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ENGLISH GRAMMAR.

PART 1.

MEN make known their thoughts by using words.
Words are either spoken or written.

A spoken word consists of a sound or a succession of sounds, shaped by the movements of certain organs of speech.

The chief shaping organs are the lips and the tongue.

A written word consists of marks called letters.

OF LETTERS AND SYLLABLES.

The English Alphabet consists of twenty-six letters.

Some letters stand for sounds of the Voice, and are hence called Vowels, (from the Latin, vocalis; French, voyelle.) Others, representing merely the movements which shape the sounds, are called Consonants, (Latin, con-sono, I sound with,) —a wrong name, for these letters do not represent Voice sounds at all.

A

a

e

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go,

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Vowels. The pure

vowels are five-a, e, i, o, W.
These marks represent about fifteen sounds :-
four-as

fate, fat, far, fall.
three be, bet, her.
i two

pine, pin.
three

got, three tube, tub, bull. Note.—The sounds are sometimes interchanged; as, clerk, pronounced clark ; what, pronounced whot ; love, pronounced luv.

W and y are vowels, except at the beginning of a syllable. W as a vowel is always sounded like u; and y, like e or ė. Even at the beginning of a syllable, when regarded as consonants, they are little more than double vowels :Wet

et. Yet

et. Two vowels in the same syllable make a Diphthong; as, boil, loud. When the vowel sounds are blended, as in the given examples, the diphthong is called proper; but, if one vowel is silent, as in boat, bread, the diphthong is called improper.

Three vowels in the same syllable make a Triphthong; but one of the three is always silent, making the sound that of a diphthong; as, beauty=beuty.

SILENT VOWELS.— Vowels are sometimes silent; as, e in pine and a in boat ; but it may be noted that though silent they are not powerless, for they cause the companion vowel to assume its long sound.

00

ee

Consonants. Excluding w and

y, there are nineteen Consonants in the English Alphabet. They are classified thus :

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