previous next

PREPOSITIONS. A-; after; against

A. Ben Jonson in his Grammar, p. 785, writes thus:--"A hath also the force of governing before a noun--'And the Protector had layd to her for manner's sake that she was a council with the Lord Hastings to destroy him.'--Sir T. MORE." “Forty and six years was this temple a building.” St. John ii. 20.

The present text is in, but Cranmer and Tyndale had "a."

This a, which still exists in alive, afoot, asleep, &c. is a contraction of A.-S. on or the less common form an. We find in Early English "on live," "on foot," "on hunting," "on sleep;" "a morrow and eke an eve," for "by morning and also by evening;" "a land and a water," Piers Pl. (where some MSS. have on), "a (for in) God's name," "an end" for "on the (at the) end."

In the Folio we sometimes find a where we write o':

“What is 't a clocke?

See Adverbs, 24

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: