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(the) virtue. The children of the hamlet. The harvest of the vertu f. enfants
récoltef. fields. The light of the day. The courage of a soldier. To the champs lumièref.
soldat m. health of the queen. To the energy of the general. To the merit santé f. reine
énergie f. général méritem. of the poet. A schoolboy's books: a dictionary and a grammar.
poëte écolier (37) art. dictionnairem. grammairef. In the following phrases care must be taken to express du, de la, de l', or des, before every substantive used in a partitive sense (39.). Give me bread, meat, water, and eggs.
Here are figs, Donnez-moi pain m. viande f. eau
Voici figues oranges, apples, pears, apricots, and peaches. Bring
pommes poires abricots pêches Apportez-moi pens, ink, wax, and paper. Some beer and some wine. Take plumes encre cire f. papier m. bière f. vin m. Prenez some cider. Give him salt, pepper, and vinegar.
Here are cidre m. Donnez-lui sel m. poivre m. vinaigre m.
Voici * roses, tulips, pinks, and violets. There are strawberries, cherries,
tulipes ceillets violettes Voilà • fraises cerises and gooseberries.
Here are fine groseilles à maquereau, ou grosses grosselles
• beaux (40.) paintings and fine engravings. tableaux m. belles gravures f.
41. A substantive or noun is the name of a person, place, or thing; as,
Homme, man; maison, house ; Paris; France; espérance, hope; bonté, kindness; vertu, virtue ; douceur, sweetness ; travail, labour.
42. Nouns are of two kinds, common and proper.
The noun common is that which belongs to many persons or things of the same nature : homme, man; cheval, borse, are nouns common, for the name man belongs to Peter, Paul, etc.
The noun proper is that which particularly designates one person or thing; as, Napoléon, Paris, la Seine, etc.
Of Gender. 43. Gender is the relation of the nouns to what is male or female, or abusively considered as such. The French language has two genders, the masculine, as, le vieillard, the old man; le fils, the son;-and the feminine, as, la femme, the woman; la fille, the daughter. The French language does not admit the neuter gender with substantives, and consequently the names of inanimate objects, or things without life, are either masculine or feminine; as, Masc.
La plume, the pen.
Une prairie, a meadow. 44. To determine the gender of nouns of inanimate objects, grammarians generally lay down numerous rules, and make still more numerous exceptions, attempting to imitate the Latin grammars by classifying the gender of nouns according to their termination, and concluding their remarks with the cheering ritournelle: “We must except such words as usage alone will teach."
Being convinced that the ear and practice are the safest and most correct guides in this part of the grammar of the language, we recommend the student to notice attentively the genders of nouns of inanimate objects as he hears those nouns used in the phraseology of the language. The gender of any noun can, in most instances, be ascertained in a sentence by the termination of one of the accompanying words, such as an article, an adjective, a pronoun, or a participle: as, le mur, the wall; la ville, the town; de belles maisons, fine houses; l'encre avec laquelle vous avez écrit, the ink with which you wrote; l'équité est produite par l'amour de la justice, equity is produced by the love of justice, etc.
45. To the Latin student we may remark, that those French nouns which are derived from the Latin generally follow the genders of their originals, the French masculine, with few exceptions, corresponding to the neuter and masculine of the Latin, and the French feminine similarly corresponding to the Latin feminine. With words having terminations simi. lar to the following, this rule prevails to a considerable extent :-Locus, lieu ; focus, feu; jocus, jeu; impunitas, impunité; veritas, vérité; vanitas, vanité; honor, honneur ; caput, chef; caballus, cheval; liber, livre (book); libra, livre (pound), etc.
The most remarkable words derived from the Latin whose gender has been changed, are dent, tooth ; fontaine, fountain, which are masculine in Latin (dens, fons,) and feminine in French. Likewise arbre, tree; navire, ship; ongle, nail, which are feminine in Latin (arbor, navis, ungula,) but masculine in French. See APPENDICE, Du genre des noms.
Of Number. 46. Nouns have two numbers, the singular, denoting one object, as le portrait; and the plural, denoting more than one, as les portraits.
Formation of the Plural of Nouns. 47. General Rule. The plural of substantives, and also of adjectives (55.), is formed by adding an s to the singular; as, Singular.
Plural. Le bon enfant, the good child; les bons enfants, the good chil
dren. Un livre utile, a useful book; deux livres utiles, two useful
books. 48. Note. Some authors omit the final t in the plural of all words (substantives or adjectives) of more than one syllable, ending in ant or ent, and write enfans, momens, etc., but the French Academy, the best modern grammarians, as well as the principal printers in Paris, retain that letter. Îndeed there is no reason why it should be omitted, as it is preserved in monosyllables, as vent, dent, lent, gant, goût, etc., and also in assaut, attribut, emprunt, etc. Besides, the general rule for forming the plural of substantives and adjectives by the mere addition of an s is then applicable to all ; and the learner can more easily discriminate the final letter of the singular in such words as diamants, vétérans, géants, tyrans, Titans, tributs, tribus, and several others.
49. Obs. 1. Substantives (and adjectives) ending in S, X, or % in the singular, do not vary in the plural ; as, Singular.
les nez, the noses. 50. Obs. 2. Those ending in eau, au, and eu take x in the plural ; as, Singular.
les bateaux, the boats. Un oiseau, a bird;
des oiseaux, birds. Le jeu, the game ;
les jeux, the games. Du feu, fire;
des feux, fires. Un beau tableau,a fine picture; de beaux tableaux, fine pictures.
Except bleu, blue, and landau, a kind of carriage, which take s in the plural, as, des yeux bleus, blue eyes; des landaus. landaus.
51. Ola. 3. Those ending in a follow the general rule, that is, takes to form their plural, except the following, which take z: bijou, jewel, bijoux; ̄chou, cabbage, chocx; genoa, kuce, genoux; caillou, flint, cailloux; jonjou, toy, joejoex; hibou, oil, hiboux.
52. Obs. 4. Those ending in ai or ail become plural by changing al or eil into eur; as,
Un cheval, a horse :
Un travail, a labour:
Un original, an original;
les cristaux, crystals.
des chevaux, horses.
des travaux, labours.
Except the following which take an s in the plural: bal, carnaval ; régal, treat; chacal, jackal; ettiruil, implements, train; detail; éventail, fan; gouvernail, rudder; portaii, portal; seni, seração; amical, friendly; coinssai, fatal, finai; gizenai, frozen; matuai, metinai, maval, pascal, théátral*. 53. The following are irregular:
Aieul, ancestor ;
Plural aïeux and aïeuls. ails and aulx.
travaux and travails*.
The word fout used as a substantive makes in the plural touts; as, plusieurs touts distincts les uns des autres. In every other case it makes tous; as, tous les hommes, etc.
54. Some nouns are always used in the plural; as, les annales, les ancêtres, les mânes, les entrailles ; les mœurs, manners, morals; les ténèbres, darkness, etc. Others, such as adjectives used substantively, and names of virtues and vices, are always used in the singular; as, le certain, le difficile; la pudeur, modesty; l'orgueil, pride; l'avarice, la gourmandise, etc.
Read, translate, and parse :
L'Europe est la partie du monde la plus civilisée. Là fleurissent les sciences, les lettres, et les arts. Le sol couvert de villes populeuses, est cultivé avec soin. On y trouve beaucoup de routes et de canaux, de nombreuses fabriques et manufactures. Le commerce a ouvert aux Européens toutes les contrées du globe, et leurs vaisseaux naviguent sur toutes les mers.
* See APPENDICE, Formation irrégulière du pluriel.
Read and write the following words in the Plural:
La vertu, la richesse, le vice, l'homme, un ami, le maître, l'élève, la perdrix, l'excès, la noix, le tableau, le château, l'oiseau, le cheval, le travail, le détail, un éventail.
Read and write the following words in the Singular:
Les oncles, les tantes, les cousins (m.), les cousines (f.), les maîtresses, les héros, les bateaux (m.), des couteaux (m.), des originaux (m.), les yeux (m.), les aïeux (m.), les cieux (m.), les bijoux (m.), et les joujoux (m.).
55. An adjective is a word which expresses the quality of a substantive or noun; as,
Un ami sincère,
Un homme prudent,
Un bon père,
Un homme éloquent,
A sincere friend.
A fine tree.
A good father.
56. In French, the adjective agrees in gender and number with the substantive to which it relates; as,
Mon frère est grand,
An eloquent man.
Formation of the Feminine of Adjectives.
57. General Rule. The feminine is generally formed
by adding an e mute to the masculine; as,
58. Adjectives ending in 6 mute in the masculine do not change for the feminine; as,
Mon fils est sage et aimable, My son is good and amiable. Ma fille est sage et aimable, My daughter is good and amiable.