Abbildungen der Seite



Write sentences to illustrate the transitive use of the following verbs:-'We are resting.'-'Don't push.'-'How you squeeze!'— 'Forty feeding like one.'-'They are pressing for payment.'-' The shadows lengthen.'-'The days draw in.'-'Times change.'-' How it pours ! '—' The meat will keep.'—'We mean to remove next spring.'— 'The king recovered.'


Write sentences to show that the following verbs may be used both transitively and intransitively:—strike, shake, stop, roll, boil, survive, wake, burst, upset, grow.

3. Distinguish the terms Transitive, Intransitive, Active, Passive.

State which of these terms you would apply to the verbs in the following sentences respectively, and point out any peculiarities of construction:-they are arrived, they ran a race, he overeats himself, the book is selling well, he swam the river, he lay down.

4. Refer to its class (as Transitive, Intransitive, Verb of Incomplete Predication, Impersonal, Notional or Auxiliary) each Verb in the following sentences:-'It will rain tomorrow.'-'I will do it my own way.'-'They will not succeed.'-'You may call if you like, but he may not be at home.' He feels his way.'—' He feels ill.'-'The bonnet became a hat.'-'The bonnet became the lady.'-'You shall not go out.'-'We shall not go out.'—' He grows barley.'-' He grows


5. Give instances of verbs which can be used (1) both transitively and intransitively, (2) both as complete predicates and as incomplete.




144. VERBS undergo changes of form to mark differences of Voice, Mood, Tense, Number, Person.

As inflexions have almost entirely disappeared from English verbs, we have recourse to auxiliary verbs and pronouns to express these differences. Amaverimus, amabimur are inflexions of the Latin verb amo: we shall have loved, we shall be loved, their English equivalents, are not inflexions of the verb love; the required changes in the meaning of the verb are effected by the use of auxiliaries. Amo has over a hundred of these inflexions: love has seven, viz., love, lovest, loves, loveth, loved, lovedst, loving, and of these seven, the three forms lovest, loveth, lovedst, are no longer employed in ordinary speech.

Voice is the form of a verb which shows whether the subject of the sentence stands for the doer or for the object of the action expressed by the verb.

Mood is the form of a verb which shows the mode or manner in which the action is represented.

Tense is the form of a verb which shows the time at which the action is represented as occur

ring and the completeness or incompleteness of the action.

Number is the form of a verb which shows whether we are speaking of one thing or of more than one.

Person is the form of a verb which shows whether the subject of the sentence stands for the speaker, for the person addressed, or for some other thing.

We shall treat of these modifications of the verb in order.

145. I. Voice.

In English there are two Voices, an Active and a Passive Voice.

The Active Voice is that form of a verb which shows that the subject of the sentence stands for the doer of the action expressed by the verb.

The Passive Voice is that form of a verb which shows that the subject of the sentence stands for the object of the action expressed by the verb.


Thus in Brutus stabbed Caesar,' Brutus, the subject of the sentence, represents the doer or agent of the act of stabbing expressed by the verb: stabbed is in the active voice. In 'Caesar was stabbed by Brutus,' Caesar, the subject of the sentence, represents the object or recipient of the act of stabbing: was stabbed is in the passive voice.

Now as the subject of the sentence, when the verb is in the passive, stands for the object or receiver of the action, it is clear that, unless the action denoted by the verb passes on to some object, the passive construction will be impossible. Accordingly, only Transitive verbs admit of a passive use.

The parts of the auxiliary verb be are used with the perfect participle of a transitive verb to form the passive. voice: 'I am injured,' 'You were beaten,' 'He is captured,' 'They will be assisted,' 'We have been turned out.'

146. The reader may easily be misled by such forms as 'I am come,' 'You are arrived,' 'He is gone,' 'They are fallen,' in which the verbs are intransitive, and their perfect tenses therefore are not passive, though they look as if they were. In 'I am injured,' 'You were beaten,' the participles injured and beaten are passive: in 'I am come,' 'You are arrived,' the participles come and arrived are active. There is a slight difference of meaning between the forms 'He is arrived,' 'He is gone' and 'He has arrived,' 'He has gone.' 'He has gone' lays stress on the action, 'He is gone' calls attention to the fact that he continues in a certain state, namely that of absence. We can say 'He has come and gone,' but not 'He is come and gone,' as is becomes unsuitable in connexion with come, when he no longer continues here, but is gone.

147. Verbs which take a double object admit of two forms of passive construction according as one object or the other is made the subject of the passive verb. A few illustrations will make this clear.


He told me a story.

You granted him permission.

They awarded him

a prize.



A story was told me by him.
I was told a story by him.

Permission was granted him by you.
He was granted permission by you.


A prize was awarded him by them.
He was awarded a prize by them.

The reader may construct further illustrations for himself, using the verbs promise, ask, refuse, show, offer, forgive, for the purpose.

The secondary forms, in which the Indirect Object, originally in the dative case, becomes the subject, are harsh in sound and illogical in their nature, but there is much of laisser-aller, or 'go-as-you-please,' about English syntax, and we find such expressions even in good writers.

This object after the passive verb is called the Retained Object. Whether it is the Direct or the Indirect Object that is thus retained the reader can easily determine, by shifting the position of the two objects in the equivalent sentence expressed in the active voice and noticing which of the two requires a preposition when it comes last. The object which requires a preposition is the Indirect Object. So, I forgive you your fault,' becomes 'I forgive your fault to you'; 'I will allow you your expenses,' 'I will allow your expenses to you'; 'I have got you the book,' 'I have got the book for you.' In each example you is the Indirect Object.


There is a curious use of certain transitive verbs in the active form with a passive meaning. In Latin Grammar, verbs of active form and passive meaning are called Quasi-passive: vapulo, 'I am beaten,' exulo, ‘I am banished,' are examples. Some of our English Quasipassive verbs express sensations: we say of a thing that it feels soft, tastes nice, smells sweet,' whereas it is really we who feel, taste, and smell the thing. In like manner we say that a sentence 'reads badly,' that a book 'sells well,' and that a house lets readily.'

149. II. Mood.

The Moods, or changes of form assumed by a verb to show the different ways in which the action is thought of, are four in number:

(i) The Indicative Mood contains the forms used (1) to make statements of fact, (2) to ask questions,

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »