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AFFORD EXERCISE IN TRANSLATING, READING, AND RECITING.
PHILIP LE BRETON, M.A.
OF EXETER COLLEGE, OXFORD.
It may excite some surprise that another book should be offered to the public in this humble department of education : but, notwithstanding the number and variety of elementary works, designed to facilitate the acquisition of the French language, which have already appeared, the Compiler of this little volume has never met with one, which, in a cheap and convenient form, comprised all that is useful to beginners, without any superfluous matter. He has, therefore, been induced to prepare this Manual, to obviate the inconvenience arising from the use of a multiplicity of books : and he flatters himself that it will be found, by judicious Teachers, to contain some improvements on former performances of a similar nature.
This little work is comprehended under four divisions. The first part comprises a concise View of French Grammar. The second part contains a Vocabulary of the words in most common use, and the third part a collection of Familiar Phrases. The concluding part consists of a selection of easy Fables, intended to serve as reading lessons. They are also designed to exercise the learner in translating ; and, with this view, the assistance is gradually abridged, as the scholar is expected to acquire a knowledge of the words of most common recurrence.
Experienced Teachers are now sensible that the old practice of making children wade through confused and prolix grammars of the French language, is a most injudicious and deplorable waste of valuable time : and it was this consideration that prompted the Compiler to draw up this very concise, yet, as he trusts, comprehensive introductory work.
This Compilation has been considerably enlarged : some alterations have also been made in the general arrangement of the volume. To the Familiar Phrases large additions have been made : and verbs have been introduced to exemplify all the important variations in the second and fourth conjugations : to these are subjoined tables, exhibiting, at one view, the primitive tenses of all the regular and irregular verbs, with rules for the formation of the derivative tenses. With this assistance the learner will be enabled to conjugate any verb in the French language.
Judicious Teachers, who are aware of the great advantage of storing the learner's memory with an extensive stock of phrases, and of the indispensable necessity of a perfect knowledge of the verbs, will not be disposed to think that these divisions of the book have been too much extended.
The Compiler entertains a confident hope that this new Edition will be found to contain material improvements; and that his little Work, in its present form, will be judged yet more worthy of the patronage, with which it has already been favoured.
A SHORT VIEW
ALPHABET AND ORTHOGRAPHICAL SIGNS. In the French language there are twenty-five letters :
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, X, Y, Z.
Of these six are vowels: a, e, i, o, u, and y. Nineteen are consonants : b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t,
V, X, z.
There are three accents used in writing French : the acute, l'accent aigu; the grave, l'accent grave; and the circumflex, l'accent circonflexe.
The acute accent is placed over the letter é ; as in bonté, goodness; café, coffee; to give it a sharp sound.
The grave accent is drawn in an opposite direction, as in succès, success; là, there; to denote an open sound.
The circumflex accent indicates that the syllable is to be pronounced long and open ; as in tête, head ; apôtre, apostle. The diæresis, le tréma, is placed over the latter of two
, vowels that meet together in a word, to denote that they are to be pronounced separately : as haïr, to hate ; Noël, Christmas.
The cedilla, la cédille, is a crooked mark placed under the letter
when it is to be sounded like s, before a, o, or u; as façade, front; leçon, lesson ; reçu, received.
The apostrophe, l'apostrophe, indicates the omission of a vowel; as l'ami, for le ami, the friend ; l'abeille, for la abeille, the bee.
The stops are the comma (,) la virgule ; the semicolon (-) point et virgule ; the colon (:) les deux points ; the period (.) le point; the note of interrogation (?) le point interrogatif ; the note of admiration (!) le point d'admiration ; the parenthesis () la parenthèse.