Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

10. An adverb of place frequently stands in the position of the relative : thus—“He now entered the chamber, where he found the letter" =“in which."

11. In the introductory remarks on Syntax, it was laid down that the relative should follow its antecedent as closely as possible. Of this principle the following will serve as an illustration : “Philip, the father of Alexander, who founded the Macedonian Empire.” Here it is impossible to discover grammatically which noun -Alexander or Philip

-is the antecedent to who. Latham defends such phraseology, by supposing such an expression as “Philip, the father of Alexander," a single many-worded name, serving as the antecedent of who. To this defence it may be objected, Who is to determine when the writer intends such an expression to be so understood ? There are many ways of avoiding such obscurities—“Philip, who was the father of Alexander, and who founded the Macedonian Empire," will serve as a specimen.

12. The words that ask and answer a question should be in the same case.

As(i.) Who is there ?-I (not me). (ü.) Whom do you seek ?-Him (not he). (ii.) Whose book is this ?-His (not he or him). (iv.) Who do men say that I am ?-He (not him).

NOTE.—The answers to the foregoing questions are supplied by pronouns, in order that the case of the answering word may the more easily be discerned ; the same principle guides as to the case of the noun used to answer a question.

13. “Somebody, I don't know who told me.” In such expression, who, not whom, is correct. Whom must not be used as though it were the object of the transitive verb know: the object of this verb is understood;

and the sentence, when fully expressed, would read thus :—“Somebody, I don't know the person who told me, told me.” Or more euphoniously — "Somebody told me; I don't know

the person who told me."

14. “He threatened death to whoever would oppose him.” Here the word governed by the preposition to is omitted; and whoever, its relative, is the nominative to the verb would oppose. This formula is a strong one, and used

[ocr errors]

when there is intended no exception to the general statement made thereby. The sentence fully expressed is equal in meaning to the following: “He threatened death to the man, whoever he should be, that would oppose

him.”(See Observation 11. on the etymology of the Relative Pronoun.)

15. Pleonasms of pronouns should be avoided. “The ship that sailed yesterday, she is reported as lost.” Here she is pleonastic; as it and ship are both the subject of the same verb, is reported.

NOTE. - On some occasions, for the sake of emphasis, in highly impassioned language, such pleonasms are allowable, and even beautiful. “ The Lord, he is the God," (1 Kings xvii. 39,) is a well-known example. The foregoing observations, in addition to those previously made on the etymology of Pronouns, will, it is hoped, be sufficient to illustrate practically the usage of this important class of words. Should the student have any difficulty in determining the grammatical position of any pronoun in a sentence which he may desire either to analyze or construct, by seeking out the noun for which such pronoun is intended to be a substitute, and treating the latter in all respects as he would the noun itself, his difficulty will vanish.

a

RULE IX.-ON THE PARTICIPLES.

Participles govern

the same case as the verbs from which they are derived: as, “I was weary with hearing him ;" wherein him is in the objective case, governed by the participle hearing; the verb to hear being transitive, and, as such, governing the objective case.

OBSERVATIONS ON THE PARTICIPLES.

1. The Present Participle is capable of being treated as a noun in all respects. As, "By the learning of languages the intellectual faculties are strengthened;" here learning, which is a participle, is treated as a noun; and, as such,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

placed in a state of government under the preposition by ;

a it has also the prepositional complement “ of languages," as if it were a noun.

NOTE.—The present participle, when so used, requires the before it, and of after it; as, “ By the observing of these laws, you will be able to decide for yourself.”

2. The same idea is expressible by the simple participle, as by the participle with the foregoing construction: thus we say, “The judge is engaged with the hearing of a case :"

, or, “ The judge is engaged with (or in) hearing a case.”

NOTE.—In many instances, however, the ideas expressed by the two participles with the foregoing constructions are wholly different, and great care should be employed in order that the form used should express adequately the idea intended; thus, "He made his statement in the hearing of

, three persons ;" and, “They occupied an hour in hearing him," express ideas, as far as the agent of the act of hear. ing is considered, wholly different.

3. The present participle, when a possessive case of a pronoun precedes it, sometimes is, and sometimes is not, followed by of. Thus, “ His observing of the rules proved his safety;""" By his neglecting his duties he displeased his employers."

4. When a preposition, or the infinitive mood, follows the present participle used as a noun, of is not allowable. Thus, “Their leaning too much on the help of friends, destroys all self-reliance;" “ Their refusing to ratify the treaty brought on war.”

5. The present participle is not only passively governed as a noun, but has an active government similar to that which the noun has. Thus, “Great good will result from the student's reflecting seriously;" wherein student's is the possessive complement of, and governed by, reflecting,

as a noun.

NOTE.-In some instances a confusion of ideas might result from such use of the participle without sufficient care. “What is your opinion as to my servant leaving to-morrow ?” “What is your opinion as to my servant's leaving to-day?" Herein are expressed two ideas, very widely different. In the first expression, the meaning is, “Do you think it is advisable or not that my servant should leave ?" In the second, there is an admission that the ser

66

[ocr errors]

vant has left already, and an opinion is asked as to the defensibility of the act of leaving.

6. The present participle is frequently used to express a cause or a motive for an act expressed by a verb whose subject agrees with the participle; as, “Knowing the general to be an inflexible disciplinarian, he submitted at once to the commands he received;" “ Desiring to recruit his health, he spent a few months in the country.”

7. The past participle is used after the verbs to have, and to be ; thus, “He has come(not came); “The sun has arisen” (not arose).

“ The work was begun(not began). — [See List of Irregular Verbs, and the remarks preceding it.]

8. The past participle expresses a past act, and yet unites with the present tense of the verb to be, in order to express a present act; as, “ I am beaten;" in which expression the act of beating is represented as past, whilst the state of the party affected by such act is represented as present. Thus, “I am loved,” is equivalent to—“I am in the position of a person who has been loved.”

9. The same form may be sometimes used to express a present act denoting a habit, sometimes an act already passed ; as, “ I am prepared every night in my lessons by a teacher;" "I am prepared with my lessons, and anxious to say them.

10. Past participles obviate the necessity of a relative clause, and thus contribute to gain time by shortening language; thus, “He lost popularity by two acts characterized by great cruelty.” This is equivalent to, " By

” two acts which were characterized,” &c. ; from which it appears that the relative may be suppressed, and the predicate thereof changed into the participle agreeing, as an adjective, with the antecedent.

11. A participle may frequently be converted into a verb, the conjunction and connecting such verb with the remaining one. Thus, “The towers being undermined, now fell" =

“ The towers were undermined, and now fell." 12. A verb may be changed into the participle by a species of converse construction; and thus the connecting copula may be omitted, and the sentence rendered less

I

complex; as, "His leg was broken, and he was consequently unaħle to walk” = “ His leg having been broken, he was unable to walk."

NOTE. — The construction noticed in Observations 11, 12, prevails extensively in the Latin language.

RULE X. SENTENCES wherein something contingent (that is, dependent on something else) or doubtful is implied, require the verb to be expressed in the subjunctive mood; thus

If he require the letter of introduction, don't refuse it to him.” Here there is an uncertainty in the mind of the speaker as to the act of requiring; that is, whether it will take place or not, and therefore the verb require (not requires) is used.

OBSERVATIONS ON RULE X.

[ocr errors]

1. Some conjunctions appear to govern the mood of the verb which follows in the same clause; that is, according as certainty or uncertainty, contingency or the want thereof, is implied by such conjunctions. “ He will come, because he was ordered to do so :" here is because connecting two propositions which are positive; the latter verb is therefore in the indicative mood. “ Rain will fall, if clouds be gathered :" here one proposition expresses the condition of the other; that is, the falling of the rain will depend on the gathering of the clouds. The verb, therefore, of the latter clause, expressing the condition on which the act of the preceding depends, is subjunctive.

2. Of two propositions, one may be the condition of the other. “The day will be clear, if the sun shine:" here, although it is certain that if the sun shine the day will be clear, there is no certainty of the sun shining. Of the two propositions, one only embodies a certain fact; and that is

« PreviousContinue »