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5. Words ending in silent e generally retain e on receiving an additional syllable beginning with a consonant; as, large, largely.

Exc.-Duly, truly, wholly, awful, judgment, abridgment, acknowledgment, and argument, are exceptions.

Before fy and ty, e is sometimes changed into i; as, pure, purity, purify.

6. Monosyllables and words accented on the last syllable, ending in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel, generally double the final consonant, on taking an additional syllable beginning with a vowel; as, tan, tanner; fulfil, fulfilling.

Exc. 1.-X and z are never doubled; and when the accent is shifted, the final letter remains single; as, wax, waxen; confer, conference. Excel follows the general rule; as in excellence.

Exc. 2.-The derivatives of gas have only one s; as, gases, gasify.

When a diphthong precedes the final letter, or when the accent is not on the last syllable, the consonant is not doubled, on assuming an additional syllable; as, boil, boiling; visit, visitor.

Respecting words ending in 7 and p, which are not accented on the last syllable, usage is not settled. In many words these letters are most frequently doubled; as, travel, traveller, worship, worshipper.

Many words ending in c assume k on taking an additional syllable beginning with e, i, or y; as, frolic, frolicked, frolicking.

7. Words ending in a double consonant generally

retain both consonants on receiving an addition; as, call, calls, caller, calling.

Exc.-Some words ending in ll drop one lon receiving an increase beginning with a consonant; as, full, fulness, fully.

8. Compound words are usually spelled in the same manner as the simple words, of which they are composed; as, here-after, ice-house.

Exc.-An e is dropped in wherever; and words ending in ll often drop one l in composition; as, with-al, un-til, al-ready.

E is inserted before s, in forming the plural of nouns and the third person singular of verbs, ending in ch soft, sh, s, x, z, o, or y, preceded by a consonant; as, churches, wishes, hisses, cooes, flies.

Exc.-Cameo, embryo, and nouns ending in io, form the plural by adding s alone. In the following words e is commonly, but not uniformly, omitted Canto, solo, grotto, junto, quarto, octavo, portico, tyro, zero, and a few others.


Many words in our language admit of two or more different modes of spelling; as, connection, connexion; inquire, enquire; negotiate, negociate; riband, ribband; ribon, ribbon; chemistry, chymistry.

In such cases, the prevailing usage is to be learnt by observing the practice of the standard authors of the present day, and by consulting the best dictionaries.

In some kinds of writing, such as bills and inscriptions, symbols are often used to represent either whole words or parts of words; as, XII, 18, 29th,

&e. But in literary compositions, elegant usage generally rejects these, except in giving dates, and the several divisions of a subject.


A noun is a word used to express the name of an object; as, Europe, boy, slate, honor.

Nouns are of two kinds;-proper and common. A proper noun is the name used to distinguish an individual object from others of the same class; as, Thomas, Dublin, Severn, Etna, August.

A common noun is a name which may be applied to any one of a whole class of objects; as, desk, cottage, village, scholar.

Common nouns embrace also the particular classes, termed abstract, verbal or participial, and collective.

An abstract noun is the name of a quality considered apart from the object to which it belongs; as, hardness, strength, wisdom, benevolence. Thus, in beautiful flower, the quality expressed by the word. beautiful, when considered as separated from the object flower, forms the abstract noun beauty.

A participial noun is a word which has the form of a participle, and performs the office of a noun; as, "They could not avoid submitting to this influence."

A collective noun, or noun of multitude, is a name, that denotes a collection of many individuals; as, school, flock, people, assembly.


Gender is the distinction of objects with regard to


There are three genders ;-the masculine, the feminine, and the neuter.

Nouns, which denote males, are of the masculine gender; as, man, brother, king, father.

Nouns, which denote females, are of the feminine gender; as, woman, sister, queen, mother.

Nouns, which denote objects neither male nor female, are of the neuter gender; as, rock, wind, paper, knowledge.

Some nouns are equally applicable to both sexes: as, cousin, friend, neighbour, parent, person, servant. The gender of these is usually determined by the context. To such words some grammarians have applied the unnecessary and improper term common gender. Murray justly observes, "There is no such gender belonging to the language. The business of parsing can be effectually performed without having recourse to a common gender."-The term is more useful, and less liable to objection, as applied to the learned languages; but with us it is plainly a solecism.

Nouns of the masculine or feminine gender are frequently used in a general sense, including both sexes; as, “And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider," Jer. li. 21. "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise," Prov. vi. 6.

When we speak of males and females of our own species without regard to sex, we generally employ a term in the masculine gender; as, 66 Man is mortal;" "The authors and poets of the age."

In speaking of young children, and of animate objects, whose sex is unknown, we often employ the neuter pronoun it; as, "The child was well, when I saw it;" "He caught the bird, but it soon escaped from him."

In the English language the gender of nouns follows the order of nature; but in the Greek, Latin, and German tongues, the grammatical genders are frequently assigned without regard to sex; while in the French, Italian, &c., which have no neuter gender, every object is, of necessity, regarded as either masculine or feminine.

By a figure of speech called Personification, gender is sometimes attributed to objects without sex. Thus the sun, time, death, &c., are usually considered as masculine; and the earth, a ship, virtue, &c.. are commonly characterised as feminine.

This figurative mode of expression, by which we give life and sex to things inanimate, contributes greatly to the force and beauty of our language, and renders it, in this respect, superior to the polished languages of Greece and Rome.

No fixed rule can be given to determine, in all cases, which gender should be assigned to inanimate objects personified. Those, which are distinguished for boldness or strength, are generally regarded as masculine; and those, which are distinguished for beauty or timidity, are generally characterised as

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