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Monosyllables ending with f, 1, or s, preceded by a single vowel, double the final consonant: as, staff, mill, pass, &c. The only exceptions are, of, if, as, is, has, was, yes, his, this, us, and thus.
Monosyllables ending with any consonant but f,l, or s, and preceded by a single vowel, never double the final consonant; excepting add, ebb, butt, egg, odd, err, inn, bunn, purr, and buzz.
Words ending with y, preceded by a consonant, form the plurals of nouns, the persons of verbs, verbal nouns, past participles, comparatives, and superlatives, by changing y into i : as, spy, spies; 1 carry, thou carriest; he car. rieth, or carries ; carrier, carried ; happy, happier, happiest.
The present participle in ing, retains the y, that i may not be doubled; as, carry, carrying ; bury, burying, &c.
But y, preceded by a vowel, in such instances as the above, is not changed; as, boy, boys : I cloy, he cloys, cloyed, &c.; except in lay, pay, and say ; from which are formed, laid, paid, and said, and their compounds, unlaid, unpaid, unsaid, &c.
Words ending with y, preceded by a consonant, upon assuming an additional syllable beginning with a consonant, commonly change y into i ; as, happy, happily, happiness. But when y is preceded by a vowel, it is very rarely changed in the additional syllable ; as, coy, coyly ; boy, boyish, boyhood : annoy, annoyer, annoyance; joy, joyless, joyful.
Monosyllabies, and words accented on the last syllable ending with a single consonant preceded by a single vowel double that consonant, when they take another syllable beginning with a vowel: as, wit, witty; thin, thinnish; to abet, an abettor; to begin, a beginner.
But if a diphthong precedes, or the accent is on the preeeding syllable, the consonant remains single: as, to toil, toilingi to offer, an offering ; maid maiden, &c.
Words ending with any double letter but l, and taking ness, less, ly, or ful, after them, preserve the letter double; as, harmlessness, carelessness, carelessly, stiffly, successful, distressful, &c. But those words which end with double l, and take ness, less, ly, or ful, after them, generally omit onel; as fulness, skilless, fully, skilful, &c.
Ness, less, ly, and ful, added to words ending with silent e, do not cut it off: as, paleness, guileless, closely, peaceful; except in a few words; as, duly, truly, awful.
Ment, added to words ending with silent e, generally preserves the e from elision; as, abatement, chastisement, incitement, &c. The words judgment, abridgment, acknowledgment, are deviations from the rule.
Like other terminations, ment changes y into i, when preceded by a consonant; as, accompany, accompaniment; merry, merriment.
Able and ible, when incorporated into words ending with silent e, almost always cut it off : as, blame, blamable; cure, curable; sense, sensible, &c.; but if c or g soft comes before e in the original word, the e is then pre served in words compounded with able; as, change, changeable ; peace, peaceable, &c.
When ing or ish is added to words ending with silent é, the e is almost universally omitted: as, place, placing; lodge, lodging ; slave, slavish; prude, prudish.
Words taken into composition, often drop those letters which were superfluous in the simple words : as, handful, dunghil, withal, also, chilblain, foretel.
The orthography of a great number of English words is far from being uniform, even amongst writers of distinction. Thus, honour and honor, inquire and enquire, negotiate and negociate, control and controul, expense and expence, allege and alledge, surprise and surprize, complete and compleat, connexion and connection, abridgment and abridgement, and many other orthographical variations, are to be met with in the best modern publications.
Some authority for deciding differences of this nature, appears to be necessary: and where can we find one of equal pretensions with Dr. Johnson's Dictionary ? though a few of his decisions do not appear to be warranted by the principles of etymology and analogy, the stable foundations of his improvements.-" As the weight of truth and reason (says Nares in his “ Elements of Orthoepy'') is irresistible, Dr. Johnson's Dictionary has nearly fixed the external form of our language. Indeed, so convenient is it to have one acknowledged standard to recur to; so much preferable, in matters of this nature, is a trifling degree of irregularity, to a continual change, and fruit. less pursuit of unattainable perfection; that it is earnestly to be hoped, that no author will henceforth, on light grounds, be tempted to innovate.”
This Dictionary, however, contains some orthographical inconsistencies, which ought to be rectified: such as, immovable moveable, chastely chastness, fertileness fertily, sliness slyly, fearlessly fearlesness, needlessness needlesly. If these, and similar irregularities, were corrected by spelling the words analogically, aocording to the first word in each part of the series, and agreeably to the general rules of spelling, the Dictionary would doubtless, in these respects, be improved.
A General View of the Parts of Speech. The second part of grammar is ETYMOLOGY, which treats of the different sorts of words, their various modifications, and their derivation.
There are, in English, nine sorts of words, or, as they are commonly called, PARTS OF SPEECH; namely, the
ARTICLE, the SUBSTANTIVE or NOUN, the ADJECTIVE, the PRONOUN,
the PREposition, the CONJUNCTION, and the INTERJECTION.
1. An article is a word prefixed to substantives, to point them out, and to show how far their signification extends: as, a garden, an eagle, the woman.
2. A Substantive or noun is the name of any.thing that exists, or of which we have any notion : as, London, man, virtue.
A substantive may, in general, be distinguished by its taking an article before it, or by its making sense of itself: as, a book, the sun, an apple; temperance, industry, chastity.
3 An Adjective is a word added to a substantive, to express its quality : as, “An industrious man ; 'a virtuous woman.'
An Adjective may be known by its making sense with the addition of the word thing: as, a good thing; a bad thing: or of any particular substantive; as, a sweet apple, a pleasant prespect, a lively boy.
4. A Pronoun is a word used instead of a noun, to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word: as, “The man is happy; he is benevolent; he is useful."
5. A Verb is a word which signifies to Be, to do, or to SUFFER: as, “ I am; 1 rulc; I am ruled.”
A Verb may generally be distinguished, by its making sense with any of the personal pronouns, or the word to before it: as, I walk, he plays, they write; or, to walk, to play, to write.
6. An Adverb is a part of speech joined to a verb, an adjective, and sometimes to another adverb, to express some quality or circumstance respecting it: as, * He reads well ; a truly good man; he writes very correctly.”
An Adverb may be generally known, by its answering to the question, How? how much? when? or where ? as, in the phrase
“ He reads correctly,” the answer to the question, How does he read? is, correctly.
7. Prepositions serve to connect words with one another, and to show the relation between them : as, “He went from London to York;" “ she is above disguise;" "they are supported by industry.”
A preposition may be known by its admitting after it a personal pronoun, in the objective case ; as, with, for, to, &c. will allow the objective case after them; with him, for her, to them, &c.
8. A Conjunction is a part of speech that is chiefly used to connect sentences; so as, out of two or more sentences, to make but one: it sometimes connects only words: as, “Thou and he are happy, because you are good.” “ Two and three are five."
9. Interjections are words thrown in between the parts of a sentence, to express the passions or emotions of the speaker: as, “O virtue! how amiable thou art!"
The observations which have been made, to aid learners in distinguishing the parts of speech from one another, may afford them some small assistance; but it will certainly be much more instructive, to distinguish them by the definitions, and an accurate knowledge of their nature.
In the following passage, all the parts of speech are exeinplified: