Page images
PDF
EPUB

Truly is an adverb.”

3. Before a word used merely as a word; as, “ Acorn is from ac, oak, and corn, grain.”

For the use of a as a preposition, see 930.

760.

Other Definitive Adjectives

All is opposed to none and to some. It denotes either number or quantity. All men.” "All the world."

Both, two.

Certain, a small select number. (Certain, meaning sure, is a descriptive adjective.)

Divers, many different.
Each, two or more considered separately.
Else, besides. “Somebody else."
Every, all considered separately.
Few is opposed to many; a few, to none.
Little, not much. (Little, meaning small, is a des. adj.)
Many a, many considered separately.
Own, possession with emphasis.
Sundry, more than one or two.
Very, the same emphatically.
What, interrogative, conjunctive, or exclamatory.
Which, interrogative or conjunctive.

Yon, yonder, at a distance, within view. Yon is obsolete, except in poetry.

Compound and Derivative Adjectives

COMPOUND ADJECTIVES 761. The principal classes of compound adjectives are the following:

1. An adjective preceded by a noun which modifies it adverbially; as, sky blue, homesick, knee-high, water-tight, hopeful.

The adjective in these compounds is frequently a participle; as, bedridden, heartbroken.

2. A noun preceded by an adjective; as, barefoot, tendollar, manifold.

Frequently ed is added; as, black haired, old-fashioned, red-cheeked.

3. An adjective preceded by an adverb; as, upright, everlasting, outspoken, inborn.

4. An adjective preceded by an adjective which modisies it adverbially; as, newborn, fresh-looking.

5. A present participle preceded by its object; as, heartrending, talebearing.

DERIVATIVE ADJECTIVES

762. The principal classes of derivative adjectives are the following:

1. Adjectives derived by the use of prefixes from other adjectives ; as, unwise, incompetent, impious, supernatural.

Principal prefixes: un, im, um, etc. (= not).

2. Adjectives derived by the use of suffixes: (1) from nouns, as homely, golden, changeable, left-handed; (2) from verbs, as loving, loved, lovable ; (3) from other adjectives, as deadly, blackish, loveliest.

Principal suffixes: ly (= like), ed, en (participial suffixes), ish (diminutive), less (AS. leas, without), er, est (used in comparison).

=

EXERCISES

763. Which of the following adjectives are descriptive, and which definitive ? Which are pronominal ? Which numeral ? Which may be used as interrogative adjectives? Which as conjunctive adjectives ?

Two, ugly, those, no, the, beautiful, rising, soft, own, a, third, lovely, each, an, which, twenty-ninth, deep, better, much, former, true, what, sundry, all, learned, single, whole.

764. Form adjectives from the following words:

Adjectives : kind, faithful, truthful, like, active, worthy, abundant, ordinary, national, qualified, blue, clean, white,

sick, pure.

one.

Nouns: wood, brute, nation, America, France, maiden, home, good-nature, child, telegraph.

Verbs: change, try, trot, swim, debate. 765. Correct the following errors: 1. An union; a old man; an hundred men; such an

2. A heir; an hair. 3. A white and a black pig was lost. 4. A white and black pig were lost. first and second sentence; the first and the second sentences; the Old and New Testament. 6. What kind of a book is that? 7. Is a woman a man's equal? 8. Tennyson received the title of a lord. 9. His abilities are so great that a few excel him.

10. The truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again.

5. The

Comparison 766. Read

1. Mr. Smith is strong. 2. Mr. Brown is stronger than Mr. Smith. 3. Mr. Jones is the strongest of the three. 4. A good boy; a more beautiful girl; the best actions. 5. Old, older, oldest. Cheerful, more cheerful, most cheerful. 6. Wise, less wise, least wise. Cheerful, less cheerful, least cheerful.

What quality of the three men is compared ? Which man is said to possess the quality of strength in a higher degree than Mr. Smith? Which possesses it in the highest degree?

767. Comparison is a variation in the use and form of an adjective (or an adverb) to express quality in different degrees; as, If fun is good, truth is better, and love best of all. - Thackeray.

768. There are three degrees of comparison : the positive, the comparative, and the superlative.

769. An adjective used to express the quality simply, is in the positive degree; as, happy children; agreeable companions; few pleasures. “The day is cold.

770. An adjective used to express the quality in a higher or a lower degree, is in the comparative degree; as, happier children; less happy children; more agreeable companions; less agreeable companions ; fewer pleasures. “The night is colder than the day."

771. The comparative degree should be used when two objects or conditions are compared; as, “ Rhode Island is

smaller than Delaware.” “A nation is happier in peace than in war.” “Texas is larger than any other State in the Union.” (Texas is compared with one State after another.)

This rule (771) is not strictly adhered to. One frequently hears “the best of two,” “ the least of two."

772. When the comparative degree is followed by than, the word other should be placed before the second term to exclude the object represented by the first term, if it belongs to the class named by the second term; as,

Socrates was wiser than the other Athenians.

But we may say, “ Mexico is larger than any State in the Union.” “ Was Aristotle wiser than Plato ?”

773. An adjective used to express the quality in the highest or the lowest degree, is in the superlative degree; as, the happiest children; the least happy children; the most agreeable companions; the least agreeable companions; the fewest pleasures. “Winter is the coldest season of the year.”

774. The superlative degree should be used when three or more objects or conditions are compared; as, Rhode Island is the smallest state in the Union." A nation is happiest in peace.”

775. In using the superlative degree, the object represented by the first term should be included in the class named by the second term ; as, Socrates was the wisest of the Athenians."

[ocr errors]

776. Double comparatives and superlatives should be avoided. Thus, “The most unkindest act of all," "The most boldest,” should be, “The unkindest act of all,” The boldest,etc.

The double comparative lesser is sometimes used; as, “ The lesser evil.” Double comparatives and superlatives are common in older English; as, The most unkindest cut of all. -Shak. “ The most straitest sect,” etc.

777. An adjective expressing a quality that cannot exist in different degrees, should not be compared. Among adjectives of this class are

« PreviousContinue »