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Neither is the predicate always a single verb, though it must always have a verb in it, and represent a verb. ThusSubject.
Rules. No Sentence can be without a Noun or something representing a Noun as its Subject.
No Sentence can be without a Verb in its Predicate or Speech-clause.
EXAMPLES. Wind blows*. Water flows. Wheat grows*. Day glows. Wind shifts*. Snow drifts. Frost nips*. Rain drips. Morning dawns. Evening closes*. Night falls. Earth reposes.
Man walks, men walk.
The noun then is a name, and as a simple name will only name one. But it will be necessary often to name two or more things of the same kind together. It will clearly be convenient to express them all by one word, if possible. Can then the form of the noun be altered so as to mark this distinction of one, or more than one, without the addition of any other word to it ?
First then of the noun "man. The form of this word may be altered to 'men. And the alteration of form does arise from a desire to alter the sense. The word 'man' naming man as one ; the word 'men' naming more than one.
The difference therefore conveyed by this change of form is a difference of Number. "Man' denoting one ; men’denoting more than one.
The noun, or name-word, is said to be in the Singular or Plural Number, according as it takes one or other of these forms. That is, a noun in the singular number shows by its form that it
* Examples of these and the following constructions are given at page 79. The principal peculiarities of the English language are stated at the begioning of the English Gradual.
is naming a single one ; but in the plural number, that it is naming a plurality, or more than one.
Now by definition the predicate, or speech-clause, speaks of the subject; as then the noun by its form shows difference of number, it is convenient that the verb, or speech-word, which speaks of it should be able to show the same.
There are therefore differences of number expressed by the form of the verb. That is, a verb has a singular and a plural number; showing by its form whether it speaks of one or more than one.
It is manifest therefore that in any apparent sentence, if the forms of the noun and verb do not agree in showing the same numbers, there is no real sentence, as the predicate, or speechclause, is false: for by definition the predicate must speak of. the subject. Whereas, if the form of the noun denotes one, and the form of the verb more than one, or vice versá, the predicate, or speech-clause, does not speak of the subject; and there is no sentence.
The verb then, or speech-word, must agree with its subject in number.
N.B. The word, or words, which name the subject are generally called the Nominative (or naming) Case. In this work they will merely be called the Subject-form, or, the Subject; for reasons which will appear further on.
Also, the plural number of most nouns is formed from the singular by adding s, as Sing. 'horse,' Plur. 'horses.'
But in the verb the addition of s always marks the singular form. Thus, 'man walks,''men walk;' though the absence of s does not always indicate that the verb is plural.
Rule. Nouns can show by their form differences of Number, so can Verbs. The Verb therefore must agree with its Subject Noun in Number.
EXAMPLES. Winds blow*. Waters flow. Trees grow*. Cows low. Fires burn*. Wheels turn*. Frosts nip*. Rains drip. Babies sleep. Stags leap*.
Eyes peep. Mornings dawn. Evenings close*. Nights fall.
Birds repose. Such names as denote any of the individuals that are contained in a class of things, are called Common Nouns; as, 'tree,''gate.'
The names of persons and places are called Proper Names; as, 'London,' 'Henry.'
An Abstract Noun is the name of a quality or property; as, 'virtue,' conceived by the mind as existing by itself.
The names of things that really do exist, as ‘man,' are called Concrete Nouns.
PERSONAL PRONOUNS. The subject then is a noun. But when we have to speak much about the same subject, it is extremely awkward to repeat the noun in every sentence, and yet to leave it out would often cause great confusion. This necessity gives rise to a set of words instead of nouns, called Pronouns, which stand in the place of the subject. These words which stand in the place of the name, whether person or thing, which is the real subject, are called Personal Pronouns (that is, For-names), and have formal Numbers. The Personal Pronouns are :Sing. I,
he, she, it. you or ye, they, they, they.
When the noun is the name of a male, it is said to be of the Masculine Gender; when it is the name of a female, it is said to be of the Feminine Gender. Sometimes this distinction is shown by the form of the noun, as actor,' actress.' Those things which are not spoken of as male or female, are said to be of the Neuter Gender; the word "Neuter' meaning neither, that is, neither Masculine nor Feminine. Pronouns show this distinction, as
Masculine he. Feminine she. Neuter it.
Thou walkest, &c. The sentence then at present stands thus, man walks,' or men walk.'
Now the word 'man' names any person, and the verb speaks of it. But it is clear that it is necessary to be able to speak to a person and also of yourself; and the verb manifestly may express these distinctions by its form alone; and it does actually do so.
For I write, ‘Man walkest.' If that is not correct, the verb must convey by its form some notion besides the notion of number; since as far as number goes it is correct. “Man,' one; .walkest,' one. The difference is a difference of person. 'Man,' denoting any person of whom; 'walkest,' denoting a particular person to whom, you are speaking; commonly called the 2nd Person.
The verb also shows by its form whether its speech is of the speaker himself, or of any other person
whatever. Thus there are found
I, thou, he or man, all capable of standing as subjects; and the verb which speaks about them, also capable of showing this distinction by its form. Thus
I walk. Thou walkest. He walks, or walketh. There are then three different forms for the singular number of a verb. And according to the form it takes, the verb is said to be in the ist, 2nd, or 3rd Person. That is, the verb denotes by its form one speaking
of himself, to another, of another. Now as it is required to be able to speak of oneself with others, to a second person with others, and, of two or more others together, the verb might show all these distinctions by its form in its plural number, or at least must be able to express them without contradiction.
The verb then proceeds as follows:
You, or ye walk.
In some languages, all these distinctions are shown by distinct forms. In English, the plural has but one form for its three persons.
It is manifest that every noun spoken of by another is in the 3rd person; since it is not the speaker, nor a person spoken to.
It is manifest that the verb, or speech-word, must agree with that of which it is to speak in number and person.
COROL. No word, or words, can possibly stand as the subject, which the verb, or speech-word, by its form shows it does not speak of. Also, whenever words show by their form special distinctions, these forms cannot be interchanged or disregarded in joining words together, that is, in a sentence.
Rule. Nouns and Pronouns each represent a Person. Verbs show differences of Person by their form. The Verb therefore must agree with its Subject Noun in Person as well as Number.
I blow*. I flow, I grow*.
Two or more nouns joined by and or with usually take a plural verb; as,
Greece and Italy were once the greatest nations of Europe.