Thursday, August 25, 2016

part-2 - PRONUNCIATION-Diacritical Marks;Vowels;


WE are judged by our speech. If we clip syllables, run words together, or pronounce them incorrectly, we shall merit the criticism of being careless or even ignorant. Yet clear enunciation and correct pronunciation are sometimes difficult. We learn most words by hearing others say them, and, if we do not hear the true values given to the different syllables, we shall find it hard to distinguish the correct
from the incorrect forms. Children whose parents speak a foreign language usually have to watch their speech with especial care; Germans, for example, find difficulty in saying _th_ and Irish people in saying _oi_ as in _oil_. The exercises in this chapter are given for the purpose of correcting such habits. The words in the exercises should be pronounced repeatedly, until the correct forms are instinctive.

Train the ear to hear the difference between sounds, as in _just_ and in _jest_. Don't slide over the final consonant in such words as _going_ and _reading_. Watch words containing _wh_. The dictionary tells us that _where_ was originally written _hwar_, the _h_ coming before the _w_; and we still pronounce it so, although we write the _w_ before the _h_. The word _whether_ is of the same kind. The dictionary tells us that it was first spelled _hweder_. Such words should be carefully noted and their pronunciation practiced.

Then there is the habit of slurring syllables. We may understand what is meant by the expression "C'm' on" or "Waja say?", but most of us would prefer not to be included in the class of people who use either. Correct speech cannot be mastered without an effort.

In the following exercises watch every vowel and every consonant so that you may give each one its full value.

=Exercise 10--Diacritical Marks=

Although an _a_ is always written _a_, it is not always given the same quality or length of sound. When we discover a new word, it is important that we know exactly the quality to give each of the vowels in it. For this purpose _diacritical marks_ have been invented. They are
illustrated in the following list from Webster's _International Dictionary_.

r, ?r´mine, ev´?r
     _e_  "  "  re´c_e_nt, de´c_e_ncy, pru´d_e_nce
      i   "  "  ice, time, sight, inspire´
     [+i] "  "  [+i]dea´, tr[+i]bu´nal, b[+i]ol´ogy
      i   "  "  ill, pin, pit´y, admit´
      o   "  "  old, note, o´ver, propose´
     [+o] "  "  [+o]bey´, t[+o]bac´co, sor´r[+o]w
      ô   "  "  ôrb, lôrd, ôr´der, abhôr´
      o   "  "  odd, not, tor´rid, occur´
      u   "  "  use, pure, du´ty, assume´
     [+u] "  "  [+u]nite´, ac´t[+u]ate, ed[+u]ca´tion
      ?   "  "  r?de, r?´mor, intr?de´
      ?   "  "  f?ll, p?t, f?lfill´
      u   "  "  up, tub, stud´y
      û   "  "  ûrn, fûr, concûr´
     [)y] "  "  pit´[)y], in´jur[)y], divin´it[)y]
    [=oo] "  "  f[=oo]l, f[=oo]d, m[=oo]n
    [)oo] "  "  f[)oo]t, w[)oo]l, b[)oo]k
      ou  "  "  out, thou, devour´
      oi  "  "  oil, noi´sy, avoid´

 a is called long _a_, and is marked with the _macron_
    a is called short _a_, and is marked with the _breve_
    â is called caret _a_, and is marked with the _caret_
    ä is called Italian _a_, and is marked with the _diaeresis_
    ?  is called short Italian _a_, and is marked with the _dot_
    ? is called tilde _e_, and is marked with the _tilde_ or _wave_

Exercise 11--Vowels=

Of the twenty-six letters in the alphabet, how many are vowels? Name them. What are the other letters called?

Compare the _a_ in _hat_ and the _a_ in _hate_. Which has more nearly the sound of _a_ in the alphabet? This is called the natural or long sound of the vowel. The other is called the short sound.

Drop the _e_ from _hate_. Explain the result.

Name other monosyllables ending in _e_ and containing the long _a_ sound.

Explain the difference in pronunciation between _Pete_, _pet_, _ripe_, _rip_, _hope_, _hop_, _cube_, _cub_.

Find other monosyllables ending in _e_ and containing a long vowel that becomes short if the _e_ is dropped.

=Monosyllables ending in silent _e_ usually contain a long vowel sound, which becomes short when the final _e_ is dropped.=

=Exercise 12=

Pronounce carefully the following words containing the short Italian _a_:

    adv?nce      cl?ss      l?nce     pl?ster
    adv?ntage    contr?st   l?st      p?stor
    ?fter        ench?nt    m?sk      pr?nce
    b?sket       Fr?nce     m?ster    r?fter
    br?nch       gl?nce     m?stiff   sh?ft
    br?ss        gl?ss      p?ss      surp?ss
    ch?ff        gr?ss      p?st      t?sk

Exercise 13=

Pronounce the following carefully, noting each _a_ that is marked:

    hälf         ide?         cälm        audacious
    p?th         c?n't        apricot      ?gh?st
    ?sk          catch        m?dras       algebr?
    fäther       v[+a]cation  agile       forbade
    d?nce        extr?        c?st         tr?nce
    l?ss         c?sket       gr?nt        aviation

=Exercise 14=

Pronounce the vowel _o_ in the following very carefully. Don't give the sound _feller_ or _fella_ when you mean _fellow_.

    fellow      swallow     theory      borrow
    potato      follow      position    heroism
    window      original    factory     donkey
    pillow      evaporate   ivory       memory
    chocolate   mosquito    licorice    oriental

=Exercise 15=

The vowel _u_ needs particular attention. When it is long, it is sounded naturally, as it is in the alphabet. Do not say _redooce_ for _reduce_.

    reduce         picture        educate        figure
    produce        stupid         judicial       duty
    conducive      student        calculate      accumulate
    endure         genuine        curiosity      Tuesday
    duration       induce         regular        particular
    singular       avenue         tune           institute
    nutriment      constitution   culinary       January
    revenue        introduce      opportunity    manufacture

=Exercise 16=

Using diacritical marks indicate the value of the vowels in the following. Try marking them without first consulting a dictionary. After you have marked them, compare your markings with those used in a dictionary.

    pupil         different     diacritical   gigantic
    alphabet      several       radiating     gymnasium
    natural       letter        Wyoming       system
    result        eraser        typical       merchant

=Exercise 17=

Pronounce carefully, noting that in each word at least one consonant is silent, and sometimes a vowel as well. Draw an oblique line through the silent letter or letters in each.

    through     chasten    sword       island
    although    often       fasten      daughter
    wrong       soften      calf        might
    yacht       subtle      hasten      bouquet
    gnaw        almond      naughty     honest
    psalm       glisten     thumb       palm
    whistle     salve       should      knack
    salmon      chestnut    knowledge   castle
    answer      folks       listen      thigh
    knot        right       debt        honor

=Exercise 18=

Pronounce the following, paying particular attention to the vowels. Distinguish between the meanings of the words in each group.

    accept     bile       least      prevision
    except     boil       lest       provision

    affect     carol      eleven     poor
    effect     coral      leaven     pure

  addition   descent    neither    radish
    edition    dissent    nether     reddish

    assay      emerge     pasture    sentry
    essay      immerge    pastor     century

    baron      Francis    pillar     sit
    barren     Frances    pillow     set

    been       jest       point      wrench
    bean       just       pint       rinse

Enunciate the consonant sounds carefully in the following. Distinguish between the meanings of the words in each group.

    acts         close        treaties     rows
    ax           clothes      treatise     rouse

    advice       crossed      princes      rues
    advise       across       princess     ruse

    alms         formerly     prince       either
    elms         formally     prints       ether

    bodice       grays        price        running
    bodies       grace        prize        ruin

    cease        lose         recent       walking
    seize        loose        resent       walk in

    chance       plaintive    sects        weather
    chants       plaintiff    sex          whether

    does         pair         news         worst
    dose         payer        noose        worsted (yarn

Pronounce the following, making sure that each syllable is correct. Guard against slurring the words in the last column.

    been       such       barrel     Did you?
    gone       put        faucet     Don't you?
    to         with       suburb     Go on.
    for        tiny       hearth     Our education
    aunt       and        nothing    You are
    far        poem       office     You're not
    our        catch      peril      We're coming
    kept       toward     forbade    They're coming
    says       donkey     spirit     What did you say?
    rid        again      semi       Where are you going?
    since      against    scared     Where have you been?
    sleek      honest     saucy      I want to go.
    creek      savage     turnip     I'm going to go.
    where      swept      roof       To-morrow morning
    boil       velvet     proof      Next month
    hoist      direct     hydrant    Last Saturday

Sunday, August 21, 2016




BUSINESS English is the expression of our commercial life in English. It is not synonymous with letter writing. To be sure, business letters are important, but they form only a part of one of the two large divisions into which the subject naturally falls.

First, there is _oral expression_, important because so many of our business transactions are conducted personally. Thousands of salesmen daily move from place to place over the entire country, earning their salaries by talking convincingly of the goods that they have to sell. A still greater number of clerks, salesmen, managers, and officials orally transact business in our shops, stores, offices, and banks. Complaints are adjusted; difficulties are disentangled; and affairs of magnitude are consummated in personal interviews, the matter under discussion often being thought too important to be entrusted to correspondence. In every business oral English is essential.

Second, there is _written expression_. This takes account of the writing of advertisements, circulars, booklets, and prospectuses, as well as of letters. And in the preparation of these oral English is fundamental. It precedes and practically includes the written expression. For example, we say colloquially that a good advertisement "talks." We mean that the writer has so fully realized the buyer's point of view that the words of the advertisement seem to speak directly to the reader, arousing his interest or perhaps answering his objection. Oral English is
fundamental, too, in the writing of letters, for most letters are dictated and not written. The correspondent dictates them to his stenographer or to a recording machine in the same tone, probably, that he would use if the customer were sitting before him.

But in taking this point of view, we should not minimize the importance of written business English. In a way, it is more difficult to write well than it is to talk well. In talking we are not troubled with the problems of correct spelling, proper punctuation, and good paragraphing. We may even repeat somewhat, if only we are persuasive. But in writing we are confronted with the necessity of putting the best thoughts into the clearest, most concise language, at the same time obeying all the rules of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. The business man must be sure of these details in order to know that his letters and advertising matter are correct. The stenographer, especially, must be thoroughly familiar with them, so that she may correctly transcribe what has been dictated.

Business English is much the same as any other English. It consists in expression by means of words, sentences, and paragraphs. Moreover, they are much the same kind of words, sentences, and paragraphs that appear in any book that is written in what is commonly called the literary style. In a business letter the words are largely those of every day use, and but few are technical. It is the manner in which the words are put together, the idea back of the sentence, that makes the only difference.

We shall begin the study of business English with a study of words, for in all expression, whether oral or written, a knowledge of words, of their meaning and suggestive power, is fundamental. On the choice of words depends not only the correctness but also the effectiveness of expression--the courtesy of a letter, the appeal of an advertisement, the persuasiveness of a salesman's talk. A mastery of words cannot be gained at once. Every time one speaks, he must consider what words will best convey his idea. In this chapter only the barest beginning of such study can be made. The exercises show the value of the subject.

The study of words is interesting because words themselves are interesting. Sometimes the interest consists in the story of the derivation. As an example, consider the word _italic_. Many words in this book are written in italic to draw attention to them. Literally the word means "relating to Italy or its people." It is now applied to a kind of type in which the letters slope toward the right. The type was   called italic because it was dedicated to the states of Italy by the inventor, Manutius, about the year 1500. An unabridged dictionary will tell all about the word.

The word _salary_ tells a curious story. It is derived from a Latin word, _salarium_, meaning "salt money." It was the name of the money that was given to the Roman soldiers for salt, which was a part of their pay. Finally, instead of signifying only the salt money, it came to mean the total pay.

Practically all of this information a good dictionary gives. In other words, a dictionary is a story book containing not one, but hundreds of thousands of stories. Whenever possible it tells what language a word came from, how it got its different meanings, and how those meanings have changed in the course of time. For it is natural that words should change just as styles change, names of ancient things being lost and names for new things being made. As the objects themselves have gone out of use, their names have also gone. When a word has gone entirely out of use, it is marked _obsolete_ in the dictionary. On the other hand, new inventions must be named. Thus new words are constantly being added to the language and the dictionary because they are needed.

There is a large class of words that we shall not have time to consider. They are called _technical_. Every profession, business, or trade has its distinctive words. The technical words that a printer would use are entirely different from those which a dentist, a bookkeeper, or a lawyer would use. You will learn the technical terms of your business most thoroughly after you enter it and see the use for
such terms.

None of the words, therefore, that you will be asked to search out in the dictionary are, strictly speaking, technical. It is evident that it will do you no good to search out the words in the dictionary, unless you learn them--unless you use them correctly in speaking and writing. There is pleasure in thus employing new material, as everybody knows. Use your eyes and ears. When you hear a new word, or read one, focus the mind upon it for a moment until you can retain a mental picture of its spelling and of its pronunciation. Then as soon as possible look it up in the dictionary to fix its spelling, pronunciation, and definition. Do this regularly, and you will have reason to be proud of your vocabulary.

An excellent way to increase the number of words that you know is to read the right kind of books. The careful study of the words used in the speeches and addresses of noted men is good practice. The conditions that called forth the speech were probably important, and the speech itself interesting, or it would not be preserved. When a man has an interesting or important message to give, he usually gives it in clear, exact, simple language. Therefore the vocabulary that he uses is worth copying. As for stories, there is a kind that furnishes a wealth of material that modern authors are constantly using or referring to, and this is found in stories of the Bible, stories of Greek and Northern gods and goddesses, stories of the _Iliad_, the _Odyssey_, the _Æneid_, stories of chivalry--all old stories. Every one should know them well, because they are the basis of many allusions in which a single word oftentimes suggests a whole story. The meaning of the word _herculean_, for instance, is missed if you do not know the story of Hercules and know that he was famous for his strength.

=Exercise 1=

_Atlas_ is an interesting word. Originally it was the name of a Greek god, who carried the world on his shoulders. Then it is supposed that in the sixteenth century the famous geographer Mercator prefixed his collection of maps with the picture of Atlas supporting the world. Thus a collection of maps in a volume came to be called an _atlas_. Consult  an unabridged dictionary for the origin of each of the following:

    rival       fortune     cereal      boycott
    dollar      finance     china       derrick
    bankrupt    milliner    java        mercury
    cash        pullman     cashmere    colossal
    mint        grocer      macadam     turbine

=Exercise 2=

The days of the week and the months of the year are interesting in their derivation. Monday, for example, represents the day sacred to the Moon as a deity. Explain the origin of each of the following:

    Sunday       Saturday     May          October
    Tuesday      January      June         November
    Wednesday    February     July         December
    Thursday     March        August
    Friday       April        September

=Exercise 3=

Look up the derivation of the following:

    cancel        bead          ambition      hospital
    pecuniary     paper         influence     pavilion
    cheat         book          virtue        mackintosh
    speculation   bayonet       peevish       chapel
    phaëton       tawdry        disaster      omnibus

=Exercise 4=

Explain the origin of each of the following:

    curfew        tulip         turquoise     good-bye
    pompadour     aster         amethyst      dismal
    hyacinth      dunce         tantalize     titanic
    dandelion     humor         umbrella      volcano
    dahlia        villain       sandwich      tangle
    begonia       echo          lunatic       babble

=Exercise 5=

Name the image that each of the following suggests to you:

    howl        sputter     rasping     munch
    skim        prance      clatter     trickle
    squeal      click       wheeze      shuffle
    moan        thud        trudge      bulge
    squeak      patter      chuckle     gobble
    squawk      spatter     toddling    swish

=Exercise 6=

Bring to class a list of words which, because they are the names of modern inventions, have come into the language in modern time.

=Exercise 7=

How many words can you name which might be called the technical terms of school life, words which always carry with them a suggestion of the school room? Bring in a list of twenty such words.

=Exercise 8=

How many words can you name which are used only in the business world? Bring in a list of twenty such words.

=Exercise 9=

How many words can you name which apply particularly to money and the payment or non-payment of money? Bring in a list of twenty or more such words.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

part 2 - OBJECTIVE CASE,1. Direct Object,2. Predicate Objective


The  objective case , as its name implies, is the case of the  object . Most of its uses are covered by the following rule:--

 The object of a verb or preposition is in the objective case.

The object of a preposition has already been explained and defined

.  The  object of a verb  may be (1) the direct object, (2) the predicate objective, (3) the indirect object, (4) the cognate object. Of these the direct object is the most important.

The objective is also used (5) adverbially , (6) in apposition with another objective and (7) as the subject of an infinitive

1. Direct Object

   Some verbs may be followed by a substantive denoting that which receives the action or is produced by it. These are called transitive
verbs. All other verbs are called intransitive.

  1. That man  struck  my  dog .

  2. The arrow  hit  the  target .

  3. Cæsar  conquered Gaul .

  4. Mr. Holland  sells flour .

  5. The farmer  raises corn .

  6. Mr. Eaton  makes stoves .

  7. My grandfather  built  that  house .

In Nos. 1–4, the verb is followed by a noun denoting the  receiver of the action . Thus, in the first sentence, the  dog  receives the blow; in the second, the  target  receives the action of hitting. In Nos. 5–7, the verb is followed by a noun denoting the  product  of the action. For example, the  corn  is  produced  by the action expressed by the verb  raises .

In each example, the noun that follows the verb  completes the sense  of the verb. “That man  struck  ----.” “Struck  whom ?” “He struck the  dog .” Until  dog  is added the sense of the verb  struck  is incomplete.

   A substantive that completes the meaning of a transitive verb is called its direct object, and is said to be in the objective case.

  Thus, in the examples above,  dog  is the direct object of the   transitive verb  struck ;  target  is the direct object of    hit ,--and so on. Each of these nouns is therefore in the  objective   case .

   The direct object is often called the object complement, or the   object of the verb.

 Intransitive verbs have no object.

  The lion  roared .

  The visitor  coughed  gently.

  The log  drifted  downstream.

  We all  listened  intently.

Compare these sentences with those in § 99. We observe that the verbs (unlike those in § 99) admit no object, since their meaning is complete without the addition of any noun to denote the receiver or product of the action. “The man  struck ----” prompts the inquiry, “Struck  whom ?” But no such question is suggested by “The lion  roared ”; for “Roared  what ?” would be an absurdity.

 The  predicate nominative   must not be confused with the  direct object . They resemble each other in two particulars: (1) both stand in the predicate, and (2) both complete the meaning of the verb. But they differ utterly in their relation to the subject of the sentence. For--

The  predicate nominative  describes or defines the  subject . Hence both substantives denote the same person or thing.

  Charles [SUBJECT] {is | was | became | was elected}  captain    [PREDICATE NOMINATIVE].

The  direct object  neither describes nor defines the subject. On the  contrary, it designates that upon which the subject acts. Hence the two substantives regularly[18] denote different persons or things.

  Charles [SUBJECT] {struck  James  [OBJECT]. | threw a  stone    [OBJECT]. | built a  boat  [OBJECT].}

Both the direct object and the predicate nominative are classed as  complements , because they are used to complete the sense of the predicate verb

  A verb of  asking  sometimes takes  two direct objects , one denoting the  person  and the other the  thing .

 She asked the  boy  his  name .

  Ask  me  no  favors .

  I asked the  lawyer  his  opinion .

2. Predicate Objective

   Verbs of  choosing ,  calling ,  naming ,  making , and  thinking  may take two objects referring to the same person or thing.

 The first of these is the direct object, and the second, which completes the sense of the predicate, is called a predicate objective.

  We chose Oscar  president . [ Oscar  is the direct object of  chose ;    president  is the predicate objective.]

  I call John my  friend .

  They thought the man a  coward .

  Make my house your  home .

  The predicate objective is often called the complementary object or   the objective attribute. It is classed as a complement.

An adjective may serve as predicate objective.

  I call this ship  unseaworthy .

  Your letter made your sister  anxious .

  What makes Edwin so  careless ?

3. Indirect Object and Similar Idioms

   Some verbs of  giving ,  telling ,  refusing , and the like, may take two objects, a direct object and an indirect object.

 The indirect object denotes the person or thing toward whom or toward which is directed the action expressed by the rest of the predicate.


  Dick sold his bicycle.    Dick sold  John  his bicycle.
  I gave permission.        I gave this  man  permission.
  He paid a dollar.         He paid the  gardener  a dollar.
  She taught Latin.         She taught my  children  Latin.

Most of the verbs that admit an indirect object are included in the following list:--

  allot, allow, assign, bequeath, bring, deny, ensure, fetch, fling,   forbid, forgive, give, grant, guarantee, hand, lease, leave, lend,   let, owe, pardon, pass, pay, refund, refuse, remit, restore, sell,   send, show, sing, spare, teach, tell, throw, toss, vouchsafe.

Pronouns are commoner as indirect objects than nouns.

  They denied  her  the necessities of life.

  I guaranteed  them  a handsome profit.

  The king vouchsafed  them  an audience.

 It is always possible to insert the preposition  to  before the indirect object without changing the sense.

Since the indirect object is equivalent to an adverbial phrase, it is classed as a modifier of the verb.

  Thus, in “Dick sold  John  his bicycle,”  John  is an adverbial   modifier of the predicate verb  sold .

The indirect object is sometimes used without a direct object expressed. Thus,--

  He paid the hatter.

Here  hatter  may be recognized as an indirect object by inserting    to  before it and adding a direct object (“his  bill ,” “his    money ,” or the like).

 .  The objective case sometimes expresses the person  for whom  anything is done.

  William made his  brother  a kite [= made a kite for his brother].

  Sampson built  me  a boat [= built a boat for me].

This construction may be called the  objective of service .

  NOTE. The objective of service is often included under the head of   the indirect object. But the two constructions differ widely in   sense, and should be carefully distinguished. To do an act  to  a   person is not the same thing as to do an act  for  a person. Contrast   “John paid the money  to  me,” with “John paid the money  for  me”;    “Dick sold a bicycle  to  me,” with “Dick sold a bicycle  for  me.”

 The objective case is used after  like ,  unlike ,  near , and  next , which are really adjectives or adverbs, though in this construction they are often regarded as prepositions.

  She sang like a  bird . [ Like  is an adverb.]

  The earth is like a  ball . [ Like  is an adjective.]

  My office is near the  station . [ Near  is an adjective.]

  That answer was unlike  Joseph . [ Unlike  is an adjective.]

  This man walks unlike  Joseph . [ Unlike  is an adverb.]

  A stream ran near the  hut . [ Near  is an adverb.]

The use of the objective after these words is a peculiar idiom similar to the indirect object (§ 105). The nature of the construction may be
seen (as in the indirect object) by inserting  to  or  unto  (“She sang  like unto  a bird”).

NOTE. The indirect object, the objective of service, and the   objective after  like ,  unlike , and  near  are all survivals of old   dative constructions. Besides the case of the direct object (often   called  accusative ), English once had a case (called the  dative )   which meant  to  or  for  [somebody or something]. The dative case is   easily distinguished in Greek, Latin, and German, but in English it   has long been merged in form with the ordinary objective.

4. Cognate Object

    A verb that is regularly intransitive sometimes takes as object a noun whose meaning closely resembles its own. 

 A noun in this construction is called the cognate object of the verb and is in the objective case. 

  He ran a  race .

  The mayor coughed a dubious, insinuating  cough .

  A scornful  laugh  laughed he.

  The trumpeter blew a loud  blast .

  She sleeps the  sleep  of death.

  NOTE.  Cognate  means “kindred” or “related.” The cognate object   repeats the idea of the verb, often with some modification, and    may be classed as an adverbial modifier. Its difference from the   direct object may be seen by contrasting “The blacksmith struck the    anvil ” with “The blacksmith struck a mighty  blow ” (cf. “struck    mightily ”). For the pronoun  it  as cognate object

5. Adverbial Objective

  A noun, or a phrase consisting of a noun and its modifiers, may be used adverbially. Such a noun is called an adverbial objective. 

  We have waited  years  for this reform.

  I am  years  older than you are.

  The river is  miles  away.

  The water rose  three feet .

  This is  an inch  too long.

  My brother is  twenty years  old.

  I will stay a  short time .

  Wait  a moment .

  Come here  this instant !

  Turn your eyes  this way .

  This silk is  several shades  too light.

A group of words consisting of an adverbial object with its modifier or modifiers forms an  adverbial phrase  

6. Objective in Apposition

  A substantive in apposition with an objective is itself in the objective case.

  Yesterday I saw Williams the  expressman . [Apposition with the   direct object of  saw .]

  Tom gave his friend  John  a book. [Apposition with the indirect  object  friend .]

  He lives with Andrews the  blacksmith . [Apposition with the object   of the preposition  with .]

This rule follows from the general principle that an appositive is in the same case as the substantive to which it is attached 

7. Subject of an Infinitive

 The subject of an infinitive is in the objective case.

This construction will be treated in connection with the uses of the infinitive 


 To  parse  a word is to describe its grammatical form and to give its construction.

In parsing a  noun , we mention the class to which it belongs, give its gender, number, person, and case, and tell why it is in that case. Thus,--

  1. Frank shot a wolf.

   Frank  is a proper noun of the masculine gender, in the singular   number and third person. It is in the nominative case, because it is   the subject of the verb  shot .

   Wolf  is a common noun of the masculine or feminine [or common]   gender, in the singular number and third person. It is in the   objective case, because it is the object [or direct object] of the   transitive verb  shot .

  2. Jane, come here.

   Jane  is a proper noun of the feminine gender, in the singular   number and second person. It is in the nominative case, being used as   a vocative (or in direct address).

  3. The rope is fifteen feet long.

   Feet  is a common noun of the neuter gender, in the plural number   and third person. It is in the objective case, being used as an   adverbial modifier of the adjective  long .

  4. Edgar’s boat is a sloop.

 Edgar’s  is a proper noun of the masculine gender, in the singular   number and third person. It is in the possessive case, modifying the   noun  boat 

Monday, August 15, 2016



   Person is that property of substantives which shows whether they denote (1) the speaker, (2) the person spoken to, or (3) the person spoken of.

 A substantive is in the first person when it denotes the speaker, in the second person when it denotes the person spoken to, in the third  person when it denotes the person or thing spoken of.

  I, the  king , command his presence. [First person.]

  You,  Thomas , broke the window. [Second person.]

   Charles , come here. [Second person.]

  He, the  fireman , saved the train. [Third person.]

  The  diver  sinks slowly from our view. [Third person.]

  The  tower  suddenly collapsed. [Third person.]

The examples show (1) that the person of a noun has nothing to do with its form, but is indicated by the sense or connection; (2) that certain pronouns denote person with precision. Thus,  I  is always of the first person;  you  of the second; and  he  of the third.


    Substantives have inflections of case to indicate their grammatical relations to verbs, to prepositions, or to other substantives. 

There are three cases,--the  nominative , the  possessive , and the  objective .

  The possessive case is often called the  genitive .

The nominative and the objective case of a noun are always alike in form. In some pronouns, however, there is a difference (as,-- I ,  me ;  he ,  him ).


 .  The inflection of a substantive is called its  declension . To  decline  a noun is to give its case-forms in order, first in the singular number and then in the plural. Thus,--


   Nominative     boy        horse      fly       chimney
   Possessive     boy’s      horse’s    fly’s     chimney’s
   Objective        boy        horse      fly       chimney


   Nominative     boys       horses     flies     chimneys
   Possessive     boys’      horses’    flies’    chimneys’
   Objective        boys       horses     flies     chimneys


   Nominative       calf       lass       man       deer
   Possessive     calf’s     lass’s     man’s     deer’s
   Objective        calf       lass       man       deer


   Nominative     calves     lasses     men       deer
   Possessive     calves’    lasses’    men’s     deer’s
   Objective      calves     lasses     men       deer


   The  nominative case  is used in the following constructions:
(1) the subject, (2) the predicate nominative, (3) the vocative, (or nominative of direct address), (4) the exclamatory nominative, (5)
appositive with a nominative, (6) the nominative absolute. 

1.  The subject of a verb is in the nominative case. 

   Water  freezes.

   Charles  climbed the mountain.

  The boy’s  face  glowed with health and exercise.

  A thousand  men  were killed in this battle.

In the third example,  face  is the simple subject; the complete subject is  the boy’s face . In the fourth,  men  is the simple subject; the complete subject is  a thousand men . Both  face  and  men  are in the nominative case;  face  is in the singular number;  men  in the plural.

2.  A substantive standing in the predicate, but describing or defining the subject, agrees with the subject in case and is called a predicate nominative. 

  A predicate nominative is also called a  subject complement  or an    attribute .

  Lobsters are  crustaceans .

  A good book is a faithful  friend .

  Shakspere was a  native  of Stratford-on-Avon.

  Arnold proved a  traitor .

  Adams was elected  president .

The rule for the case of the predicate nominative is particularly important with respect to pronouns .
I am  he .    Are you  she ?

  It is  I .    It was  we  who did it.

The predicate nominative is commonest after the copula  is  (in its various forms). It will be further studied in connection with intransitive and passive verbs ]

3.  A substantive used for the purpose of addressing a person directly, and not connected with any verb, is called a vocative. 

A vocative is in the nominative case, and is often called a  nominative   by direct address  or a  vocative nominative .

  Come,  Ruth , give me your hand.

  Turn to the right,  madam .

   Herbert , it is your turn.

  Come with me, my  child .

  NOTE. A vocative word is sometimes said to be  independent by direct   address , because it stands by itself, unconnected with any verb.
  That a vocative is really in the nominative case may be seen in the   use of the pronoun  thou  in this construction: as,--I will arrest    thee,  thou  traitor .

4.  A substantive used as an exclamation is called an exclamatory nominative (or nominative of exclamation). 

   Peace , be still.

  Fortunate  Ruth !

  A  drum ! a  drum ! Macbeth doth come.

  Look! a  balloon !

The  sun ! then we shall have a fine day.

  Certain exclamatory nominatives are sometimes classed as   interjections 

5.  A substantive added to another substantive to explain it and signifying the same person or thing, is called an appositive and is said to be in apposition. 

 An appositive is in the same case as the substantive which it limits. 

Hence a substantive in apposition with a nominative is in the nominative case.

  Mr. Scott, the  grocer , is here. [Apposition with subject.]

  Tom, old  fellow , I am glad to see you. [Apposition with vocative.]

  The discoverer of the Pacific was Balboa, a  Spaniard . [Apposition   with predicate nominative.]

  NOTE.  Apposition  means “attachment”;  appositive  means “attached   noun or pronoun.” An appositive modifies the noun with which it   is in apposition much as an adjective might do (compare “Balboa,   a  Spaniard ” with “ Spanish  Balboa”). Hence it is classed as an   adjective modifier


   The possessive case denotes ownership or possession. 

   John’s  yacht lies at her moorings.

  The  duck’s  feet are webbed.

  The  mutineer’s  pistol burst when he fired.

  NOTE. Most uses of the possessive come under the general head of    possession  in some sense. Special varieties of meaning are  source    (as in “ hen’s  eggs”) and  authorship  (as in “ Wordsworth’s    sonnets”).

  A possessive noun or pronoun modifies the substantive to which it   is attached as an adjective might do. Hence it is classed as an   adjective modifier.

Forms of the Possessive Case

 The possessive case of most nouns has, in the singular number, the ending  ’s . 

  EXAMPLES: the owl’s feathers, Elizabeth’s hat, the officer’s name.

 Plural nouns ending in  s  take no further ending for the possessive. In writing, however, an apostrophe is put after the  s  to indicate the possessive case. 

  EXAMPLES: the owls’ feathers, the officers’ names, the artists’   petition, the engineers’ ball.

 Plural nouns not ending in  s  take  ’s  in the possessive. 

  EXAMPLES: the firemen’s ball, the policemen’s quarters, the   children’s hour.

NOTE. In older English the possessive of most nouns was written as   well as pronounced with the ending  -es  or  -is . Thus, in Chaucer,   the possessive of  child  is  childës  or  childis ; that of  king    is  kingës  or  kingis ; that of  John  is  Johnës  or  Johnis . The   use of an apostrophe in the possessive is a comparatively modern   device, due to a misunderstanding. Scholars at one time thought the    s  of the possessive a fragment of the pronoun  his ; that is, they   took such a phrase as  George’s book  for a contraction of  George   his book . Hence they used the apostrophe before  s  to signify   the supposed omission of part of the word  his . Similarly, in the   possessive plural, there was thought to be an omission of a final    es ; that is, such a phrase as  the horses’ heads  was thought to be   a contraction of the  horseses  heads. Both these errors have long   been exploded.

 Nouns like  sheep  and  deer , which have the same form in both the singular and the plural, usually take  ’s  in the possessive plural.

  Thus,  the deer’s tracks  would be written, whether one deer or more   were meant.


1. Monosyllabic nouns ending in  s  or an  s -sound usually make their possessive singular by adding  ’s .

  EXAMPLES: Charles’s hat, Forbes’s garden, Mr. Wells’s daughter,   Rice’s carriage, Mrs. Dix’s family, a fox’s brush.

  NOTE. Most of these monosyllabic nouns in s are family names. The   rule accords with the best usage; but it is not absolute, for usage   varies. Hence forms like  Charles’  and  Wells’  cannot be condemned   as positively wrong, though  Charles’s  and  Wells’s  are preferable.
  In speaking, the shorter form is often ambiguous, for there is no   difference in sound between  Dix’  and  Dick’s ,  Mr. Hills’  and
   Mr. Hill’s ,  Dr. Childs’  and  Dr. Child’s .

2. Nouns of two or more syllables ending in  s  or an  s -sound, and not accented on the last syllable, may make their possessive singular by adding  ’s , or may take no ending in the possessive.

In the latter case, an apostrophe is added in writing, but in sound there is no difference between the possessive and the nominative.

  EXAMPLES: Burrows’s ( or  Burrows’) Hotel, Æneas’s ( or  Æneas’)   voyage, Beatrice’s ( or  Beatrice’) gratitude, Felix’s ( or  Felix’)   arrival, for conscience’s ( or  conscience’) sake. 

Most of the nouns in question are proper names. In speaking, one must often use the longer form to prevent ambiguity; for  Williams’  and  William’s ,  Roberts’  and  Robert’s ,  Robbins’  and  Robin’s , are indistinguishable in sound.

  NOTE. Nouns of two or more syllables ending in  s  or an  s -sound   and accented on the last syllable, follow the rule for monosyllables.
  Thus,-- Laplace’s  mathematics (not  Laplace’ );  Alphonse’s  father   (not  Alphonse’ ).

  When final  s  is silent (as in many French names),  ’s  must of   course be added in the possessive. Thus,-- Descartes’s  philosophy   (pronounced  Daycárt’s ).

Use of the Possessive Case 

Possession may be denoted by a phrase with  of  as well as by the possessive case. The distinction between the two forms cannot be brought under rigid rules, but the following suggestions will be of use.

I. In older English and in poetry the possessive case of nouns is freely used, but in modern prose it is rare unless the possessor is a living being. A phrase with  of  is used instead.

  The mayor  of Detroit  (NOT  Detroit’s  mayor).

  The top  of the post  (NOT the  post’s  top).

  The prevalence  of the epidemic  (NOT the  epidemic’s  prevalence).

Contrast the poetic use:--

   Belgium’s  capital had gathered then
  Her beauty and her chivalry.--BYRON.

  Other prepositions are sometimes used: as,--“the explosion in  New
  York ” (NOT “ New York’s  explosion”), “the station  at Plymouth .”

II. When the possessor is a living being, good usage varies.

  1. If there is actual ownership or possession of some material thing,   the possessive case is generally used in the singular: as,--“John’s    hat ” (not “the hat  of John ”). The possessive plural, however,   is often replaced by a phrase with  of , to avoid ambiguity or   harshness: as,--“the jewels  of the ladies ” (rather than “the    ladies’  jewels”)[17], “the wings  of the geese ” (rather than “the    geese’s  wings”).

  2. With nouns denoting a quality, an act, or the like, either the   possessive or the  of -phrase is proper: as,--“ John’s  generosity,”    or “the generosity  of John ”; “ John’s  condition,” or “the   condition  of John ”; “the  guide’s  efforts,” or “the efforts  of   the guide ”; “ Cæsar’s  death,” or “the death  of Cæsar .”

  When there is any choice, it usually depends on euphony (that is,   agreeable sound), and is therefore a question of style. Sometimes,   however, there is a distinction in sense. “ John’s  fear,” for   example, indicates that John is afraid; but “the fear  of John ”   means the fear which John inspires in others.

III. The following phrases are established idioms with the possessive. In some of them, however, the possessive may be replaced by  of  and its object.

  (1) The earth’s surface, the sun’s rays, the moon’s reflection, the   pit’s mouth, a rope’s end, his journey’s end, at his wit’s end, the   ship’s keel, the water’s edge, the cannon’s mouth, out of harm’s   way, at swords’ points, for pity’s sake, for conscience’ sake; (2)   a moment’s pause, a year’s time, a hand’s breadth, a boat’s length,   a month’s salary, a week’s notice, a night’s rest, a day’s work, a
  stone’s throw, a feather’s weight, an hour’s delay, a dollar’s worth,   not a foot’s difference.

  In the second group of phrases (“a moment’s pause,” etc.), the   possessive denotes not ownership, but  measure  or  extent .

IV. The possessive case of certain pronouns ( my ,  our ,  your ,  his ,  her ,  its ,  their ) is more freely used than that of nouns in expressions that do not denote actual ownership.

  I know him to  my  sorrow. [Compare: to his loss, to our detriment,   to his advantage.]

  The brass has lost  its  polish.

  This question must be decided on  its  merits.

  His arguments did not fail of  their  effect.

  For the inflection of these pronouns,  For the use of    whose 

 .  When a thing belongs to two or more  joint owners , the sign of the possessive is added to the last name only.

  Brown, Jones, and Richardson’s factories. [Brown, Jones, and   Richardson are partners.]

  It is George and William’s turn to take the boat. [George and William   are to go in the boat together.]

  On the other hand, in order to avoid ambiguity we should say, “Brown’s, Jones’s, and Richardson’s factories,” if each individual   had a factory of his own; and “George’s and William’s answers were   correct,” if each boy answered independently of the other.

.  In  compound nouns  the last part takes the possessive sign. So also when a phrase is used as a noun.

  My  father-in-law’s  home is in Easton.

  We had  a quarter of an hour’s  talk.

Other examples are the following:--

  My brother-in-law’s opinion; the commander-in-chief’s orders; the   lady-in-waiting’s duties; the coal dealer’s prices; Edward VII’s
  reign; the King of England’s portrait; half a year’s delay; in three   or four months’ time; a cable and a half’s length; the pleasure of
  Major Pendennis and Mr. Arthur Pendennis’s company (THACKERAY).

  NOTE. Noun-phrases often contain two substantives, the second of   which is in apposition with the first. In such phrases,  of  is   generally preferable to the possessive. Thus, we may say either “Tom   the blacksmith’s daughter” or “the daughter of Tom the blacksmith”;   but “the son of Mr. Hill the carpenter” is both neater and clearer   than “Mr. Hill the carpenter’s son.” The use of  ’s  is also avoided   with a very long phrase like “the owner of the house on the other   side of the street.”

  An objective may stand in apposition with a possessive, the latter   being equivalent to  of  with an object. Thus,--“I am not yet of   Percy’s mind [= of the mind of Percy], the  Hotspur  of the North”   (SHAKSPERE).

 The noun denoting the object possessed is often omitted when it may be readily understood, especially in the predicate.

   Conant’s  [shop] is open until noon.

  I buy my hats at  Bryant’s  [shop].

  We will dine at  Pennock’s  [restaurant].

  That camera is  mine . 
This construction is common in such expressions as:--

  He was a relative of  John’s .

  That careless tongue of  John’s  will get him into trouble.

  In the first example, “a relative of John’s” means “a relative of   (=  from among ) John’s relatives.” The second example shows an   extension of this construction by analogy. 

Friday, August 12, 2016



   Gender is distinction according to sex.

 Nouns and pronouns may be of the masculine, the feminine, or the neuter gender.

1.  A noun or pronoun denoting a male being is of the masculine gender.

  EXAMPLES: Joseph, boy, cockerel, buck, footman, butler, brother,   father, uncle, he.

2.  A noun or pronoun denoting a female being is of the feminine gender.

  EXAMPLES: girl, Julia, hen, waitress, maid, doe, spinster, matron,   aunt, squaw, she.

3.  A noun or pronoun denoting a thing without animal life is of the neuter gender.

  EXAMPLES: pencil, light, water, star, book, dust, leaf, it.

A noun or pronoun which is sometimes masculine and sometimes feminine is often said to be of  common gender .

  EXAMPLES: bird, speaker, artist, animal, cat, European, musician,   operator, they.

   A pronoun must be in the same gender as the noun for which it stands or to which it refers.

Each of the following pronouns is limited to a single gender:

  MASCULINE:  he ,  his ,  him .
  FEMININE:   she ,  her ,  hers .
  NEUTER:     it ,  its .

All other pronouns vary in gender.

   Robert  greeted  his  employer. [Masculine.]

  A  mother  passed with  her  child. [Feminine.]

  This  tree  has lost  its  foliage. [Neuter.]

   Who  laughed? [Masculine or feminine.]

  How do  you  do? [Masculine or feminine.]

They  have disappeared. [Masculine, feminine, or neuter.]

  I do not care for  either . [Masculine, feminine, or neuter.]

 A neuter noun may become masculine or feminine by  personification 

  Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
  The blue Mediterranean.--SHELLEY.

  Stern daughter of the Voice of God!

           Nature from her seat
  Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe.--MILTON.

 In speaking of certain objects, such as a ship and the moon, it  is customary to use  she  and  her . In like manner,  he  is used in speaking of the sun and of most animals, without reference to sex, although  it  often designates an insect or other small creature, and even a very young child.

 Who  and  which  are both used in referring to the  lower animals .  Which  is the commoner, but  who  is not infrequent, especially if the animal is thought of as an intelligent being.

  Thus one would say, “The dog  which  is for sale is in that kennel,”   even if one added, “ He  is a collie.” But  which  would never be   used in such a sentence as, “I have a dog  who  loves children.”

  The  gender  of masculine and of feminine nouns may be shown in various ways.

1. The male and the female of many kinds or classes of living beings are denoted by different words. 


  father              mother
  husband         wife
  uncle               aunt
  king             queen
  monk            nun
  wizard          witch
  lord              lady
  horse          mare
  gander        goose
  drake         duck
  cock          hen
  ram           ewe
  bull           cow
  hart           hind
  buck         doe
  fox           vixen[10]

2. Some masculine nouns become feminine by the addition of an ending.


  heir                 heiress
  baron                baroness
  lion                  lioness
  prince              princess
  emperor          empress
  tiger                 tigress
  executor           executrix
  administrator    administratrix
  hero                  heroine
  Joseph              Josephine
  sultan              sultana
  Philip                Philippa

NOTE. The feminine gender is often indicated by the ending  ess .   Frequently the corresponding masculine form ends in  or  or  er :
  as,--actor, actress; governor, governess; waiter, waitress. The   ending  ess  is not so common as formerly. Usage favors  proprietor ,    author ,  editor , etc., even for the feminine (rather than the   harsher forms  proprietress ,  authoress ,  editress ), whenever   there is no special reason for emphasizing the difference of sex.

3. A few feminine words become masculine by the addition of an ending. Thus,-- widow ,  widower ;  bride ,  bridegroom .

4. Gender is sometimes indicated by the ending  man ,  woman ,  maid ,  boy , or  girl .

  EXAMPLES: salesman, saleswoman; foreman, forewoman; laundryman;   milkmaid; cash boy, cash girl.

5. A noun or a pronoun is sometimes prefixed to a noun to indicate gender.

  EXAMPLES: manservant, maidservant; mother bird; cock sparrow, hen   sparrow; boy friend, girl friend; he-wolf, she-wolf.

6. The gender of a noun may be indicated by some accompanying part of speech, usually by a pronoun.

  My  cat  is always washing  his  face.

  The  intruder  shook  her  head.

  I was confronted by a pitiful  creature , haggard and  unshaven .

  NOTE. The variations in form studied under 2 and 3 (above) are often   regarded as inflections. In reality, however, the masculine and the   feminine are different words. Thus,  baroness  is not an inflectional   form of  baron , but a distinct noun, made from  baron  by adding   the ending  ess , precisely as  barony  and  baronage  are made from    baron  by adding the endings  y  and  age . The process is rather   that of  derivation  or noun-formation than that of inflection.


  Number is that property of substantives which shows whether they indicate one person, place, or thing or more than one. 

 There are two numbers,--the singular and the plural. 

 The singular number denotes but one person, place, or thing. The plural number denotes more than one person, place, or thing. 

  Most nouns form the plural number by adding  s  or  es  to the singular. 

  EXAMPLES: mat, mats; wave, waves; problem, problems; bough, boughs;   John, Johns; nurse, nurses; tense, tenses; bench, benches; dish,   dishes; class, classes; fox, foxes.


1. If the singular ends in  s ,  x ,  z ,  ch , or  sh , the plural ending is  es .

  EXAMPLES: loss, losses; box, boxes; buzz, buzzes; match, matches;   rush, rushes.

2. Many nouns ending in  o  preceded by a consonant also take the ending  es  in the plural.

  EXAMPLES: hero, heroes; cargo, cargoes; potato, potatoes; motto,   mottoes; buffalo, buffaloes; mosquito, mosquitoes.

 3 . Nouns ending in  o  preceded by a vowel form their plural in  s : as,-- cameo ,  cameos ;  folio ,  folios .

4. The following nouns ending in  o  preceded by a consonant also form their plural in  s :--


  In some nouns the addition of the plural ending alters the spelling and even the sound of the singular form.

1. Nouns ending in  y  preceded by a consonant change  y  to  i  and add  es  in the plural.

  EXAMPLES: sky, skies; fly, flies; country, countries; berry, berries.   (Contrast: valley, valleys; chimney, chimneys; monkey, monkeys; boy,
  boys; day, days.)

Most proper names ending in  y , however, take the plural in  s .

  EXAMPLES: Mary, Marys; Murphy, Murphys; Daly, Dalys; Rowley, Rowleys;   May, Mays.

2. Some nouns ending in  f  or  fe , change the  f  to  v  and add  es  or  s .

EXAMPLES: wharf, wharves; wife, wives; shelf, shelves; wolf, wolves;   thief, thieves; knife, knives; half, halves; calf, calves; life,
  lives; self, selves; sheaf, sheaves; loaf, loaves; leaf, leaves; elf,   elves; beef, beeves.

  A few nouns form their plural in  en .

  These are: ox, oxen; brother, brethren ( or  brothers); child,   children.

  NOTE. Ancient or poetical plurals belonging to this class are:  eyne    (for  eyen , from  eye ),  kine  (cows),  shoon  (shoes),  hosen 

.  A few nouns form their plural by a  change of vowel .

  These are: man, men; woman, women; merman, mermen; foot, feet; tooth,   teeth; goose, geese; mouse, mice; louse, lice. Also compound words   ending in  man  or  woman , such as fireman, firemen; saleswoman,   saleswomen; Dutchman, Dutchmen.

  NOTE.  German ,  Mussulman ,  Ottoman ,  dragoman ,  firman , and    talisman , which are not compounds of  man , form their plurals
  regularly: as,-- Germans ,  Mussulmans .  Norman  also forms its   plural in  s .

   A few nouns have the same form in both singular and plural.

  EXAMPLES: deer, sheep, heathen, Japanese, Portuguese, Iroquois.

  NOTE. This class was larger in older English than at present.   It included, for example,  year , which in Shakspere has two   plurals:--“six thousand  years ,” “twelve  year  since.”

 A few nouns have two plurals, but usually with some difference in meaning.


  brother    { brothers (relatives)              { brethren (members of the same society)

  horse      { horses (animals)              { horse (cavalry)

  foot       { feet (parts of the body)              { foot (infantry)

  sail       { sails (on vessels)              { sail (vessels in a fleet)

  head       { heads (in usual sense)              { head (of cattle)

  fish       { fishes (individually)              { fish (collectively)

  penny      { pennies (single coins)              { pence (collectively)

  cloth      { cloths (pieces of cloth)              { clothes (garments)

  die        { dies (for stamping)              { dice (for gaming)

  The  pennies  were arranged in neat piles.

  English money is reckoned in pounds, shillings, and  pence .

   When  compound nouns  are made plural, the last part usually takes the plural form; less often the first part; rarely both parts.

  EXAMPLES: spoonful, spoonfuls; bathhouse, bathhouses; forget-me-not,   forget-me-nots; editor-in-chief, editors-in-chief; maid-of-honor,
  maids-of-honor; gentleman usher, gentlemen ushers; Knight Templar,   Knights Templars; Lord Justice, Lords Justices; manservant,

.  Letters of the alphabet, figures, signs used in writing, and words regarded merely as words take  ’s  in the plural.

 “Embarrassed” is spelled with two  r’s  and two  s’s .

  Your  3’s  look like  8’s .

  Tell the printer to change the §’s to ¶’s.

  Don’t interrupt me with your  but’s !

  Foreign nouns in English sometimes retain their foreign plurals; but many have an English plural also.

Some of the commonest are included in the following list:[12]

  SINGULAR               PLURAL

  alumna (feminine)      alumnæ
  alumnus (masculine)    alumni
  amanuensis             amanuenses
  analysis               analyses
  animalculum            animalcula[13]
  antithesis             antitheses
  appendix             { appendices
                       { appendixes
  axis                   axes
  bacillus               bacilli
  bacterium              bacteria
  bandit               { banditti
                       { bandits
  basis                  bases
  beau                 { beaux
                       { beaus
  candelabrum            candelabra
  cumulus                cumuli
  cherub               { cherubim
                       { cherubs
  crisis                 crises
  curriculum             curricula
  datum                  data
  ellipsis               ellipses
  erratum                errata
  formula              { formulæ
                       { formulas
  genius               { genii
                       { geniuses
  genus                  genera
  gymnasium            { gymnasia
                       { gymnasiums
  hippopotamus           hippopotami
  hypothesis             hypotheses
  larva                  larvæ
  memorandum           { memoranda
                       { memorandums
  nebula                 nebulæ
  oasis                  oases
  parenthesis            parentheses
  phenomenon             phenomena
  radius                 radii
  seraph               { seraphim
                       { seraphs
  species                species
  stratum                strata
  synopsis               synopses
  tableau                tableaux
  tempo                  tempi
  terminus               termini
  thesis                 theses
  trousseau              trousseaux
  vertebra               vertebræ

The two plurals sometimes differ in meaning: as,--

  Michael Angelo and Raphael were  geniuses .

 Spirits are sometimes called  genii .

  This book has two  indices .

  The printer uses signs called  indexes .

 When a  proper name  with the title  Mr. ,  Mrs. ,  Miss , or  Master , is put into the plural, the rules are as follows:--

1. The plural of  Mr.  is  Messrs.  (pronounced  Messers [14]). The name remains in the singular. Thus,--

   Mr. Jackson , plural  Messrs.  (or the  Messrs. )  Jackson .

2.  Mrs.  has no plural. The name itself takes the plural form. Thus,--

   Mrs. Jackson , plural  the Mrs. Jacksons .

3. In the case of  Miss , sometimes the title is put into the plural, sometimes the name. Thus,--

   Miss Jackson , plural  the Misses Jackson  or  the Miss Jacksons .

  The latter expression is somewhat informal. Accordingly, it would not   be used in a formal invitation or reply, or in addressing a letter.

4. The plural of  Master  is  Masters . The name remains in the singular. Thus,--

   Master Jackson , plural  the Masters Jackson .

  Other titles usually remain in the singular, the name taking the   plural form: as,-- the two General Follansbys . But when two or more
  names follow, the title becomes plural: as,-- Generals Rolfe and    Johnson .

  Some nouns, on account of their meaning, are seldom or never used in the plural.

  Such are many names of qualities (as  cheerfulness ,  mirth ), of   sciences (as  chemistry [15]), of forces (as  gravitation ).

Many nouns, commonly used in the singular only, may take a plural in some special sense. Thus,--

  earth (the globe)     earths (kinds of soil)

 ice (frozen water)    ices (food)
  tin (a metal)         tins (tin dishes or cans)
  nickel (a metal)      nickels (coins)

  Some nouns are used in the plural only.

  Such are: annals, athletics, billiards, dregs, eaves, entrails, lees,   nuptials, oats, obsequies, pincers, proceeds, riches, scissors,
  shears, suds, tweezers, tongs, trousers, victuals, vitals;    and (in certain special senses)    ashes, goods, links, scales, spectacles, stocks.

.  A few nouns are plural in form, but singular in meaning.

  Such are: gallows, news, measles, mumps, small pox (for  small   pocks ), politics, and some names of sciences (as, civics, economics,
  ethics, mathematics, physics, optics).

  NOTE. These nouns were formerly plural in sense as well as in form.    News , for example, originally meant “new things.” Shakspere uses it
  both as a singular and as a plural. Thus,--“ This news  was brought   to Richard” ( King John , v. 3. 12); “But wherefore do I tell  these
  news  to thee?” ( 1 Henry IV , iii. 2. 121). In a few words modern   usage varies. The following nouns are sometimes singular, sometimes
  plural:  alms ,  amends ,  bellows ,  means ,  pains  (in the sense   of “effort”),  tidings .

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