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GRAMMAR is the art of speaking and writing correctly. Latin Grammar is the

art of speaking and writing the Latin language correctly.

The Rudiments of Grammar are plain and easy instructions, teaching beginners the first principles and rules of it.

Grammar treats of sentences, and the several parts of which they are compounded. Sentences consist of words; Words consist of one or more syllables; Syllables of one or more letters. So that Letters, Syllables, Words, and Sentences, make up the whole subject of Grammar.


A letter is the mark of a sound, or of an articulation of sound.

That part of Grammar which treats of letters, is called Orthography.

G, gi

The letters in Latin are twenty-five: A, a; B, b; C, c; D, d; E, e; F, f; H, h; I, i; J, j; K, k; L, l; M, m; N, n; O, o; P, p; Q, q; R, r; S, s; T, t; U, u; V, v; X, x; Y, y; Z, z.

In English there is one letter more, namely, W, w.

Letters are divided into Vowels and Consonants.

Six are vowels; a, e, i, o, u, y. All the rest are consonants.

A vowel makes a full sound by itself; as, a, e.

A consonant cannot make a perfect sound without a vowel; as, b, d.

A vowel is properly called a simple sound; and the sounds formed by the concourse of vowels and consonants, articulate sounds.

Consonants are divided into Mutes, Semi-vowels, and Double Consonants.

A mute is so called, because it entirely stops the passage of the voice; as p, in ap. The mutes are, p, b; t, d ; c, k, q, and g; but b, d, and g, perhaps may more properly be termed Semi-mutes.

A semi-vowel, or half vowel, does not entirely stop the passage of the voice; thus, al. The semi-vowels are, l, m, n, r, s, f. The first four of these are also called Liquids, particularly land r; because they flow softly and easily after a mute in the same syllable, as bla, stra.

The mutes and semi-vowels may be thus distinguished. In naming the mutes, the vowel is put after them; as, pe, be, &c. but in naming the semi-vowels, the vowel is put before them; as, el, em, &c.

The double consonants are, x, z, and j. X is made up of cs, ks, gz. Z has the same relation to s, as v has to f, being sounded somewhat more softly.

In Latin z, and likewise k and y, are found only in words derived from the Greek. H by some is not accounted a letter, but only a breathing.


A diphthong is two vowels joined in one sound.

If the sound of both vowels be distinctly heard, it is called a Proper Diphthong; if not, an Improper Diphthong.

The proper diphthongs in Latin are commonly reckoned three; au, eu, ei; as in aurum,

Eurus, omneis. To these, some, not improperly, add other three; namely, ai, as in Maia; oi, as in Troia; and ui, as in Harpuia, or in cui, and huic, when pronounced as monosyllables.

The improper diphthongs in Latin are two; ae, or when the vowels are written together, a; as, aetas or ætas: oe, or œ; as, poena or pœna: in both of which the sound of the e only is heard. The ancients commonly wrote the vowels separately, thus, aetas, poena.


A syllable is the sound of one letter, or of several letters, pronounced by one impulse of the voice: as,à, sed, urbs.

In Latin there are as many syllables in a word, as there are vowels or diphthongs in it; unless when u with any other vowel comes after g, q, or s, as in lingua, qui, suadeo; where the two vowels are not reckoned a diphthong, because the sound of the u vanishes, or is little heard.

Words consisting of one syllable, are called Monosyllables; of two, Dissyllables ; and of more than two, Polysyllables. But all words of more than one syllable, are commonly called Polysyllables.

In dividing words into syllables, we are chiefly to be directed by the ear. Compound words should be divided into the parts of which they are made up; as, ăb-ūtor, in-ops, propter-ea, et-ěnim, věl-ut, &c.

Observe, A long syllable is thus marked []; as, amare; or with a circumflex accent thus, [^]; as, amáris. A short syllable is marked thus, []; as, omnibus.

What pertains to the quantity of syllables, to accent, and verse, will be treated of



Words are articulate sounds significant of thought.

That part of Grammar which treats of words, is called Etymology, or Analogy. All words whatever are either simple or compound, primitive or derivative.

The division of words into simple and compound, is called their Figure; into primitive and derivative, their Species or kind.

A simple word is that which is not made up of more than one; as, pius, pious; ĕgo, I; doceo, I teach.

A compound word is that which is made up of two or more words; or of one word and some syllable added; as, impius, impious; dedoceo, I unteach; ĕgomet, I myself.

A primitive word is that which comes from no other; as, pius, pious; disco, I learn; doceo, I teach.

A derivative word is that which comes from another word; as, piětas, piety; doctrīna, learning.

The different classes into which we divide words, are called Parts of Speech.

The parts of speech in Latin are eight; 1. Noun, Pronoun, Verb, Participle; declined: 2. Adverb, Preposition, Interjection, and Conjunction; undeclined.

Those words or parts of speech are said to be declined, which receive different changes, particularly on the end, which is called the Termination of words.

The changes made upon words are by grammarians called Accidents.

Of old, all words which admit of different terminations were said to be declined. But Declension is now applied only to nouns. The changes made upon the verb are called Conjugation.

The English language has one part of speech more than the Latin, namely, the ARTICLE.

The want of the article is a defect in the Latin tongue, and often renders the meaning of nouns undetermined: thus, filius regis, may signify either a son of a king, or a king's son; or the son of the king, or the king's son.


A noun is either substantive or adjective.

The adjective seems to be improperly called noun: it is only a word added to a substantive or noun, expressive of its quality; and therefore should be considered as a different part of speech.

But as the substantive and adjective together express but one object, and in Latin are declined after the same manner, they have both been comprehended under the same general name.


A Substantive, or Noun, is the name of any person, place, or thing; as, boy, school, book.

Substantives are of two sorts, proper and common names.

Proper names are the names appropriated to individuals, as the names of persons and places; such are Cæsar, Rome.

Common names stand for whole kinds, containing several sorts; or for sorts, containing many individuals under them; as, animal, man, beast, fish, fowl, &c.

Every particular being should have its own proper name; but this is impossible, on account of their innumerable multitude: men have therefore been obliged to give the same common name to such things as agree together in certain respects. These form what is called a genus, or kind; a species, or sort.

A proper name may be used for a common, and then in English it has the article joined to it; as, when we say of some great conqueror, "He is an Alexander;" or, "The Alexander of his age.'


To proper and common names may be added a third class of nouns, which mark the names of qualities, and are called abstract nouns; as, hardness, goodness, whiteness, virtue, justice, piety, &c. When we speak of things, we consider them as one or more. This is what we call Number. When one thing is spoken of, a noun is said to be of the singular number; when two or more, of the plural.

Things considered according to their kinds, are either male or female, or neither of the two. Males are said to be of the masculine gender; females of the feminine; and all other things of the neuter gender.

Such nouns as are applied to signify either the male or the female, are said to be of the common gender; that is, either masculine or feminine.

Various methods are used, in different languages, to express the different connexions or relations of one thing to another. In the English, and in most modern languages, this is done by prepositions, or participles placed before the substantive: in Latin, by declension, or by different cases; that is, by changing the termination of the noun; as, rex, a king, or the king; rēgis, of a king, or of the king.

A Latin noun is declined by Genders, Cases, and Numbers.

There are three genders, Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter.

The cases are six, Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative, and Ablative.

There are two numbers, Singular and Plural.

There are five different ways of varying or declining nouns, called the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth declensions.

Cases are certain changes made upon the termination of nouns, to express the relation of one thing to another.

They are so called, from cădo, to fall; because they fall, as it were, from the nominative, which is therefore named căsus rectus, the straight case; and the other cases, casus obliqui, the oblique cases.

The different declensions may be distinguished from one another by the termination of the genitive singular. The first declension has a diphthong; the second has i; the third has is; the fourth has ûs; and the fifth has ëi in the genitive.

Although Latin nouns be said to have six cases, yet none of them have that number of different terminations, both in the singular and plural.


1. Nouns of the neuter gender have the Accusative and Vocative like the Nominative, in both numbers; and these cases in the plural end always in a

2. The Dative and Ablative plural end always alike.

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