1. The Dative of the Personal Pronoun was in frequent use in the time of Shakespeare, to add a certain liveliness and interest to the statement.

Thus we find, in several of his plays, such sentences as

(i) "He plucked me ope his doublet.”
(ii) “Villain, I say, knock me at this gate, and rap me well.”
(iii) “Your tanner will last you nine year.”
Grammarians call this kind of dative the ethical dative.

2. The Dative was once the Absolute Case.
“This said, they both betook them several ways."

- Milton.


1. In our Old English-the English spoken before the coming of the Normans, and for some generations after-every adjective agreed with its noun in gender, number, and case; and even as late as Chaucer (1340-1400) adjectives had a form for the plural number. Thus in the Prologue to the 'Canterbury Tales,' he writes

“And smalë fowlës maken melodie,” where e is the plural inflexion.

2. In course of time, partly under the influence of the Normans and the Norman language, all these inflexions dropped off; and there are now only two adjectives in the whole language that have any inflexions at all (except for comparison), and these inflexions are only for the plural number. The two adjectives that are inflected are the demonstrative adjectives this and that, which make their plurals in these (formerly thise) and those.

(1) The, which is a broken-down form of that, never changes at all.

(ii) When an adjective is used as a noun, it may take a plural inflection; as the blacks, goods, equals, edibles, annuals, monthlies, weeklies, etc. 3. Most adjectives are inflected for comparison.

4. Every adjective is either an explicit or an implicit predicate. The following are examples :

Adjectives used as Explicit Predicates.
1. The way was long; the wind was cold.
2. The minstrel was infirm and old.
3. The duke is very rich.

Adjectives used as Implicit Predicates.
1. We had before us a long way and a cold wind.
2. The infirm old minstrel went wearily on.

3. The rich duke is very niggardly. 5. When an adjective is used as an explicit predicate, it is said to be used predicatively; when it is used as an implicit predicate, it is said to be used attributively.

Adjectives used predicatively.
1. The cherries are ripe.
2. The man we met was very old.

Adjectives used attributively.
1. Let us pluck only the ripe cherries.
2. We met an old man.

RULE XIV.-An adjective may qualify a noun or pronoun predicatively, not only after the verb be, but after such intransitive verbs as look, seem, feel, taste, etc.

Thus we find : (i) She looked angry. (ii) He seemed weary. (iii) He felt better. (iv) It tasted sour. (v) He fell ill.

RULE XV.-After verbs of making, thinking, considering, etc., an adjective may be used factitively as well as predicatively.

Thus we can say, (i) We made all the young ones happy. (ii) All present thought him odd. (iii) We considered him very clever.

Factitive comes from the Latin facio, I make.

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RULE XVI.-An adjective may, especially in poetry, be used as an abstract noun.

Thus we speak of “the True, the Good, and the Beautiful ; sublime and the ridiculous ;” Mrs Browning has the phrase, “ from the depths of God's divine ;” and Longfellow speaks of

A band
Of stern in heart and strong in hand."

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RULE XVII.—An adjective may be used as an adverb in poetry. Thus we find in Dr Johnson the line

Slow rises worth, by poverty depressed ;”. and in Scott

* Trip it deft and merrily;” and in Longfellow

"The green trees whispered low and mild;" and in Tennyson

“And slow and sure comes up the golden year." (i) The reason for this is that in 0. E. adverbs were formed from adjectives by adding e. Thus brightë was=brightly, and deepë=deeply. But in course of time the e fell off, and an adverb was just like its own adjective. hence we still have the phrases : “He works hard;" "Run quick !” “Speak louder !” Run fast!” “Right reverend," etc.

(ii) Shakespeare very frequently uses adjectives as adverbs, and has such sentences as: " Thou didst it excellent !" "'Tis noble spoken !” and many more.

RULE XVIII.-A participle is a pure adjective, and agrees with its noun. Thus, in Pope

“How happy is the blameless vestal's lot,

The world forgetting, by the world forgot !” where forgetting, the present active participle, and forgot, the past passive participle, both agree with vestal (“the vestal's lot" being=the lot of the vestal).

(i) But while a participle is a pure adjective, it also retains one function of a verb-the power to govern. Thus in the sentence, “Respecting ourselves, we shall be respected by the world,” the present participle respecting agrees with we, and governs ourselves.

RULE XIX.—The comparative degree is employed when two things or two sets of things are compared; the superlative when three or more are compared.

Thus we say “James is taller than I ; but Tom is the tallest of the three."

(i) Than is a dialectic form of then. James is taller ; then I (come)."

(ii) The superlative is sometimes used to indicate superiority to all others. Thus Shakespeare says, “A little ere the mightiest Julius fell;" and we use such phrases as, “Truest friend and noblest foe.” This is sometimes called the

superlative of pre-eminence.”

(iii) Double comparatives and superlatives were much used in 0.E., and Shakespeare was especially fond of them. He gives us such phrases as, more larger list of sceptres,” “ "more better," 'more nearer,” most worst," “most unkindest cut of all,” etc. These cannot be employed now.


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RULE XX.-The distributive adjectives each, every, either, neither, go with singular nouns only.

Thus we say : (i) Each boy got an apple. (ii) Every noun is in its place. (iii) Either book will do. (iv) Neither woman went.

Either and neither are dialectic forms of other and nother, which were afterwards compressed into or and nor.


1. There are some adjectives that cannot be used attributively, but only predicatively. Such are well, ill, ware, aware, afraid, glad, sorry, etc. (But we say a glad heart," and—in a different sense a sorry nag.”) (i) We

say “He was glad ;” but we cannot say “ A glad man.” Yet Wordsworth has

“ Glad sight whenever new and old

Are joined thro' some dear home-born tie."
We also speak of "glad tidings.”
(ii) We say “He was sorry ;

but if we say “He was a sorry man," we use the word in a quite different sense. The attributive meaning of the word is in this instance quite different from the predicative.

2. The phrase “the first two ” means the first and second in one series; "the two first” means the first of each of two series.


RULE XXI.—Pronouns, whether personal or relative, must agree in gender, number, and person with the nouns for which they stand, but not necessarily) in case.

Thus we say: "I have lost my umbrella : it was standing in the


(i) Here it is neuter, singular, and third person, because umbrella is neuter, singular, and third person.

(ii) Umbrella is in the objective case governed by have lost; but it is in the nominative, because it is the subject to its own verb was standing.

RULE XXII.—Pronouns, whether personal or relative, take their case from the sentence in which they stand.

Thus we say :

“ The sailor whom we met on the beach is ill.” Here sailor is in the nominative, and whom, its pronoun, in the objective.

(i) Whom is in the objective, because it is governed by the verb met in its own sentence. “The sailor is ill" is one sentence. “ Him (whom=and him) we met" is a second sentence.

(ii) The relative may be governed by a preposition, as "The man on whom I relied has not disappointed me."

RULE XXIII.—Who, whom, and whose are used only of rational beings; which of irrational; that may stand for nouns of any kind.

(i) In poetry, whose may be used for of which. Thus Wordsworth, in the ‘Laodamia,' has

“In worlds whose course is equable and pure.”

RULE XXIV.—The possessive pronouns mine, thine, ours, yours, and theirs can only be used predicatively; or, if used as a subject, cannot have a noun with them.

Thus we say: “This is mine.” “Mine is larger than yours.” But mine and thine are used for my and thy before a noun in poetry and impassioned prose : “Who knoweth the power of thine anger?”

RULE XXV.—After such, same, so much, so great, etc., the relative employed is not who, but as. Thus Milton has

“ Tears such as angels weep."
(i) Shakespeare uses as even after that,

That gentleness as I was wont to have."
This usage cannot now be employed.


1. The antecedent to the relative may be omitted.

Thus we find, in Wordsworth's “ Ode to Duty

There are 1 who ask not if thine eye

Be on them.”
And Shakespeare, in “Othello," iii. 3. 157, has-

^ Who steals my purse, steals trash.”
And we have the well-known Greek proverb-

1 Whom the gods love, die young.”

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