An improved grammar of the English language by Noah Webster

An improved grammar of the English language

byNoah Webster

Paperback | January 18, 2012

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1843. Excerpt: ... Thou and you represent the person addressed--thou in solemn discourse, and you, in common language. These are the second person. In the plural, ye is used in solemn style, and you in familiar language. He represents the name of a male, and she, that of a female, who is the subject of discourse, but not directly addressed. These are called the third person. As you was originally in the plural number, grammarians insist that it must still be restricted to that number. But national usage rejects the arbitrary principle. The true principle, on which all language is built, rejects it. What fundamental rule have we to dispose of words, but this, that when a word signifies one, or unity, it belongs to the singular number? If a word, once exclusively plural, becomes, by universal use, the sign of individuality, it must take its place in the singular number. That this is a fact with you, is proved by national usage. To assign the substitute to its verb, is to invert the order of things. The verb must follow its nominative--if that denotes unity, so does the verb. "When you was at Athens, you attended the schools of the philosophers."--Cicero, Tusc. Quest. Trans. b. 2. "On that happy day when you was given to the world."--Dodd's MassiUon, Serm. 1. "Unless you was ill."--BosweU's Life of J. JE. 68. "You was on the spot where your enemy was found killed."--Guthrie's Q.uinetilian,b. 2. "You was in hopes to have succeeded to the inheritance."--Ibm. b. 5. "When you was here comforting me "--Pope's Let. "I am as well as when tjou was here."--Gay's Let to Swift. "Why was you glad?"--BosweU's Life of Johnson. These writers did not commit mistakes in the use of the verb after you--they wrote the language as established by national usage--the foundation of all language. So i...

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Title:An improved grammar of the English languageFormat:PaperbackDimensions:70 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.15 inPublished:January 18, 2012Publisher:General Books LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0217172318

ISBN - 13:9780217172318

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