CASES – from Old English to Modern English

The English language once had an extensive declension system similar to Latin, modern German or Icelandic. Old English distinguished between the nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive cases; and for strongly declined adjectives and some pronouns also a separate instrumental (which otherwise and later completely coincided with the dative). Declension was greatly simplified during the Middle English period, when accusative and dative pronouns merged into a single objective pronoun. Nouns in Modern English no longer decline for case, except in a sense for possessive, and for remnants of the former system in a few pronouns.

"Who” and "whom", "he" and "him", "she" and CASES – from Old English to Modern English "her", etc. are remnants of both the old nominative versus accusative and also of nominative versus dative. In other words, "her" (for example) serves as both the dative and accusative version of the nominative pronoun "she". In Old English as well as modern German and Icelandic as further examples, these cases had distinct pronouns.

This collapse of the separate case pronouns into the same word is one of the reasons grammarians consider the dative and accusative cases to be extinct in English . Instead, the term objective is often used; that is, "whom" is a generic objective CASES – from Old English to Modern English pronoun which can describe either a direct or an indirect object. The nominative case, "who", is called simply the subjective. The information formerly conveyed by having distinct case forms is now mostly provided by prepositions and word order.


An adjective is a word which acts to modify a noun in a sentence.

Two major functions in the sentence

- a predicative adjective used after a link verb, e.g. A zebra is striped

(Cр. Ukrainian – Дитя було маленьке, вона стала нервовою

- an attributive adjective, in which it modifies a noun ‘The striped zebra pranced.’

While most adjectives in English are able to be CASES – from Old English to Modern English used just as easily either in an attributive or a predicative sense, there are some which are restricted to one role or the other. For example, the adjective sole can be used grammatically only as an attributive adjective, as can be seen in the sentence: This is the sole survivor. On the other hand, trying to use the adjective sole in the predicative role would result in the ungrammatical sentence: *This survivor is sole. Other English adjectives, such as alone, may be used only as a predicative adjective, while attempts to use them attributively result in ungrammatical sentences.

Adjectives CASES – from Old English to Modern English normally used only after a link verb, i.e. predicatively.afraid asleep due ready unable alive aware glad sorry well alone content ill sureFor example, we can say ‘She was glad’, but you do not talk about ‘a glad woman’.

Adjectives may be modified by adverbs or adverbial clauses, but not by other adjectives.

Isomorphic classes of adjectives:

1) qualitative

2) Relative

3) Possessive and relative : Shakesperean; Byronian

4) Suppletive: good –better – the best

Isomorphic is the process of substantivization of adjectives ^ a native, a relative, Italian, etc.

Partially substativized adjectives in both languages have no plural or singular, as well as gender or case distinctions: : the poor CASES – from Old English to Modern English, the rich;

In Ukrainian – they are usu of neuter gender: головне. Важливе.

As to the structure оf adjectives, they fall in English and Ukrainian into three far from equal by their number groups:

1) base (simple adjectives, which are root words) . Few in Ukrainian – варт рад, жив

2) Derivative adjectives: English: boyish, beautiful, rural, urban

Ukrainian: товариський – грушевий – лоїльнмй-виборчий - величезний

3) Compound adjectives

Allomorphic classes : possessive (only in Ukrainian) (мамин, бітьків, братові книги)

Absolutely allomorphic is the formation of Ukrainian adjectives with teh help of diminutive and augmentative suffixes


Analytical forms of grading are more often employed in English than in Ukrainian. In Ukrainian the CASES – from Old English to Modern English synthetic way of grading is more often used.(suffixes іш, ш and prefixes най-


All the adjectives are traditionally divided into two large subclasses: qualitative and relative. These two types are found both in English and Ukrainian.

Relative adjectives express such properties of a substance as are determined by the direct relation of the substance to some other substance.

E.g.: wood — a wooden hut; mathematics — mathematical precision; history — a historical event; table — tabular presentation; colour — coloured postcards; surgery — surgical treatment; the Middle Ages — mediaeval rites.

The nature of this "relationship" in adjectives is best revealed CASES – from Old English to Modern English by definitional correlations. Cf.: a wooden hut — a hut made of wood; a historical event — an event referring to a certain period of history; surgical treatment — treatment consisting in the implementation of surgery; etc.

Qualitative adjectives, as different from relative ones, denote various qualities of substances which admit of a quantitative estimation.

In this connection, the ability of an adjective to form degrees of comparison is usually taken as a formal sign of its qualitative character, in opposition to a relative adjective which is understood as incapable of forming degrees of comparison by definition. Cf.: a pretty girl --a prettier CASES – from Old English to Modern English girl; a quick look — a quicker look; a hearty welcome — the heartiest of welcomes; a bombastic speech — the most bombastic speech.

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