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PLAIN, AND EASY ENGLISH GRAMMAR.
OF GRAMMAR. GRAMMAR is the art of speaking properly, reading well, and writing correctly. It contains four divisions, viz.
ORTHOGRAPHY, or the art of spelling.
OF ORTHOGRAPHY. There are twenty-six letters in the English language, viz. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, V, w, x, y, z. Of these, five letters, that is, a, e, i, o, u, are always vowels, and y, is a vowel only when it comes at the end of a word; the other twenty letters are consonants.
By a vowel I mean a letter which has a perfect and distinct sound of itself: on the contrary, a consonant signifies a letter which cannot form a distinct sound without a vowel either before or after it.
When two vowels meet together, they are called double vowels; without a vowel either single or double, no syllable or word can possibly be formed; and there are just so many syllables in a word, as there are vowels, single or double.
RULES FOR SPELLING. 1. When a consonant comes between two vowels, in dividing the syllables it must go to the latter, as pa-per, ri-ver.
2. When two consonants of the same kind come together in the middle of a word, they must be divided, as in bor-row, com-mon,
3. When two or more consonants come together in the middle of a word, they must be placed according to the distinct sound, which generally happens to fall on the last syllable, as in be-spread, re-store; yet in pub-lish, whim. per, &c. they are best divided, because the pronunciation requires it.
4. Two vowels in the middle of a word, that have distinct sounds, must be placed in different syllables.
A word of one syllable is called a monysyllable; a word of two syllables a dyssyllable; words of three syllables are termed trisyllables; and words of many syllables, polysyllables.
As Prosody teaches a graceful manner of pronouncing any thing we speak or read, it is one of the politest accomplishments we can retain.
In pronouncing syllables and words, two things are to be regarded, viz. quantity and accent: that is, every syllable must be sounded according to its proper quantity, and every word of two or more syllables must have its proper accent.
Quantity is the distinction of syllables into long and short.
The short quantity is known by a quick pronunciation, as not; and the long quantity by a slow pronunciation, as note; the latter takes twice the time in pronouncing that the former does.
The accent is that peculiar stress of voice which is laid upon some particular syllable in a word, as on Ro in Roman, and the Emphasis is a remarkable stress of voice laid upon some particular word in a sentence, to make the sense more striking; thus in the sentence, I will walk home, if the emphasis is placed upon I, it means myself, and not any other person ; if the emphasis is placed on walk, it insinuates I do not mean to ride; and if it is placed on home, it signifies it is home I intend to go to, and not to any other place.
A principal thing in prosody is to be thoroughly acquainted with the points and stops, as they
the voice in
what you read, and prevent confusion and perplexity; their
Period, or Full Point
Note of Interrogation
Note of Admiration The comma makes a small part of a sentence, where a short breathing time may be permitted without injuring the sense, and allows you to stop while you can deliberately say one. The semicolon divides the sentence into portious, and allows you to stop while you can say one, one. The colon marks where the sense is complete, but not the sentence, and allows you to stop while you can count one, one, one. The period marks where the sentence is complete, and allows you to stop while you can say one, one, one, one. The note of interrogation is placed after all questions; and the note of admiration after all sudden emo. tions of the soul, or every thing which gives surprise; the breathing times at both are the same as at the period.
Though rules may greatly assist, they cannot complete the learner in this part of grammar; because it does not depend so much upon a set of principles laid down, as upon a close imitation of others; we can only therefore recommend it to those who wish to qualify themselves in this useful and ornamental part of grammar, to observe with attention, and diligently imitate, the manner and practice of the politest speakers, and most accomplished readers.
ANALOGY. Analogy, or the meaning of words, comprising etymology, or their derivation, is the most extensive part of speech :viz. NAMES,
I.OF NAMES. Names, or noun substantives, as they have been called, express all things that are objects of the senses, or understanding, or every thing that we can see, feel, smell, hear, taste, or conceive, as a picture, a blon, a stink, a sound, sweetness, time, fortune, &c.
There are three sorts of names, common, proper, and personal. Common names express the whole species or kind, as man, city, river, are common to all men, an cities, all rivers.
Proper names, distinguish particulars from others of the same kind, as John is the name of a particular man, Lon. don of a particular city, Thames of a particular river.
Personal names, which have been usually called pronouns, are such as are used instead of other names, in order to avoid the repetition of the same word, as I instead of my name, thou or you instead of your name, he and she instead of his name, or her name, and it where there is no distinction of sex.
There are three persons in these names, the first is the person speaking, the second is the person spoken to, the third is the person spoken of.
There are two numbers, singular and plural; the singular number speaks of one, as man; the plural of more than one, as men. Some words have no plural, as London, York; and others no singular, as ashes, bellows, &c.
The persons are used in both numbers thus:
Names have two genders, masculine and feminine. The masculine gender expresses the male, as man, horse, and the feminine the female, as woman, mare.
There are, besides, two modes of gender, the neuter and doubtful ; the neuter expresses things without life, which consequently can have no sex, as a stick, or a stone; the doubtful requires another word to explain it, as sparrow requires either cock or hen to be placed before it, to determine its gender.
II.-OF QUALITIES. Qualities, or, as they have been called, adjectives, are words expressive of the manners, properties, affections, and qualities, of names or things, as good, bad, black, white, &c.
Qualities are distinguished, by making sense with the word thing after them, as good thing, bad thing, black thing, white thing, &c.
Names are sometimes changed into the nature of qualities, as man's nature, for the nature of man; Pope's works, for the works of Pope ; the King's palace, for the palace of the King; these are termed positive qualities, and answer to the genitive case of the Latin; the possessive quality is the only case we have in English.
Qualities are comparcd by two degrees formed from the