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Chapter XIV




 

THE PARTICLE

 

§ 1. The particle is a part of speech giving modal or emotional emphasis to other words or groups of words or clauses. A particle may join one part of the sentence to another (connecting particles). Particles have no independent function in the sentence.

 

§ 2. According to their meaning particles fall under the following main groups:

1. Limiting particles: only, just, but, alone, solely, merely, barely,

etc.

I only wanted to make you speak. (Shaw)

Just one question, Mrs. Dartie. Are you still fond of your hus­band? (Galsworthy)

Soames was but following in the footsteps of his father. (Galswor­thy)

Her name alone was almost enough for one who was terribly susceptiblfe to the charm of words. (Galsworthy)

He had taken up with it solely because he was starving. (Lon­don)

She (Ruth) thought she was merely interested in him (Martin) as an unusual type possessing various potential excellences, and she even felt philanthropic about it. (London)

They were spreading not merely on the surface, but within. (Galsworthy)

He barely acknowledged the young fellow's salute. (Galswor­thy)

2. Intensifying particles: simply, still Just, yet, all, but, only, quite, even, etc.

He made plans to renew this time in places still more delightful. (Galsworthy)

He just did dislike him. (Galsworthy)

Thev did not even know that he was married. (Galsworthv)

If Jo were only with him! (Galsworthy)

But out there he'll simply get bored to death. (Galsworthy)

3. Connecting particles: too, also.

Higgins comes in. He takes off the hat and overcoat. Pickering comes in. He also takes off his hat and overcoat (Shaw)

He (James) was silent. Soames, too, was silent. (Galsworthy)

4. Negative particles: not, never.

No, he was not afraid of that. (Galsworthy)

She looked round her. Nothing — not a thing, no tiniest distur­bance of her hall, nor of the dining room. (Galsworthy)

I never spoke to him except to ask him to buy a flower off me. (Shaw)

Some of the particles are polysemantic, for instance just, only.

That's just his way of talking. (Dreiser) (LIMITING PARTICLE)

Why, I think, that's a terrible price to ask for it, just awful. (Dreiser) (INTENSIFYING PARTICLE)

French people only come to England to make money. (Galswor­thy) (LIMITING PARTICLE)

If only there were a joyful future to look forward to! (Galsworthy) (INTENSIFYING PARTICLE)

Almost all the particles are homonymous with other parts of speech, chiefly with adverbs (simply), but also with conjunctions (but), pronouns (all), and adjectives (only). The particles else, solely, merely have no homonyms.



 

Part II SYNTAX

 

 


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