Imágenes de página
[ocr errors]

ETYMOLOGY. Hitout; "I will be drowned, nobody shall help me j" made a sad misapplication of these auxiliaries.

These observations respecting the import of the verbs will and shall, must be understood of explicative sentences; for when the sentence is interrogative, just the reverse, for the most part, takes place; thus, "I shall go; you will go;" express event only: but, "will you go ?" imports intention ; and "shall I go?" refers to the will of another. But, "He shall go," and "shall he go?" both imply will; expressing or referring to a command.

When the verb is put in the subjunctive mood, the meaning of these auxiliaries likewise undergoes some alteration; as the learner will readily perceive by a few examples: "He shall proceed," "If he shall proceed;" "You shall consent," "If you shall consent." These auxiliaries are sometimes interchanged, in the indicative and subjunctive moods, to convey the same meaning of the auxiliary: as, "He will not return," "If he shall not return;" "He shall not return," "If he will not return."

Would, primarily denotes inclination of will; and should, obligation: but they both vary their import, and are often used to express simple event.

Were is frequently used for would he, and had. for would have; as, "It were injustice to deny the execution of the law to any individual;" that is, "it would be injustice." "Many acts which had been blamable in a peaceable government, were employed to detect conspiracies;" that is, "which would have been blamable."

Sometimes that form of the auxiliary verbs shall, will, &c. which is generally conditional, is elegantly used to express a very slight assertion, with a modest diffidence. Thus we say, "I should think it would be proper to give up the point;" that is, "I am rather inclined to think."

Some writers still use shall and will, should and would, as they were formerly used; that is, in a sense.quite contrary to that in which they are generally used at present. The following expressions are instances of this incorrect practice: "We wouW have been wanting to ourselves, if we had complied with the demand;" "We should:" "We will therefore briefly unfold our reasons;" "We shall:" "He imagined, that, by playing one party against the other, he would easily obtain the victory over both;" "He should easily," &c.

In several familiar forms of expression, the word shall still retains its original signification, and does not mean, to promise, threaten, or engage, in the third person, but the mere

Vol. I. M

futurition of an event: as, "This is as extraordinary a thing as one shall ever hear of."

Section 8.

The Conjugation of regular Verbs.


Verbs Active are called Regular, when they form their imperfect tense of the indicative mood, and their perfect participle, by adding to the verb, ed, or d only when the verb ends in e: as,


A Regular Active Verb is conjugated in the following manner:

To Love. Indicative Mood.


1. I love.* 1. We love.

2. Thou lovest. 2. Ye or you love.

3. He, she, or it, lovethf or loves. 3. They loved.

• In the present and imperfect tenses, we use a different form of the verb, when wt mean to express energy and positiveness: as, "I do love; thou ifoil love; he duis love; ] did love; thou didst love; he did love."

f Dr. Ccote justly observes that this termination of the third person singular in eih, if now very r.<rely used, « or s being substituted Kit it This practice is disapproved by Addison, as "multiplying a letter which was before too frequent in the English tongue; and adding to that hissing in our language which is taken so much notice of by foreigners."— Notwithstanding this reproach, it has been aptly observed, that no passage in English prose or verse, exhibits, within an* equal space, such a repetition of toe sibilant letter, as the following quotation from Horace:

Ees Italas armis tuteris, moribus orset;
Legibw emended.

[blocks in formation]

Those tenses are called simple tenses, which are formed of the principal, without an auxiliary verb: a?, "I love, I loved." The compound tenses are such as cannot be formed without an auxiliary verb: as, "I have loved; I had loved; I shall or will lore; I may love; I may be loved; I may hare heen loved;" &c. Those compounds are, however, to be considered as only different forms of the same verb.

[merged small][table]

Potential Mood.


%. I may or can love. 1» We may or can love.

2. Thou mayst or canst love. 2. Ye or you may or can love.

3. He may or can love. 3They may or can love.


[blocks in formation]

Subjunctive Mood.


J. If I love. 1. If we love.

2. If thou love. 2. If ye or you love.

Q. If he love. 3. If they love.

The remaining tenses of this mood, are, in general, similar to the correspondent tenses of the Indicative mood. See pages 76, 94, 95.

It may be of use to the scholar, to remark in this place, that though only the conjunction if is affixed to the verb, any other conjunction proper for the subjunctive mood, may, with equal propriety, be occasionally annexed. The instance given is sufficient to explain the subject: more would be tedious, and tend to embarrass the learner.

Infinitive Mood. Present Tense. To love. Perfect. To have loved.


Present. Loving. Perpect. Loved.

Compound Perfect. Having loved.

The active verb may be conjugated differently, by adding its present or active participle to the auxiliary verb to be, through all its moods and tenses: as, instead of, "I teach, thou teachest, he teaches," &c.; we may say, "I am teaching, thou art teaching, he is teaching," &c.: and instead of" I taught," &c. "I was teaching," &c.: and so on through all the variations of the auxiliary. This mode of conjugation, has, on particular occasions, a peculiar propriety; and contributes to the harmony and precision of the language. These forms of expression are adapted to particular acts, not to general habits or affections of the mind. They are very frequently applied to neuter verbs: as, "I am musing; he is sleeping."f

* On the propriety of denominating this the present tense of the subjunctive mood, see the note near the end of the 19th Rule.

t Ai the participle, in this mode of conjugation, performs the office of a verb through all the moods asd taoses; and as it implies the idea of time, and governs the objective case qf

« AnteriorContinuar »