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An intransitive verb becomes transitive when it is followed by an object like itself in meaning

Ex.— "He lives a noble life." "And he dreamed yet another dream." "Those men are playing a game of chess." "Grinned horribly a ghastly smile."


With respect to their form, verbs are either regular or irregular.

A regular verb indicates past time, and forms its perfect participle by adding d or ed to the simplest form of the verb; as, love, love-d, love-d; count, count-ed, coiint-ed.

An irregular verb does not add d or ed to the present indicative, but indicates past time or forms its perfect participle by some other change in its spelling ■ as, see, saw, seen; go, went, gone.


The properties of verbs are voice, mode, tense, number, and person.


Voice is that form of the transitive verb which shows whether the subject acts or is acted upon.

Transitive verbs have two voices: an active and a passive voice.

The active voice represents the subject as acting upon an object; as, "John struck James"; "The boy was studying a lesson "; "The cat caught the mouse."

The passive voice represents the subject as being acted upon; as, "James was struck by John "; "The mouse was caught"; "The lesson was studied."

The passive voice is formed by prefixing some form of the copulative verb to be to the perfect participle of a transitive verb.

The direct object of a verb in the active voice becomes its subject in the passive.

Ex. — " The boy shut the door" {active); "The door was shut by the boy" {passive); "He saw the comet"; "The comet was seen by the astronomer."

Certain verbs are sometimes used, with a passive signification, in the active voice.

Ex. — " This stick splits easily"; "Butter sells for forty cents "; "This ground plows well"; "The stone breaks readily"; "I have nothing to wear''; "He has some ax to grind"; "He has no money to spend foolishly"; "The house is building''; "Wheat sells for one dollar a bushel."

A few verbs sometimes assume the passive form, though used in an active sense.

Ex. — " The melancholy days are come," i.e. have come; "Babylon is fallen" i.e. has fallen; "She is gone" i.e. has gone; "The hour is arrived" i.e. has arrived; "He was come now," he said, "to the end of his journey."


Tell which of the verbs, in the following sentences, are in the active voice, and which in the passive:

1. Sarah loves flowers. 2. John was astonished at the news. 3. William saw a meteor. 4. A meteor was seen. 5. I have written a letter. 6. That poem was written by Saxe. 7. He should have waited longer. 8. The heavens declare the glory of God. 9. He found the money. 10. Peace was declared before the battle of New Orleans. 11. The money was found in the waste basket. 12. I lowered our flag when I saw that the courthouse flag had been lowered.



A participle is a word derived from a verb, partaking of the properties of a verb and of an adjective or a noun.

The participle is so called from its partaking of the properties of a verb and of an adjective or a noun. It is the attributive part of the verb, used without assertion. It simply denotes continuance or completion of action, being, or state, relatively to the time denoted by the principal verb of the sentence in which it is found.

There are three participles: the present, the perfect, and the compound.

The present participle denotes the continuance of action, being, or state; as, loving, being loved.

The present participle always ends in ing. It may be used as an assumed attributive, or be affirmed of a subject. In the sentence, "Leaning my head upon my hand, I began to picture to myself the miseries of confinement," "leaning" depends upon or modifies "I." It is an assumed attribute. In the sentence, "I was leaning my head upon my hand," " leaning" is affirmed of the subject " I." The present participle may be used also:—

(1) As an adjective; as, " Twinkling stars." When thus used it is called a participial adjective; and it may admit of comparison; as, "A most loving companion."

(2\ As a noun; as, "I am fond of reading." "Reading," in this sentence, is a participial noun, and is the object of the preposition " of." As a noun, it may have the modifications of a verb; as, "Describing a past event as present, has a fine effect in language." In this sentence, the participial noun " describing" is modified by "event," which is an objective element. Participial nouns may also be modified by adverbs; as, "I am fond of traveling rapidly.'' Here, "traveling," though it is a participial noun, is modified by "rapidly," which is an adverbial element.

The perfect participle denotes the completion of action, being, or state; as, seen, appointed.

This participle generally ends in d, ed, t, n, or en. It is frequently used as an adjective, but never as a noun, and is usually, but not always, found in compound forms of the verb.

Ex.--"He died, loved by all." "Her promise, made cheerfully, was kept faithfully." "I have written a letter." "You should have known better." "That house was built in 1780."

The compound participle denotes the completion of action, being, or state, at or before the time represented by the principal verb; as, "Having written the letter, he mailed it."

This participle is formed by placing having or having been before the perfect participle or before the present participle; as, "Having bought the horse, he went home." "The lessons having been recited, the school was dismissed." It may be used as a noun; as, "I am accused of having plotted treason." "He is charged with having been engaged in the slave trade."


Give the present perfect, and compound participles of the following verbs :

Rely, find, help, study, recite, inquire, answer, plow, cultivate, join, emulate, spell, grow, paint, resemble, hope, suffer, sit, see, go, come, lay, arrive, exhaust, enjoy, write, read, learn, ventilate.

Write five sentences, each containing a present participle.

Ex. — " Mary is studying her lesson."

Write five sentences, each containing a perfect participle.

Ex. — "I have learned my lesson." "The army, flushed with victory, marched onward."

Write five sentences, each containing a present and a perfect participle.


Ex. — "A boy playing on the seashore, found an oar lost from a boat."

Write five sentences, each containing a compound participle.

Ex. — "The notes having been paid, the mortgage was canceled."

Write five sentences, each containing a participial adjective.
Ex.—" Rolling stones gather no moss."

Write five sentences, each containing a participial noun. Ex. — "Skating is good exercise"; "Much depends upon his observing the rule."

Rule XII. — A participle belongs to some noun or pronoun.


1. A participle, and why?

2. From what verb is it derived?

3. Present, perfect, or compound, and why?

4. To what does it belong?

5. Rule.


I heard the wolves howling in the forest.

"Howling" is a participle: it partakes of the properties of a verb and of an adjective: it is derived from the verb "howl" : present; it denotes continuance: it belongs to " wolves." (Rule XII.)

Take this letter, written by myself.

"Written" is a participle: it is derived from the verb "write ": perfect; it denotes completion: it belongs to " letter." (Rule XII.)

The train having left, we returned home.

"Having left" is a participle: it is derived from the verb "leave": compound; it denotes the completion of an act before

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