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Faults.-The ideas are not well arranged. Certain words, curious, it, etc., are repeated in close succession. There are too many short sentences coming together, making the style unpleasant. There are repetitions of the same thought, in the first and last sentences; and there are mistakes in capitals and punctuation. Some of the words are ill-chosen, and there are slang expressions.
In the following these faults are corrected.
The owl is a curious bird. It has large eyes like those of a cat; and during the day, it hides away in dark places, because it is not able to bear the dazzling light of the sun. At night it flies about, seeking its prey, which consists of birds, mice, moles, insects, etc. There are several kinds of owls, as the eagle owl, the screech owl, and the cat owl. Some of these birds are quite large. The hooting of an owl at night is a very dismal sound ; and once, when I heard a screech owl in the woods, I was really frightened, for I did not know what it was.
Did you ever hear an owl hoot?
Write a similar composition on each of the following subjects. The Horse. The Cow. The Eagle. The Camel. The Elephant. The Lion. The Ostrich. The Canary Bird. The Mocking Bird. The Crow.
An adjective is a word added to a noun or pronoun, and generally expresses quality.
Classes. Adjectives may be divided into six classes; namely, common, proper, numeral, pronominal, participial, and compound.
A common adjective is any ordinary epithet, or adjective denoting quality or situation; as, Good, bad, peaceful, warlike---eastern, western, outer, inner.
A proper adjective is one that is formed from a proper name; as, American, English, Platonic:
A numeral adjective is one that expresses a definite number; as, One, two, three, four, five, six, etc.
OBS.-Numeral adjectives are of three kinds :
1. Cardinal; as, One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, etc.
2. Ordinal; as, First, second, third, fourth, filth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, etc.
3. Multiplicative; as, Single or alone, double or twofold, triple or threefold, quadruple or fourfold, quintuple or fivefold, sextuple or sixfold, septuple or sevenfold, octuple or eightfold, etc.
A pronominal adjective is a definitive word which may either accompany its noun, or represent it understood; as, “All [men] join to guard what cach (man] desires to gain."
OBs. 1.—The following are the principal pronominal adjectives: All, any, both, certain, divers, each, either, else, enough, every, few, former, first, latter, last, little, less, least, much, many, more, most, neither, no or none, one, only, other, own, same, several, some, such, this, that, these, those, which, what.
OBS. 2.--A pronominal adjective, as the name implies, partakes of the nature of a pronoun, and may be considered as representing the noun, when not expressed, and therefore as having the modifications of a noun. Sometimes, however, the noun may be supplied.
A participial adjective is one that has the form of a participle, but differs from it by rejecting the idea of time; as, An amusing story.
OBS.--A participial ad:ective is a participle used as an adjective. As a participle it conveys the idea of time; as, “The sun rising, darkness is dispelled.” That is, When the sun rises. But as an adjective it expresses quality or condition; as, “The rising sun dispels the darkness.”
A compound adjective is one that consists of two or more words joined together; as, Nut-brown, laughterloving, four-footed.
Excercise. Classify the adjectives in the following, and state to what sub-class each of the numeral adjectives belongs :
Brave soldiers. Innocent children. Beautiful pictures. The Frencb army. The Copernican system. A charming prospect. A loving son. A detested crime. The lowing herd. The triple alliance. Fifty cents. Wholesome food. Luscious fruit. An inner apartment. Outer dark
A coal-black horse. The sixteenth century. An old-fashioned clock. Many persons. Much difficulty. A Grecian fable. The Pla. tonic system.
A fresh-looking maid. Double length. A beloved child. Torturing anxiety. A sharp-witted boy.
Modifications. Adjectives have, commonly, no modifications but the forms of comparison.
OBS.—This and that are modified so as to agree with their nouns in number, thus: this, these ; that, those.
Comparison is a variation of the adjective, to express quality in different degrees; as, hard, harder, hardest.
There are three degrees of comparison : the positive, the comparative, and the superlative.
The positive degree is that which is expressed by the adjective in its simple form; as, hard, soft, good.
The comparative degree is that which exceeds the positive; as, harder, softer, better.
The superlative degree is that which is not exceeded; as, hardest, softest, best.
Those adjectives whose signitication does not admit of different degree, cannot be compared; as, two, second, all, total, immortal, infinite.
Those adjectives which may be varied in sense, but not in form, are compared by means of adverbs; as, skillful, more skillful, most skillful-skillful, less skillful, least skillful.
OBS.-Adjectives of more than one syllable, except dissyllables ending in y or mute e, rarely admit a change of termination, but are rather compared by means of the adverbs. Thus we say, virtuous, more virtuous, most virtuous ; but not virtuous, virtuouser, virtuousest.
Regular Comparison. Adjectives are regularly compared, when the comparative degree is expressed by adding er, and the superlative, by adding est to them ; as, Positive.
The regular method of comparison is chiefly applicable to monosyllables, and to dissyllables ending in y or mute e.
Comparison by Adverbs. The different degrees of a quality may also be expressed, with precisely the same import, by prefixing to the adjective the adverbs more and most : as, wise, more wise, most wise ; famous, more famous, most famous ; amiable, more amiable, most amiable.
The degrees of diminution are expressed, in like manner, by the adverbs less and least : as, wise, less wise, least wise ; famous, less famous, least famous ; amiable, less amiable, least amiable.
OBS. –The prefixing of an adverb can hardly be called a variation o: the adjective: the words may with more propriety be taken separately, the degree being ascribed to the adverb, or to both words; for both are varied in sense by the inflection of the former.
Irregular Comparison. The following adjectives are compared irregularly : good, better, best ; bad or ill, worse, worst ; little, less, least ; much, more, most ; many, more, most.
Most adjectives that denote place or situation, not only form the superlative irregularly, but are also either redundant or defective in compari
Thus:I.-The following nine have more than one superlative: far, farther, farthest, farmost or farthermost ; neur, nearer, nearest or next ; fore, former, foremost or first; hind, hinder, hindmost or hindermost ; in, inner, inmost or innermost ; out, outer or utter, outmost or utmost, outermost or uttermost; up, upper, upmost or uppermost ; loin, lower, lowest or lowermost; late, later or latter, latest or last.
II. —The following five want the positive: [aft, adv.] after, aftmost or aftermost ; [forth, adv.] further, furthest or furthermost; hither, hithermost; nether, nethermost; under, undermost.
III.— The following want the comparative: front, frontmost ; rear, rearmost; head, headmost; end, endmost ; top, topmost ; bottom, bottommost; mid or middle, midst, midmost or middlemost ; north, northmost; south, southmost; northern, northernmost; southern, southernmost ; eastern, easternmost ; western, westernmost.
OBS. 1.-It may be remarked of the comparatives, former and latter or hinder, upper and under or nether, inner and outer or utter, after and hither ; as well as of the Latin superior and inferior, anterior and posterior, interior and exterior, prior and ulterior, senior and junior, major and minor; that they cannot, like other comparatives, be construed with the conjunction than, introducing the latter term of comparison ; for we never say, one thing is formor, superior, etc., than another.
OBS. 2.-Pronominal adjectives, when their nouns are expressed, simply relate to them, and have no modifications: except this and that, which form the plural these and those ; much, many; and a few others, which are compared.
Exercise. Compare such of the following adjectives as can be compared, regularly, irregularly, or by means of adverbs, as each may require : -
Clear, obscure, certain, full, probable, possible, clever, sagacious, weary, hard, awkward, amiable, new, old, general, perfect, able, graceful, little, much, many, virtuous, bad, rear, middle, low, late, after, universal, distinct, thoughtless, willful, cautious, negligent, discreet, inconsiderate, unquestionable, vague, correct, immortal.