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Post vs. Pre: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 10, 2023
"Post" indicates something occurring after a specific event or time, while "pre" signifies something occurring before a specific event or time.

Key Differences

The term "post" is used as a prefix to denote events, conditions, or periods that happen after a particular point in time. "Pre", as a prefix, indicates events, conditions, or periods that occur before a particular time.
"Post" is often associated with things that follow an event, like post-production occurring after filming. While, "pre" is used for things preceding an event, like pre-boarding, which occurs before the actual boarding of a flight.
In a temporal context, "post" suggests a sequence where an event or condition follows another, as in post-war, referring to the period after a war. On the other hand, "pre" suggests anticipation or preparation, as in pre-season, which refers to the period before the regular season of a sport begins.
"Post" can also imply a reaction or response to something that has already occurred, such as post-treatment care after medical procedures. "Pre" often implies precautionary or preparatory actions, such as pre-emptive measures taken before a potential problem arises.
Usage of "post" and "pre" extends beyond temporal sequences to include stages of processes or states, like post-graduate (after graduation) versus pre-graduate (before graduation).

Comparison Chart

Temporal Relation

After a specific event or time
Before a specific event or time

Common Contexts

Follow-up, aftermath, subsequent stages
Preparation, anticipation, prior stages


Reaction, response, or consequence
Precaution, foresight, or readiness

Example Usages

Post-war, post-treatment, post-graduate
Pre-war, pre-treatment, pre-graduate

Process or State

Indicates a stage following an event
Indicates a stage preceding an event

Post and Pre Definitions


Occurring or existing after a particular event or time.
The post-war era was marked by rapid industrial growth.


Before a specific event or time.
The pre-game show starts an hour before the match.


As a noun, a long, sturdy piece of timber or metal set upright in the ground.
He leaned against the wooden post.


Used to describe a condition existing before a certain point in history.
Pre-Roman Britain had its distinct culture.


As a verb, to assign to a position or station.
She was posted to the embassy in France.


Prior to, before in time or order.
In pre-industrial times, manufacturing was not mechanized.


To mail or send something.
He posted the letter yesterday.


Indicating a requirement that should be met before another action occurs.
Pre-approval is necessary before loan processing.


To publish or announce something in a public forum.
She posted the announcement on the bulletin board.


Signifying an earlier stage or version.
The pre-release version of the software had several bugs.


A long piece of wood or other material set upright into the ground to serve as a marker or support.


Before (something significant).


A support for a beam in the framework of a building.


A terminal of a battery.


Is pre always related to time?

Pre is primarily used in a temporal context but can also refer to order or sequence.

Can post refer to a physical object?

Yes, as a noun, post can refer to an upright support or stake.

What does it mean to post a notice?

To post a notice means to publicly display or announce it.

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is a medical condition that existed before obtaining health insurance.

Can post be used in mailing?

Yes, post can mean to mail or send something.

What is post-production?

Post-production is the work done on a film or recording after filming or recording.

What is a pre-emptive action?

A pre-emptive action is taken before a potential event to prevent it.

What does post mean?

Post means occurring after a specific event or time.

What does pre mean?

Pre means occurring before a specific event or time.

What is pre-approval?

Pre-approval is a process where eligibility is assessed before the final approval, like for loans.

What is a post-mortem examination?

A post-mortem examination is an examination of a body after death to determine the cause.

Is pre-marital counseling common?

Pre-marital counseling is often undertaken before marriage for better understanding and preparation.

What is pre-war architecture?

Pre-war architecture refers to buildings constructed before a specific war, often World War II.

Can post be a job assignment?

Yes, post as a verb can mean to assign someone to a job or location.

What does pre-loaded mean in technology?

Pre-loaded refers to software or content already installed on a device before purchase.

Can pre be used in education?

Yes, pre is used in education, like pre-school, which is before formal schooling.

Can post be used in sports?

Yes, post can refer to a position in some sports, like basketball.

What is a post in social media?

A post in social media is content shared publicly or with friends, like a photo, video, or update.

What does post-graduate mean?

Post-graduate refers to studies or students continuing education after graduation.

What does pre-order mean?

Pre-order means to order a product before it is officially available for sale.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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