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18. ADJECTIVES. The word Adjective, in its literal sense, means something added. And words of this part of speech are added to Nouns, to express something relating to them; which something could not be expressed without the help of Adjectives. For example: You have several kinds of apples; some are red, some are yellow, some are large, and some are small. I will say to you,
give me an apple." Upon which you will ask, “which kind will you have ?" and I will answer, “ I will be obliged to you for a large, yellow, apple.” You see that the words large, and yellow, are here added to the Noun, in order to express something relating to it. These words are therefore Adjectives.
19. Adjectives always express some property, some quality, or some peculiar circumstance belonging to the Noun to which they relate. You can easily distinguish them from Nouns; because if you say man, you have an idea of something that has an existence; you have a complete understanding. The word is independent of all others; that is, it does not require the help of any other word to make sense with it. But if you use an Adjective alone, you have no idea of any thing that has an existence; for instance: “large." Here you have no idea of any thing that exists. You may have, to be sure, an idea of the largeness, but then this largeness is a noun. Neither is there any sense, nor independence in the word; for it is dependent upon something else to follow in order to make sense with it: Thus if you put the word man, after large, the sense is complete; as, “a large man. 20. VERBS. Grammarians generally say, that “
a Verb is a word which signifies to do, to be, or to suffer.” This is what one might call “a cut and come again” expla. nation. Many think that “ brevity is the soul of wit ;" but I think that it is much oftener the cloak of ignorance. Persons do not themselves understand what they undertake to write about; and therefore they muster up something that will be very forcible in the sound ; something that will be very pointed, and “pretty," as they say ; something that will “ tickle the ear," without giving a particle of information to the understanding; something in which the sense will be completely swallowed up in the
noise that is made; something under which the poor student must groan and sweat, and at last sink down without being able to accomplish what he undertook. He however, at the same time, declaring his full conviction of the beauty and depth of the explanation, if he had only pene. tration enough to see the bottom of it. And thus converting the author's want of capacity to write intelligibly into veiled profundity; and giving him credit for thorough knowledge of his subject, when, could the artful covering be removed, nothing but the most naked ignorance would be seen!
21. The word VERB, is derived by the English from the French, and by the French from the Latin. It means word, and nothing more. You recollect, that Nouns are any things which have an existence. Now it would be folly to suppose that these things could have an existence, without doing something, or without being in some state or situation. Words must therefore be used to express the doings of the Nouns, and the states in which they are; and Verbs are these words. For example: “George strikes; George sleeps,” Here “strikes” expresses the action of the Noun, “ George ;” and “sleeps" expresses the state in which the same Noun is. Be particular to bear in mind, then, that Verbs express the actions, movements and states of being of all Nouns, whether animate, or inanimate; for a clear understanding with regard to this part of speech, is of the greatest importance to you.
22. ADVERBS are called so, because they are added to verbs. The use of the words of this part of Speech, will not, however, fully justify the name that has been given them. They are frequently added to verbs; but they are also frequently used in other ways. You know that Verbs express actions, movements, and states of being; and Adverbs are frequently used to express the manner of these actions, movements, and states of being. For exam. ple: “The man epeaks distinctly; he thinks deeply; he sits quietly." If all Adverbs were used in the same way that those in this example are, the name that has been given to them, would be exceedingly appropriate. But there are many Adverbs, which are not added to Verbs; and
which therefore do not express the manner of actions, movements, or states of being. Here is an instance: “ If you determine to go there, to-morrow, let me know, early, in order that I may be fully prepared, when you call for me." Here are six Adverbs, not one of which expresses the manner of an action; and none but the fully" connected with a Verb. This proves that the name given to this part of Speech, though suitable in many instances, is not so in all.
23. However, as the name seems to be as expressive as any I could give, and perhaps more so, I shall not attempt to alter it. But you must bear constantly in mind, that there are Adverbs of time, of place, of extent, of order, of quality, and of manner; and that their rise, their only use, is to express something in addition to all that is expressed by the Verbs, Adjectives, Nouns, and Pronouns. In the above sentence, for example, the words there, tomorrow, early, in order, fully, and when, express some. thing in addition to what is expressed by the other Parts of Speech. They serve to explain ; and explanation is the chief object of all Adverbs.
24. PREPOSITIONS. The name which is given to this Part of Speech is derived from two Latin words, pre, BEFORE, and position, PLACE. So that these words called Prepositions, are, in most cases, placed before Nouns, and Pronouns. For example: “The Andes are the greatest chain of mountains in the world. They extend from one end of South America to the other; that is, more than four thousand miles. They are four miles in height; and though they are, for the most part, situated in hot lati. tudes, their tops have been found, by those who have ascended thereto, to be covered with snow in the midst of summer. At the base, the climate is that of Congo, and at the summit that of Greenland."
25. You see that in this paragraph the words, in, from, of, to, for, by, with, at, are all placed before Nouns and Pronouns; and are therefore all Prepositions.
26. CONJUNCTIONS, are used to conjoin or join together words and parts of sentences, and even whole sen. tences ; thus : 6 George and Thomas must read carefully
all that they find in this book; for if they do not, they will not make much progress. Besides, grammar is a study, that requires reflection to make it pleasing. And therefore, if they wish to receive instruction, and at the same time pleasure, they must not only pay attention, but they must think."
27. You see that the word and, conjoins “George and Thomas; and by means of this junction makes all the succeeding words of the paragraph apply to both. The words for and if, the first of which is sometinies a Conjunction, though it is oftener a Preposition, serve to connect the second member of the sentence with the first. The words besides, and and, commencing the second and third sentences, connect these sentences with the first; and make what is said in them apply to what is said in the first. The last if performs an office similar to that which the first one performs; the last and joins pleasure to instruction; and the word but connects the two things which must be done; and at the same time adds force to what is asserted.
28. INTERJECTIONS are used for the purpose, which persons examining into their name would suppose they would be. Inter, in Latin, means between; and jection, in the same language, means something thrown. So that Interjections are SOMETHING THROWN BETWEEN the words of a sentence. They can scarcely be called words, for they have no definite meaning. They are mere sounds. They are mostly used to express sorrow, contempt, or surprise. They are Ah! Oh! Alas! Alack! Bah! Fudge! Fie! Poh! Hist! and some others. They are of very little consequence, and it is folly to make a Part of Speech of them; but yet as no positive harm can result from calling them a Part of Speech, I have followed the classification of other grammarians.
29. You have now had a description of all the Parts of Speech. And though that description is necessarily brief, you will find it expressive, and capable of affording you, with reflection, much of the information which you desire. But, in order to impress more fully upon your mind, that
which it is all-important you should clearly understand, I will here give you a quintessential recapitulation of all that I have said.
30. You recollect that there are but two Articles ; a or an, and the ; that the Noun is the name of any thing that exists ; that the Pronoun stands for the Noun; that the Adjective expresses the quality, or property, or appearance of the Noun; that the Verb expresses the action, or movement, or state of being of the Noun; that the Adverb generally expresses the manner of this action, or movement of the Noun; that the Preposition is placed before the Noun,-principally to show the relationship which this Noun bears to some other Noun; that the Conjunction conjoins the Noun, in most cases, to some other Noun, or word; and that the Interjection, though a mere noise, ex. presses the feelings of the Noun; or the feelings which that Noun causes another to experience.
31. Thus you see that the Noun is the great ruler of all the other parts of Speech; that they are all subject to it; and that they all merely go to express something relating to it! Now, this is an important matter; and something that you will find in no other work on grammar.
32. Let me now give you a sentence in which you will find all the parts of speech fulfilling in succession, their different functions : “ The labouring man toils incessantly; but to him, alas! little of the fruits of his labour goes."
33. Just look at what is said in paragraph 30, and then look at the words in Italic letters in paragraph 32, and see if you do not find each of these words, performing the part that is assigned to it. You see that, the is an Article ; labouring is an Adjective; man is a Noun ; toils is a Verb; incessantly is an Adverb; but is a Conjunction; to is a Preposition; him is a Pronoun; and alas is an Interjection. If you will only read over carefully several times, the three last paragraphs, you will be able to distinguish, in nearly every instance, the different Parts of Speech. And by way of cxercising yourself, just take any sentence which you will find in this book, and dissect it, like an