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chief was wounded; el reo está encarcelado, the culprit is imprisoned.
A neuter verb denotes neither the one nor the other ; but merely affirms the existence of its subject, in a quiescent state ; or describes the condition, posture or situation of its subject : as fué, he was; vivimos, we lived ; moramos, we dwell : ella está sentada, she is seated.
An active verb may denote two different kinds of action; and therefore active verbs have been divided into transitive and intransitive.
An active transitive verb describes an action which its subject may exercise upon something else, called generally the accusative or object of the verb; es el cazador mató la liebre, the sportsman killed the hare ; el criado asepilló el vestido, the servant brushed the suit.
An active intransitive denotes an action by which the agent only can be affected; as los niños jugaron, the children played.
When the agent and the individual upon whom the action is exercised are represented by the same person, the verb is called reflective; as el soldado se mató, the soldier killed himself. N.B. Almost all active transitive verbs may be changed into reflective in Spanish.
Active intransitive verbs are sometimes changed into transitive by adding to them the objective case of some noun which is generally formed from them; as baylar un bayle, to dance a dance ; soñar un sueño, to dream a dream; saltar un salto, to leap a leap, &c.
In order clearly to distinguish the transitive from intransitive verbs, the attention must be wholly directed to their meaning; for the same verb may be transitive or intransitive, according to the meaning in which it is employed. Thus the verb pasear is an active intransitive verb,
when it signifies to walk one's self, and active transitive when it denotes to make another walk, or to lead him, in which sense it is frequently used when speaking of horses, mules, &c. Gil Blas, in speaking of the exhibition of his mule before the jockey, uses the verb pasear as active transitive, when he says, Pasearonla y repascaronla delante del mulatero, they walked her to and fro before the jockey.
OF THE ACCIDENTS OF VERBS.
Number. A verb may have more than one subject : that is, it may affirm something concerning one, or more than one,
individual: : hence verbs require like nouns a singular and a plural number; as el páxaro vuela, the bird fies; los páxaros vuelan, the birds fly.
Person. There are three different classes of individuals that can be the subjects of a verb; namely, the speaker; the individual to whom the discourse is addressed ; or an individual who neither speaks nor is addressed; and to point out this distinction, verbs have three distinct persons; the first yo, I, stands for the name of the speaker; the second tú, thou, is equivalent to the name of the individual to whom the speaker addresses himself; and the third él, he; ella, she; ello, it; represents any other individual whatever: as yo leo, I read; tú escribes, thou writest; el pinta, he paints; ella buyla, she dances.
It has been already observed that verbs may have more than one subject; it therefore follows that any of the three abovementioned persons may be the subject of a verb alone or accompanied; and in order to represent them when accompanied, verbs have three other persons, called also first, second, and third, in their plural number. The first person is nosotros, or we: with this person the speaker
affirms any thing concerning himself and others at the same time; as nosotros caminamos, we travelled: the second is vosotros, ye; this person the speaker makes use of when he addresses more than one individual; as vosotros sois espias, ye are spies: the third person is ellos, or ellas, they; and this person is used by the speaker, when he affirms any thing concerning more than one individual not addressed; the speaker not being one of the number; as ellos pelearon, they fought; ellas cantaron, they sang.
Tense. The action, passion, or state of existence described by a verb, may be limited to three different periods of time, for it may be described as having taken place; as he visto, I have seen; or taking place; as veo, I see; or as being to take place, as veré, I shall see; and for this purpose verbs have another accident called tense.
Spanish verbs have seven tenses ; namely, the present, imperfect,* perfect indefinite,* perfect definite,* pluperfect,* future imperfect, future perfect. See Observations on the Tenses, Part II.
Mood. Moods are certain forms of the verb, which, it may be said, serve to modify the affirmation. There are four moods; namely, indicative, imperative, subjunctive,t and infinitive.
The indicative affirms the execution of the action denoted by the verb, in a positive and unconditional manner; as nosotros damos, we give ; vosotros vais, ye go.
The imperative orders or entreats the execution of the action; as id vosotros, go ye; concedednos, grant us; perdoname, forgive me.
* They are also named Preterimperfect, Preterperfect indefinite, Preterperfect definire, Preterpluperfect.
+ This is sometimes called the potential mood.-See subjunctive in Part II
The subjunctive always speaks of the action as contingent; si fuéremos mañana, if we happen to go to-morrow; si viniera aquí, were he to come here; aunque lo conceda, though he may grant it.
The infinitive denotes the action or energy of the verb in a general unlimited and indefinite manner, without any
distinction of tense or of person; as venir, to come; ir, to go; conceder, to grant ; perdonar, to forgive.
OF CONJUGATIONS. To conjugate a verb is to repeat it through all the variety of number, person, tense, and mood, of which it is susceptible.
In Spanish there are only three conjugations, which are distinguished by the vowels a, e, i, which regularly precede the last r of the infinitive mood: therefore verbs belonging to the first conjugation have their infinitive in ar; those of the second, in er; and verbs of the third, in ir ; as, hablar, to speak; leer, to read; escribir, to write.
Verbs sometimes are named according to their perfections or their imperfections, and therefore all the verbs of which we have been speaking may be regular or irregular, personal or impersonal, perfect or defective.
Irregulars are those verbs which deviate from the regular form by which all the others are conjugated. See Part II.
Impersonals are verbs which cannot be conjugated through all the persons. See Part II.
Defectives are such verbs as want some of the tenses. See Part II.
The verbs ser and haber are, from the nature of their service, styled auxiliary or helping verbs, because they are used to form what are called the compound tenses of all verbs; and also their passive voice; as, habiamos escrito, we had written; fueron heridos, they were wounded.
N. B. In the following examples all the terminations of the verbs have been accented, in order to assist beginners in pronouncing; but 't is to be observed that the accent is to be written on the letters which are printed in Roman only. Conjugation of the Auxiliary Haber.
Present.-have. Sing. 1. Yo he, I have.
2. Tú has, thou hast.
3. El ha, he has.
2. Vosotros habéis, ye have.
we had, Vosotros habíais, ye had. Ellos habían, they had.
we shall have. Vosotros habréis, ye shall have. Ellos habrán, they shall have.
* See Haber, No. XXV. Part II.