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248. Great care must be taken in deciding the Case of what. In the sentence “He found what he was looking for," we have the Transitive Verb found, and the Preposition for, both of which must have objects. The Antecedent (that or the thing) is the Object of the Verb found ; while what is in the Objective Case governed by the Preposition for. In the sentence - This is what I want,” what is the Object of want. Its Antecedent (understood) is the Attribute after is (and therefore Nominative.) Exercise 163. – Determine the Case of each what.

. 1. A book is what I bought. 2. The man means what he says. 3. I know what you came for. 4. What they ask is reasonable. 5. No one understood what he said. 6. What man dare I dare. 7. Show me what you brought. 8. This carriage is what I rode home in. 9. That is just what he is. 10. Is this what you chose ?

Read again paragraph 226.

249. Parse Relative and Interrogative Pronouns thus:

The woman who called this morning asked, Which of you are coming again?"

who is a relative pronoun; singular number, feminine gender, third person, agreeing with its antecedent woman; nominative case, subject of called.

which is an interrogative pronoun; plural number, common gender, second person; nominative case, subject of the verb are coming

Exercise 164. — Parse the Pronouns in the following.

1. He that loves me loves my dog. 2. John, who has been ill, is well again. 3. “What is truth?” said jesting Pilate. 4. Let me tell you what I saw. 5. Some weary themselves in seeking what they can never find. 6. Let me know if you decide to take this. 7. These are the persons that we are

indebted to for our flowers. 8. That, father, I will gladly do. 9. Certain there were who swore to the truth of this. 10. Signor Antonio commends him to you. 11. With whom had your dog run away? 12. Who hath woe? who hath redness of eyes ? 13. And all was done; let others judge how well. 14. That is what I came for. 15. Such sense as he had is now gone.

16. What did you wish me to do? 17. Such persons as came found shelter for themselves. 18. That is just what I have been wanting. 19. Who did you think I was ?

20. Thy secret keep; I urge thee not;

Yet, ere again ye sought this spot,
Say, heard ye naught of Lowland war?


250. The Person and Number of a Verb are the same as the Person and Number of its Subject.

In the sentence, “I am writing,” the Subject I is of the First Person and Singular Number; therefore the Verb am writing is also of the First Person and Singular Number.

In the sentence, “They wrote,they is of the Third Person and Plural Number; therefore wrote is also of the Third Person and Plural Number.

Exercise 165. - Give the Person and Number of each Verb.

1. I call. 2. She calls. 3. We call. 4. You call. 5. They call. 6. James loves his mother. 7. The cat is playing with her kittens. 8. The boys are playing cricket. 9. He hath his reward. 10. The horse fell. 11. Fred will return soon. 12. They have learned their lessons. 13. Ye are idle. 14. Have we any bread ? 15. I that speak to you am he.

251. Since a Verb must agree in Number with its Subject we must take care not to use with a Plural Subject a. Verb that is Singular in form, or the reverse. Also, since

a Verb agrees with its Subject in Person, we must select the proper form when the Verb has different forms for the three Persons, as am, art, is.

252. The Verb be has more forms than


other Verb. Most Verbs have only four or five forms, as arise, arises, arose, arising, arisen (with the old forms, arisest and ariseth); or talk, talks, talked, talking (with the old forms talkest and talketh).

253. When the Subject of a sentence consists of two or more Nouns or Pronouns joined by and, the Verb must be Plural; as, “ John and James are coming"; "She and her brother are coming"; "He and she were late."

254. The Adjective Pronouns each, one, either, neither, every, are followed by Singular Verbs; as, “ Each of them knows him”; “No one of all these persons is able to speak; every one is dumb”; “Either of these apples is good enough for me.”


255. When the Subject consists of two or more Singular Nouns joined by or, either ...

.. or, neither. the Verb must be Singular ; as, “ Either the master or the servant was present”;

6. Neither the master nor the servant has returned.”

If one of the Subjects is Plural the Verb is Plural; as, “ Neither the ropes nor the hammock are to be found.”

Exercise 166. -(a) Give the Number and the Person of the Verbs printed in italics.

1. Frank and William are going with us. 2. Copper and tin are found in England. 3. He and his cousin learn French. 4. He and I are both hungry. 4. The meeting is disorderly. 5. Some boys go barefooted. 6. Congress has just adjourned.

7. The mob was dispersed. 8. The cattle on a thousand hills are his. 9. Then ye are only five. 10. Talking and eloquence are not the same; to talk and to talk well are two things. 11. John or William is coming. 12. Either the coachman or the footman is waiting. 13. Neither the boy nor the girl has returned. 14. Neither horse nor hound is weary. 15. Neither he nor I have been chosen. 16. Either Mary or I am to keep watch. 17. You or he must stay. 18. Neither of the books is of much value. 19. Each of the speakers has lost his tem per. 20. Mother says Jack or Arthur is going too.

(6) Give the Number and Person of the Verbs printed in italics. (Read again paragraph 225.)

21. What is easier ? 22. The man who was here is gone. 23. The men who were here are gone. 24. He that gives thee a bone would not have thee die. 25. The roses soon withered that hung o'er the wave. 26. I who am speaking have seen it. 27. He that lieth shall die. 28. You who are for some sport come along with me. 29. I that speak to you am he. 30. The plants that lack water are sure to die.

(c) Parse the Verbs in this Exercise, as follows :

1. are going is an intransitive verb; third person, plural number, to agree with its subject Frank and William.

21. is is a copulative verb; third person, singular number, to agree with its subject what.


See also the Review on page 113.

Learn again

A Pronoun is a word used instead of a Noun.

Pronouns (and Nouns) have three Persons, the First, the Second, and the Third.

The First Person is used when a person is speaking

of himself or of himself and others. The Second Person is used to designate the person or

persons spoken to. The Third Person is used to designate a person or

persons spoken of, but not spoken to.

Pronouns are



I, thou, he, she, it, etc. (see page 119). Also my

self, thyself, himself, etc. Who? which ? what ? This, that, with their Plurals; one, any, anyone,

someone, no one, other, another, some, more,
most, several, few, many, certain, none, all;

each, either, neither.
Who, which, that, what, and sometimes as.


The Noun for which a Pronoun stands is called the Antecedent of the Pronoun. A Pronoun agrees with its Antecedent in Person, Number, and Gender.

The Case of a Pronoun is determined by its relation to some Verb (or Verbal), some Preposition, or some Noun (see page 115 and paragraphs 245, 246).

Verbs agree with their Subjects in Person and Number. Care must be observed when there is a Compound Subject (paragraphs 253, 255).

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