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1. The sign m, as belonging to the present indicative first singular, is found in only one verb, To be, in the English language. No other verb has any particular form of termination for this part; and anciently, the conjugation of it was, "I be, Thou beest, He bees, We be," &c. &c.; as, "We be true men." (Genesis.)

2. He is laid down as the subject of the preceding verbs when conjugated in the third singular; she, it, may be the subject, as well as all nouns, according to necessity.

3. Ye is laid down as the subject of the preceding verbs when conjugated in the second plural; you is the subject of all such, as well as ye. It is to be remarked also, that you, though thus plural, is usually applied in conversation to represent a single individual rather than thou, the verb used with you being, of course, plural.

4. Many of the preceding irregular verbs are sometimes conjugated regularly as well as irregularly, as awake, bend, bereave, cleave, crow, deal, work, &c. &c.

5. The compounds of these verbs are conjugated like the simples; as undo, withdraw, forbid, rebuild, withstand,

betake, &c. &c. &c. Forgotten forms an exception, the perfect participle of get being got, gotten being now obsolete.

6. The term indicative, as applied to a certain form of the verb, does not convey the essential difference between such form and any other. In the expressions, I went home, I would have gone home, the one form is as indicative, strictly speaking, and conveys as positive an assertion as the other, the difference consisting in the absence of any condition with the former, whereas a condition is implied, and necessarily connected with the latter.

7. In the past and pluperfect tenses of the potential mood, the preceding verbs have been conjugated with the auxiliary might, only; to this should be added, could, would, should, ought, &c. &c.

8. Must, is usually attached as an auxiliary to the present and perfect potential, as well as may or can; indeed it is questionable if this word do not as properly convey the idea of futurity as will, which is used in the conjugation of the future. In the expressions, I will go, I must go, the idea of future time is by right equally strong: the first expression, literally resolved, means "I wish to go;" and will is said to be future, though strictly present, because the act of going will of necessity follow the wish; for the same reason, must, should be future, the act of going necessarily following the perception of the obligation to go.

9. The present tense is employed not merely to express present action, but habit, employment, or custom; as in the expressions, "My brother goes to chapel, He is translating a work on the consolations of philosophy."

10. Historians use the present for the past, as in the expression, "Cæsar leaves Gaul, and enters Italy with 5000 men."

11. The present is frequently used in conjunction with such expressions as when, before, as soon as, after, to express a future time, in connection with another verb in the future; as in the expression, "When the next courier arrives, the state of matters in the East will be more accurately known."

12. The difference between the several modifications (past, perfect, pluperfect,) of the past time has been already stated; it only remains to state, with regard to the

past tense, that it is formed in the case of verbs ending in y, preceded by a consonant, by changing the y into i, and adding ed: as, qualify, past tense, qualified. For the probable reason of this formation, see the Rule for the formation of the plural of nouns ending similarly.

13. Further, the past tense is employed when the action is limited by some circumstance of time or place, as He preached yesterday;" this is no more than has been already said, that the past tense does not express, of itself, the exact point of the past time when an act is described as having taken place.

14. After death, all agents are spoken of in the past time, which is limited by the life of the individual. It would be highly ungrammatical to say, "Draco has enacted a body of laws," even though such laws were extant: it should be, enacted. For a similar reason, it would be incorrect to say of a dead man, " He has done much good,' though the effects of the good may be discerned in the present time; it should be," He did."

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15. The perfect tense commonly expresses the occurrence of events without a necessary relation to a particular time or place, as, "Legislators have endeavoured to prevent crime by the infliction of punishment." It denotes also1. (As has been already said,) an act just performed, "The clock has struck."


2. An act performed within a definite period, a part of which has not yet passed by, as, "I have spent this day well."

3. An action performed some time since, whose consequences operate at the present, as, "He has neglected his business, and is therefore unsuccessful."

16. Shall denotes obligation, and is therefore in the future time, because the act necessarily follows the perception of duty. (See Observation 8.)

17. Will, in the first person singular and plural, intimates resolution and promise on the part of the subject, as, "I will not let thee go;" "We will depart to-morrow;" will, in the second and third person, is used to foretel, as "He will sever the wicked from among the just;" "You will perceive what my opinion is on that subject."

18. Shall, in the first person, foretels, as, "I shall be

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