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Nouns which end in o, have sometimes es added, to form the plural; as, cargo, echo, hero, negro, manifesto, potato, volcano, wo: and sometimes only s; as, folío,. nuncio, punctilio, seraglio.

Nouns, ending in f, or fe, are rendered plural by the change of those terminations into ves: as, loaf, loaves; half, halyes; wife, wives; except grief, relief, reproof, and several others, which form the plural by the addition of s. Those which end in ff, have the regular plural: as, ruff,, ruffs ; except, staff, staves.

Nouns which have y in the singular, with no other vowel in the same.syllable, change it into ies in the plural: as, beauty, beauties; fly, flies. But the y is not changed, when there is another vowel in the syllable: as, key, keys;, delay, delays; attorney, attorneys.

Some nonns become plural by changing the a of the singular into e: as, man, men; woman, women; alder.. man, aldermen. The words, ox and child, form oxen and children; brother, makes either brothers, or brethren, Sometimes the diphthong oo is changed into.ce in the plural: as, foot, feet; goose, geese; tooth, teeth. Louse. and mouse make lice and mice. Penny makes pence, of, pennies, when the coin is meant; die, dice (for play); die, dies (for coining.)

It is agreeable to analogy, and the practice of the gener rality of correct writers, to construe the following words as plural nouns; pains, riches, alms: and also, mathematics, metaphysics, politics, ethics, optics, pneumatics, with other similar names of sciences.

Dr. Johnson says that the adjective much is sometimes a, term of number, as well as of quantity. This may account for the instances, we meet with of its associating with pains, as a plural noun: as, “much pains.” The connexion, however, is not to be recommended.

The word news is now almost universally considered as belonging to the singular number.

The noun means is used both in the singular and the plural number.

The following words, which have been adopted from the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages, are thus distinguished, with respect to number.


Cherub. Cherubim. Datum.
Seraph. Seraphim. Effluvium.
Antithesis. Antitheses.

Automaton. Automata.

Crisis. Crises. Genius.
Criterion. Criteria. Genus.
Diæresis. Diæreses.

Ellipsis. Ellipses.
Emphasis. Emphases. Lamina.
Hypothesis. Hypotheses. Medium.
Metamor- Metamor- Magus.

phosis. phoses. Memoran Phænomenon. Phenomena. dum.


(Appendixes. Stamen. Arcanum. Arcana,

Stratum. Axis.

Axes. Vortex. Calx.


Encomia or
Genii *.
Indices or
Indexes t.
Memoranda or

{ Mehar

Appendix. {Appendices or Radius.

Some words, derived from the learned languages, are confined to the plural number: as, antipodes, credenda, ļiterati, minutiæ.

The following nouns being, in Latin, both singular and plural, are used in the same manner when adopted into our tongue: hiatus, apparatus, series, species.

* Genii, when denoting aerial spirits: Geniuses, when signifying persons of genius.

+ Indexes, when it signifies pointers, or Tables of contents: Indices, when referring to Algebraic quantities.


Section 4. Of Case. In English, substantives have three cases, the nominative, the possessive, and the objective*.

The nominative case simply expresses the name of a thing, or the subject of the verb : as, “ The boy plays;” “ The girls learn."

The possessive case expresses the relation of property or possession; and has an apostrophe with the letter s coming after it: as, “The scholar's duty;" “My father's house."

When the plural ends in s, the other s is omitted, but the apostrophe is retained; as,

« On eagles wings;" “ The drapers' company.' "

Sometimes also, when the singular terminates in ss, the apostrophic s is not added: as, goodness' sake;" “ For righteousness' sake.”

The objective case expresses the object of an action, or of a relation; and generally follows a verb active, or a preposition: as, “ John assists Charles;" “ They live in London.”

English substantives are declined in the following manner:

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Nominative Case. A mother. Mothers.
Possessive Case. A mother's. Mothers'.
Objective Case. A mother. Mothers.

Nominative Case. The man.
Possessive Case, The man's.
Objective Case. The man.

The men.
The men's.
The men.

*The possessive is sometimes called the genitive case; and the objective. the accusative.

The English language, to express different connexions and relations of one thing to another, uses, for the most part, prepositions. The Greek and Latin among the ancient, and some too among the modern languages, as the German, vary the termination or ending of the substantive, to answer the same purpose; an example of which, in the Latin, is inserted, as explanatory of the nature and use of

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Some writers think, that the relations signified by the addition of articles and prepositions to the noun, may properly be denominated cases, in English ; and that, on this principle, there are, in our language, as many cases as in the Latin tongue. But to this mode of forming cases for our substantives, there are strong objections. It would, indeed, be a formal and useless arrangement of nouns, articles, and prepositions. If an arrangement of this nature were to be considered as constituting cases, the English language would have a much greater number of them than the Greek and Latin tongues: for, as every preposition has its distinct meaning and effect, every combination of a preposition and article with the noun, would form a different relation, and would constitute a distinct case.

This would encumber our language with many new ternis, and a heavy and useless load of distinctions*.

On tlie principle of imitating other languages in names and forms, without a correspondence in nature and idiom, we might adopt a number of declensions, as well as a variety of cases, for English substantives. Thus, five or six declensions, distinguished according to the various modes of forming the plural of substantives, with at least half a dozen cases to each declension, would furnish a complete arrangement of English nouns, in all their trappings. See on this subject, the fifth und ninth sections of the sixth chapter of etymology.

But though this variety of cases does not at all correspond with the idiom of our language, there seems to be great propriety in admitting a case in English substantives, which shall-serve to denote the objects of active verbs and of prepositions; and which is, therefore, properly termed the objective case. The general idea of case doubtless has a reference to the termination of the noun: but there are many instances, both in Greek and Latin, in which the nominative and accusative cases have precisely the same form, and are distinguished only by the relation they bear to other words in the sentence. We are therefore warranted, by analogy, in applying this principle to our own language, as far as utility, and the idiom of it, will admit. Now it is obvious, that in English, a noun governed by an active verb, or a preposition, is very differently circumstanced, from a noun in the nominative, or in the possessive case; and that a comprehensive case, correspondent to that difference, must be useful and proper. The business of parsing, and of showing the

If cases are to be distinguished by the different significations of the noun, or by the different relations it may bear to the governing word, then we have in our language as many cases almost, as there are prepositions : and above. a man, beneath a man, beyond a man, round about a man, within a maa, without a man, &c. shall be cases, as well as, of a man, to a man, and with a

Dr. Beuttis


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