Abbildungen der Seite

noun. Hence the clause, as it takes the place of a noun, is a noun clause.

In the sentence 'He gave me a contribution because he approved of the object,' the clause 'because he approved of the object' modifies the application of the verb gave, stating why he gave it. The words by which we limit the application of verbs are adverbs: 'He gave me a contribution approvingly, or cordially, or readily,' would express, approximately though not exactly, the same thing as 'He gave me a contribution because he approved of the object.' Such a clause as this, since it takes the place of an adverb, is an adverbial clause.

The sentences which form parts of an entire sentence we shall call clauses. 'The general won the victory and was knighted' is a Compound sentence consisting of the two co-ordinate or independent clauses: 'The general won the victory,' 'The general was knighted.' 'The general who won the victory was knighted' is a Complex sentence consisting of a principal clause, 'The general was knighted,' and a subordinate adjectival clause, 'who won the victory,' referring to 'general' in the principal clause. The general was knighted because he won the victory' is a Complex sentence consisting of a principal clause, 'The general was knighted,' and a subordinate adverbial clause, 'because he won the victory,' modifying 'was knighted.'

206. No rule of thumb can be supplied which shall enable the student to determine whether a subordinate clause is an adjective-clause, noun-clause, or adverb-clause, without the exercise of his wits. The same collection of words may be adjectival, substantival, or adverbial, in three different complex sentences. Take the words, 'where the battle was fought.' A beginner, recognising an adverb in the first word 'where,' might jump to the conclusion that a clause which begins with an adverb must be an adverbial clause. But the nature of the clause is not to be settled in this way: we must look at the clause in its relation to the principal clause and see what sort of work it does,-whether it does the work of an adjective, of a noun, or of an adverb. Observe its different functions in these three complex sentences:

'The spot where-the-battle-was-fought is unknown.'
'Where-the-battle-was-fought is unknown.'




'I live where-the-battle-was-fought.'

In (1), where-the-battle-was-fought is adjectival, limiting 'spot'; in like manner we might say 'the exact spot is unknown.'

In (2), it is a noun-clause, equivalent to 'The spot is unknown,' 'The fact is unknown,' 'It is unknown.'

In (3), it is adverbial, modifying the verb 'live,' just as an adverb would modify it in the sentence 'I live there.'

When the reader has mastered the distinction between compound and complex sentences and between the three kinds of subordinate clauses, one or other of which every complex sentence contains, analysis will present very few difficulties to him. But his analysis of complex sentences will generally be wrong, if he attempts the task without an intelligent grasp of the principles which have been stated above. From this digression into syntax we must now return to the subject of conjunctions from which we may seem to have wandered far.

207. The reader should now be able readily to grasp our meaning when we say that co-ordinating conjunctions are those which unite co-ordinate clauses; and that subordinating conjunctions are those which join subordinate clauses to the principal clause of a complex


The subordinate clauses which a subordinating conjunction introduces are noun-clauses or adverbial clauses. Adjective-clauses are attached to the principal clause by a relative pronoun or by a relative adverb; as, 'The general who won the victory was knighted,' which is equivalent to 'The victorious general was knighted'; 'The house where nobody lives is to be pulled down,' which is equivalent to 'The empty house is to be pulled down.' Noun-clauses are generally introduced by that, and occur especially after verbs of saying, thinking, believing, asking, hoping, seeing, and others of similar import: 'I say that he did it,' 'I think that this is so.' But that is not essential to a noun-clause: thus the following clauses in italics are noun-clauses; 'I see how you did it,' 'When he did it is not clear,' 'He asked if I did it,' 'We heard you had gone.'

208. The subordinating conjunctions by which adverbial clauses are introduced may be classified according to the various modes of dependence which they indicate, as

Conditional-if, unless.




3. Temporal-after, till, while, as.


Consecutive, marking Result—that ('so that').

5. Final, marking Purpose-that (in order that'), lest.

6. Causal-because, since, as.

209. Conjunctions have grown out of other parts of speech.

Whether the conjunction that was originally the demonstrative pronoun or the relative pronoun is not quite clear: 'I know that you did it' may be representative of 'You did it I know that,' or of 'I know that, that you did it'.' Both, used with and, is the same word as the adjective; either, used with or, is the same word as the distributive pronoun. Than, though, while, were once adverbs. Before, after, since, were once prepositions and were followed by 'that.' To distinguish Conjunctions from Prepositions is easy: Conjunctions never govern a case. To distinguish Conjunctions from Adverbs is often difficult, and our remarks on the distinction shall be reserved till we are dealing with the Syntax of Adverbs and Conjunctions. (See p. 255.)

210. Conjunctions which occur in pairs are called Correlatives: both...and, either...or,, so...that,, whether...or, are examples of Correlative Conjunctions.

1 See Mason's English Grammar, § 290, and Gow's Method of English, p. 168.

211. Interjections.

An Interjection is a sound which expresses an emotion but does not enter into the construction of the sentence.

As Interjections have no connexion with the grammatical structure of the sentence, their claim to recognition among the Parts of Speech is a small one. O! ah! pooh! psha! like the barking of a dog or the lowing of a calf, are noises, not words. If there were any advantage in classifying these sounds, we might group them according to the feelings which they express, as Interjections denoting joy, disgust, surprise, vexation, and so forth.

Interjections which are corruptions or contractions of words, or elliptical forms of expression, may be referred to the parts of speech to which they originally belong. So, adieu is 'to God (I commend you),' goodbye is 'God be with you,' hail is 'be thou hale' or 'healthy,' law or lawks! is a corruption of 'Lord!' and marry! of 'Mary!'


I. What are Correlative Conjunctions? Give the correlatives of either, though, both, and of such and so with different senses.

2. What, since, well. Illustrate by short sentences the various grammatical uses of each of these words, and mention in every instance its part of speech in your sentence.

3. Construct three Complex sentences, each containing as its subordinate clause the words when the accident happened. In the first sentence the subordinate clause is to be a noun clause, in the second an adjective clause, and in the third an adverbial clause.




212. If we were to read down a column of words on a page of an English dictionary, we should find that the great majority of these words have been formed from other words, either by joining two words together, or by adding to a word a sound which by itself is without meaning. Thus from man in combination with other words there have been made freeman, mankind, midshipman, footman, while, by the addition of an element which has no significance alone, manly, unman, mannikin, have come into existence. The former process is called Composition, the latter Derivation: words made by the former process are called Compounds, by the latter, Derivatives. The terms 'Derivation' and 'Derivative' are not well chosen, as their meaning is here narrowed down from the sense in which they are generally used. When we speak of the derivation of a word we usually signify the source from which it comes: thus we say that phenomenon is of Greek 'derivation' and vertex of Latin 'derivation,' though as these words have been transferred ready-made from foreign languages they are not, in this special sense, English derivatives at all. But the employment of the terms derivation and derivative, in contrast with the terms composition and compound, is too well established to allow of our making a change, and the student must therefore bear in mind that when used in this connexion

« ZurückWeiter »