Imatges de pÓgina



ENGLISH GRAMMAR treats of the principles of the English language. These principles relate,

1. To the written characters of the language;
2. To its pronunciation;
3. To the classification of its words;
4. To the construction of its sentences;
5. To its versification.

The first division is called ORTHOGRAPHY ; the second, ORTHOEPY ; the third, ETYMOLOGY; the fourth, SYNTAX; and the fifth, PROSODY.

Note.—These principles are derived from the usage of the best writers and speakers.

ORTHOGRAPHY. ORTHOGRAPHY treats of the letters and other characters of a language, and the proper mode of spelling words.



A letter is a character used to represent an articulate sound.

An articulate sound is the sound of the human voice formed by the organs of speech.

There are twenty-six letters in the English alphabet.

Of what does English Grammar treat? Of what does Orthography treat ?
To what do these principles relate ?

What is a letter?
What are the names of the divisions of what is an articulate sound?
English Grammar?

How many letters in the English alphaFrom what are the principles of Grammar bet ?


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Letters are divided into vowels and consonants.

A vowel represents a sound which is perfect without the aid of another sound.

A consonant represents a sound which is made in conjunction with a vowel sound.

A, e, i, o, u, are vowels; b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, ?, s, t, v, X, 2, are consonants.

W and y are consonants when they are immediately followed by a vowel sound in the same syllable; as in want, twine, what,* youth, yellow.

In other cases w and y are vowels; as in now, sawing, sky, type, holy, eye.t


Tell in which of the following words w and y are consonants, and in which they are


Water, wet, winter, young, yet, yonder, boy, joy, glory, sowing, sawing, new, newly, eye, scythe, brow, cow, when, whip, which, paw, enjoying, swine, try, swim.

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The consonants are divided into mutes and semivowels.

The semi-vowels have an imperfect sound by themselves; the mutes have no sound by themselves.

The mutes are b, p, d, t, k, 9, c hard, and g hard. I

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Into what two classes are letters divided ? Into what two classes are consonants
What is a vowel? What is a consonant? divided ?
Name the vowels—the consonants.

What is a semi-vowel ?-& mute?
When are w and y consonants ?

What consonants are mutes ?

* Though h in what is placed after w, it is sounded before it.
+ In this word, y is followed by a vowel, but the vowel is not sounded.

# C is hard when it has the sound of k, as in cat; and soft when it has the sound of

8, as in city. G is hard when it is sounded as in gun; and soft when it has the sound of j, as in gentle.

The semi-vowels are f, h, j, l, m, n, l', s, V, Z, C soft, and g soft.

g X is a double consonant, equivalent to ks.

Four of the semi-vowels, l, m, n, o, are called liquids, on account of their smooth, flowing sound.

Remarks.—The vowels represent sounds, the consonants modifications of sound made by the lips, tongue, palate, etc. Thus, if we make the sound represented by a, and close the lips, we make that modification of sound which is represented by p. The mutes close the organs, so that no sound can be emitted while the organs are in that position; the pure mutes (, k, t, 9, and c hard,) entirely, the others almost so. The semi-vowels admit the passage of sound through the mouth or the nose. Some of the semi-vowels (as v and z,) are almost as pure sounds as the vowels. The sounds of the vowels, and the modifications represented by the consonants, are so closely connected, that the most obvious division of words seems to be into syllables ; and accordingly we find that in the Hebrew, and other early languages, the letters represented syllables. The division into vowels and consonants was the result of a more accurate investigation of the elements of speech.


Two vowels in immediate succession in the same syllable, form a diphthong ; as, ou in found.

A proper diphthong is one in which both vowels are sounded; as, oi in voice.

An improper diphthong is one in which only one of the vowels is sounded; as, ea in beat.


Three vowels in immediate succession in the same syllable, form a triphthong ; as, eau in beau.

A proper triphthong is one in which all the vowels are sounded ; as, uoy in buoy.

What consonants are semi-vowels ?
What is said of < ?
Which of the semi-vowels are called li-

quids? Why?

What is a diphthong ?-a proper diph

thong ? - an improper diphthong? -a triphthong ?-a proper triphthong ?

An improper triphthong is one in which all the vowels are not sounded; as, eau in beauty.

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A syllable is a letter, or a combination of letters, uttered at a single impulse of the voice. Thus; in amen, a constitutes one syllable, and men another.

A word is a syllable, or a combination of syllables, used as the sign of some idea.

A word of one syllable is called a monosyllable ; a word of two syllables, a dissyllable ; of three syllables, a trisyllable ; of four or more syllables, a polysyllable.

EXERCISES. Tell which of the following words are monosyllables, which dissyllables, etc. Twenty, man, happy, unity, school, safety, book, baker, magnanimous, monosyllable, dissyllable, trisyllable, ambiguity, vulture, tough, crucifix, homily.

A primitive word is one which is not derived from another word in the language; as, man, holy, love.

A derivative word is one which is derived from another word in the language; as, manly, holiness, loving.

A compound word is one which is composed of two or more words ; as, schoolmaster, laughterloving.

A simple word is one which is not compounded; as, word, man.

What is an improper triphthong ?
What is a syllable? What is a word ?
What is a word of one syllable called P-of

two syllables ?-of three syllables ?

What is a primitive word ?-a derivative

word?-& compound word ?-& simple word ?

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