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An eafy Guide to English Grammar, by Way of Question and Anfwer: Defign'd for the Ufe of Schools, and fuch adult Perfons, as would become acquainted with the different Parts of Speech contained in the English Tongue.
As feveral Authors have treated largely upon this Subject; I fhall not here pretend to treat of the Nature and Formation of Verbs, or the Declenfion of Nouns, Tenfe, Mood, or Gender at large; but only give a fhort Account of the different Parts of Speech; in Order to give the Learner an Idea of the English Tongue, and prepare him for the better Understanding of all the following Tables, and Words in general.
Of GRAMMAR in general.
Maft.HAT do you mean by Grammar? Sch. Grammar fignifies the Art of Speaking, and Writing our Native Language aright, and according to Rule.
M. What do you mean by Parts of Speech?
S. They are the proper Divifions or Parts, into which a Tongue or Language is divided; and fome Languages have more than others.
M. How many Parts of Speech are there in the English Tongue?
M. What are they called?
S. Article, Noun, Pronoun, Verb, Participle, Adverb, Conjunction, Prepofition and Interjection. M. Has every Language nine Parts of Speech?
S. No: The Latin has but Eight; it having no Article.
M. But is not the Name of any of thefe Parts of Speech the fame in every Language?
S. Yes, A Noun or a Verb in Englife, will atways be a Noun and a Verb in the Latin Tongue, and in all others.
M. Pray explain these Parts of Speech more particularly?
S. I will.
1. Of the ARTICLE.
M. What do you mean by an Article ?
S. An Article is a fmall Word, placed before a Noun, in order to exprefs more fully theNature and Signification of it; as, A Man, A Horse, A Tree, A book, &c.
M. How many Articles are there?
S. Two, the Article A, (or An) and the Article The; both which have a different Ufe and Signifi cation.
M. What is the Ufe of the Article A cr An?
S. The Article A or An, is ufed to exprefs the fame; only, A is ufed before a Confonant, and Ar, before a Vowel. Thus, we lay, A Man, A
Book, &c. but we write, or fay, An Eye, An Ear.
N. B. When the Article comes before H; then either ▲ or An may be ufed; as, A Horfe, A Hand, A Habit, or An Horfe, An Hand, An Habit. But we always write An Hour, which is pronounced An 'Our.
M. How is the Article The used?
S. This Article fhews the Identity or Reality of a Thing itself; as, The King, The Church, &c. fignifies, that very King and Church we are then Speaking of.
-N. B. There is this Difference between the Articles; A, or An, fignifies One, or any one: As thus, Give me a Knife, or an Apple; is, Give me One Knife, or Any Knife, or Apple; but when we fay, Give me the Knife or the Apple; it means, that very Knife or Apple, that I point to, or am then, or had been fpeaking of.
2. Of NOUNS.
M. What is a Noun ?
"S. A Noun is the Name of the Thing itself: That is, every Thing that can be feen, felt, or conceived, is a Noun.
M. How many Nouns are there?
S. Two: A Noun Subftantive, and aNoun Adjective (pronounced Adjetive.)
M. How may I know a Noun Subftantive from a Noun Adjective.
S. A Noun Subftantive (as was faid before, is the Name of any Subftance or Thing; as, Man, Beaft,
Bird, Fish, Fowl, Church, Houfe, Chair, Stool, Knife, Fork, Needle, Pin, &c. are Subftantives. Things also that we cannot fee, but have a Conception of, are Subftantives; as, Joy, Sorrow, Life, Death, Time, Eternity, &c.
M. Are there but one Sort of Noun Substantives? S. Yes, there are two Sorts: Noun Subftantives proper and common.
M. What is a proper Substantive?
S. Proper Names, Places, &c. as, Peter, John, Mary, London, Bristol, &c. are Subftantives proper; for John and Mary, is not the Name of every Man and Woman, nor is London the Name of every City.
M. Very well; and pray what is a Substantive
S. The Name of every Thing of the fame Sort, Kind, or Quality; thus, Man, Woman, Spirit, City, Water, Joy, Sorrow, &c. for a Man, is call'd a Man, be he small or great: A Spirit, a Spirit, be he good or bad: A City, a City, be it small or large: And Water is Water, be it falt or fresh, &c.
Of NOUN ADJECTIVES.
M. What is a Noun Adjective?
S. Noun Adjectives ferve to exprefs the Nature, Manner, and Quality of Noun Subftantives; as, good, bad, great, fmall, black, blue, red, &c. are Adjectives; but they want fome other Word to be joined to them, and then the Senfe is complete. Thus, a good Boy, a bad Man, a great House, a black Coat, a red Gown. Here you fee, good, bad, great, black, and red, are all Adjectives; and Boy, Man, House, Coat, and Gown, are the Subftantives. M. Please
M. Pleafe to name me a few more Adjectives? S. I will, and you may foon perceive that the following Words, rude, wicked, barbarous, confident, dextrous, furious, eternal, quarrelfome, confounded, renowned, commanding, everlasting, fantifying, &c. &c. &c. have no full Meaning till joined with a Subftantive; but when we fay, Arude, wicked, confident, barbarous Wretch: A dextrous Fellow: A furious Dog: An eternal, everlasting Being, &c. we have then a juft Idea of the Senfe of the Sentence.
M. Does not the Article The, fometimes accompany Adjectives?
S. Yes, and then they often become Subftantives in Senfe and Meaning, and are wrote with a capital Letter: Thus, God rewards the Righteous, and punishes the Wicked. Or thus, Conftantine the Great; George the Renowned; means Conftantine the great Emperor, and George the renowned King.
N. B. When two Subftantives are joined together by a Hyphen or Dab, the first is like an Adjective, for it will not stand alone without the other; only it is wrote with a great Letter like a Subftantive: Thus, a Malt-Loft, a Wheat-Barn, a BarleyChamber.
M. What do you mean by the Comparison of Adjectives?
S. The comparing of Words orThings together, whereby we see one is good, another better, and another best of all. Alfo, high, higher, highest, and wife, wifer, and wifeft, &c.
M. Pray how many Degrees of Comparison are there?