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What is the ufe of the Diarefis?
A. The Diærefis, which confifts of two dots, is placed over the last of two vowels that meet together in a word, to mark they are to be pronounced in two Syllables; as in Ifraël, laic, Saul, &c. read Ifra-el, la-ic, &c. What is the use of the Apostrophe ?
A. The Apoftrophe, which is like a comma fet at the top of a Confonant, ferves to indicate the omiffion of one of thefe Vowels only, viz. a, e, i; as in l'ame for ia ame, the foul; l'efprit for le efprit, the mind; s'il for si il, if he: it is likewise used before an h mute or not afpirated, as in l'homme for le bomme, the man; &c. and after qu' inftead of que, when this word occurs before any of the Vowels. Q. What is the meaning of the letter h being aspirated in fome
words, and mute in others?
A. When the letter h is faid to be aspirated, it implies that it must be uttered in as strong a manner as in the English words, hard, hoft; for instance, it is afpirated in bardi, bold; honte, fhame: but when it is mute, or not afpirated, it is no more uttered in French, than that of the English words hour, heir, honour; therefore we read abile for habile, clever; omme for homme, man, &c. Q. What is the ufe of the letter y in French?
A. The letter y often ferves to denote the Etymology of words derived from the Greek, wherein it ftands for a fingle i; as in Analyse, Analylis; fyllabe, fyllable; &c. but, between two vowels, in French words, it indicates, in fome of them, the found of two i's; as in effayer, to try; envoyer, to fend; &c: and in others, that of a liquid i; as in Ayeul, Grandfather; &c.
Q. What is the best way to acquire the different Sounds and Articulations of French Syllables?
A. There are general rules prefixed to moft French Grammars for that purpose; but, from all the attempts that have hitherto been made, it does not appear, that written directions will fufficiently anfwer the views of an inquifitive learner, without the affistance of a good Teacher.
Of Words, and their General Diftinction.
WHAT is meant by a word?
A. A word is one or more fyallables put together to fignify something.
Q. Are there many different forts of words in a Language? A. There are feveral diftinct kinds of Words in Languages; but Grammarians do not agree about their respective denominations, nor even their number*.
Q. What is the ufual denomination of thofe which ferve to compofe the English and French Languages?
A. The various Words, made ufe of in fpeaking or writing, may be denominated and claffed as follows; viz.
5. The Verbs,
6. The Particles,
Q. Are not these denominations fuitable to the various classes of words, in all Languagès?
A. No; for the Latin Language has no articles; therefore it is more ambiguous than modern Languages are.
The different forts of Words, that conftitute a Language, are generally called Parts of Speech; but they are now uniformly diftinguished by modern Grammarians; fome reckoning ten of them, which they call and range thus; Nouns, Adjectives, Articles, Pronouns, Verbs, Participles, Adverbs, Prepofitions, Conjunctions, and Interjections; some nine, by leaving out the Participles; others' eight, by omitting the denominations of Adjectives and Participles, and fo down to four; viz. Nouns, Adnouns, Verbs, and Particles or invariable words.
CHA P. III.
Of Articles in General.
Q: WHAT is an Article?
A. The Article is a small Word prefixed to Subftantives, to fhew their relations to preceding or following words; thefe circumstances being not expreffed, in modern languages, by Cafes or different terminations, asthey are in the Greek and Latin Languages. Q. What is there to be obferved with regard to French and
A. That the French Articles have Genders and Numbers; whereas the English Articles are not fufceptible of any grammatical variation.
Q. How many Genders and Numbers are there in French?
The Definite-(the le m. la f. les pl. -Le Défini. The Indefinite-(a or an) un m. une f. L'Indéfini The Partitive (fome) du m. de la f. des pl.-Le Partitif. But ftrictly speaking there are but two in French; viz. The Definite and the Indefinite; the Partitive being, to all external appearance, though of not the fame import, like the variations of the fecond State of the Definite Article: fee the Examples of the different Declenfions, from p. 104 to p. 107 inclufive.
Q. Are thefe Articles to be placed before all French Subftantives, according to their respective Genders and Numbers ? A. No; for before Subftantives, in the Singular Number, beginning with a Vowel or b mute, the final vowel of le and la is cut off, as I have obferved before, p. 99. Q. What Parts of Speech, befides the Articles, have Genders: and Numbers in French?
A, The Substantives, Adjectives, and Pronouns.
C. HA P. IV.
Of Subftantives in General.
Q. WHAT is a Subftantive?
A. A Subftantive is a Word that expreffes the name of every thing real or imaginary, without the help of any other word to make us understand it; as un Hom me, a Man; un Ange, an Angel; une Maifon, a House; une Eglife, a Church; &c.
Q. How many forts of Subftantives are there?
A. Such as are applicable and common to all real Objects of the fame fpecies or kind; as homme man, cheval horse, maifon houfe, arbre trec, &c.
Q. And what are the Abflract Subftantives?
A. Those which fignify objects that have no other mark of existence but in our minds; as Ange Angel, chagrin grief, espérance hope, &c.
Q. Which are thofe that are called Subftantives Proper? A. Such as are appropriated to diftinguish Men, Women, Places, or particular things; as Jean John, Marie Mary, Londres London, la Tamife the Thames, &c. for Jehn is not the name of every man, nor London of every city; and fo forth...
Q. Is there any grammatical difference between the French and English Subftantives?
French Subftantives are either of the Mafculine or Feminine Gender; whereas the greatest part of English Subftantives are neuter, that is, of neither Gender; such are thofe that exprefs the name of inanimate things; for we fay, le livre, the Book; la table, the Table; &c. But Subftantives which relate to the Male Sex, as un Homme, a Man; &c. are of the Mafculine Gender, and those which relate to the Female fex, as une Femme, a Woman; &c. are of the Feminine, in both Languages.
Q. By what means is the Gender of French Subftantives expreffing inanimate things to be known?
A. By practice in general; but for a greater certainty, by looking into a French Dictionary for it.
Q. How can practice enable a Learner to find out their re
A. By remembering those Substantives that admit of le and la, or un and une before them; for inftance, Livre is of the mafculine Gender, becaufe we can fay le Livre, or un Livre; and Table is of the feminine Gender, because we may fay either la Table, or une Table.
Q. But how can the Gender of thofe Subftantives which begin with a vowel, or h mute, be acquired by Practice?
A. By prefixing to them an Adjective beginning with a confonant; as un grand efprit, a great wit; une grande ame, a great foul; un grand honneur, a great honor; &c. Q. What difference is there betwixt a Subftantive and an Adjective?
A. A Subftantive has no need of being joined to another word, in order to be well understood; for, we understand very well what is meant by Book, Table, Houfe, &c, but an Adjective has, or is fuppofed to have, a Subftantive to which it relates, and without which it cannot be understood, but when they are joined to Subftantives; as a great book, a fmall table, a lofty houfe, &c.
Q. What elfe is there to be observed, with respect to the French
A. The manner of forming their Plural number, which is commonly done by the addition of an s, to the termination of their Singular*; and the way of declining them, that is, of ufing the different variations of the Articles before them, as in the following Examples;
There are however, feveral French Subftantives, that deviate from this Rule; as may be feen in The Practical French Grammar, P. 54, &c.