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a collective idea: as, Every six months ;”. “ Every hundred years.”—The following phrases are exceptionable, “Let each esteem others better than themselves:" It ought. to be “ himself.” “The language should be both perspi-, cuous and correct: in proportion as either of these two qualities are wanting, the language is imperfect:" it should be, “is wanting.” Every one of the letters bear regular dates, and contain proofs of attachment:"" bears a regular date, and contains." " Every town and village were burned; every grove and every tree were cut down :" in burned, and was cut down.”- See the Key, p. 46; and the Octavo Grammar, THIRD edition, volume 2. pages 51,322,
Either is often used improperly, instead of each: as, “The king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, sat either of them on his throne;" “ Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer.”. Each signifies both of them taken distinctly or separately; either properly signifies only the one or the other of them taken disjunctively.
In the course of this work, some examples will appear of erroneous translations from the Holy Scriptures, with respect to grammatical construction : but it
proper to remark, that notwithstanding these verbal mistakes, the Bible, for the size of it, is the most accurate grammatical composition that we have in the English language. The authority of several eminent grammarians might be adduced in support of this assertion; but it may be sufficient to mention only that of Dr. Lowth, who says, sent translation of the Bible, is the best standard of the English language.”
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4. Adjectives are sometimes improperly applied as adverbs: as, “indifferent honest; excellent well; miserable poor;" instead of “Indifferently honest; excellently well; miserably poor.” “ He behaved himself conformable to that great example;" “ conformably." "Endeavour to live hereafter suitable to a person in thy station;" “suit
ably.” “I can never think so very mean of him ;" “meanly." “ He describes this river agreeable to the common reading:" agreeably.” “ Agreeable to my promise, I now write:” “agreeably.” “Thy exceeding great reward :” When united to an adjective, or adverb not ending in ly, the word exceeding has ly added to it: as, "exceedingly dreadful, exceedingly great;" "exceedingly well, exceedingly more active:" but when it is joined to an adverb or adjective, having that termination, the ly is onitted: as,
“Some men think exceeding clearly, and reason exceeding forcibly :” “She appeared, on this occasion, exceeding lovely.” “ He acted in this business bolder than was expected :" They behaved the noblest, because they were disinterested.” They should have been,
more boldly; most nobly.”—The adjective pronoun such is often misapplied: as,
“ He was such an extravagant young man, that he spent his whole patrimony in a few years :" it should be, “ so extravagant a young man." “ I never before saw such large trees :" “ saw trees so large.” When we refer to the species or nature of a thing, the word such is properly applied : as, Such a temper is' seldom found :" but when degree is signified, we use the word so: as, “ So bad a temper is seldom found.”
Adverbs are likewise improperly used as adjectives: as, " The tutor addressed him in terms rather warm, but suitably to his offence;" “ suitable." They were seen wandering about solitarily and distressed ;" “ solitary." “ He lived in a manner agreeably to the dictates of reason and religion;" “ agreeable.” “The study of syntax should be previously to that of punctuation;" "previous *.”
5. Double comparatives and superlatives should be avoided: such as, “A worser conduct;" "On lesser 'hopes;” “ A more serener temper;" “ The most straitest sect;" "A more superior work.” They should be,“ worse conduct;"
* Eor the rule to determine whether an adjective or an adverb is to be used, sec English Exercises, Sixteenth, or any subsequent, edition, page 140.
“ less hopes ;” “a more serene temper;" “ the straitest sect;" “ a superior work." ”
6. Adjectives that have in themselves a superlative sige nification, do not properly admit of the superlative or comparative forin superadded : such as, “ Chief, extreme, perfect, right, universal, supreme,” &c. ; which are sometimes improperly written, “ Chiefest, extremest, perfectest, rightest, most universal, most supreme,” &c. The following expressions are therefore improper. “ He sometimes claims' admission to the chiefest offices.”
“ The quarrel became so universal and national ;” “ A method of attaining the rightest and greatest happiness.” The phrases, so perfect, so right, so extreme, so universal, &c. are incorrect; because they imply that one thing is less perfect, less extreme, &c. than another, which is not pos• sibie.
7. Inaccuracies are often found in the way in which the degrees of comparison are applied and construed. The following are examples of wrong construction in this respect: “ This noble nation hath, of all others, admitted fewer corruptions." The word fewer is here construed precisely as if it were the superlative. It should be, “ This noble nation hath admitted fewer corruptions than any other.” We commonly say, “This is the weaker of the two;" or, “ The weakest of the two :" but the former is the regular mode of expression, because there are only two things conipared. “The vice of covetousness is what enters deepest into the soul of any other.” “ He celebrates the church of England as the most perfect of all others.” Both these modes of expression are faulty: we should not say, “ The best of any man,” or, “ The best of any other man, for “ the best of men,” The sentences may be corrected by substituting the comparative in the room of the superlative. “ The vice, &c. is what enters deeper into the soul than any other.” “He celebrates, &c. as more perfect than any other.” It is also possible to retain the superla.
tive, and render the expression grammatical. “ Covetous. ness, of all vices, enters the deepest into the soul.” celebrates, &c. as the most perfect of all churches." These sentences contain other errors, against which it is proper to caution the learner. The words deeper and deepest, being intended for adverbs, should have been more deeply, most deeply. The phrases more perfect, and most perfect, are improper; because perfection admits of no degrees of comparison. We may say nearer or nearest to perfection, or more or less imperfect.
8. In some cases, adjectives should not be separated from their substantives, even by words which modify their meaning, and make but one sense with them: as, “ A large enough number surely.” It should be, “ A number large enough.” “ The lower sort of people are good enough judges of one not very distant from them."
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The adjective is usually placed before its substantive: as, " A generous man;" “ How amiable a woman!” The instances in which it comes after the substantive, are the following.
1st, When something depends upon the adjective; and when it gives a better sound, especially in poetry: as, “ A man generous to his enemies ;" « Feed me with food convenient for me;" « A tree three feet thick." of troops fifty thousand strong;" “ The torrent tumbling through rocks abrupt."
2d, When the adjective is emphatical: as, “ Alexander the Great ;” « Lewis the Bold;" “ Goodness infinite;" « Wisdom unsearchable.”
3d, When several adjectives belong to one substantive : as, “ A man just, wise, and charitable ;" “ A woman modest, sensible, and virtuous.”
4th, When the adjective is preceded by an adverb: as, “ A boy regularly studious ;” “ A girl unaffectedly modest.”
5th, When the verb to be, in any of its variations, comes between a substantive and an adjective, the adjective may
frequently either precede or follow it: as, “ The man is happy ;” or, “ happy is the man who makes virtue his choice:” “ The interview was delightful;" or, “delightful was the interview.”
6th, When the adjective expresses some circumstance of a substantive placed after an active verb: as, “ Vanity often renders its possessor despicable.” In an exclamatory sentence, the adjective generally precedes the substantive; as, “ How despicable does vanity often render its possessor!”
There is sometimes great beauty, as well as force, in placing the adjective before the verb, and the substantive immediately after it: as, • Great is the Lord ! just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints !”
Sometimes the word all is emphatically put after a number of particulars comprehended under it. “ Ambition, interest, honour, all concurred.” Sometimes a substantive, which likewise comprehends the preceding particulars, is used in conjunction with this adjective: as, “ Royalists, republicans, churchmen, sectaries, courtiers, patriots, all parties, concurred in the illusion.”
An adjective pronoun, in the plural number, will sometimes properly associate with a singular noun: as, “ Our desire, your intention, their resignation." This association applies rather to things of an intellectual nature, than to those which are corporeal.. It forms an exception to the general rule.
A substantive with its adjective is reckoned as one compounded word, whence they often take another adjective, and sometimes a third, and so on :) as,
“ An old man; a good old man; a very learned, judicious, good old man.”
Though the adjective always relates to a substantive, it is, in many instances, put as if it were absolute; especially where the noun has been mentioned before, or is easily understood, though not expressed: as, “ I often survey the green fields, as I am very fond of green;" “ The wise, the yirtuous, the honoured, famed, and great,” that is, “ persons ;" “ The twelve,” that is,