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times called star dust. 4. I saw two (plural of Mrs. Jackson). 5. He called at (possessive of Steele the banker). 6. The (plural of Jones) were all there. 7. The (possessive singular of boy) slate was broken. 8. She is reading in her (possessive of sister Susan) book. 9. The (possessive plural of man) wages should be paid promptly. 10. He studied in (possessive of O. B. Pierce) Grammar. 11. He has (plural of octavo, quarto, and folio) among his books. 12. There are three (plural of chimney) on that house. 13. We regard them as singular (plural of phenomenon).


(Review Lesson XXIV, page 30)

The "quality words" are called descriptive adjectives, because they describe by denoting some quality. The "number words" and "pointing-out words" do not denote quality. They are called definitive adjectives.

This is a good book.
What is "good"? Why? What kind? Why?

These two books are mine.
What are "these" and "two "? Why? What kind? Why?

Every man can do some good.
What are "every" and "some "? Why? What kind? Why?


Adjectives may be divided into two general classes: descriptive and definitive.


A descriptive adjective limits or describes a noun by denoting some quality belonging to it.

Ex. — A round table, a square table, a sour apple, a sweet apple, zgooal boy, a bad boy, an Italian sunset, twinkling stars, thick-warbled songs.

Words commonly used as other parts of speech, sometimes perform the office of descriptive adjectives, and should be parsed as such.

Ex. — A gold ring, a silver cord, the California pine, a make-believe patriot, double-distilled nonsense. "The West is as truly American, as genuinely Jonathan, as any other part of our country."

An adjective is frequency limited by a word joined to it by a hyphen. The compound term thus formed is called a compound adjective, and should be parsed as a single word.

Ex. — A high-sounding title, an ill-matched pair.

Adjectives derived from verbs are called participial adjectives. They are usually placed before the nouns which they modify.

Ex. —" We walked across a plowed field, and soon came to the flowing spring."

When a descriptive adjective represents a noun understood, or not expressed, the article must be prefixed; as, " The wise are provident"; "The good are happy." Adjectives thus used should be parsed as adjectives used as nouns.

Tell which of the adjectives in the following sentences are descriptive, and which are compound and participial:

1. The unfortunate man was a hard-working mechanic. 2. The fields looked beautiful. 3. English books are costly. 4. The howling storm is past. 5. The soil is very productive. 6. The water falls into a marble basin. 7. I prefer a New England winter to an Australian summer.


A definitive adjective limits or defines the application of a noun without expressing any of its qualities.


Ex. — The Ohio, that man, three dollars, the third seal, a twofold reference. "All men are mortal." "Each soldier received his pay."

Definitive adjectives are divided into three classes: articles, pronominal adjectives, and numeral adjectives.


"The" is called the definite article, because it definitely points out the object which it defines or restricts; as, "The book is on the table"; "The horse ran over the bridge."

"A" or "an" is called the indefinite article, because it defines or restricts in an indefinite or general manner; as, "A book is on a table "; "A horse ran over a bridge."

"An " should be used before words beginning with a vowel sound; "A," before words beginning with a consonant sound. They are spoken of as one article, because they are merely an earlier and a later form of the same word.

An article sometimes limits not a noun alone, but a noun as limited by other words; as, " The old men retired early; the young men remained until midnight." The article here limits the complex ideas "old men" and "young men." "An early spring is no sign of a fruitful season." The article limits the complex ideas "early spring," "fruitful season."


Pronominal adjectives are definitives, most of which may, without an article prefixed, represent a noun understood; as, all men, each soldier, yonder mountain.

They are: this, that, these, those, former, latter, both, same, yon, yonder, all, any, another, certain, divers, enough, few, little, many, much, no, none, one, own, other, several, some, sundry, which, whichever, whichsoever, what, whatever, whatsoever, each, every, either, neither.

"This" (plural "these") distinctly points out an object as near in place or time; as, " This desk and these books."

"That" (plural "those") distinctly points out an object as not near, or not so near as some other object; as, " That desk and those books."

In speaking of two objects, that should refer to the former, and this to the latter; as, " These horses are larger than those.''

"Former" and " latter" are used to designate which of two objects previously mentioned is referred to; as, "The cry of danger to the Union was raised to divert their assaults upon the Constitution. It was the latter, and not the former, which was in danger."

There are four pronominal adjectives which represent objects taken separately. They are each, every, either, and neither.

"Each" can be applied to one of two or any greater number; as, "Each warrior drew his battle blade "; "Useless each without the other."

"Every" denotes all taken separately; as, "They received every man a penny"; "Every person in the room was astonished."

"Either" should be applied to one of two objects only; as, "Either of the two roads leads to town "; "You may have either house."

"Neither" means not either; as, "Which of the two shall I take? both? one? or neither?"

Select the pronominal adjectives from the following:

1. Both forts were taken. 2. That is the same man we saw yesterday. 3. Yonder mountain is a volcano. 4. All men are mortal.'; 5. Have you any wheat to sell? 6. He took another road. 7. "And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites." 8. They performed divers miracles. 9. "Enough has been said already." 10. "Many shall be called, but few chosen." n. "A little learning is a dangerous thing."—Pope. 12. "Many men of many minds." — Shakespeare.

13. There is much wealth in this town. 14. "Ye shall flee when none pursueth you." 15. They love one another (each person loves the other). 16. I love my own home. 17. Several victories were gained. 18. "I'll kiss each several paper for amends." 19. I have bought some books. 20. He has sundry parcels.



Numeral adjectives are those which express number and order definitely; as, four, two hundred twenty-nine, fourth, fourfold.

They are divided into three classes: cardinal, ordinal, and multiplicative.

Cardinal numerals denote simply the number of objects; as, two, thirteen, fifty, a thousand, three million six hundred ninety-nine.

Ordinal numerals mark the position of an object in a. series; as, second, thirteenth, fiftieth, the thousandth, the sixty-first.

Multiplicative numerals denote how many fold; as twofold, fourfold.


1. When such, many, only, but, and not are followed by the indefinite article a or an, the phrases such a, many a, etc., limit singular nouns; as, "If you repay me not on such a day "; "Many a time "; "He is but a man "; "Not a drum was heard." These phrases may be parsed as single words.

2. Each other and one another are sometimes called reciprocals, because they are reciprocally related; as, "They mutually assist each' other "; "They help one another." Parse " each" and " one " as adjectives used as nouns, in apposition with "they" taken distributively; i.e. as representing a number of individuals taken separately. Use "each" in referring to two individuals, and " one " in referring to more than two. Parse "other" and " another" as adjectives used as nouns in the objective case after the verbs that precede them.

3. Adjectives which vary in form to denote number, should agree in that property with the nouns they limit. Say, "this sort," not "these sort."


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