General Account Of Speech Parts. In every thing we study, as well as in every tiling we do, where we have to deal with a multitude of objects, Classification - that is, arranging the objects into divisions and subdivisions, each having some peculiar point about it that distinguishes it from the others - is of the utmost importance, and should be set about first. The General has his army in battalions - these are divided into regnnents - these into companies, and so on: while some are cavalry, some infantry, some sappers and miners, some artillery-men, some sharpshooters The Botanist divides his thousands of different plants first into dowering and flowerless tribes, and he then subdivides these into many classes, orders, and oilier divisions and subdivisions.
So it is with the Grammarian. There are nearly sixty thousand words in the English language; and the first thing we must do is to marshal them in order: in divisions and subdivisions.
In speaking or writing we must have a Name for that about which we speak or write.
First, then, we observe a very great number of words which are NAMES of things, as the words by which we would name or designate the objects shown in the adjoining cut, if we wished to speak of them.
The man shown here may be spoken of as a man, a gentleman, an American, a father, a husband, a friend, a merchant, a master, a householder, Sidney, or George
Sidney. All these are name-words, or
As all these objects are represented in the engraving, it might be supposed that we might define a noun to be "the name of whatever we can see;" or use the old description, that "a noun is the name of a person, place, or thing." It is true that the name of any thing we can see is a noun; but there are many things which we cannot see, the names of which are nouns. In the scene represented in the above cut, them would be sound from. the girl who is reading, which cannot be seen ; yet the word sound is a Noun. Also, the names of actions and states of being are Nouns - as reading, or sleeping.
'The name of whatever we can think of or speak about is a Noun ; or, a Noun is the name of whatever can be perceived by the outward senses, or by the inward mind.The Noun, then, is the first division of words, or, as each division is often called, a part of speech. The term "noun" is derived from the Latin word nomen, signifying " a name."
The next part of speech is the Adjective, a word used along with a noun, to express some quality or property of it - that is, to qualify it.
In the above cut, we see several objects, the names of which are nouns; as the man, the woman, the boy, the balls, the chair, the clock. But we observe that the man is old, the woman is young, the boy is little; one ball is black, and the other ball is white. Those words in italics are adjectives, for they qualify the nouns, that is, tell us some qualities or properties of the nouns. They may be used along with the nouns, either in the way given above, or as follows : an old man, a young woman, a little boy, a white bail, a hack ball.
An Adjective is often described as a word used along with a noun, to limit its signification. Thus the words " a man." may mean any man whatever in the wide world. But if we say " an old man," we now limit the cleaning of the word "man" to one that is old, shutt ng out from our consideration any man that is not old.
The word adjective is derived from the
Latin words jactum, thrown, - and ad, to; signifying that it is added to, or placed beside, the noun. It is also called the adnoun.The next part of speech is the Pronoun, the name of which tells its meaning distinctly. It is from the Latin word pro, for, - and the word noun, and means for a noun. It is a word used for, or instead of, a noun.
In the engraving we see a little boy who has taken his brother's ball, and the latter is complaining to his mamma. He would very likely say to her - "Please, mamma, would you speak to Tommy; he has taken the pretty white ball that grandpapa nave me, and he won't let me have it; and he won't let me play with him.'" And mamma probably replies - " Well, John, we will go to him, and hear what he will say to us about it."
The words in italics are pronouns. They are used instead of nouns: - you instead of mamma; he and him instead of Tommy; me instead of John himself, who is speaking; it instead of the ball; we and us instead of mamma and John taken together.
Verbs. Whenever we speak or write, we assort or affirm something, or we command, or we ask a question. The word in the sentence that does any of these is called a Verb. Thus, in the sentences - Victoria reigns in England - Louis Napoleon is Emperor of France - His uncle Napoleon Helena, in 1821; the words, reigns isdied, are verbs; these make the assertion.
The words in italics, in the description of the adjoining cut, illustrate the verb. Jane rides on her pony, while her papa walks at her side, holding Tommy by the hand :The words in italics make assertions; they are verbs
The word verb is derived from the Latin, verbum, a word ; this part of speech being called the verb, or the word, as being the principal word in a sentence.
The verb was formerly defined as "that part of speech which signifies to be, to do, or to sutler;" and a respectable modern grammarian defines it as follows: - "A verb implies action, or the doing of something." But these definitions are, in some respects, applicable to certain nouns; and the true idea of the verb is, that it is the word by which we assert, or can assert.
The next part of speech is the Adverb, a word used along with a verb, to express some circumstance relating to it - i. e., to qualify it; as, She rides well, she writes badly, they came soon, he fought bravely he ran away. The Adverb is also used to qualify an adjective; as, She is very good, he is not tall. And it is also used to qualify another adverb ; as, She rides uncommonly well, she writes very badly, they came too soon.
Adverbs may be known in this way : they answer to the questions, How? When? Where? - as, How does he write? well, very well, or very badly.
The Preposition is a word placed before a noun or pronoun, to show its relation to something mentioned previously. Thus. - John went to France; he came with me; this letter is for Jane. The words in italics, to, with, and for, are prepositions, showing the relation between the words "France, "me," and " Jane," in these sentences, and something thai is previously mentioned, as that "John went." - that "he came," - and " this letter." The following sentences also illustrate Prepositions: - He is in the house. She is sitting on the sofa The letter was written by him. He threw a stone at me.
The Preposition is easily distinguished in this way: it makes sense with any of the words me, us, him, them, placed after it; as with me, to us, from him, after them.
The derivation of the word preposition partly explains its nature. It conies from the Latin words, position, placed - prce, before.
A Conjunction is a word used to connect words and parts of sentences; as - He and I went out, Out she stayed at home, that her mother might not be left alone, The words in italics are conjunctions.
The word conjunction is from the Latin words cum, with, or together - and jungo, I join.
An Interjection is any abrapt exclamation, as ah! oh! alas! oh dear ? or any such expression used to indicate pain, grief, joy, or surprise. It has been observed that it is not properly a part of speech, but resembles the wild, inarticulate cries of animals. Its name is from the Latin words, inter, between - -jactum, thrown ; indicating some expression thrown, an it were, abruptly between words.
Adverb, Preposition, Conjunction, and Interjection. - What do we see in the figure ? The pony has thrown Jane, and scampered away; but she is not hurt, for she fell ON the soft grass, and is only frightened. She merely cried, "Oh!" Tommy is more frightened than she is, AND is crying bitterly. She will soon recover FROM her fright, FOR her papa is speaking kindly TO her, and holding her hand IN his, and her mamma is running TO her, ami I dare say they, will soon laugh AT it, and AT the dog, who is barking loudly. The adverbs are in italics; the conjunctions in email capitals; the prepositions in large capitals.
Many grammarians consider the little words, a. an, the. as forming another part of speech, which they call the Article. But they are now more usually considered as a kind of adjective.
These eight, then, are all the parts of speech. Each of the 60,000 words belong to one or other of the above kinds of words. Let us shortly describe them: - The noun is the name of anything. The adjective qualifies the noun. The pronoun is used in place of the noun. The verb asserts, commands, or asks a question. The adverb qualifies a verb, adjective or other adverb. The prepo-sition shows the relation of a noun or pronoun following it to something which has gone before the conjunction connects words or parts of sentences. The interjection is is any abrupt exclamation.