Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Many of our best writers have committed errors in the use of the preposition, some omitting it entirely when it should be used, others using one preposition for another : as, into for in, to, or' unto; for for of; of for on, &c. as may be seen by an attentive perusal of the classical writers in the English tongue.

The noun mostly requires after it the same preposition as the verb from which it is formed would do: as,

( the wifeft princes need not think it any diminution to (of) their greatness, or derogation to (from) their sufficiency, to rely upon counsel."-Bacon, Essay 20. Here the nouns diminution and derogation, being formed from the verbs diminish and derogate, require the prepositions of and from.

The prepositions to and for are often understood, without being expressed, before the objective case of the pronoun: as, get me a place; pay him the money you owe them; that is, get for me a place; pay to him the money you owe to them.” This is a relic of the Saxon : in which language, those pronouns which are in the objective case in English, are in the dative case; and consequently have the prepositions to and for understood. In or on is also often omitted before nouns expressing time: as, last week; next year; to-morrow : that is, in last week; in next year; ön to-morrow.

The preposition fubjoined to the adverbs here, there, where : as, herewith or hereof, therefore, therewith, wherewith, whereupon, &c. have the construction or nature of a pronoun; but they are now almost obfolete, except in the very solemn style only.

CONJUNCTIONS have only a government of mode. Some require the indicative, others the subjunctive mode.

The following govern the fubjunctive : first, hypothetical conjunctions: as, “ if thou be the Son of God.” Matt. iv.3. -Secondly, conditional conjunctions: as, “ though hie sny me, yet will I put my trust in him." Job, xiii.—Thirdly, distributive conjunctions; “ whether it cuere I, or (whether it were) they, so we preact..” 1 1 Cor. xv.11.--Fourthly, conceflive

conjunctions;

[ocr errors]

conjunctions; “ Unless be walk bis flesh.” Lev, xii. 6. Fifthly, exceptive conjunctions ; " no power, except it were given from above."-Sixthly, the conjunctions left and that, following a verb in the imperative mode: as, “ let him that ftandeth take heed lejt he fall.i Cor. x. 12. - Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob." Gen. xxxi. 24.

Here it must be noted, that all the foregoing conjunctions may be used, and often are, with the indicative mode; when the circumstance expressed is of a more absolute and certain nature. It is the circumstance being of a doubtful nature, or expressed under a condition, or fupposition, or in the form of a will, that determines the verb to be in the subjun&tive mode.

Other conjunctions of a more positive nature govern the indicative mode.

There are some conjunctions which have other conjunctions belonging to them, and answering to them; as, although (though), yet, nevertheless; whether or ; neither or nora-nor; either-mor; asemas; asm,

foi foras. As--as express a comparison of equality ; " as good as another," that is, equal in some or every quality; as--so express a comparison fonetimes of equality; " as he is, so fhall we be;" sometimes a comparison of quality; as the one dieth, fo dieth the other;" that is, in like manner; fomas express both quality and quantity: as, " Pope was not so fublime a poet as Milton, nor so great a man as Johnson;" neither, nor, and not, nor, express a double negative, as in the foregoing example; either;-or, a double distributive, as, either clouse ye this or that.

In comparative sentences, or when different qualities are compared, the case of the latter noun or pronoun is governed by the verb or preposition, which are sometimes not expresfed; as, thou art a greater man than he; that is, than he is; you fhew him more favour than me ; that is, tban (you Shew) me. Thus, by supplying that part of the sentence that is understood, the case of the latter noun or pronouo will be understood.

5

INTER

INTERJECTIONs in English have no government, nor any particular place in a sentence; they are used only to express the speaker's affection; but when they are used too frequently, they rather expose his affectation.

These are the rules of English syntax, in the conftruction of sentences. But there are also phrases, conGfting of twoor more words, employed in the formation of sentences : of which the following are the most common :

ift Phrafe: when a substantive or pronoun is placed before a verb active, paffive, or neuter : as, I love; he is loved ; thou art.

2d Phrase: when the substantive follows the verb neuter, or passive; or when the substantive following the verb intends the same thing as the substantive before the verb: as, I am he; Milton is esteemed a clasic.

3d Phrafe: when the adjective follows a verb neuter, or paffive : as, life is foort; exercise is esteemed wholesome.

4th Phrase: when the fubftantive follows a verb active; as, to build a koufe.

5th Phrase: when a verb follows another verb; as, they desire to die.

6th Phrase : when one thing is said :o belong to another : as, Milton's poems; or the poems of Milton.

7th Phrase: when a substantive is added to another, to explain it more fully : as, St. John the Baptist; King George Robert Brown, &c. Here the latter noun is said to be ia apposition to the former.

8th Phrase: when the adjective or participle is placed bew fore the noun : asg; a fine day; a loving friend.

9th Phrafe : when the adjective is placed before a verb in che infinitive mode: as, worthy to live.

roth Phrase: when an adverb is used with an adjective, ot a verb: as he writes quick; he is very juft.

11th Phrase: when a substantive with a prepofition before it, is added to a verb or an adjective: as, he acts with prodence; good for nothing. Vol. I.

12th

12th Phrafe: when the quality of a subject is compared with that of another subject; the pofitive adjective having after it the conjunction as; the comparative the conjunction than ; the superlative the preposition of : as, as tall as you; taller than he; tallest of all.

A

SECT. V.

OF PUNCTUATION.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

PUNCTUATION is the art of making the several points, used in sentences, to exprefs the degrees of connexion between sentences and their parts ; and to express the stops, or pauses, as they are expressed in a just and accurate pro. nunciation.

Notwithstanding the different pauses in sentences, and degrees of connexion between them, admit of great variety, yet we have but four points by which to express them.

Thus we are often obliged to express pauses of the fame quantity, on different occasions, by different points ; but more frequently to express pauses of different quantities by the same points.

The doctrine of punctuation must therefore be very imperfect : 'few rules can be given that will hold good in all cases; but much must be left to the judgment of the writer.

Grammariáns have followed the division of the Rhetori. cians, who divide all the pauses in writing or difcourse into the four following:

The Period, marked thus
The Colon, marked thus

(:)
The Semicolon, marked thus
The Comma, marked thus

(,)

The

[ocr errors]

The Period marks a whole fentence, either simple or compound, making a full and perfect sense, and not connected ia construction with another sentence.

The Colon marks the greatest division of a fentence, and is a member thereof; containing a perfe&t sense, but not a perfect fentence.

The Semicolon is a less conftru&tive part of a sentence that the colon, and does not form a perfect sense, but holds a middle place between the colon and the comma, being a greater pause than the latter, and less than the former.

The Comma marks the least constructive parts of a sen. tence; or it marks a simple sentence.

The precise quantity of time required at each of these pauses or points is uncertain, as the same composition may be rehearsed in a longer or shorter time; but the proportional quantity of time of the points is as follows: the period is a pause of double the quantity of time of the colon ; the colon is double of the semicolon; the femicolon is double of the comma.

In order to discover the proper use of these points, we must consider the nature of a sentence, as divided into its constructive parts, and the degrees of connexion between these parts: as also the nature of an imperfect phrase.

An imperfect phrase contains no assertion, or does not amount to a proposition or sentence, as was seen in page 41. • A simple sentence, as was before hinted, consists of an agent, or subject, an attribute, and (if the verb be active or paffive) an object : or it consists of one agent or subject, and one finite verb; that is, a verb in the indicative, imperative, or subjunctive mode : as, “ God made man;" here God is the agent or subject, as he perforins the action, viz. made man : the verb made is the attribute which always expresses the action; and man is the object upon which the action is exercised; that is, the action of creation.

- But the subject, or agent, and the attribute, and the object, may each of them be accompanied with feveral circum

F2

stances

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »