What is a preface?

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A preface is a section or page of the front and back matter of a book that includes explanatory remarks about the book.

Also known as:



Here are some possible features of a preface:

  • Comments, usually in the local language, and in the language of wider communication about some of the following:

    • The content and purpose of the book
    • The origin of the book, especially if it is local
    • The people for whom the book was printed
    • How many people speak the language
    • Where the language is spoken

Preface information can alternately be placed in the back of the book in a postface.


Here is an example of a preface:


This book has been prepared to assist Apache speakers who already read and write English to read and write in Apache.

Each lesson includes stories written by native speakers of Apache. At the back of the book the student will be rewarded by being able to read several longer stories which reflect the rich history and traditions of the Apache culture.

It is hoped that vernacular speakers will be able to use this book without a teacher's help by carefully following the instructions on each page.

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