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1. Barn burned. 2. Railroad accident. 3. Sleighing party. 4. Entertainment in church. 5. Sale of property. 6. An accident that happened last week. 7. On the study of grammar. 8. What I should like to do next Saturday. 9. How to treat the aged. 10. Brain work versus hand work.

739. Write a paragraph on each of the following topics, or subjects :

1. Getting ready for a picnic. 2. Going to a picnic. 3. Games played at a picnic. 4. Lunch at a picnic. 5. Returning from a picnic.


740. An adjective is a word used to modify a noun or a pronoun without representing an object.

741. Words from other parts of speech are frequently used as adjectives; as, “An iron post.” “A gold ring." California gold.” “Washington's farewell address." County offices.” “A great many men.” See, also, 221, 236, and 253

742. In a compound adjective consisting of a numeral and a noun, the noun retains its singular form; as, “A ten-foot pole.” A twofold use.”


1. Old men walk slowly. 2. That book is mine. 3. Do you see those beautiful flowers? 4. Three little boys. 5. Large ripe apples. 6. Some money.

What word modifies the noun “men, in the first sentence ? Does it describe the men ? What adjective modifies the noun “book," in the second sentence ? Does “that” tell what kind of book is referred to ? Does it describe the book ? In the third sentence, which word modifies the noun “flowers” by describing the flowers ? Which word modifies the noun without describing the flowers? What is the difference between “three" and "little”? Which one is descriptive? Which one merely defines or limits ?

744. Adjectives are divided into two chief classes : descriptive adjectives and definitive adjectives.

745. A descriptive adjective is an adjective that modifies a noun or a pronoun by describing the person or thing represented by it; as, “Greenland's icy mountains." "Her hands are cold.“Those heavy yards were swung by fifty strong arms."

In “the morning sun,” “a party measure,morning and party may be classed as descriptive adjectives.

746. A definitive adjective is an adjective that modifies a noun or a pronoun without describing the person or thing represented by it; as, “An old man." No one.” Those heavy yards were swung by fifty strong arms.” The others have gone."

747. Descriptive adjectives include, as a small part of their number

I. Proper adjectives, or adjectives derived from proper nouns; as, “The American flag." "French literature." “The Elizabethan age.” (322.)

In this class may be included proper nouns used as adjectives; as, “New York elections.” “A Florida orange.” “The State Legislature Tax measures.

2. Participial adjectives, or participles used wholly as descriptive adjectives; as, “ Twinkling stars.”

Forgotten joys."

Adjectives formed by prefixing un to participial adjectives are called participial adjectives by some grammarians; as, Be Yarrow's stream unseen, unknown.

Wordsworth. “An unforgiving disposition.” Unforgotten joys."

748. Definite adjectives include, as a large part of their number

1. Pronominal adjectives, or words that are used as definitive adjectives, and may be used as pronouns; as, This hearth is our own.” Both men were hurt.” (372.)

2. Numeral adjectives, or adjectives that express number; as, one book; the first man; a double team.

Some numeral adjectives are compound words; as, twenty-five years ; one hundred and sixty-eight dollars.

One, two, ten, etc., are called cardinal numerals; and first, second, tenth, etc., ordinal numerals. What is a cardinal numeral adjective? An ordinal numeral adjective?

3. Interrogative adjectives, or adjectives used to ask questions; as, “ Which one shall I bring ?What implements are needed?"

4. Conjunctive adjectives, or adjectives used to introduce clauses and join them to the words that the clauses modify; as, “ Ascertain which book he wishes.” not see what flowers are at my feet.” (248.)

749. The interrogative adjectives are which and what. The conjunctive adjectives are which and what, with

“I can

their compounds whichever, whichsoever, whatever, and whatsoever.

The adjective what is sometimes used in exclamation, and it may then be called an exclamatory definite adjective; as, “What a boy!” What wonders do I see !"

" The” and “A” or “ An

750. The is derived from the adjective sē (AS. sē, seo, dæt, later the, theo, that). An is derived from ān, meaning one. A is a later form of ān. These adjectives differ somewhat in use from the ordinary definitive adjectives.

The and a or an are called, by many grammarians, articles. The is called the definite article, and a or an is called the indefinite article. Abbott says of the term article : “A name ... foolishly introduced into English, and once used to denote the and a."

751. The adjective the is used to show that a particular object or class of objects is referred to; as, The man has gone." “ The horse is a noble animal.”

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The man." A particular man, thought of apart from the class men. horse." A particular class, thought of apart from other classes.

752. The may be used before singular and plural nouns; as, “The man." “ The men.” “The Atlantic.“The Joneses.” “The Cicero of his age.” (325.)

In such constructions as The steamer Fulton went up the Hudson River,the modifies the common noun. When the common noun is omitted, as in “The Fulton went up the Hudson,” the modifies the proper noun. The is frequently used before the names of rivers to distinguish them from states; as, “The Mississippi." To what does the name “Delaware" refer? “The Delaware"? “ Colorado" "? “The Colorado"?

753. The adjective a or an is used to show that no particular object or class of objects is referred to; as, “ A man.” “ An old house.” “A second Daniel." A Napoleon of finance.” What kind of noun is Daniel? Napoleon ? Why? (325)

"A man" denotes one of a class, not thought of apart from the class.

754. A should be used when the next word begins with a consonant sound, and an when it begins with a vowel sound; as, “A man.A union." “ A blind old man." “ An art." “ An hour." * An old man.” Which is correct, “ A humble home” or “ An humble home”?

755. An is also frequently used before h faintly sounded, when the second syllable has the chief accent; as, An heroic deed." 6 An hexameter."

Some critics condemn this use of an as un-American, preferring "A heroic deed," “ A hexameter." Both "a hexameter" and "an hexameter" are correct.

756. A or an is used before nouns in the singular number only; as, 6 A man."

66 An ox.” Expressions like "A dozen apples," "A hundred men," are no exception to this rule. In A dozen apples," dozen is a noun used as an adjective. As a noun, it is modified by a; and as an adjective, it modifies apples. So, also, “A hundred men," etc. In “A few hours," " A great many persons,few and many are pronouns used as adjectives. As a pronoun, many is modified by a and great, adjectives. As an adjective, it modifies persons.

Or, hundred and dozen are nouns, and the nouns following them are in apposition with them. In AS. they were followed by the genitive case, as if we said,

A hundred of men,etc. (Cf. “A score of men.") So also the pronouns few and many.

757. A or an should not be repeated before the second term of a comparison when both terms refer to the same person or thing; as, “ He is a better scholar than teacher."

758. The or a or an should be used only once before two or more adjectives modifying the same noun, and repeated before each of two or more adjectives modifying different nouns; as, A red, white, and blue flag” (one flag). An arbitrary and conventional language" (one language). A red, a white, and a blue flag” (three flags).

759. The and a or an are usually omitted

1. Before common nouns referring to the kind generally, or to a part indefinitely; as, Platinum is heavier than gold." Man is mortal.” “Goodness is better than wealth.Ostriches have wings.”

2. Before a word used merely as a title; as, “ He received the title of captain."

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