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1.---Nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant add es, but do not increase the number of syllables : as, hero, heroes ; potato, potatoes ; mosquito, mosquitoes. The exceptions to this rule appear to be in such nouns as are not fully Anglicised; as, cantos, juntos, solos, etc. Other nouns in o add s only: as, folio, folios ; bamboo, bamboo8.
II.-Common nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant, change y into i, and add es, without increase of syllables: as, fly, flies ; duty, duties. Other nouns in y add s only: as, day, days; valley, valleys. So likewise proper names in y are sometimes varied; as, Henry, the Henrys.
III.—The following nouns in f, change f into v, and add es, for the plural: shcaf, leaf, loaf, beef, thief, calf, half, ef, shelf, self, wolf, wharf ; as, sheaves, leaves, etc. Life, lives ; knife, knives ; wife, wives ; are similar. Staff makes staves, though the compounds of staff are regular; as, fagstaff, flagstaffs. The greater number of nouns in f and fe, are regular; as, fifes, strifes, chiefs, griefs, gulfs, etc.
IV.—The following are still more irregular: man, men; woman, women; child, children; brother, brethren (or brothers]; foot, feet ; ox, oxen ; tooth, teeth ; goose, geese ; louse, lice ; mouse, mice; die, dice ; penny, pence. Dies - stamps, and pennies- coins, are regular.
V.-Many foreign nouns retain their original plural: as, arcanuma arcana; datum, datu ; erratum, errata ; effluvium, effluvia ; medium, media (or mediums] ; minutia, minutiæ ; stratum, strata ; stamen, stamina ; genus, genera ; genius, genië [geniuses, for men of wit]; magus, magi; radius, radii; appendir, appendices for appendixes) ; cult, calces ; index, indices (or indexes]; vortex, vortices ; axis, axes ; basis, bas48 ; crisis, crises ; thesis, theses ; antithesis, antitheses ; diære. sis, diæreses ; ellipsis, ellipses ; emphasis, emphases ; hypothesis, hypotheses ; metamorphosis, metamorphoses ; automaton, automata ; criterion, criteria (or criterions] ; phenomenon, plienomena ; cherub, cherubim ; seraph, seraphim ; beau, beaux (or beaus).
VI.-When a title is prefixed to a proper name so as to form a sort of compound, the name, and not the title, is varied to form the plural; as, The Miss Howards,—The two Mr. Clarks. But a title not regarded as a part of one compound name, must be made plural, if it refer to more than one; as, Messrs. Lambert and Son,—The Lords Calthorpe and Erskine,- The Lords Bishops of Durham and St. David's,—The Lords Commissioners of Justiciary.
VII.—Compounds in which the principal word is put first, vary the principal word to form the plural, and the adjunct to form the possessive case : as, Sing. father-in-law, Plur. fathers-in-law, Foss. father-inlaw's ;-Sing. court-martial, Plur. courts-martial, Poss. court-martial's. The possessive plural of such nouns is never used.
VIII.—Compounds ending in ful, and all those in which the principa word is put last, form the plural in the same manner as other nouns ; as, handfuls, spoonfuls, mouthfuls, fellow-servants, man-serrants, outpourings, ingatherings, downsittings.
IX.--Proper names of individuals, strictly used as such, have no plural; but when several persons of the same name are spoken of, the noun becomes in some degree common, and admits the plural form and an article ; as, The Stuarts, – The Casars. So likewise when such nouns are used to denote character ; as, “ The Aristotles, the Tullys, and the
Obs. 1. --Some nouns (from the nature of the things meant) have no plural; as, gold, pride, meekness.
OBS. 2.-Some nouns have no singular; as, ides, mensles, tidings, victuals, scissors, tongs, vespers, literati.
OBs. 3.-The proper names of nations and societies are generally plural; and, except in a direct address, they are usually construed with the definite article ; as, The Greeks, --The Jesuits.
Obs. 4.—Some nouns are alike in both numbers; as, sheep, deer, vermin, swine, hose, means, odds, news, species, series, apparatus. The following are sometimes construed as singular, but more frequently and more properly, as plural: alms, amends, pains, riches, ethics, mathematics, metaphysics, optics, politics, pneumatics, and other similar names of sciences. Bellows and gallows are properly alike in both numbers (as, “Let a gallows be made.”—Esther V., 14. “ The bellous are burned.”—Jer, vi., 29); but they have a regular plural in vulgar use. Bolus, fungus, isthmus, prospectus, and rebus, admit the regular plural.
OBs. 5.--Nouns of multitude, when taken collectively, generally admit the plural form ; as, meeting, meetings : but when taken distributively, they may have a plural signification without the form ; as, “The jury were convinced.”
OBs. 6.-When other parts of speech become nouns, they either want the plural, or form it regularly, like common nouns of the same endings; as,
"His affairs went on at sizes and serens." - Arbuthnot. “Some mathematicians have proposed to compute by twos; others, by fours ; others, by twelves.”_ Churchill. “Three fourths, nine tenths.”—Id. “ Time's takings and leavings.”- Barton. “The yeas and
"-Newspaper. “The ays and noes. - Ibid. " The ins and the outs."- Ibid. “ His ands and his ors."- Mott. " One of the buts." Porole. raising the mirth of stupids.”Steele.
Cenders. Cenders, in grammar, are inodifications that distinguish objects in regard to sex.
There are three genders: the masculine, the feminine, and the neuter,
The masculine gender is that which denotes persons or animals of the male kind; as, man, father, king.
The feminine gender is that which denotes persons or animals of the female kind; as, woman, mother, qucen.
The neuter gender is that which denotes things that are neither male nor female; as, pen, ink, paper.
Some nouns may be applied to either sex; as, cousin, frend, neighbor, parent, person, servant. Such nouns are usually said to be of the common gender. Sometimes the sex can be determined by the context.
Obs. — Gender is to be distinguished from sex, the latter being a distinction of animals; the former of words, in regard to the sex which they denote. There are obviously four classes of nouns in this regard : 1. The names of males; 2. The names of females ; 3. Names common to both ; and 4. Names of things without sex.-EDITOR.
The sexes are distinguished in three ways:
I. By the use of different names : as, bachelor, maid ; boy, girl ; brother, sister ; buck, doe ; bull, cow; cock, hen; drake, duck; earl, countess ; father, mother; friar, nun; gander, goose ; hart, roe; horse, möre; huxband, wife; king, queen ; lad, luss ; lord, lady; mun, woman ; master, mistress ; milter, spawner ; nephew, niece ; ram, ewe ; sloren, slut; son, daughter; stag, hind; eteer, heifer ; uncle, aunt ; wizard, witch.
II. By the use of different terminations : as, abbot, abbess ; administrator, administratrix ; adulterer, adulteress; bridegroom, bride ; caterer, cateres8 ; duke, duchess ; emperor, emperess or empress ; executor, executrix ; governor, governess ; hero, heroine ; landgrave, landgra. vine; margrave, margravine ; marquis, marchioness ; sorcerer, sorceress ; sultan, sultaness or sultana ; testator, testatric; tutor, tutoress or tutress ; widower, widow.
The following nouns become feminine by merely adding ess : baron, deacon, heir, host, jero, lion, mayur, patron, peer, poet, priest, prior, prophet, shepherd, viscount.
The following nouns become feminine by rejecting the last vowel and adding e88 : actor, ambassador, arbiter, benefactor, chanter, conductor, doctor, elector, enchanter, founder, hunter, idolator, inventor, prince, protector, songster, spectator, suitor, tiger, traitor, rotary.
III. By prefixing an attribute of distinction: as, cock-sparrow, hensparrow; man-servunt, maid-sercant; he-goat, she-goat ; male relations, female relations.
OBS. 1.--The names of things without life, used literally, are always of the neuter gender. But inanimate objects are often represented figuratively as having sex. Things remarkable for power, greatness, or sublimity, are spoken of as masculine ; as, the sun, time, death, sleep, fear, anger, winter, war. Things beautiful, amiable, or prolific, are spoken of as feminine; as, the moon, earth, nature, fortune, knowledge, hope, spring, pence.
OBS. 2.--Nouns of multitude, when they convey the idea of unity, or take the plural form, are of the neuter gender; but when they convey the idea of plurality without the form, they follow the gender of the individuals that compose the assemblage.
OBs. 3.- Creatures whose sex is unknown, or unnecessary to be regarded, are generally spoken of as neuter; as, “He fired at the deer, and wounded it.”-“If a man shall steal an ox or a sheep, and kill it or sell it,” etc. - Exodus xxii., 1.
Cases. Cases, in grammar, are modifications that distinguish the relations of nouns and pronouns to other words.
There are three cases : the nominative, the possessive, and the objective.
The nominative case is that form or state of a noun or pronoun, which usually denotes the subject of a finite verb: as, “ The boy runs; I run."
OBS.—A finite verb is a verb that may be used as the predicate verb in any simple proposition : as, “Fire burns ; ""Water flows.” In the sentence, “ He seemed to listen,” there are two verbs : seemed, a finite verb, and to listen, which is not a finite verb, because it could not form the predicate of any proposition.
The possessive case is that form or state of a noun or pronoun, which usually denotes the relation of property:
, as, “ The boy's hat; my hat.”
OBS. 1.-. The possessive case of nouns is formed, in the singular number, by adding to the nominative 8 preceded by an apostrophe ; and, in the plural, when the nominative ends in 8, by adding an apostrophe only : as, singular, boy's ; plural, boys';_sounded alike, but written differently.
OBS. 2.-Plural nouns that do not end in 8, usually form the possessive case in the same manner as the singular ; as, man's, men’8.
OBS. 3.—The apostrophe and 8 are sometimes added to mere characters, to denote plurality, and not the possessive case ; as, Two a's—three b's—four 9's. In the following example, they are used to give the sound of a verbal termination to words that are not properly verbs : “When a man in a soliloquy reasons with himself, and pro's and con's, and weighs all his designs,” etc. — Congreve.
The objective case is that form or state of a noun or pronoun, which usually denotes the object of a verb, participle, or preposition: as, “I know the boy; he knows me.”
OBS. –There are sometimes used in connection with a sentence, words that form no part of its structure. Such words are said to be independent. A noun or a pronoun may be independent in various ways:
1. The name of a person or thing addressed ; as John, when will you go ?”—“O ye of little faith !”
2. The name of a person or thing which is the subject of an exclamation; as, “ Alas, poor Yorick ! "
3. An expletive word, used merely to make the subject or object emphatic; as, “ The Spring—she is a blessed thing !"- Gad, a troop shall overcome him."
Such nouns and pronouns, although independent in state, require the form of the nominative case, and therefore, in parsing, should be said to be in that case. Interjections are always independent.
The Declension of Nouns. The declension of a noun is a regular arrangement of its numbers and cases.