Samuel Stillman Greene.

A grammar of the English language: adapted to the use of schools and academies online

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1. Single Namss. The proper name of an indiyidual object, has no

2. When several of the same name or family are spoken of together,
the name takes the plural form ; as, "The Tudors;** "The twelve Ccesars,**

8. So, also, the proper names of races, communities, and nations, are
plural; as, "The Indians;" "The Jesuits;" "The Romans,"
. 4. The plurals of proper names are formed, as a general rule, accord- '
ing to the analogy of common names ; as, Canada, Canadas ; Jew, Jews ;
Ptolemy, Ptolemies.

5. Complex Names. When two or more names applied to the same
individual, stand in a sort of apposition to each other, they are gene-
rally considered as one complex name, and are made plural by varying

Compoands. Letters, marks, i;o. Other parts of speech used as nouns.
Nonni from foreign languages. Plural of single proper names, — of complex

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the last only; as, "The George Washmfftont ;** "May there not be fiif
Isaac Newtom in eyery science ?" — Watts,

6. A TITLE AMD A NAME. When a title, as Miss, Mrs., Mr., Gen., Capt.,
or Dr., is prefixed to a proper name, usage has not been uniform in the
formation of the pluraL Sometimes the titUy sometimes the namey and
sometimes both haye been varied; as, The Muses Brown; The Miss
Thompsons; The Misses Winthrops.

7. In all these cases, the relatiye prominence of the name and title
for the most part, determines the plural form. Thus, —

(a.) When the name is made prominent, that alone, and not the title, takes
the plural form. In speaking of three persons by the name of Brown, we
should say (44, 2) " The three Browns ;" thus distinguishing them from the
Smiths, or those of any other name. Now, with this idea uppermost, if we
wished also to distinguish them as young ladies, we should add, incidentally,
the distinctive title, — " the three 31x88 Browne." So, the Dr, Smiths,

(6.) When the title is to be made prominent, that alone should be varied.
Thus, if we should speak of three persons, and say the three Misses, we should
distinguish them as ladies, from so many gentlemen ; in the same way, we
say, the two Drs., the three Generals, If now, with the title prominent, we
would incidentally add the name, we should say, (1.) if the names were dif-
ferent, ** the three Misees Brown, Atwopd, and Putnam ;" (2.) if the same, *' the
three Misses Brown," and especially so without the numeral ,* as, " The Miesee
Brown." In the former of these cases, if the name were prominent, we should
say, '' Miss Brown, Miss Atwood, and Miss Putnam,"

(c.) When two titles are made equally prominent, they are both varied; as,
** The Lords Bishops of Durham and St. David's ;" " The Knights Baronets"
(43, 8). And so it would seem, by the same law, that, when a title and a name
are made equally emphatic, they should both be varied. Thus, the Misses
Winthrop, in distinction from the Messre, Winthrop; and the 31isses Winthrops,
in distinction from the Messrs, Mortons, Yet, usage seems to be neurly uni-
form in placing the plural name after Mrs, ; as, " The Mrs, Whites ;" and the
plural title before the names, when persons of different names are mentioned
together ; as, " The Misses Wilson and Everett ;" " Messrs, Little and Brown."

45. Bemarks on the Nnmber of Nouns.

1. Nouns without a Plural. Proper nouns, except as in (44, 2, 8),
and nouns denoting substance (43, 7), except when different sorts are
expressed, have no plural ; as, gold, grass, wine,

2, Nouns without the Singular. The following nouns have no
singular: embers, oats, scissors^ vespers, literati, antipodes, ashes, tlothes,
billiards, ides, intestines, vitals, bellows, drawers, nippers, tongs, shears, &o.
Lungs, bowels, and some others have a singular denoting a part of the
whole; as, lung, bowel.

Plural of a title and a name. Nouns without a plural. Nouns without the

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8. The following words are plural in respect to their original form,
but singular or plural in respect to their meaning : alms, amends^ newt,
riches f pains (meaning effort), odds, wages, molasses, series, suds, corps^
measles, tidings, mumps, rickets, nuptials ; as also the names of some of
the sciences; as, mathematics, ethics^ optics, statics, mechanics, m^^cmonies.

Note. — Ifetcs is now regarded as singular; so also measles and molmssetf
although they have the plural foiin.

4. Nouns either Sinqular or Plural. Some nouns are alike in
both numbers ; as, deer, sheep, swine, vermin, hose, fry, trout, i<dmonf brace^
couple, doxm, yoke, gross,

46. Exerdse.

1. Tell which of the foUovoing nouns are singular, and which are plural :^m
Daughter, day, churs, watches, apple, pears, stars, oats, coat, nails,

inkstand, horn, hearts, hoof, books, bundle, scissors, news, trout, milk,
purity, chimneys.

2. Write the plural of the following nouns, and give the rule for the Urmi-
nation : —

Work, example, lady, oak, horse, hope, stratagem, ferry, leaf, storm,
bird, bond, thief, sex, day, filly, half| watch, iron, vinegar, turkey,
tomato, potato, spoonfiil, step-father.

8. Tell the singular of the following :'^

Heroes, pence, strata, teeth, dies, memoranda, children, mice, hypothe-
ses, messieurs, brethren, scissois, seraphim, axes, snuffers, errata, cheru-
bim, sheep, formulae, swine, solos, flies, kniyes, riches, mottoes, octavos,
courts-martial, inkstands, indices.

4. Correct the following plurals, and give the rule or remarks for the cor-
rection : —

Negros, folioes, vallies, dutys, thiefs, yokes, calfs, phenomenons, cri'
terions, mans, turkies, flys, father-in-laws, grottoes, son-in-laws, cups-
full, echoes.

47. Oender of Nouns.

1. Gender is a distinction of nouns in regard to sex.

2. There are three genders — ^tbe masculine, the /emininey and
the neuter.

3. Nouns which denote males are of the mascidtne gender ; as,
many king, hero,

Nonna plural in form but singular in meaning. Noons either singular or
plural. aender, - mMouline» feminine, neuter.

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4. Nouns which denote females are of the feminine gender;
as, woman, queen, mother.

5. Nouns which denote neither males nor females are of the
neuter gender ; as, treey rock, JP^JP^'

6. Some nouns may denote either males or females ; as, parenty child,
cousin. These are sometimes said to be of the common gender ; but aa
the gender of such nouns may generally be determined by the connec-
tion, there seems to be no necessity for the distinction. In case th0
gender is not so determined, such nouns may be called masculine.

7. By a figure of speech, called Personification, the masculine or femi-
nine gender is applied to inanimate objects ; thus we say of a ship,
**She sails well;'' of the sun, *'ffe rises in the east." The use of this
£gure imparts peculiar beauty and animation to language. ** Her flag
streams wildly, and her fluttering sails pant to be on their flight."
" The meek-eyed mom appears, mother of dews."

8. In speaking of the inferior animals, and sometimes even of infants,
the distinction of sex is not observed ; as, " And it became a serpent,
and Moses fled from before it" "The child w&a lying in its cradle."
But in speaking of animals distinguished for boldness, size, or any other
Siarked quality peculiar to the male, we attribute to them the nutsculine
gender, even when the sex is not known ; as, " The eagle is the kinff of

9. Collective nouns, if they convey the idea of unity, or take the plu-
ral form, are neuter; as, "The army, on its approach, raised a shout of
defiance." But if they convey the idea of plurality without the plural
form, they take the gender of the individuals which compose the colleo-
tion ; as, " The jury could not agree upon their verdict."

10. When the sexes are distinguished by different words (48, 1), the
masculine is used to include both sexes; as, " Jenner conferred a grMi
benefit on man."

48. Methods of distinguishing the Sexes.

1. By using different words : —

Examples. Bachelor, maid; beau, belle; boar, sow; boy, girl; brother,
sister; buck, doe; bull, cow; cock, hen; drake, duck; earl, countess ; father,
mother ; gander, goose ; horse, mare ; husband, wife ; king, queen ; lad, lass ;
lordf lady ; male, female ; man, woman ; nephew, niece ; ram, ewe ; son,
daughter ; stag, hind; uncle, aunt; wizard, witch; dog, bitch; monk, nun;
hart, roe; master, mistress ; Mister, Mistress {Mr., Mrs.); papa, mammae
sir, madam ; sloven, slut ; steer, heifer ; youth, damsel ; swain, nymph.

Gilder shimm by diff»rMit wordB^

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(a.) Some masculine ncmni hare no oorresponding feminines; tm, haker,
hretoer, porter, carrier ; while some feminine nooni hare no oorresponding
mascnline ; as, laundreet, eeavutreM,

2. By a difference of termination : —

Examples. Abbot, abbess ; actor, actress; administrator, administratrix;
adulterer, adultress ; ambassador, ambassadress; author, authoress ; baron,
baroness; bridegroom, bride; benefactor, benefactress; count, countess ; dau*
phin, dauphiness; deacon, deaconess; director, directress; duke, duchess;
emperor, empress; executor, executrix; governor, governess; heir, heiress;
hero, heroine ; hunter, huntress ; host, hostess ; instructor, instructress ; Jew,
Jewess; landgrave, landgravine; lion, lioness; marquis, marchioness; moni'
tor, monitress ; patron, peUroness ; poet, poetess ; priest, priestess ; prince,
princess; prophet, prophetess; shepherd, shepherdess; testator, testatrix;
tiger, tigress; tutor, tutoress ; widower, widow; god, goddess ; giant, giantess;
negro, negress; songster, songstress; sorcerer, sorceress; sultan, sultana,

8. By joining some distinguishing word : —

Examples. Landlord, landladg ; gentleman, gentletroman ; peacock,
peaAen ; A^-goat, she-go&i ; manservant, mat^^servant ; maZ«-child, femaU'
child; cocA;- sparrow, A^n-sparrow; grandfather, grtaidmother ; English-
man, EngUshtroman ; merman, mermatJ; 8choolma«^, BchoolmMtrMt.

49L Exercise.

1. Tell which of the following nouns are maseuliney which femimne, and
which neuter : —

Picture, walnut, duchess, Spaniard, letter, sailor, queen, priest, cur-
tain, lioness, nun, captain, widow, wiiard, deacon, hospital, banner,
brother, countess.

2. €Kve the feminine gender of the following nouns: —

Man, abbot, horse, hero, tiger, heir, prophet, Jew, male, lord, widower,
husband, beau, uncle, host, poet, gander, sultan, master, king, bride-
groom, prince, nephew, duke.

8. Cfive the masculine gender of the following : —

Empress, mother, sister, marchioness, woman, she-goat, electress,
witch, doe.

4. Itll the blanks m the following examples ; the first five with common
nouns in the masculine gender : —

— is patient. loves his sister. reigns king of

beasto. exposes his wares for sale. should venerate the

old. The next five with proper or common nouns in the feminine gender:

Gender shown by different terminationB,— by distinguishing word*

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WM Qneeni of England. ' entertained her gaesta with

grace. was a distinguished poetess. was the nightin*

gale of Sweden. ■ loves her offspring. The next five with collective

noufUy and tell the gender : > met at the house of a friend.

brought in a verdict. were appointed by the chair.

must obey its leaders. listened with delight.

6. Select the nouns in the following example; teU the elat9,penonf ntMi-
*er, and gender of each noun : —

« Thou too sail on, Ship of State !
Sail on, Union, strong and great I
Humanity, with all its fears.
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate I
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What workmen wrought thy ribs of bML'^'— Longfellow.

50. Case of Koiumk

1. Ccae denotes the relation of a noun or pronoun to other

2. There are three cases — ^the naminatwe, ^e jpos8e$nvef and
the objective,

8. The Twrninaiive case is the simplest form of the noun, and
is commonly used as the subject of a proposition ; as, " George
speaks." "The door was shut." (See Introduction, Lesson

4. Besides being the subject of a proposition, the nominative case
may be used, 1st, as the attribute of a proposition ; 2d, it may be used
to identify the subject or attribute ; 8d, it may be independent of any
other word; as, Ist, "Peter was an apostle;" "The stars are suns;"
2d, " Milton, the poet, was blind.'' " It was John, the beloved disciple ;"
8d, " Henry, attend to your studies ;" " Mary, are you ready ?"

5. The possessive case denotes the relation of property or pos-
session ; as, " DavicTs harp."

6. The possessive singular of nouns is regularly formed hy
adding an apostrophe ( ' ) and the letter s to the nominative ; as,
man's, DavicPs.

7. When the plural ends in «, the apostrophe only is added;

Case, — nominative. Usei of the nominative^ — poasesiive. Formation of
Ike possessive.

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ad^ hoifs\ ladie8\ But the (') and $ are added when \i ends in
any other letter ; as, mefiCsj women* 8, brethren! s.

8. The possessive termination ('«) in the singular, is evidently a con-
traction of the Anglo-Saxon or Old English genitive es or it. The (*)
in the plural is a modern invention, used to denote the possessive case.
In Lord Grey's letter to the Prince of Wales, written the latter part of
the twelfth or the first of the thirteenth century, are these expressions,
— "Our liege Lordea pryve seal;" "The Kynget commaundement;'*'
" The Erle$ ground." ^

9. Tfhen the singular ends in «, or in a letter or combination of letten
having the sound of «, and the addition of a syllable would be harsh,
the poets and some prose writers add the (') only; as, Feleus' son,
goodnet%^ sake, conscience' sake. Motet' seat, the cockatrice' den.

10. Some difference of opinion prevails among writers respecting tht
form of the possessive in other cases where the singular ends in «, some
adding the (') only, and some the (') and «. Thus we have Adamt*
express, or Adams's express ; Otis' letters, or Otis' s letters. The weight
of authority is in favor of the additional s, whenever the laws of euphony
will admit ; especially if a syllable is added in pronouncing the word ;
as, Sates's Sermons, Barnes's Notes.

11. In nouns whose singular and plural are alike (46, 4) the apostro*
phe should precede the s in the singular, and follow it in the plural; as,
deer's, deers' ; sheep's, skeeps'.

12. For the sound of the apostrophic s, and the increase of syllables,
see (42, 2, 8).

13. The use of the apostrophe and s to mark the plural of letters and
signs (43, 9), has no connection with case.

14. When a noun follows a transitive verb or a preposition, it
is in the objective case ; as, '^ Thomas opened his knife.** ^^ The
bird sat on the tree.*'

15. The nominative case answers the question Whof or Whatf as,
" Who writes ?" " John writes." " What alarms him ?" " The storm
alarms him." The possessive case answers the question Whose f as,
•* ITAot* book have you?" "I have my brother's book." The objective
case answers the question Whomf or Whatf as, "TTAom do you see?*
" I see the captain." " On what does he stand ?" " He stands upon ths

16. The possessive case may be known by its form. But the forms
of the nominative and iiie objective are alike ; hence they must be de-
termined by their relation to other words.

Origin of ('§.) Objective ease. Questions answered by eaeh ease.


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5L Dedendon <rf Vcmiui,

Tbe declension of a noun is its variation to denote number and


1. BOT.




Boy, y


2. Fly.




8. John.








4. Goodness,





52. Exercise.

1. Put thsfollomng noum in Italia into the possessive ease, and let each
4sqfression be written on your slates, thus : —

The carpenter axe. The carpenter^s axe.

Abraham son. David harp. Moses law. Adams Arithmetic. WelH
tter Dietionary. The coaehmtm dog barked at the herdsman sheep. The
Uon roar aroused the shepherd dog. The /armer corn was destroyed by
his ntiighhor cow.

Pedeaiion of nounSk

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2. Oiv4 th$ rtdeforformtf^ tk$pQ M 9 $mv earn,

8. Write the following nount in the poueeeive plural, and place eome apprO"
priate noun after them, thus : —

' The tailore* shears." <«The men's apariment."

TaUor, seaman, captain, doctor, brother, Tallcy, folly, alley, ally, htro^
ju*ch, cMld, director, president, sheep.

53. Parsing.

1. Parsing consists, —

(1.) In telling the part of speech,
(2.) In telling its properties or accidents,
(3.) In pointing out its rdaJ^ion to other words^ and giying the
rule for its construction.

2. In parsing a noun^ —

(1.) 9ay it is a noun, and why.

(2.) Common or proper, and why.

(8.) Of the 1st, 2d, or Z^ person, and why.

(4.) Of the singular or plural number, and why.

(5.) Of the masculine, feminine, or neuter gender, and why,

(6.) Of the nominative, possessive or objective ease, and why*

(7.) The rtde for construction.

NoTB.— The pupil who has been thoroughly drilled in the Introduction^
may be able to introduce this third element of parsing, if the teacher choose.
The Rules of Syntax will of course be anticipated, if applied here. The
teacher can omit or use the rules, as he may think best

54. Exercise.


1. Washington, the successful general, was also a true patriot,

Washington , is a noun, — ^it is the name of an object ; proper, — it is the
name of an individual object ; third person, — it denotes the
person spoken of; singular number, — ^it denotes but one ;
maseuUne gender, — it denotes a male ; nominative case^ — it is
the subject of the proposition ** Washington was a patriot,'*
according tx) Rule I. : << A noun or pronoun used aa the
subject of a proposition, must be in the nominatiye ease."

Outlines for parsing. Models for parsing.

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Oiiural ... is a noun (why?); common (why); third per$on (why?))
tingular number (why?); masculine gender (why?); nomi*
native case, and is put in apposition with Washington.
Rule YI. : ** A noun or pronoun used to explain or identify
another noun or pronoun, is put by apposition in the samt

Patriot .... is a noun (why?); common (why?); third person»(yfihyX)\
singular number (why ?) ; masculine gender (why ?) ; nominee
tive case (why ?) ; it is used as the attribute of the propo-
sition, <* Washington was a patriot." Rule II. : ** A noun
or pronoun used as the attribute of a proposition, must be
in the nominative case."

2. John, bring me Fanny* s History, that book lying on the desk.

John ... is a proper noun, second person, singular number, masculine
gender, and nominatiye case independent. Rule X.: **The
nominatiye case independent, and the interjection, have no
grammatical relation to the rest of the sentence."

Fanny's . is a proper noun, third person, singular number, feminine
gender, possessive case (why ?) and limits History. Rule YII. :
** A noun or pronoun used to limit another noun by denoting
possession, must be in the possessive case."

History . is a common noun, third person, singular number, neuter gen-
der, objective case, and is the object of bring. Rule VIII. :
<* A noun or pronoun, used as the object of a transitive verb,
or its participles, must be in the objective case."

Book ... is a common noun, third person, singular number, neuter gen-
der, objective case, and is put in apposition with History.
Rule VI.

Desk ... is a common noun, third person, singular number, neuter
gender, objective case, and is ihe object of the preposition on.
Rule XrV. : *< A noun or pronoun, used as the object of m
preposition, must be in the objective case."

8. Select the nouns in the following examples, and parse them according to
the forms given above: —

The first land discovered by Columbus, was an island, to which he
gave the name of San Salvador. King Agrippa, believest thou the
prophets ? In truth, the proper rest for man, is change of occupation.

In autumn, there is no sudden blight of youth and beauty ; no sweet
hopes of life are blasted, no generous aim at usefulness and advancing

Models for parsing.

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Tirtue cut short. The year is drawiag to its natural term, the seasons
have run their usual course ; all their blessings have been eigoyed, and
all our precious things are cared for. — Cooper.

One moment I looked from the hill's gentle slope,

All hushed was the billow's commotion,
And methought that the light-house looked lovely as J^ope,
That star on life's tremulous ocean. — Moore.

Land of the beautiful and brave,
The freeman's home, the martyr's grave,
The nursery of giant men.
Whose deeds are linked with every glen !

My own green land for ever ! — Whittier.

4. Let the whole class parse these or other words on the slate^ thus :—'
WaahingUmj is N. p. 8d. s. m. nom. R. I.
Fanny's is N. p. 8d. s. f. pos. R. VII.
Desk is N. c. 8d. s. n. obj. R. XIV.


bb. Definitions.

1. An adjective is a word used to limit or qualify a noun; as,
^^9^ good school;" "a diligent boy;" "this table;" "ten men;'*

2. All words which have the construction of the adjective are here
considered under the head of acyectives. The article, like the acyective,
belongs to the noun ; it has the same construction as the adjective, and
is hence placed among acyectives.

8. Every acffective is a dependent or subordinate word, and mmst
belong to some noun or pronoun as its principaL

4. When the noun or pronoun to which the acyective belongs has been
previously used in the same sentence, or is some indefinite word, as,
person^ some one, or some thing y it may be omitted ; as, "I will give you
this book, if you will give me that [book]." <* The kingdom of heaven
suffereth violence, and the violent [persons] take it by force."

5. An adjective belonging to a noun understood, or omitted, takes the
place of the latter, and is said to be an adjective used as a noun.

Ai^eotives defined. Acyective a dependent word. A^eotivea used as

6 J>

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06. Classes of A^leotives.

1. Adjectives are divided into two classes — limiHng and quxiU'

2. A limiting adjective is used to define or restrict the meaning
of a noun, without expressing any of its qualities \ 9&^ ^^tkt
house ;" ''^five books ;" " this pen."

3. Limiting adjectives are divided into three classes — articUs^
pronominal adjectives, and num^ercH adjectives.

57. Articles.

1. The particular limiting adjectives, the, and a or an, are
ealled articles.

2. The is called the definite article, because it points out some
particular thing ) as, " the desk /' " the sun."

8. A or an. is called an indefinite article, because it does not
point out any particular thing ; as, " a pen ;" " an orchard."

4. An is used before a vowel sound, and a before a consonant
sound ) as, " an apple ;" " a pin ;" " an hour ; " a union ;" " an

5. Although the article is intimately connected with the limitation of
nouns, it is to be regarded rather as the ngn of limitation than as itself
n limiting word. When one says, ** The man,'' the giyes notice to the
hearer that some particular man is regarded in the mind of the speaker.
He will point oat, by limiting or individualizing, who that particular
man is. A, or an, again, is a sign that the speaker, in regarding a mul-
titude of objects, of the same kind, thinks of one, but no specific or
particular one The noun may be limited to show what class or descrip-
tion of objects is meant, but not to show any particular indiyiduaL

6. Ay or an, however, may be said to limit whenever it prevents a
noun from being used in its widest sense ; as, man = the whole human

. race ; a man = one man, but no particular one. TTie, again, may be
said to extend the meaning of a noun in the singular, when it is used
in such examples as these : " The horse" = all horses. ** The dog," &c.

7. The article has the construction of the limiting a<jyective, and is to

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