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expressions similar to this, the subject consisting of two nouns is subdivided into its component parts by the word each, which agrees with a verb in the singular, understood from the verb in the preceding clause ; thus, “ Aruns and Brutus slew, each (killed) the other.” The single subject implying several parts, is frequently subdivided on a similar principle ; as, “ They went, one (went) to his farm, another (went) to his merchandise."
23. The verb is frequently placed before its subject, as in the expression, “ Heard ye not that ?” especially in poetry, as in the following verse :
“ Breathes there a man with heart so dead,
This is my own, my native land ?” There and here, particles of no determinate signification, are used frequently when the verb precedes the subject; as, “There lived in yonder hut a man who," &c. &c. It is worthy of note that in such case the verb is in the same number as the noun following ; as, “ Here comes the coach ;” “ Are there few that be saved ?” “There is not a man in the world who seeks not happiness.”
24. Care must be taken that the words intervening between the subject and the verb do not, by misleading the ear, produce a violation of the concord of number; “Ă too great variety of studies dissipate and weaken the mind," is ungrammatical; the verbs dissipate and weaken being plural, as though studies had something to do in determining their number, whereas variety is the subject, and requires the verbs to be singular ; the sentence should be, “A too great variety of studies dissipates and weakens the mind.”
25. In the case of the verb to be and verbs passive, the noun following them is most frequently a name for the individual which is their subject; these nouns may be in different numbers ; hence the question arises with which must the verb agree. The rule in such case appears to be, that the verb agrees, in some instances, with the noun placed nearest to it, no doubt for the sake of euphony; thus, “ A great cause of the low state of industry were the restraints put upon it ;” “His meat was locusts and wild honey.” As a general guiding principle, it may be stated that the verb agrees with the noun, which is its natural
subject. In the expression, "The wages of sin is death," death, though coming last, is the natural subject; the verb, therefore, is properly in the singular number. So, in the expression, “ The disciples were called the salt of the earth, disciples is evidently the subject, for we can say, the disciples were called salt, but not salt was called disciples; the verb, therefore, is properly in the plural number.
RULE II.-ON THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
OBJECTIVE CASE. ACTIVE transitive verbs and Prepositions require after them the objective case ; as,
6 He loves us," went to London ;" here us and London are in the objective case, the former being governed by the active transitive verb loves, the latter by the preposition to.
" " The man
OBSERVATIONS ON THE SYNTAX OF THE
1. When the objective of the verb is a relative pronoun, it comes before it; thus, “ The money which he earned was not sufficient to support him ;" here which is the objective case as governed by the verb earned, which comes after it. The same remark does not apply to prepositions, which, in most cases, precede the governed word ; as, “The house in which I live;" here which is governed by in, which precedes it. Formerly, the which in such sentences would be suppressed, and the sentence written thus, “ The house I live in." When classical literature, however, became extensively cultivated in England, this style was exploded, and the ending of sentences with monosyllables was avoided by writers who endeavoured to copy the Latin style.
2. In Observation 2, on Rule 1, it was shewn how it comes to pass that the infinitive mood serves as the subject of a verb; the same reason accounts for the fact of its being used as the object of a transitive verb; as,
“ He loves to write ;" where to write = the act of writing, is the object of the verb loves.
3. A whole clause is frequently placed in the position of an objective case after a transitive verb; thus, “I acknowledge I was in the wrong ;" “Let us inquire what is most like the truth.” This may be accounted for on the principle of ellipsis, the real object of the verb being understood : thus, “ I acknowledge (the fact that) I was in the wrong;” “ Let us inquire, i. e. make inquiries, (as to that thing) which is most like the truth.” * Clauses like the foregoing are said to be used objectively.
4. Care must be taken that when there are several objective cases in a sentence, they should be all governed by their appropriate verbs expressed, should one verb not properly belong to all. The sentence, “ They partook of meat and clothing at our expense,” is incorrect; the word clothing being placed as the object of the verb partook of, though we do not say, “A man partakes of clothing." The sentence should be, “They partook of meat and received clothing at our expense.
In like manner, “They used arms like those of the Indians, but an aspect similar to that of the Caffrarians," is incorrect; aspect being governed by used, though we do not say that men used an aspect: it should be, “They used arms like those of the Indians, but had an aspect similar to that of the Caffrarians."
5. A transitive verb is frequently composed of a verb and a particle joined together. Thus, as in the expression used by way of example in Observation 4, we say, partook of meat;" wherein partook of must be regarded as the transitive verb governing meat in the objective case.
NOTE.—The particle is frequently joined to the verb, and both form but one word ; as,
“ He underwent severe trials.'
6. Transitive verbs, in some instances, appear to govern two objective cases; as in the expression, “ He gave me a present :" the word appear is used advisedly, because the verb does not really govern both nouns, but only one of them, present, which is the noun or thing supposed to be affected by the action of giving, the other being governed by the preposition to understood. It may be further remarked, that when the direct object of the verb is placed last, the to is understood; when first, the to is expressed:
as, “He sends you his love;" "He sends his love to
7. Transitive verbs may be changed into passive. In such cases the sense expressed is the same, but the construction is altered : thus—“He struck the table," is convertible into" The table was struck by him.”
(For the rule in cases of such conversion, see the remarks on the Etymology of the Verb.)
NOTE. - Expressions like those given as examples in Observation 6, may account, in some instances at least, for such ungrammatical expressions as, “ We were shown a house," wherein we is represented as shown, and not house ; which latter, however, is the thing shown. (See Observation 22, on the etymology of the Verb.) The foregoing expression in the active voice would read thus
They (for instance) showed us a house,” where us, the indirect object of showed, may, without consideration, be regarded as the direct one in the conversion of the sentence from active to passive: hence the us would naturally become we, according to the principles of conversion : the verb, of necessity, in that case, would become were shown, and, as a matter of course, house must follow.
Such theory may or may not account for the violation of grammatical propriety in the case of expressions like "They were refused entrance," the transitive form of which would be, “Entrance was refused them;" but can never account for such expressions as “The man is gone;" “The queen is de parted;" The philosophers are agreed ;” “Our guests are not yet come;" wherein an intransitive verb is treated as if it were transitive, and accordingly made passive; although the intransitive verb cannot, on the principles of conversion already stated, become passive.
8. It has been already said, in treating of the etymology of the Adjective, that it is sometimes regarded as a noun. Care must be taken in ascertaining when it is really used as a noun, and when as a mere adjective, having a noun understood. In the expression, “He was a friend to the
a blacks;" blacks having a plural form, is really treated as a noun, and must be regarded as the objective case governed by the preposition to. In the expression, on the other hånd, " If the blind lead the blind ;” blind is no noun, not
being capable of inflection (we don't say blinds), and, therefore, men, or some such noun, is understood, and is the subject and object respectively of the verb lead.
“The convertibility of words," says Latham, “in English is
very great; and it is so because the structure of the language favours it. As few words have any peculiar signs expressive of their being particular parts of speech, interchange is easy, and conversion follows the logical association of ideas unimpeded."
9. Sometimes an intransitive verb governs an objective case; but then the object must be analogous in signification to the verb. Between the verb to sleep, for instance, and the noun sleep, there is an identity of meaning; we therefore say, “He slept the sleep of death ;" where sleep is said to be the objective case, governed by the intransitive verb slept, regarded as transitive. To such expressions belong, “He ran a race;'
;" “ He dreamed a dream ;' They travelled a journey;" “They walked the road.” In the expression, “They walked the horse," however, walked is not intransitive in meaning, but transitive, being equal to caused or made to walk; and, therefore, governs horse in the objective case, as a transitive verb.
NOTE.—In explaining the construction, “He travelled a journey," and such like, there is no need of the theory alluded to in the foregoing observation, as the noun in every instance may be regarded as governed by some preposition understood ; thus, journey, in the foregoing example, is governed by the preposition through or throughout, or some such word.
10. The same verb is frequently used in one case as transitive, in another as intransitive. Examples of this are found in the verbs to think, to move : thus-“Charity thinketh no evil,” wherein thinketh is transitive; “Think before you speak,” wherein the same verb is intransitive.
On the government of verbs, Latham has the following excellent remarks :-“ (1.) The government of verbs is of two sorts—objective and modal. It is objective where the noun which follows the verb is the name of some object affected by the action of the verb; as He strikes me, He wounds the enemy. It is modal, when the noun which follows the verb is not the name of any object affected by