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Gilpin-idea of a family ; in connection with John, a male
member of that family. was--existence, now past, confined to something to follow. a—the number one. citizen—person, dweller in a city, one. of-belonging to, meaning he possessed something to follow. credit-in conjunction with previous words, honour; his word
was believed. and-adds or joins, the notion is that of a link. renown—the notion of being well known. a-one. train-band-soldiers, volunteers, a number. captain-man, one commanding others. eke-in addition. was-existence confined to captain, time past. he-recalls all the ideas suggested by John Gilpin. of-notion of belonging to or possession, in regard to what
immediately follows. famous—the idea of being well known. London-city, metropolis of England, one. town-congregation of habitations, and their inhabitants.
From this exercise it will be seen that the ideas called up by words will be many or few, vivid or vague, correct or incorrect, according to the knowledge of the speaker or hearer. The words "train-band' and 'eke' especially show this. To some persons 'train-band' would bring either a vague or incorrect notion; to others, a clear picture of a regiment of the volunteer soldiers of past days. 'Eke,' being an obsolete word, would convey or express no notion in some cases; in other cases, without previous knowledge of the word, but with quick perception, the reader or hearer would perceive its meaning, and so receive from it a correct idea by noticing its relationship to the other words in the passage,—that is to say, by noticing the context.
Show the individual ideas called up by each word of the following extracts :
"I am a linen draper bold,
As all the world doth know;
"The king is come to marshal us, all in his armour drest, And he has bound a snow-white plume upon his gallant crest.'
- MACAULAY. •Spake full well, in language quaint and olden, .
One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine,
Stars that in earth’s firmament do shine.'—LONGFELLOW. Phrases also express separate ideas, and these are generally · more complete and vivid than those expressed by single words.
The ideas expressed or called up by a complete phrase contain all those expressed by the individual words composing it; but the right arrangement of the words produces a more complete effect. We may compare this to the effect gained by grouping details in a picture. Thus, a tree, primroses, birds, and children might each form a separate picture; but children gathering primroses growing at the root of the tree, with the birds sitting in the boughs overhead, form one picture more attractive than the separate details. The complete phrase "Westminster Abbey' calls up a picture very different from those produced by the separate words Westminster and Abbey. We think of Westminster as a large and important part of London, and of abbey as a religious house of the olden time; but the phrase Westminster Abbey immediately conjures up that one noble Gothic edifice, with its tombs of kings and poets; and we see this in its completeness, quite apart from the district in which it is situated, and from all other buildings.
The completeness of the idea expressed by each phrase may be seen by observing that each answers a distinct question ; thus
•The gentle ripple of water was heard in the wood.' What was heard? What ripple? What is affirmed of the ripple? Where was it heard ?
"The Invalides is an hospital in Paris for old and disabled French soldiers.' What is spoken of? What affirmed? Where? For whom?
. “Satyrs and Sylvan boys were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green.' What is spoken of? What affirmed of them? In what condition ? Whence peéping?
It has been seen that single words express complete ideas, and that phrases also express complete ideas; by examining the structure and meaning of many sentences, we shall find whole clauses that do no more than this. Thus the clause, “That he is worthy,' in the sentence, 'We know that he is worthy,' expresses only what we know; and this might be equally well conveyed by the two words, ‘his worth.' 'I see your wisdom'expresses what is conveyed in the sentence, 'I see that you are wise.' 'I saw a startling effect' means quite as much as 'I saw an effect which was startling ;' in each case the idea is, what effect? "My brother's house,' and 'The house which belongs to my brother,' mean one and the same.
Having considered the power of single words and phrases to represent notions or ideas, we now turn to the relationship in which they may stand with regard to each other in sentences; and this is a question of Syntax, Synthesis, or Composition.
A sentence is a collection of words, bearing a certain relationship to each other, and expressing a complete thought.
The elements of the simplest complete thought are, first, something of which to think; second, that which we think about it.
The word or phrase which represents that of which we think is called the subject of the sentence. The word or phrase which expresses what we think respecting the subject is the predicate.
A subject and predicate are essential to the expression of the simplest thought; or, in other words, to the simplest sentence.
When the assertion expressed by the predicate passes over to an object, the subject and predicate fail to express the complete thought. Example—The dogs caught. A third element then becomes necessary, a word or phrase to represent that to which the assertion passes. This word or phrase is called the object of the sentence. Example—The dogs caught the fox.
The object in a sentence, then, is the word or phrase which represents that to which the assertion passes...
While some thoughts, therefore, can be expressed by means of a subject and predicate, others require a subject, predicate, and object for their complete expression.
An object is essential only when the predicate is a transitive verb.
The words or phrases constituting a simple sentence must respectively be in
(1) The subjective relationship or case;
In other words, each must occupy the position of—(1) subject, (2) predicate, or (3) object. • Ideas or notions may group themselves round each primary part of a thought, and enlarge it, though it still remains but one thought, and its expression in words but one sentence. Such secondary ideas or notions, expressed in words, are called adjuncts. They are not essential parts of sentences, because they do not express an essential part of the thought.
Adjuncts are words or phrases which extend or modify the meaning of the subject, predicate, or object.
Example-Milton wrote an ode. Extended by adjunctsEngland's great poet Milton once wrote an ode on the Nativity. .
The only other element that can enter into composition is the connective element, the links or connectives which bind notions or sentences together.
Some classes of words can take the position of subject, object, part of predicate, or adjunct in a sentence. Nouns and their equivalents are of this class.
The equivalents of nouns are pronouns, imperfect participles, adjectives, and the infinitive forms of verbs.
A noun may form-
(4) Adjunct : as, Havelock the soldier died in the Crimean war.
A pronoun may form-
Adjectives may form(1) The subject : as, The rich and poor meet together; or, (2) Part of the predicate : as, We are happy; or, (3) Object : as, We love the brave and the free; or, (4) Adjunct : as, It was done for the sake of the brave. The infinitive forms of verbs may occupy the position of — (1) Subject : as, To work is healthy; or, (2) Part of predicate : as, I am to go; or, (3) Object : as, I love to sing ; or, (4) Adjunct : as, I came here to read.
Nouns, then, or their equivalents, are capable of being subject, part of predicate, object, or adjunct, in a sentence.
Adjectives, used absolutely, can be subject, predicate, or adjunct; used attributively, they can form part of the predicate or adjuncts.
Verbs are the only parts of speech capable of forming predicates.
To form a predicate a verb must be finite-that is, its assertion must be limited, for the time being, to the subject of the sentence. Example-Larks sing. Here the assertion is limited to one class, although it may be ascribed to men and women, to boys and girls, and to many other classes of birds ; it is, while we speak, ascribed to larks only.
For this reason the infinitive form of the verb, or infinitive mood, cannot form a predicate. Its meaning is not confined to any particular person or thing. When we use the forms, to read, to write, to sing, we do not state that any person performs those actions. This form of the verb therefore performs the same work as a noun or an adverb in a sentence. Example-To read is enjoyable; or, I bought that to read..
The verb 'to be' can form a complete predicate only when it means existence. Example-Rachel weeping for her children, would not be comforted, because they were not
The verb 'to be' in sentences is generally used as the logical copula. In such cases it is used as a copula or connective to couple an attribute to that part of the sentence to which it is attributed. Examples—The fields are green. Here the attribute 'greenness' is coupled to the subject 'fields' by means of the copula ‘are. - She is here.' Here the attribute place is ascribed to she’ by means of the copula ‘is.'- We are coming. Here the attribute 'coming' is attached to 'we' by the copula 'are.'
The participial mood of the verb cannot alone form a predi