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I have told. to think, I thought, I have thought. to tread, I trod,
I have trodden. to understand, I understood, I have understood. to wear, I wore,
I have worn. to win,
I have won. to wind, I wound, I have wound. to write, I wrote,
I have written. 108. In most of the grammar books now in use, you will find a number of Verbs placed in the list of irregu• lars, which are not placed in the list which you have just read. But this number, of which to dare, to die, to burst, to burn, to dream, form a part, are all regular; and to place them in the list of irregulars, only adds to the labour of the student, without any advantage to him. Whenever a Verb can be made regular, without being highly disagreeaable to the ear, it should be ; for there is nothing like uniformity and regularity in language. Nothing like reducing matters to a system, in which, when you know how to form the variations of one Verb, you know how to form the variations of all. In the above list, is placed every Verb which is really irregu!ar. Indeed, there are some even in this, which may be used in the regular form; such as, to shoe, to show, to shear,
109. You will have to read this list over several times, so that you may be able readily to tell the past time, and passive participle of each Verb. There are a great many errors committed in writing and speaking, for want of attention to this matter. And this being the case, I hope you will see the necessity of close application, to prevent yourself from being numbered amongst the erring:
110. AUXILIARY VERBS. These are so called, be. cause they help other Verbs to express the meaning that is desired to be expressed. They are, to have, and to be, and do, and let. The two latter are of trifling importance, compared with the former. The auxiliary let is used in the present time, and only in the imperative mode; as, “let me write ; let them write; let her write." This let is the past time and passive participle of the Verb, to let. Do not confound the two. However, this let, as I said before, is not of much importance.
111. The auxiliary do, becomes in its past time did; and is part of the Verb to do, which in its past time is did, and in its passive participle, done. When used in the sense of to do, it is not an au xiliary, but a principal Verb. It then has the same meaning that to execute, or to perform has; as, “I do the job;" that is, I execute the job; or I perform the job. As an auxiliary or assistant, it is used to express in a forcible manner, whatever is affirmed or denied. Suppose a person would accuse you of not attending to your business; would you reply by saying, “I attend to my business ?” no, no ; you would endeavor to hunt up some word, or words, that would enable you to assert what you wished to, in a much stronger manner. You would say, “I do attend to my business.” And if the person that made the charge against you, were to deny what you asserted, he would say, you do not attend to your business," instead of saying, “ you attend not to your business.” In addition to the strength that this auxiliary gives to a sentence, you see it also marks the time; as, “ I do attend to my business," means, I attend to it, now. And, “ I did attend to
my business," means, I attended to it, and of course, at a time past. I hope you fully understand this difference between the auxiliary and the principal Verb. Do and did, as auxiliaries, are always used along with other Verbs; but as principals are used alone; as, “I do my own writing ;" that is, I execute or perform my own writing. “I do do my own writing;" that is, I do execute, or perform my own writing. The first do is an auxiliary, and the second a principal Verb.
112. We now come to the two great auxiliaries; to have and to be. These Verbs are of far more importance than any other two, in our language. They are principals, as well as auxiliaries. The Verb to have signifies possession;
“I have a book ;" that is, I possess a book. It carries this idea of possession with it, whether used as a principal Verb, or as an auxiliary. Though when used as a principal Verb, the possession is a great deal more strongly marked. . I have a fever;" I possess a fever; “I have a liking for him;" I possess a liking for him. Here have expresses exactly the same meaning that possess does ; and is far
When I say,
more euphoneous, and better suited to the genius of our language. As an auxiliary, this Verb is indispensably necessary in forming what are call the compound times of other Verbs; that is, times which are formed by the union of two or more Verbs. If I wished to tell you that I had just finished a letter to a friend, what do you think I would say? Would I say, I wrote a letter to him, I write a let. ter, or I will write a letter to him ? No, indeed; none of these times would do. I would be obliged to apply for assistance to the auxiliary have, and say, I have written a letter to him. In the past time, I had written, and in the future, I shall have written; and in the subjunctive mode, I may, might, could, would, or should have written. When the compound times are used, the speaker always has re. ference to what is, in some measure, a particular time.
'" I wrote,” why, my act of writing may have been done yesterday, or it may have been done ten years ago; there is no time more than that it is past, intimated. But when I say, “I have written,” the expression carries along with it, a reference to the present time, as well as the past. “I have written a letter,” that is, I have just now finished a letter. I could not say “I have written a letter yesterday;" I must say, “I wrote a letter yesterday.” I might say
• I have written a letter this morning;" but then the time in which I speak must be the morning. I could not say in the afternoon, I have written a letter, this morning ; no, no; this would not be English. In the past and future, the same reference is made to a particular time: “I had written a letter;" when ? why, at the time that something else was done, or at the time that some. thing else occurred. " I had written a letter when the news came;" “ I had written a letter when I received his
In the future, “I shall have written a letter ?” when ? why, before, or at a time, when something else is done. “ I will have written a letter before he arrives ;" “I will have written a letter by the time that he calls for me."
113. The three different examples that I have given you of these compound times, would, hy almost all grammarians, be considered as coming within the sphere of what they
call the Perfect Time, the Pluperfect Time, and the Second Future Time. These times might, with much more propriety, be called the Present Compound Time, the Past Compound Time, and the Future Compound Time. But even this classification is unnecessary; and not only un. necessary, but mischievous; inasmuch as it tends to deter any person who may look into a grammar from com. mencing the reading thereof, when he sees the great num. ber of distinctions that are made, and the consequent memory work that will be required. This short sighted work, is moreover, positively injurious to the minds of the pupils ; who, after much time spent, get their heads filled with senseless, or, at least, never explained names. All these they get by rote, and without any effort of mind. Once in the practice of chaunting over the reading of their studies, with this total disregard of the meaning which the words are intended to convey, they soon extend the practice, until finally the whole book is studied in the way that the conjugations and the names are ; and as a consequence of this, after they have repeated lesson after lesson, and read and re-read, and read again the grammar, they possess just about as much really useful grammatical knowledge, as they did before they ever looked into a book.
114. All the differences that exist between these compound times and the simple times, are made by the intro. duction of the Verb to have; and if you fully understand the conjugation of this Verb (which will presently be given) you will never err.
115. To be, when used as a principal Verb, or as an auxiliary, signifies existence. To be in Baltimore, to be at home, to be honest, to be moral, mean, to exist in Balti. more, at home, in honesty, in morality. In forming its compound times, this Verb requires the help of the Verb to have; as, he has been, he had been, he shall have been. As an auxiliary it is used with the participles of other Verbs. Thus : "lo be studying ; I am studying ; it is studied." You recollect that to be means to exist; and therefore the phrases in the example last given, mean, to exist studying; I exist studying; it exists studied. This Verb and the Verb to have, are used together as auxiliaries to some princi.
Singular Slf I have, or may, might, could, would, or should have.
pal Verb; as “I have been walking; I have been reading ; I have been misrepresented." The full meaning of these is, I possessed existence walking; I possessed existence reading ; I possessed existence misrepresented, or in a misrepresented state.
116. Presuming that you have carefully read, and there. fore fully understand, all that has been said relative to these two constantly used Verbs, I will now give you the complete conjugation of both :
We have. Time. 2d Person. Thou hast,
You have. 3d Person, He, she, or it has, They have. Past 1st Person. I had,
We had, Time. 2d Person, Thou hadst,
You had. 3d Person. He, she, or it had. They had. Future
1st Person. I shall, or will have, We shall or will have. Time. Thou shalt, or wilt have,
You shall or will have. 2 He, she, or it, shall or will have. They shall or will have.
If thou have, or may
have. have. have. have. have.
Let me have,
Let us have.
Let them have.