HOW TO SPEAK AND WRITE CORRECTLY by JOSEPH DEVLIN, M.A.
CHAPTER II Page 2: ESSENTIALS OF ENGLISH GRAMMAR
The Relative Pronouns are who, which, that and what.
Who is applied to persons only; as, “The man who was here.”
Which is applied to the lower animals and things without life; as, “The horse which I sold.” “The hat which I bought.”
That is applied to both persons and things; as, “The friend that helps.” “The bird that sings.” “The knife that cuts.”
What is a compound relative, including both the antecedent and the relative and is equivalent to that which; as, “I did what he desired,” i. e. “I did that which he desired.”
Relative pronouns have the singular and plural alike.
Who is either masculine or feminine; which and that are masculine, feminine or neuter; what as a relative pronoun is always neuter.
That and what are not inflected.
Who and which are thus declined:
|Sing. and Plural||Sing. and Plural|
Thus, the words John the table, contain no assertion, but when the word strikes is introduced, something is affirmed, hence the word strikes is a verb and gives completeness and meaning to the group.
The simple form of the verb without inflection is called the root of the verb; e. g. love is the root of the verb, -“To Love.”
Verbs are regular or irregular, transitive or intransitive.
A verb is said to be regular when it forms the past tense by adding ed to the present or d if the verb ends in e. When its past tense does not end in ed it is said to be irregular.
A transitive verb is one the action of which passes over to or affects some object; as “I struck the table.” Here the action of striking affected the object table, hence struck is a transitive verb.
An intransitive verb is one in which the action remains with the subject; as “I walk,” “I sit,” “I run.”
Many intransitive verbs, however, can be used transitively; thus, “I walk the horse;” walk is here transitive.
Verbs are inflected by number, person, tense and mood.
Number and person as applied to the verb really belong to the subject; they are used with the verb to denote whether the assertion is made regarding one or more than one and whether it is made in reference to the person speaking, the person spoken to or the person or thing spoken about.
In their tenses verbs follow the divisions of time. They have present tense, past tense and future tense with their variations to express the exact time of action as to an event happening, having happened or yet to happen.
There are four simple moods,â€”the Infinitive, the Indicative, the Imperative and the Subjunctive.
The Mood of a verb denotes the mode or manner in which it is used. Thus if it is used in its widest sense without reference to person or number, time or place, it is in the Infinitive Mood; as “To run.” Here we are not told who does the running, when it is done, where it is done or anything about it.
When a verb is used to indicate or declare or ask a simple question or make any direct statement, it is in the Indicative Mood. “The boy loves his book.” Here a direct statement is made concerning the boy. “Have you a pin?” Here a simple question is asked which calls for an answer.
When the verb is used to express a command or entreaty it is in the Imperative Mood as, “Go away.” “Give me a penny.”
When the verb is used to express doubt, supposition or uncertainty or when some future action depends upon a contingency, it is in the subjunctive mood; as, “If I come, he shall remain.”
Many grammarians include a fifth mood called the potential to express power, possibility, liberty, necessity, will or duty. It is formed by means of the auxiliaries may, can, ought and must, but in all cases it can be resolved into the indicative or subjunctive. Thus, in “I may write if I choose,” “may write” is by some classified as in the potential mood, but in reality the phrase I may write is an indicative one while the second clause, if I choose, is the expression of a condition upon which, not my liberty to write, depends, but my actual writing.
Verbs have two participles, the present or imperfect, sometimes called the active ending in ing and the past or perfect, often called the passive, ending in ed or d.
The infinitive expresses the sense of the verb in a substantive form, the participles in an adjective form; as “To rise early is healthful.” “An early rising man.” “The newly risen sun.”
The participle in ing is frequently used as a substantive and consequently is equivalent to an infinitive; thus, “To rise early is healthful” and “Rising early is healthful” are the same.
The principal parts of a verb are the Present Indicative, Past Indicative and Past Participle; as:
Here is the complete conjugation of the verb “Love”â€”Active Voice.