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Rules of Government. XVIII.-A noun or a pronoun in the possessive case, is governed by the name of the thing possessed.
XIX.-Active-transitive verbs, and their imperfect and preperfect participles, govern the objective case.
XX.-Prepositions govern the objective case.
XXI.-The preposition to commonly governs the infinitive mood, and connects it to a finite verb, or some other part of speech.
Miscellaneous Rules. XXII.—The active verbs, bid, dare, feel, hear, let, make, need, see, and their participles, usually take the infinitive after them, without the preposition to.
XXIII.--A future contingency is best expressed by a verb in the subjunctive, present; and a mere supposition, with indefinite time, by a verb in the subjunctive, imperfect; but a conditional circumstance assumed as a fact, requires the indicative mood.
XXIV.-A noun or a pronoun is put in the nominative, when its case depends on no other word.
XXV.-Conjunctions connect either words or sentences. XXVI.-Interjections have no dependent construction.
OBs. 1.–Syntactical rules are limited to the construction of sentences, as separate portions of discourse ; the consideration of those principles and rules which regulate the combination of sentences into paragraphs, and these again into particular kinds of composition, is not comprised in the subject of grammar, but falls within the province of its kindred arts, rhetoric and logic.
OBS. 2.—Some of the rules here given embody the principles already presented in the definitions of etymology, and, owing to the paucity of inflections in English, are of little practical use in the construction of sentences.
OBS. 3.-Analysis and synthesis, or construction, should go together, the former illustrating and facilitating the latter, and giving accuracy in composition ; since it will be found that the pupils who have been trained to analyze sentences, becoming in this way familiar with their structure, and the relation of their parts, will have a clearer and fuller comprehension of language, as well as a more correct style of writing:
As the rules afford practical directions, a new class of exer. cises is here introduced, the correction of improper expressions, or false syntax, as usually called.
Under the twenty-six principal rules and their notes (sub. ordinate rules) and observations (showing various usages) are included the directions requisite to guide the pupil in the analysis, parsing, construction, and correction of sentences. These are classified according to the syntactical topics to which they respectively relate.
Rule 1.-Articles. Articles relate to the nouns which they limit; as, " At a little distance from the ruins of the abbey, stands an aged elm.”
Exceptions. 1. The definite article, used intensively, may relate to an adjective or adverb of the comparative or the superlative degree; as, “ A land which was the mightiest.”— Byron. “ The farther they proceeded, the greater appeared their alacrity.”—Dr. Johnson.
2. The indefinite article is sometimes used to give a collective meaning to an adjective of number ; as, " Thou hast a few names, even in Sardis.” – Revelation. “There are a thousand things which crowd into my memory.”-Addison.
Observations, 1. Articles often relate to nouns understood; as, “The (river) Thames.”—“Pliny the younger" [man).—“The honorable [body), the Legislature.”—“The animal [world] and the vegetable world.”—"Neither to the right [hand] nor to the left” [hand].—Bible. “He was a good man and a just" [man].-16.
2. When an adjective precedes the noun, the article is placed before the adjective, that its power may extend over that also; except the ad. jectives all, such, many, what, both, and those which are preceded by
the adverbs too, 80, as, or how ; as, “ All the materials were bought at too dear a rate.”—“Like many an other poor wretch, I now suffer all the ill consequences of so foolish an indulgence."
3. Articles, according to their own definition, belong before their nouns; but the definite article and an adjective seem sometimes to be placed after the noun to which they both relate; as, “Section the Fourth."--"Henry the Eighth.”
4. When the definite article is prefixed to comparatives and superlatives (exception first), the article has the force of an adverb.
5. The article the is sometimes elegantly used instead of a possessive pronoun; as, “Men who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.”
6. When an or a is put before an adjective of number (exception second), the adjective and the plural noun following it are taken together as a unit.
7. An or a has sometimes the import of each or every; as, “He came twice a year.” The article in this sense with a preposition unders stood, is preferable to the mercantile per, so frequently used ; as, "Fifty cents (for) a bushel,”—rather than, “per bushel."
8. A, as prefixed to participles in ing, or used in composition, is a preposition ; being, probably, the French a, signifying to, at, on, in, or of ; as, “They burst out a laughing."-M. Edgeworth.
“He is gone a hunting.”—“She lies a-bed all day.”—“He stays out a-nights.”“They ride out a-Sundays.” Shakspeare often uses the prefix a, and sometimes in a manner peculiar to himself; as, “Tom's a cold.”—"(t weary.' 9. An is sometimes used as a conjunction, signifying if ; as,
“Nay, an thou'lt mouthe, I'll rant as well as thou.”-Shak.
Notes, or Subordinate Rules. I.-—When the indefinite article is required, a should always be used before the sound of a consonant, and an, before that of a vowel ; as, “ With the talents of an angel, a man may be a fool.”— Young.
Exception.—Words commencing with h, and accented on the second syllable, require an instead of a; as, An historical essay.-An hexagonal figure.
II.—When nouns are joined in construction, without a close connection and common dependence, the article must be repeated; as, "She never considered the quality, but the merit of her visitors."
II.—When adjectives are connected, and the qualities belong to things individually different, though of the same name, the article should be repeated ; as, A black and a white horse;"—i.e., two horses, one black and the other white.
IV.-When adjectives are connected, and the qualities all belong to the same thing or things, the article should not be repeated ; as, "A black and white horse;"-i.e., one horse, piebald.
Obs. 1.-The reason of the two preceding notes is this ; by a repetition of the article before several adjectives in the same construction, a repetition of the noun is implied; but without a repetition of the article, the adjectives are confined to one and the same noun.
OBS. 2.-—To avoid a repetition, we sometimes, with one article, join inconsistent qualities to a plural noun; as, “The Old and New Testaments,”—for, “ The Old and the New Testament.” But the phrases, “The Old and New Testament,” and, “The Old and the New Testaments," are both obviously incorrect.
V.-The article should not be used before the names of virtues, vices, passions, arts or sciences; before simple proper names; or before any noun whose signification is sufficiently definite without it; as, “ Falsehood is odious.”—“ Iron is useful.”—“Beauty is vain.”
VI.- When titles are mentioned merely as titles, or names of things merely as names or words, the article should not be used ; as, “He is styled Marquis.”—“Ought a teacher to call his pupil Master ?”
VII.-In expressing a comparison, if both nouns refer to the same subject, the article should not be inserted ; if to different subjects, it should not be omitted ; thus, if we say, “He is a better teacher than poet,” we compare different qualifications of the same man; but if we say, “He is a better teacher than a poet,” we refer to different men.
VIII.-The definite article, or some other definitive word, is generally required before the antecedent to the pronoun who or which in a restrictive clause; as, “ The men who were pres. ent, consented."
IX.—The article is generally required in that construction which converts a participle into a verbal noun ; as, “ The triumphing of the wicked is short.”—" They shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”—Isaiah.
X.-The article should not be prefixed to a participle that is not taken in all respects as a noun ; as, “He mado a mistake in giving out the text." Not the giving out.
False Syntax. Correct the following sentences, and show in what way the rule is violated in each.
When the corrections aro made orally, the formules given may be used, in the judg. ment of the teacher, the chief object being kept in view, which is not to check the exercise of intelligence by mechanical repetition, but to exercise the critical faculty of the learner, and teach him to make a practical application of his knowledge of principles and rules.
EXAMPLE.-He went into an house.
FORMULE.-Not proper, because the article an is used before house, which begins with the sound of the consonant n. But, according to Note I., under Rule I., “ When the indefinite article is required, a should always be used before the sound of a consonant, and an before that of a vowel." Therefore, an should be a ; thus, He went into a house.