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ENGLISH GRAMMA R.
1. Make a table of the plural forms of nouns, and
account for the exceptional forms. 2. What is meant by the cases of a noun ? Give in
stances of the use of cases in the personal and
relative pronouns. 3. Explain what you mean by moods and tenses in the
verb. Show •what real tenses the English verb has, and how its deficiences of inflexion are supplied.
1. Enumerate some of the principal prefixes and affixes
used in the English language, distinguishing, as far as you can, those of Saxon from those of Latin
origin. 2. Enumerate the principal figures of speech, giving
instances. 3. Explain the origin of the words civil-urbane
artificial individual -- thoroughfare-gangwayMiddlesex.
1. On what do the number and person of the verb
depend in a sentence? Give examples.
2. What parts are there in every proposition? Can
any two of these parts be included in a single
word ? Give instances. 3. What is a principal, and what an accessory sentence?
Give an example.
1. Parse the following sentence
“ Be humble-learn thyself to scan,
Know-pride was never made for man." 2. Construct an English sentence in which the use of
the nominative and objective cases of nouns is exemplified ;-and explain the meaning of agent
and object, in reference to the verb. 3. Express precisely, in simple prose, the following passage
“ Judge not what is best By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet, Created, as thou art, to nobler end Holy and pure, conformity divine. These tents thou saw'st so pleasant were the tents Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his race Who slew his brother; studious they appear Of arts that polish life, inventors rare ; Unmindful of their Maker, though his spirit Taught them; but they his gifts acknowledged none.”
1. “ Make a table of the plural forms of nouns, and account for the exceptional forms."
(1) The plural of nouns is generally formed from the singular, by the addition of s or es ; as book, books ; fox, foxes.
Note.--Nouns ending in y, preceded by a consonant, change y into i, and add es, to form the plural, without an increase of syllable; as, lady, ladies; tory, tories.
(2) The following nouns, ending in f, or fe, form their plural by changing f into v and adding es ; beef, calf, elf, half, knife, leaf, life, loaf, self, sheaf, shelf, thief, wolf, wife. In accounting for this irregularity, Latham says, “In Anglo-Saxon, f at the end of a word was sounded as v; and it is highly probable that the original singulars were sounded loav, halv, wive, calv, leav.” He then leaves the reader to infer that dwarf, gulf, and a host of others, which form their plural in the usual manner, are the exceptions rather than those above quoted. It is difficult to account for the anomalous fact, that some nouns in their plural, have followed the orthography, and others the original sounds of the words.
(3) A few nouns of Anglo-Saxon origin, form their plural by changing the vowel which precedes the other terminating letters: as man, men ; woman, women ; foot, feet; tooth, teeth ; goose, geese : another class of similar words, by adding en; as ox, oxen ; brother, brethren ; child, children. Others are still more irregular; as, die, dice; mouse, mice ; louse, lice ; penny, pence.
These irregularities may be traced to the original plural of the words before their adoption into the modern English ; thus, the Anglo-Saxon plural was formed in en or er; and in the eastern counties, among the uneducated, a great disposition is still manifested for forming the plural in en; as in housen for houses ; hosen, for hose. Among a similar class in the north, we invariably hear eyne (een) for eyes : and in the agricultural parts of the midland counties, “my childer” is not at all infrequent.
(4) Many words introduced from the dead languages, retain their original plural; as, datum, data ; vortex, vortices; criterion, criteria ; cherub, cherubim ; fc.
Much interesting matter, closely allied to this question, might be appropriately introduced here, but our limits necessarily preclude its insertion. We may refer the reader to the work recently published by the Rev. J. Hunter ; also to Latham's and to Arnold's English Grammar.
2 “ What is meant by the cases of a noun ? Give instances of the use of cases in the personal and relative pronouns."
The case of nouns or pronouns is the relation position in which they stand in respect to the other words with which they form a sentence. Our use of prepositions to indicate various circumstances in the condition of the noun, obviates the necessity of the numerous cases employed in some languages, as the six of the Latin, &c. In English there are but three cases, the Nominative, the Possessive, and the Objective. The Nominative is the subject or agent of the action expressed by the verb, and usually precedes the verb, as James strives. The Possessive indicates ownership, or possession, as William's book, my
house, The Objective case is that form of the noun or pronoun which is acted upon, or is the object of a verb, or preposition, as, get wisdom, he is in town.
Instead of answering the requisites of the question literally, as would be done at an examination, the following neat arrangement of the personal and relative pronouns is extracted from Turner's Grammar.
FIRST PERSONAL PRONOUN.
Mas. OR FEM.
Nom. Ye, or You
Poss. Their, or Theirs
Obj. It Note.—The plural is identical for both genders, and also for the neuter.
Sing. or Plu.