G. P. (George Payn) Quackenbos.

An English grammar online

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— ^Mount Mitchell and Mount Washington are the loftiest of aaj
other elevations of land in the United States. — Adam is supposed
to have heen the most noble-looking of his descendants. — The
moon is the nearest to us of all the stars.

IJkdeb S 614. There are few more fertile or fairer lands than
Italy. — ^Domitian was one of the most tyrannical, most depraved,
aad weakest, of the Roman emperors.— The rdgn of George HI.
was at the same time the most eventM and longest recorded in
En^ish history.

IJndbb § 616. Opportunities of gaining distinction do not now
oeeur so frequent as they did in old time8.->The sun looks less
brightly than usual to-day. — ^There are few that live as holy as
they ought. — ^His finger pains him very bad.— It makes one feel
strangely to be alone in a foreign land. — ^Water is frozen easier
than alcohol. — James reads more distinct than any of my scholars.



BXTLE XI. — ^Agbeement of the Verb.

616. A rerb agrees with its subject in person and

Examples. — I dare [1st, sing., agreeing with /] not go. — Be dares
not go. — ^If thou hadU cbejfed orders, aU would have been welL— T^ou m
[3rd, sing., agreeing with ihtm taken merely as a word] in the singular
number. — Each of them m to be examined. — ^There needs great labw to
produce a good crop. — ^There lacked but one [aTHeW] of the whole num-
ber. — h it thou? — ^Who art thouf — Oo [thou] meet [thou] thy brother. —
Jhdieie [Srd, sing., agreeing with the infinitiye to die"] gain. — ^From what

61S. Beoit« Bule XI., relating to the agreement of tbe vert>. In eaob (tf the
ezamplea, give the penon and number <tf tbe yerb^ and tell with wbai it agrees.


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oonntry the necUrine was introduced, i$ [8rd, Eong., agredng with tlis
■obetantiTe dause that precedes] uncertain.

617. Cautions. — ^Be sure that the verb agrees with
the right word. When it is separated from its subject
by an interrening substantive, there is a tendency to
make it agree with the latter.

" A sncceasion of excitements are sure to distract the mind from stodj,"
Wrong, because ttieeessian is the subject, and not exettementt, whidi is
the object of the preposition of. The verb are must be made singular, —
M. So, "Your vessely together with twelve others, hat [not kaoe] ar-
riyed.'' " This e<mfu9ion of ideas in educated minds is [not are] to be

618. Be sure that the verb is in the right person and
number, when its subject is a relative pronoun; re-
membering that a relative takes the person and num-
ber of its antecedent.

"A belief in astrology was one of the most wide-q)read delusions that
has eyer led men astray.** The subject that agrees with its antecedent
deltuione in the third person, plural ; the verb should therefore be plural,
— have led, " I am the person that is [not arn] responsible for the state-
ment** Here person is the antecedent, not /; and the relative is in the
third, nngular.

619. The title of a book, being looked upon as one thing, takes a Teib
in the singular, even though its leading substantive is plural ; as, " Howitt^
' Homes of the Poets * is [not are} a delightful yolume.**

620. A verb between two nominatiyes agrees with the one that is the
leading subject of discourse. This, except in questions asked with an in-
terrogative pronoun, is almost always the one that precedes it ; as, " God-
liness is great riches.**

If the nominatiyes are equally prominent as subjects of discourse, the
yerb may agree with the one that follows it, particularly if it is nearer than
the other; as, "The wages of sm w death.** -4re, agreeing with wagesy
would be equally good.

617. What tendency is there, when the verb is separated fh>m its aubject by an
intervening substantive ? Illustrate this, and show the error. 618. What must
be observed, when the subject is a relative pronoun f Illustrate this pcdnt
61». state the principle relating to the title of a book. 620. When a verb stands
between two nominatives, with which does it agree f If, the nominatives are
•quaUy prominent as subjects of ditcourse, with which may the verb agree!


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621. Collective Nouns. — ^A verb agreeing with a
collective noun is put in the plural, unless the action
or state is clearly aflSrmed of the individuals taken to-
gether as one body, in which case the singular is re-

" The crowd toere eager to hear the news." The verb is in the pliural,
because it was not the crowd as one bod^, but the individuals in the crowd,
that experienced the delight " The crowd teas composed of men of every
class.'' Here the crowd aa one whole, is evidently meant, and the verb
must be in the singular.

622. A collective noun preceded by thiSy that, every, each, or no, gen-
erally implies one whole, and takes a verb in the angular; as, "Every
mob has its leader.**

623. Few, many, hundred, thousand, &c., almost always take a plural
Tcrb; as, "A yew Aave escaped altogether ; a great many of the survivors
are seriously injured.^ " A hundred [of] swords voere draron,^

624. A collective noun in the plural takes a plural
verb ; as, " Large crowds were harangued eyerj day." '


Under § 616. "If that is the only diflSculty," says I to myself,
" we shall soon succeed."

[Corrected, — " If that is the only diflSculty," say I to myself^
" we shall soon succeed." Says must be changed to eay^ to agree
with its subject /, in the first, singular.]

Hfly head of cattle was sold yesterday. — ^The duke may talk
as he choose, but he dare not refuse my petition. — ^Was you at
the concert last evening ? — ^If he have brought any news, he will
soon let us know. — ^Each of the states are well represented. — ^He
need to be reminded of his promise. — What means these loud com-
plaints ? "Was you not warned ?— By the term fossils is meant the
petrified remains of animals and plants. — ^To comply with the
rules promptly and cheerfully are required of all.

Next, thinks I, he will insult the prince himself. — Suspend

621. Oive the rule for a verb agreeing with a coUeotiye nonn. Give example!.

622. What words before a collective noun generally show that it requires a verb
in the singular? 628. What collective nouns almost always take a plural verbf
•21 What is said of a collective noun in the plural t

10* „ ,

Digitized by VjOOQIC

jour opinion till the true state of the case hare appeared.-^There
are plenty of oats in Illinois. — My scissors was broken yester-
day. — ^Every one of your arguments are absurd. — ^What did you
say have become of your three cousins ? — ^Five are an odd num-
|)er. — The animalcula in water is clearly seen with the microscope.
— ^That you should deceive yourself so grossly and so fatally are
almost incredible.

IJkdbb § 617. The number of immigrants from Ireland have
greatly decreased. — ^The train due last evening, with several others,
were detained till the track could be cleared. — ^The fragrance of
honeysuckles and roses fill the air. — ^Are not twelve months' travel
in Europe enough to tire any one ?— The absurdity of many of
Mohammed^s doctrines are self-evident.

Undeb § 618. Set forth such arguments as seems to you the
most conclusive. — ^Thou mighty spirit of the past that looks upon
me with thy melancholy eyes ! — Spencer is confessedly one of the
ablest men that has written on education. — It is I that is wrong.
— The memoranda that is lost, would throw light on the subject
— She is one of those cheerful women that always wears a smile.
— Who that have any regard for what is becoming, could dress
her hair in this way ?

Undeb § 619, 620. HerschePs "Outlines of Astronomy" are
worthy of a place in every student's library. — The chief wealth ot
the Laplanders are [eomists of] reindeer. — I have just finished
Kennedy's " Memoirs of Wirt ", which are certainly extremely
interesting. — ^Five wild turkeys was the reward of my labors.

Undeb § 621. A herd of a thousand cattle [is or o/ref] no un-
common sight. — ^A whole tribe [was or were f] sometimes nearly
destroyed in war.— A large flock of crows [has or h(we f] alighted
in the corn-field. — The jury [is or are f] certainly an intelligent
set of men.*— The family you relieved still [rememhers or remenh
her f] your kindness. — ^The committee [was or were f] indefatigable
in their efforts to arrive at the truth.

Undeb § 622, 628, 624. Each flock that alight, destroy bushels
of grain. — ^Every family you relieved still remember your kind-
ness. — ^A few inches more or less in a lady's height makes some
difference. — A hundred oysters does not occupy much room. —
What avails even the mightiest armies, if they are led by in-
competent commanders ?


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625. Two or more singular subjects or substantive
dauses, taken together, require a plural verb; taken
separately, they require a verb in the singular.

ExAMPLSs. Taken together. — James and John are here. — ^That you
have done your duty, that you have aaved me from great loss, are facts
that I can not deny. — ^In the former of these examples, are must be parsed
as in the third, plural, — agreeing with its subject James and John^ two
Angular substantives taken together : — Ruley A yerb agrees with^its sub-
ject in person and number.

Taken separately, — James or John is here. — ^That you have done your
duty or saved me from great loss, is untrue. — ^In the former of these ex-
amples, is must be parsed as in the third, singular, agreeing with its sub-
ject /om^ or /oAn, two singular substantives taken separately: — Rvle^
A verb agrees, &e.

626. Subjects are said to be taken together, when
they are connected by and expressed or understood.
" Industry, energy, and honesty, are [plu.] essential to
success." Or without cmd^ " Industry, energy, honesty,
are [plu.] essential to success."

One of the substantives thus taken together may be imderstood ; as,
^^Irving*8 and Macaulay's style are very differ^t,*'— that is, Irving's ttyU
and Macaulay^s style.

627. The title of a book, being looked upon as one things takes a verb
in the lingular, even thoi^h it consists of two substantives oonneeted by
and; as, " Moore's * Paradise and the Peri ' is jusUy admired.^

628. When two singular snbstantites connected by aind denote the
same individual, tlie verb agrees with them in the iiBgidar; as, "The
draper and tailor on the comer is about to remove.**

625. What is the rule relating to two or more singnlar 8ab}eet8 or subftantive-
daiuetl In the sentence James and John are here, name the singular aubjects.
How are they taken t Parse are. In the sentence James or John ie here, name the
singular 8uli)}ecta. How are they taken f Parse m. 630. When are subjects said
to be taken together ^' "What is said of one of the snhjeeta thus taken together t
•27. What exception is mentioned, relating to the title <^ a book t 828. In what
•ther oaae does avtibagret in the tingalar with two siBgalar aalMfeantivM m»>


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629. Subjects are said to be taken s^arately,
1. Wben they are connected by or, nor^ a/nd aZao,
and tooj and notj hutj ifnot^ as weU as.

** Benton, tnd General Jackson also, toM [sing.] a natiTe of KoTih
Carolina.** ** Wellington, bat not Nelson, was bom [ang.] in Ireland."—
In these examples, the yeib agrees with the former substantiTe and is un-
derstood with the other.

8. When they are severally preceded by eachj every^
noy or not. " Every tempest and every dew-drop has
[sing,] its mission to perform."

3. When the first is separated from the rest by the
verb, which in that case agrees with the first and is
understood with the rest. " His wit pleases [sing.] me,
his fi^ankness, and his courtesy."

4. When the subject is repeated with and arUy or
equivalent words, or a stronger term is substituted for
the one first used.

^* Religion, and religion only, is [sing.] an anchor that we can trust"
** Dislilce, nay hatred, was toritten [sing.] on his countenance.**

680. When subjects taken together are of different persons, the plural
verb is to be parsed as in the first person rather than the second, and the
second rather than the third. Observe, also, that modesty requires a
speaker or writer to mention himself last " She, thou, and I [that isr
we] are [first person] well.** ** She and thou [that is, you] are [second
person] welL"

681. When sutjects taken separately are of different persons, tiie
verb should be repeated with each, if a different form is required. " Either
you are in the wrong, or I am.^ " She is very tired, and so am I.**

682. When subjects connected by or or nor are in different numbers,
the verb should be put in the plural, and the plural subject or sul^jects
should stand nearest to it; as, ^* Neither rank nor riches make me think
highly of a man.**

nected by and 7 629. In what four oaees are sabjeota said to be taken separately t
When the connection is made with and aUo^ dec., with which substantive d3e8 the
verb agree! 680. When subjects taken together are of different pertonnshovli
the verb to be parsed t How should / be placed ? 63L Wlen shbuld the verb b«
repeated witli subjects taken separately ? 682. What rule la laid down i
iab|)eets oonneeted by or or nor^ idien they are in dlfSu^nt nombera t


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Uin>EB § 625. Neither olive oil nor alcohol are so heavy aa
distilled water, bnt milk and sea water is heavier.

[(7<wrecterf.— Neither olive oil nor alcohol is so heavy as dis-
tilled water, bat milk and sea water are heavier. Are must be
changed to is, to agree in the singular with oil and alcoTiol taken
separately, le must be changed to ore, to agree in the plural with
milk and loater taken together.]

What signifies rank and wefJth, if we have not the health to
enjoy them ? — ^Neither honor, justice, nor truth, permit you now
to draw back. — ^Your friendly warning and my stem rebuke \waA
or toeref] alike unheeded. — ^To sympathize with the sorrowing
and relieve the distressed {is or are f] required of every Chris-
tian. — ^Wonderfully [has or havef] art and science progressed
during the present century. — ^Lithography, or the art of obtain-
ing impressions from stone, [is or aret] a modem invention. —
That he would betray his trust or try to deceive [is or are .']
not probable.

UmoEB § 626. Serf, artisan, noble, prince, was among Peter the
Hermit's auditors. — What care we for the indiflference, the in-
gratitude, the scorn of the world, which has been the reward of
the good in every age ? — The torrid and the frigid zone represents
the extremes of heat and cold. — ^Reaumur's and Fahrenheit's scale
is quite different.

Undeb § 627, 628. " Paul and Virginia " are a delightfdl story.
— Sitoms has just completed " The Sword and the Distaff", which,
I am told, are among the best of his productions. — ^Your friend and
cousin, as you always call him, have returned. — Our minister
plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary, with all his suite, are at
the National Hotel.

Undeb § 629. Not only Albany, but New York also, were
founded by the Dutch. — Pem, and not Mexico, were conquered
by Pizarro. — Cuba, as well as Haiti, were discovered by Colum-
bus. — ^Each village and each hamlet have their petty chief. — ^Not
friendship, not success, not wealth, make a man truly happy. — ^In
Mexico the cactus bloom in great proftision, the magnolia, and
the oleander. — ^Energy, and nothing but energy, are capable of
•ucceeding in a new country. — ^Folly, even crime, too often meet
with no rebuke in fashionable society.


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S80 OGBorrwocmv or

Unbbb g 681, 682. NMther my grandfather nor mjself are abk
to put up with this any longer. — ^Either thou or thj brother hath
informed me wrong. — Not only I, but thou also, art to blame. —
Neither the tongs nor the poker was in its place. — ^Either Victoria
and her oaMnet or Louia Napoleon has made a great mistake.



633. Errors of various kinds, besides those already
noticed, are common in the use of verbs. They consist
chiefly in the substitution of one mood or tense for an-
other, the use of corrupt forms, and a want of ccmsist-
ency when two or more verbs stand in the same con-

634. Do not use the indicative for the subjunctive

636. Use the present subJimdiTe, not indicadTe, in a eonanaad, pi<6-
hibiUon, or warning, after a coigunction following an imperative or sodi
phrases as it is necessart/, *^ Have a care lest thou fall [motfoUlesty*

636. Use the imperfect subjunctive, not indicative, to express a wish or
supposition, when the opposite of what is wished or supposed is really the
case ; as, ^* Would Heaven he tpere [not vat] here ! ^

637. Use the present indicative to express what is
always true, even though the leading v^b is past ; as,
" Many of the ancients believed that the soul is [not
was] immortal."

638. The perfect indicative must be used when past

683. In what do the remaining errors in tbo use of verbs ehiefly ooDsifkt
034. What caution is gi'fen relating to the subjnnctive mood f 636. In what most
the present subjunctive, and not the present indicative, be used ? 636. What must
be expressed with the imperfect subjunctive, and not the imperfect indieati^f
637. What must the present indicative be used to express f 088. When mnit tbi
perfect indicative be used? With what must it not be usedt lUustrat* these


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ocariTRTOnoir ov tezrbb 231

time connected with the present is denoted, but must
not stand with words denoting past time simply.

'* Thej are travelling for the last three months.** Here past time ter-
minating at the present is denoted, and the present tense must therefore
be changed to the perfect: ^^They have been travelling for the last three
months." '* A great storm has set in yesterday.** Here past time not
connected with the present is denoted, and the perfect tense must be
changed to the imperfect: " A great storm set in yesterday.**

639. The imperfect potential is often nsed in wrong

" Bemember that you might fail in your attempt [say may fail],'** ** I
will not speak of it, even if I should be asked [say if lam aekedy or be
asked],^* " I would not ^eak of it, even if I shall be asked [say if I should
be asked or toere €^ked\,^

In like manner we say, " I will go, if I can ; ** but, " I vx/M go, if I
eotild.^ " I may go, if you toill remain ; ** but, " I might go, if you toould
remain.** ** I am making, have made, or will make, my arrangements to
remain, that you may go.** **I made or had made my arrangements to
remain, that you might go.**

640. Be careful not to use the imperfect indicative
of an irr^ular verb for the perfect participle, or the
perfect participle for the imperfect indicative.

Do not say has went for has gone^ having wrote for having written, 1
teen for Isaw, &c. Numerous errors of this kind were presented for cor-
rection under the irregular verbs.

641. Avoid corrupt forms.

Among the most common of these tare had have, for had^ in the plu-
perfect ; hadn't ought, for ouglit not ; had as lief had rather, &c, for
would as lief would rather, &c. ; Fm a mind, for / have a mind; amH,
for are not ; moughtnH, for might not, &c.

642. In combining two or more auxiliaries with a

points. 630. What tense is often used in wrong oooneotlons t Give examples of
this error. Is can or could used in m dependent clause, with will 7 With would 7
Is will or would nsed in a dependent clanse, with may 7 With might 7 640. What
two parts of irregular verbs mnst not be nsed fSor each other f Give examples of
the vtolallon «f this rale. 641. ICmtion some of the cornet forms most com-
monly used, and tell what mnst be substituted for each. 043. In oomblnfag two


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232 ooNflTBxronoif of tebbs.

participle or the root of a verb, be sore that thej are
all such as can properly be used with it.

** I will give M mudi as he has.** As he has what ? Evidentlj hat
give. Correct bj introducmg the partidple with the latter auxiliary : **I
will give as much as he has given,^ ** Does he not economize, and eren
pinches himself^ that his ftndly may liye comfortably ? " JPinehet must
not be used with the auxiliary doet. Say, " Does he not economise, and
even pineh himself,^ 4to.


Ukdsb S 685) 686. See that thou forgettest not thy friends.

[Oorreeted.-See that thou forget not thy friends. ForgetUst
mnst be changed to forget, the present subjunctive, because it ex-
presses an act forbidden, after the conjunction that, following the
imperative He.]

It is proper that he makes an apology. — Use all your efforts,
lest she surpasses you. — Oh that the storm was over, and the
blessed sun was shining I — If I was a farmer, I should give my
attention principally to fruit.— Would that he was as devout as
formerly I — She could not be more queenly, if she was a queen.—
I wish there was more honesty in the world.

Under § 687. The experiments made on this occadon proved
that water was impenetrable. — Copernicus was the first in mod*
em times to teach that the earth moved round the sun. — ^Were
you aware that comets sometimes moved more than a million of
miles in an hour? — Oolumbus had become convinced that the
earth was round.

Undeb § 688. Philosophers, in old times, have taught some
strange doctrines. — Living with her several years, I think I know
her character. — ^Newark is long celebrated for the manufacture
of carriages. — Seven metals have been known even in early times.
— A law has long since been passed, forbidding merchants to en-
cumber the sidewalk.

Under § 639. Railroads are not built, simply that a dozen
directors might enrich themselves. — ^I should speak my mind
more freely, if you will promise not to repeat what I say.— We

ormoremazUUrief wlttia paitldptomryerbalrootiidiatmiiit boManiof XUm*


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shall tdtimatelj find that there is some wise purpose in every
affliction, though we could not discover what it was. — Gould
you not prepare your lessons better, if you try ? — ^Men will not
listen to the warnings of the pulpit, that they might profit by

Undeb § 641. Had Hume have looked into the matter more
closely, he would not have made this misstatement. — ^Knowing
the necessity of energy and perseverance, they hadn^t ought to
fold their arms at this crisis.— I had as lief remain, but I an't going
to do so. — ^They said the stage moughtn^t leave to-morrow, but
Pm a mind to risk it.

Undeb § 642. He would sit and read for hours, and then medi-
tated much on what he read.— 2^0 poetry more sublime than Mil-
ton's ever has or is likely to be written. — Have you ever, or can
you imagine, how you would feel, if you were cast upon a desert
island? — ^They could neither realize their misfortune nor pro-
vided any remedy for its consequences.



RULE XH— I nfinitives .

. 643. A verb in the infinitive is used as a subject, or
limits the meaning of some other word, or stands inde-
pendently in the sentence.

Examples. — To deceive [subject] is always wrong. — ^He chastens, [in
order] to save [limits the meaning of the noun order understood]. — ^Ney
oflfered battle rather than retreat, — ^There are animalcula so small as to be
invisible. — ^Miller declared that the world was about to be destroyed, — ^Let
strife cease. — ^Bid the repentant come. — ^A house to let [intrans.]. — To mur-
mur or eftdure [used independently] — ^which is the wiser course ? — 7b speak
plamly, honesty is at a discount.

64a. Redte Rule XII., relating to InflnitiTea. Give an example of the use of
tbe InfinltiTe as a ■ubjeet ; of its qm aa a modifier of other wordi ; of Ita ind^


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284 cx>NffrBUonoK ov the nrFmrnvB.

644. The preposition for mtuBt not be used immedi-
ately before the infinitive ; as, " He is trying bard fm
to enter college." Correct by omitting the preposi-

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Online LibraryG. P. (George Payn) QuackenbosAn English grammar → online text (page 19 of 24)