Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

would in that case be 'Who is he, (do you believe ?)' just as we might say 'Who is he, do you think?' But if believe is the principal verb, then the pronoun he must be thrown into the objective case, the verb is into the infinitive mood, and who must conform in case to the case of the pronoun before the verb to be. Thus we may say (1) 'Whom do you believe him to be?' which corresponds with the Latin accusative and infinitive, or we may say (2) 'Who is he, do you believe?'

So, 'Whom did you suppose was going for it?' may be written (1) 'Who (did you suppose) was going?' or (2) Whom did you suppose to be going?' but as the sentence stands there is a confusion of these two constructions.

QUESTIONS.

1. Distinguish between the meaning of 'He had few followers,' and 'He had a few followers'; 'I got little credit for it,' and 'I got a little credit for it'; 'She has a black and white pony,' and 'She has a black and a white pony.'

2. Correct and give reasons for your corrections:

'He pays no regard to those kind of things.'

'He is good-looking and good-mannered, but one of those impulsive men that says just what he thinks.'

'The son walks exactly like the father did.'

'I had more rather he be neither a soldier or lawyer.'

'Neither of these persons consider themselves competent.'

'The master told every boy to do their work and said he would punish whoever he saw idle.'

3. Write short notes explaining the use of the words in italics: (1) I could a tale unfold whose lightest word...

(2) As who should say...

(3) Smite me him quickly.

[These sentences contain no grammatical error.

(1) Whose was originally of all genders and served as the possessive case of both who and its neuter what. Its use as a neuter possessive is now confined to the diction of poetry: this is rather a drawback, as of which is a more cumbrous expression.

(2) Who is here an indefinite pronoun meaning 'any one,' 'some one,' not the relative who with antecedent one suppressed. The neuter what survives as an indefinite pronoun in the expression 'I can tell you what,' that is, 'I can tell you something.' 'As who should say' is archaic, but Dickens frequently employs it, e.g. in Our Mutual Friend. (3) The me is the Indirect object, and the construction corresponds with the Latin Dativus Commodi: see p. 238. Me signifies 'for me."]

4. What is to be noticed in this passage from Coriolanus? 'Him I accuse

The city ports by this hath entered.'

[Complete the construction by supplying the suppressed antecedent. The sentence then reads 'He whom I accuse...hath entered.' Now we may omit the antecedent and say 'Whom I accuse,' or omit the relative and say 'He I accuse;' but Shakespeare omits the relative and allows the antecedent to be attracted to the objective case of the relative.]

5. State the laws which determine the use of the words 'who' and 'that' in a relative sentence. Give a sentence showing how the sense is affected according as the one or the other of these two words is used.

[Respecting the first part of the question, see p. 128. If who and which were used purely as co-ordinating relatives, and that as the restrictive or limiting relative, ambiguity would sometimes be avoided. Thus 'His friends who lived in London missed him greatly,' in the mouth of the ordinary speaker, may signify either (1) His friends missed him greatly and his friends lived in London, or (2) Those particular friends living in London missed him though his friends in other towns may not have done so. In this latter sense the use of the restrictive that instead of who is recommended, but the distinction is not carried out in modern practice. Similarly, 'I will give you my books which are at my lodgings' may signify either 'all my books, and my books are at my lodgings,' or 'those particular books at my lodgings out of my entire stock.' If that were reserved for the latter meaning, the expression would be free from risk of a wrong interpretation.]

6. Explain the term Attribute, and give instances of five different ways of enlarging or qualifying the subject of a sentence.

[An attribute is a quality attributed to a thing: when we say 'The horse is white,' we explicitly assert the presence of the attribute or quality whiteness. When we speak of 'the white horse,' we implicitly affirm the presence of the attribute. See p. 104. As the adjective marks the presence of the attribute or quality in a thing, the adjective attached to a noun is sometimes called the attribute of the noun, but this misuse of terms should be avoided.

For the enlargement of the subject, see p. 213.]

7. State the rule for the agreement of the relative with its antecedent. When may the relative be omitted? Give an example.

Correct:-'Let him and I settle who we will invite.'

8. When the words either, such, one, as, are used as pronouns, to what classes do they severally belong?

Write down one example of the pronominal use of as.

Parse the italicised words in:-'Go, get you to your house;' 'He did it himself;' 'Such a lovely day!'

9. Correct the following sentences. Each sentence contains more than one error; some contain several.

'Somebody called, I could not firstly tell whom, but, after, I found it was her.'

'Three courses suggest themselves to me; but neither of these, or indeed any other seem acceptable to the President, whom people think is one of the most incompetent men that has ever occupied the Chair.'

‘My niece, whom it was supposed had been murdered, is a girl of ten years old.'

'Do you remember my cousin whom we thought had settled in Australia? There is some talk of him returning.'

TO. Is any correction required in the following sentence?—'I, he, and you can go.'

[In this sentence there is nothing formally wrong, but usage enjoins a different arrangement of the pronouns. From motives of politeness the first place is given to the person addressed: from feelings of modesty the speaker mentions himself last. Hence we should say 'You, he, and I can go.' When a speaker joins others with himself and uses the plural number, considerations of courtesy and modesty are no longer applicable, and the pronouns occupy their natural positions, we standing first, you second, and they third: 'We, you and they can go.']

Correct the following sentences, and give a reason for every

II.

change:

'For ever in this humble cell

Let thee and I, my fair one, dwell.'

'Who did you see at the regatta?'

'The latter of the three solutions is more preferable.'

'If this be him we mean, let him beware.'

'I saw the pickpocket and policeman on opposite sides of the street.'

'These kind of birds are found in Africa.'

'It is unfair to argue like you do.'

This principle is of all others the most important.'

'The logical and historical analysis of a language often coincides.' 'Who can it be for?''

'Government sells arms to whomsoever wishes to buy.'

'They show marks who they come from.'

'I am one of those who cannot describe what I do not see.'

'It was the most amiable, although the least dignified, of all theparty squabbles by which it had been preceded.'

253

CHAPTER XXV.

SYNTAX OF VERBS.

260.

Concord. The Verb agrees with its Subject in Number and Person.

Thus we say 'He is,' 'They are,' 'Men work,' not 'He are,' 'They is,' 'Men works.' Observe, however, that

1. Collective nouns in the singular may be followed by a verb in the singular or plural, according as we are thinking of the aggregate, or of the individuals composing it. We may say 'The Committee were divided in opinion,' or 'The Committee was unanimous.'

2. Several nouns which are plural in form are usually construed as singular, since their meaning is singular or collective: thus, 'The news is true.' Other examples are given on p. 89, (3).

The same explanation applies to our employment of a singular verb with a plural noun which forms the title of a book: the book is singular though the title is plural. We say therefore 'Johnson's Lives of the Poets has been edited afresh'; 'Macaulay's Biographies is a reprint from the Encyclopædia Britannica.'

Two or more nouns in the singular joined by and require a verb in the plural: 'He and I were astonished.' But if

the nouns are names of the same thing, the verb is singular : so we say 'The secretary and treasurer has absconded,' when one man holds the two offices. And on similar grounds, when the different nouns together express one idea, the verb is frequently in the singular: 'Two and two is four': 'Early to bed and early to rise

'Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.'

But if we employ 'with' or 'as well as' in the place of 'and,' the verb is not plural, unless indeed it would be plural without the addition of these words and the noun which follows them. Thus, 'The minister, with his private secretaries, was present'; as with is a preposition, it is impossible that secretaries should be a nominative to the verb, for secretaries is in the objective case governed by with. Again, 'Veracity, as well as justice, is to be our rule,' not are, for the elliptical clause as well as justice' is introduced as a parenthesis.

Nouns in the singular joined by or or nor require a verb in the singular the force of these conjunctions is to present the subjects as alternatives, not jointly.

Hence the following are wrong:

'Nor want nor cold his course delay.'

'Death or banishment were the alternatives placed before him.'

If or or nor connects two Pronouns of different persons, it is doubtful what the construction of the verb should be. Perhaps the safest rule would be to make the verb agree with the pronoun which immediately precedes it, but even this arrangement produces very harsh effects. Should we say—

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The usage of different people may vary. A good many would say are, although as or is an alternative conjunction

« ZurückWeiter »