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ters are consonants. When w and y begin a word or syllable, they are consonants.

(4) A DIPHTHONG* is the union of two vowels in one sound ; as--oi, in voice.

A TRIPHTHONG is the union of three vowels in one sound; as-eau, in beauty.

A SYLLABLET is a sound represented by a single letter, or by a union of letters. In every syllable there must be at least one vowel. An unfinished word at the end of a line, must be divided according to its syllables ; the letters of a syllable should never be separated one from another.

(1) A MONOSYLLABLE: is a word of one syllable; as -fire.

A DISSYLLABLE is a word of two syllables; as-wa-ter.

A TRISYLLABLE is a word of three syllables; as-atmo-sphere.

A POLYSYLLABLE is a word of four or more syllables ; -as-tro-nom-ic, as-tro-nom-i-cal.

(2) WORDS are articulate sounds or written signs, used to represent our ideas. All words are either primitive, as hand; derivative, as hander; or compound, as hand-book.

SPELLING & is the forming of letters and syllables into words.


Diphthong is from (G.) dis, twice, and phthengomai, I sound. Triphthong, from treis, tria, three, &c.

Syllable means taken together, and is from sun or syn, together, and lambano, I take.

# Monos (G.), alone, hence monosyllable ; treis, three, hence trisyllable; polus or polys, many, hence polysyllable.

§ The spelling of several classes of words may be regulated by certain rules; but the number of silent consonants, the difficulty of describing their situations, and the numerous exceptions to general rules, render perfect accuracy attainable only by the study of approved works on Orthography, and by a long and intimate acquaintance with the usages of the language.

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(3) The classification of words, their inflections and derivations, are the subjects comprised in the second part of Grammar.

The words of the English language are generally divided into nine distinct classes; namely, Nouns, f Adjectives, Articles, Pronouns, Verbs, Adverbs, Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections.

(4) A Noun is the name of any object; as—book, desk, tree ;-or the name of any quality abstracted from its substance; as—wisdom, virtue, valour.

An ADJECTIVE is a word which expresses some quality, appearance, distinctive mark, or circumstance belonging to the noun to which it is annexed; asma good boy, a white horse, a long journey, a sleepless night.

(1) ARTICLES are prefixed to noạns to limit or extend their signification; as- -a field, an eye, the city.

* Etymology means the true origin of words, and is from (G.) etymos, true, and logos, a word.

+ Noun, from (L.) nomen, a name,-and this, perhaps, from (G.) nosco, I know, because the name is that by which a thing is known.

Adjective, from (L.) ad, to, and jacio, I lay, throw, or put.
Article, from (L.) articulus, a little joint or member.
Pronoun, from (L.) pro, for, or instead of, and nomen, a name.

Verb, from (L.) verbum, a word : the word without which no sentence is complete.

Adverb, from ad, 10, and verbum, a word.
Preposition, from (L.) pre, before, and pono, I place.
Conjunction, from (L.) con, with, and jungo, I join, or connect.
Interjection, from (1..) inter, between, and jacio, I throw.

Although the Articles are made a distinct part of speech, they are in reality but a peculiar class of Adjectives. Their general use, and the less emphatical manner in which they mark the objects to which they refer, seem to require this distinction.

s Nouns also denote the nonentity of a thing, as well as its reality; as, nothing, nought, non-existence, vacancy, invisibility.


A Pronoun supplies the place of a noun; as-James is a bad scholar, because he is an idle boy.

A VERB is a word which affirms, or asserts, something concerning the noun or pronoun; as—Joseph plays ; they learn ; we are known.

(2) An ADVERB qualifies a verb or adjective, and sometimes another adverb, in nearly the same manner as an adjective qualifies a noun; as- She writes well; she is exceedingly attentive; William reads very correctly.

A PREPOSITION connects words, and shows the relation between them. It is generally placed before a noun or pronoun; as—He went down with them to Nazareth, and was subject to them.

(3) A CONJUNCTION joins words and sentences together; as— The good and virtuous are happy, but the wicked are miserable.

An INTERJECTION expresses sudden passion or emotion; as-0! oh! alas ! huzza !*

* Children should be taught to distinguish the parts of speech by their peculiar properties, rather than by determinate rules. Rules are, however, in some instances useful: reference may be made to the following :I. Nouns need no other words to explain them; as, book, paper.

II. Nouns make sense by prefixing articles to them; as, a sea, an ocean, the sun.

III. Adjectives take particular nouns, or the word thing after them; as, a good child, a clear sky, a bad thing.

IV. Verbs make sense with any of the personal pronouns, or the word to before them; as, I walk, you think, they go; or, to sing, to read, to pray.

V. Adverbs answer to the questions, how, how often, when, where, and for the most part terminate in ly; as, He writes—how ? correctly. He lectured-how often ? twice. I will come—when ? now, immediately, &c.

VI. Prepositions admit after them the words me, us, him, it, them ; as—to me, from us, with him, &c.


(4) Nouns are of two kinds ---Proper and Common.

PROPER nouns are the names of persons, places, rivers, lakes, mountains, &c.; as-George, Paris, Shannon, Ladoga, Alps.

Common nouns are general names, and denote a class of beings or things; asduke, earl, bird, eagle, river, mountain.

(1) Common nouns include abstract nouns; asgoodness, whiteness, modesty, industry ;-collective nouns; as-army, navy ;--verbal or participial nouns ; as-correct speaking, ardent loving, anxious wishing ;and compound nouns; as-moon-light, school-boy, afterlife.

When proper nouns take an article before them, or are used in the plural number, they become common; as—The Cicero of the age, the eight Henrys, the twelve Cæsars.

(2) Common nouns sometimes signify individuals ; as-- That boy is talented; this girl is modest.

To nouns belong Person, Number, Gender, and Case.


Nouns have three persons,-first, second, and third. The first person denotes the speaker; the second, the person spoken to; the third, the person or thing spoken of.*

* Nouns are seldom used in the first person, as the speaker generally uses the pronoun I or we, whenever he has occasion to mention his own name.


(3) Common nouns have two numbers, the Singular and the Plural.

The SINGULAR denotes one object; the PLURAL, more than one.

Nouns, in general, become plural by adding s to the singular; as—town, towns; stone, stones.

(4) Nouns ending in ss, sh, a, i, o, z, or ch sounded like sh; form their plurals by adding es; as-miss, misses; brush, brushes; fox, foxes; alkali, alkalies; potato, potatoes; topaz, topazes; church, churches.

0, preceded by a vowel, and ch, sounded like k, follow the general rule; as-folio, folios; patriarch, patriarchs.

(1) The termination f or fe, is sometimes changed into ves ; as--calf, calves; knife, knives. Dwarf, scarf, wharf, chief, brief, grief, kerchief, mischief, turf, gulf, surf, strife, fife, hoof, proof, roof, reproof, and nouns ending in ff, become plural by adding s to the singular.

Nouns terminating with y, change it into ies; as— fly, flies: the y is not changed when it is preceded by a vowel ; as-key, keys; chimney, chimneys.

(2) Some nouns form their plural by the termination en ; as-man, men; ox, oxen.

Proper nouns do not admit of the plural form.

Some common nouns have no plural form; as—pride, gold, sloth, wheat, rye: others have no singular; assnuffers, oats, bellows, scissors, lungs, ashes, riches.

(3) Some nouns are used alike in both numbers; as -deer, sheep, swine, salmon, trout, alms, news, means, optics, mechanics, mathematics : others follow no general rule in the formation of their plurals; as—foot, feet; mouse, mice; goose, geese ;

the plural to express different meanings; as-

others vary

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