Higher Lessons in English
by Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg
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The Active Voice shows that the subject names the actor.

The Passive Voice shows that the subject names the thing acted upon.

The passive form is compound, and may be resolved into an asserting word (some form of the verb be) and an attribute complement (a past participle of a transitive verb). An expression consisting of an asserting word followed by an adjective complement or by a participle used adjectively may be mistaken for a verb in the passive voice.

Examples.—The coat was sometimes worn by Joseph (was worn— passive voice). The coat was badly worn (was—incomplete predicate, worn—adjective complement).

Remark.—To test the passive voice note whether the one named by the subject is acted upon, and whether the verb may be followed by by before the name of the agent without changing the sense.

Direction.—-Tell which of the following completed predicates may be treated as single verbs, and which should not be so treated:—

1. The lady is accomplished. 2. This task was not accomplished in a day. 3. Are you prepared to recite? 4. Dinner was soon prepared. 5. A shadow was mistaken for a foot-bridge. 6. You are mistaken. 7. The man was drunk before the wine was drunk. 8. The house is situated on the bank of the river. 9. I am obliged to you. 10. I am obliged to do this. 11. The horse is tired. 12. A fool and his money are soon parted. 13. The tower is inclined. 14. My body is inclined by years.

Direction.Name all the transitive verbs in Lesson 78, and give their voice.

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The object complement of a verb in the active voice becomes the subject when the verb is changed to the passive voice.

Example.—The Danes invaded England = England was invaded by the Danes.

Remark.—You will notice that in the first sentence the agent is made prominent; in the second sentence, the receiver.

Direction.In each of these sentences change the voice of the transitive verb without altering the meaning of the sentence, and note the other changes that occur:—

1. Mercury, the messenger of the gods, wore a winged cap and winged shoes. 2. When the Saxons subdued the Britons, they introduced into England their own language, which was a dialect of the Teutonic, or Gothic. 3. My wife was chosen as her wedding dress was chosen, not for a fine, glossy surface, but for such qualities as would wear well. 4. Bacchus, the god of wine, was worshiped in many parts of Greece and Rome. 5. The minds of children are dressed by their parents as their bodies are dressed—in the prevailing fashion. 6. Harvey, an English physician, discovered that blood circulates. 7. The luxury of Capua, more powerful than the Roman legions, vanquished the victorious Carthaginians. 8. His eloquence had struck them dumb.

Remark.—Notice that the objective complement becomes the attribute complement when the verb is changed from the active to the passive voice.

9. That tribunal pronounced Charles a tyrant. 10. The town had nicknamed him Beau Seymour. 11. Even silent night proclaims my soul immortal. 12. We saw the storm approaching.

(Notice that the objective complement is here a participle.)

13. He kept his mother waiting. 14. We found him lying dead on the field. 15. We all believe him to be an honest man.

(Notice that the objective complement is here an infinitive phrase.)

16. Some, sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain. 17. Everybody acknowledged him to be a genius.

The indirect, or dative, object is sometimes made the subject of a verb in the passive voice, while the object complement is retained after the verb. [Footnote: Some grammarians condemn this construction. It is true that it is a violation of the general analogies, or laws, of language; but that it is an idiom of our language, established by good usage, is beyond controversy.

Concerning the parsing of the noun following this passive, there is difference of opinion. Some call it an adverbial modifier, some call it a "retained object," and some say that it is a noun without grammatical construction. In "I offered him money," him represents the one to whom the act was directed, and money names the thing directly acted upon. In "He was offered money," the relation of the act to the person and to the thing is not changed; money still names the thing directly acted upon.]

Example.—The porter refused him admittance = He was refused admittance by the porter.

Direction.Change the voice of the transitive verbs in these sentences, and note the other changes that occur:—

18. They were refused the protection of the law. 19. He was offered a pension by the government. 20. I was asked that question yesterday. 21. He told me to leave the room.

Explanation.—Here the infinitive phrase is the object complement, and (to) me is used adverbially. To leave the room = that I should leave the room.

22. I taught the child to read. 23. I taught the child reading. 24. They told me that your name was Fontibell.

Direction.Change the following transitive verbs to the passive form, using first the regular and then the idiomatic construction:—

Model.He promised me a present = A present was promised me (regular) = I was promised a present (idiomatic).

25. They must allow us the privilege of thinking for ourselves. 26. He offered them their lives if they would abjure their religion.

An intransitive verb is sometimes made transitive by the aid of a preposition.

Example.—All his friends laughed at him = He was laughed at (ridiculed) by all his friends.

Remark.—-Was laughed at may be treated as one verb. Some grammarians, however, would call at an adverb. The intransitive verb and preposition are together equivalent to a transitive verb in the passive voice.

Direction.Change the voice of the following verbs:—

27. This artful fellow has imposed upon us all. 28. The speaker did not even touch upon this topic. 29. He dropped the matter there, and did not refer to it afterward.

Remark.—The following sentences present a peculiar idiomatic construction. A transitive verb which, in the active voice, is followed by an object complement and a prepositional phrase, takes, in the passive, the principal word of the phrase for its subject, retaining the complement and the preposition to complete its meaning; as, They took care of it, It was taken care of.

Direction.Put the following sentences into several different forms, and determine which is the best:—

30. His original purpose was lost sight of (forgotten). [Footnote: Some would parse of as an adverb relating to was lost, and sight as a noun used adverbially to modify was lost; others would treat sight as an object [complement] of was lost; others would call was lost sight of a compound verb; and others, believing that the logical relation of these words is not lost by a change of position, analyze the expression as if arranged thus: Sight of his original purpose was lost.] 31. Such talents should be made much of. 32. He was taken care of by his friends. 33. Some of his characters have been found fault with as insipid.

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Introductory Hints.James walks. Here the walking is asserted as an actual fact. James may walk. Here the walking is asserted not as an actual, but as a possible, fact. If James walk out, he will improve. Here the walking is asserted only as thought of, without regard to its being or becoming either an actual or a possible fact. James, walk out. Here the walking is not asserted as a fact, but as a command—James is ordered to make it a fact. These different uses and forms of the verb constitute the modification which we call Mode. The first verb is in the Indicative Mode; the second in the Potential Mode; the third in the Subjunctive Mode; the fourth in the Imperative Mode.

For the two forms of the verb called the Participle and the Infinitive, see Lessons 37 and 40.

I walk. I walked. I shall walk. In these three sentences the manner of asserting the action is the same, but the time in which the action takes place is different. Walk asserts the action as going on in present time, and, as Tense means time, is in the Present Tense. Walked asserts the action as past, and is in the Past Tense. Shall walk asserts the action as future, and is in the Future Tense.

I have walked out to-day. I had walked out when he called. I shall have walked out by to-morrow. Have walked asserts the action as completed at the present, and is in the Present Perfect Tense. Had walked asserts the action as completed in the past, and is in the Past Perfect Tense. Shall have walked asserts action to be completed in the future, and is in the Future Perfect Tense.

I walk. Thou walkest. He walks. They walk. In the second sentence walk is changed by adding est; in the third sentence, by adding s. Verbs are said to agree in Person and Number with their subjects. But this agreement is not generally marked by a change in the form of the verb.


Mode is that modification of the verb which denotes the manner of asserting the action or being.

The Indicative Mode asserts the action or being as a fact. [Footnote: In "Are you going?" or "You are going?" a fact is referred to the hearer for his admission or denial. In "Who did it?" the fact that some person did it is asserted, and the hearer is requested to name the person. It will be seen that the Indicative Mode may be used in asking a question.]

The Potential Mode asserts the power, liberty, possibility, or necessity of acting or being.

The Subjunctive Mode asserts the action or being as a mere condition, supposition, or wish.

The Imperative Mode asserts the action or being as a command or an entreaty.

The Infinitive is a form of the verb which names the action or being in a general way, without asserting it of anything.

The Participle is a form of the verb partaking of the nature of an adjective or of a noun, and expressing the action or being as assumed.

The Present Participle denotes action or being as continuing at the time indicated by the predicate.

The Past Participle denotes action or being as past or completed at the time indicated by the predicate.

The Past Perfect Participle denotes action or being as completed at a time previous to that indicated by the predicate.

Tense is that modification of the verb which expresses the time of the action or being.

The Present Tense expresses action or being as present.

The Past Tense expresses action or being as past.

The Future Tense expresses action or being as yet to come.

The Present Perfect Tense expresses action or being as completed at the present time.

The Past Perfect Tense expresses action or being as completed at some past time.

The Future Perfect Tense expresses action or being to be completed at some future time.

Number and Person of a verb are those modifications that show its agreement with the number and person of its subject.

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Conjugation is the regular arrangement of all the forms of the verb.

Synopsis is the regular arrangement of the forms of one number and person in all the modes and tenses.

Auxiliary Verbs are those that help in the conjugation of other verbs.

The auxiliaries are do, did, have, had, shall, should, will, would, may, might, can, could, must, and be (with all its variations, see Lesson 135).

The Principal Parts of a verb, or those from which the other parts are derived, are the present indicative or the present infinitive, the past indicative, and the past participle.

List of Irregular Verbs. [Footnote: Grammarians have classed verbs on the basis of their form or history as Strong (or Old) and Weak (or New).

Strong verbs form their past tense by changing the vowel of the present without adding anything; weak verbs form their past tense by adding ed, d, or t. Some weak verbs change the vowel of the present; as, tell, told; teach, taught. These are weak because they add d or t.

Some weak verbs shorten the vowel of the present without adding anything; as, feed, fed; lead, led; and some have the present and the past alike; as, set, set; rid, rid. They have dropped the past tense ending.

The past participle of all strong verbs once ended in en or n, but in many verbs this ending is now lost.

Since most verbs form their past tense and past participle by adding ed, we call such Regular, and all others Irregular. Our irregular verbs include all strong verbs and those that may be called "irregular weak" verbs.

Of the ed added to form the past tense of regular verbs, d is what remains of did; we did love, for instance, being written love-did-we. This derivation of d in ed is questioned. The d of the participle is not from did but is from an old participle suffix. The e in the ea of both these forms is the old connecting vowel.]

TO THE TEACHER.—It would be well to require the pupils, in studying and in reciting these lists of irregular verbs, to frame short sentences illustrating the proper use of the past tense and the past participle, e.g. I began yesterday; He has begun to do better. In this way the pupils will be saved the mechanical labor of memorizing forms which they already know how to use, and they will be led to correct what has been faulty in their use of other forms.

Remarks.—Verbs that have both a regular and an irregular form are called Redundant.

Verbs that are wanting in any of their parts, as can and may, are called Defective.

The present participle is not here given as a principal part. It may always be formed from the present tense by adding ing.

In adding ing and other terminations, the Rules for Spelling (see Lesson 127) should be observed.

The forms below in Italics are regular; and those in smaller type are obsolete, and need not be committed to memory.

Present. Past. Past Par. Abide, abode, abode. Awake, awoke, awaked. awaked. Be or am, was, been. Bear, bore, born, (bring forth) bare, borne. Bear, bore, borne. (carry) bare, Beat, beat, beaten, beat. Begin, began, begun. Bend, bent, bent, bended, bended. Bereave, bereft, bereft, bereaved, bereaved. Beseech, besought, besought. Bet, bet, bet, betted, betted. Bid, bade, bid, bidden, bid. Bind, bound, bound. Bite, bit, bitten, bit. Bleed, bled, bled. Blend, blent, blent, blended, blended. Bless, blest, blest, blessed, blessed. Blow, blew, blown. Break, broke, broken. brake, Breed, bred, bred. Bring, brought, brought. Build, built, built. Burn burnt, burnt, burned, burned. Burst, burst, burst. Buy, bought, bought. Can,[1] could, ——-. Cast, cast, cast. Catch, caught, caught. Chide, chid, chidden, chid. Choose, chose, chosen. Cleave, cleaved, cleaved. (adhere) clave, Cleave cleft, cleft, (split) clove, cloven, clave, cleaved. Cling, clung, clung. Clothe, clad, clad, clothed clothed. (Be)Come, came, come. Cost, cost, cost. Creep, crept, crept. Crow crew, crowed. crowed, Cut, cut, cut. Dare, durst, dared. (venture) dared, Deal, dealt, dealt. Dig, dug, dug, digged, digged. Do, did, done. Draw, drew, drawn. Dream, dreamt, dreamt, dreamed, dreamed. Dress drest, drest, dressed, dressed. Drink, drank, drunk. Drive, drove, driven. Dwell dwelt, dwelt, dwelled, dwelled. Eat, ate, eaten. (Be) Fall, fell, fallen. Feed, fed, fed. Feel, felt, felt. Fight, fought, fought. Find, found, found. Flee, fled, fled. Fling, flung, flung. Fly, flew, flown. Forsake, forsook, forsaken. Forbear, forbore, forborne. Freeze, froze, frozen. (For)Get, got, got, gotten.[2] Gild, gilt, gilt, gilded, gilded. Gird, girt, girt, girded, girded. (For)Give, gave, given. Go, went,[3] gone. (En)Grave graved, graved, graven. Grind, ground, ground. Grow, grew, grown. Hang, hung, hung, hanged, hanged.[4] Have, had, had. Hear, heard heard. Heave hove, hove,[5] heaved, heaved. Hew, hewed, hewed, hewn. Hide, hid, hidden, hid. Hit, hit, hit. (Be)Hold, held, held, holden. Hurt, hurt, hurt. Keep, kept, kept. Kneel knelt, knelt, kneeled, kneeled. Knit knit, knit, knitted, knitted. Know, knew, known. Lade, laded, laded, (load) laden. Lay, laid, laid. Lead, led, led.

[Footnote 1: Can, may, shall, will, must, and ought were originally past forms. This accounts for their having no change in the third person.]

[Footnote 2: Gotten is obsolescent except in forgotten.]

[Footnote 3: Went is the past of wend, to go.]

[Footnote 4: Hang, to execute by hanging, is regular.]

[Footnote 5: Hove is used in sea language.]

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Present. Past. Past Par.

Lean, leant, leant, leaned, leaned. Leap, leapt, leapt, leaped, leaped. Learn, learnt, learnt, learned, learned. Leave, left, left. Lend, lent, lent. Let, let, let. Lie, lay, lain. (recline) Light, lighted, lighted, lit, lit.[1] Lose, lost, lost. Make, made, made. May, might, ——. Mean, meant, meant. Meet, met, met. Mow, mowed, mowed, mown. Must, ——, ——. Ought, ——, ——. Pay, paid, paid. Pen, pent, pent, (inclose) penned, penned. Put, put, put. Quit, quit, quit, quitted, quitted. ——, quoth,[2] ——. Rap, rapt, rapt, rapped, rapped. Read, read, read. Rend, rent, rent. Rid, rid, rid. Ride, rode, ridden. Ring, rang, rung, rung, (A)Rise, rose, risen. Rive, rived, riven, rived. Run, ran, run. Saw, sawed, sawed, sawn. Say, said, said. See, saw, seen. Seek, sought, sought. Seethe, seethed, seethed, sod, sodden. Sell, sold, sold. Send, sent, sent. (Be)Set, set, set. Shake, shook, shaken. Shall, should, ———. Shape, shaped, shaped, shapen Shave, shaved, shaved, shaven. Shear, sheared, sheared, shore, shorn. Shed, shed, shed. Shine, shone, shone. Shoe, shod, shod. Shoot, shot, shot. Show, showed, shown, showed. Shred, shred, shred. Shrink, shrank, shrunk, shrunk, shrunken. Shut, shut, shut. Sing, sang, sung. sung, Sink, sank, sunk, sunk, sunken. Sit, sat, sat. Slay, slew, slain. Sleep, slept, slept. Slide, slid, slidden, slid. Sling, slung, slung. slang Slink, slunk, slunk. Slit, slit, slit, slitted, slitted. Smell, smelt, smelt, smelled, smelled. Smite, smote, smitten, smit. Sow, sowed, sown, sowed. Speak, spoke, spoken. spake, Speed, sped, sped. Spell, spelt, spelt, spelled, spelled. Spend, spent, spent. Spill, spilt, spilt, spilled, spilled. Spin, spun, spun. span, Spit, spit, spit, spat, spitten. Split, split, split. Spoil, spoilt, spoilt, spoiled, spoiled. Spread, spread, spread. Spring, sprang, sprung. sprung, Stand, stood, stood. Stave, stove, stove, staved, staved. Stay, staid, staid, stayed, stayed. Steal, stole, stolen. Stick, stuck, stuck. Sting, stung, stung. Stink, stunk, stunk. stank, Strew, strewed, strewn, strewed. Stride, strode, stridden. Strike, struck, struck, stricken. String, strung, strung, Strive, strove, striven. Strow, strowed, strown, strowed. Swear, swore, sworn sware, Sweat, sweat, sweat, sweated, sweated. Sweep, swept, swept. Swell, swelled, swelled, swollen. Swim, swam, swum. swum, Swing, swung, swung. Take, took, taken, Teach, taught, taught. Tear, tore, torn. tare, Tell, told, told. Think, thought, thought. Thrive, throve, thriven, thrived, thrived. Throw, threw, thrown. Thrust, thrust, thrust. Tread, trod, trodden, trod. Wake, waked, waked, woke, woke. Wax, waxed, waxed, waxen. Wear, wore, worn. Weave, wove, woven. Weep, wept, wept. Wet, wet, wet. Will, would, ——. Win, won, won. Wind, wound, wound. Work, wrought, wrought, worked, worked. (to)wit, wot, wist, ——. Wring, wrung, wrung. Write, wrote, written.

[Footnote 1: Lighted Is preferred to lit.]

[Footnote 2: Quoth, now nearly obsolete, is used only in the first and the third person of the past tense. Quoth I = said I. Other forms nearly obsolete are sometimes met in literature; as, "Methinks I scent the morning air"; "Woe worth the day." Methinks (A. S. thincan, to seem, not thencan, to think) = seems to me. In the sentence above, I scent the morning air is the subject, thinks is the predicate, and me is a "dative," or a pronoun used adverbially. Woe worth (A. S. weorthan, to be or become) the day = Woe be to the day, or Let woe be to the day, or May woe be to the day.]

NOTE.—Professor Lounsbury says, "Modern English has lost not a single one [irregular, or strong, verb] since the reign of Queen Elizabeth"; and adds, "The present disposition of the language is not only to hold firmly to the strong verbs it already possesses but ... even to extend their number whenever possible." And he instances a few which since 1600 have deserted from the regular conjugation to the irregular.

But it should be said that new English verbs, from whatever source derived, form their past tense and participle in ed. So that while the regular verbs are not increasing by desertions from the irregular, the regular verbs are slowly gaining in number.

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CONJUGATION [Footnote: We give the conjugation of the verb in the simplest form consistent with what is now demanded of a text-book. Much of this scheme might well be omitted.

Those who wish to reject the Potential Mode, and who prefer a more elaborate and technical classification of the mode and tense forms, are referred to pages 373, 374. ]—SIMPLEST FORM.

REMARK.—English verbs have few inflections compared with those of other languages. Some irregular verbs have seven forms—see, saw, seeing, seen, sees, seest, sawest; regular verbs have six—walk, walked, walking, walks, walkest, walkedst. As a substitute for other inflections we prefix auxiliary verbs, and make what are called compound, or periphrastic, forms.

Direction.—Fill out the following forms, using the principal parts of the verb walk—present walk; past walked; past participle walked:



Singular. Plural. 1. (I) /Pres./, 1. (We) /Pres./, 2. (You) /Pres./, 2. (You) /Pres./, (Thou) /Pres./+est,[1], 3. (He) /Pres./+s;[1] 3. (They) /Pres./.


1. (I) /Past/, 1. (We) /Past/, 2. (You) /Past/, 2. (You) /Past/, (Thou) /Past/st, 3. (He) /Past/; 3. (They) /Past/.


1. (I) shall /Pres./, 1. (We) shall /Pres./, 2. (You) will /Pres./, 2. (You) will /Pres./, (Thou) wil-t /Pres./, 3. (He) will /Pres./; 3. (They) will /Pres./.


1. (I) have /Past Par./, 1. (We) have /Past Par./, 2. (You) have /Past Par./, 2. (You) have /Past Par./, (Thou) ha-st /Past Par./, 3. (He) ha-s /Past Par./; 3. (They) have /Past Par./.


1. (I) had /Past Par./, 1. (We) had /Past Par./ 2. (You) had /Past Par./, 2. (You) had /Past Par./ (Thou) had-st /Past Par./, 3. (He) had /Past Par./; 3. (They) had /Past Par./


1. (I) shall have /Past Par./, 1. (We) shall have /Past Par./, 2. (You) will have /Past Par./, 2. (You) will have /Past Par./, (Thou) wil-t have /Past Par./,

3. (He)...will have..../Past Par./; 3. (They) will have /Past Par./.

[Footnote 1: In the indicative present, second, singular, old style, st is sometimes added in stead of est; and in the third person, common style, es is added when s will not unite. In the third person, old style, eth is added.]



Singular. Plural.

1. (I) may /Pres./, 1. (We) may /Pres./, 2. (You) may /Pres./, 2. (You) may /Pres./, (Thou) may-st /Pres./, 3. (He) may /Pres./; 3. (They) may /Pres./.


1. (I) might /Pres./, 1. (We) might /Pres./, 2. (You) might /Pres./, 2. (You) might /Pres./, (Thou) might-st /Pres./, 3. (He) might /Pres./; 3. (They) might /Pres./.


1. (I) may have /Past Par./, 1. (We) may have /Past Par./, 2. (You) may have /Past Par./, 2. (You) may have /Past Par./, (Thou) may-st have /Past Par./, 3. (He) may have /Past Par./. 3. (They) may have /Past Par./.


1. (I) might have /Past Par./, 1. (We) might have /Past Par./, 2. (You) might have /Past Par./, 2. (You) might have /Past Par./, (Thou) might-st have /Past Par./, 3. (He) might have /Past Par./. 3. (They) might have /Past Par./.


[Footnote 2: Those who do not wish to recognize a Potential Mode, but prefer the unsatisfactory task of determining when may, can, must, might, could, would, and should are independent verbs in the indicative, and when auxiliaries in the subjunctive, are referred to pages 370-374.]




2. (If thou) /Pres./ 3. (If he) /Pres./

[Footnote 3: The subjunctive as a form of the verb is fading out of the language. The only distinctive forms remaining (except for the verb be) are the second and the third person singular of the present, and even these ate giving way to the indicative. Such forms as If he have loved, etc. are exceptional. It is true that other forms, as, If he had known, Had he been, Should he fall, may be used in a true subjunctive sense, to assert what is a mere conception of the mind, i. e., what is merely thought of, without regard to its being or becoming a fact; but in these cases it is not the form of the verb but the connective or something in the construction of the sentence that determines the manner of assertion. In parsing, the verbs in such constructions may be treated as indicative or potential, with a subjunctive meaning.

The offices of the different mode and tense forms are constantly interchanging; a classification based strictly on meaning would be very difficult, and would confuse the learner.]



Singular. Plural.

2. /Pres./ (you or thou); 2. /Pres./ (you or ye).

[Footnote 4: From such forms as Let us sing, Let them talk, some grammarians make a first and a third person imperative. But us is not the subject of the verb-phrase let-sing, and let is not of the first person. Us is the object complement of let, and the infinitive sing is the objective complement, having us for its assumed subject.

Some would find a first and a third person imperative in such sentences as "Now tread we a measure"; "Perish the thought." But these verbs express strong wish or desire and by some grammarians are called "optative subjunctives." "Perish the thought" = "May the thought perish," or "I desire that the thought may perish," or "Let the thought perish."]



(To)[5] /Pres./ (To) have /Past Par./

[Footnote 5: To, as indicated by the (), is not treated as a part of the verb. Writers on language are generally agreed that when to introduces an infinitive phrase used as an adjective or an adverb, it performs its proper function as a preposition, meaning toward, for, etc.; as, I am inclined to believe; I came to hear. When the infinitive phrase is used as a noun, the to expresses no relation; it seems merely to introduce the phrase. When a word loses its proper function without taking on the function of some other part of speech, we do not see why it should change its name. In the expressions, For me to do this would be wrong; Over the fence is out of danger, few grammarians would hesitate to call for and over prepositions, though they have no antecedent term of relation.

We cannot see that to is a part of the verb, for it in no way affects the meaning, as does an auxiliary, or as does the to in He was spoken to. Those who call it a part of the verb confuse the learner by speaking of it as the "preposition to" (which, as they have said, is not a preposition) "placed before the infinitive," i.e., placed before that of which it forms a part —placed before itself.

In the Anglo-Saxon, to was used with the infinitive only in the dative case, where it had its proper function as a preposition; as, nominative etan (to eat); dative to etanne; accusative e:tan. When the dative ending ne was dropped, making the three forms alike, the to came to be used before the nominative and the accusative, but without expressing relation.

This dative of the infinitive, with to, was used mainly to indicate purpose. When, after the dropping of the ne ending, the idea of purpose had to be conveyed by the infinitive, it became usual in Elizabethan literature to place for before the to, "And for to deck heaven's battlements."-Greene. "What went ye out for to see?"-Bible. "Shut the gates for to preserve the town."—K. Hen. VI., Part III.]


PRESENT PAST PAST PERFECT. /Pres./ing. /Past Par./ Having /Past Par./

May, can, and must are potential auxiliaries in the present and the present perfect tense; might, could, would, and should, in the past and the past perfect.

The emphatic form of the present and the past tense indicative is made by prefixing do and did to the present. Do is prefixed to the imperative also.

TO THE TEACHES.—Require the pupils to fill out these forma with other verbs, regular and irregular, using the auxiliaries named above.

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[Footnote: The conjugation of be contains three distinct roots—as, be, was. Am, art, is, are are from as. Am = as-m (m is the m in me). Art = as-t (t is the th in thou).

Be was formerly conjugated, I be, Thou beest, He beth or bes; We be, Ye be, They be.]

Direction.—Learn the following forms, paying no attention to the line at the right of each verb:—


PRESENT TENSE. Singular. Plural.

1. (I) am ——, 1. (We) are ——, 2. (You) are —— or 2. (You) are ——, (Thou) art ——, 3. (He) is ——; 3. (They) are ——.


1. (I) was ——, 1. (We) were ——, 2. (You) were —— or 2. (You) were ——, (Thou) wast ——, 3. (He) was ——; 3. (They) were ——.


1. (I) shall be ——, 1. (We) shall be ——, 2. (You) will be —— or 2. (You) will be ——, (Thou) wilt be ——, 3. (He) will be ——; 3. (They) will be ——.


1. (I) have been ——, 1. (We) have been ——, 2. (You) have been —— or 2. (You) have been ——, (Thou) hast been ——, 3. (He) has been ——; 3. (They) have been ——.


1. (I) had been ——, 1. (We) had been ——, 2. (You) had been —— or 2. (You) had been ——, (Thou) hadst been ——, 3. (He) had been ——; 3. (They) had been ——.


1. (I) shall have been ——, 1. (We) shall have been ——, 2. (You) will have been —— or 2. (You) will have been ——, (Thou) wilt have been ——, 3. (He) will have been ——; 3. (They) will have been ——.



Singular. Plural. 1. (I) may be ——, 1. (We) may be ——, 2. (You) may be —— or 2. (You) may be ——, (Thou) mayst be ——, 3. (He) may be ——; 3. (They) may be ——.


1. (I) might be ——, 1. (We) might be ——, 2. (You) might be —— or 2. (You) might be ——, (Thou) mightst be ——, 3. (He) might be ——; 3. (They) might be ——.


1. (I) may have been ——, 1. (We) may have been ——, 2. (You) may have been —— or 2. (You) may have been ——, (Thou) mayst have been ——, 3. (He) may have been ——; 3. (They) may have been ——.


1. (I) might have been ——, 1. (We) might have been ——, 2. (You) might have been —— or 2. (You) might have been ——, (Thou) mightst have been ——, 3. (He) might have been ——; 3. (They) might have been ——.



Singular. Plural. 1. (If I) may have been ——, 1. (If we) may have been ——, 2. (If you) may have been —— or 2. (If you) may have been ——, (If thou) mayst have been ——, 3. (If he) may have been ——; 3. (If they) may have been ——.


Singular. 1. (If I) were ——-, 2. (If you) were ——, or (If thou) wert ——, 3. (If he) were ——;



Singular. Plural. 2. Be (you or thou) ——; 2. Be (you or ye) ——.


PRESENT TENSE. PRESENT PERFECT TENSE. (To) be ——. (To) have been ——.


PRESENT. PAST. PAST PERFECT. Being ——. Been. Having been ——.

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A verb is conjugated in the progressive form by joining its present participle to the different forms of the verb be.

A transitive verb is conjugated in the passive voice by joining its past participle to the different forms of the verb be.

Remark.—The progressive form denotes a continuance of the action or being; as, The birds are singing.

Verbs that in their simple form denote continuance—such as love, respect, know—should not be conjugated in the progressive form. We say, I love the child—not I am loving the child.

Remarks.—The progressive form is sometimes used with a passive meaning; as, The house is building. In such cases the word in ing was once a verbal noun preceded by the preposition a, a contraction from on or in; as, While the ark was a preparing; While the flesh was in seething. In modern language the preposition is dropped, and the word in ing is treated adjectively.

Another passive progressive form, consisting of the verb be completed by the present passive participle, has recently appeared in our language—The house is being built, or was being built. Although condemned by many linguists as awkward and otherwise objectionable, it has grown rapidly into good use, especially in England, Such a form seems to be needed when the simpler form would be ambiguous, i.e., when its subject might be taken to name either the actor or the receiver; as, The child is whipping; The prisoner is trying. Introduced only to prevent ambiguity, the so-called neologism has pushed its way, and is found where the old form would not be ambiguous. As now used, the new form stands to the old in about the ratio of three to one.

Direction.—Conjugate the verb choose in the progressive form by filling all the blanks left after the different forms of the verb be, in the preceding Lesson, with the present participle choosing; and then in the passive form by filling these blanks with the past participle chosen.

Notice that after the past participle of the verb be no blank is left. The past participle of the passive is not formed by the aid of be; it is never compound. The past participle of a transitive verb is always passive except in such forms as have chosen, had chosen. (See have written, Lesson 138.) In the progressive, the past participle is wanting. All the participles of the verb choose are arranged in order below.

Present. Past. Past Perfect.

Simplest form. Choosing, chosen, having chosen. Progressive form. Being choosing,* ———, having been choosing. Passive form. Being chosen, chosen, having been chosen.

[Footnote *: This form is not commonly used.]

Direction.—Write and arrange as above all the participles of the verbs break, drive, read, lift.

TO THE TEACHER.—Select other verbs, and require the pupils to conjugate them in the progressive and in the passive form. Require them to give synopses of all the forms. Require them in some of their synopses to use it or some noun for the subject in the third person.

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A verb may be conjugated interrogatively in the indicative and potential modes by placing the subject after the first auxiliary; as, Does he sing?

A verb may be conjugated negatively by placing not after the first auxiliary; as, He does not sing. Not is placed before the infinitive and the participles; as, not to sing, not singing.

A question with negation is expressed in the indicative and potential modes by placing the subject and not after the first auxiliary; as, Does he not sing?

Remark.—Formerly, it was common to use the simple form of the present and past tenses interrogatively and negatively thus: Loves he? I know not. Such forms are still common in poetry, but in prose they are now scarcely used. We say, Does he love? I do not know. The verbs be and have are exceptions, as they do not take the auxiliary do. We say, Is it right? Have you another?

Direction.—Write a synopsis in the third person, singular, of the verb walk conjugated (1) interrogatively, (2) negatively, and (3) so as to express a question with negation. Remember that the indicative and the potential are the only modes that can be used interrogatively.

To THE TEACHER.—Select other verbs, and require the pupils to conjugate them negatively and interrogatively in the progressive and in the passive form. Require the pupils to give synopses of all the forms.

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The compound, or periphrastic, forms of the verb consisting of two words may each be resolved into an asserting word and a participle or an infinitive.

If we look at the original meaning of the forms I do write, I shall write, I will write, we shall find that the so-called auxiliary is the real verb, and that write is an infinitive used as object complement. I do write = I do or perform the action (to) write. I shall write = I owe (to) write. I will write = I determine (to) write.

May write, can write, must write, might write, could write, would write, and should write may each be resolved into an asserting word and an infinitive.

The forms is writing, was written, etc. consist each of an asserting word (the verb be), and a participle used as attribute complement.

The forms have written and had written are so far removed from their original meaning that their analysis cannot be made to correspond with their history. They originated from such expressions as I have a letter written, in which have ( = possess) is a transitive verb taking letter for its object complement, and written is a passive participle modifying letter. The idea of possession has faded out of have, and the participle has lost its passive meaning. The use of this form has been extended to intransitive verbs—Spring has come, Birds have flown, etc. being now regularly used instead of the more logical perfect tense forms, Spring is come, Birds are flown. (Is come, are flown, etc. must not be mistaken for transitive verbs in the passive voice.) [Footnote: A peculiar use of had is found in the expressions had rather go and had better go, condemned by many grammarians who suppose had to be here used incorrectly for would or should. Of these expressions the "Standard Dictionary," an authority worthy of our attention, says:—

"Forms disputed by certain grammatical critics from the days of Samuel Johnson, the critics insisting upon the substitution of would or should, as the case may demand, for had; but had rather and had better are thoroughly established English, idioms having the almost universal popular and literary sanction of centuries. 'I would rather not go' is undoubtedly correct when the purpose is to emphasize the element of choice, or will, in the matter; but in all ordinary cases 'I had rather not go' has the merit of being idiomatic and easily and universally understood.

"If for 'You had better stay at home' we substitute 'You should better stay at home,' an entirely different meaning is expressed, the idea of expediency giving place to that of obligation."

In the analysis of "I had rather go," had is the predicate verb, the infinitive go is the object complement, and the adjective rather completes had and belongs to go, i.e., is objective complement. Had (= should hold or regard) is treated as a past subjunctive. Rather is the comparative of the old adjective rathe = early, from which comes the idea of preference. The expression means, "I should hold going preferable."

The expressions "You had better stay," "I had as lief not be," are similar in construction to "I had rather go." "I had sooner go" is condemned by grammarians because sooner is never an adjective. If sooner is here allowed as an idiom, it is a modifier of had. The expression equals, "I should more willingly have going."]

Compounds of more than two words may be analyzed thus: May have been written is composed of the compound auxiliary may have been and the participle written; may have been is composed of the compound auxiliary may have and the participle been; and may have is composed of the auxiliary may and the infinitive have. May is the asserting word—the first auxiliary is always the asserting word.

Direction.—Study what has been said above and analyze the following verbal forms, distinguishing carefully between participles that may be considered as part of the verb and words that must be treated as attribute complements:—

1. I may be mistaken. 2. The farm was sold. 3. I shall be contented. 4. Has it been decided? 5. You should have been working. 6. The danger might have been avoided. 7. He may have been tired and sleepy. 8. She is singing. 9. I shall be satisfied. 10. The rule has not been observed. 11. Stars have disappeared. 12. Times will surely change.


The Present Tense is used to express (1) what is actually present, (2) what is true at all times, (3) what frequently or habitually takes place, (4) what is to take place in the future, and it is used (5) in describing past or future events as if occurring at the time of the speaking.

Examples.—I hear a voice (action as present). The sun gives light (true at all times). He writes for the newspapers (habitual). Phillips speaks in Boston to-morrow night (future). He mounts the scaffold; the executioners approach to bind him; he struggles, resists, etc. (past events pictured to the imagination as present). The clans of Culloden are scattered in fight; they rally, they bleed, etc. (future events now seen in vision).

The Past Tense may express (1) simply past action or being, (2) a past habit or custom, (3) a future event, and (4) it may refer to present time.

Examples.—The birds sang (simply past action). He wrote for the newspapers (past habit). If I should go, you would miss me (future events). If he were here, he would enjoy this (refers to present time).

The Future Tense may express (1) simply future action or being, (2) a habit or custom as future or as indefinite in time.

Examples.—I shall write soon (simply future action). He will sit there by the hour (indefinite in time).

The Present Perfect Tense expresses (1) action or being as completed in present time (i.e., a period of time—an hour, a year, an age—of which the present forms a part), and (2) action or being to be completed in a future period.

Examples.—Homer has written poems (the period of time affected by this completed action embraces the present). When I have finished this, you shall have it (action to be completed in a future period).

The Past Perfect Tense expresses (1) action or being as completed at some specified past time, and (2) in a conditional or hypothetical clause it may express past time.

Examples.—I had seen him when I met you (action completed at a specified past time). If I had had time, I should have written (I had not time—I did not write.)

The Future Perfect Tense expresses action to be completed at some specified future time.

Example.—I shall have seen him by to-morrow noon.

Direction.—Study what has been said above about the meaning of the tense forms, and describe carefully the time expressed by each of the following verbs:—

1. I go to the city to-morrow. 2. The village master taught his little school. 3. Plato reasons well. 4. A triangle has three sides. 5. To-morrow is the day appointed. 6. Moses has told many important facts. 7. The ship sails next week. 8. She sings well. 9. Cicero has written orations. 10. He would sit for hours and watch the smoke curl from his pipe. 11. You may hear when the next mail arrives, 12. Had I known this before, I could have saved you much trouble. 13. He will occasionally lose his temper. 14. At the end of this week I shall have been in school four years. 15. If I were you, I would try that. 16. He will become discouraged before he has thoroughly tried it. 17. She starts, she moves, she seems to feel the thrill of life along her keel.

Model for Written Parsing adapted to all Parts of Speech. Oh! it has a voice for those who on their sick beds lie and waste away.

CLASSIFICATION. MODIFICATIONS. - - - Sentence. Class. Sub-C. Voice. Mode. Tense. Num. Per. Gen. Case. Oh! Int. it Pro. Per. Sing. ad. Neut. Nom. has Vb. Ir., Tr. Act. Ind. Pres. " " a Adj. Def. voice N. Com. " " " Obj. for Prep. those Pro. Adj. Plu. " M. or F. " who Pro. Rel. " " " Nom. on Prep. their Pro. Per. " " " Pos. sick Adj. Des. beds N. Com. " " Neut. Obj. lie Vb. Ir.,Int. Ind. Pres. " " and Conj. Co-or. waste Vb. Reg.,Int. " " " " away. Adv. Place.

SYNTAX. - - - Sentence. Deg. of Comp. Oh! Independent. it Subject of has. has Predicate of it. a Modifier of voice. voice Object comp of has. for Shows Rel. of has to those. those Prin. word in Prep. phrase. who Subject of lie and waste. on Shows Rel. of lie to beds. their Possessive Mod. of beds. sick Pos. Modifier of beds. beds Prin. word in Prep. phrase. lie Predicate of who. and Connects lie and waste. waste Predicate of who. away. Modifier of waste. -

TO THE TEACHER.—For further exercises in parsing the verb and for exercises in general parsing, select from the preceding Lessons on Analysis.

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Direction.—Select and parse, according to the Model below, the verbs in the sentences of Lesson 42. For the agreement of verbs, see Lesson 142.

Model for Written Parsing—Verbs.—The Yankee, selling his farm, wanders away to seek new lands.

CLASSIFICATION. MODIFICATIONS. - Verbs. Kind. Voice. Mode. Tense. Num. Per. *selling Pr. Par., Ir., Tr. Act. wanders Reg., Int. Ind. Pres. Sing. 3d. *seek Inf., Ir., Tr. Act. "

SYNTAX - Verbs. selling Mod. of Yankee. wanders Pred. of Yankee. seek Prin. word in phrase Mod. of wanders.

[Footnote: Participles and infinitives have neither person nor number.]

(See Model for Written Parsing on opposite page.)

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Caution.—Be careful to give every verb its proper form and meaning.

Direction.—Correct the following errors, and give your reasons:—

1. I done it myself. 2. He throwed it into the river, for I seen him when he done it. 3. She sets by the open window enjoying the scene that lays before her.

Explanation.—Lay (to place) is transitive, lie (to rest) is intransitive; set (to place) is transitive, sit (to rest) is intransitive. Set in some of its meanings is intransitive.

4. The tide sits in. 5. Go and lay down. 6. The sun sits in the west. 7. I remember when the corner stone was lain. 8. Sit the plates on the table. 9. He sat out for London yesterday. 10. Your dress sets well. 11. The bird is setting on its eggs. 12. I laid there an hour. 13. Set down and talk a little while. 14. He has laid there an hour. 15. I am setting by the river. 16. He has went and done it without my permission. 17. He flew from justice. 18. Some valuable land was overflown. 19. She come just after you left. 20. They sung a new tune which they had not sang before. 21. The water I drunk there was better than any that I had drank before. 22. The leaves had fell. 23. I had rode a short distance when the storm begun to gather. 24. I found the water froze. 25. He raised up. 26. He run till he became so weary that he was forced to lay down. 27. I knowed that it was so, for I seen him when he done it. 28. I had began to think that you had forsook us. 29. I am afraid that I cannot learn him to do it. 30. I guess that I will stop. 31. I expect that he has gone to Boston. 32. There ain't any use of trying. 33. I have got no mother. 34. Can I speak to you? 35. He had ought to see him.

Explanation.—As ought is never a participle, it cannot be used after had to form a compound tense.

Caution.—A conditional or a concessive clause takes a verb in the indicative mode when the action or being is assumed as a fact, or when the uncertainty lies merely in the speaker's knowledge of the fact. But when the action or being in such a clause is merely thought of as a contingency, or in such a clause the speaker prefers to put hypothetically something of whose truth or untruth he has no doubt, the subjunctive is used. The subjunctive is frequently used in indirect questions, in expressing a wish for that which it is impossible to attain at once or at all, and instead of the potential mode in independent clauses.

Examples.— 1. If (= since) it rains, why do you go? 2. If it rains (now), I cannot go out. 3. If it rain, the work will be delayed. 4. Though it rain to-morrow, we must march. 5. If there be mountains, there must be valleys between. 6. Though honey be sweet, one can't make a meal of it. 7. If my friend were here, he would enjoy this. 8. Though immortality were improbable, we should still believe in it. 9. One may doubt whether the best men be known. 10. I wish the lad were taller. 11. Oh! that I were a Samson in strength. 12. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck.

Explanation.—In (1) the raining is assumed as a fact. In (2) the speaker is uncertain of the fact. In the conditional clause of (3) and in the concessive clause of (4) the raining is thought of as a mere contingency. The speaker is certain of the truth of what is hypothetically expressed in the conditional clause of (5) and in the concessive clause of (6), and is certain of the untruth of what is hypothetically expressed in the conditional clause of (7) and in the concessive clause of (8). There is an indirect question in (9), a wish in (10) for something not at once attainable and in (11) for something forever unattainable, and in (12) the subjunctive mode is used in place of the potential.

Remarks.—When there is doubt as to whether the indicative or the subjunctive mode is required, use the indicative.

The present subjunctive forms may be treated as infinitives used to complete omitted auxiliaries; as, If it (should) rain, the work will be delayed; Till one greater man (shall) restore us, etc. This will often serve as a guide in distinguishing the indicative from the subjunctive mode.

If, though, lest, unless, etc. are usually spoken of as signs of the subjunctive mode, but these words are now more frequently followed by the indicative than by the subjunctive.

Direction.—Justify the mode of the italicized verbs in the following sentences:—

1. If this were so, the difficulty would vanish. 2. If he was there, I did not see him. 3. If to-morrow be fine, I will walk with you. 4. Though this seems improbable, it is true. 5. If my friend is in town, he will call this evening. 6. If he ever comes, we shall know it.

Explanation.—In (6) and (7) the coming is referred to as a fact to be decided in future time.

7. If he comes by noon, let me know. 8. The ship leaps, as it were, from billow to billow. 9. Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob. 10. If a pendulum is drawn to one side, it will swing to the other.

Explanation.—Be is often employed in making scientific statements like the preceding, and may therefore be allowed, If a pendulum is drawn = Whenever a pendulum is drawn.

11. I wish that I were a musician. 12. Were I so disposed, I could not gratify you. 13. This sword shall end thee unless thou yield. 14. Govern well thy appetite, lest sin surprise thee. 15. I know not whether it is so or not. 16. Would he were fatter! 17. If there were no light, there would be no colors. 18. Oh, that he were a son of mine! 19. Though it be cloudy to-night, it will be cold. 20. Though the whole exceed a part, we sometimes prefer a part to the whole. 21. Whether he go or not, I must be there. 22. Though an angel from heaven command it, we should not steal. 23. If there be an eye, it was made to see. 24. It were well it were done quickly.

Direction.—Supply in each of the following sentences a verb in the indicative or the subjunctive mode, and give a reason for your choice:—

1. I wish it —— in my power to help you. 2. I tremble lest he ——. 3. If he —— guilty, the evidence does not show it. 4. He deserves our pity, unless his tale —— a false one. 5. Though he —— there, I did not see him. 6. If he —— but discreet, he will succeed. 7. If I —— he, I would do differently. 8. If ye —— men, fight.

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Caution.—Be careful to employ the tense forms of the different modes in accordance with their meaning, and in such a way as to preserve the proper order of time.

Direction.—Correct the following errors, and give your reasons:—

1. That custom has been formerly quite popular. 2. Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. 3. He that was dead sat up and began to speak. 4. A man bought a horse for one hundred dollars; and, after keeping it three months, at an expense of ten dollars a month, he sells it for two hundred dollars. What per cent does he gain? 5. I should say that it was an hour's ride. 6. If I had have seen him, I should have known him. 7. I wish I was in Dixie. 8. We should be obliged if you will favor us with a song. 9. I intended to have called.

Explanation.—This is incorrect; it should be, I intended to call. The act of calling was not completed at the time indicated by intended.

Remark.—Verbs of commanding, desiring, expecting, hoping, intending, permitting, etc. are followed by verbs denoting present or future time. [Footnote: The "Standard Dictionary" makes this restriction: "The doubling of the past tenses in connection with the use of have with a past participle is proper and necessary when the completion of the future act was intended before the occurrence of something else mentioned or thought of. Attention to this qualification, which has been overlooked in the criticism of tense-formation and connection, is especially important and imperative. If one says, 'I meant to have visited Paris and to have returned to London before my father arrived from America,' the past [present perfect] infinitive ... is necessary for the expression of the completion of the acts purposed. 'I meant to visit Paris and to return to London before my father arrived from America,' may convey suggestively the thought intended, but does not express it."]

The present infinitive expresses an action as present or future, and the present perfect expresses it as completed, at the time indicated by the principal verb. I am glad to have met you is correct, because the meeting took place before the time of being glad.

I ought to have gone is exceptional. Ought has no past tense form, and so the present perfect infinitive is used to make the expression refer to past time.

10. We hoped to have seen you often. 11. I should not have let you eaten it. 12. I should have liked to have seen it. 13. He would not have dared done that. 14. You ought to have helped me to have done it. 15. We expected that he would have arrived last night. 16. The experiment proved that air had weight.

Remark.—What is true or false at all times is generally expressed in the present tense, whatever tense precedes.

There seems to be danger of applying this rule too rigidly. When a speaker does not wish to vouch for the truth of the general proposition, he may use the past tense, giving it the form of an indirect quotation; as, He said that iron was the most valuable of metals. The tense of the dependent verb is sometimes attracted into that of the principal verb; as, I knew where the place was.

17. I had never known before how short life really was. 18. We then fell into a discussion whether there is any beauty independent of utility. The General maintained that there was not; Dr. Johnson maintained that there was. 19. I have already told you that I was a gentleman. 20. Our fathers held that all men were created equal.

Caution.—Use will and would to imply that the subject names the one whose will controls the action; use shall and should to imply that the one named by the subject is under the control of external influence.

Remark.—The original meaning of shall (to owe, to be obliged) and will (to determine) gives us the real key to their proper use.

The only case in which some trace of the original meaning of these auxiliaries cannot be found is the one in which the subject of will names something incapable of volition; as, The wind will blow. Even this may be a kind of personification.

Examples.—I shall go; You will go; He will go. These are the proper forms to express mere futurity, but even here we can trace the original meaning of shall and will. In the first person the speaker avoids egotism by referring to the act as an obligation or duty rather than as something under the control of his own will. In the second and third persons it is more courteous to refer to the will of others than to their duty.

I will go. Here the action is under the control of the speaker's will. He either promises or determines to go.

You shall go; He shall go. Here the speaker either promises the going or determines to compel these persons to go; in either case the one who goes is under some external influence.

Shall I go? Here the speaker puts himself under the control of some external influence—the will of another.

Will I go?i. e., Is it my will to go?—is not used except to repeat another's question. It would be absurd for one to ask what his own will is.

Shall you go? Ans. I shall. Will you go? Ans. I will. Shall he go? Ans. He shall. Will he go? Ans. He will. The same auxiliary is used in the question that is used in the answer.

No difficulty shall hinder me. The difficulty that might do the hindering is not to be left to itself, but is to be kept under the control of the speaker.

He says that he shall go; He says that he will go. Change the indirect quotations introduced by that to direct quotations, and the application of the Caution will be apparent.

You will see that my horse is at the door by nine o'clock. This is only an apparent exception to the rule. A superior may courteously avoid the appearance of compulsion, and refer to his subordinate's willingness to obey.

They knew that I should be there, and that he would be there. The same principles apply to should and would that apply to shall and will. In this example the events are future as to past time; making them future as to present time, we have, They know that I shall be there, and that he will be there.

My friend said that he should not set out to-morrow. Change the indirect to a direct quotation, and the force of should will be seen.

Direction.—Assign a reason for the use of shall or will in each of the following sentences:—

1. Hear me, for I will speak. 2. If you will call, I shall be happy to accompany you. 3. Shall you be at liberty to-day? 4. I shall never see him again. 5. I will never see him again. 6. I said that he should be rewarded. 7. Thou shalt surely die. 8. Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again. 9. Though I should die, yet will I not deny thee. 10. Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth my hand against the king's son.

Direction.—Fill each of the following blanks with shall, will, should, or would, and give the reasons for your choice:—

1. He knew who —— betray him. 2. I —— be fatigued if I had walked so far. 3. You did better than I —— have done. 4. If he —— come by noon, —— you be ready? 5. They do me wrong, and I —— not endure it. 6. I —— be greatly obliged if you —— do me the favor. 7. If I —— say so, I —— be guilty of falsehood. 8. You —— be disappointed if you —— see it. 9. —— he be allowed to go on? 10. —— you be unhappy, if I do not come?

Direction.—Correct the following errors, and give your reasons:—

1. Where will I leave you? 2. Will I be in time? 3. It was requested that no person would leave his seat. 4. They requested that the appointment would be given to a man who should be known to his party. 5. When will we get through this tedious controversy? 6. I think we will have rain.

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Caution.—A verb must agree with its subject in number and person.

Remarks.—Practically, this rule applies to but few forms. Are and were are the only plural forms retained by the English verb. In the common style, most verbs have one person form, made by adding s or es (has, in the present perfect tense, is a contraction of the indicative present—ha(ve)s). The verb be has am (first person) and is (third person).

In the solemn style, the second person singular takes the ending est, st, or t, and, in the indicative present, the third person singular adds eth. (See Lessons 134 and 135.)

Need and dare, when followed by an infinitive without to, are generally used instead of needs and dares; as, He need not do it; He dare not do it.

Caution.—A collective noun requires a verb in the plural when the individuals in the collection are thought of; but, when the collection as a whole is thought of, the verb should be singular.

Examples.— l. The multitude were of one mind. 2. The multitude was too large to number. 3. A number were inclined to turn back, 4. The number present was not ascertained.

Caution.—When a verb has two or more subjects connected by and, it must agree with them in the plural.

Exceptions.—l. When the connected subjects are different names of the same thing, or when they name several things taken as one whole, the verb must be singular; as, My old friend and schoolmate is in town. Bread and milk is excellent food.

2. When the connected subjects are preceded by each, every, many a, or no, they are taken separately, and the verb agrees with the nearest; as, Every man, woman, and child was lost.

3. When the subjects are emphatically distinguished, the verb agrees with the first and is understood with the second; as, Time, and patience also, is needed. (The same is true of subjects connected by as well as; as, Time, as well as patience, is needed.)

4. When one of the subjects is affirmative and the other negative, the verb agrees with the affirmative; as, Books, and not pleasure, occupy his time.

5. When several subjects follow the verb, each subject may be emphasized by making the verb agree with that which stands nearest; as, Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory.

Remark.—When one of two or more subjects connected by and is of the first person, the verb is in the first person; when one of the subjects is of the second person, and none of the first, the verb is in the second person. I, you, and he = we; you and he = you. We say, Mary and I shall (not will) be busy to-morrow.

Caution.—When two or more subjects are connected by or or nor, the verb agrees in person and number with the nearest; as, Neither poverty nor wealth was desired; Neither he nor they were satisfied.

When the subjects require different forms of the verb, it is generally better to express the verb with each subject or to recast the sentence.

Remarks.—When a singular and a plural subject are used, the plural subject is generally placed next to the verb.

In using pronouns of different persons, it is generally more polite for the speaker to mention the one addressed first, and himself last, except when he confesses a fault.

Caution.—A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number, gender, and person; as, Thou who writest; He who writes; They who write, etc.

The three special Cautions given above for the agreement of the verb will also aid in determining the agreement of the pronoun with its antecedent.

Remarks.—The pronoun and the verb of an adjective clause relating to the indefinite subject it take, by attraction, the person and number of the complement when this complement immediately precedes the adjective clause; as, It is I that am in the wrong; It is thou that liftest me up; It is the dews and showers that make the grass grow.

The pronoun you, even when singular, requires a plural verb.

Direction.—Justify the use of the following italicized verbs and pronouns:—

1. Books is a noun. 2. The good are great. 3. The committee were unable to agree, and they asked to be discharged. 4. The House has decided not to allow its members the privilege. 5. Three times four is twelve. [Footnote: "Three times four is twelve" and "Three times four are twelve" are both used, and both are defended. The question is (see Caution for collective nouns), Is the number four thought of as a whole, or are the individual units composing it thought of? The expression = Four taken three times is twelve. Times is a noun used adverbially.] 6. Five dollars is not too much. 7. Twice as much is too much. 8. Two hours is a long time to wait. 9. To relieve the wretched was his pride. 10. To profess and to possess are two different things. 11. Talking and eloquence are not the same. 12. The tongs are not in their place. 13. Every one is accountable for his own acts. 14. Every book and every paper was found in its place. 15. Not a loud voice, but strong proofs bring conviction. 16. This orator and statesman has gone to his rest. 17. Young's "Night Thoughts" is his most celebrated poetical work. 18. Flesh and blood hath not revealed it. 19. The hue and cry of the country pursues him. 20. The second and the third Epistle of John contain each a single chapter. 21. Man is masculine because it denotes a male. 22. Therein consists the force and use and nature of language. 23. Neither wealth nor wisdom is the chief thing. 24. Either you or I am right. 25. Neither you nor he is to blame. 26. John, and his sister also, is going. 27. The lowest mechanic, as well as the richest citizen, is here protected in his right. 28. There are one or two reasons. [Footnote: When two adjectives differing in number are connected without a repetition of the noun, the tendency is to make the verb agree with the noun expressed.] 29. Nine o'clock and forty-five minutes is fifteen minutes of ten. 30. Mexican figures, or picture-writing, represent things, not words. [Footnote: The verb here agrees with figures, as picture-writing is logically explanatory of figures.] 31. Many a kind word and many a kind act has been put to his credit.

Direction.—Correct the following errors, and give your reasons:—

1. Victuals are always plural. 2. Plutarch's "Parallel Lives" are his great work. 3. What sounds have each of the vowels? 4. "No, no," says I. 5. "We agree," says they. 6. Where was you? 7. Every one of these are good in their place. 8. Neither of them have recited their lesson. 9. There comes the boys. 10. Each of these expressions denote action. 11. One of you are mistaken. 12. There is several reasons for this. 13. The assembly was divided in its opinion. 14. The public is invited to attend. 15. The committee were full when this point was decided. 16. The nation are prosperous. 17. Money, as well as men, were needed. 18. Now, boys, I want every one of you to decide for themselves. 19. Neither the intellect nor the heart are capable of being driven. 20. She fell to laughing like one out of their right mind. 21. Five years' interest are due. 22. Three quarters of the men was discharged. 23. Nine-tenths of every man's happiness depend upon this. 24. No time, no money, no labor, were spared. 25. One or the other have erred in their statement. 26. Why are dust and ashes proud? 27. Either the master or his servants is to blame. 28. Neither the servants nor their master are to blame. 29. Our welfare and security consists in unity. 30. The mind, and not the body, sin. 31. He don't like it. 32. Many a heart and home have been desolated by drink.


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

Scheme for the Verb.

(The numbers refer to Lessons.)

VERB. Uses. To assert action, being, or state. Predicate (4, 11) To assume action, being, or state. Participles (37) Infinitives (40) Classes. Form. Regular (92). Irregular (92, 132, 133). (Redundant and Defective) Meaning. Transitive (92). Intransitive (92). Modifications. Voice. Active (129, 130). Passive (129, 130). Mode. Indicative (131, 134-137). Potential (131, 134-137). Subjunctive (131, 134-137, 140). Imperative (131, 134-137). Tense. Present. Past. Future. + 131, 134-138, Present Perfect. 140, 141. Past Perfect. Future Perfect. Number. Singular. + 131, 134, 135. Plural. Person. First. Second. + 131, 134, 135. Third. Participles. Classes. Present. Past. + 131, 134, 136. Past Perfect. Infinitives. Present. Present Perfect. 131, 134, 135.

Questions on the Verb.

1. Define the verb and its classes.—Lessons 92, 132.

2. Define the modifications of the verb.—Lessons 129, 131.

3. Define the several voices, modes, and tenses.—Lessons 129, 131.

4. Define the participle and its classes.—Lesson 131.

5. Define the infinitive.—Lesson 131.

6. Give a synopsis of a regular and of an irregular verb in all the different forms.—Lessons 134, 135, 136, 137.

7. Analyze the different mode and tense forms, and give the functions of the different tenses.—Lesson 138.

8. Give and illustrate the principles which guide in the use of the mode and tense forms, and of the person and number forms.—Lessons 140, 141, 142.

* * * * *



Lesson 112.—What are Modifications? Have English words many inflections? Have they lost any? What is Number? Define the singular and the plural number. How is the plural of nouns regularly formed? In what ways may the plural be formed irregularly? Illustrate.

Lesson 113.—Give the plural of some nouns adopted from other languages. How do compounds form the plural? Illustrate the several ways. How do letters, figures, etc. form the plural? Illustrate.

Lesson 114.—Give examples of nouns having each two plurals differing in meaning. Some which have the same form in both numbers. Some which have no plural. Some which are always plural. What is said of the number of collective nouns?

Lesson 116.—In what four ways may the number of nouns be determined? Illustrate.

Lesson 117.—What is Gender? Define the different genders. What is the difference between sex and gender? The gender of English nouns follows what? Have English nouns a neuter form? Have all English nouns a masculine and a feminine form? In what three ways may the masculine of nouns be distinguished from the feminine? Illustrate. Give the three gender forms of the pronoun.

Lesson 118.—How is gender in grammar important? When is the pronoun of the masculine gender used? When is the neuter pronoun it used? By the aid of what pronouns are inanimate things personified? In personification, when is the masculine pronoun used, and when is the feminine? Illustrate. What is the Caution relating to gender?

Lesson 119.—What is Person? Is the person of nouns marked by form? Define the three persons. When is a noun in the first person? In the second person? What classes of words have distinctive person forms? Why is person regarded in grammar? What is Case? Define the three cases. What is the case of a noun used independently? Of an explanatory modifier? Of an objective complement? Of a noun or pronoun used as attribute complement? Illustrate all these.

Lesson 121.—What is Parsing? Illustrate the parsing of nouns.

* * * * *



Lesson 122.—How many case forms have nouns, and what are they? How is the possessive of nouns in the singular formed? Of nouns in the plural? Illustrate. What is the possessive sign? To which word of compound names or of groups of words treated as such is the sign added? Illustrate. Instead of the possessive form, what may be used? Illustrate.

Lesson 123.—In what case alone can mistakes in the construction of nouns occur? Illustrate the Cautions relating to possessive forms.

Lesson 124.—What is Declension? Decline girl and tooth. Decline the several personal pronouns, the relative and the interrogative. What adjective pronouns are declined wholly or in part? Illustrate.

Lesson 125.—What words in the language have each three different case forms? What are the nominative, and what the objective, forms of the pronouns?

Lesson 127.—What one modification have adjectives? What is Comparison? Define the three degrees. How are adjectives regularly compared? What are the Rules for Spelling? Illustrate them. How are adjectives of more than one syllable generally compared? How are degrees of diminution expressed? Can all adjectives be compared? Illustrate. How are some adverbs compared? Illustrate the irregular comparison of adjectives and adverbs.

Lesson 128.—To how many things does the comparative degree refer? What does it imply? Explain the office of the superlative. What word usually follows the comparative, and what the superlative? Give the Cautions relating to the use of comparatives and superlatives, and illustrate them fully.

Lesson 129.—What is Voice? Of what class of verbs is it a modification? Name and define the two voices. When is the one voice used, and when the other? Into what may the passive form be resolved? Illustrate. What may be mistaken for a verb in the passive voice? Illustrate.

Lesson 130.—In changing a verb from the active to the passive, what does the object complement become? How may an intransitive verb sometimes be made transitive? Illustrate.

* * * * *



Lesson 131.—What is Mode? Define the four modes. What is Tense? Define the six tenses. Define the infinitive. Define the participle. Define the classes of participles. What are the number and person of a verb?

Lesson 132.—What is Conjugation? Synopsis? What are auxiliary verbs? Name them. What are the principal parts of a verb? What are redundant and what are defective verbs?

Lesson 134.—How many inflectional forms may irregular verbs have? How many have regular verbs? What is said of the subjunctive mode? Of to with the infinitive? How is a verb conjugated in the emphatic form?

Lesson 136.—How is a verb conjugated in the progressive form? How is a transitive verb conjugated in the passive voice? Give an example of a verb in the progressive form with a passive meaning. What does the progressive form denote? Can all verbs be conjugated in this form? Why? Give all the participles of the verbs choose, break, drive, read, lift.

Lesson 137.—How may a verb be conjugated interrogatively? Negatively? Illustrate. How may a question with negation be expressed in the indicative and potential modes?

Lesson 138.—Into what may the compound, or periphrastic, forms of the verb be resolved? Illustrate fully. What is said of the participle in have written, had written, etc.? Give and illustrate the several uses of the six tenses.

Lesson 140.—Show how the general Caution for the use of the verb is frequently violated. When does a conditional or a concessive clause require the verb to be in the indicative? Illustrate. When is the subjunctive used? Illustrate the many uses of the subjunctive.

Lesson 141.—Give and illustrate the general Caution relating to mode and tense forms. Give and illustrate the Caution in regard to will and would, shall and should.

Lesson 142.—Give and illustrate the Cautions relating to the agreement of verbs and pronouns. Illustrate the exceptions and the Remarks.

* * * * *


Suggestions for the Study of the following Selections.

TO THE TEACHER.—The pupil has now reached a point where he can afford to drop the diagram—its mission for him is fulfilled. For him to continue its use with these "Additional Examples," unless it be to outline the relations of clauses or illustrate peculiar constructions, is needless; he will merely be repeating that with which he is already familiar.

These extracts are not given for full analysis or parsing. This, also, the pupil would find profitless, and for the same reason. One gains nothing in doing what he already does well enough—progress is not made in climbing the wheel of a treadmill. But the pupil may here review what has been taught him of the uses of adjective pronouns, of the relatives in restrictive and in unrestrictive clauses, of certain idioms, of double negatives, of the split infinitive, of the subjunctive mode, of the distinctions in meaning between allied verbs, as lie and lay, of certain prepositions, of punctuation, etc. He should study the general character of each sentence, its divisions and subdivisions, the relations of the independent and the dependent parts, and their connection, order, etc. He should note the periodic structure of some of these sentences—of (4) or (19), for instance—the meaning of which remains in suspense till near or at the close. He should note in contrast the loose structure of others—for example, the last sentence in (20)—a sentence that has several points at any one of which a complete thought has been expressed, but the part of the sentence following does not, by itself, make complete sense. Let him try to see which structure is the more natural, and which is the more forcible, and why; and what style gains by a judicious blending of the two.

Especially should the pupil look at the thought in these prose extracts and at the manner in which it is expressed. This will lead him to take a step or two over into the field of literature. If the attempt is made, one condition seems imperative—the pupil should thoroughly understand what the author says. We know no better way to secure this than to exact of him a careful reproduction in his own words of the author's thought. This will reveal to him the differences between his work and the original; and bring into relief the peculiarity of each author's style—the stateliness of De Quincey's, for instance, the vividness of Webster's, the oratorical character of Macaulay's, the ruggedness of Carlyle's, the poetical beauty of Emerson's, the humor of Irving's, and the brilliancy of Holmes's—the last lines from whom are purposely stilted, as we learn from the context.

The pupil may see how ellipses and transpositions and imagery abound in poetry, and how, in the use of these particulars, poets differ from each other. He may note that poems are not pitched in the same key—that the extracts from Wordsworth and Goldsmith and Cowper, for example, deal with common facts and in a homely way, that the one from Lowell is in a higher key, while that from Shelley is all imagination, and is crowded with audacious imagery, all exquisite except in the first line, where the moon, converted by metaphor into a maiden, has that said of her that is inconsistent with her in her new character.

1. It is thought by some people that all those stars which you see glittering so restlessly on a keen, frosty night in a high latitude, and which seem to have been sown broadcast with as much carelessness as grain lies on a threshing-floor, here showing vast zaarahs of desert blue sky, there again lying close, and to some eyes presenting

"The beauteous semblance of a flock at rest,"

are, in fact, gathered into zones or strata; that our own wicked little earth, with the whole of our peculiar solar system, is a part of such a zone; and that all this perfect geometry of the heavens, these radii in the mighty wheel, would become apparent, if we, the spectators, could but survey it from the true center; which center may be far too distant for any vision of man, naked or armed, to reach.—De Quincey

2. On this question of principle, while actual suffering was yet afar off, they [our fathers] raised their flag against a power to which, for purposes of foreign conquest and subjugation, Rome, in the height of her glory, is not to be compared—a power which has dotted over the surface of the whole globe with her possessions and military posts; whose morning drum-beat, following the sun and keeping company with the hours, circles the earth with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England.—Webster.

3. In some far-away and yet undreamt-of hour, I can even imagine that England may cast all thoughts of possessive wealth back to the barbaric nations among whom they first arose; and that, while the sands of the Indus and adamant of Golconda may yet stiffen the housings of the charger and flash from the turban of the slave, she, as a Christian mother, may at last attain to the virtues and the treasures of a Heathen one, and be able to lead forth her Sons, saying, "These are my Jewels."—Ruskin.

4. And, when those who have rivaled her [Athens's] greatness shall have shared her fate; when civilization and knowledge shall have fixed their abode in distant continents; when the scepter shall have passed away from England; when, perhaps, travelers from distant regions shall in vain labor to decipher on some moldering pedestal the name of our proudest chief, shall hear savage hymns chanted to some misshapen idol over the ruined dome of our proudest temple, and shall see a single naked fisherman wash his nets in the river of the ten thousand masts,—her influence and her glory will still survive, fresh in eternal youth, exempt from mutability and decay, immortal as the intellectual principle from which they derived their origin, and over which they exercise their control.—Macaulay.

5. To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness and a smile And eloquence of beauty, and she glides Into his darker musings with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last, bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony and shroud and pall And breathless darkness and the narrow house Make thee to shudder and grow sick at heart,— Go forth under the open sky, and list To Nature's teachings, while from all around— Earth and her waters and the depths of air— Comes a still voice.—Bryant.

6. Pleasant it was, when woods were green, And winds were soft and low, To lie amid some sylvan scene, Where, the long drooping boughs between, Shadows dark and sunlight sheen Alternate come and go; Or where the denser grove receives No sunlight from above, But the dark foliage interweaves In one unbroken roof of leaves, Underneath whose sloping eaves The shadows hardly move.—Longfellow.

7. I like the lad who, when his father thought To clip his morning nap by hackneyed praise Of vagrant worm by early songster caught, Cried, "Served him right! 'tis not at all surprising; The worm was punished, sir, for early rising."—Saxe.

8. There were communities, scarce known by name In these degenerate days, but once far-famed, Where liberty and justice, hand in hand, Ordered the common weal; where great men grew Up to their natural eminence, and none Saving the wise, just, eloquent, were great; Where power was of God's gift to whom he gave Supremacy of merit—the sole means And broad highway to power, that ever then Was meritoriously administered, Whilst all its instruments, from first to last, The tools of state for service high or low, Were chosen for their aptness to those ends Which virtue meditates.—Henry Taylor.

9. Stranger, these gloomy boughs Had charms for him; and here he loved to sit, His only visitant a straggling sheep, The stone-chat, or the glancing sand-piper; And on these barren rocks, with fern and heath And juniper and thistle sprinkled o'er, Fixing his downcast eye, he many an hour A morbid pleasure nourished, tracing here An emblem of his own unfruitful life; And, lifting up his head, he then would gaze On the more distant scene,—how lovely 't is Thou seest,—and he would gaze till it became Far lovelier, and his heart could not sustain The beauty, still more beauteous.—Wordsworth.

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