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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.
Obs.—The infinitive in -ing is termed by some grammarians

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.
† Mason, English Grammar, 8 352 and 9 131,

A merry

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.
2. By a demonstrative pronoun:

These things are true.
3. By the definite article:

The die is cast.
Obs.—Some grammarians consider the article so closely con-

nected with the noun as to form one notion. But,
strictly speaking, the definite article is a qualification;
indeed, in Greek and German, as well as in English,
the definite article is a modified form of the demon-

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
is the army of the King;' and both forms are equi-
valent to a genitive case in Latin. Hence the pre-
positional phrase of the King may be employed to
qualify a subject-nominative: as,

The army of the King was defeated.
A man of virtue is respected.

The point of honour is debated.
Other prepositions are used in the same way: as,

The desire for fame is natural.

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7. Passive participles are equivalent to adjectives, and
may qualify a subject-nominative: as,

Born to command, he ruled with firmness.
Adorned with amiable qualities, she was an

agreeable woman.
But the case of active participles is not so clear. In
the sentence William, having conquered Harold,
ascended the throne, Dr. Morell considers the
phrase “having conquered Harold' as an enlarge-
ment of the subject,' or, as we term it, a qualifica-
tion of the subject-nominative.' It would seem,
however, that the phrase in question qualifies the
predicate rather than the subject : for the meaning
is that · William ascended the throne when he had
conquered Harold,' or, after having conquered
Harold.' In fact, we might turn the participle into
a verb, coupled with the conjunction and, thus
throwing the phrase into the predicate : “William
conquered Harold, and ascended the throne.' On
the other hand, if we expressed the sentence thus,
• William, the conqueror of Harold, ascended the
throne,' the phrase the conqueror of Harold' would
be a manifest qualification of the subject-nominative.


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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.
3. A pronoun :

I am he.
4. The infinitive mood of a
verb used substantively: To hear is to obey.

Seeing is believing.
Obs.—This form in -ing is called by some grammarians the

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 :

For ex

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.


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

1. By an adverb: as,

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.
3. By a prepositional phrase : as,

Buckingham was the servant of the king.

He is a man of ability.
4. By a noun used in apposition : as,

The greatest Roman orator was Cicero, the

consul. In this sentence, analysed grammatically, the subject-nominative is' orator;' the adjectives 'greatest' and 'Roman’ are

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