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Stars In Your Eyes Homework In Spanish



ETYMOLOGY treats of the different parts of speech, with their classes and modifications.

The Parts of Speech are the several kinds, or principal classes, into which words are divided by grammarians.

Classes, under the parts of speech, are the particular sorts into which the several kinds of words are subdivided.

Modifications are inflections, or changes, in the terminations, forms, or senses, of some kinds of words.


The Parts of Speech, or sorts of words, in English, are ten; namely, the Article, the Noun, the Adjective, the Pronoun, the Verb, the Participle, the Adverb, the Conjunction, the Preposition, and the Interjection.


An Article is the word the, an, or a, which we put before nouns to limit their signification: as, The air, the stars; an island, a ship.


A Noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or mentioned: as, George, York, man, apple, truth.


An Adjective is a word added to a noun or pronoun, and generally expresses quality: as, A wise man; a new book. You two are diligent.


A Pronoun is a word used in stead of a noun: as, The boy loves his book; he has long lessons, and he learns them well.


A Verb is a word that signifies to be, to act, or to be acted upon: as, I am, I rule, I am ruled; I love, thou lovest, he loves.


A Participle is a word derived from a verb, participating the properties of a verb, and of an adjective or a noun; and is generally formed by adding ing, d, or ed, to the verb: thus, from the verb rule, are formed three participles, two simple and one compound; as, 1. ruling, 2. ruled, 3. having ruled.


An Adverb is a word added to a verb, a participle, an adjective, or an other adverb; and generally expresses time, place, degree, or manner: as, They are now here, studying very diligently.


A Conjunction is a word used to connect words or sentences in construction, and to show the dependence of the terms so connected: as, "Thou and he are happy, because you are good."--L. Murray.


A Preposition is a word used to express some relation of different things or thoughts to each other, and is generally placed before a noun or a pronoun; as, The paper lies before me on the desk.


An Interjection is a word that is uttered merely to indicate some strong or sudden emotion of the mind: as, Oh! alas! ah! poh! pshaw! avaunt! aha! hurrah!


OBS. 1.--The first thing to be learned in the study of this the second part of grammar, is the distribution of the words of the language into those principal sorts, or classes, which are denominated the Parts of Speech. This is a matter of some difficulty. And as no scheme which can be adopted, will be in all cases so plain that young beginners will not occasionally falter in its application, the teacher may sometimes find it expedient to refer his pupils to the following simple explanations, which are designed to aid their first and most difficult steps.

How can we know to what class, or part of speech, any word belongs? By learning the definitions of the ten parts of speech, and then observing how the word is written, and in what sense it is used. It is necessary also to observe, so far as we can, with what other words each particular one is capable of making sense.

1. Is it easy to distinguish an ARTICLE? If not always easy, it is generally so: the, an, and a, are the only English words called articles, and these are rarely any thing else. Because an and a have the same import, and are supposed to have the same origin, the articles are commonly reckoned two, but some count them as three.

2. How can we distinguish a NOUN? By means of the article before it, if there is one; as, the house, an apple, a book; or, by adding it to the phrase, "I mentioned;" as, "I mentioned peace;"--"I mentioned war;"--"I mentioned slumber." Any word which thus makes complete sense, is, in that sense, a noun; because a noun is the name of any thing which can thus be mentioned by a name. Of English nouns, there are said to be as many as twenty-five or thirty thousand.

3. How can we distinguish an ADJECTIVE? By putting a noun after it, to see if the phrase will be sense. The noun thing, or its plural things, will suit almost any adjective; as, A good thing--A bad thing--A little thing--A great thing--Few things--Many things--Some things--Fifty things. Of adjectives, there are perhaps nine or ten thousand.

4. How can we distinguish a PRONOUN? By observing that its noun repeated makes the same sense. Thus, the example of the pronoun above, "The boy loves his book; he has long lessons, and he learns them well,"--very clearly means, "The boy loves the boy's book; the boy has long lessons, and the boy learns those lessons well." Here then, by a disagreeable repetition of two nouns, we have the same sense without any pronoun; but it is obvious that the pronouns form a better mode of expression, because they prevent this awkward repetition. The different pronouns in English are twenty-four; and their variations in declension are thirty-two: so that the number of words of this class, is fifty-six.

5. How can we distinguish a VERB? By observing that it is usually the principal word in the sentence, and that without it there would be no assertion. It is the word which expresses what is affirmed or said of the person or thing mentioned; as, "Jesus wept."--"Felix trembled."--"The just shall live by faith." It will make sense when inflected with the pronouns; as, I write, thou writ'st, he writes; we write, you write, they write.--I walk, thou walkst, he walks; we walk, you walk, they walk. Of English verbs, some recent grammarians compute the number at eight thousand; others formerly reckoned them to be no more than four thousand three hundred.[131]

6. How can we distinguish a PARTICIPLE? By observing its derivation from the verb, and then placing it after to be or having; as, To be writing, Having written--To be walking, Having walked--To be weeping, Having wept--To be studying, Having studied. Of simple participles, there are twice as many as there are of simple or radical verbs; and the possible compounds are not less numerous than the simples, but they are much less frequently used.

7. How can we distinguish an ADVERB? By observing that it answers to the question, When? Where? How much? or How?--or serves to ask it; as, "He spoke fluently." How did he speak? Fluently. This word fluently is therefore an adverb: it tells how he spoke. Of adverbs, there are about two thousand six hundred; and four fifths of them end in ly.

8. How can we distinguish a CONJUNCTION? By observing what words or terms it joins together, or to what other conjunction it corresponds; as, "Neither wealth nor honor can heal a wounded conscience."--Dillwyn's Ref., p. 16. Or, it may be well to learn the whole list at once: And, as, both, because, even, for, if, that, then, since, seeing, so: Or, nor, either, neither, than, though, although, yet, but, except, whether, lest, unless, save, provided, notwithstanding, whereas. Of conjunctions, there are these twenty-nine in common use, and a few others now obsolete.

9. How can we distinguish a PREPOSITION? By observing that it will govern the pronoun them, and is not a verb or a participle; as, About them--above them--across them--after them--against them--amidst them--among them--around them--at them--Before them--behind them--below them--beneath them--beside them--between them--beyond them--by them--For them--from them--In them--into them, &c. Of the prepositions, there are about sixty now in common use.

10. How can we distinguish an INTERJECTION? By observing that it is an independent word or sound, uttered earnestly, and very often written with the note of exclamation; as Lo! behold! look! see! hark! hush! hist! mum! Of interjections, there are sixty or seventy in common use, some of which are seldom found in books.

OBS. 2.--An accurate knowledge of words, and of their changes, is indispensable to a clear discernment of their proper combinations in sentences, according to the usage of the learned. Etymology, therefore, should be taught before syntax; but it should be chiefly taught by a direct analysis of entire sentences, and those so plainly written that the particular effect of every word may be clearly distinguished, and the meaning, whether intrinsic or relative, be discovered with precision. The parts of speech are usually named and defined with reference to the use of words in sentences; and, as the same word not unfrequently stands for several different parts of speech, the learner should be early taught to make for himself the proper application of the foregoing distribution, without recurrence to a dictionary, and without aid from his teacher. He who is endeavouring to acquaint himself with the grammar of a language which he can already read and understand, is placed in circumstances very different from those which attend the school-boy who is just beginning to construe some sentences of a foreign tongue. A frequent use of the dictionary may facilitate the progress of the one, while it delays that of the other. English grammar, it is hoped, may be learned directly from this book alone, with better success than can be expected when the attention of the learner is divided among several or many different works.

OBS. 3.--Dr. James P. Wilson, in speaking of the classification of words, observes, "The names of the distributive parts should either express, distinctly, the influence, which each class produces on sentences; or some other characteristic trait, by which the respective species of words may be distinguished, without danger of confusion. It is at least probable, that no distribution, sufficiently minute, can ever be made, of the parts of speech, which shall be wholly free from all objection. Hasty innovations, therefore, and crude conjectures, should not be permitted to disturb that course of grammatical instruction, which has been advancing in melioration, by the unremitting labours of thousands, through a series of ages."--Wilson's Essay on Gram., p. 66. Again: "The number of the parts of speech may be reduced, or enlarged, at pleasure; and the rules of syntax may be accommodated to such new arrangement. The best grammarians find it difficult, in practice, to distinguish, in some instances, adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions; yet their effects are generally distinct. This inconvenience should be submitted to, since a less comprehensive distribution would be very unfavourable to a rational investigation of the meaning of English sentences."--Ib., p. 68. Again: "As and so have been also deemed substitutes, and resolved into other words. But if all abbreviations are to be restored to their primitive parts of speech, there will be a general revolution in the present systems of grammar; and the various improvements, which have sprung from convenience, or necessity, and been sanctioned by the usage of ancient times, must be retrenched, and anarchy in letters universally prevail."--Ib., p. 114.

OBS. 4.--I have elsewhere sufficiently shown why ten parts of speech are to be preferred to any other number, in English; and whatever diversity of opinion there may be, respecting the class to which some particular words ought to be referred, I trust to make it obvious to good sense, that I have seldom erred from the course which is most expedient. 1. Articles are used with appellative nouns, sometimes to denote emphatically the species, but generally to designate individuals. 2. Nouns stand in discourse for persons, things, or abstract qualities. 3. Adjectives commonly express the concrete qualities of persons or things; but sometimes, their situation or number. 4. Pronouns are substitutes for names, or nouns; but they sometimes represent sentences. 5. Verbs assert, ask, or say something; and, for the most part, express action or motion. 6. Participles contain the essential meaning of their verbs, and commonly denote action, and imply time; but, apart from auxiliaries, they express that meaning either adjectively or substantively, and not with assertion. 7. Adverbs express the circumstances of time, of place, of degree, and of manner; the when, the where, the how much, and the how. 8. Conjunctions connect, sometimes words, and sometimes sentences, rarely phrases; and always show, either the manner in which one sentence or one phrase depends upon an other, or what connexion there is between two words that refer to a third. 9. Prepositions express the correspondent relations of things to things, of thoughts to thoughts, or of words to words; for these, if we speak truly, must be all the same in expression. 10. Interjections are either natural sounds or exclamatory words, used independently, and serving briefly to indicate the wishes or feelings of the speaker.

OBS. 5.--In the following passage, all the parts of speech are exemplified, and each is pointed out by the figure placed over the word:--

1 2 9 2 5 1 2 3 9 2 1 2 6

"The power of speech is a faculty peculiar to man; a faculty bestowed 9 4 9 4 3 2 9 1 3 8 7 3 on him by his beneficent Creator, for the greatest and most excellent

2 8 10 7 7 5 4 5 4 9 1 3 9

uses; but, alas! how often do we pervert it to the worst of


purposes!"--See Lowth's Gram., p. 1.

In this sentence, which has been adopted by Murray, Churchill, and others, we have the following parts of speech: 1. The words the, a, and an, are articles. 2. The words power, speech, faculty, man, faculty, Creator, uses, and purposes, are nouns. 3. The words peculiar, beneficent, greatest, excellent, and worst, are adjectives. 4. The words him, his, we, and it, are pronouns. 5. The words is, do, and pervert, are verbs. 6. The word bestowed is a participle. 7. The words most, how, and often, are adverbs. 8. The words and and but are conjunctions. 9. The words of, on, to, by, for, to, and of, are prepositions. 10. The word alas! is an interjection.

OBS. 6.--In speaking or writing, we of course bring together the different parts of speech just as they happen to be needed. Though a sentence of ordinary length usually embraces more than one half of them, it is not often that we find them all in so small a compass. Sentences sometimes abound in words of a particular kind, and are quite destitute of those of some other sort. The following examples will illustrate these remarks. (1) ARTICLES: "A square is less beautiful than a circle; and the reason seems to be, that the attention is divided among the sides and angles of a square, whereas the circumference of a circle, being a single object, makes one entire impression."--Kames, Elements of Criticism, Vol. i, p. 175. (2.) NOUNS: "A number of things destined for the same use, such as windows, chairs, spoons, buttons, cannot be too uniform; for, supposing their figure to be good, utility requires uniformity."--Ib., i, 176. (3.) ADJECTIVES: "Hence nothing just, proper, decent, beautiful, proportioned, or grand, isrisible."--Ib., i, 229. (4.) PRONOUNS: "I must entreat the courteous reader to suspend his curiosity, and rather to consider what is written than who they are that write it."--Addison, Spect., No. 556. (5.) VERBS: "The least consideration will inform us how easy it is to put an ill-natured construction upon a word; and what perverse turns and expressions spring from an evil temper. Nothing can be explained to him who will not understand, nor will any thing appear right to the unreasonable."--Cecil. (6.) PARTICIPLES: "The Scriptures are an authoritative voice, reproving, instructing, and warning the world; and declaring the only means ordained and provided for escaping the awful penalties of sin."--G. B. (7.) ADVERBS: "The light of Scripture shines steadily, purely, benignly, certainly, superlatively."--Dr. S. H. Cox. (8.) CONJUNCTIONS: "Quietness and silence both become and befriend religious exercises. Clamour and violence often hinder, but never further, the work of God."--Henry's Exposition. (9.) PREPOSITIONS: "He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures."--Dec. of Indep. (10.) INTERJECTIONS: "Oh, my dear strong-box! Oh, my lost guineas! Oh, poor, ruined, beggared old man! Boo! hoo! hoo!"--MOLIERE: Burgh's Art of Speaking, p. 266.


Parsing is the resolving or explaining of a sentence, or of some related word or words, according to the definitions and rules of grammar. Parsing is to grammar what ciphering is to arithmetic.

A Praxis is a method of exercise, or a form of grammatical resolution, showing the learner how to proceed. The word is Greek, and literally signifies action, doing, practice, or formal use.


In the first Praxis, it is required of the pupil--merely to distinguish and define the different parts of speech.

The definitions to be given in the First Praxis, are one, and only one, for each word, or part of speech. Thus:--


"The patient ox submits to the yoke, and meekly performs the labour required of him."

The is an article. 1.[132] An article is the word the, an, or a, which we put before nouns to limit their signification.

Patient is an adjective. 1. An adjective is a word added to a noun or pronoun, and generally expresses quality.

Ox is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or mentioned.

Submits is a verb. 1. A verb is a word that signifies to be, to act, or to be acted upon.

To is a preposition. 1. A preposition is a word used to express some relation of different things or thoughts to each other, and is generally placed before a noun or a pronoun.

The is an article. 1. An article is the word the, an, or a, which we put before nouns to limit their signification.

Yoke is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or mentioned.

And is a conjunction. 1. A conjunction is a word used to connect words or sentences in construction, and to show the dependence of the terms so connected.

Meekly is an adverb. 1. An adverb is a word added to a verb, a participle, an adjective, or an other adverb; and generally expresses time, place, degree, or manner.

Performs is a verb. 1. A verb is a word that signifies to be, to act, or to be acted upon.

The is an article. 1. An article is the word the, an, or a, which we put before nouns to limit their signification.

Labour is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or mentioned.

Required is a participle. 1. A participle is a word derived from a verb, participating the properties of a verb, and of an adjective or a noun; and is generally formed by adding ing, d, or ed, to the verb.

Of is a preposition. 1. A preposition is a word used to express some relation of different things or thoughts to each other, and is generally placed before a noun or a pronoun.

Him is a pronoun. 1. A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun.


"A nimble tongue often trips. The rule of the tongue is a great attainment. The language of truth is direct and plain. Truth is never evasive. Flattery is the food of vanity. A virtuous mind loathes flattery. Vain persons are an easy prey to parasites. Vanity easily mistakes sneers for smiles. The smiles of the world are deceitful. True friendship hath eternal views. A faithful friend is invaluable. Constancy in friendship denotes a generous mind. Adversity is the criterion of friendship. Love and fidelity are inseparable. Few know the value of a friend till they lose him. Justice is the first of all moral virtues. Let justice hold, and mercy turn, the scale. A judge is guilty who connives at guilt. Justice delayed is little better than justice denied. Vice is the deformity of man. Virtue is a source of constant cheerfulness. One vice is more expensive than many virtues. Wisdom, though serious, is never sullen. Youth is the season of improvement."--Dillwyn's Reflections, pp. 4-27.

"Oh! my ill-chang'd condition! oh, my fate! Did I lose heaven for this?"--Cowley's Davideis.


"So prone is man to society, and so happy in it, that, to relish perpetual solitude, one must be an angel or a brute. In a solitary state, no creature is more timid than man; in society, none more bold. The number of offenders lessens the disgrace of the crime; for a common reproach is no reproach. A man is more unhappy in reproaching himself when guilty, than in being reproached by others when innocent. The pains of the mind are harder to bear than those of the body. Hope, in this mixed state of good and ill, is a blessing from heaven: the gift of prescience would be a curse. The first step towards vice, is to make a mystery of what is innocent: whoever loves to hide, will soon or late have reason to hide. A man who gives his children a habit of industry, provides for them better than by giving them a stock of money. Our good and evil proceed from ourselves: death appeared terrible to Cicero, indifferent to Socrates, desirable to Cato."--Home's Art of Thinking, pp. 26-53.

"O thou most high transcendent gift of age! Youth from its folly thus to disengage."--Denham's Age.


"Calm was the day, and the scene, delightful. We may expect a calm after a storm. To prevent passion is easier than to calm it."--Murray's Ex., p. 5. "Better is a little with content, than a great deal with anxiety. A little attention will rectify some errors. Unthinking persons care little for the future."--See ib. "Still waters are commonly deepest. He laboured to still the tumult. Though he is out of danger, he is still afraid."--Ib. "Damp air is unwholesome. Guilt often casts a damp over our sprightliest hours. Soft bodies damp the sound much more than hard ones."--Ib. "The hail was very destructive. Hail, virtue! source of every good. We hail you as friends."--Ib., p. 6. "Much money makes no man happy. Think much, and speak little. He has seen much of the world."--See ib. "Every being loves its like. We must make a like space between the lines. Behave like men. We are apt to like pernicious company."--Ib. "Give me more love, or more disdain."--Carew. "He loved Rachel more than Leah."--Genesis. "But how much that more is; he hath no distinct notion."--Locke.

"And my more having would be as a sauce To make me hunger more."--Shakspeare.


An Article is the word the, an, or a, which we put before nouns to limit their signification: as, The air, the stars; an island, a ship.

An and a, being equivalent in meaning, are commonly reckoned one and the same article. An is used in preference to a, whenever the following word begins with a vowel sound; as, An art, an end, an heir, an inch, an ounce, an hour, an urn. A is used in preference to an, whenever the following word begins with a consonant sound; as, A man, a house, a wonder, a one, a yew, a use, a ewer. Thus the consonant sounds of w and y, even when expressed by other letters, require a and not an before them.

A common noun, when taken in its widest sense, usually admits no article: as, "A candid temper is proper for man; that is, for all mankind."--Murray.

In English, nouns without any article, or other definitive, are often used in a sense indefinitely partitive: as, "He took bread, and gave thanks."--Acts. That is, "some bread." "To buy food are thy servants come."--Genesis. That is, "some food." "There are fishes that have wings, and are not strangers to the airy region."--Locke's Essay, p. 322. That is, "some fishes."

"Words in which nothing but the mere being of any thing is implied, are used without articles: as, 'This is not beer, but water;' 'This is not brass, but steel.'"--See Dr. Johnson's Gram., p. 5.

An or a before the genus, may refer to a whole species; and the before the species, may denote that whole species emphatically: as, "A certain bird is termed the cuckoo, from the sound which it emits."--Blair.

But an or a is commonly used to denote individuals as unknown, or as not specially distinguished from others: as, "I see an object pass by, which I never saw till now; and I say, 'There goes a beggar with a long beard.'"--Harris.

And the is commonly used to denote individuals as known, or as specially distinguished from others: as, "The man departs, and returns a week after; and I say, 'There goes the beggar with the long beard.'"--Id.

The article the is applied to nouns of cither number: as, "The man, the men;" "The good boy, the good boys."

The is commonly required before adjectives that are used by ellipsis as nouns: as, "The young are slaves to novelty; the old, to custom."--Ld. Kames.

The article an or a implies unity, or one, and of course belongs to nouns of the singular number only; as, A man,--An old man,--A good boy.

An or a, like one, sometimes gives a collective meaning to an adjective of number, when the noun following is plural; as, A few days,--A hundred men,--One hundred pounds sterling.

Articles should be inserted as often as the sense requires them; as, "Repeat the preterit and [the] perfect participle of the verb to abide."--Error in Merchant's American School Grammar, p. 66.

Needless articles should be omitted; they seldom fail to pervert the sense: as, "The Rhine, the Danube, the Tanais, the Po, the Wolga, the Ganges, like many hundreds of similar names, rose not from any obscure jargon or irrational dialect."--Error in Dr. Murray's Hist. of Europ. Lang., Vol. i, p. 327.

The articles can seldom be put one for the other, without gross impropriety; and of course either is to be preferred to the other, as it better suits the sense: as, "The violation of this rule never fails to hurt and displease a reader."--Error in Blair's Lectures, p. 107. Say, "A violation of this rule never fails to displease the reader."


The articles are distinguished as the definite and the indefinite.

I. The definite article is the, which denotes some particular thing or things; as, The boy, the oranges.

II. The indefinite article is an or a, which denotes one thing of a kind, but not any particular one; as, A boy, an orange.


The English articles have no modifications, except that an is shortened into a before the sound of a consonant; as, "In an epic poem, or a poem upon an elevated subject, a writer ought to avoid raising a simile on a low image."--Ld. Kames.


OBS. 1.--No other words are so often employed as the articles. And, by reason of the various and very frequent occasions on which these definitives are required, no words are oftener misapplied; none, oftener omitted or inserted erroneously. I shall therefore copiously illustrate both their uses and their abuses; with the hope that every reader of this volume will think it worth his while to gain that knowledge which is requisite to the true use of these small but important words. Some parts of the explanation, however, must be deferred till we come to Syntax.

OBS. 2.--With the attempts of Tooke, Dalton, Webster, Cardell, Fowle, Wells,[134] Weld, Butler Frazee, Perley, Mulligan, Pinneo, S. S. Greene, and other writers, to degrade the article from its ancient rank among the parts of speech, no judicious reader, duly acquainted with the subject, can, I think, be well pleased. An article is not properly an "adjective," as they would have it to be; but it is a word of a peculiar sort--a customary index to the sense of nouns. It serves not merely to show the extent of signification, in which nouns are to be taken, but is often the principal, and sometimes the only mark, by which a word is known to have the sense and construction of a noun. There is just as much reason to deny and degrade the Greek or French article, (or that of any other language,) as the English; and, if those who are so zealous to reform our the, an, and a into adjectives, cared at all to appear consistent in the view of Comparative or General Grammar, they would either set about a wider reformation or back out soon from the pettiness of this.

OBS. 3.--First let it be understood, that an or a is nearly equivalent in meaning to the numeral adjective one, but less emphatic; and that the is nearly equivalent in meaning to the pronominal adjective that or those, but less emphatic. On some occasions, these adjectives may well be substituted for the articles; but not generally. If the articles were generally equivalent to adjectives, or even if they were generally like them, they would be adjectives; but, that adjectives may occasionally supply their places, is no argument at all for confounding the two parts of speech. Distinctions must be made, where differences exist; and, that a, an, and the, do differ considerably from the other words which they most resemble, is shown even by some who judge "the distinctive name of article to be useless." See Crombie's Treatise, Chap. 2. The articles therefore must be distinguished, not only from adjectives, but from each other. For, though both are articles, each is an index sui generis; the one definite, the other indefinite. And as the words that and one cannot often be interchanged without a difference of meaning, so the definite article and the indefinite are seldom, if ever, interchangeable. To put one for the other, is therefore, in general, to put one meaning for an other: "A daughter of a poor man"--"The daughter of the poor man"--"A daughter of the poor man"--and, "The daughter of a poor man," are four phrases which certainly have four different and distinct significations. This difference between the two articles may be further illustrated by the following example: "That Jesus was a prophet sent from God, is one proposition; that Jesus was the prophet, the Messiah, is an other; and, though he certainly was both a prophet and the prophet, yet the foundations of the proof of these propositions are separate and distinct."--Watson's Apology, p. 105.

OBS. 4.--Common nouns are, for the most part, names of large classes of objects; and, though what really constitutes the species must always be found entire in every individual, the several objects thus arranged under one general name or idea, are in most instances susceptible of such a numerical distribution as gives rise to an other form of the noun, expressive of plurality; as, horse, horses. Proper nouns in their ordinary application, are, for the most part, names of particular individuals; and as there is no plurality to a particular idea, or to an individual person or thing as distinguished from all others, so there is in general none to this class of nouns; and no room for further restriction by articles. But we sometimes divert such nouns from their usual signification, and consequently employ them with articles or in the plural form; as, "I endeavoured to retain it nakedly in my mind, without regarding whether I had it from an Aristotle or a Zoilus, a Newton or a Descartes."--Churchill's Gram., Pref., p. 8. "It is not enough to haveVitruviuses, we must also have Augustuses to employ them."--Bicknell's Gram., Part ii, p. 61.

"A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel!" --SHAK. Shylock. "Great Homer, in th' Achilles, whom he drew, Sets not that one sole Person in our View." --Brightland's Gram., p. 183.

OBS. 5.--The article an or a usually denotes one out of several or many; one of a sort of which there are more; any one of that name, no matter which. Hence its effect upon a particular name, or proper noun, is directly the reverse of that which it has upon a common noun. It varies and fixes the meaning of both; but while it restricts that of the latter, it enlarges that of the former. It reduces the general idea of the common noun to any one individual of the class: as, "A man;" that is, "One man, or any man." On the contrary, it extends the particular idea of the proper noun, and makes the word significant of a class, by supposing others to whom it will apply: as, "A Nero;" that is, "Any Nero, or any cruel tyrant." Sometimes, however, this article before a proper name, seems to leave the idea still particular; but, if it really does so, the propriety of using it may be doubted: as, "No, not by a John the Baptist risen from the dead."--Henry's Expos., Mark, vi. "It was not solely owing to the madness and depravity of a Tiberius, a Caligula, a Nero, or a Caracalla, that a cruel and sanguinary spirit, in their day, was so universal."--M'Ilvaine's Evid., p. 398.

OBS. 6.--With the definite article, the noun is applied, sometimes specifically, sometimes individually, but always definitely, always distinctively. This article is demonstrative. It marks either the particular individual, or the particular species,--or, (if the noun be plural,) some particular individuals of the species,--as being distinguished from all others. It sometimes refers to a thing as having been previously mentioned; sometimes presumes upon the hearer's familiarity with the thing; and sometimes indicates a limitation which is made by subsequent words connected with the noun. Such is the import of this article, that with it the singular number of the noun is often more comprehensive, and at the same time more specific, than the plural. Thus, if I say, "The horse is a noble animal," without otherwise intimating that I speak of some particular horse, the sentence will be understood to embrace collectively that species of animal; and I shall be thought to mean, "Horses are noble animals." But if I say, "The horses are noble animals," I use an expression so much more limited, as to include only a few; it must mean some particular horses, which I distinguish from all the rest of the species. Such limitations should be made, whenever there is occasion for them; but needless restrictions displease the imagination, and ought to be avoided; because the mind naturally delights in terms as comprehensive as they may be, if also specific. Lindley Murray, though not uniform in his practice respecting this, seems to have thought it necessary to use the plural in many sentences in which I should decidedly prefer the singular; as, "That the learners may have no doubts."--Murray's Octavo Gram., Vol. i, p. 81. "The business will not be tedious to the scholars."--Ib., 81. "For the information of the learners."--Ib., 81. "It may afford instruction to the learners."--Ib., 110. "That this is the case, the learners will perceive by the following examples."--Ib., 326. "Some knowledge of it appears to be indispensable to the scholars."--Ib., 335.

OBS. 7.--Proper names of a plural form and signification, are almost always preceded by the definite article; as, "The Wesleys,"--"The twelve Cæsars,"--"All the Howards." So the names of particular nations, tribes, and sects; as, The Romans, the Jews, the Levites, the Stoics. Likewise the plural names of mountains; as, The Alps, the Apennines, the Pyrenees, the Andes. Of plural names like these, and especially of such as designate tribes and sects, there is a very great number. Like other proper names, they must be distinguished from the ordinary words of the language, and accordingly they are always written with capitals; but they partake so largely of the nature of common nouns, that it seems doubtful to which class they most properly belong. Hence they not only admit, but require the article; while most other proper names are so definite in themselves, that the article, if put before them, would be needless, and therefore improper.

"Nash, Rutledge, Jefferson, in council great, And Jay, and Laurens oped the rolls of fate; The Livingstons, fair freedoms generous band, The Lees, the Houstons, fathers of the land."--Barlow.

OBS. 8.--In prose, the definite article is always used before names of rivers, unless the word river, be added; as, The Delaware, the Hudson, the Connecticut. But if the word river be added, the article becomes needless; as, Delaware river, Hudson river, Connecticut river. Yet there seems to be no impropriety in using both; as, The Delaware river, the Hudson river, the Connecticut river. And if the common noun be placed before the proper name, the article is again necessary; as, The river Delaware, the river Hudson, the river Connecticut. In the first form of expression, however, the article has not usually been resolved by grammarians as relating to the proper name; but these examples, and others of a similar character, have been supposed elliptical: as, "The [river] Potomac"--"The [ship] Constitution,"--"The [steamboat] Fulton." Upon this supposition, the words in the first and fourth forms are to be parsed alike; the article relating to the common noun, expressed or understood, and the proper noun being in apposition with the appellative. But in the second form, the apposition is reversed; and, in the third, the proper name appears to be taken adjectively. Without the article, some names of rivers could not be understood; as,

"No more the Varus and the Atax feel The lordly burden of the Latian keel."--Rowe's Lucan, B. i. l. 722.

OBS. 9.--The definite article is often used by way of eminence, to distinguish some particular individual emphatically, or to apply to him some characteristic name or quality: as, "The Stagirite,"--that is, Aristotle; "The Psalmist," that is, David; "Alexander the Great,"--that is, (perhaps,) Alexander the Great Monarch, or Great Hero. So, sometimes, when the phrase relates to a collective body of men: as, "The Honourable, the Legislature,"--"The Honourable, the Senate;"--that is, "The Honourable Body, the Legislature," &c. A similar application of the article in the following sentences, makes a most beautiful and expressive form of compliment: "These are the sacred feelings of thy heart, O Lyttleton, the friend."--Thomson. "The pride of swains Palemon was, the generous and the rich."--Id. In this last example, the noun man is understood after "generous," and again after "rich;" for, the article being an index to the noun, I conceive it to be improper ever to construe two articles as having reference to one unrepeated word. Dr. Priestley says, "We sometimes repeat the article, when the epithet precedes the substantive; as He was met by the worshipful the magistrates."--Gram., p. 148. It is true, we occasionally meet with such fulsome phraseology as this; but the question is, how is it to be explained? I imagine that the word personages, or something equivalent, must be understood after worshipful, and that the Doctor ought to have inserted a comma there.

OBS. 10.--In Greek, there is no article corresponding to our an or a, consequently man and a man are rendered alike; the word, [Greek: anthropos] may mean either. See, in the original, these texts: "There was a man sent from God," (John, i, 6,) and, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?"--Heb., ii, 6. So of other nouns. But the definite article of that language, which is exactly equivalent to our the, is a declinable word, making no small figure in grammar. It is varied by numbers, genders, and cases; so that it assumes more than twenty different forms, and becomes susceptible of six and thirty different ways of agreement. But this article in English is perfectly simple, being entirely destitute of grammatical modifications, and consequently incapable of any form of grammatical agreement or disagreement--a circumstance of which many of our grammarians seem to be ignorant; since they prescribe a rule, wherein they say, it "agrees," "may agree," or "must agree," with its noun. Nor has the indefinite article any variation of form, except the change from an to a, which has been made for the sake of brevity or euphony.

OBS. 11.--As an or a conveys the idea of unity, of course it applies to no other than nouns of the singular number. An eagle is one eagle, and the plural word eagles denotes more than one; but what could possibly be meant by "ans eagles," if such a phrase were invented? Harris very strangely says, "The Greeks have no article correspondent to an or a, but supply its place by a NEGATION of their article. And even in English, where the article a cannot be used, as in plurals, its force is exprest by the same NEGATION."--Harris's Hermes, p. 218. What a sample of grammar is this! Besides several minor faults, we have here a nonentity, a NEGATION of the Greek article, made to occupy a place in language, and to express force! The force of what? Of a plural an or a,! of such a word as ans or aes! The error of the first of these sentences, Dr. Blair has copied entire into his eighth lecture.

OBS. 12.--The following rules of agreement, though found in many English grammars, are not only objectionable with respect to the sense intended, but so badly written as to be scarcely intelligible in any sense: 1. "The article a or an agrees with nouns in the singular number only, individually, or collectively: as, A Christian, an infidel, a score, a thousand." 2. "The definite article the may agree with nouns in the singular AND[135] plural number: as, The garden, the houses, the stars."--Murray's Gram., 8vo, p. 170; 12mo, 139; Fish's Murray, 98; a Teacher's, 45. For the purpose of preventing any erroneous construction of the articles, these rules are utterly useless; and for the purpose of syntactical parsing, or the grammatical resolution of this part of speech, they are awkward and inconvenient. The syntax of the articles may be much better expressed in this manner: "Articles relate to the nouns which they limit," for, in English, the bearing of the articles upon other words is properly that of simple relation, or dependence, according to the sense, and not that of agreement, not a similarity of distinctive modifications.

OBS. 13.--Among all the works of earlier grammarians, I have never yet found a book which taught correctly the application of the two forms of the indefinite article an or a. Murray, contrary to Johnson and Webster, considers a to be the original word, and an the euphonic derivative. He says: "A becomes an before a vowel, and before a silent h. But if the h be sounded, the a only is to be used."--Murray's Gram., p. 31. To this he adds, in a marginal note, "A instead of an isnow used before words beginning with u long. It is used before one. An must be used before words WHERE the h is not silent, if the accent is on the second syllable; as, an heroic action, an historical account."--Ib. This explanation, clumsy as it is, in the whole conception; broken, prolix, deficient, and inaccurate as it is, both in style and doctrine; has been copied and copied from grammar to grammar, as if no one could possibly better it. Besides several other faults, it contains a palpable misuse of the article itself: "the h" which is specified in the second and fifth sentences, is the "silent h" of the first sentence; and this inaccurate specification gives us the two obvious solecisms of supposing, "if the [silent] h be sounded," and of locating "words WHERE the [silent] h is not silent!" In the word humour, and its derivatives, the h is silent, by all authority except Webster's; and yet these words require a and not an before them.

OBS. 14.--It is the sound only, that governs the form of the article, and not the letter itself; as, "Those which admit of the regular form, are marked with an R."--Murray's Gram., p. 101. "A heroic poem, written by Virgil."--Webster's Dict. "Every poem of the kind has no doubt a historical groundwork."--Philological Museum, Vol. i, p. 457. "A poet must be a naturalist and a historian."--Coleridge's Introduction, p. 111. Before h in an unaccented syllable, either form of the article may be used without offence to the ear; and either may be made to appear preferable to the other, by merely aspirating the letter in a greater or less degree. But as the h, though ever so feebly aspirated has something of a consonant sound, I incline to think the article in this case ought to conform to the general principle: as, "A historical introduction has, generally, a happy effect to rouse attention."-- Blair's Rhet., p. 311. "He who would write heroic poems, should make his whole life a heroic poem."--See Life of Schiller, p. 56. Within two lines of this quotation, the biographer speaks of "an heroic multitude!" The suppression of the sound of h being with Englishmen a very common fault in pronunciation, it is not desirable to increase the error, by using a form of the article which naturally leads to it. "How often do we hear an air metamorphosed into a hair, a hat into a gnat, and a hero into a Nero!"--Churchill's Gram., p. 205. Thus: "Neither of them had that bold and adventurous ambition which makes a conqueror an hero."--Bolingbroke, on History, p. 174.

OBS. 15.--Some later grammarians are still more faulty than Murray, in their rules for the application of an or a. Thus Sanborn: "The vowels are a, e, i, o, and u. An should be used before words beginning with any of these letters, or with a silent h."--Analytical Gram., p. 11. "An is used before words beginning with u long or with h not silent, when the accent is on the second syllable; as, an united people, an historical account, an heroic action."--Ib., p. 85. "A is used when the next word begins with a consonant; an, when it begins with a vowel or silent h."--lb., p. 129. If these rules were believed and followed, they would greatly multiply errors.

OBS. 16.--Whether the word a has been formed from an, or an from a, is a disputed point--or rather, a point on which our grammarians dogmatize differently. This, if it be worth the search, must be settled by consulting some genuine writings of the twelfth century. In the pure Saxon of an earlier date, the words seldom occur; and in that ancient dialect an, I believe, is used only as a declinable numerical adjective, and a only as a preposition. In the thirteenth century, both forms were in common use, in the sense now given them, as may be seen in the writings of Robert of Gloucester; though some writers of a much later date--or, at any rate, one, the celebrated Gawin Douglas, a Scottish bishop, who died of the plague in London, in 1522--constantly wrote ane for both an and a: as,

"Be not ouer studyous to spy ane mote in myn E, That in gour awin ane ferrye bot can not se." --Tooke's Diversions, Vol. i, p. 124. "Ane uthir mache to him was socht and sperit; Bot thare was nane of all the rout that sterit." --Ib., Vol. i, p. 160.

OBS. 17.--This, however, was a Scotticism; as is also the use of ae for a: Gower and Chaucer used an and a as we now use them. The Rev. J. M. M'Culloch, in an English grammar published lately in Edinburgh, says, "A and an were originally ae and ane, and were probably used at first simply to convey the idea of unity; as, ae man, ane ox."--Manual of E. Gram., p. 30. For this idea, and indeed for a great part of his book, he is indebted to Dr. Crombie; who says, "To signify unity, or one of a class, our forefathers employed ae or ane; as, ae man, ane ox."--Treatise on Etym. and Synt., p. 53. These authors, like Webster, will have a andan to be adjectives. Dr. Johnson says, "A, an article set before nouns of the singular number; as, a man, a tree. This article has no plural signification. Before a word beginning with a vowel, it is written an; as, an ox, an egg; of which a is the contraction."--Quarto Dict., w. A.

OBS. 18.--Dr. Webster says, "A is also an abbreviation of the Saxon an or ane, one, used before words beginning with an articulation; as, a table, instead of an table, or one table. This is a modern change; for, in Saxon, an was used before articulations as well as vowels; as, an tid, a time, an gear, a year."--Webster's Octavo Dict., w. A. A modern change, indeed! By his own showing in other works, it was made long before the English language existed! He says, "An, therefore, is the original English adjective or ordinal number one; and was never written a until after the Conquest."--Webster's Philos. Gram., p. 20; Improved Gram., 14. "The Conquest," means the Norman Conquest, in 1066; but English was not written till the thirteenth century. This author has long been idly contending, that an or a is not an article, but an adjective; and that it is not properly distinguished by the term "indefinite." Murray has answered him well enough, but he will not be convinced.[136] See Murray's Gram., pp. 34 and 35. If a and one were equal, we could not say, "Such a one,"--"What a one,"--"Many a one,"--"This one thing;" and surely these are all good English, thougha and one here admit no interchange. Nay, a is sometimes found before one when the latter is used adjectively; as, "There is no record in Holy Writ of the institution of a one all-controlling monarchy."--Supremacy of the Pope Disproved, p. 9. "If not to a one Sole Arbiter."--Ib., p. 19.

OBS. 19.--An is sometimes a conjunction, signifying if; as, "Nay, an thou'lt mouthe, I'll rant as well as thou."--Shak. "An I have not ballads made on you all, and sung to fifty tunes, may a cup of sack be my poison."--Id., Falstaff. "But, an it were to do again, I should write again."--Lord Byron's Letters. "But an it be a long part, I can't remember it."--SHAKSPEARE: Burgh's Speaker, p. 136.

OBS. 20.--In the New Testament, we meet with several such expressions as the following: "And his disciples were an hungred."--SCOTT'S BIBLE: Matt, xii, 1. "When he was an hungred."--Ib. xii, 3. "When he had need and was an hungered."--Ib. Mark, ii, 25. Alger, the improver of Murray's Grammar, and editor of the Pronouncing Bible, taking this an to be the indefinite article, and perceiving that the h is sounded in hungered, changed the particle to a in all these passages; as, "And his disciples were a hungered." But what sense he thought he had made of the sacred record, I know not. The Greek text, rendered word for word, is simply this: "And his disciples hungered." And that the sentences above, taken either way, are not good English, must be obvious to every intelligent reader. An, as I apprehend, is here a mere prefix, which has somehow been mistaken in form, and erroneously disjoined from the following word. If so, the correction ought to be made after the fashion of the following passage from Bishop M'Ilvaine: "On a certain occasion, our Saviour was followed by five thousand men, into a desert place, where they were enhungered."--Lectures on Christianity, p. 210.

OBS. 21.--The word a, when it does not denote one thing of a kind, is not an article, but a genuine preposition; being probably the same as the French à, signifying to, at, on, in, or of: as, "Who hath it? He that died a Wednesday."--Shak. That is, on Wednesday. So sometimes before plurals; as, "He carves a Sundays."--Swift. That is, on Sundays. "He is let out a nights."--Id. That is, on nights--like the following example: "A pack of rascals that walk the streets on nights."--Id. "He will knap the spears a pieces with his teeth."--More's Antid. That is, in pieces, or to pieces. So in the compound word now-a-days, where it means on; and in the proper names, Thomas à Becket, Thomas à Kempis, Anthony à Wood, where it means at or of.

"Bot certainly the daisit blude now on dayis Waxis dolf and dull throw myne unwieldy age."--Douglas.

OBS. 22.--As a preposition, a has now most generally become a prefix, or what the grammarians call an inseparable preposition; as in abed, in bed; aboard, on board; abroad, at large; afire, on fire; afore, in front; afoul, in contact; aloft, on high; aloud, with loudness; amain, at main strength; amidst, in the midst; akin, of kin; ajar, unfastened; ahead, onward; afield, to the field; alee, to the leeward; anew, of new, with renewal. "A-nights, he was in the practice of sleeping, &c.; but a-days he kept looking on the barren ocean, shedding tears."--Dr. Murray's Hist. of Europ. Lang., Vol. ii, p. 162. Compounds of this kind, in most instances, follow verbs, and are consequently reckoned adverbs; as, To go astray,--To turn aside,--To soar aloft,--To fall asleep. But sometimes the antecedent term is a noun or a pronoun, and then they are as clearly adjectives; as, "Imagination is like to work better upon sleeping men, than men awake."--Lord Bacon. "Man alive, did you ever make a hornet afraid, or catch a weasel asleep?" And sometimes the compound governs a noun or a pronoun after it, and then it is a preposition; as, "A bridge is laid across a river."--Webster's Dict., "To break his bridge athwart the Hellespont."--Bacon's Essays.

"Where Ufens glides along the lowly lands, Or the black water of Pomptina stands."--Dryden.

OBS. 23.--In several phrases, not yet to be accounted obsolete, this old preposition à still retains its place as a separate word; and none have been more perplexing to superficial grammarians, than those which are formed by using it before participles in ing; in which instances, the participles are in fact governed by it: for nothing is more common in our language, than for participles of this form to be governed by prepositions. For example, "You have set the cask a leaking," and, "You have set the cask to leaking," are exactly equivalent, both in meaning and construction. "Forty and six years was this temple in building."--John, ii, 20.Building is not here a noun, but a participle; and in is here better than a, only because the phrase, a building, might be taken for an article and a noun, meaning an edifice.[137] Yet, in almost all cases, other prepositions are, I think, to be preferred to à, if others equivalent to it can be found. Examples: "Lastly, they go about to apologize for the long time their book hath been a coming out:" i.e., in coming out.--Barclay's Works, Vol. iii, p. 179. "And, for want of reason, he falls a railing::" i.e., to railing.--Ib., iii, 357. "That the soul should be this moment busy a thinking:" i.e., at or in thinking.--Locke's Essay, p. 78. "Which, once set a going, continue in the same steps:" i.e., to going.--Ib., p. 284. "Those who contend for four per cent, have set men's mouths a watering for money:" i.e., to watering.--LOCKE: in Johnson's Dict. "An other falls a ringing a Pescennius Niger:" i.e., to ringing.--ADDISON: ib. "At least to set others a thinking upon the subject:" i.e., to thinking.--Johnson's Gram. Com., p. 300. "Every one that could reach it, cut off a piece, and fell a eating:" i.e., to eating.--Newspaper. "To go a mothering,[138] is to visit parents on Midlent Sunday."--Webster's Dict., w. Mothering. "Which we may find when we come a fishing here."--Wotton. "They go a begging to a bankrupt's door."--Dryden. "A hunting Chloë went."--Prior. "They burst out a laughing."--M. Edgeworth. In the last six sentences, a seems more suitable than any other preposition would be: all it needs, is an accent to distinguish it from the article; as, à.

OBS. 24.--Dr. Alexander Murray says, "To be a-seeking, is the relic of the Saxon to be on or an seeking. What are you a-seeking? is different from, What are you seeking? It means more fully the going on with the process."--Hist. Europ. Lang,, Vol. ii, p. 149. I disapprove of the hyphen in such terms as "à seeking," because it converts the preposition and participle into I know not what; and it may be observed, in passing, that the want of it, in such as "the going on," leaves us a loose and questionable word, which, by the conversion of the participle into a noun, becomes a nondescript in grammar. I dissent also from Dr. Murray, concerning the use of the preposition or prefix a, in examples like that which he has here chosen. After a neuter verb, this particle is unnecessary to the sense, and, I think, injurious to the construction. Except in poetry, which is measured by syllables, it may be omitted without any substitute; as, "I am a walking."--Johnson's Dict., w. A. "He had one only daughter, and she lay a dying."--Luke, viii, 42. "In the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing."--1 Pet., iii, 20. "Though his unattentive thoughts be elsewhere a wandering."--Locke's Essay, p. 284. Say--"be wandering elsewhere;" and omit the a, in all such cases.

"And--when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a ripening--nips his root."--Shak.

OBS. 25.--"A has a peculiar signification, denoting the proportion of one thing to an other. Thus we say, The landlord hath a hundred a year; the ship's crew gained a thousand pounds a man."--Johnson's Dict. "After the rate of twenty leagues a day."--Addison. "And corn was at two sesterces a bushel."--Duncan's Cicero, p. 82. Whether a in this construction is the article or the preposition, seems to be questionable. Merchants are very much in the habit of supplying its place by the Latin preposition per, by; as, "Board, at $2 per week."--Preston's Book-Keeping, p. 44. "Long lawn, at $12 per piece."--Dilworth's, p. 63. "Cotton, at 2s. 6d. per pound."--Morrison's, p. 75. "Exchange, at 12d. per livre."--Jackson's, p. 73. It is to be observed that an, as well as a, is used in this manner; as, "The price is one dollar an ounce." Hence, I think, we may infer, that this is not the old preposition a, but the article an or a, used in the distributive sense of each or every, and that the noun is governed by a preposition understood; as, "He demands a dollar an hour;" i. e., a dollar for each hour.--"He comes twice a year:" i. e., twice in every year.--"He sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses:" (1 Kings, v, 14:) i. e., ten thousand, monthly; or, as our merchants say, "per month." Some grammarians have also remarked, that, "In mercantile accounts, we frequently see a put for to, in a very odd sort of way; as, 'Six bales marked 1 a 6.' The merchant means, 'marked from 1 to 6.' This is taken to be a relic of the Norman French, which was once the law and mercantile language of England; for, in French, a, with an accent, signifies to or at."--Emmons's Gram., p. 73. Modern merchants, in stead of accenting the a, commonly turn the end of it back; as, @.

OBS. 26.--Sometimes a numeral word with the indefinite article--as a few, a great many, a dozen, a hundred, a thousand--denotes an aggregate of several or many taken collectively, and yet is followed by a plural noun, denoting the sort or species of which this particular aggregate is a part: as, "A few small fishes,"--"A great many mistakes,"--"A dozen bottles of wine,"--"A hundred lighted candles,"--"A thousand miles off." Respecting the proper manner of explaining these phrases, grammarians differ in opinion. That the article relates not to the plural noun, but to the numerical word only, is very evident; but whether, in these instances, the words few, many, dozen, hundred, and thousand, are to be called nouns or adjectives, is matter of dispute. Lowth, Murray, and many others, call them adjectives, and suppose a peculiarity of construction in the article;--like that of the singular adjectives every and one in the phrases, "Every ten days,"--"One seven times more."--Dan., iii, 19. Churchill and others call them nouns, and suppose the plurals which follow, to be always in the objective case governed by of, understood: as, "A few [of] years,"--"A thousand [of] doors;"--like the phrases, "A couple of fowls,"--"A score of fat bullocks."--Churchill's Gram., p. 279. Neither solution is free from difficulty. For example: "There are a great many adjectives."--Dr. Adam. Now, if many is here a singular nominative, and the only subject of the verb, what shall we do with are? and if it is a plural adjective, what shall we do with a and great? Taken in either of these ways, the construction is anomalous. One can hardly think the word "adjectives" to be here in the objective case, because the supposed ellipsis of the word of cannot be proved; and if many is a noun, the two words are perhaps in apposition, in the nominative. If I say, "A thousand men are on their way," the men are the thousand, and the thousand is nothing but the men; so that I see not why the relation of the terms may not be that of apposition. But if authorities are to decide the question, doubtless we must yield it to those who suppose the whole numeral phrase to be taken adjectively; as, "Most young Christians have, in the course of half a dozen years, time to read a great many pages."--Young Christian, p. 6.

"For harbour at a thousand doors they knock'd; Not one of all the thousand but was lock'd."--Dryden.

OBS. 27.--The numeral words considered above, seem to have been originally adjectives, and such may be their most proper construction now; but all of them are susceptible of being construed as nouns, even if they are not such in the examples which have been cited. Dozen, or hundred, or thousand, when taken abstractly, is unquestionably a noun; for we often speak of dozens, hundreds, and thousands. Few and many never assume the plural form, because they have naturally a plural signification; and a few or a great many is not a collection so definite that we can well conceive of fews and manies; but both are sometimes construed substantively, though in modern English[139] it seems to be mostly by ellipsis of the noun. Example: "The praise of the judicious few is an ample compensation for the neglect of the illiterate many."--Churchill's Gram., p. 278. Dr. Johnson says, the word many is remarkable in Saxon for its frequent use. The following are some of the examples in which he calls it a substantive, or noun: "After him the rascal many ran."--Spenser. "O thou fond many."--Shakspeare. "A care-craz'd mother of a many children."--Id. "And for thy sake have I shed many a tear."--Id. "The vulgar and the many are fit only to be led or driven."--South. "He is liable to a great many inconveniences every moment of his life."--Tillotson. "Seeing a great many in rich gowns, he was amazed."--Addison.

"There parting from the king, the chiefs divide, And wheeling east and west, before their many ride."--Dryden.

OBS. 28.--"On the principle here laid down, we may account for a peculiar use of the article with the adjective few, and some other diminutives. In saying, 'A few of his adherents remained with him;' we insinuate, that they constituted a number sufficiently important to be formed into an aggregate: while, if the article be omitted, as, 'Few of his adherents remained with him;' this implies, that he was nearly deserted, by representing them as individuals not worth reckoning up. A similar difference occurs between the phrases: 'He exhibited a little regard for his character;' and 'He exhibited little regard for his character.'"--Churchill's Gram., p. 279. The word little, in its most proper construction, is an adjective, signifying small; as, "He was little of stature."--Luke. "Is it not a little one?"--Genesis. And in sentences like the following, it is also reckoned an adjective, though the article seems to relate to it, rather than to the subsequent noun; or perhaps it may be taken as relating to them both: "Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep."--Prov., vi, 10; xxiv, 33. But by a common ellipsis, it is used as a noun, both with and without the article; as, "A little that a righteous man hath, is better than the riches of many wicked."--Psalms, xxxvii, 16. "Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble therewith."--Prov., xv, 16. "He that despiseth little things, shall perish by little and little."--Ecclesiasticus. It is also used adverbially, both alone and with the article a; as, "The poor sleep little."--Otway. "Though they are a little astringent."--Arbuthnot. "When he had gone a little farther thence."--Mark, i, 19. "Let us vary the phrase [in] a very little" [degree].--Kames, Vol. ii, p. 163.

OBS. 29.--"As it is the nature of the articles to limit the signification of a word, they are applicable only to words expressing ideas capable of being individualized, or conceived of as single things or acts; and nouns implying a general state, condition, or habit, must be used without the article. It is not vaguely therefore, but on fixed principles, that the article is omitted, or inserted, in such phrases as the following: 'in terror, in fear, in dread, in haste, in sickness, in pain, in trouble; in a fright, in a hurry, in a consumption; the pain of his wound was great; her son's dissipated life was a great trouble to her."--Churchill's Gram., p. 127.

OBS. 30.--Though the, an, and a, are the only articles in our language, they are far from being the only definitives. Hence, while some have objected to the peculiar distinction bestowed upon these little words, firmly insisting on throwing them in among the common mass of adjectives; others have taught, that the definitive adjectives--I know not how many--such as, this, that, these, those, any, other, some, all, both, each, every, either, neither--"are much more properly articles than any thing else."--Hermes, p. 234. But, in spite of this opinion, it has somehow happened, that these definitive adjectives have very generally, and very absurdly, acquired the name of pronouns. Hence, we find Booth, who certainly excelled most other grammarians in learning and acuteness, marvelling that the articles "were ever separated from the class of pronouns." To all this I reply, that the, an, and a, are worthy to be distinguished as the only articles, because they are not only used with much greater frequency than any other definitives, but are specially restricted to the limiting of the signification of nouns. Whereas the other definitives above mentioned are very often used to supply the place of their nouns; that is, to represent them understood. For, in general, it is only by ellipsis of the noun after it, and not as the representative of a noun going before, that any one of these words assumes the appearance of a pronoun. Hence, they are not pronouns, but adjectives. Nor are they "more properly articles than any thing else;" for, "if the essence of an article be to define and ascertain" the meaning of a noun, this very conception of the thing necessarily supposes the noun to be used with it.

OBS. 31.--The following example, or explanation, may show what is meant by definitives. Let the general term be man, the plural of which is men: A man--one unknown or indefinite; The man--one known or particular; The men--some particular ones; Any man--one indefinitely; A certain man--one definitely; This man--one near; That man--one distant; These men--several near; Those men--several distant; Such a man--one like some other; Such men--some like others; Many a man--a multitude taken singly; Many men--an indefinite multitude taken plurally; A thousand men--a definite multitude; Every man--all or each without exception;Each man--both or all taken separately; Some man--one, as opposed to none; Some men--an indefinite number or part; All men--the whole taken plurally; No men--none of the sex; No man--never one of the race.



In the Second Praxis, it is required of the pupil--to distinguish and define the different parts of speech, and to explain the ARTICLES as definite or indefinite.

The definitions to be given in the Second Praxis, are two for an article, and one for a noun, an adjective, a pronoun, a verb, a participle, an adverb, a conjunction, a preposition, or an interjection. Thus:--


"The task of a schoolmaster laboriously prompting and urging an indolent class, is worse than his who drives lazy horses along a sandy road."--G. Brown.

The is the definite article. 1. An article is the word the, an, or a, which we put before nouns to limit their signification. 2. The definite article is the, which denotes some particular thing or things.

Task is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or mentioned.

Of is a preposition. 1. A preposition is a word used to express some relation of different things or thoughts to each other, and is generally placed before a noun or a pronoun.

A is the indefinite article. 1. An article is the word the, an, or a, which we put before nouns to limit their signification. 2. The indefinite article is an or a, which denotes one thing of a kind, but not any particular one.

Schoolmaster is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or mentioned.

Laboriously is an adverb. 1. An adverb is a word added to a verb, a participle, an adjective, or an other adverb; and generally expresses time, place, degree, or manner.

Prompting is a participle. 1. A participle is a word derived from a verb, participating the properties of a verb, and of an adjective or a noun; and is generally formed by adding ing, d, or ed, to the verb.

And is a conjunction. 1. A conjunction is a word used to connect words or sentences in construction, and to show the dependence of the terms so connected.

Urging is a participle. 1. A participle is a word derived from a verb, participating the properties of a verb, and of an adjective or a noun; and is generally formed by adding ing, d, or ed, to the verb.

An is the indefinite article. 1. An article is the word the, an, or a, which we put before nouns to limit their signification. 2. The indefinite article is an or a, which denotes one thing of a kind, but not any particular one.

Indolent is an adjective. 1. An adjective is a word added to a noun or pronoun, and generally expresses quality.

Class is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or mentioned.

Is is a verb. 1. A verb is a word that signifies to be, to act, or to be acted upon.

Worse is an adjective. 1. An adjective is a word added to a noun or pronoun, and generally expresses quality.

Than is a conjunction. 1, A conjunction is a word used to connect words or sentences in construction, and to show the dependence of the terms so connected.

He is a pronoun. 1. A pronoun is a word used in stead of a noun.

Who is a pronoun. 1. A pronoun is a word used in stead of a noun.

Drives is a verb. 1. A verb is a word that signifies to be, to act, or to be acted upon.

Lazy is an adjective. 1. An adjective is a word added to a noun or pronoun, and generally expresses quality.

Horses is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or mentioned.

Along is a preposition. 1. A preposition is a word used to express some relation of different things or thoughts to each other, and is generally placed before a noun or a pronoun.

A is the indefinite article. 1. An article is the word the, an, or a, which we put before nouns to limit their signification. 2. The indefinite article is an or a, which denotes one thing of a kind, but not any particular one.

Sandy is an adjective. 1. An adjective is a word added to a noun or pronoun, and generally expresses quality.

Road is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or mentioned.


"The Honourable, the Corporation of the city, granted the use of the common council chamber, for holding the Convention; generously adding the privilege of occupying the rotunda, or the new court-room, if either would better suit the wishes of the committee."--Journal of Literary Convention, N. Y., 1830.

"When the whole is put for a part, or a part for the whole; the genus for a species, or a species for the genus; the singular number for the plural, or the plural for the singular; and, in general, when any thing less, or any thing more, is put for the precise object meant; the figure is called a Synecdoche."--See Blair's Rhet., p. 141.

"The truth is, a representative, as an individual, is on a footing with other people; but, as a representative of a State, he is invested with a share of the sovereign authority, and is so far a governor of the people."--See Webster's Essays, p. 50.

"Knowledge is the fruit of mental labour--the food and the feast of the mind. In the pursuit of knowledge, the greater the excellence of the subject of inquiry, the deeper ought to be the interest, the more ardent the investigation, and the dearer to the mind the acquisition of the truth."--Keith's Evidences, p. 15.

"Canst thou, O partial Sleep! give thy repose To the wet seaboy in an hour so rude?"--Shakspeare.


"Every family has a master; (or a mistress--I beg the ladies' pardon;) a ship has a master; when a house is to be built, there is a master; when the highways are repairing, there is a master; every little school has a master: the continent is a great school; the boys are numerous, and full of roguish tricks; and there is no master. The boys in this great school play truant, and there is no person to chastise them."--See Webster's Essays, p. 128.

"A man who purposely rushes down a precipice and breaks his arm, has no right to say, that surgeons are an evil in society. A legislature may unjustly limit the surgeon's fee; but the broken arm must be healed, and a surgeon is the only man to restore it."--See ib., p. 135.

"But what new sympathies sprung up immediately where the gospel prevailed! It was made the duty of the whole Christian community to provide for the stranger, the poor, the sick, the aged, the widow, and the orphan."--M'Ilvaine's Evi., p. 408.

"In the English language, the same word is often employed both as a noun and as a verb; and sometimes as an adjective, and even as an adverb and a preposition also. Of this, round is an example."--See Churchill's Gram., p. 24.

"The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, The moss-covered bucket, arose from the well."--Woodworth.


"Most of the objects in a natural landscape are beautiful, and some of them are grand: a flowing river, a spreading oak, a round hill, an extended plain, are delightful; and even a rugged rock, and a barren heath, though in themselves disagreeable, contribute by contrast to the beauty of the whole."--See Kames's El. of Crit., i, 185.

"An animal body is still more admirable, in the disposition of its several parts, and in their order and symmetry: there is not a bone, a muscle, a blood-vessel, a nerve, that hath not one corresponding to it on the opposite side; and the same order is carried through the most minute parts."--See ib., i, 271. "The constituent parts of a plant, the roots, the stem, the branches, the leaves, the fruit, are really different systems, united by a mutual dependence on each other."--Ib., i, 272.

"With respect to the form of this ornament, I observe, that a circle is a more agreeable figure than a square, a globe than a cube, and a cylinder than a parallelopipedon. A column is a more agreeable figure than a pilaster; and, for that reason, it ought to be preferred, all other circumstances being equal. An other reason concurs, that a column connected with a wall, which is a plain surface, makes a greater variety than a pilaster."--See ib., ii, 352.

"But ah! what myriads claim the bended knee! Go, count the busy drops that swell the sea."--Rogers.




"Honour is an useful distinction in life."--Milnes's Greek Grammar, p. vii.

[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the article an is used before useful, which begins with the sound of yu. But, according to a principle expressed on page 225th, "A is to be used whenever the following word begins with a consonant sound." Therefore, an should here be changed to a; thus, "Honour is a useful distinction in life."]

"No writer, therefore, ought to foment an humour of innovation."--Jamieson's Rhet., p. 55. "Conjunctions require a situation between the things of which they form an union."--Ib., p. 83. "Nothing is more easy than to mistake an u for an a."--Tooke's Diversions, i, 130. "From making so ill an use of our innocent expressions."--Wm. Penn. "To grant thee an heavenly and incorruptible crown of glory."--Sewel's Hist., Ded., p. iv. "It in no wise follows, that such an one was able to predict."--Ib., p. viii. "With an harmless patience they have borne most heavy oppressions,"--Ib., p. x. "My attendance was to make me an happier man."--Spect., No. 480. "On the wonderful nature of an human mind."--Ib., 554. "I have got an hussy of a maid, who is most craftily given to this."--Ib., No. 534. "Argus is said to have had an hundred eyes, some of which were always awake."--Classic Stories, p. 148. "Centiped, an hundred feet; centennial, consisting of a hundred years."--Town's Analysis, p. 19. "No good man, he thought, could be an heretic."--Gilpin's Lives, p. 72. "As, a Christian, an infidel, an heathen."--Ash's Gram., p. 50. "Of two or more words, usually joined by an hyphen."--Blair's Gram., p. 7. "We may consider the whole space of an hundred years as time present."--BEATTIE: Murray's Gram., p. 69. "In guarding against such an use of meats and drinks."--Ash's Gram., p. 138. "Worship is an homage due from man to his Creator."--Annual Monitor for 1836. "Then, an eulogium on the deceased was pronounced."--Grimshaw's U. S., p. 92. "But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him."--Gen., ii, 20. "My days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth."--Psalms, cii, 3. "A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof"--Exod., xii, 45. "The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill, as the hill of Bashan."--Psalms, lxviii, 15. "But I do declare it to have been an holy offering, and such an one too as was to be once for all."--Wm. Penn. "An hope that does not make ashamed those that have it."--Barclay's Works, Vol. i, p. 15. "Where there is not an unity, we may exercise true charity."--Ib., i, 96. "Tell me, if in any of these such an union can be found?"--Brown's Estimate, ii, 16.

"Such holy drops her tresses steeped, Though 'twas an hero's eye that weeped."--Sir W. Scott.


"This veil of flesh parts the visible and invisible world."--Sherlock.

[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the article the is omitted before invisible, where the sense requires it. But, according to a suggestion on page 225th, "Articles should be inserted as often as the sense requires them." Therefore, the should be here supplied; thus, "This veil of flesh parts the visible and the invisible world."]

"The copulative and disjunctive conjunctions operate differently on the verb."--Murray's Gram., Vol. ii, p. 286. "Every combination of a preposition and article with the noun."--Ib., i, 44. "Either signifies, 'the one or the other;' neither imports not either, that is, 'not one nor the other.'"--Ib., i, 56. "A noun of multitude may have a pronoun, or verb, agreeing with it, either of the singular or plural number."--Bucke's Gram., p. 90. "Copulative conjunctions are, principally, and, as, both, because, for, if, that, then, since, &c."--See ib., 28. "The two real genders are the masculine and feminine."--Ib., 34. "In which a mute and liquid are represented by the same character, th."--Music of Nature, p. 481. "They said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee."--Luke, vii, 20. "They indeed remember the names of abundance of places."--Spect., No. 474. "Which created a great dispute between the young and old men."--Goldsmith's Greece, Vol. ii, p. 127. "Then shall be read the Apostles' or Nicene Creed."--Com. Prayer, p. 119. "The rules concerning the perfect tenses and supines of verbs are Lily's."--King Henry's Gram., p. iv. "It was read by the high and the low, the learned and illiterate."--Johnson's Life of Swift. "Most commonly, both the pronoun and verb are understood."--Buchanan's Gram., p. viii. "To signify the thick and slender enunciation of tone."--Knight, on the Greek Alph., p. 9. "The difference between a palatial and guttural aspirate is very small."--Ib., p. 12. "Leaving it to waver between the figurative and literal sense."--Jamieson's Rhet., p. 154. "Whatever verb will not admit of both an active and passive signification."--Alex. Murray's Gram., p. 31. "The is often set before adverbs in the comparative or superlative degree."--Ib., p. 15; Kirkham's Gram., 66. "Lest any should fear the effect of such a change upon the present or succeeding age of writers."--Fowle's Common School Gram., p. 5. "In all these measures, the accents are to be placed on even syllables; and every line is, in general, more melodious, as this rule is more strictly observed."--L. Murray's Octavo Gram, p. 256; Jamieson's Rhet., 307. "How many numbers do nouns appear to have? Two, the singular and plural."--Smith's New Gram., p. 8. "How many persons? Three persons--the first, second, and third."--Ib., p. 10. "How many cases? Three--the nominative, possessive and objective."--Ib., p. 12.

"Ah! what avails it me, the flocks to keep, Who lost my heart while I preserv'd sheep." POPE'S WORKS: British Poets, Vol. vi, p. 309: Lond., 1800.


"The negroes are all the descendants of Africans."--Morse's Geog.

[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the article the before descendants, is useless to the construction, and injurious to the sense. But, according to a principle on page 225th, "Needless articles should be omitted; they seldom fail to pervert the sense." Therefore, the should be here omitted; thus, "The negroes are all descendants of Africans."]

"A Sybarite was applied as a term of reproach to a man of dissolute manners."--Morse's Ancient Geog., p. 4. "The original signification of knave was a boy."--Webster's El. Spell., p. 136. "The meaning of these will be explained, for the greater clearness and precision."--Bucke's Gram., p. 58. "What Sort of a Noun is Man? A Noun Substantive common."--Buchanan's Gram., p. 166. "Is what ever used as three kinds of a pronoun?"--Kirkham's Gram., p. 117. "They delighted in the having done it, as well as in the doing of it."--Johnson's Gram. Com., p. 344. "Both the parts of this rule are exemplified in the following sentences."--Murray's Gram., p. 174. "He has taught them to hope for another and a better world."--S. L. Knapp. "It was itself only preparatory to a future, a better, and perfect revelation."--Keith's Evid., p. 23. "Es then makes another and a distinct syllable."--Brightland's Gram., p. 17. "The eternal clamours of a selfish and a factious people."--Brown's Estimate, i, 74. "To those whose taste in Elocution is but a little cultivated."--Kirkham's Eloc., p. 65. "They considered they had but a Sort of a Gourd to rejoice in."--Bennet's Memorial, p. 333. "Now there was but one only such a bough, in a spacious and shady grove."--Bacon's Wisdom, p. 75. "Now the absurdity of this latter supposition will go a great way towards the making a man easy."--Collier's Antoninus p. 131. "This is true of the mathematics, where the taste has but little to do."--Todd's Student's Manual, p. 331. "To stand prompter to a pausing, yet a ready comprehension."--Rush, on the Voice, p. 251. "Such an obedience as the yoked and the tortured negro is compelled to yield to the whip of the overseer."--Chalmers's Serm., p. 90. "For the gratification of a momentary and an unholy desire."--Wayland's Mor. Sci., p. 288. "The body is slenderly put together; the mind a rambling sort of a thing."--Collier's Antoninus, p. 26. "The only nominative to the verb, is, the officer."--Murray's Gram., ii, 22. "And though in the general it ought to be admitted, &c."--Blair's Rhet., p. 376. "Philosophical writing admits of a polished, a neat, and elegant style."--Ib., p. 367. "But notwithstanding this defect, Thomson is a strong and a beautiful describer."--Ib., p. 405. "So should he be sure to be ransomed, and a many poor men's lives saved."--SHAK.: Hen. v.

"Who felt the wrong, or fear'd it, took the alarm, Appeal'd to Law, and Justice lent her arm."--Pope, p. 406.


"To enable us to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word."--Bucke's Gr., p, 52.

[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the article the is used to limit the meaning of "repetition," or "too frequent repetition," where a would better suit the sense. But, according to a principle on page 225th, "The articles can seldom be put one for the other, without gross impropriety; and either is of course to be preferred to the other, as it better suits the sense." Therefore, "the" should be a, which, in this instance, ought to be placed after the adjective; thus, "To enable us to avoid too frequent a repetition of the same word."]

"The former is commonly acquired in the third part of the time."--Burn's Gram., p. xi. "Sometimes the adjective becomes a substantive, and has another adjective joined to it: as, 'The chief good.'"--L. Murray's Gram., i, 169. "An articulate sound is the sound of the human voice, formed by the organs of speech."--Ib., i, 2; Lowth's Gram., 2; T. Smith's

Sports Houses to Support Year 7 Academic Progress

Category: Houses

We are piloting the use of the Sports Houses within the academic side of the school with Year 7s this year. This is a new development for us here at Sprowston and we are looking to embed Sports Houses further as the year progresses.

We have four Houses: Chiefs, Giants, Tornadoes and Vikings, and the awards given each term will also follow the PE assessment approach of Heads, Heart and Hands.

For the Autumn term their scores have all been tallied up for the most progress against targets (Heads), the highest Attendance and/or Attitude to Learning Scores (Heart) and the highest Achievement Points minus Behaviour Points (Hands).

Read more: Sports Houses to Support Year 7 Academic Progress

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