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The subject of orthography is not introduced ; because, in our common schools every child is taught the nature and powers of letters, and the proper method of spelling words, from the spelling book. Prosody is likewise omitted, as very few who study grammar pay any attention to the rules of versification. The author has inserted a copious parsing table; a vocabulary of technical words used in grammar; a list of foreign phrases, translated into English; an approved system of punctuation; remarks on the Ellipsis; specimens of false grammar; rules and observations for assisting individuals to write with perspicuity and accuracy, after they have acquired a competent knowledge of syntax: to which is appended, Pope's Essay on Man.
As a text book for the studious, this treatise will prove a valuable companion; and it will impart a good knowledge of the principles of the English language to those who are entirely unacquainted with the science.
GRAMMAR teaches the art of expressing and communicating our thoughts with propriety. It explains the nature of sentences, and the mutual connexion and dependence of each word of which they are composed.
Words are divided into classes called parts of speech, of which there are ten different kinds, viz. The Article, Noun, Adjective, Pronoun, Verb, Participle, Adverb, Preposition, Conjunction, and Interjection.
To know when and where to use these several parts of speech, and to render the subject plain and familiar, is the design of this work.
EXPLANATION OF THE ARTICLE.
An Article is a word placed before a noun to limit its signification.—There are two articles, a and the.
A is called the indefinite article, because it limits the noun to no one particular object; as, give me a book; that is, any book.
The is called the definite article, because it limits the noun to the particular object referred to; as, give me the book that lies on the table.
To render the pronunciation more easy an must be substituted for the article a before words that begin with the vowels a, e, i, o and u, and words that begin with a silent h; as an acorn, an eagle, an inkstand, an ox, an umbrella,, an hourglass.
There are however some exceptions to this rule. Ar must not be used before the vowel u when sounded long, as, in union, university, &c.
An must be used before such words as begin with an h that is not silent, when the accent falls on the second syllable; as, an heroic action, an historical account. When the h is sounded as in hand, hollow, horn, the article a must be used. The article a must be used after the words many
and such; as, many a one, such a one.
A is joined to the words dozen, score, groce, &c. As, a dozen of pigeons, a score of sheep, a grocé of buttons.
It''is likewise used before the adjectives few and many; as, a few men; a great many men.
The article a has sometimes the import of each and every; as, He came twice a year. It is used in this sense with a preposition understood. As, He came twice (in) a year. Fifty cents (for) a bushel.
The indefinite article is sometimes placed between the adjective many and a singular noun; as, 'Full many a gem of purest ray serene.
The article an is sometimes used as a numerical adjective, and is qualified as such by an adverb; as, He tarried nearly an hour; that is, nearly one hour.
The indefinite article a or an, agrees with nouns in the singular number only.
The definite article the agrees with nouns both of the singular and plural number.
The definite article the is sometimes applied to adverbs, and to adjectives of the comparative and superlative degrees, to render them more nervous and precise; as, the more danger; the more honor; this is the least of all.
A noun, without any article to limit it, is generally taken in its widest sense; thus man signifies all mankind.
Articles must agree with the nouns, which they limit or define.
When there are several nouns following the indefinite article, care ought to be taken that it accord with them: 'a dog, cat, owl, and sparrow Owl requires
an; and, therefore, the article must be repeated in this phrase: as, ' a dog, a cat,an owl, and a sparrow.'
EXPLANATION OF NOUNS.
A Noun is the name of every person, place, and thing. Noun, signifies name; therefore, every thing that has a name, is a noun. But there are different classes of nouns. There is the proper noun, and the common noun. There is the singular noun, and the plural noun. There is the noun of the male kind, and noun of the female kind. And, there is a description of noun neither male nor female, but which is of the neuter kind.
Proper, signifies peculiar, not common. When there is but one of a particular name, place, or thing, that name, place, or thing, is called a proper noun. Charlotte, George, and James, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, are proper nouns.
When proper nouns have an article prefixed to them, they are used as common nouns; as, "He is the Cicero of his age." "He is reading the lives of the twelve Cæsars.
Proper nouns are often connected with common nouns; as, a French merchant, an English ship. In instances of this kind, the proper noun is used in the nature of an adjective.
COMMON NOUNS. Common, signifies general. When there are many of one name, place, or thing, they are called common nouns. Lady, gentleman, house, barn, and shed, are
When we say, a horse, we mean but one horse. When we say, the horses, we signify more than one horse.
Some nouns, from the nature of the things which they express, are used only in the singular form; as, wheat, pitch, gold, sloth, pride, &c.; others only in the plural form; as, bellows, scissors, lungs, riches, &c. Some words are the same in both numbers; as, deer, sheep, swine, &c.
Nouns which end in o, have sometimes es, added in the plural; as, cargo, echo, hero, negro, potato, volcano, wo; -and sometimes only s; as, folio, nuncio, punctilio, seraglio.
Nouns ending in for fe, are rendered plural by terminating in ves; as, dloaf, loaves, half, halves, wife, wives, except grief, relief, and some others, which form the plural by the addition of s. Those which end in .ff, have the regular plural; as, ruff, ruffs, staff, staves.
Some nouns become plural by changing the a into e; as, man, men, woman, women. Sometimes the diphthong ao, is changed into ee, in the plural; as, foot, feet, goose, geese. Louse and mouse make lice and mice.
Correct writers generally construe the following words as plural nouns; pains, riches, alms, ethics, metaphysics, mathematics, optics, politics, pneumatics, &c. The word news, is generally considered as belonging to the singular number.
The noun, means, is used both in the singular and the plural number. It is used as singular, when the mediation or instrumentality of one thing is implied; and, as plural, when two or more mediatory causes are referred to; as, 'The King consented, and by this means, all hopes of success was lost.'
· He was careful to observe what means were employed by his adversaries, to counteract his designs. The following nouns being, in Latin, both singular and plural, are used in the same manner when adopted into our tongue; hiatus, apparatus, series, species.
Man, boy, and brother, belong to the male or mas. culine gender. Woman, girl, and sister, belong to the female or feminine gender. Inanimate things, such as