How to use 'forward' correctly - or is it 'foreword'?


This word most commonly relates to movement with things or people moving to the front. But there is also:

  • Forward orders - i.e. orders for next month,
  • Some people are forward (i.e. brash or bold),
  • And some people are forward thinking (i.e. modern and progressive).

Stepping forward to the podium, the forward CEO announced his forward opinions for delivering the forward orders.


This word is made of the prefix "fore-" (which means before) with "word," thus literally meaning "before the word."

Think of it as a "word"--actually a group of words--that comes before the main words of a book. Words, with the same prefix, which can help us remember the right spelling for this "foreword," include "forecast," "foreshadow," and "foresight."

Now let's look at "forward" and "foreword" in the same sentence (not recommended - it can become too confusing):

Before close of business today, Lucy will forward her foreword to the proofreader.

We all know English is not simple. In addition to "foreword," there are also:

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Prologue
  • Afterword
  • Epilogue

Maybe for another day . . .