English Grammar in Familiar Lectures
by Samuel Kirkham
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Southern District of New-York, ss.

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the 22d day of August, A.D. 1829, in the L. S. 54th year of the Independence of the United States of America, Samuel Kirkham, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:

"English Grammar in familiar Lectures, accompanied by a Compendium, embracing a new systematic order of Parsing, a new system of Punctuation, exercises in false Syntax, and a System of Philosophical Grammar in notes: to which are added an Appendix, and a Key to the Exercises: designed for the use of Schools and Private Learners. By Samuel Kirkham. Eleventh Edition, enlarged and improved." In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled "an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned." And also to an act entitled "an act supplementary to an act entitled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."

FRED. J. BETTS, Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.




This work is mainly designed as a Reading-Book for Schools. In the first part of it, the principles of reading are developed and explained in a scientific and practical manner, and so familiarly illustrated in their application to practical examples as to enable even the juvenile mind very readily to comprehend their nature and character, their design and use, and thus to acquire that high degree of excellence, both, in reading and speaking, which all desire, but to which few attain.

The last part of the work, contains Selections from the greatest master-pieces of rhetorical and poetical composition, both ancient and modern. Many of these selections are taken from the most elegant and classical American authors—writers whose noble productions have already shed an unfading lustre, and stamped immortality upon the literature of our country.—In the select part of the work, rhetorical marks are also employed to point out the application of the principles laid down in the first part.—The very favorable reception of the work by the public, and its astonishingly rapid introduction into schools, since its first publication in 1833, excites in the author the most sanguine hopes in regard to its future success.


After a careful perusal of this work, we are decidedly of opinion, that it is the only successful attempt of the kind. The rules are copious, and the author's explanations and illustrations are happily adapted to the comprehension of learners. No school should be without this book, and it ought to find a place in the library of every gentleman who values the attainment of a just and forcible elocution.—Pittsburgh Mer. April, 1834.

Mr. Kirkham has given rules for inflections and emphasis, and has followed them by illustrative examples, and these by remarks upon the inflection which he has adopted, and the reasons for his preference of one inflection to another—a most admirable plan for such a work. Copious examples occur in which all the various inflections and the shades of emphasis are distinguished with great accuracy and clearness. The catechetical appendages of each chapter, give the work new value in a school, and the selections made for the exercise of scholars, evince good taste and judgment. U.S. Gazette, Philadelphia, Sept. 17, 1834.

The Essay now before us, needs not depend on any former work of its author for a borrowed reputation; it has intrinsic merits of its own. It lays down principles clearly and concisely. It presents the reader with many new and judicious selections, both in prose and poetry; and altogether evinces great industry combined with taste and ingenuity.—Courier of Upper Canada, York, Oct. 12, 1833.

Of the talent and judgment of Mr. Kirkham, we have already had occasion to speak in terms of honest praise. His work on Elocution raises him still higher in our estimation.—The book would be of great utility in schools—such a one as has long been wanted; and we are glad to see it forthcoming.—Baltimore Visitor, July, 1833.

Every facility for teaching Elocution, which I have so often needed, but never before found, is exactly furnished in this work:—principles are clearly and concisely laid down, and are very happily adapted to the comprehension of the learner. Thoroughly convinced of its utility, I shall lose no time in introducing it into my school. Hartford, Conn. Aug.. 20, 1534. NATHANIEL WEBB.


It is well known that the recommendations which generally accompany new books have very little weight with the public. This is as it should be, for that work which rests more on its written testimonials, than on its intrinsic merits for support, asserts no claims to permanent patronage. But recommendations which analyze the merits of a work, and which, by exhibiting its prominent features in a striking light, are calculated to carry conviction to the reader that the system recommended is meritorious, the author is proud to have it in his power to present in this volume. The following are some of the numerous testimonials which he has received, and for which he tenders his grateful acknowledgments to those literary gentlemen to whose liberality and politeness he is indebted for them. More than six hundred others presented to the author, and many of which are equally flattering with these, he has not room to insert.

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The following notice of this work is extracted from the "Western Review." This journal is ably conducted by the Rev. Timothy Flint, author of "Francis Berrian," "History and Geography of the Miss. Valley," and many other popular and valuable works.

We had not, at that time, seen Mr. Kirkham's "Grammar in familiar Lectures," but have since given it a cursory perusal. If we comprehend the author's design, it is not so much to introduce new principles, as to render more easy and intelligible those which have been long established, and to furnish additional facilities to an accurate and thorough knowledge of our language. In this we think he has been successful.

It is to be expected that a modest, unassuming writer, on presenting himself before the public tribunal as an author, will, as far as is consistent with his plan, avail himself of the authority of such as have written well on the subject before him. Mr. Kirkham has accordingly followed Mr. Murray in the old beaten track of English writers on grammar, in the general principles of his science; endeavoring, at the same time, to avoid whatever appeared to be erroneous or absurd in the writings of that author, and adopting an entirely new arrangement. The most useful matter contained in the treatise of Mr. Murray, is embraced in this; but in the definitions and rules, it is simplified, and rendered much more intelligible. Though our author follows Mr. Murray, in the general principles of his work, he has, in numerous instances, differed from him, pursuing a course that appears to be his own, and introducing some valuable improvements.

Among these may be mentioned some additional rules and explanatory notes in syntax, the arrangement of the parts of speech, the mode of explaining them, manner of parsing, manner of explaining some of the pronouns, and the use of a synopsis which presents the essentials of the science at one view, and is well calculated to afford assistance to learners.

In his arrangement of the parts of speech, Mr. Kirkham seems to have endeavored to follow the order of nature; and we are not able to see how he could have done better. The noun and verb, as being the most important parts of speech, are first explained, and afterwards those which are considered in a secondary and subordinate character. By following this order, he has avoided the absurdity so common among authors, of defining the minor parts before their principals, of which they were designed to be the appendages, and has rationally prepared the way for conducting the learner by easy advances to a correct view of the science.

In his illustrations of the various subjects contained in his work, our author appears to have aimed, not at a flowery style, nor at the appearance of being learned, but at being understood. The clearness and perspicuity of his remarks, and their application to familiar objects, are well calculated to arrest the attention, and aid the understanding of the pupil, and thereby to lessen the labor of the instructor. The principles of the science are simplified, and rendered so perfectly easy of comprehension, we should think no ordinary mind, having such help, could find them difficult. It is in this particular that the work appears to possess its chief merit, and on this account it cannot fail of being preferred to many others.

It gives us pleasure to remark, in reference to the success of the amiable and modest author whose work is before us, that we quote from the fifth edition.

Cincinnati, Aug. 24, 1827.

The following is from the pen of a gentleman of the Bar, formerly a distinguished Classical teacher. [Extract from the "National Crisis."]

As a friend to literature, and especially to genuine merit, it is with peculiar pleasure I allude to a notice in a late paper of this city, in which Mr. S. Kirkham proposes to deliver a course of Lectures on English Grammar. To such as feel interested in acquiring a general and practical knowledge of this useful science an opportunity is now presented which ought not to be neglected. Having myself witnessed, in several instances, within the last ten months, the practical results of Mr. Kirkham's plan, I am enabled to give a decisive opinion of its merits. The extensive knowledge acquired in one course by his class in Pittsburgh, and the great proficiency evinced by his classes elsewhere, are a demonstration of the utility and superiority of his method of teaching, and a higher encomium on him than I am able to bestow.

The principles on which Mr. Kirkham's "New system of Grammar" is predicated, are judiciously compiled, and happily and briefly expressed; but the great merit of his work consists in the lucid illustrations accompanying the principles, and the simple and gradual manner in which it conducts the learner along from step to step through the successive stages of the science. The explanations blended with the theory, are addressed to the understanding of the pupil in a manner so familiar, that they cannot fail to excite in him a deep interest; and whatever system is calculated to bring into requisition the mental powers, must, I conceive, be productive of good results. In my humble opinion, the system of teaching introduced into this work, will enable a diligent pupil to acquire, without any other aid, a practical knowledge of grammar, in less than one-fourth part of the time usually devoted.

My views of Mr. Kirkham's system are thus publicly given, with the greater pleasure, on account of the literary empiricisms which have been so extensively practised in many parts of the western country.

Cincinnati, April 26, 1826.

From Mr. Blood, Principal of the Chambersburgh Academy, Pa.

Mr. Kirkham,—It is now almost twenty years since I became a teacher of youth, and, during this period, I have not only consulted all, but have used many of the different systems of English grammar that have fallen in my way; and, sir, I do assure you, without the least wish to flatter, that yours far exceeds any I have yet seen.

Your arrangement and systematic order of parsing are most excellent; and experience has convinced me, (having used it, and it only, for the last twelve or thirteen months), that a scholar will learn more of the nature and principles of our language in one quarter, from your system, than in a whole year from any other I had previously used. I do, therefore, most cheerfully and earnestly recommend it to the public at large, and especially to those who, anxious to acquire a knowledge of our language, are destitute of the advantages of an instructer.

Yours, very respectfully, SAMUEL BLOOD.

Chambersburgh Academy, Feb. 12, 1825.

From Mr. N.R. Smith, editor of a valuable literary journal, styled "The Hesperus."

Mr. Kirkham,

Sir, I have examined your Lectures on English Grammar with that degree of minuteness which enables me to yield my unqualified approbation of the work as a grammatical system. The engaging manner in which you have explained the elements of grammar, and accommodated them to the capacities of youth, is an ample illustration of the utility of your plan. In addition to this, the critical attention you have paid to an analytical development of grammatical principles, while it is calculated to encourage the perseverance of young students in the march of improvement, is sufficient, also, to employ the researches of the literary connoisseur. I trust that your valuable compilation will be speedily introduced into schools and academies.

With respect, yours, N.R. SMITH, A.M.

Pittsburgh, March 22, 1825.

From Mr. Jungmann, Principal of the Frederick Lutheran Academy:—Extract.

Having carefully examined Mr. S. Kirkham's new system of "English Grammar in familiar Lectures," I am satisfied that the pre-eminent advantages it possesses over our common systems, will soon convince the public, that it is not one of those feeble efforts of quackery which have so often obtruded upon our notice. Its decided superiority over all other systems, consists in adapting the subject-matter to the capacity of the young learner, and the happy mode adopted of communicating it to his mind in a manner so clear and simple, that he can easily comprehend the nature and the application of every principle that comes before him.

In short, all the intricacies of the science are elucidated so clearly, I am confident that even a private learner, of common docility, can, by perusing this system attentively acquire a better practical knowledge of this important branch of literature in three months, than is ordinarily obtained in one year.

Frederick, Md. Sept 17, 1824. JOHN E. JUNGMANN.

Extract: from De Witt Clinton, late Gov. of New-York.

I consider the Compendium of English Grammar, by Samuel Kirkham, a work deserving encouragement, and well calculated to facilitate the acquisition of this useful science. DE WITT CLINTON.

Albany, Sept 25, 1824.

S. Kirkham, Esq.—I have examined your Grammar with attention, and with a particular view to benefit the Institution under my charge. I am fully satisfied, that it is the best form in which Murray's principles have been given to the public. The lectures are ample, and given in so familiar and easy language, as to be readily understood, even by a tyro in grammar.

I feel it due to you to say, that I commenced the examination of your work, under a strong prejudice against it, in consequence of the numerous "improved systems" with which the public has been inundated, of late, most of which are by no means improvements on Murray, but the productions of individuals whom a "little grammar has rendered grammatically insane." My convictions, therefore, are the result of investigation. I wish you, Sir, success in your publication.

Respectfully, EBER. WHEATON,

Pr. of Mechanics' Society School

With the opinion of Mr. Wheaton respecting Mr. Kirkham's English Grammar, we heartily concur. NATHAN STARK, Pr. Acad. (Rev.) JOHN JOHNSTON, Newburgh, Aug. 4, 1829. (Rev.) WM. S. HEYER,

From the Rev. C.P. McIlvaine, and others.

So far as I have examined the plan of grammatical instruction by Samuel Kirkham I am well satisfied that it meets the wants of elementary schools in this branch, and deserves to be patronised. CHARLES P. McILVAINE.

Brooklyn, L.I. July 9, 1829.

We fully concur in the above, ANDREW HAGEMAN, E.M. JOHNSON.


From the partial examination which I have given Mr. S. Kirkham's English Grammar, I do not hesitate to recommend it to the public as the best of the class I have ever seen, and as filling up an important and almost impassable chasm in works on grammatical science. D.L. CARROLL.

Brooklyn, L.I. June 29, 1829.

We fully concur in the foregoing recommendation. B.B. HALLOCK, E. KINGSLEY, T.S. MAYBON.

From A.W. Dodge, Esq.

New-York, July 15, 1829.

The experience of every one at all acquainted with the business of instruction, must have taught him that the study of grammar, important as it is to every class of learners, is almost invariably a dry and uninteresting study to young beginners, and for the very obvious reason, that the systems in general use in the schools, are far beyond the comprehension of youth, and ill adapted to their years. Hence it is, that their lessons in this department of learning, are considered as tasks, and if committed at all, committed to the memory, without enlightening their understandings; so that many a pupil who has been through the English grammar, is totally unacquainted with the nature even of the simplest parts of speech.

The work of Mr. Kirkham on grammar, is well calculated to remedy these evils, and supply a deficiency which has been so long and so seriously felt in the imperfect education of youth in the elementary knowledge of their own language. By a simple, familiar, and lucid method of treating the subject, he has rendered what was before irksome and unprofitable, pleasing and instructive. In one word, the grammar of Mr. Kirkham furnishes a clew by which the youthful mind is guided through the intricate labyrinth of verbs, nouns and pronouns; and the path which has been heretofore so difficult and uninviting, as to dampen the ardor of youth, and waste their energies in fruitless attempts to surmount its obstacles, is cleared of these obstructions by this pioneer to the youthful mind, and planted, at every turn, with friendly guide-boards to direct them in the right road. The slightest perusal of the work alluded to, will convince even the most skeptical of the truth of these remarks, and satisfy every one who is not wedded by prejudice to old rules and forms, that it will meet the wants of the community.


Philadelphia, Aug. 10, 1829

Having, for several years, been engaged in lecturing on the science of grammar and, during this period, having thoroughly tested the merits of Mr. S. Kirkham's system of "English Grammar in Familiar Lectures" by using it as a text-book for my classes, I take pleasure in giving this testimonial of my cordial approbation of the work. Mr. Kirkham has attempted to improve upon this branch of science, chiefly by unfolding and explaining the principles of grammar in a manner so clear and simple, as to adapt them completely to the understanding of the young learner, and by adopting a new arrangement, which enables the pupil to commit the principles by a simultaneous application of them to practical examples. The public may rest assured, that he has been successful in his attempt in a pre-eminent degree. I make this assertion under a full conviction that it will be corroborated by every candid judge of the science who becomes acquainted with the practical advantages of this manual.

The explicit brevity and accuracy of the rules and definitions, the novel, the striking, the lucid, and critical illustrations accompanying them, the peculiar and advantageous arrangement of the various parts of the subject, the facilities proffered by the "systematic mode of parsing" adopted, the convenient and judicious introduction and adaptation of the exercises introduced, and the deep researches and critical investigations displayed in the "Philosophical Notes," render this system of grammar so decidedly superior to all others extant, that, to receive general patronage, it needs but to be known.

My knowledge of this system from experience in teaching it, and witnessing its effects in the hands of private learners, warrants me in saying, that a learner will, by studying this book four months without a teacher, obtain a more clear conception of the nature and proper construction of words and phrases, than is ordinarily obtained in common schools and academies, in five times four months.

It is highly gratifying to know, that wherever this system has been circulated, it is very rapidly supplanting those works of dulness which have so long paralyzed the energies of the youth of our country.

I think the specimens of verbal criticism, additional corrections in orthography and ortheopy, the leading principles of rhetoric, and the improvements in the illustrations generally, which Mr. K. is about introducing into his ELEVENTH EDITION, will render it quite an improvement on the former editions of this work. H. WINCHESTER.

From the Rev. S. Center, Principal of a Classical Academy.

I have examined the last edition of Kirkham's Grammar with peculiar satisfaction. The improvements which appear in it, do, in my estimation, give it a decided preference to any other system now in use. To point out the peculiar qualities which secure to it claims of which no other system can boast, would be, if required, perfectly easy. At present it is sufficient to remark, that it imbodies all that is essentially excellent and useful in other systems, while it is entirely free from that tediousness of method and prolixity of definition which so much perplex and embarrass the learner.

The peculiar excellence of Mr. Kirkham's grammar is, the simplicity of its method, and the plainness of its illustrations. Being conducted by familiar lectures, the teacher and pupil are necessarily brought into agreeable contact by each lesson. Both are improved by the same task, without the slightest suspicion, on the part of the pupil, that there is anything hard, difficult, or obscure in the subject: a conviction, this, which must inevitably precede all efforts, or no proficiency will be made. In a word, the treatise I am recommending, is a practical one; and for that reason, if there were no others to be urged, it ought to be introduced into all our schools and academies. From actual experiment I can attest to the practicability of the plan which the author has adopted. Of this fact any one may be convinced who will take the pains to make the experiment. SAMUEL CENTER.

Albany, July 10, 1829.

From a communication addressed to S. Kirkham, by the Rev. J. Stockton, author of the "Western Calculator" and "Western Spelling-Book."

Dear Sir,—I am much pleased with both the plan and execution of your "English Grammar in Familiar Lectures." In giving a systematic mode of parsing, calculated alike to exercise the understanding and memory of the pupil, and also free the teacher from the drudgery of continued interrogation, you have made your grammar what every elementary school book ought to be—plain, systematic, and easy to be understood.

This, with the copious definitions in every part of the work, and other improvements so judiciously introduced, gives it a decisive superiority over the imperfect grammar of Murray, now so generally used. JOSEPH STOCKTON, A.M.

Allegheny-Town, (near Pittsburgh,) March 18, 1825.


The author is free to acknowledge, that since this treatise first ventured on the wave of public opinion, the gales of patronage which have waited it along, have been far more favorable than he had reason to anticipate. Had any one, on its first appearance, predicted, that the demand for it would call forth twenty-two thousand copies during the past year, the author would have considered the prediction extravagant and chimerical. In gratitude, therefore, to that public which has smiled so propitiously on his humble efforts to advance the cause of learning, he has endeavored, by unremitting attention to the improvement of his work, to render it as useful and as unexceptionable as his time and talents would permit.

It is believed that the tenth and eleventh editions have been greatly improved; but the author is apprehensive that his work is not yet as accurate and as much simplified as it may be. If, however, the disadvantages of lingering under a broken constitution, and of being able to devote to this subject only a small portion of his time, snatched from the active pursuits of a business life, (active as far as his imperfect health permits him to be,) are any apology for its defects, he hopes that the candid will set down the apology to his credit. This personal allusion is hazarded with the additional hope, that it will ward off some of the arrows of criticism which may be aimed at him, and render less pointed and poisonous those that may fall upon him. Not that he would beg a truce with the gentlemen critics and reviewers. Any compromise with them would betray a want of self-confidence and moral courage which he would, by no means, be willing to avow. It would, moreover, be prejudicial to his interest; for he is determined, if his life be preserved, to avail himself of the advantages of any judicious and candid criticisms on his production, that may appear, and, two or three years hence, revise his work, and present to the public another and a better edition.

The improvements in the tenth edition, consisted mainly in the addition of many important principles; in rendering the illustrations more critical, extensive, accurate, and lucid; in connecting more closely with the genius and philosophy of our language, the general principles adopted; and in adding a brief view of philosophical grammar interspersed in notes. The introduction into the ELEVENTH EDITION, of many verbal criticisms, of additional corrections in orthography and orthoepy, of the leading principles of rhetoric, and of general additions and improvements in various parts of the work, render this edition/, it is believed, far preferable to any of the former editions of the work.

Perhaps some will regard the philosophical notes as a useless exhibition of pedantry. If so, the author's only apology is, that some investigations of this nature seemed to be called for by a portion of the community whose minds, of late, appear to be under the influence of a kind of philosophical mania; and to such these notes are respectfully submitted for just what they may deem their real value. The author's own opinion on this point, is, that they proffer no material advantages to common learners; but that they may profitably engage the attention of the curious, and perhaps impart a degree of interest to the literary connoisseur.

New-York, August 22, 1820.


Address to the learner A, an, one And Adjectives Adverbs Agreement of words Anomalies Articles Because But, than, as Case Nominative Possessive Objective Nominative case independent Nominative case absolute Apposition of cases Nominative and objective after the verb to be Active, passive, and neuter nominatives Conjunctions Conjugation of regular verbs Derivation (all the philosophical notes treat of derivation) Etymology Exercises in false syntax In punctuation Figures of speech Gender Government Grammar, general division of Philosophical Have Idioms Interjections It If Key to the exercises Letters, sounds of Like Manner of meaning of words Moods Signs of Subjunctive Nouns Gender of Person of Number of Case of Orthography Rules of Parsing Participles Poetry transposed Prepositions Pronouns Personal Compound personal Adjective Relative Pronunciation Prosody Provincialisms Punctuation Rhetoric Rules of syntax Sentences, definitions of simple and compound Transposition of Standard of grammatical accuracy Syntax To Tenses Signs of the The That Terminations Verbs Active-transitive Active-intransitive Passive Neuter Defective Auxiliary Regular Irregular Compound Versification Worth What, which, who You


There appears to be something assuming in the act of writing, and thrusting into public notice, a new work on a subject which has already employed many able pens; for who would presume to do this, unless he believed his production to be, in some respects, superior to every one of the kind which had preceded it? Hence, in presenting to the public this system of English Grammar, the author is aware that an apology will be looked for, and that the arguments on which that apology is grounded, must inevitably undergo a rigid scrutiny. Apprehensive, however, that no explanatory effort, on his part, would shield him from the imputation of arrogance by such as are blinded by self-interest, or by those who are wedded to the doctrines mid opinions of his predecessors, with them he will not attempt a compromise, being, in a great measure, indifferent either to their praise or their censure. But with the candid, he is willing to negotiate an amicable treaty, knowing that they are always ready to enter into it on honorable terms. In this negotiation he asks nothing more than merely to rest the merits of his work on its practical utility, believing that, if it prove uncommonly successful in facilitating the progress of youth in the march of mental improvement, that will be its best apology.

When we bring into consideration the numerous productions of those learned philologists who have labored so long, and, as many suppose, so successfully, in establishing the principles of our language; and, more especially, when we view the labors of some of our modern compilers, who have displayed so much ingenuity and acuteness in attempting to arrange those principles in such a manner as to form a correct and an easy medium of mental conference; it does, indeed, appear a little like presumption for a young man to enter upon a subject which has so frequently engaged the attention and talents of men distinguished for their erudition. The author ventures forward, however, under the conviction, that most of his predecessors are very deficient, at least, in manner, if not in matter; and this conviction, he believes, will be corroborated by a majority of the best judges in community. It is admitted, that many valuable improvements have been made by some of our late writers, who have endeavored to simplify and render this subject intelligible to the young learner, but they have all overlooked what the author considers a very important object, namely, a systematic order of parsing; and nearly all have neglected to develop and explain the principles in such a manner as to enable the learner, without great difficulty, to comprehend their nature and use.

By some this system will, no doubt, be discarded on account of its simplicity; while to others its simplicity will prove its principal recommendation. Its design is an humble one. It proffers no great advantages to the recondite grammarian; it professes not to instruct the literary connoisseur; it presents no attractive graces of style to charm, no daring flights to astonish, no deep researches to gratify him; but in the humblest simplicity of diction, it attempts to accelerate the march of the juvenile mind in its advances in the path of science, by dispersing those clouds that so often bewilder it, and removing those obstacles that generally retard its progress. In this way it endeavors to render interesting and delightful a study which has hitherto been considered tedious, dry, and irksome. Its leading object is to adopt a correct and an easy method, in which pleasure is blended with the labors of the learner, and which is calculated to excite in him a spirit of inquiry, that shall call forth into vigorous and useful exercise, every latent energy of his mind; and thus enable him soon to become thoroughly acquainted with the nature of the principles, and with their practical utility and application.

Content to be useful, instead of being brilliant, the writer of these pages has endeavored to shun the path of those whose aim appears to have been to dazzle, rather than to instruct. As he has aimed not so much at originality as utility, he has adopted the thoughts of his predecessors whose labors have become public stock, whenever he could not, in his opinion, furnish better and brighter of his own. Aware that there is, in the public mind, a strong predilection for the doctrines contained in Mr. Murray's grammar, he has thought proper, not merely from motives of policy, but from choice, to select his principles chiefly from that work; and, moreover, to adopt, as far as consistent with his own views, the language of that eminent philologist. In no instance has he varied from him, unless he conceived that, in so doing, some practical advantage would be gained. He hopes, therefore, to escape the censure so frequently and so justly awarded to those unfortunate innovators who have not scrupled to alter, mutilate, and torture the text of that able writer, merely to gratify an itching propensity to figure in the world as authors, and gain an ephemeral popularity by arrogating to themselves the credit due to another.

The author is not disposed, however, to disclaim all pretensions to originality; for, although his principles are chiefly selected, (and who would presume to make new ones?) the manner of arranging, illustrating, and applying them, is principally his own. Let no one, therefore, if he happen to find in other works, ideas and illustrations similar to some contained in the following lectures, too hastily accuse him of plagiarism. It is well known that similar investigations and pursuits often elicit corresponding ideas in different minds: and hence it is not uncommon for the same thought to be strictly original with many writers. The author is not here attempting to manufacture a garment to shield him from rebuke, should he unjustly claim the property of another; but he wishes it to be understood, that a long course of teaching and investigation, has often produced in his mind ideas and arguments on the subject of grammar, exactly or nearly corresponding with those which he afterwards found, had, under similar circumstances, been produced in the minds of others. He hopes, therefore, to be pardoned by the critic, even though he should not be willing to reject a good idea of his own, merely because some one else has, at some time or other, been blessed with the same thought.

As the plan of this treatise is far more comprehensive than those of ordinary grammars, the writer could not, without making his work unreasonably voluminous, treat some topics as extensively as was desirable. Its design is to embrace, not only all the most important principles of the science, but also exercises in parsing, false syntax, and punctuation, sufficiently extensive for all ordinary, practical purposes, and a key to the exercises, and, moreover, a series of illustrations so full and intelligible, as completely to adapt the principles to the capacities of common learners. Whether this design has been successfully or unsuccessfully executed, is left for the public to decide. The general adoption of the work into schools, wherever it has become known, and the ready sale of forty thousand copies, (though without hitherto affording the author any pecuniary profit,) are favorable omens.

In the selection and arrangement of principles for his work, the author has endeavored to pursue a course between the extremes, of taking blindly on trust whatever has been sanctioned by prejudice and the authority of venerable names, and of that arrogant, innovating spirit, which sets at defiance all authority, and attempts to overthrow all former systems, and convince the world that all true knowledge and science are wrapped up in a crude system of vagaries of its own invention. Notwithstanding the author is aware that public prejudice is powerful, and that he who ventures much by way of innovation, will be liable to defeat his own purpose by falling into neglect; yet he has taken the liberty to think for himself, to investigate the subject critically and dispassionately, and to adopt such principles only as he deemed the least objectionable, and best calculated to effect the object he had in view. But what his system claims as improvements on others, consists not so much in bettering the principles themselves, as in the method adopted of communicating a knowledge of them to the mind of the learner. That the work is defective, the author is fully sensible: and he is free to acknowledge, that its defects arise, in part, from his own want of judgment and skill. But there is another and a more serious cause of them, namely, the anomalies and imperfections with which the language abounds. This latter circumstance is also the cause of the existence of so widely different opinions on many important points; and, moreover, the reason that the grammatical principles of our language can never be indisputably settled. But principles ought not to be rejected because they admit of exceptions.—He who is thoroughly acquainted with the genius and structure of our language, can duly appreciate the truth of these remarks.

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Should parents object to the Compendium, fearing it will soon be destroyed by their children, they are informed that the pupil will not have occasion to use it one-tenth part as much as he will the book which it accompanies: and besides, if it be destroyed, he will find all the definitions and rules which it contains, recapitulated in the series of Lectures.


As this work proposes a new mode of parsing, and pursues an arrangement essentially different from that generally adopted, it may not be deemed improper for the author to give some directions to those who may be disposed to use it. Perhaps they who take only a slight view of the order of parsing, will not consider it new, but blend it with those long since adopted. Some writers have, indeed, attempted plans somewhat similar; but in no instance have they reduced them to what the author considers a regular systematic order.

The methods which they have generally suggested, require the teacher to interrogate the pupil as he proceeds; or else he is permitted to parse without giving any explanations at all. Others hint that the learner ought to apply definitions in a general way, but they lay down no systematic arrangement of questions as his guide. The systematic order laid down in this work, if pursued by the pupil, compels him to apply every definition and every rule that appertains to each word he parses, without having a question put to him by the teacher; and, in so doing, he explains every word fully as he goes along. This course enables the learner to proceed independently; and proves, at the same time, a great relief to the instructer. The convenience and advantage of this method, are far greater than can be easily conceived by one who is unacquainted with it. The author is, therefore, anxious to have the absurd practice, wherever it has been established, of causing learners to commit and recite definitions and rules without any simultaneous application of them to practical examples, immediately abolished. This system obviates the necessity of pursuing such a stupid course of drudgery; for the young beginner who pursues it, will have, in a few weeks, all the most important definitions and rules perfectly committed, simply by applying them in parsing.

If this plan be once adopted, it is confidently believed that every teacher who is desirous to consult, either his own convenience, or the advantage of his pupils, will readily pursue it in preference to any former method. This belief is founded on the advantages which the author himself has experienced from it in the course of several years, devoted to the instruction of youth and adults. By pursuing this system, he can, with less labor, advance a pupil farther in a practical knowledge of this abstruse science, in two months, than he could in one year when he taught in the "old way." It is presumed that no instructor, who once gives this system a fair trial, will doubt the truth of this assertion.

Perhaps some will, on a first view of the work, disapprove of the transposition of many parts; but whoever examines it attentively, will find that, although the author has not followed the common "artificial and unnatural arrangement adopted by most of his predecessors," yet he has endeavored to pursue a more judicious one, namely, "the order of the understanding."

The learner should commence, not by committing and rehearsing, but by reading attentively the first two lectures several times over. He ought then to parse, according to the systematic order, the examples given for that purpose; in doing which, as previously stated, he has an opportunity of committing all the definitions and rules belonging to the parts of speech included in the examples.

The COMPENDIUM, as it presents to the eye of the learner a condensed but comprehensive view of the whole science, may be properly considered an "Ocular Analysis of the English language." By referring to it, the young student is enabled to apply all his definitions and rules from the very commencement of his parsing. To some, this mode of procedure may seem rather tedious; but it must appear obvious to every person of discernment, that a pupil will learn more by parsing five words critically, and explaining them fully, than he would by parsing fifty words superficially, and without understanding their various properties. The teacher who pursues this plan, is not under the necessity of hearing his pupils recite a single lesson of definitions committed to memory, for he has a fair opportunity of discovering their knowledge of these as they evince it in parsing. All other directions necessary for the learner in school, as well as for the private learner, will be given in the succeeding pages of the work. Should these feeble efforts prove a saving of much time and expense to those young persons who may be disposed to pursue this science with avidity, by enabling them easily to acquire a critical knowledge of a branch of education so important and desirable, the author's fondest anticipations will be fully realized; but should his work fall into the hands of any who are expecting, by the acquisition, to become grammarians, and yet, have not sufficient ambition and perseverance to make themselves acquainted with its contents, it is hoped that the blame for their nonimprovement, will not be thrown upon him.

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To those enterprising and intelligent gentlemen who may be disposed to lecture on this plan, the author takes the liberty to offer a few hints by way of encouragement.

Any judicious instructor of grammar, if he take the trouble to make himself familiar with the contents of the following pages, will find it an easy matter to pursue this system. One remark only to the lecturer, is sufficient. Instead of causing his pupils to acquire a knowledge of the nature and use of the principles by intense application, let him communicate it verbally; that is, let him first take up one part of speech, and, in an oral lecture, unfold and explain all its properties, not only by adopting the illustrations given in the book, but also by giving others that may occur to his mind as he proceeds. After a part of speech has been thus elucidated, the class should be interrogated on it, and then taught to parse it, and correct errors in composition under the rules that apply to it. In the same manner he may proceed with the other parts of speech, observing, however, to recapitulate occasionally, until the learners become thoroughly acquainted with whatever principles may have been presented. If this plan be faithfully pursued, rapid progress, on the part of the learner, will be the inevitable result; and that teacher who pursues it, cannot fail of acquiring distinction, and an enviable popularity in his profession. S. KIRKHAM.




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You are about to enter upon one of the most useful, and, when rightly pursued, one of the most interesting studies in the whole circle of science. If, however, you, like many a misguided youth, are under the impression that the study of grammar is dry and irksome, and a matter of little consequence, I trust I shall succeed in removing from your mind, all such false notions and ungrounded prejudices; for I will endeavor to convince you, before I close these lectures, that this is not only a pleasing study, but one of real and substantial utility; a study that directly tends to adorn and dignify human nature, and meliorate the condition of man. Grammar is a leading branch of that learning which alone is capable of unfolding and maturing the mental powers, and of elevating man to his proper rank in the scale of intellectual existence;—of that learning which lifts the soul from earth, and enables it to hold converse with a thousand worlds. In pursuing any and every other path of science, you will discover the truth of these remarks, and feel its force; for you will find, that, as grammar opens the door to every department of learning, a knowledge of it is indispensable: and should you not aspire at distinction in the republic of letters, this knowledge cannot fail of being serviceable to you, even if you are destined to pass through the humblest walks of life. I think it is clear, that, in one point of view, grammatical knowledge possesses a decisive advantage over every other branch of learning. Penmanship, arithmetic, geography, astronomy, botany, chemistry, and so on, are highly useful in their respective places; but not one of them is so universally applicable to practical purposes, as this. In every situation, under all circumstances, on all occasions;—when you speak, read, write, or think, a knowledge of grammar is of essential utility.

Doubtless you have heard some persons assert, that they could detect and correct any error in language by the ear, and speak and write accurately without a knowledge of grammar. Now your own observation will soon convince you, that this assertion is incorrect. A man of refined taste, may, by perusing good authors, and conversing with the learned, acquire that knowledge of language which will enable him to avoid those glaring errors that offend the ear; but there are other errors equally gross, which have not a harsh sound, and, consequently, which cannot be detected without a knowledge of the rules that are violated. Believe me, therefore, when I say, that without the knowledge and application of grammar rules, it is impossible for any one to think, speak, read, or write with accuracy. From a want of such knowledge, many often express their ideas in a manner so improper and obscure as to render it impossible for any one to understand them: their language frequently amounts, not only to bad sense, but non-sense. In other instances several different meanings may be affixed to the words they employ; and what is still worse, is, that not unfrequently their sentences are so constructed, as to convey a meaning quite the reverse of that which they intended. Nothing of a secular nature can be more worthy of your attention, then, than the acquisition of grammatical knowledge.

The path which leads to grammatical excellence, is not all the way smooth and flowery, but in it you will find some thorns interspersed, and some obstacles to be surmounted; or, in simple language, you will find, in the pursuit of this science, many intricacies which it is rather difficult for the juvenile mind completely to unravel. I shall, therefore, as I proceed, address you in plain language, and endeavor to illustrate every principle in a manner so clear and simple, that you will be able, if you exercise your mind, to understand its nature, and apply it to practice as you go along; for I would rather give you one useful idea, than fifty high-sounding words, the meaning of which you would probably be unable to comprehend.

Should you ever have any doubts concerning the meaning of a word, or the sense of a sentence, you must not be discouraged, but persevere, either by studying my explanations, or by asking some person competent to inform you, till you obtain a clear conception of it, and till all doubts are removed. By carefully examining, and frequently reviewing, the following lectures, you will soon be able to discern the grammatical construction of our language, and fix in your mind the principles by which it is governed. Nothing delights youth so much, as a clear and distinct knowledge of any branch of science which they are pursuing; and, on the other hand, I know they are apt to be discouraged with any branch of learning which requires much time and attention to be understood. It is the evidence of a weak mind, however, to be discouraged by the obstacles with which the young learner must expect to meet; and the best means that you can adopt, in order to enable you to overcome the difficulties that arise in the incipient stage of your studies, is to cultivate the habit of thinking methodically and soundly on all subjects of importance which may engage your attention. Nothing will be more effectual in enabling you to think, as well as to speak and write, correctly, than the study of English grammar, according to the method of pursuing it as prescribed in the following pages. This system is designed, and, I trust, well calculated, to expand and strengthen the intellectual faculties, in as much as it involves a process by which the mind is addressed, and a knowledge of grammar communicated in an interesting and familiar manner.

You are aware, my young friend, that you live in an age of light and knowledge;—an age in which science and the arts are marching onward with gigantic strides. You live, too, in a land of liberty;—a land on which the smiles of Heaven beam with uncommon refulgence. The trump of the warrior and the clangor of arms no longer echo on our mountains, or in our valleys; "the garments dyed in blood have passed away;" the mighty struggle for independence is over; and you live to enjoy the rich boon of freedom and prosperity which was purchased with the blood of our fathers. These considerations forbid that you should ever be so unmindful of your duty to your country, to your Creator, to yourself, and to succeeding generations, as to be content to grovel in ignorance. Remember that "knowledge is power;" that an enlightened and a virtuous people can never be enslaved; and that, on the intelligence of our youth, rest the future liberty, the prosperity, the happiness, the grandeur, and the glory of our beloved country. Go on then, with a laudable ambition, and an unyielding perseverance, in the path which leads to honor and renown. Press forward. Go, and gather laurels on the hill of science; linger among her unfading beauties; "drink deep" of her crystal fountain; and then join in "the march of fame." Become learned and virtuous, and you will be great. Love God and serve him, and you will be happy.


Language, in its most extensive sense, implies those signs by which men and brutes communicate to each other their thoughts, affections, and desires.

Language may be divided, 1. into natural and artificial; 2. into spoken and written.

NATURAL LANGUAGE, consists in the use of those natural signs which different animals employ in communicating their feelings one to another. The meaning of these signs all perfectly understand by the principles of their nature. This language is common both to man and brute. The elements of natural language in man, may be reduced to three kinds; modulations of the voice, gestures, and features. By means of these, two savages who have no common, artificial language, can communicate their thoughts in a manner quite intelligible: they can ask and refuse, affirm and deny, threaten and supplicate; they can traffick, enter into contracts, and plight their faith. The language of brutes consists in the use of those inarticulate sounds by which they express their thoughts and affections. Thus, the chirping of a bird, the bleating of a lamb, the neighing of a horse, and the growling, whining, and barking of a dog, are the language of those animals, respectively.

ARTIFICIAL LANGUAGE consists in the use of words, by means of which mankind are enabled to communicate their thoughts to one another.—In order to assist you in comprehending what is meant by the term word, I will endeavor to illustrate the meaning of the term.

Idea. The notices which we gain by sensation and perception, and which are treasured up in the mind to be the materials of thinking and knowledge, are denominated ideas. For example, when you place your hand upon a piece of ice, a sensation is excited which we call coldness. That faculty which notices this sensation or change produced in the mind, is called perception; and the abstract notice itself, or notion you form of this sensation, is denominated an idea. This being premised, we will now proceed to the consideration of words.

Words are articulate sounds, used by common consent, not as natural, but as artificial, signs of our ideas. Words have no meaning in themselves. They are merely the artificial representatives of those ideas affixed to them by compact or agreement among those who use them. In English, for instance, to a particular kind of metal we assign the name gold; not because there is, in that sound, any peculiar aptness which suggests the idea we wish to convey, but the application of that sound to the idea signified, is an act altogether arbitrary. Were there any natural connexion between the sound and the thing signified, the word gold would convey the same idea to the people of other countries as it does to ourselves. But such is not the fact. Other nations make use of different sounds to signify the same thing. Thus, aurum denotes the same idea in Latin, and or in French. Hence it follows, that it is by custom only we learn to annex particular ideas to particular sounds.

SPOKEN LANGUAGE or speech is made up of articulate sounds uttered by the human voice.

The voice is formed by air which, after it passes through the glottis, (a small aperture in the upper part of the wind-pipe,) is modulated by the action of the throat, palate, teeth, tongue, lips, and nostrils.

WRITTEN LANGUAGE. The elements of written language consist of letters or characters, which, by common consent and general usage, are combined into words, and thus made the ocular representatives of the articulate sounds uttered by the voice.

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GRAMMAR is the science of language.

Grammar may be divided into two species, universal and particular.

UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR explains the principles which are common to all languages.

PARTICULAR GRAMMAR applies those general principles to a particular language, modifying them according to its genius, and the established practice of the best speakers and writers by whom it is used. Hence,

The established practice of the best speakers and writers of any language, is the standard of grammatical accuracy in the use of that language.

By the phrase, established practice, is implied reputable, national, and present usage. A usage becomes good and legal, when it has been long and generally adopted.

The best speakers and writers, or such as may be considered good authority in the use of language, are those who are deservedly in high estimation; speakers, distinguished for their elocution and other literary attainments, and writers, eminent for correct taste, solid matter, and refined manner.

In the grammar of a perfect language, no rules should be admitted, but such as are founded on fixed principles, arising out of the genius of that language and the nature of things; but our language being im-perfect, it becomes necessary, in a practical treatise, like this, to adopt some rules to direct us in the use of speech as regulated by custom. If we had a permanent and surer standard than capricious custom to regulate us in the transmission of thought, great inconvenience would be avoided. They, however, who introduce usages which depart from the analogy and philosophy of a language, are conspicuous among the number of those who form that language, and have power to control it.

Language is conventional, and not only invented, but, in its progressive advancement, varied for purposes of practical convenience. Hence it assumes any and every form which those who make use of it choose to give it. We are, therefore, as rational and practical grammarians, compelled to submit to the necessity of the case; to take the language as it is, and not as it should be, and bow to custom.

PHILOSOPHICAL GRAMMAR investigates and develops the principles of language, as founded in the nature of things and the original laws of thought. It also discusses the grounds of the classification of words, and explains those procedures which practical grammar lays down for our observance.

PRACTICAL GRAMMAR adopts the most convenient classification of the words of a language, lays down a system of definitions and rules, founded on scientific principles and good usage, illustrates their nature and design, and enforces their application.

PRINCIPLE. A principle in grammar is a peculiar construction of the language, sanctioned by good usage.

DEFINITION. A definition in grammar is a principle of language expressed in a definite form.

RULE. A rule describes the peculiar construction or circumstantial relation of words, which custom has established for our observance.

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ENGLISH GRAMMAR is the art of speaking and writing the English language with propriety.

GRAMMAR teaches us how to use words in a proper manner. The most important use of that faculty called speech, is, to convey our thoughts to others. If, therefore, we have a store of words, and even know what they signify, they will be of no real use to us unless we can also apply them to practice, and make them answer the purposes for which they were invented. Grammar, well understood, enables us to express our thoughts fully and clearly; and, consequently, in a manner which will defy the ingenuity of man to give our words any other meaning than that which we ourselves intend them to express. To be able to speak and write our vernacular tongue with accuracy and elegance, is, certainly, a consideration of the highest moment.

Grammar is divided into four parts;


ORTHOGRAPHY teaches the nature and powers of letters, and the just method of spelling words.

ORTHOGRAPHY means word-making, or spelling. It teaches us the different kinds and sounds of letters, how to combine them into syllables, and syllables into words.

As this is one of the first steps in the path of literature, I presume you already understand the nature and use of letters, and the just method of spelling words. If you do, it is unnecessary for you to dwell long on this part of grammar, which, though very important, is rather dry and uninteresting, for it has nothing to do with parsing and analyzing language. And, therefore, if you can spell correctly, you may omit Orthography, and commence with Etymology and Syntax.

Orthography treats, 1st, of Letters, 2ndly, of Syllables, and 3dly, of Words.

I. LETTERS. A letter is the first principle, or least part, of a word.

The English Alphabet contains twenty-six letters.

They are divided into vowels and consonants.

A vowel is a letter that can be perfectly sounded by itself. The vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w and y. W and y are consonants when they begin a word or syllable; but in every other situation they are vowels.

A consonant is a letter that cannot be perfectly sounded without the help of a vowel; as, b, d, f, l. All letters except the vowels are consonants.

Consonants are divided into mutes and semi-vowels.

The mutes cannot be sounded at all without the aid of a vowel. They are b, p, t, d, k, and c and g hard.

The semi-vowels have an imperfect sound of themselves. They are f, l, m, n, r, v, s, z, x, and c and g soft.

Four of the semi-vowels, namely, l, m, n, r, are called liquids, because they readily unite with other consonants, and flow, as it were, into their sounds.

A diphthong is the union of two vowels, pronounced by a single impulse of the voice; as oi in voice, ou in sound.

A triphthong is the union of three vowels pronounced in like manner; as, eau in beau, iew in view.

A proper diphthong has both the vowels sounded; as, ou in ounce. An improper diphthong has only one of the vowels sounded; as, oa in boat.

II. SYLLABLES. A Syllable is a distinct sound, uttered by a single impulse of the voice; as, a, an, ant.

A word of one syllable, is termed a Monosyllable; a word of two syllables, a Dissyllable; a word of three syllables, a Trisyllable; a word of four or more syllables, a Polysyllable.

III. WORDS. Words are articulate sounds, used by common consent, as signs of our ideas.

Words are of two sorts, primitive and derivative.

A primitive word is that which cannot be reduced to a simpler word in the language; as, man, good.

A derivative word is that which may be reduced to a simpler word; as, manful, goodness.

There is little or no difference between derivative and compound words. The terminations or added syllables, such as ed, es, ess, est, an, ant, en, ence, ent, dom, hood, ly, ous, ful, ness, and the like, were, originally, distinct and separate words, which, by long use, have been contracted, and made to coalesce with other words.


A.—A has four sounds; the long; as in name, basin; the broad; as in ball, wall; the short; as in fagot, glass; and the flat, Italian sound; as in bar, farther. The improper diphthong, aa, has the short sound of a in Balaam, Canaan, Isaac; and the long sound of a in Baal, Gaal, Aaron.

The Latin diphthong, ae, has the long sound of e in aenigma, Caesar, and some other words. But many authors reject this useless excrescence of antiquity, and write, enigma, Cesar.

The diphthong, ai, has the long sound of a; as in pail, sail; except in plaid, said, again, raillery, fountain, Britain, and some others.

Au is sounded like broad a in taught, like flat a in aunt, like long o in hautboy, and like short o in laurel.

Aw has always the sound of broad a; as in bawl, crawl.

Ay has the long sound of a; as in pay, delay.

B.—B has only one sound; as in baker, number, chub.

B is silent when it follows m in the same syllable; as in lamb, &c. except in accumb, rhomb, and succumb. It is also silent before t in the same syllable; as in doubt, debtor, subtle, &c.

C.—C sounds like k before a, o, u, r, l, t, and at the end of syllables; as in cart, cottage, curious, craft, tract, cloth; victim, flaccid. It has the sound of s before e, i, and y; as in centre, cigar, mercy. C has the sound of sh when followed by a diphthong, and is preceded by the accent, either primary or secondary; as in social, pronunciation, &c.; and of z in discern, sacrifice, sice, suffice. It is mute in arbuscle, czar, czarina, endict, victuals, muscle.

Ch is commonly sounded like tsh; as in church, chin; but in words derived from the ancient languages, it has the sound of k; as in chemist, chorus; and likewise in foreign names; as in Achish, Enoch. In words from the French, ch sounds like sh; as in chaise, chevalier; and also like sh when preceded by l or n; as in milch, bench, clinch, &c.

Ch in arch, before a vowel, sounds like k; as in arch-angel, except in arched, archery, archer; archenemy; but before a consonant, it sounds like tsh; as in archbishop. Ch is silent in schedule, schism, yacht, drachm.

D.—D has one uniform sound; as in death, bandage. It sounds like dj or j when followed by long u preceded by the accent; as in educate, verdure. It also sounds like j in grandeur, soldier.

The termination, ed, in adjectives and participial adjectives, retains its distinct sound; as, a wick-ed man, a learn-ed man, bless-ed are the meek; but in verbs the e is generally dropped; as, passed, walked, flashed, aimed, rolled, &c. which are pronounced, past, walkt, flasht, aimd, rold.

E.—E has a long sound; as in scheme, severe; a short sound; as in men, tent; and sometimes the sound of flat a; as in sergeant; and of short i; as in yes, pretty, England, and generally in the unaccented terminations, es, et, en.

F.—F has one unvaried sound; as in fancy, muffin; except in of, which, when uncompounded, is pronounced ov. A wive's portion, a calve's head, are improper. They should be, wife's portion, calf's head.

G.—G has two sounds. It is hard before a, o, u, l, and r, and at the end of a word; as in gay, go, gun, glory; bag, snug. It is soft before e, i, and y; as in genius, ginger, Egypt. Exceptions; get, gewgaw, gimlet, and some others. G is silent before n, as in gnash.

H.—H has an articulate sound; as in hat, horse, hull. It is silent after r; as in rhetoric, rhubarb.

I.—I has a long sound; as in fine; and a short one; as in fin. Before r it is often sounded like u short; as in first, third; and in other words, like short e; as in birth, virtue. In some words it has the sound of long e; as in machine, profile.

J.—J has the sound of soft g; except in hallelujah, in which it is pronounced like y.

K.—K has the sound of c hard, and is used before e, i, and y, where c would be soft; as kept, skirt, murky. It is silent before n; as in knife, knell, knocker.

L.—L has always a soft liquid sound; as in love, billow. It is often silent; as in half, talk, almond.

M.—M has always the same sound; as in murmur, monumental; except in comptroller, which is pronounced controller.

N.—N has two sounds; the one pure; as in man, net, noble; the other a compound sound; as in ankle, banquet, distinct, &c., pronounced angkl, bangkwet. N final is silent when preceded by m; as in hymn, autumn.

O.—O has a long sound; as in note, over; and a short one; as in not, got. It has the sound of u short; as in son, attorney, doth, does; and generally in the terminations, op, ot, or, on, om, ol, od, &c.

P.—P has but one uniform sound; as in pin, slipper; except in cupboard, clapboard, where it has the sound of b. It is mute in psalm, Ptolemy, tempt, empty, corps, raspberry, and receipt.

Ph has the sound of f in philosophy, Philip; and of v in nephew, Stephen.

Q.—Q is sounded like k, and is always followed by u pronounced like w; as in quadrant, queen, conquest.

R.—R has a rough sound; as in Rome, river, rage; and a smooth one; as in bard, card, regard. In the unaccented termination re, the r is sounded after the e; as in fibre, centre.

S.—S has a flat sound like z; as in besom, nasal; and, at the beginning of words, a sharp, hissing sound; as in saint, sister, sample. It has the sound of sh when preceded by the accent and another s or a liquid, and followed by a diphthong or long u; as in expulsion, censure. S sounds like zh when preceded by the accent and a vowel, and followed by a diphthong or long u as in brasier, usual. It is mute in isle, corps, demesne, viscount.

T.—T is sounded in take, temper. T before u, when the accent precedes, and generally before eou, sounds like tsh; as, nature, virtue, righteous, are pronounced natshure, virtshue, richeus. Ti before a vowel, preceded by the accent, has the sound of sh; as in salvation, negotiation; except in such words as tierce, tiara, &c. and unless an s goes before; as, question; and excepting also derivatives from words ending in ty; as in mighty, mightier.

Th, at the beginning, middle, and end of words, is sharp; as in thick, panther, breath. Exceptions; then, booth, worthy, &c.

U.—U has three sounds; a long; as in mule, cubic; a short; as in dull, custard; and an obtuse sound; as in full, bushel. It is pronounced like short e in bury; and like short i in busy, business.

V.—V has uniformly the sound of flat f; as in vanity, love.

W.—W, when a consonant, has its sound, which is heard in wo, beware. W is silent before r; as in wry, wrap, wrinkle; and also in answer, sword, &c. Before h it is pronounced as if written after the h; as in why, when, what;—hwy, hwen, hwat. When heard as a vowel, it takes the sound of u; as in draw, crew, now.

X.—X has a sharp sound, like ks, when it ends a syllable with the accent on it; as, exit, exercise; or when it precedes an accented syllable which begins with any consonant except h; as, excuse, extent; but when the following accented syllable begins with a vowel or h, it has, generally, a flat sound, like gz; as in exert, exhort. X has the sound of Z at the beginning of proper names of Greek original; as in Xanthus, Xenophon, Xerxes.

Y.—Y, when a consonant, has its proper sound; as in youth, York, yes, new-year. When y is employed as a vowel, it has exactly the sound that i would have in the same situation; as in rhyme, system, party, pyramid.

Z.—Z has the sound of flat s; as in freeze, brazen.


SPELLING is the art of expressing a word by its proper letters.

The following rules are deemed important in practice, although they assist us in spelling only a small portion of the words of our language. This useful art is to be chiefly acquired by studying the spelling-book and dictionary, and by strict attention in reading.

RULE I. Monosyllables ending in f, l, or s, double the final or ending consonant when it is preceded by a single vowel; as staff, mill, pass. Exceptions; of, if, is, as, lids, was, yes, his, this, us, and thus.

False Orthography for the learner to correct.—Be thou like the gale that moves the gras, to those who ask thy aid.—The aged hero comes forth on his staf; his gray hair glitters in the beam.—Shal mortal man be more just than God?—Few know the value of health til they lose it.—Our manners should be neither gros, nor excessively refined.

And that is not the lark, whose notes do beat The vaulty heaven so high above our heads: I have more care to stay, than wil to go.

RULE II. Monosyllables ending in any consonant but f, l, or s, never double the final consonant when it is preceded by a single vowel; as, man, hat. Exceptions; add, ebb, butt, egg, odd, err, inn, bunn, purr, and buzz.

False Orthography.—None ever went sadd from Fingal.—He rejoiced over his sonn.—Clonar lies bleeding on the bedd of death.—Many a trapp is set to insnare the feet of youth.

The weary sunn has made a golden sett, And, by the bright track of his golden carr, Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow.

RULE III. Words ending in y, form the plural of nouns, the persons of verbs, participial nouns, past participles, comparatives, and superlatives, by changing y into i, when the y is preceded by a consonant; as, spy, spies; I carry, thou carriest, he carries; carrier, carried; happy, happier, happiest.

The present participle in ing, retains the y that i may not be doubled; as, carry, carrying.

But when y is preceded by a vowel, in such instances as the above, it is not changed into i; as, boy, boys; I cloy, he cloys; except in the words lay, pay, and say I from which are formed laid, paid, and said; and their compounds, unpaid, unsaid, &c.

False Orthography.—Our fancys should be governed by reason.—Thou wearyest thyself in vain.—He denyed himself all sinful pleasures.

Win straiing souls with modesty and love; Cast none away. The truly good man is not dismaied by poverty. Ere fresh morning streak the east, we must be risen to reform yonder allies green.

RULE IV. When words ending in y, assume an additional syllable beginning with a consonant, the y, if it is preceded by a consonant, is commonly changed to i; as, happy, happily, happiness.

But when y is preceded by a vowel, in such instances, it is very rarely changed to i; as, coy, coyless; boy, boyish; boyhood; joy, joyless, joyful.

False Orthography.—His mind is uninfluenced by fancyful humors.—The vessel was heavyly laden.—When we act against conscience, we become the destroiers of our own peace.

Christiana, mayden of heroic mien! Star of the north! of northern stars the queen!

RULE V. Monosyllables, and words accented on the last syllable, ending with a single consonant that is preceded by a single vowel, double that consonant when they assume another syllable that begins with a vowel; as, wit, witty; thin, thinnish; to abet, an abetter.

But if a diphthong precedes, or the accent is not on the last syllable, the consonant remains single; as, to toil, toiling; to offer, an offering; maid, maiden.

False Orthography.—The business of to-day, should not be defered till to-morrow.—That law is annuled.—When we have outstriped our errors we have won the race.—By defering our repentance, we accumulate our sorrows.—The Christian Lawgiver has prohibited many things which the heathen philosophers allowed.

At summer eve, when heaven's aerial bow Spans with bright arch the glitterring hills below.— Thus mourned the hapless man; a thunderring sound Rolled round the shudderring walls and shook the ground.

RULE VI. Words ending in double l, in taking ness, less, ly, or ful, after them, generally omit one l; as, fulness, skilless, fully skilful.

But words ending in any double letter but l, and taking ness, less, ly, or ful, after them, preserve the letter double; as, harmlessness, carelessness, carelessly, stiffly, successful.

False Orthography.—A chillness generally precedes a fever.—He is wed to dullness.

The silent stranger stood amazed to see Contempt of wealth and willful poverty.

Restlesness of mind impairs our peace.—The road to the blisful regions, is as open to the peasant as to the king.—The arrows of calumny fall harmlesly at the feet of virtue.

RULE VII. Ness, less, ly, or ful, added to words ending in silent e, does not cut it off; as, paleness, guileless, closely, peaceful; except in a few words; as, duly, truly, awful.

False Orthography.—Sedatness is becoming.

All these with ceasless praise his works behold. Stars rush: and final ruin fiercly drives Her ploughshare o'er creation! ———Nature made a pause, An aweful pause! prophetic of her end!

RULE VIII. When words ending in silent e, assume the termination, ment, the e should not be cut off; as, abatement, chastisement.

Ment, like other terminations, changes y into i when the y is preceded by a consonant; as, accompany, accompaniment; merry, merriment.

False Orthography.—A judicious arrangment of studies facilitates improvment.—Encouragment is greatest when we least need it.

To shun allurments is not hard, To minds resolv'd, forwarn'd, and well prepared.

RULE IX. When words ending in silent e, assume the termination, able or ible, the e should generally be cut off; as, blame, blamable; cure, curable; sense, sensible. But if c or g soft comes before e in the original word, the e is preserved in words compounded with able; as, peace, peaceable; change, changeable.

False Orthography.—Knowledge is desireable.—Misconduct is inexcuseable.—Our natural defects are not chargable upon us.—We are made to be servicable to others as well as to ourselves.

RULE X. When ing or ish is added to words ending in silent e, the e is almost always omitted; as, place, placing; lodge, lodging; slave, slavish; prude, prudish.

False Orthography.—Labor and expense are lost upon a droneish spirit.—An obligeing and humble disposition, is totally unconnected with a servile and cringeing humor.

Conscience anticipateing time, Already rues th' unacted crime. One self-approveing hour, whole years outweighs Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas.

RULE XI. Compound words are generally spelled in the same manner as the simple words of which they are compounded; as, glasshouse, skylight, thereby, hereafter. Many words ending in double l, are exceptions to this rule; as, already, welfare, wilful, fulfil; and also the words, wherever, christmas, lammas, &c.

False Orthography.—The Jew's pasover was instituted in A.M. 2513.—They salute one another by touching their forheads.—That which is some times expedient, is not allways so.

Then, in the scale of reasoning life 'tis plain, There must be, somwhere, such a rank as man. Till hymen brought his lov-delighted hour, There dwelt no joy in Eden's rosy bower. The head reclined, the loosened hair, The limbs relaxed, the mournful air:— See, he looks up; a wofull smile Lightens his wo-worn cheek awhile.

You may now answer the following


What is language?—How is language divided?—What is natural language?—What are the elements of natural language in man?—Wherein consists the language of brutes?—What is artificial language?—What is an idea?—What are words?—What is grammar?—What does Universal grammar explain?—Wherein does Particular grammar differ from universal?—What is the standard of grammatical accuracy?—What is Philosophical grammar?—What is Practical grammar?—What is a principle of grammar?—A definition?—A rule?—What is English grammar?—Into how many parts is grammar divided?—What does Orthography teach?

* * * * *




ETYMOLOGY treats of the different sorts of words, their various modifications, and their derivation.

SYNTAX treats of the agreement and government of words, and of their proper arrangement in a sentence.

The word ETYMOLOGY signifies the origin or pedigree of words.

Syn, a prefix from the Greek, signifies together. Syn-tax, means placing together; or, as applied in grammar, sentence making.

The rules of syntax, which direct to the proper choice of words, and their judicious arrangement in a sentence, and thereby enable us to correct and avoid errors in speech, are chiefly based on principles unfolded and explained by Etymology. Etymological knowledge, then, is a prerequisite to the study of Syntax; but, in parsing, under the head of Etymology, you are required to apply the rules of Syntax. It becomes necessary, therefore, in a practical work of this sort, to treat these two parts of grammar in connexion.

Conducted on scientific principles, Etymology would comprehend the exposition of the origin and meaning of words, and, in short, their whole history, including their application to things in accordance with the laws of nature and of thought, and the caprice of those who apply them; but to follow up the current of language to its various sources, and analyze the springs from which it flows, would involve a process altogether too arduous and extensive for an elementary work. It would lead to the study of all those languages from which ours is immediately derived, and even compel us to trace many words through those languages to others more ancient, and so on, until the chain of research would become, if not endless, at least, too extensive to be traced out by one man. I shall, therefore, confine myself to the following, limited views of this part of grammar.

1. Etymology treats of the classification of words.

2. Etymology explains the accidents or properties peculiar to each class or sort of words, and their present modifications. By modifications, I mean the changes produced on their endings, in consequence of their assuming different relations in respect to one another. These changes, such as fruit, fruits, fruit's; he, his, him; write, writest, writeth, writes, wrote, written, writing, writer; a, an; ample, amply, and the like, will be explained in their appropriate places.

3. Etymology treats of the derivation of words; that is, it teaches you how one word comes from, or grows out of another. For example, from the word speak, come the words speakest, speaketh, speaks, speaking, spoke, spoken, speaker, speaker's, speakers. These, you perceive, are all one and the same word, and all, except the last three, express the same kind of action. They differ from each other only in the termination. These changes in termination are produced on the word in order to make it correspond with the various persons who speak, the number of persons, or the time of speaking; as, I speak, thou speakest, the man speaketh, or speaks, the men speak, I spoke; The speaker speaks another speaker's speech.

The third part of Etymology, which is intimately connected with the second, will be more amply expanded in Lecture XIV, and in the Philosophical notes; but I shall not treat largely of that branch of derivation which consists in tracing words to foreign languages. This is the province of the lexicographer, rather than of the philologist. It is not the business of him who writes a practical, English grammar, to trace words to the Saxon, nor to the Celtic, the Greek, the Dutch, the Mexican, nor the Persian; nor is it his province to explain their meaning in Latin, French, or Hebrew, Italian, Mohegan, or Sanscrit; but it is his duty to explain their properties, their powers, their connexions, relations, dependancies, and, bearings, not at the period in which the Danes made an irruption into the island of Great Britain, nor in the year in which Lamech paid his addresses to Adah and Zillah, but at the particular period in which he writes. His words are already derived, formed, established, and furnished to his hand, and he is bound to take them and explain them as he finds them in his day, without any regard to their ancient construction and application.

CLASSIFICATION. In arranging the parts of speech, I conceive it to be the legitimate object of the practical grammarian, to consult practical convenience. The true principle of classification seems to be, not a reference to essential differences in the primitive meaning of words, nor to their original combinations, but to the manner in which they are at present employed. In the early and rude state of society, mankind are quite limited in their knowledge, and having but few ideas to communicate, a small number of words answers their purpose in the transmission of thought. This leads them to express their ideas in short, detached sentences, requiring few or none of those connectives, or words of transition, which are afterwards introduced into language by refinement, and which contribute so largely to its perspicuity and elegance. The argument appears to be conclusive, then, that every language must necessarily have more parts of speech in its refined, than in its barbarous state.

The part of speech to which any word belongs, is ascertained, not by the original signification of that word, but by its present manner of meaning, or, rather, the office which it performs in a sentence.

The various ways in which a word is applied to the idea which it represents, are called its manner of meaning. Thus, The painter dips his paint brush in paint, to paint the carriage. Here, the word paint, is first employed to describe the brush which the painter uses; in this situation it is, therefore, an adjective; secondly, to name the mixture employed; for which reason it is a noun; and, lastly, to express the action performed; it therefore, becomes a verb; and yet, the meaning of the word is the same in all these applications. This meaning, however, is applied in different ways; and thus the same word becomes different parts of speech. Richard took water from the water pot, to water the plants.


Etymology treats, first, of the classification of words.

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE is derived chiefly from the Saxon, Danish, Celtic, and Gothic; but in the progressive stages of its refinement, it has been greatly enriched by accessions from the Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and German languages.

The number of words in our language, after deducting proper names, and words formed by the inflections of our verbs, nouns, and adjectives, may be estimated at about forty thousand. There are ten sorts of words, called parts of speech, namely, the NOUN or SUBSTANTIVE, VERB, ARTICLE, ADJECTIVE, PARTICIPLE, ADVERB, PREPOSITION, PRONOUN, CONJUNCTION, and INTERJECTION.

Thus you perceive, that all the words in the English language are included in these ten classes: and what you have to do in acquiring a knowledge of English Grammar, is merely to become acquainted with these ten parts of speech, and the rules of Syntax that apply to them. The Noun and Verb are the most important and leading parts of speech; therefore they are first presented: all the rest (except the interjection) are either appendages or connectives of these two. As you proceed, you will find that it will require more time, and cost you more labor, to get a knowledge of the noun and verb, than it will to become familiar with all the minor parts of speech.

The principal use of words is, to name things, compare them with each other, and express their actions.

Nouns, which are the names of entities or things, adjectives which denote the comparisons and relations of things by describing them, and expressing their qualities, and verbs, which express the actions and being of things, are the only classes of words necessarily recognised in a philosophical view of grammar. But in a treatise which consults, mainly, the practical advantages of the learner, it is believed, that no classification will be found more convenient or accurate than the foregoing, which divides words into ten sorts. To attempt to prove, in this place, that nothing would be gained by adopting either a less or a greater number of the parts of speech, would be anticipating the subject. I shall, therefore, give my reasons for adopting this arrangement in preference to any other, as the different sorts of words are respectively presented to you, for then you will be better prepared to appreciate my arguments.


A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing; as, man, Charleston, knowledge.

Nouns are often improperly called substantives. A substantive is the name of a substance only; but a noun is the name either of a substance or a quality.

Noun, derived from the Latin word nomen, signifies name. The name of any thing [1] that exists, whether animate or inanimate, or which we can see, hear, feel, taste, smell, or think of, is a noun. Animal, bird, creature, paper, pen, apple, fold, house, modesty, virtue, danger, are all nouns. In order that you may easily distinguish this part of speech from others, I will give you a sign, which will be useful to you when you cannot tell it by the sense. Any word that will make sense with the before it, is a noun. Try the following words by this sign, and see if they are nouns: tree, mountain, soul, mind, conscience, understanding. The tree, the mountain, the soul, and so on. You perceive, that they will make sense with the prefixed; therefore you know they are nouns. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, for some nouns will not make sense with the prefixed. These you will be able to distinguish, if you exercise your mind, by their making sense of themselves; as, goodness, sobriety, hope, immortality.

[1] The word thing, from the Saxon verb thingian, to think, is almost unlimited in its meaning. It may be applied to every animal and creature in the universe. By the term creature, I mean that which has been created; as, a dog, water, dirt. This word is also frequently applied to actions; as, "To get drunk is a beastly thing." In this phrase, it signifies neither animal nor creature; but it denotes merely an action; therefore this action is the thing.

Nouns are used to denote the nonentity or absence of a thing, as well as its reality; as, nothing, naught, vacancy, non-existence, invisibility.

Nouns are sometimes used as verbs, and verbs, as nouns, according to their manner of meaning; and nouns are sometimes used as adjectives, and adjectives, as nouns. This matter will be explained in the concluding part of this lecture, where you will be better prepared to comprehend it.

NOUNS are of two kinds, common and proper.

A Common noun is the name of a sort or species of things; as, man, tree, river.

A Proper noun is the name of an individual; as, Charles, Ithaca, Ganges.

A noun signifying many, is called a collective noun, or noun of multitude; as, the people, the army.

The distinction between a common and a proper noun, is very obvious. For example: boy is a common noun, because it is a name applied to all boys; but Charles is a proper noun, because it is the name of an individual boy. Although many boys may have the same name, yet you know it is not a common noun, for the name Charles is not given to all boys. Mississippi is a proper noun, because it is the name of an individual river; but river is a common noun, because it is the name of a species of things, and the name river is common to all rivers.

Nouns which denote the genus, species, or variety of beings or things, are always common; as, tree, the genus; oak, ash, chestnut, poplar, different species; and red oak, white oak, black oak, varieties. The word earth, when it signifies a kind or quantity of dirt, is a common noun; but when it denotes the planet we inhabit, it is a proper noun. The words person, place, river, mountain, lake, &c. are common nouns, because they are the names of whole species, or classes of things containing many sorts; but the names of persons, places, rivers, mountains, lakes, &c. are proper nouns, because they denote individuals; as, Augustus, Baltimore, Alps, Huron.

Physician, lawyer, merchant, and shoemaker, are common nouns, because these names are common to classes of men. God and Lord, when applied to Jehovah or Jesus Christ, are proper; but when employed to denote heathen or false gods, or temporal lords, they are common. The Notes and remarks throughout the work, though of minor importance, demand your attentive and careful perusal.


1. When proper nouns have an article annexed to them, they are used after the manner of common nouns; as, "Bolivar is styled the Washington of South America."

2. Common nouns are sometimes used to signify individuals, when articles or pronouns are prefixed to them; as, "The boy is studious; That girl is discreet." In such instances, they are nearly equivalent to proper nouns.

3. Common nouns are sometimes subdivided into the following classes: Nouns of Multitude; as, The people, the parliament: Verbal or participial nouns; as, The beginning, reading, writing; and Abstract nouns, or the names of qualities abstracted from their substances; as, knowledge, virtue, goodness. Lest the student be led to blend the idea of abstract nouns with that of adjectives, both of which denote qualities, a farther illustration appears to be necessary, in order to mark the distinction between these two parts of speech. An abstract noun denotes a quality considered apart (that is, abstracted) from the substance or being to which it belongs; but an adjective denotes a quality joined (adjected) to the substance or being to which it belongs. Thus, whiteness and white both denote the same quality; but we speak of whiteness as a distinct object of thought, while we use the word white always in reference to the noun to which it belongs; as, white paper, white mouse.

4. Some authors have proceeded to still more minute divisions and sub-divisions of nouns; such, for example, as the following, which appear to be more complex than useful: Natural nouns, or names of things formed by nature; as, man, beast, water, air: 2. Artificial nouns, or names of things formed by art; as, book, vessel, house: 3. Personal nouns, or those which stand for human beings; as, man, woman, Edwin: 4. Neuter nouns, or those which denote things inanimate; as, book, field, mountain, Cincinnati. The following, however, is quite a rational division: Material nouns are the names of things formed of matter; as, stone, book: Immaterial nouns are the names of things having no substance; as, hope, immortality.

To nouns belong gender, person, number, and case.


GENDER is the distinction of sex. Nouns have three genders, the masculine, the feminine, and the neuter.

The masculine gender denotes males; as, a man, a boy.

The feminine gender denotes females; as, a woman, a girl.

The neuter gender denotes things without sex; as, a hat, a stick.

Neuter means neither: therefore neuter gender signifies neither gender; that is, neither masculine nor feminine. Hence, neuter gender means no gender. Strictly speaking, then, as there are but two sexes, nouns have but two genders; but for the sake of practical convenience, we apply to them three genders, by calling that a gender which is no gender. The English and the pure Persian, appear to be the only languages which observe, in the distinction of sex, the natural division of nouns.—The genders of nouns are so easily known, that a farther explanation of them is unnecessary, except what is given in the following


1. The same noun is sometimes masculine and feminine, and sometimes masculine or feminine. The noun parents is of the masculine and feminine gender. The nouns parent, associate, neighbor, servant, friend, child, bird, fish, &c. if doubtful, are of the masculine or feminine gender.

2. Some nouns naturally neuter, are, when used figuratively, or personified, converted into the masculine or feminine gender. Those nouns are generally rendered masculine, which are conspicuous for the attributes of imparting or communicating, and which are by nature strong and efficacious; as, the sun, time, death, sleep, winter, &c. Those, again, are generally feminine, which are conspicuous for the attributes of containing or bringing forth, or which are very beautiful, mild, or amiable; as, the earth, moon, church, boat, vessel, city, country, nature, ship, soul, fortune, virtue, hope, spring, peace, &c. This principle for designating the sex of a personified object, which is quite rational, is generally adhered to in the English language; but, in some instances, the poet applies the sex according to his fancy.

The masculine and feminine genders are distinguished in three ways:

1. By different words; as,

Masculine. Feminine. Bachelor maid Boar sow Boy girl Brother sister Buck doe Bull cow Cock hen Dog bitch Drake duck Earl countess Father mother Friar nun Gander goose Hart roe Horse mare Husband wife King queen Lad lass Lord lady Man woman Master mistress Milter spawner Nephew niece Ram ewe Singer songstress or singer Sloven slut Son daughter Stag hind Uncle aunt Wizard witch Sir madam

2. By a difference in termination; as, Abbot abbess Actor actress Administrator administratrix Adulterer adulteress Ambassador ambassadress Arbiter arbitress Auditor auditress Author authoress Baron baroness Benefactor benefactress Bridegroom bride Canon canoness Caterer cateress Chanter chantress Conductor conductress Count countess Czar czarina Deacon deaconess Detracter detractress Director directress Duke dutchess Elector electress Embassador embassadress Emperor emperess Enchanter enchantress Executor executrix Fornicator fornicatress God goddess Governor governess Heir heiress Hero heroine Host hostess Hunter huntress Inheritor inheritress or inheritrix Instructor instructress Jew Jewess Lion lioness Marquis marchioness Mayor mayoress Patron patroness Peer peeress Poet poetess Priest priestess Prince princess Prior prioress Prophet prophetess Proprietor proprietress Protector protectress Shepherd shepherdess Songster songstress Sorcerer sorceress Suiter suitress Sultan sultaness or sultana Tiger tigress Testator testatrix Traitor traitress Tutor tutoress Tyrant tyranness Victor victress Viscount viscountess Votary votaress Widower widow

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