Foreword versus Forward

Although foreword and forward are spelled almost identically and are pronounced the same, they have very different meanings and are different parts of speech.

foreword versus forward

Foreword is always a noun that refers the preface of something.

  • The foreword of a book.

Forward can be used as an adjective, adverb, verb, or noun, but it is primarily used as an adjective.

  • He was being very forward with his sexual advances.

When to Use Foreword in a Sentence

Foreword meaning: Foreword functions solely a noun and refers to the preface or introduction of something, often a book.

Example: “Rose McGowan writes forward for witchcraft book.” Source: New York Post

Example: The enduring impact of the book is described in its foreword.

Less commonly, foreword is used to describe intangible things, namely ideas.

Example: I will preface this idea for all of you with the foreword that we can all do better.

Be aware that according to the Chicago Manual of Style, a foreword in a book differs from an introduction because someone other than the author writes it.

Phrases That Use Foreword

There are no common phrases or idioms that utilize the word foreword.

When to Use Forward in a Sentence

Forward meaning: Forward is a very versatile word that can be used as an adjective, adverb, verb, or noun to describe at the vanguard or front of something.

Most often it is used as an adjective to describe a person’s behavior.

Example: He was very forward with his suggestions for the improvements.

In this sense, describing someone as forward is to call him bold or forthright with his suggestions, potentially acting in a presumptuous manner.

When used as an adverb, forward describes a general direction where something is moving.

Example: “Vista jail program celebrated as model for veterans ‘moving forward.’” Source: CBS News 8

When used as a verb, forward describes the act of sending something to someone.

Example: Forward me the paycheck to my new address.

When used as a noun, a forward is a player on a hockey or basketball team.

Example: “Would Cale Makar be better as a forward than a defenseman for Colorado?” Source: The Denver Post

It is important to know that even when forward is used as a noun, forward denotes a position that is at the front of gameplay.

Phrases that Use Forward

Forward is commonly used as a verb to describe transferring someone’s mail to a new location.

  • I will forward my mail to your address in the course of my move.

Foreword or Forward – Keeping Them Straight

Remembering the difference between foreword and forward can be easily done with one simple trick. Just remember that foreword is always a noun and it almost always refers to a book.

What are books comprised of? That’s right, words!

If you remember that foreword has the word “word” in it and often has to do with books, then you’ll never again get foreword and forward confused.

Trust me, it really works!

Test Your Knowledge

Use either foreword or forward correctly in each sentence.

  1. Let me _______ this idea to all of you.
  2. The ________ to my idea should explain everything.
  3. You should _______ that information to the proper authorities.
  4. Some think that the ___________ of the new book is just as enlightening.
  5. Many of the commentators and coaches believe he is the best _________ in college basketball.

See the answers below.

Recap: When to use Foreword or Forward

Although these two words sound alike, they are quite different.

  • Foreword is always a noun that is usually introduction to a book written by someone other than the author.
  • Forward is an adjective or adverb that describes being at the front of something.
  • Forward can also function as a verb that describes the process of moving something from one place to another.
  • A forward is also a player position in the sports of hockey and basketball.


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