Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

CATECHISM

OF

ENGLISH GRAMMAR.

INTRODUCTION. Q. WHAT is Grammar ?

A. Grammar is the art of speaking and writing correctly.

Q. Into how many parts is it divided ?

A. Grammar consists of four parts: namely, Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody.

Q. Is the study of grammar of much importance ?

A. It is of the utmost importance, because it is that study which enables men to speak and write with accuracy, and to express their thoughts with clearness and precision.

ORTHOGRAPHY.

LETTERS.

Q. WHAT is the first division of English grammar? Ă. The first part of grammar is Orthography. Q. What does orthography teach? A. Orthography explains the nature and powers of letters, and the right method of spelling words.

con

Q. Of what do words consist ?
A. Words are composed of letters and syllables.
Q. What is a letter?

X. A letter is the least part of a word ; representing an articulate sound of the human voice.

Q. How many letters are there in the English language ?

Ă. There are in English twenty-six letters.
Q. What are these letters called ?

Ă. The letters, disposed in their proper order, are called the Alphabet.

Q. How are they divided ?

A. Letters are divided into vowels and sonants.

Q. How is a vowel distinguished ?
X. A vowel makes a full sound by itself; as a, e.
Q. What is a consonant ?

A. A consonant is a letter which cannot make a perfect sound, until joined to a vowel ; as b, d, m, t, which require the aid of a vowel to express them fully. They are properly be, de, em, te.

Q. Which of the letters are vowels ?

A. The vowels are, a, e, i, o, u, and w and y when not beginning a word or syllable.

Q. Which of the letters are consonants ?

Ă. The consonants are, b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, a, a, and w and y when they begin a word or syllable, and have the force of semivowels.

Excercise.Distinguish the vowels from the consonants in the following words : Am-bi-tion, roy-al-ty, wid-ow-hood, ul-te-rior, weal-thy, youth-ful-ness.

Q. What is a dipthong ?

A. A dipthong is two vowels joined in one sound; as ou in the word out.

Q. Are there not different kinds of dipthongs ?

A. If the sound of both vowels be distinctly heard, it is called a proper dipthong; as, oi in voice.

Q. What is an improper dipthong ?

A. An improper dipthong is that in which only one of the vowels is sounded ; as oa in boat.

Q. What is a tripthong?

A. A tripthong is the union of three vowels, pronounced by a single emission of the voice; as, eau in beauty.

SYLLABLES. --WORDS. Q. What is Spelling?

A. Spelling is the art of rightly dividing words into their syllables, or of expressing a word by its proper letters.

Q. What is a syllable ?

4. A syllable is a part of a word, or as much as can be sounded at once; as, far in far-mer.

Q. Are there not words composed of only one syllable ?

A. There are many words of only one syllable; as, ant, boy, fox: these are termed monosyllables.

Q. What is a word of two syllables called ?

A. A word of two syllables is called a dissyllable ; as, fa-vor.

Q. What is a trisyllable?

A. A trisyllable is a word of three syllables ; as, ex-cel-lent.

Q. What name is given to words of more than three syllables ?

A. Words of four or more syllables are termed polysyllables.

Exercise.Divide the following words into syllables, and name them according to the number they contain: thus ; Or-tho-dox is

« PreviousContinue »