generally given is, that of is partitive, and that the expression is equivalent to one friend of my friends.

It is said that this construction can be used only when more than one thing is possessed such expressions as This heart of mine, That temper of yours are good, idiomatic English. This naughty world of ours.—Byron. This moral life of mine.—Sheridan Knowles. Dim are those heads of theirs.—-Carlyle.

Some suggest that the word possessing or owning is understood after these possessives; as, This temper of yours (your possessing); others say that of simply marks identity, as does of in city of (=viz.) New York (see Lesson 34). They would make the expression = This temper, your temper.

The s in ours, yours, hers, and theirs is the s of his and its extended by analogy to our, your, her, and their, forms already possessive. Ours, yours, hers, and theirs are consequently double possessives.]

[Footnote +: Ye is used in Chaucer and in the King James version of the Bible exclusively in the nominative, as was its original ge in the Saxon. Shakespeare uses you in the nominative. You (the Saxon accusative eow) has now taken the place of ye, and is both nominative and objective.

THIRD PERSON—Mas. THIRD PERSON—Fem. THIRD PERSON—Neut. Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural. Nom. he, they, she, they, it, they, Pos. his, their or her or their or its,* their or theirs, hers, theirs, theirs, Obj. him; them. her; them. it; them.

[Footnote *: The possessive its is our only personal pronoun form not found in Saxon. His, the possessive of the masculine he, was there the possessive (genitive) of the neuter hit also—our it. But it came to be thought improper to employ his to denote inanimate things as well as animate. The literature of the 16th and 17th centuries shows a growing sense of this impropriety, and abounds with of it, thereof, her, it, the, and it own in place of his as the possessive of it. The first appearance of the new coinage its is placed in 1598. Long after its introduction many looked askance at its, because of the grammatical blunder it contains—the t in its being a nominative neuter ending, and the s a possessive ending. But no one thinks now of shunning what was then regarded as a grammatical monstrosity.]


Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural. Singular. Plural. Nom. and Nom. and Nom. and Nom. and Nom. and Nom. and Obj. Obj. Obj. Obj. Obj. Obj.

myself* thyself himself; or ourselves. or yourselves. herself; themselves. ourself; yourself; itself;

[Footnote *: The compound personal pronouns are used (1) for emphasis; as, I myself saw it: and (2) as reflexives, to turn the action of the verb back upon the actor; as, He found himself deserted by his friends. They are not the only words used in this last relation; where no obscurity would arise, we may use the simple personal pronouns instead. And millions in those solitudes ... have laid them down in their last sleep.—Bryant. My uncle stopped a minute to look about him.—Dickens.

The compound personal pronouns should not be used as subjects.]

Remark.—The possessive of these pronouns is wanting.

Ourself and we are used by rulers, editors, and others to hide their individuality, and give authority to what they say.

Relative Pronouns.

Sing. and Plu. Sing. and Plu. Sing. and Plu. Sing. and Plu. Nom. who, which, that, what, Pos. whose, whose, ———, ———, Obj. whom. which. that. what.

Remark.—From the composition of whichhwa:-lic, or hwaet-lic = who-like, or what-like, it is evident that whose is not formed from which. It is, in fact, the possessive of what transferred to which. Much has been said against this whose, but it is in general use. Those who regard usage as the final arbiter in speech need not avoid this form of the pronoun.

Interrogative Pronouns.

The interrogative pronouns who, which, and what are declined like the relatives who, which, and what.

Compound Relative Pronouns.

Singular and Plural. Singular and Plural. Nom. whoever, whosoever, Pos. whosever, whosesoever, Obj. whomever. whomsoever.

Whichever, whichsoever, whatever, and whatsoever do not change their form.

Adjective Pronouns.

This and that with their plurals, these and those, have no possessive form, and are alike in the nominative and the objective. One and other are declined like nouns; and another, declined like other in the singular, has no plural. Either, neither, former, and latter sometimes take the apostrophe and s ('s) in the singular. Each, either, and neither are always singular; both is always plural; and all, any, farmery latter, none, same, some, and such are either singular or plural. [Footnote: On the pages immediately preceding Lesson 1, we said that usage, as determined by the majority of the best writers and speakers of the generation, is the only authority in language; and we there explained how we are able to appeal to usage as we all along have done. In treating of the adjective pronouns we now appeal to it again. In the first twelve paragraphs below we give alternative expressions. Only the second of these alternative locutions in each paragraph is allowed by many grammarians; they utterly condemn the first. On the warrant of usage we say that both expressions are correct.

1. We may use each other with more than two; we may use one another in such a case. We may say, "Several able men were in correspondence with each other," or "with one another."

2. We may use one another with only two; we may use each other in such a case. We may say, "The two countries agreed to stand by one another," or "by each other."

3. We may use all, both, and whole with a preposition and a noun following; we may use these words as adjectives qualifying the noun. We may say, "All of the people," "Both of the trees," "The whole of the farm," or "All the people," "Both trees," "The whole farm."

4. We may use the pronouns either and neither, as we do the conjunctions either and neither, with more than two; we may use any one and none in such cases. We may say, "Here are three candidates; you may vote for either or for neither of them," or "for any one or for none of them."

5. We may use he or some other personal pronoun after the indefinite one; we may repeat the one in such a case. We may say, "The home one must quit, yet taking much of its life along with him," or "along with one."

6. We may use such before an adjective and its noun; we may use so with the adjective in such a case. We may say, "Such a strong argument," "Such admirable talent," or "So strong an argument," "Talent so admirable."

7. We may use the plural ones; we may use the noun for which ones stands. We may say, "You have red roses, I have white ones," or "white roses."

8. We may apply the other two to those that remain when one of three things has been taken from the rest; we may use the two others in such a case. We may say, "One of them kept his ground; the other two ran away," or "the two others ran away."

9. We may use a before a noun in the singular and or two after it; we may use one or two before the noun in the plural. We may say, "I will go in a day or two," or "in one or two days."

10. We may use either in the sense of each; we may use each instead. We may say, "He wrested the land on either side of the Seine," or "on each side of the Seine."

11. We may insert a noun, or a noun and other words, between other and than; we may place the than immediately after other. We may say, "We must look for somee other reasons for it than those suggested," or "for some reasons for it other than those suggested."

12. We may use none in the plural; we may use none in the singular. We may say, "None hear thy voice," or "None hears thy voice."

The paragraphs below contain noteworthy uses of adjective pronouns but no really alternative expressions.

13. Usage is overwhelmingly in favor of any one else's, no one else's, somebody else's, nobody else's, instead of any one's else, etc. There is scarcely any authority for placing the ('s) upon one or body. "Written by Dickens for his own or any one else's children." This form is common and convenient. We are advised to shun it, but we need not.

14. Usage is also decidedly in favor of first two, last three, etc., instead of two first, three last, etc.]

Descriptive adjectives used as nouns are plural, and are not declined. Such expressions as "the wretched's only plea" and "the wicked's den" are exceptional.

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The pronouns I, thou, he, she, and who are the only words in the language that have each three different case forms.

Direction.—Study the Declensions, and correct these errors:—

Our's, your's, hi's, her's, it's, their's, yourn, hisn, hern, theirn.

Construction of Case Forms—Pronouns.

Caution.—I, we, thou, ye, he, she, they, and who are nominative forms, and must not be used in the objective case. Me, us, thee, him, her, [Footnote: Her is also a possessive.] them, and whom are objective forms, and must not be used in the nominative case.

Remark.—The eight nominative forms and the seven objective forms here given are the only distinctive nominative and objective forms in the language. All the rules of syntax given in the grammars to guide in the use of the nominative and the objective case apply, practically, only to these fifteen words.

Direction.Study carefully the Definitions and principles given under the head of case, Lesson 119, and then correct these errors, giving your reasons in every instance:—

1. It is not me you are in love with. [Footnote: Dr. Latham defends It is me, but condemns It is him, and It is her. Dean Alford regards as correct the forms condemned by Latham, and asserts that thee and me are correct in, "The nations not so blest as thee" "Such weak minister as me may the oppressor bruise." Professor Bain justifies If I were him, It was her, He is better than me, and even defends the use of who as an objective form by quoting from Shakespeare, "Who servest thou under?" and from Steele, "Who should I meet?"

They justify such expressions as It is me from the analogy of the French c'est moi, and on the ground that they are "more frequently heard than the prescribed form." But such analogy would justify It are them (ce sont eux); and, if the argument from the speech of the uneducated is to have weight, we have good authority for "Her ain't a calling we: us don't belong to she." A course of reading will satisfy one that the best writers and speakers in England are not in the habit of using such expressions as It is me, and that these are almost, if not quite unknown in American literature. No one has freed himself from the influence of early associations that are in a careless moment some vicious colloquialism may not creep into his discourse. A Violation of every principle of grammar may be defended, if such inadvertencies are to be erected into authority. To whatever is the prevailing, the habitual, usage of a majority of the best writers and speakers the grammarian should bow without question; but not to the accidental slips of even the greatest writers, or to the common usage of the unreflecting and the uncultivated.]

2. She was neither better bred nor wiser than you or me. [See previous Footnote.] 3. Who servest thou under? [See previous footnote.] 4. It was not them, it was her. 5. Its being me should make no difference. 6. Him and me are of the same age. 7. Them that study grammar talk no better than me. 8. I am not so old as her; she is older than me by ten years. 9. He was angry, and me too. 10. Who will go? Me. 11. It isn't for such as us to sit with the rulers of the land. 12. Not one in a thousand could have done it as well as him. 13. Him being a stranger, they easily misled him. 14. Oh, happy us! surrounded thus with blessings. 15. It was Joseph, him whom Pharaoh promoted. 16. I referred to my old friend, he of whom I so often speak. 17. You have seen Cassio and she together. 18. Between you and I, I believe that he is losing his mind. 19. Who should I meet the other day but my old friend? 20. Who did he refer to, he or I? 21. Who did he choose? Did he choose you and I? 22. He that is idle and mischievous reprove. 23. We will refer it to whoever you may choose. 24. Whosoever the court favors is safe. 25. They that are diligent I will reward. 20. Scotland and thee did in each other live. 27. My hour is come, but not to render up my soul to such as thee. 28. I knew that it was him. 29. I knew it to be he. 30. Who did you suppose it to be? 31. Whom did you suppose it was? 32. I took that tall man to be he. 33. I thought that tall man was him.

Although than is not a preposition, it is sometimes followed by whom, as in the familiar passage from Milton: "Beelzebub... than whom, Satan except, none higher sat." Than whom is an irregularity justified only on the basis of good usage. Whom here may be parsed as an objective case form used idiomatically in place of who.

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Direction.—Correct these errors, and give your reasons:—

1. Who was Joseph's and Benjamin's mother? 2. It did not occur during Washington, Jefferson, or Adams's administration. 3. I consulted Webster, Worcester, and Walker's dictionary. 4. This state was south of Mason's and Dixon's line. 5. These are neither George nor Fanny's books. 6. Howard's, the philanthropist's, life was a noble one. 7. It is Othello's pleasure, our noble and valiant general's. 8. He visited his sons-in-law's homes.

Explanation.—If the possessive plural of such nouns were used, this would be correct; but it is better to avoid these awkward forms.

9. A valuable horse of my friend William's father's was killed. 10. For Herodias's sake, his brother Philip's wife. 11. For the queen's sake, his sister's. 12. Peter's, John's, and Andrew's occupation was that of fishermen. 13. He spoke of you studying Latin. 14. It being difficult did not deter him. 15. What need is there of the man swearing? 16. I am opposed to the gentleman speaking again. 17. He thought it was us. 18. We shall shortly see which is the fittest object of scorn, you or me. 19. I shall not learn my duty from such as thee. 20. A lady entered, whom I afterwards found was Miss B. 21. A lady entered, who I afterwards found to be Miss B. 22. Ask somebody's else opinion. 23. Let him be whom he may. 24. I am sure it could not have been them. 25. I understood it to be they. 26. It is not him whom you thought it was. 27. Let you and I try it. 28. All enjoyed themselves, us excepted. 29. Us boys enjoy the holidays. 30. It was Virgil, him who wrote the "Aeneid." 31. He asked help of men whom he knew could not help him.

TO THE TEACHER.—These schemes and questions under the head of General Review are especially designed to aid in securing an outline of technical grammar.

The questions given below may be made to call for minute details or only for outlines. In some cases a single question may suffice for a whole lesson.

Scheme for the Noun.

(The numbers refer to Lessons.)

NOUN. Uses. Subject (4, 8). Object Complement (28). Attribute Complement (29, 30). Objective Complement (31). Adjective Modifier (33). Adverb Modifier (35). Principal word in Prep. Phrase (17). Independent (44). Classes. Common (85). (Abstract and Collective.) Proper (85). Modifications. Number. Singular (112-116). Plural (112-116). Gender. Masculine (117, 118). Feminine (117, 118). Neuter (117, 118). Person. First (119). Second (119). Third (119). Case. Nominative (119). Possessive (119, 122, 123). Objective (119).

Questions on the Noun.

1. Define the noun and its classes.—Lesson 85.

2. Name and define the modifications of the noun.—Lessons 112, 117, 119.

3. Name and define the several numbers, genders, persons, and cases.—Lessons 112, 117, 119.

4. Give and illustrate the several ways of forming the plural.—Lessons 112, 113, 114.

5. Give and illustrate the several ways of distinguishing the genders.—Lesson 117.

6. How is the possessive case formed?—Lesson 122.

7. Give and illustrate the principles which guide in the use of the possessive forms.—Lesson 128.

Scheme for the Pronoun.

PRONOUN. Uses.—Same as those of the Noun. Classes. Personal (85, 86, 87). Relative (85, 86, 87). Interrogative (85). Adjective (85, 87). Modifications.—Same as those of the Noun (112, 117, 118, 119, 124, 125, 142).

Questions on the Pronoun.

1. Define the pronoun and its classes, and give the lists.—Lesson 85.

2. Decline the several pronouns.—Lesson 124.

3. Give and illustrate the principles which guide in the use of the different pronouns.—Lessons 86, 87.

4. Give and illustrate the principles which guide in the use of the number forms, the gender forms, and the case forms.—Lessons 118, 125, 142.

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Introductory Hints.That apple is sweet, that other is sweeter, but this one is the sweetest. The adjective sweet, expressing a quality of the three apples, is, as you see, inflected by adding er and est.

Adjectives, then, have one modification, and this is marked by form, or inflection. This modification is called Comparison, because it is used when things are compared with one another in respect to some quality common to them all, but possessed by them in different degrees. The form of the adjective which expresses the simple quality, as sweet, is of the Positive Degree; that which expresses the quality in a greater or a less degree, as sweeter, less sweet, is of the Comparative Degree; and that which expresses the quality in the greatest or the least degree, as sweetest, least sweet, is of the Superlative Degree.

But even the positive implies a comparison; we should not say, This apple is sweet, unless this particular fruit had more of the quality than ordinary apples possess.

Notice, too, that the adjective in the comparative and superlative degrees always expresses the quality relatively. When we say, This apple is sweeter than that, or, This apple is the sweetest of the three, we do not mean that any one of the apples is very sweet, but only that one apple is sweeter than the other, or the sweetest of those compared.

The several degrees of the quality expressed by the adjective may be increased or diminished by adverbs modifying the adjective. We can say very, exceedingly, rather, or somewhat sweet; far, still, or much, sweeter; by far or much the sweetest.

Some adverbs, as well as adjectives, are compared.

Adjectives have one modification; viz., Comparison. [Footnote: Two adjectives, this and that, have number forms—this, these; that, those. In Anglo-Saxon and Latin, adjectives have forms to indicate gender, number, and case.]


Comparison is a modification of the adjective (or the adverb) to express the relative degree of the quality in the things compared. [Footnote: Different degrees of quantity, also, may sometimes be expressed by comparison.]

The Positive Degree expresses the simple quality.

+The Comparative Degree expresses a greater or a less degree of the quality.

The Superlative Degree expresses the greatest or the least degree of the quality.

RULE.—Adjectives are regularly compared by adding er to the positive to form the comparative, and est to the positive to form the superlative.


RULE I.—Final e is dropped before a suffix beginning with a vowel; as, fine, finer; love, loving.

Exceptions.—The e is retained (1) after c and g when the suffix begins with a or o; as, peaceable, changeable; (2) after o; as, hoeing; and (3) when it is needed to preserve the identity of the word; as, singeing, dyeing.

RULE II.—-Y after a consonant becomes i before a suffix net beginning with i; as, witty, wittier; dry, dried.

Exceptions.—-Y does not change before 's, nor in forming the plural of proper nouns; as, lady's, the Marys, the Henrys.

RULE III.—In monosyllables and words accented on the last syllable, a final consonant after a single vowel doubles before a suffix beginning with a vowel; as, hot, hotter; begin, beginning.

Exceptions.—X, k, and v are never doubled, and gas has gases in the plural.

Adjectives of more than two syllables are generally compared by prefixing more and most. This method is often used with adjectives of two syllables and sometimes with those of one.

Remark.—More beautiful, most beautiful, etc. can hardly be called degree forms of the adjective. The adverbs more and most have the degree forms, and in parsing they may be regarded as separate words. The adjective, however, is varied in sense the same as when the inflections er and est are added.

Degrees of diminution are expressed by prefixing less and least[Footnote: This use of an adverb to form the comparison was borrowed from the Norman-French. But note how the adverb is compared, The Saxon superlative ending st is in most and least; and the Saxon comparative ending s, unchanged to r, is the last letter in less—changed to r, as it regularly was, in coming into English, it is the r in more.

When it was forgotten that less is a comparative, er was added, and we have the double comparative lesser—in use to-day.

After the French method of comparing was introduced into English, both methods were often used with the same adjective; and, for a time, double comparatives and double superlatives were common; as, worser, most boldest. In "King Lear" Shakespeare uses the double comparative a dozen times.]; as, valuable, less valuable, least valuable. Most definitive and many descriptive adjectives cannot be compared, as their meaning will not admit of different degrees.

Direction.—From this list of adjectives select those that cannot be compared, and compare those that remain:—

Observe the Rules for Spelling given above.

Wooden, English, unwelcome, physical, one, that, common, handsome, happy, able, polite, hot, sweet, vertical, two-wheeled, infinite, witty, humble, any, thin, intemperate, undeviating, nimble, holy, lunar, superior.

Of the two forms of comparison, that which is more easily pronounced and more agreeable to the ear is to be preferred.

Direction.—Correct the following:—

Famousest, virtuousest, eloquenter, comfortabler, amusingest.

Some adverbs are compared by adding er and est, and some by prefixing more and most.

Direction.—Compare the following:—

Early, easily, fast, firmly, foolishly, late, long, often, soon, wisely.

Some adjectives and adverbs are irregular in their comparison.

Direction.—Learn to compare the following adjectives and adverbs:—

Adjectives Irregularly Compared.

Pos. Comp. Superlative. (Aft),* after, aftmost or aftermost. Bad, Evil, + worse, worst. Ill Far, farther, fartherest or fathermost Fore, former, foremost or first. (Forth), further, furtherest or furthermost. Good, better, best. Hind, hinder, hindmost or hindermost. (In), inner, inmost or innermost. Late, later or latest or latter last. Little,+ less or least. lesser, Many or more, most. Much, Near, nearer nearest or next. Old, older or oldest or elder, eldest. (Out), outer or outmost or utter, outermost; utmost or uttermost. Under, , undermost. (Up), upper, upmost or uppermost. Top, , topmost.

[Footnote *: The words inclosed in curves are adverbs—the adjectives following having no positive form.]

[Footnote +: For the comparative and the superlative of little, in the sense of small in size, smaller and smallest are substituted; as, little boy, smaller boy, smallest boy.]

Adverbs Irregularly Compared.

Pos. Comp. Superlative.

Badly, worse, worst. Ill, Far, farther, farthest, Forth, further, furthest. Little, less, least, Much, more, most. Well, better, best.

TO THE TEACHER.—We give below a model for writing the parsing of adjectives. A similar form may be used for adverbs.

Exercises for the parsing of adjectives and adverbs may be selected from Lessons 12, 14, 29, 30, 31, 44, 46, 47, 48, 60, 63, 64, 65.

Model for Written Parsing.—All the dewy glades are still.

CLASSIFICATION. MODIFICATION. SYNTAX - - Adjectives. Kind. Deg. of Comp. All Def. Modifier of glades. the " " " " dewy Des. Pos. " " " still " " Completes are and modifies glades.

* * * * *



Caution.—In stating a comparison avoid comparing a thing with itself. [Footnote: A thing may, of course, be compared with itself as existing under different conditions; as, The star is brighter to-night; The grass is greener to-day.]

Remark.—The comparative degree refers to two things (or sets of things) as distinct from each other, and implies that one has more of the quality than the other. The comparative degree is generally followed by than. [Footnote: The comparative is generally used with reference to two things only, but it may be used to compare one thing with a number of things taken separately or together as, He is no better than other men; It contains more than all the others combined.]

Direction.—Study the Caution and the Remark, and correct these errors:

1. London is larger than any city in Europe.

Correction.—The second term of comparison, any city in Europe, includes London, and so London is represented as being larger than itself. It should be, London is larger than any other city in Europe, or, London is the largest city in Europe.

2. China has a greater population than any nation on the globe. 3. I like this book better than any book I have seen. 4. There is no metal so useful as iron.

(A comparison is here stated, although no degree form is employed.)

5. All the metals are less useful than iron. 6. Time ought, above all kinds of property, to be free from invasion.

Caution.—In using the superlative degree be careful to make the latter term of the comparison, or the term introduced by of, include the former.

Remarks.—The superlative degree refers to one thing (or set of things) as belonging to a group or class, and as having more of the quality than any of the rest. The superlative is generally followed by of.

Good writers sometimes use the superlative in comparing two things; as, This is the best of the two. But in such cases usage largely favors the comparative; as, This is the better of the two.

Direction.—Study the Caution and the Remarks, and correct these errors:

1. Solomon was the wisest of all the other Hebrew kings.

Correction.—Of (= belonging to) represents Solomon as belonging to a group of kings, and other excludes him from this group—a contradiction in terms. It should be, Solomon was the wisest of Hebrew kings, or Solomon was wiser than any other Hebrew king.

2. Of all the other books I have examined, this is the most satisfactory. 3. Profane swearing is, of all other vices, the most inexcusable. 4. He was the most active of all his companions.

(He was not one of his own companions.)

5. This was the most satisfactory of any preceding effort. 6. John is the oldest of any boy in his class.

Caution.—Avoid double comparatives and double superlatives, and the comparison of adjectives whose meaning will not admit of different degrees.[Footnote: Many words which grammarians have considered incapable of comparison are used in a sense short of their literal meaning, and are compared by good writers; as, My chiefest entertainment.—Sheridan. The chiefest prize.—Byron. Divinest Melan- choly.—Milton. Extremest hell.—Whittier. Most perfect harmony—Longfellow. Less perfect imitations.—Macaulay. The extension of these exceptional forms should not be encouraged.]

Direction.—Correct these errors:

1. A more beautifuler location cannot be found. 2. He took the longest, but the most pleasantest, route. 3. Draw that line more perpendicular.

Correction.—Draw that line perpendicular, or more nearly perpendicular.

4. The opinion is becoming more universal. 5. A worser evil awaits us. 6. The most principal point was entirely overlooked. 7. That form of expression is more preferable.

Caution.—When an adjective denoting one, or an adjective denoting more than one, is joined to a noun, the adjective and the noun must agree in number.

Remark.—A numeral denoting more than one may be prefixed to a singular noun to form a compound adjective; as, a ten-foot pole (not a ten-feet pole), a three-cent stamp.

Direction.—Study the Caution and the Remark, and correct these errors:

1. These kind of people will never be satisfied. 2. The room is fifteen foot square; I measured it with a two-feet rule. 3. The farmer exchanged five barrel of potatoes for fifty pound of sugar. 4. These sort of expressions should be avoided. 5. We were traveling at the rate of forty mile an hour. 6. Remove this ashes and put away that tongs.


1. He was more active than any other of his companions.

Correction.—As he is not one of his companions, other is unnecessary.

2. He did more to accomplish this result than any other man that preceded or followed him. 3. The younger of the three sisters is the prettier.

(This is the construction which requires the superlative. See the second Remark in this Lesson.)

4. This result, of all others, is most to be dreaded. 5. She was willing to take a more humbler part. 6. Solomon was wiser than any of the ancient kings. 7. I don't like those sort of people. 8. I have the most entire confidence in him. 9. This is the more preferable form. 10. Which are the two more important ranges of mountains in North America? 11. He writes better than any boy in his class.


TO THE TEACHER.—See suggestions to the teacher, page 255.

Scheme for the Adjective.

(The numbers refer to Lessons.)

ADJECTIVE. Uses. Modifier (12). Attribute Complement (29, 30). Objective Complement (31). Classes. Descriptive (89-91). Definitive (89-91). Modification. Comparison. Pos. Deg. Comp. " + 127, 128. Sup. "

Questions on the Adjective.

1. Define the adjective and its classes.—Lesson 89.

2. Define comparison and the degrees of comparison.—Lesson 127.

3. Give and illustrate the regular method and the irregular methods of comparison.—Lesson 127.

4. Give and illustrate the principles which guide in the use of adjectives.—Lessons 90, 91.

5. Give and illustrate the principles which guide in the use of comparative and superlative forms.—Lesson 128.

Scheme for the Adverb.

ADVERB. Classes. Time. Place. Degree. + 92-94. Manner. Cause. Modification. Comparison. Pos. Deg. Comp. " + 127, 128. Sup. "

Questions on the Adverb.

1. Define the adverb and its classes.—Lesson 92.

2. Illustrate the regular method and the irregular methods of comparison. —Lesson 127.

3. Give and illustrate the principles which guide in the use of adverbs. —Lesson 93.

* * * * *




Introductory Hints.—He picked a rose. A rose was picked by him. The same thing is here told in two ways. The first verb, picked, shows that the subject names the actor; the second verb, was picked, shows that the subject names the thing acted upon. These different forms and uses of the verb constitute the modification called Voice. The first form is in the Active Voice; the second is in the Passive Voice.

The active voice is used when the agent, or actor, is to be made prominent; the passive, when the thing acted upon is to be made prominent. The passive voice may be used when the agent is unknown, or when, for any reason, we do not care to name the agent; as, The ship was wrecked; Money is coined.


Voice is that modification of the transitive verb which shows whether the subject names the actor or the thing acted upon.

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