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can form either a subject or a predicate.* The term comprehends nouns, certain of the pronouns, and the infinitive mood of a verb used substantively.t In employing the word noun we shall always understand a noun-substantive.
3. The subject-nominative answers to the question who? or what? and must be a substantive, as, 1. A noun
Alfred is king. 2. A pronoun
He speaks well. 3. An adjective used substantively; more commonly in
the plural, but sometimes in the singular : as, • The wicked flee when no man pursueth; but the righteous is as bold as a lion.' Obs.—The adjective used substantively is most commonly
found in connection with the definite article. I do not hold, however, that the adjective and the article are together equal to a substantive; but that the adjective being used substantively is capable of receiving the
4. The infinitive mood of a verb, used substantively: as,
To err is human.
Seeing is believing.
the gerund. The form in -ing will demand special
consideration. See $$ 31-35. With impersonal verbs, as they are termed, the subject is indefinite, and the pronoun it takes the place of a subjectnominative: as 'It rains,' " It freezes.'
There is another use of the pronoun it, which must be carefully observed. In English we often place the subject last, and the predicate first. In such cases we may use the pronoun it as the representative or forerunner of the subject, to show that the subject is coming. Thus, instead of saying 'To ride is pleasant,' we may say 'It is pleasant to ride;' but in both instances to ride is the logical subject, and pleasant is the predicate. See Whately, Logic, II. 1, 3.
The adverb there is used in a manner somewhat similar: as, ' There came a philosopher from India.'
* Latham, Logic in its Application to Language, p. 254.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE SUBJECT-NOMINATIVE. 4. The subject-nominative may be qualified by an attribute, that is, by an adjective, or by any word or phrase having the force of an adjective: as, 1. By an adjective:
all the day.
These things are true.
The die is cast.
nected with the noun as to form one notion. But,
strative pronoun. 4. By a noun standing in apposition with the subjectnominative: as,
Cicero, the orator, made a speech ; where the additional words, the orator,' inform us that it was Marcus Cicero, and not brother Quintus,
or any other Cicero. 5. A substantive in the possessive case has the force of
an adjective: thus the royal army means the ‘King's army,' or the Queen's army. Hence a noun or pronoun in the possessive case may be used to qualify the subject-nominative: as,
Buckingham's end was unfortunate.
His work was done. 6. The English possessive may be otherwise expressed
by means of the preposi ion of : "the King's army
The army of the King was defeated.
The point of honour is debated.
The desire for fame is natural.
7. Passive participles are equivalent to adjectives, and
Born to command, he ruled with firmness.
THE PREDICATE-NOMINATIVE. 5. The predicate-nominative answers the question, Of what kind ? Of what nature ? or, Of what class ? It may be: 1. An adjective:
Heaven is high. 2. A noun :
Arthur is king.
I am he.
Seeing is believing.
gerund. An apparent difficulty occurs where an adverb, or a prepositional phrase, occupies the place of the predicate : as,
Thomas is here.
He is of sound mind. Three explanations of this construction might be offered :
1. That these sentences are elliptical ; in other words, that the predicate-ncminative is omitted. For, it is argued, we might supply its place in the following way :
Thomas is (present) here.
He is (a man) of sound mind. In some instances we are obliged to supply a word. ample, we cannot say 'He is of great ability,' but ' He is a man of great ability.' So also, 'It is a matter of difficulty: '
That was an affair of honour;' where the words man, matter, and affair are the predicate-nominatives of the sentences ; while the prepositional phrases,' of great ability,' 'of difficulty,'
of honour,' are used to qualify the predicate-nominatives. We learn what sort of a man he is, what kind of an affair it was, and so forth.
According to this view, in the sentence * Thomas is here,' the predicate-nominative is understood, and the adverb here qualifies the predicate-nominative understood. But this artifice of understanding' and 'supplying' is always open to suspicion.
2. That the verb is, here employed to assert 'existence' or presence,' stands as a predicate-verb; and that the adverb here, or the adverbial phrase of sound mind, is a qualification of the predicate-verb 'is.'
3. That the adverb or adverbial phrase is used as a predicate-nominative, or in the place of a predicate-nominative. Professor Key is guarded in dealing with this construction. He says (Latin Grammar, § 876, 1), .although a noun substantive or adjective with ěs—be, usually constitutes the predicate, the place may be supplied by a descriptive word or phrase of a different form : as (a) a genitive or ablative of quality ; (b) dative of the light in which a thing is regarded; (c) a prepositional phrase; or (d) an adverb.' And again, § 1401 : • Adverbs are used in some phrases with the verb ěs--be, when an adjective or participle might have been expected.'
6. The truth is, that in practical composition, the distinction between the parts of speech is not so absolute as etymology would lead us to suppose. The function, or power in a sentence, seems to determine the character of the word; and on this principle, perhaps, we may venture to call the adverb a predicate. If so, of course we may extend the same principle to the adverbial phrase.
In Fraedersdorf's translation of Becker (German Grammar, § 195), we read: “The predicate is expressed, in German as in English, by
a. A verb. b. An adjective (not inflected). C. A substantive in the nominative case. d. A substantive in the genitive case. e. A substantive with a preposition. f. An adverb. Here Becker says distinctly that the predicate may be expressed by an adverb.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE PREDICATE-NOMINATIVE.
7. Of course, these qualifications will depend upon the nature of the predicate-nominative itself. Hence, I. An adjective used as a predicate-nominative may be
Heaven is very high.
Charles is exceedingly foolish. 2. By an adverbial phrase : as,
Harry is praiseworthy in some respects. II. A noun used as a predicate-nominative may be qualified, 1. By an adjective: as,
Arthur is a good king : and this, in turn, may be further qualified by an adverb, as,
Arthur is a very good king. 2. By a noun or pronoun in the possessive case : as,
Bolingbroke was the poet's friend.
That was his fault.
Buckingham was the servant of the king.
He is a man of ability.
The greatest Roman orator was Cicero, the
consul. In this sentence, analysed grammatically, the subject-nominative is' orator;' the adjectives 'greatest' and 'Roman’ are