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LESSON THE FOURTH.

OF THE ADJECTIVE AND NUMBERS.

Master. The adjective must always, as we have already shown, agree with the noun in gender and number.-Having in the first part of this volume acquainted you with what relates to the gender and number of adjectives, I will now proceed to point out some difficulties in the French language, relative to the place which the adjectives, in some particular instances, ought to occupy, either before or after the

noun.

RULEI.-Several kinds of adjectives, in French, are always placed after their noun: 1st. Adjectives formed of the present or past participles of the verbs. — EXAMPLES: C'est un ouvrage divertissant. It is an entertaining work. Vous lui donnez là une preuve You give him indeed a convincing convaincante d'amitié.

proof of friendship. Le medecin m'a dit que c'était un The physician told me he was a homme mort.

dead man. Une belle pensée embrouillée est A fine thought, when perplexed, un diamant couvert de boue, is like a diainond covered with

mud.

There are but a few exceptions in which adjectives formed of the participles present can be put before the noun.--EXAMPLES : Le plus décidant personnage n'est | The most dogmatizing character

pas toujours le mieux instruit. is not always the best informed. La campagne offre mille riantes | The country affords a thousand images.

delightful objects. 2dly. Adjectives which denote figure, colour, taste, sound, or relate to the sense of feeling.- EXAMPLES: Il me faut une table ronde. I want a round table. J'ai acheté une tabatière carrée. I bought a square snuff-box. Je préfère le vin blanc au vin I prefer white wine to red.

rouge. Il porte des bas noirs avec un ha- He wears black stockings with a

bit vert, Le médecin lui a ordonné de boire The physician has ordered him to

une décoction d'herbes amères, drink a decoction of bitter

et de manger des fruits aigres. herbs, and to eat sour fruits. Au dernier concert, il joua sur un At the last concert, he played on a

violon sonore; et elle enchanta sonorous violin; and she charmtout le monde par sa voix har- ed every one by her harmonious monieuse.

voice.

green coat.

La nuit passée, j'ai couché sur un Last night, I slept on a hard bed,

lit dur. A diné on nous servit une volaille At dinner, they served us up a tendre et des eufs mollets.

tender fowl and soft eggs. Nous passames par plusieurs che- We passed through several rough mins raboteur.

roads.

3dly. Those relating to matter or spirit, or which express any kind of operation or action. La partie aqueuse du sang est la | The aqueous part of the blood is plus considérable.

the most considerable. Les esprits aériens n'existent que Aerial spirits exist only in the

dans une imagination supersti- imagination of the superstitious.

tieuse. Cette substance contient bien des That substance contains many sa

parties salines. Je cherche partout un domestique 1 look everywhere for an active actif.

servant. Cet écrivain se sert toujours de This writer always uses expresmots expressifs.

sive words.

line parts.

4thly. Those expressing a quality relative to the nature or species of a thing.–EXAMPLES: Cet avare n'a jamais éprouvé de | This miser never experienced real plaisir réel.

pleasure. L'ordre logique doit passer avant Logicalorder must precede graml'ordre grammatical.

matical order. La philosophie a banni pour tou- Philosophy has for ever banished

jours les qualités occultes. occult qualities.

5thly. Adjectives ending in esque, ic, ique, il, ul, ier.- EXAMPLES: Scarron excellait dans le style bur-Scarron excelled in the burlesque lesque.

style. Tous ceux qui voyagent en Suisse, All who travel in Switzerland ad

en admirent les vues pitto- mire its romantic landscapes.

resques. Le bien public est préférable à Public good is to be preferred to l'intérêt particulier.

private interest. Ce souverain a l'esprit pacifique. That sovereign has a pacific mind. On lui a fait présent d'un carrosse He or she has been presented with magnifique.

a splendid coach Cet homme a la conversation This man is childish in conversa

puérile et la conduite incivile. tion and boorish in his conduct. Je ne crois pas que cette femme I do not believe that she is a cresoit crédule.

dulous woman.

6thly. Adjectives of nations.-EXAMPLES : L'Iliade et l'Enéide sont les ta- | The Iliad and Æneid are pictures

bleaux du peuple Grec et du of the Greek and Roman peopeuple Romain

ple. Ce seigneur Russe a un cuisinier This Russian lord has a French

Français et un valet de chainbre cook and an Italian valet de Italien.

chambre. La nouvelle constitution Germa- The new German constitution has

nique n'a pas été adoptée. not been adopted.

Adjectives chiefly relating to moral qualities, or to vices, are in general indifferently placed either before or after their substantives. -EXAMPLES : C'est une femme charmante, ou | She is a charming woman,

c'est une charmante femme. Vous trouverez en lui un ami You will find in him a faithful fidèle, ou un fidèle ami.

friend. Elle lui a fait de sévères répriman- She reprimanded him severely.

des, ou des réprimandes sévè.

res

Ce jeune homme a des maximes This young man bas detestable

détestables, ou de détestables maxims. maximes.

Notwithstanding the above rules, harmiony, taste, and poetical language countenance deviations. An attentive reading, therefore, of good authors, or practice iu the conversation of the well-informed of the French, will be the best guides for the pupil.

RULE II.-In English, two adjectives may qualify a noun, without being united by a conjunction ; but, in French, the conjunction is absolutely indispensable.-EXAMPLES : C'est une femme bonne et ver- She is a good, virtuous woman.

tueuse. C'est un homme sobre et chari- | He is a sober, charitable man.

table.

It is proper to mention, that some modern writers have thought fit to deviate from this rule by the suppression of the conjunction.

I must observe, that, though the learner might sometimes place both French adjectives thus united by the conjunction before the noun, yet, to prevent mistakes, I advise him always to place the two adjectives after the noun.

If three or more adjectives should qualify one noun, the conjunction is then placed belween the two last, and the adjectives must always be put after the noun.-EXAMPLES:

Ce sont des leçons longues, en- These are long, tedious, and per

nuyeuses, et embarrassantes. plexing lessons. Un ami constant, sincère, et désin- A constant, sincere, and disintéressé, est rarc.

terested friend, is rare. Custom sometimes permits one of the adjectives to precede the noun, while the other, or others, should follow.— EXAMPLES : C'est une grande femme blonde. She is a tall, fair woman. C'est un petit homme sec et ro- He is a small, raw-boned, robust

buste.

man.

RULE III.-The preposition by, when used, in English, before a word or words expressing proportion, by which one subject exceeds another, is always rendered, in French, by the preposition de.EXAMPLES: Je suis plus grand que vous de I am taller than you by the whole toute la tête.

head. Il est plus âgé que moi de six ans. He is older than I by six years. Cette allée est plus étroite que j This alley is narrower than the

l'autre de deux pieds et demi. other by two feet and a half. C'était trop cher de moitié. It was too dear by half.

Observe, that when, in English, than precedes numbers, it is also rendered, in French, by de. -EXAMPLES : J'ai perdu au jeu plus de cent gui- , I lost, in playing, more than one nées.

hundred guineas. Elle n'a pas plus de dix-sept ans. She is not more than seventeen. Je l'ai va plus d'une fois.

I have seen him more than once. Rule IV.-When than, in a comparative sense, precedes a verb, it is rendered, in French, by que ne.- -EXAMPLES: Il est plus sage que vous ne pen- He is wiser than

you

think. Je suis plus fort que je n'étais ( I am stronger than I was last year.

l'année passée. Vous écrivez mieux que vous ne You write better than you did last fesiez l'année dernière.

year.

sez.

EXCEPTION I.-If the verb following than be in the infinitive mood, que

is followed by de instead of ne.-EXAMPLES: Il est plus noble de pardonner que | It is more noble to forgive than de se venger.

to avenge ourselves. Il est plus aisé d'obéir que de It is easier to obey than to comcommander.

mand.

But, when the French comparative adjective requires the preposition àbefore the first infinitive, than is then expressed by qu'à.-EXAMPLES: Il est plus disposé à vous nuire He is more inclined to hurt than qu'à vous obligor.

to oblige you. Il est plus sujet d médire qu'd He is more addicted to slander bien faire.

than to well-doing.

ExcePTION II.-The word than is rendered by que only, when a conjunction, or connective word, is placed between than and the verb.--EXAMPLES: Vous vous rétablirez plutôt que si | You will recover sooner than if vous étiez à la ville.

you were in the city. Elle est plus belle que quand je She is handsomer than when I la vis.

saw her.

RULE V.-When the superlative does not imply any comparison (although it relates to a noun feminine, singular or plural), le, instead of la or les, must invariably precede plus.-EXAMPLES: La lune ne nous éclaire pas au- | The moon does not enlighten us

tant que le soleil, lors même as much as the sun, even when qu'elle est le plus brillante.

she shines the brightest. La lune n'est pas, à beaucoup près, The moon is not, by far, so distant aussi éloignée de la terre que

from thie earth as the other celes autres astres, lors même lestial bodies, even when she is

qu'elle en est le plus éloignée. the most distant from it. Nous ne pleurons pas toujours We do not always weep when we

quand nous sommes le plus a- are the most afflicted. Aligés.

It is very easy, in the above phrases, to see that no objects are designed to be contrasted or compared together.

RULE VI.-The preposition in, which sometimes follows a superlalive, in English, is always rendered by de, du, or de l', &c.- ExAM

PLES:

C'est la plus grande coquette de She is the greatest coquette in la ville.

the city. C'est le meilleur homme du He is the best man in the world.

monde. La Russie est le pays le plus pou- Russia is the most populous counplé de l'Europe,

try in Europe. RULE VII.-When a superlative is connected with a verl, by means of the words qui, que, , it requires that verb to be in the subjunctive.-EXAMPLES:

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