G Steel.

An English grammar and analysis : for students and young teachers online

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(1) All monosyllabic adjectives and adverbs; as —

Tall, taUer, tallest ; soon, sooner, soonest.

(2) All disyllabic adjectives with the accent on the last syllable ;

as —

Genteel, genteeler, genteelest.

{3) Adjectives of two syllables, the latter of which blends readily
with the suflSx ; as —

Able, abler, ablest ; narrow, narrower, narrowest.

•(4) Adjectives of two syllables ending in y (changed to i before
the sufl&x) ; as —

Happy, happier, happiest.

^ For definition of Comparison see p. 64.

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64 AN ENGLISH GRAMMAK AND ANALYSIS.

The Comparative is formed by prefixing more, and the Super-
lative by prefixing moat to —

(1) All adjectives of more than two syllables ; as —

More agreeable, most agreeable.

(2) Any adjective of two syllables (alternative form) ; as —

More able, most able.

(3) All adverbs of more than one syllable ; as —

Swiftly, more swiftly, most swiftly.

Orthographical changes attending the addition of the snffixes

-er, -eat,

(1) A final consonant preceded by a short (accented) vowel is

doubled.
Examples : red, redder, reddest ; cruel, crueller, cruellest.

(2) Final y preceded by a consonant is changed to t.

EsLample : pretty, prettier, prettiest.

(3) Adjectives ending in silent e add -r or -at.

Example : polite, politer, politest.

II. Irregular Comparison. The following words are
exceptional in some respects : —

(a) Adjectives.

} older, oldest. Regular form.
elder, eldest. I ^^^.'''^/.''' ^^P^^ ^ ^^^^ ^*^^'-
( Archaic.

Oood, better, best. Bet = good, but is from a different root.



eJu, Iworse, worst. \ ^fj* T^^ ^ Teutonic root cognate with
Til j ' i the L. mrua, poison.

jKyiQ\. ) (" Much " is from O.E. mycd = great,

jl '[more, most. j^Many" and "more" are from the
) I Aryan root mag = great.

littie, less, least. |^\?^ ^^^l (/^^^, ^^^1 to deceive).
( "Laessa" (from laa, to pick out.

Near, ) j^^aj^j (nearest.) " Near " was an Adverb which displaced
Nigh, j * ( next. J the regular positive form neah = nigh

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AOCIDKHOB.



65



^•^.te,



Far,



latest. Used in respect to time,
last. Used in respect to order.

« Former " is a Comparative formed from an old Superlative,
for-ntra (= first), the superlative of fore. There was another
word, /or-m-ost, which was a double superlative from the same
root, and had the same meaning (= first). Hence —

The suffix -most is a double superlative ending , and must not
be confused with the Adjective and Adverb " most."

Examples: Doable Saperlatives. Utmost, hindmost, aftermost, inmost,
uppermost, lowermost, topmost, endmost.



(6) Adverbs.



Well,
Badly, ^
HI, [
Evil, i
Much,
Little,



better, best,
worse, worst.



more,
less.



most,
hast.



Far,

Near,)

Nigh,|

Late,

Forth,



farther,

nearer,

later,
farther.



farthest,
r nearest,
(next.

last.

farthest



" Rather " is a Comparative form = sooner (rathe = early).
** First " is the regular Superlative of *• fore."

QnestionB. 1. Give a complete table of the Personal Pronauns (Decline
able forms only).

2. Which Impersonal Pronouns exhibit inflection ? Give the

inflected forms.

3. What Adjectives and Adverbs form the comparative by

prefixing more to the positive form? How is the
superlative formed?

4. Give the other forms of comparison of the following

words : happy, astute, last, worse, old, far, nigh, best,
least, and further.

Inflection of the Verb.

The accessory functions assumed by Verbs are those of Tense,
Person, Niunber, Mood, and Voice.



Tense.

Tense is the function of indicating whether an assertion refers
to the Present time, to Past time, or to Future time. The
function of representing Present time is called the Present Tense,
that of representing Past time is called the Past Tense, and that
of representing Future time is called the Future Tense.

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AN ENGLISH GRAMMAR AND ANALYSIS.



Within each of these principal tenses it is possible to indicate
finer distinctions of time. Thus we distinguish within each
principal tense an Indefinite, an Imperfect Continuous, a Perfect,
and a Perfect Continuous sub-division; and to each of these
distinctions of time there is a corresponding Tense-form. The
Indefinite is the simple Present, Past, or Future without other
distinction. The Imperfect Continuous represents vividly some
particular instant in the Present, Past, or Future, with a vague
suggestion of continuity, before and after. The Perfect repre-
sents a completed Present, Past, or Future; and the Perfect
Continuous a completed instant in a vaguer continuous Present,
Past, or Future.

RemurJi. — The two continuous tenses correspond to some well-marked
instant of time, and the tenses would be more appropriately named the
Instant Tense and Instant Perfect respectively.

The Tense-forms will be more readily understood from the
following table : —



Principal
Tense.


Indefinite


Imperfect Con-
tinnous.


Perfect.


Perfect Continuous.


Present.
Past' .
Future .


Iwalk
I walkAd
IshaUwalk


I was walking
I shall be walking


Ihavewalked I have been walking

I had walked I had been walking

I ihall have walked I shall have been walking

t



Note, — 1. When any tense, or other form of the Verb, contains only a
single verb it is called a Simple Tense. Examples : I walk^
I walked.

2. The Future Tense is formed by placing "shall" or " will"* in

front of the Infinitive of the given verb.
The Imperfect Continuous by placing " am," " was," or other

tense of '* be " before the Imperfect Participle of the given

verb.
The Perfect Tense, by placing " have," " had," or other tense of

" have " in front of the Perfect Participle of the given verb.
The Perfect Continuous, by a tense of " have " followed by the

Perfect Participle of " be " and the Imperfect Participle of

the given verb.
These are, therefore, Compound Tenses.

3. The verbs "shall," "will," "be," and "have" are called

Auxiliaries.' They are Tense-auxiliaries. " Be " is also an
auxiliary of Voide. (See p. 68.)



* The Past Tense is often called the Preterite, L. Prssteritus (from prater,
beyond ; Uus, gone) = gone by.

'* " Shall " for Ist Person, " will " for 2nd and 3rd Persons.

• L. awa?iZiww, help.



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ACOIDBNOB. 67

4, There iB a use of the Present Indefinite which indicates present
time in the vaguest way only, without excluding past and
future time ; as, when we say that the earth rotates on its
axis, or that living things hreathe. This special use should
be noted. It might appropriately be called the General
Tense,

5» The Past has a Freqnentative Form, in addition to those named
above. Thus, if we say, "We used to wonder at many
things," we indicate that we wondered frequently.

6» The Present and Past have also an Emphatie Form ; as, We <f o
expect straightforwardness ; I did say so.

Person and Number.^

Personal Endings. In Old English Person and Number were
indicated by suffixes.

f\. The suflax for the 1st Pers. was -m. Still seen in " am."

{Now represented by -st in " wast,"
♦• hast; " by -est in " goest," " saw-
est ; " and by -t in '* shalt,** " wilt,"
" wast."

(Still used in poetry; as, "He
prayeth best,*' etc. Generally
now represented by -i ; as, He
walks ^ speakSy etc.

{There were three Aryan suffixes for the plural: (1) -mas, (2) -tas,
(3) -anti. These were reduced in O.B. to -ath (Pres. Indie), -en
(Past and Subjunctive). Personal endings have long disappeared
from the English verb, though the plural in -en is found in Shake-
speare.

^ MooD.2

There are three Moods: the Indicative, the Subjunctive, and
the Imperative.

Remark. — The Infinitive is usually called the Infinitive Mood ; and
Dr. Morris also calls Participles a mood of the verb. As soon, however,
as we look upon Mood as a function of the verb, both of these so-called
"moods" must be discarded; for, in the words of Dr. Morris, "The
Infinitive is simply an abstract noun," and " participles are adjectives."

There is no auxiliary of Mood, but the Subjunctive (really the
Past Tense) of " shall " and " will " and of " be " is employed to
form the Future Subjunctive and the Passive Subjunctive
respectively.

The Imperative is formed from the Subjunctive by suppressing
the subject («Aow, you). See " Conjugation of Like," p. 70.



OQ



* For definition of Person and Number see p. &a»

* For definition of Mood see p. 63.



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68 AN ENGLISH GBAMMAB AND ANALYSIS.

VOICB.^

There are two Voices, the Active Voice and the Passive Voice.

Natc—l, The verb "be" (followed by the Perfect Participle) is the
Auxiliary of Passive Voice.
2. Transitive Verbs are the only verbs which have Voice.

Qnestions. 1. Name the principal tenses and the tenses they include
(tabular form).

2. What are simple tenses, compound tenses, And tense-

auxiliaries ?

3. How are the Future Tense and the Perfect Tenses formed ?

4. Give the 1st and 2nd Person Singular of the verb *' walk "

in the three principal tenses (Indefinite), and in
different Moods.
6. Give the Future Indicative (Active and Passive, 1st, 2nd,
and 3rd Pera Sing.) of the verb " praise.*'

FBINCIPAL FABTS OF THE VEBB.

The verb, as we meet with it in the sentence, exhibits its real
nature ; out of the sentence it only exists by name. The so-called
Finite Verb is, therefore, the only real verb : it is the only verb
which makes assertions. Directly we take a verb from its
context we divest it of its characteristic function. "The verb
66," for instance, is a mere name by which we can refer to the
various forms associated with the word "be." When, on the
other hand, a verb which has an independent significance (as the
verb "be" has when it denotes existence) is taken from its
context, this independent meaning is left when the word is taken
from the sentence. Thus, " sing," when taken from its context,
still denotes a certain activity, which the word suggests to our
mind. But "eajw^Tice" and ^* singing^' (which is what " sing ^
suggests) are names of abstractions : they are, by their function^
nouns, and not verbs at all.

Similarly, the two participles are primarily adjectives by
function, and if they take any part in making assertions this is
quite a secondary and derivative function. Yet the Infinitive^
and the Participles are so obviously derived from, and related to,
the verb proper, that it is a great convenience to group them
with the parts of the verb, and to speak of the Infinitive, the
Participles, the Present Indicative, and the Past Indicative as
the Principal Parts of the Verb. From these, by the employment
of auxiliaries and Person-and-Number endings, all other tenses-
and forms of the verb are derived.

* For definition of Voice see p. 53.

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ACCIDBNOB. 69

Principal Parts op the Verb,

The Infinitive. This has, usually, the preposition « to ''

prefixed to it; as, "<o go"^ It
may, however, consist simply of the
form used in the present tense (1st
pers.), with the pronoun suppressed ;
as, go, love.^

Imperfect Participle. Formed by adding ing to the Infinitive,

as go-ingy hv-irig?

Perfect Participle. The Perf . Part, ends in -«rf, -d, -en, or

-w ; * as, loved, been.

Present Indicative. The Pres. Indie, 1st Sing., is the simple

stem (infin.) without addition.

Past Indie. (Preterite). Formed from the Pres. Indio. by

adding ed, -d, or -«,* or byii change
in the root-vowel merely.*

THE TWO COHJUGATIOHS.

Weak Verbs and Strong Verbs.

A complete statement of all the parts of a verb and of all
the forms assumed by it, is called its conjugation. When the
conjugations of the different verbs are compared together, it is
found that there are two different types exhibited, and two only.
The great majority of verbs are found to form their past tense
and their perfect participle by adding -ed, -d, or -i to the present
tense. This is one type ; it is called the Weak Conjugation, and
verbs forming their past tense by the addition of -ed, -d, or -t are
called Weak Verbs.

The remaining verbs form the past tense by a change in the
root-vowel of the present tense, merely ; and the perfect participle
by the addition of -en, or. -w, with or without vowel-change. This
second type is called the Strong Conjugation, and verbs forming
the past tense by vowel change merely, and the perfect participle
by the addition of -en or -n, are called Strong Verbs.

* The form with " to *' is called the Phrasial Infinitive.

* The Infinitive without "to" is called the Simple Infinitive.

* Silent e is dropped, and a consonant following a short vowel is doubled,
before adding -ing,

* The Perfect Participle is now formed by adding -ed or -d to the simple
infinitive (Weak Verbs), but the oldest verbs in the language formed their
perfect participle by adding -en or -n (Strong Verbs). iSiese old participles
were characterised also by vowel- change and are now very irregmar. (See
b'st of Strong Verbs, p. 78.)

» See " Weak Verbs," 1-8, p. 74.

* See " The Strong Conjugation," p. 77.



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AN ENGLISH GRAMMAR AND ANALYSIS.




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74 AN ENGLISH GRAMMAR AND ANALYSIS.



Wbak Verbs.

1 . Weak Verbs are sometimes caUed Kegulav Verbs. By far
the greater number of verbs are Weak Verbs. They are osilled
weak because the past tense is formed by the addition of the
suffix -d or -t, whereas the Strong Verbs form their past tense by
an internal vowel-change, and require no added letter. This
suffix -d (or 4) represents the past tense of another verb, do.
It is the past tense of this verb, viz., did, that is added to the
present tense of Weak Verbs to form their past tense. In Old
English it was written -de, and earlier still it was written -dede,
-dyde, and -dide.

As late as the fourteenth century, " did " was not uncommon
as an auxiliary of past tense, and was then placed before the
infinitive (as " summe dide brenne " = some did bum). By
placing it at the end of the present tense it became a mere suffix,
forming thus the past tense.

" Do " (and ** did ") originally meant to caiise, to make.

2. The suffix -d {= did) is united to the root- verb by the
vowel -e,

3. The suffix -d or -t added to the verb to form the Perfect
Participle has a different origin. It is an adjectival (or par-
ticipial) suffix denoting possession (of properties or attributes
denoted by the verb to which it is affixed). Thus, walled =
having walls, ringed = having rings, liked = attended with
liking.

4. Some verbs lack the connecting vowel, -e, usually found
uniting the suffix to the root. These are called Contracted Verba.
Many Contracted Verbs have lost the suffix -d (or t).



Contracted Verbs.

{a) Weak Verbs lacking the connecting vowel -e before the
suffix -d, or -t.

(1) Verbs in which the radical vowel is shortened in
addition to taking the suffix -d.^

Hear heard heard
Shoe shod shod

Flee fled fled

' The verbs belonging to this class were contracted in Old English.

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ACCIDBNCr. 75

(2) A few Weak Verbs which have a vowel-change ^ as
well as the suffix -d or -t.^



Tea


UM


told


Seek


taught


taught


Sea


sold


sold


Teach


taught


taught



(3) Weak Verbs ending in p, («), (v), /, m, n. These take
the sharp suffix -<, instead of the flat -d, and short* n
the radical vowel if it is long in the Present.



Creep


crept


crept


Deal


dealt


dealt


Weep


wept


wept


Smdl


smelt


smelt


Lose


lost


lost


Bream


dreamt


dreamt


Cleave


cleft


deft


Mean


m>eant


meant


Fed


felt


fdt


Bum


burnt


burnt



{b) Weak Verbs which have lost the suffix -d or -t.^

(4) Weak Verbs ending In d and having a long radical
vowel in the liesent, which, besides taking the
suffix -de (subsequently lost), shorten the radical
vowel.

Feed fed fed

Lead led led

Head read read

(6) Weak Verbs ending in -d or -t and having a short
radical vowel, so that the Present, Past, and Perf.
Participle aie identical in form.

Hid rid rid \ Shut shut shut

Shed, shred, set, cut, put, hurt, lift, tltrust, cast, let,

(6) Weak Verbs ending in -Id, -nd, or -rd. These change
the -d into -t and drop the suffix.



BuiM


buUt


built


Bend


bent


bent


Gird


girt


girt



* The change of vowel in these verbs is not of the same kind as that
which occurs in strong verbs. In these weak verbs it is the present which
has undergone vowel-change.

* The student should note these verbs carefully, as they arc liable to be
mistaken for strong verbs.



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76 AN ENGLISH GRAMMAR AND ANALYSIS.

5. Weak Verbs exhibiting noteworthy pecnliarities.

(1) Catch, caught, caught. This verb is from the Heard

cachier (O.P. chacier'), to hunt, to chase (L. capture,
to catch). Of Norman-French origin, it has followed
the past tense of the E.B. lacchen, to catch, to take,
which had lahte for its past tense.

(2) Clothe, clad, clad. The O.B. Infinitive was clathian.

Hence it is the Present that has undergone vowel-
change.

(3) Make, made, made. The radical h ^as lost in the 13th

century. In the northern dialects we find (14th
century) ma = make. To this the suffix -de was
added.

(4) Have, had, had. The v (representing an earlier h) was

lost, and a short form na (= to have) was for a time
in use. This received the suffix ^d (and -# for the
3rd pers, sing.).

(5) Say, said, said. Old English secgan, u^gde, tagd.

Lay, laid, laid. Old English lecgan^ lecgde, lecgd. The
y of the Present represents the older guttural eg (y
to i before a suffix).

(6) Buy, bought, bought. O.E. hycgan, hohte, hoht In the

I?esent the vowel y was changed to «., and the
guttural eg to y. The latter, eg, is represented by gh
in the Past Tense and Perf. Part, Cp. Slay, slaugfiter.

(7) Think, thought, thought. O.E. thencauy tUhie, Mht,

The n of the Present is not radical.* Cp. gange and
go, stand and stood,

(8) Work, wrought, wrought. O.E. loyrcan, worhte, toorJit.

The guttural k of the Present is represented by the
guttural gh in the Past Tense and Perf. Part. There
is also transposition of the letters o and r. The more
modem form worked has almost superseded " wrought"

(9) Go [went], gone. Originally a strong verb, gangen, g^ong,

gone, "Went" was the past tense of wend (O.E.
wendan, to turn, to go), and superseded gSong,

N.B. — Boy did, done, is a Strong Verb, the past tense of which furnished
the suffix -dj by means of which the Past Tense of weak verbs is formed
from the Present.



* A letter introduced into a root or primitive form is a change called
Epithesis,



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AOOIDBNOB. 77

Qwestioiis. 1. Give the principal parts of the verb wtake. How are the
other t^ises formed from the principal parts of a verb 7

2. What is a cof^jtigatiofil How many conjugations are

there, and how do they differ from each other 1

3. What does the 'd of the past tense of weak verbs represent 1

How does the sufS^ employed in forming the perfect
participle of weak verbs differ from the -ed or -a of the
past tense?

Strong Verbs.

1. The oldest mode of forming the Past Tense in the Indo-
European languages was by reduplication. By reduplication is
meant the repetition of the root-verb to form the Past Tense or
Preterite. TQiis is best illustrated by a Gk>thic verb, hait-an,
to call or name, which had for its preterite or past tense hfai-haU,
The Anglo-Saxon equivalent was Aaton, to call or name, which
had for its preterite he-ht} and then Mt, This is the obsolete
verb hight (= was, or is, called), so frequently met with in Spenser's
Fa&rie Qiueen. It is the only vero witili a passive sense in
English.

The next best example of reduplication is the Latin verb do ^
(=1 give), which has for its preterite de-di (=1 gave).

A third example is the English verb did. In A.S. it was dcm
*{infin.), dy-de (preterite), ge-don (perf. part.). Dyde became dede,
dide, and then did ; and, as we have seen, furnished the suffix by
^which the past tense of weak verbs was formed. " Did " is the
•only verb in modern^ English which clearly exhibits reduplication.^

2. Reduplication usually brought about a vowel-change in the
TOot. The verbs in which this vowel-change can be traced to
reduplication are considered as reduplicated forms. They appear
in tluck type in the list of strong verbs below.

3. All the strong verbs cannot be so traced to reduplicated
forms, and in these verbs the vowel-change ' may have been an
independent expedient to represent the distinctions of Present,
Past, and Participle. This mode of representing different functions
of words is peculiar to the Gothic or Teutonic family of languages.

* This word is found on the Alfred jewel. Mlfred niec liekt gewyrcean
'(Alfred me ordered to be made).

* Pronounced doh, not doo,

» What other English verb exhibits reduplication ? In what other respect
Is it peculiar.

* " In Greek the most conspicuous instrument for the expression of past
time is reduplication." — Prof, JSarle,

* This vowel-change is called Ablaut j or off-sound. It is a change by
which a derivate sound is obtained from a more primitive one (which
•survives), and represents a different function.



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AN ENGLISH GRAMMAR AND ANALYSIS.



4. Strong Verbs are therefore divided into two Classes or
Divisions.

I. Verbs which can be traced to reduplicated forms.
II. Verbs in which the vowel-change may have had some other
origin.

In the following list the verbs known to have been reduplicated are
printed in thick type. The strong verbs are amongst the oldest words in
our language. There are rather more than a hundred of them.

5. The -en of the Perfect Participle is an adjectival suffix often
leading to vowel-change in the root.

6. Many verbs which were once strong have become weak;
but in a few instances the ordinary direction of change has been
reversed. A list of weak verbs which have become strong verbs
is given below.

Alphabetical List of Strong Verbs with the Perfect Participle

in -en or -n.

♦ These forms are archaic.

t Dr. Morris classes these among verbs whose past tense can be traced to
an earlier reduplicated form.

Arise arose arisen

baken
baked



Bake



arose
( —
\ baked
Bear j bore,

(bring forth) ( bare*
Bear ( bore,

(carry) (bare*



Beat

Behoid

Bid

tBind

Bite

Blow

Break

Chide



beat

beheld

I bade,
t bidi

bound

bit

blew

(broke,
(brake*

chid



j-born

i borne

beaten

(beholden
{beheld
j bidden,
I bidi
( bounden
(bound
(bitten,
\ bit.
blown

[broken

jf chidden,
t chid



Choose

Cleave
(split)



Crow

Do
Draw



chose

/clove, )

\ clave* )

(cleft

(crew

(crowed

did

drew



chosen
cloven



tDrink


drank


Drive


( drove,
( drave*


Eat


ate


Fall


fell


Fly


flew


Forbear


forbore


Forget


(forgot,
( forgat*


Forsake


forsook


Freeze


froze



deft
crown

crowed

done

drawn
( drunk,
(drunken

I driven

eaten

&llen

flown

forborne
) forgotten,
j forgot*

forsaken

frozen



* Bid^ to make an offer. Bid, let^ and hurst are the only strong verba
which have a common form for the Present, Past, and Perfect Participle.



Online LibraryG SteelAn English grammar and analysis : for students and young teachers → online text (page 7 of 26)