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All verbs are subdivided into two classes, in reference to the manner in which they are conjugated. Those which form their past tenses by the addition of d or ed to the present infinitive, are called regular; those, which do not so form this tense, are called irregular. Some grammarians call the latter verbs of the strong conjugation, because they are formed independently of any addition; whilst they call verbs of the former class weak, as requiring an addition in order to the formation of their past tenses.
The verb To Love will serve as a model of all verbs regular as regards their conjugation; which is as follows:
* The remaining tenses of the Subjunctive Mood are similar to the corresponding tenses of the Indicative; thus, Perf. Subj.-1. If I have had. 2. If thou hast had. 3. If he has had. Instead of which, however, we sometimes see-If thou have had; If he have had, &c. &c. Note also, that the particles though, unless, except, whether, &c., may be used with this mood in like manner as if.
The conjugation of the verb thus far will be found sufficient for any learner, if he will only observe the conjugation in the several moods and tenses of the preceding verbs, together with the following Rules:
Rule 1.-The perfect indicative of every verb is formed from the present tense of the verb To have, and the perfect participle of the verb itself. Thus, to find the perfect of the verb To love, he will take loved, the perfect participle, and have, the present tense of the verb to have, and to these prefix I, and he will have I have loved,-which is conjugated through the persons like I have, the perfect participle remaining unchanged.
Rule 2.-The pluperfect indicative is similarly formed, except that it takes with the perfect participle the past instead of the present tense of the verb to have. Thus the pluperfect of the verb to love is, I had loved.
Rule 3.-The first future indicative of every verb is formed from the infinitive mood thereof, and the auxiliaries shall or will: thus, the first future of the verb to love, is, “I shall or will love." The infinitive portion of this tense remains unchanged throughout the persons; the auxiliaries are conjugated as in the preceding verbs.
Rule 4.-The second future indicative is formed from the perfect participle of the verb itself, and the first future of the verb to have; thus the second future of the verb to love is, "I shall or will have loved."
Rule 5.-The imperative mood, which has no distinction of tense, and but one person, is the same as the infinitive, thou or ye being postfixed for a subject, according as the singular or plural is intended-thus, Love thou, Love ye.
Rule 6.-The present and past tenses of the potential mood are the same as the infinitive, with the addition of the auxiliaries, may, can, &c., for the present;-and might, could, would, should, &c. &c., for the past tense ;-these auxiliaries being varied throughout the persons, as in the preceding verbs: thus the present potential of the verb
to love is, "I may or can love;" the past, "I might, &c. &c. love."
Rule 7.-The perfect and pluperfect potential of a verb is formed from the perfect participle thereof; and, for the perfect, the present potential; and, for the pluperfect, the past potential of the verb to have. Thus the perfect potential of the verb to love is, "I may or can have loved;" the pluperfect, "I might, &c. &c. have loved."
The Subjunctive Mood is thus conjugated :
Thus the present subjunctive throughout is the same as the infinitive, whilst the remaining tenses thereof correspond exactly with the same tenses of the indicative mood, with the addition, in all the tenses, of some conjunction, expressed or understood, implying a condition, motive, wish, supposition, &c. &c.*
Rule 8.-The present infinitive of a verb is the verb itself, with the prefix to-thus, to love. The perfect infinitive is formed from the perfect participle and the present infinitive of the verb to have; thus, the perfect infinitive of the verb to love is, to have loved.
Rule 9.-The present participle is formed from the present infinitive, by adding ing : thus-to laugh, laughing; if the verb end in e, the e is elided in the formation of the participle: thus—to love, loving; except to be, which makes, being.
Rule 10.-The past participle is the same in regular verbs as the past indicative; in irregular verbs, a synopsis of which will be exhibited hereafter, it is sometimes different. The perfect participle is a compound of the present participle of the verb to have, and the past participle of the verb itself; thus the perfect participle of the verb to love, is to have loved. The verb to write, which is irregular, or which belongs to the strong conjugation, will serve as a
*See note at foot of page 57.
model for the conjugation of all irregular verbs. It is conjugated as follows
The preceding rules are sufficient for, and as applicable to, the formation of the remaining parts of the irregular as of the regular verb. Besides the conjugation of the verb, as hitherto exhibited, called the verb in its simple state or form, there is the conjugation of the verb in the progressive and emphatic forms. Between the expressions, "I read, I am reading," there is observed this difference, that the former expresses an act as occurring with the idea of completion annexed thereto in the present time; whilst the latter, in the present time too, conveys additionally the idea of continuation of the act expressed by the verb; in other words, I read, expresses an act I am engaged in at this momentI am reading, one with which also I am engaged now, and one, moreover, which I do not propose discontinuing. The latter is called the progressive form; it occurs throughout all the parts of the verb, and is formed by the present participle of the verb itself and that part of the verb to be, in which any idea is intended to be expressed. Thus, to form the pluperfect potential in the progressive form of the verb to read, take the present participle of this verb, which is reading, and the pluperfect potential of the verb to be, might have been; prefix I, for the first person singular; combine these parts, and the result will be the expression sought, "I might have been reading." Between the expressions, "I read, I do read," there is this difference observable, that the latter is the more emphatic of the two,