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WISE WEDNESDAY GRAMMAR: SYNTAX (ARTICLES)




Part 3.


SYNTAX.


ARTICLES.



433. The definite article is repeated before each of two modifiers of the same noun, when the purpose is to call attention to the noun expressed and the one understood. In such a case two or more separate objects are usually indicated by the separation of the modifiers. Examples of this construction are,-
The merit of the Barbthe Spanish, and the English breed is derived from a mixture of Arabian blood. -Gibbon.
The righteous man is distinguished from the unrighteous by his desire and hope of justice. -Ruskin.
He seemed deficient in sympathy for concrete human things either on the sunny or the stormy side. -Carlyle.
It is difficult to imagine a greater contrast than that between the first and the secondpart of the volume.- The Nation, No. 1508.
There was also a fundamental difference of opinion as to whether the earliest cleavage was between the Northern and the Southern languages. -Taylor, Origin of the Aryans.

434. The same repetition of the article is sometimes found before nouns alone, to distinguish clearly, or to emphasize the meaning; as,-
In every line of the Philip and the Saul, the greatest poems, I think, of the eighteenth century. -Macaulay.
He is master of the two-fold Logos, the thought and the word, distinct, but inseparable from each other. -Newman.
The flowers, and the presents, and the trunks and bonnet boxes. .. having been arranged, the hour of parting came. -Thackeray.
The not repeated. One object and several modifiers, with a singular noun.

435. Frequently, however, the article is not repeated before each of two or more adjectives, as in Sec. 433, but is used with one only; as,-
Or fanciest thou the red and yellow Clothes-screen yonder is but of To-day, without a Yesterday or a To-morrow? -Carlyle.
The loftymelodiousand flexible language. -Scott.
The fairest and most loving wife in Greece. -Tennyson.
Meaning same as in Sec. 433, with a plural noun.
Neither can there be a much greater resemblance between the ancient and moderngeneral views of the town. -Halliwell-phillipps.
At Talavera the English and French troops for a moment suspended their conflict. -Macaulay.
The Crusades brought to the rising commonwealths of the Adriatic and Tyrrhene seas a large increase of wealth.- Id.
Here the youth of both sexes, of the higher and middling orders, were placed at a very tender age. -Prescott.

Indefinite article
.

436. The indefinite article is used, like the definite article, to limit two or more modified nouns, only one of which is expressed. The article is repeated for the purpose of separating or emphasizing the modified nouns. Examples of this use are,-
We shall live a better and a higher and a nobler life. -Beecher.
The difference between the products of a well-disciplined and those of an uncultivatedunderstanding is often and admirably exhibited by our great dramatist.- S. T. Coleridge .
Let us suppose that the pillars succeed each other, a round and a square one alternately. -Burke.
As if the difference between an accurate and an inaccurate statement was not worth the trouble of looking into the most common book of reference. -Macaulay.
To every room there was an open and a secret passage. -Johnson.
Notice that in the above sentences (except the first) the noun expressed is in contrast with the modified noun omitted.

One article with several adjectives.

437. Usually the article is not repeated when the several adjectives unite in describing one and the same noun. In the sentences of Secs. 433 and 436, one noun is expressed; yet the same word understood with the other adjectives has a different meaning (except in the first sentence of Sec. 436). But in the following sentences, as in the first three of Sec. 435, the adjectives assist each other in describing the same noun. It is easy to see the difference between the expressions "a red-and-white geranium," and "a red and a white geranium."
Examples of several adjectives describing the same object:-
To inspire us with a free and quiet mind.- B. Jonson .
Here and there a desolate and uninhabited house. -Dickens.
James was declared a mortal and bloody enemy. -Macaulay.
So wert thou born into a tuneful strain,
An early, rich, and inexhausted vein.
-Dryden.


For rhetorical effect.
438. The indefinite article (compare Sec. 434) is used to lend special emphasis, interest, or clearness to each of several nouns; as,-
James was declared a mortal and bloody enemy, a tyrant, a murderer, and a usurper. -Macaulay.
Thou hast spoken as a patriot and a Christian. -Bulwer.
He saw him in his mind's eye, a collegian, a parliament man-a Baronet perhaps. -Thackeray.

Reference

An English Grammar 1896 by W. M. Baskervill & J. W. Sewell


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