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CHA P. III.
Of Articles in General.
Q. WHAT is an Article?
A. The Article is a small Word prefixed to Subftantives, to fhew their relations to preceding or following words; these circumstances being not expreffed, in modern languages, by Cafes or different terminations, as they are in the Greek and Latin Languages.
Q. What is there to be observed with regard to French and English Articles?
A. That the French Articles have Genders and Numbers; whereas the English Articles are not susceptible of any grammatical variation.
How many Genders and Numbers are there in French? A. Two Genders only; viz. the Mafculine and Feminine; and two Numbers; viz. the Singular and Plural. Q. How many forts of Articles are there in French? A. Moft Grammarians reckon three; viz.. The Definite-(the) le m. la f. les pl. The Indefinite-(a or an) un m. une f. —L'Indéfini. The Partitive-(fome) du m. de la f. des pl.-Le Partitif. But ftrictly speaking, there are but two in French; viz. The Definite and the Indefinite; the Partitive being, to all external appearance, though of not the fame import, like the variations of the fecond State of the Definite Article: fee the Examples of the different Declenfions, from p. 104 to p. 107 inclufive,
Q: Are thefe Articles to be placed before all French Subftantives, according to their respective Genders and Numbers? A. No; for before Subftantives, in the Singular Number, beginning with a Vowel or b mute, the final vowel of le and la is cut off, as I have obferved before, p. 99. What Parts of Speech, befides the Articles, have Genders and Numbers in French?
A. The Subftantives, Adjectives, and Pronouns.
CHA P. IV.
Of Subftantives in General.
Q. WHAT is a Subftantive?
A. A Subítantive is a Word that expreffes the name of every thing real or imaginary, without the help of any other word to make us understand it; as un Homme, a Man; un Ange, an Angel; une Maifon, a House; une Eglife, a Church; &c.
Q. How many forts of Subftantives are there?
A. Three; viz. Common, Abstract, and Proper.
Such as are applicable and common to all real Objects of the fame fpecies or kind; as homme man, cheval horse, maifon houfe, arbre tree, &c.
Q. And what are the Abftract Subftantives?
A. Thofe which fignify objects that have no other mark of existence but in our minds; as' Ange Angel, chagrin grief, efpérance hope, &c.
Q. Which are thofe that are called Subftantives Proper?
Places, or particular things; as Jean John, Marie Mary, Londres London, la Tamife the Thames, &c. for John is not the name of every man, nor London of every city ; and fo forth.
Is there any grammatical difference between the French and English Subftantives?
French Subftantives are either of the Masculine or Feminine Gender; whereas the greatest part of English Subftantives are neuter, that is, of neither Gender; fuch are those that express the name of inanimate things; for we fay, le livre, the Book; la Table, the Table; &c. But Subftantives which relate to the Male fex, as un Homme, a Man; &c. are of the Mafculine Gender, and those which relate to the female fex, as une Femme, a Woman; &c. are of the Feminine, in both Languages.
Q. By what means is the Gender of French Subftantives, expreffing inanimate things, to be known?
A. By practice in general; but for a greater certainty, by looking into a French Dictionary for it.
Q: How can practice enable a Learner to find out their respective Genders?
A. By remembering thofe Subftantives that admit of le and la, or in and une before them; for inftance, Livre is of the masculine Gender, because we can fay le livre, or un Livre; and Table is of the feminine Gender, because we may fay either la Table, or une Table.
Q. But how can the Gender of thofe Subftantives which begin with a vowel, or h mute, be acquired by Practice? A. By prefixing to them an Adjective beginning with a confonant; as un grand efprit, a great wit; une grande ame, a great foul; un grand honneur, a great honor; &c. Q. What difference is there betwixt a Subftantive and an Adjective?
A. A Subftantive has no need of being joined to another word, in order to be well understood; for, we understand very well what is meant by Book, Table, Houfe, &c. but an Adjective has, or is fuppofed to have, a Subftantive to which it relates, and without which it cannot be understood; thus great, fmall, lofty, are not clearly underftood, but when they are joined to Subftantives; as a great book, a small table, a lofty house, &c.
Q. What elfe is there to be obferved, with respect to the French Subftantives?
A. The manner of forming their Plural number, which is commonly done by the addition of an s, to the termination of their Singular*; and the way of declining them, that is, of ufing the different variations of the Articles before them, as in the following Examples;
There are however, feveral French Subftantives, that deviate from this. Rule; as may be seen in The Practical French Grammar, p. 54, &c.
Of Subftantives declined with the Definite Article.
A Subftantive Mafculine, beginning with a Confonant.
the book; | Les livres,
des livres, of or from the books. aux livres, to the books.
A Subftantive Mafculine, beginning with an h` mute.
L'Homme, de l'homme,
to the men.
The French particle à, fignifying to or at, is always to be accented thus à; and the Articles du, de la, and des, may as well be rendered, here, by from the, as by of the.
a boy; Des garçons,
à un garçon,
de garçons, of or from boys. to a boy; à des garçons,
A Subftantive Feminine, beginning with an h mute.
The French monofyllables de and à, which are prefixed to the indefinite Articles un and une in the Singular, and to des in the Plural number, are Prepofitive particles.