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This work differs from others of its class in
1. It contains exercises on many minor points of grammar, of which little notice has been hitherto taken; such as, the letters, gender and number of nouns, use of the tenses, &c.
2. The practice, in many cases, of making the learner choose between two forms of expression, or supply the correct form, is intended to bring his powers of discrimination into play.
3. Some terms generally used in grammar are here dispensed with; such as nominative case, active verb, neuter gender.
4. Some new terms are introduced; as, subject and object for nominative and accusative; participles, complete and incomplete, for past and present, &c.
5. The exercises in prosody and versification a part of English Grammar which has been hitherto unaccountably neglected are, as far as the
writer is aware, quite novel in a work of this
ENGLISH GRAMMAR PRACTICE.
GRAMMAR is the science of words.1
All the letters of the English language, taken together, are called the Alphabet.2
There are twenty-six letters in the English Alphabet, 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, and z.
The letters are divided into vowels and consonants.
Vowels are those letters which, when uttered, produce a full sound. They are a, e, i, o,
a has five sounds; as in hate, hat, bar, balm, ball.
e has three sounds; as in we, met, her.
i has three sounds; as in mind, thin, birth.
1 The word 'grammar,' from the Greek grapho, 'I write,' was originally applied to written language.
2 The word 'alphabet' is derived from the names of the first two Greek letters, Alpha (A) and Beta (B).
3 Our word' vowel' is derived directly from the French voyelle, which again is from the Latin vocalis (litera), a sounding letter.
o has five sounds; as in note, not, born, come, tomb.
u has four sounds; as in use, us, full, rude.
w and y at the end of words are considered as vowels, as in cow, sty, &c.
Two vowels coming together and making but one sound form a diphthong; as in rain, seize, good.
Consonants are those letters which do not make a full or perfect sound of themselves; but which, when combined with vowels, assist in forming words. They are b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, x, z.
b has always the same sound; as in bad, crab, sabre.
c is hard (i.e. like a k) before a, o, and u, as in came, cold, cut; and soft (i.e. like an s) before e, i, and y, as in cell, cite, cymbal.
d has always the same sound; as in dim, bad, rider.
f has always the same sound; as in fat, if, swift.
g has two sounds; hard before a, o, and u, as in game, got, gun; and soft before e, i, and y, as in gem, giant, gymnastic.