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§ 135. The indicative mode declares or denies something, or asks a question; as, “The boy studies;” “He may, can, or might study;” “What is the greatest good?” REMARK. The indicative mode is known by the sense, or by its asking a question. § 136. The subjunctive mode denotes a doubtful or conditional action or state; as, “If Igo;” “If I may, can, might, or must go;” “If he shall go.” REMARK. Conjunctions that denote doubt, as, if though, wnless, except, etc., are signs of the subjunctive mode. § 137. The infinitive mode denotes an action or state generally, without limiting it to any person or thing as its subject or actor; as, to run, to labor, to be.
REMARK. To prefixed to the verb, is the sign of the infinitive mode.
§ 138. The imperative mode is used to command, exhort, entreat, or permit; as, depart thou, stay thou, go in peace.
REMARK 1. The imperative mode is known by its agreeing with thou, ye, or you, expressed or implied. The subject nominative of verbs in the imperative mode, is not generally expressed.
REM. 2. A verb in the imperative mode has only the present tense, though, from its nature, it has reference to the future.
EXERCISES FOR DISTINGUISHING DIFFERENT MODES. John loved, if he walks, provided he reach, to run, to be, to have been, go, study, obey. Which of the preceding verbs are of the indicative mode? Which, of the subjunctive 2 Which, of the infinitive? Which, of the imperative?
FIRST COURSE. Define the indicative mode. The subjunctive mode. The infinitive mode. The imperative mode. SECOND COURSE. How is the indicative mode known? What conjunctions are signs of the subjunctive mode? When to is prefixed to a verb, what is it the
sign of" How is the imperative mode known ; How many tenses has the imperative mode 3
§ 139. Tenses denote the times of the action or state expressed by the verb.
REMARK. A general division of time is the present, past, and future; but in order to mark the times of actions or states wnore specifically, it is made to consist of six variations, or Senses.
$ 140. The six tenses, are the present, the imperfect, the perfect, the pluperfect, the first and second futures.
REMARK. The division of the tenses has occasioned grammarians much trouble and perplexity. The one adopted in this treatise, is used in most grammars, and probably is as correct as it can be made without increasing very much their number. This, in a treatise on the elementary principles, I think is inexpedient; for thus the subject would become more complicated, and less adapted to the capacity of the young student. Moreover, innovations should be avoided, unless they promise some real good. I shall comprehend in the remarks under the definition of each tense, all that I should attempt to illustrate by a multiplication of the tenses.
$ 141. The present tense denotes a present action or state, or a possible, conditional, or necessary present action or state; as, “The boy reads,” he may, can, might, could, would, or should read. “If he reads,” if he can, might, could, would, or should read; “James must study.”
REMARK 1. The above definition is given to it, because it suits not only the meaning of verbs in the indicative, but also those in the other modes. The definitions, usually, are suited only to the meaning of verbs in the indicative mode. In the
What are tenses? How many tenses are there? What does the present tense denote? SECOND COURSE. How many general divisions of time are there? Has the division of tenses occasioned grammarians any difficulty 7 What reasons are there for adopting the definition given to the present tense?
proposition, “The boy reads,” a positive action is affirmed by the verb reads. But if we prefix to the same verb the auxiliary can, a widely different meaning is expressed. Not a positive, but a possible action is denoted. The proposition does not affirm that the boy actually reads, but that he is able, or, that it is possible for him to read. So in the proposition, I am, a real state is affirmed; but in the sentence, I can, might, could, would, or should be, not a real but a possible state is declared. The subjunctive mode does not affirm a positive action or state, but simply a conditional or supposed action or state, and therefore the common definition of the present tense is not suited to a verb of this mode. “James would have excelled Charles in knowledge, if he had been placed in equally favorable circumstances.” In this sentence, the last verb, had been placed, denotes a conditional action. Substitute had been for had been placed, and there will be expressed a conditional state. “William must obey wholesome rules.” Here the auxiliary gives to the verb obey a meaning of necessity. For such considerations, the terms possible, conditional, and necessary are given in the definition of the present tense. The same terms, for the same reasons, may be included in the definition of the imperfect, and the term conditional in the perfect, pluperfect, first and second futures. REM. 2. The present tense sometimes denotes a specific time of action or state which corresponds with the time of another action or state; as, I am writing, while you are studying. REM. 3. The present tense often denotes general facts, truths, habits, and customary actions, as existing without any reference to specific time; as, God is good; Man is frail : Trees grow ; Birds fly; Waves roll; He walks every morning ; He visits the country every summer. It is also sometimes applied to persons who are dead, but whose works remain; as, “Seneca moralizes well;” “David mourns deeply for his sins.” REM. 4. “The present tense in the subjunctive,” when it is followed by a member containing a verb in the future indicative, and also in the other modes when preceded by as soon as, after, before, till, or when, generally refers to a future ac
Does the present tense ever denote a specific time of action ? What does the present tense often denote % When does the present tense refer to a future action or state of
tion or state; as, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love,” John XV. 10; “As soon as he arrives, I shall see him;” “Before he goes I shall give him some advice;” “He will doubtless call upon me, after he arrives.” REM. 5. To render descriptions more animated, the present tense is used for the imperfect; as, “They dismount, they fly forward to the contest;” “As he lay, indulging himself in state, he sees, let down from the ceiling, a glittering sword, hung by a single hair.” REM. 6. The present tense is used sometimes to denote man's entire state of probation, when contrasted with a future state; as, “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face,” 1 Cor. xiii. 12; -
REM. 7. The present tense of the infinitive mode denotes an action or state, present, past, or future, in reference to the time of the verb upon which it depends; as, I study to improve ; I studied to improve. REM. 8. The present infinitive, depending upon a substantive verb in the indicative mode and present tense, sometimes denotes future time; as, “Wirtue is to triumph;” “Ferdimand is to command the army;” “I am going to write.” REM. 9. Those tenses which denote time definitely, are formed by annexing the present participle of an active verb to the verb to be, or some of its variations. REM. 10. The present tense is sometimes used conditionally without a conjunction; as, “Should some still doubt whether any theory of vocal inflections can be adopted which shall not be perplexing, and on the whole injurious, especially to the young, I answer that the same doubt may as well be extended to every department of practical knowledge.”— Porter's Rhet. Reader, page 18.
SECOND Course. Why is the present tense sometimes used for the perfect? Does the present tense ever denote an entire state of probation 1 What does the resent tense of the infinitive mode denote? What does the present in§. depending upon a substantive verb in the indicative mode, prestense, denote? How are those tenses formed which denote time
ent .." Is the present tense ever used conditionally without a conjunction
$142. The imperfect tense denotes a past action or state, or a possible, conditional, or necessary past action or state, without defining the time of its occurrence; as, “God created the world;” “Rome was.”
REMARK 1. The author is aware that the term imperfect is not used above according to its etymological import, yet general use may sanction its adoption.
REM. 2. The imperfect tense sometimes denotes the specific time of past actions or states; as, “I was standing in the door when the procession passed by.”
REM. 3. Sometimes the time of an action or state is made definite by adverbs of time that modify the verb; as, “I saw my friend yesterday.”
§ 143. The perfect tense denotes a past action or state, or a conditional past action or state, and conveys an allusion to the present time; as, “I have attained my object;” “I have seen the person who was recommended to me.”
REMARK 1. When a verb in the perfect tense is modified by an adverb or noun denoting time, this tense denotes the time of an action or state definitely; as, “I have been reading today;” “I have just finished my letter.” REM. 2. When a verb in the perfect tense is not modified by an adverb or noun denoting time, the time of the action or state is not definitely specified; as, “I have accomplished my purpose.” REM. 3. This tense sometimes denotes a continued action or state; as, “My brother has lived twenty years.” REM. 4. This tense is sometimes used to denote the time of an action or state long since past, if we connect that time with
In this grammar, is the imperfect tense used according to its etymological import Does the imperfect tense ever denote the specific time of past action ? Give examples. How is the time of an action sometimes made definite 3. When does the perfect tense denote the time of an action definitely? When is it indefinite * Does the perfect tense ever denote a continued action or state? Give examples. Does it ever denote time long since past? Give examples.