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In teaching the elements of grammar, conciseness is a very important requisite; short rules, especially when accompanied, as they always ought to be, by a few explanatory words from the teacher, being most easily impressed upon the memory of a child. Duly sensible, therefore, of the value of brevity, the writer of the following pages has studied to be as concise as possible.
To assist the comprehension of their nature and use, Exercises follow each of the different parts of speech, which, with the models of parsing, will, it is hoped, be found well adapted to the purpose.
In the syntactical exercises, the usual practice of giving sentences containing solecisms for correction has been departed from. In lieu of these, suitable passages, carefully selected from the works of the most popular authors, are introduced for analysation and explanation, according to the rules of concord and government which precede them; by which the knowledge and progress of the pupil may be better tested than in pointing out obvious errors.
The writings of the most approved grammarians have been consulted; but, except in the instances in which a quotation is given, particular reference has been considered unnecessary.
Liverpool, 25th April, 1854.
ENGLISH GRA MMA R.
LANGUAGE, from the Latin word lingua, a tongue, is the medium by which ideas are conveyed from one person to another; and it consists of certain written signs, or articulate sounds called words.
By means of written language ideas may be transmitted to distant places, and handed down from one generation to another ; by spoken language people communicate their thoughts in person to each other.
Grammar, from the Greek word gramma, a letter, is the science which teaches the nature of words and their correct use, and arrangement into sentences, in conformity to approved and established rules; the languages of different nations being regulated according to the respective peculiarities of each.
English Grammar is generally divided into four parts—Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody.
ORTHOGRAPHY. Orthography, from the Greek words orthos, right, and graphe, a writing, teaches the nature and powers of letters, and the proper mode of combining them into syllables and words.
LETTERS. A Letter is a written mark or character, which represents a simple articulate sound.
The letters are twenty-six in number, and are known by the name of the Alphabet.
A letter which stands for a sound that can be expressed by itself is called a Vowel.
A letter representing a sound which cannot be distinctly uttered without the aid of a vowel is called a Consonant.
The vowels are a, e, i, o, u; and w and y when they do not begin a word or syllable. The remaining nineteen letters are consonants.
The union of two vowels to form one sound is called a Diphthong, or double sound.
When the sound of both the vowels is heard, it is a proper diphthong; as, ou in mouse.