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All words are either primitive, or derivative.

A primitive word is that which cannot be reduced to any simple word in the language; as, man, good, child.

A derivative word is that which may be reduced to another word in English of greater simplicity; as, manful, goodness, contentment.

There are many words which, though compounds in other languages, are primitives in English; as, circumspect, delude, complicate, convent.


What is a syllable?—What are words?—What are words of three syllables called?—What are those of more than three syllables called?—How are words divided?— What is a primitive word?—What is a derivative?—Is the word wisdom primitive or derivative ?—By which rule for the division of syllables is this word divided ?—Is the word freedom primitive or derivative?—By which rule for the division of syllables is this word divided ?—Similar questions may be answered respecting other words


The spelling of English words is attended with much uncertainty and perplexity, and can be acquired only by diligent attention to the spelling-book and dictionary. We present the following, however, as the general rules which, in spelling primitive and derivative words, have been most commonly received:

1. Monosyllables ending with/, I, or s, preceded by a single vowel, double the final consonant: as, staff, mill, pass, Stc. The only exceptions are, of, if, as, is, has, was, yes, his, this, us, and thus.

2. Monosyllables ending with any consonant but /, I or s, and preceded by a single vowel, never double the final consonant; excepting add, ebb, butt, egg, odd, err, inn, bunn, purr, and buzz.

3. Words ending with y, preceded by a consonant

form the plurals of nouns, the persons of verbs, verbal nouns, past participles, comparatives, and superlatives, by changing y into i; as spy, spies; I carry, thou earnest; he carrieth, or carries; carrier, carried; happy, happier, happiest. —-. ——.«m t

The present participle in ing, retains the y, that t may not be doubled; as carry, carrying; bury, burying, &c.

But y preceded by a vowel, in such instances as the above, is not changed; as boy, boys, 1 cloy, he cloys, cloyed, &c. except in lay, pay, and say; from which are formed, laid, paid, and said; and their compounds, unlaid, unpaid, unsaid, 8tc, „ ,. ,. .

4. Words ending with y, preceded by a consonant,' upon assuming an additional syllable beginning with a consonant, commonly change y into i; as happy, happily, happiness. But when y is preceded by a vowel, it is very rarely changed in the additional syllable: as coy, coyly; boy, boyish, boyhood; annoy, annoyer, annoyance; joy, joyless, joyful.

5. Monosyllables, and words accented on the last syllable, ending with a single consonant, preceded by a single vowel, double that consonant, when they takfcanother syllable beginning with a vowel; as wit, witty; thin, thinnish; to abet, an abettor; to begin, a beginner.

But if a diphthong precedes, or the accent is on the preceding syllable, the consonant remains single-; as to toil, toiling; to offer, an offering; maid, maiden, &c.

6. Words ending with any double letter but I, and taking ness, less, ly, or ful, after them, preserve the letter double: as harmlessness, carelessness, carelessly, stiffly successful, distressful, &c. But those words which end with double I, and take ness, less, ly, or fid, after them, generally omit one I: as fulness, skilless, fully, skilful, &c. '"

7. JVess, less, ly, and fid, added to words ending-with silent e, do not cut it off; as paleness, guileless, closely pe-aceful; except in a few words; as duly, truly, awful.

8. Ment, added to words ending with silent t, generally preserves the e from elision: as, abatement, chastisement, incitement, &c.

Like other terminations, ment changes y into t, when preceded by a consonant: as, accompany, accompaniment; merry, merriment.

9. Able and ible, when incorporated into words ending with silent e, almost always cut it off: as, blame, blamable; cure, curable; sense, sensible, &c. : but if c org soft comes before e in the original word, the « is then preserved in words compounded with able: as, change, changeable; peace, peaceable, &c.

10. When ing or ish is added to words ending with silent e, the t is almost universally omitted: as, place, placing; lodge, lodging; slave, slavish; prude, prudish; blue, bluish; white, whitish.

11. Compounded words are generally spelled in the same manner as the simple words of which they arc formed; as, glasshouse, skylight, thereby, hereafter. Many words ending with double I, are exceptions to this rule: as, already, welfare, wilful, fulfil: and also the words wherever, Christmas, lammas, Sic.

The. 6rthography of a great number of English words, is far from being uniform, even amongst writers of distinction. Thus, honour and honor, inquire and enquire, negotiate and negociate, control and controul, expense and expence, allege and alledge, surprise and surprize, complete and eompleat, connexion and connection, abridgment and abridgement, judgment and judgement, acknowledgment and acknowledgement, and many other orthographical variations, are to be met with in the best modern publications.


Inaccuracies to be corrected by the preceding Rules. "Jacob worshiped his Creator, leaning on the top off hisstaf" '- .

"A carr i§ a chariot of war."

"In the names of druggs and plants, the mistake of a word may endanger life."

"Many a trapp is laid to ensnare the feet of youth"

"We should subject our faneys to the government of reason."

"It is a great blessing to have a sound mind, uninfluenced by fancyful humours." ,

"When we bring the lawmaker into contempt, we have in effect annuled his laws."

"By defering repentance, we accumulate sorrows."

"Restlesness of mind disqualifies us for the performance of duty."

"The arrows of calumny fall harmlesly at the feet of virtue."

"The road to the blisful regions is as open to th« peasant as to the king."

"The silent stranger stood amazed to Bee
Contempt of wealth, and willful poverty."

"A Judicious arrangment of studies facilitates improvment."

"The object seems very desireable to us."

"We are made serviceable to others, as well aa to ourselves."

"Our natural and involuntary defects of body ar« riot chargable to us."

"These people salute one another, by touching th« top of their forheads."

"We may be hurtfull to others by example, as well »<! by personal abuse."

"Knaveish tricks should meet with a severe reproof."

"A sprigg of myrtle." "The gras is green,"

"The cheasecake is very rich."

"We prefer beefstake to venison."

"Please, sir, to make me a penn."

"Will you lend me your black led pencil."

"His behavior was very obligeing."

"You appear uncommonly chearful."

"I think his conduct highly blamable."

"Every season has its peculiar beautys."

"Alexander was a most skilful horsman."
"Nor undelightful is the ceaseless humm
To him who muses through the woods at noon."

"We ought to have denyed ourselves"

"All these with ceasless praise, hia works behold,
Both day and night."

"The worship of God is an aweful service."

"Wisdom alone is truely fair."—

The learner is requested not only to correct the preceding inaccuracies, but to refer to the rule, of which each is a violation.


The second part of Grammar is EtymoloGy, which treats of the different sorts of words, their various modifications, and their derivation.

There are in English nine sorts of words, or parts of speech, viz. the article, the noun, the adjective, the pronoun, the verb, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.

An Article is a word prefixed to nouns, to point them out, and to show how far their signification extends; as, a garden, the woman. -—In English there are two articles, a and the. A becomes an before a vowel, or silent h; as, an acorn, an hour.

A or an is called the indefinite article; because it is used to point out one single thing of a kind, in other respects indeterminate; as, "Give me a book."

The is called the definite article; because it points out what particular thing of the kind is meant; as, " Give me the book."

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