Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

or thing, but do not particularly refer to any one more than another ; as,

“ From yonder shrine, I hear a hollow sound.”

Pope.

The is called the definite article, and determines the particular thing, or things intended, and distinguishes them, as it were, from any other of the

kind; as,

The gates of hell are open night and day;

Smooth the descent and easy is the way.'

DRYDEN.

When a substantive is used without an article to limit and determine its signification, it is taken in its most extensive sense; as,

« A creature of a more exalted mind

Was wanting yet, and then was man design'd.”

IBID.

The is often used before adverbs, in the comparative and superlative degree; and seems to increase their force and emphasis; as, The more difficultly any thing is acquired, the more it is valued.”

SECTION II.

OF A SUBSTANTIVE.

A

SUBSTANTIVE is the name of anything

that we can think or speak of; as, a man, a house, justice, goodness.

Every

Every word that will take the articles a, an, or the before it, without the addition of any other word, is a substantive; as, a boy, a book, an apple, the house, the school.

Substantives are of two kinds, common and proper.

Substantives common, or common names, are such as denote a whole kind or species; as, a man, a city, a river; which may be understood of any man, any city, or any river.

Substantives proper, or proper names, are such as denote the individuals of any kind, or species ; as, John, London, the Thames.

Thus man is the common name of all men; John is the name of some particular man.- Every city is called a city, but every city is not called London, London is therefore the proper name of a particular city.

To substantives belong number, case, and gender.

There are two numbers; the singular which speaks of one thing only; as, a man, a book : and the plural which speaks of more than one ; as men, books.

In English, the plural for the most part, is formed by adding s to the singular; as king, kings; boy, boys.

When the singular ends in x, ch, sh, or s, the plural is formed by adding es ; as, glass, glasses ; brush, brushes; church, churches.

When the singular ends in y; the plural is made by changing

they into ies; as, fairy, fairies; lady, ladies.

When the singular ends in f or fe, the plural usually ends in ves; as, calf, calves ; half, halves, knife, knives.

The plural is sometimes formed by adding en. to the singular; as ox, oxen; chick, chicken.

Some

Some words change the singular termination into en; as, man, men ; woman, women.

The plural is sometimes formed by adding ren to the singular; as, child, children; -and brother makes brothers, and brethren..

Several words form the plural very irregularly ; as, die, dice; mouse, mice ; goose, geese; foot, feet; tooth, teeth ; penny, pence.

Some words are the same in both numbers; as, sheep, deer, swine, &c.

Some have no plural; as, wheat, rice, barley. Others have no singular; as, ashes, bellows, lungs, tongs.

Some words, derived immediately from the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, form their plural as in their original languages; as, cherub, cherubim ; seraph, seraphim; phenomenon, phænomena ; magus, magi; radius, radu.

Substantives in English lave two cases; the nominative and the genitive:

The nominative case is that state of the substantive in which it is only named; as, a man, the book.

The genitive case denotes property, or possession; and is formed of the nominative, by adding s with an apostrophe; as, the man's house, Alexander's horse.

Gender is the distinction of sex. So that, properly speaking, there are but two genders; the masculine, which denotes the male kind; as, a man; and the feminine, which denotes the female 'kind ; as, a woman.

Those words which signify things without life, or that have no distinction of sex, are said to be of the neuter gender ; as, a house, a stone.

Some words are said to be of the doubtful gender; such as, child, lamb, sparrow, eagle, &c.

In these the gender is not determined ; though we know they must be either masculine or feminine.

Amongst inanimate things, custom and figurative speech occasionally make some masculine, and others feminine; perhaps from some distant analogy they may be supposed to have to the different sexes; thus, a ship, a church, a city, &c. are used as feminines; the sun, death, &c. as masculines.

There are five different ways of distinguishing the sexes in English.

I. By making use of different words; as
Male. Female.

Male. Female.
Bachelor Maid, virgin Husband Wife
Boar Sow

King

Queen Boy Girl

Lad Lass, or Bridegroom Bride

Wench Brother Sister

Lord

Lady
Buck Doe

Man Woman
Bull
Cow

Master Mistress
Bullock Heifer

Milter

Spawner Cock Hen

Nephew Niece Dog Bitch

Rain Ewe Drake Duck

Sloven Slut Father Mother Son Daughter Friar Nun

Stag

Hind Gander Goose

Uncle Aunt Hero Heroine Widower Widow Horse Mare

Wizard Witch Il. Sometimes another word is added to distinguish the sex; as, man-servant.

III. Sometimes the sex is distinguished by the words male and female ; as, a male-child, a femalechild.

IV. In two words the termination of the masculine is changed into ir ; as, administrator, administratrir; erecutor, executrir.

b

V. But

[ocr errors]

V. But most commonly the feminine is formed by changing the termination of the inasculine into ess, or adding ess to it; as,

Male. Female. Male. Female Abbot Abbess Hunter Huntress Actor Actress Jew: Jewess Ambassador Ambassadress Lion Lioness Baron Baroness Marquis Marchioness Count Countess Patron Patroness Deacon Deaconess Prince Princess Duke Duchess Prior Prioress Elector Electress Poet Poetess Emperor Empress Prophet Prophetess Governor Governess Tutor Tutoress Heir Heiress Viscount Viscountess.

SECTION III.

OF AN ADJECTIVE.

A

N ADJECTIVE is a word added to a substantive,

to express its nature, quality, or property ; as, a good man, a fine house, a pleasant garden.

“ But, O my muse, what numbers wilt thou find,

To fing the furious troops in battle join’d ?
Methinks I hear the drum's tumult'ous sound,
The victor's shouts, and dying groans confound,
The dreadful burst of cannon rend the skies,
And all the thunder of the battle rise."

ADDISON.

Adjectives may be known by putting the word thing after them, with which they make good sense; as, good thing, great thing, fine thing:

Adjec

« ElőzőTovább »