The main difference between Preface and Foreword is that the Preface is a introduction to a book or other literary work by the author and Foreword is a piece of writing sometimes placed at the beginning of a book or other piece of literature.
A preface () or proem () is an introduction to a book or other literary work written by the work’s author. An introductory essay written by a different person is a foreword and precedes an author’s preface. The preface often closes with acknowledgments of those who assisted in the literary work.
A preface generally covers the story of how the book came into being, or how the idea for the book was developed; this is often followed by thanks and acknowledgments to people who were helpful to the author during the time of writing.
A preface is usually signed (and the date and place of writing often follow the typeset signature); a foreword by another person is always signed. Information essential to the main text is generally placed in a set of explanatory notes, or perhaps in an “Introduction” that may be paginated with Arabic numerals, rather than in the preface. The term preface can also mean any preliminary or introductory statement. It is sometimes abbreviated pref.
Preface comes from the Latin, meaning either “spoken before” (prae and fatia) or “made before” (prae + factum). While the former source of the word could have preface meaning the same as prologue, the latter strongly implies an introduction written before the body of the book. With this meaning of stated intention, British publishing up to at least the middle of the twentieth century distinguished between preface and introduction.
A foreword is a (usually short) piece of writing sometimes placed at the beginning of a book or other piece of literature. Typically written by someone other than the primary author of the work, it often tells of some interaction between the writer of the foreword and the book’s primary author or the story the book tells. Later editions of a book sometimes have a new foreword prepended (appearing before an older foreword if there was one), which might explain in what respects that edition differs from previous ones.
When written by the author, the foreword may cover the story of how the book came into being or how the idea for the book was developed, and may include thanks and acknowledgments to people who were helpful to the author during the time of writing. Unlike a preface, a foreword is always signed.
Information essential to the main text is generally placed in a set of explanatory notes, or perhaps in an introduction, rather than in the foreword or preface.
The pages containing the foreword and preface (and other front matter) are typically not numbered as part of the main work, which usually uses Arabic numerals. If the front matter is paginated, it uses lowercase Roman numerals. If there is both a foreword and a preface, the foreword appears first; both appear before the introduction, which may be paginated either with the front matter or the main text.
The word foreword was first used around the mid-17th century, originally as a term in philology. It was possibly a calque of German Vorwort, itself a calque of Latin praefatio.
The beginning or introductory portion that comes before the main text of a document or book.
“The book included a brief preface by a leading expert in the field.”
An introduction, or series of preliminary remarks.
The prelude or introduction to the canon of the Mass.
To introduce or make a comment before (the main point).
“Let me preface this by saying that I don’t know him that well.”
To give a preface to.
“to preface a book”
An introductory section preceding the main text of a book or other document; a preface or introduction.
a short introduction to a book, typically by a person other than the author.