Though this text-book is small, it comprises, I believe, everything necessary - so far as grammar is concerned - for a student of modem Irish. I have not treated at all of the ancient forms of the language; and I have excluded everything in the shape of dissertation: the grammar of the modern Irish language, and no more, is here set forth in words as few and simple as possible.
I have not suggested any changes either in spelling or in grammatical forms, or attempted innovation of any kind: this is a grammar of the language as it actually exists in the works of our best writers.
All the illustrative examples are quotations from standard Irish writings; but though I retain the references, I have not given them in the grammar, as they would encumber the book, and impede, rather than facilitate the learner. I may mention here, however, that the works from which the examples are chiefly taken, are, those of Keating, the publications of the Ossianic Society, "The Three Sorrowful Stories of Erin" (viz., "The Fate of the Children of Usna," "The Fate of the Children of Lir," and "The Fate of the Children of Turenn"), and occasionally the "Annals of the Four Masters." The language of the various works published by the Archæological and Celtic Societies is generally too antiquated to be quoted in a grammar of modern Irish.
I have all through given word-for-word translations of the examples; free translations would have been more pleasant to read, but would have added considerably to the learner's difficulty.
In the last Part - "Idioms" - I have given a popular rather than a scientific explanation of the principal idioms of the language. Nothing like this is to be found in any other Irish Grammar; and I believe that the learner who masters it will be saved much labour and perplexity.