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Book Reviews,  Quick Posts

Autobiographies vs Biographies- what’s the difference?

In next week’s post, (5 Book Genres You’ve Got To Try – coming out on Tuesday 19th October) one of the genres is Autobiographies and Biographies.
But… what exactly do they mean? And what’s the difference between them? Your questions will be answered right here. Keep scrolling to learn more.

Firstly, an autobiography or biography is a book about a person’s life- they could be dead or alive; it doesn’t matter at all- and it’s usually about someone famous and/or inspirational. Some examples could be business people, sportspeople, cooks, business founders/owners, astronauts, gardeners … the list goes on. It could be anyone! And one day, it could be you…

Autobiography vs Biography

Now for the big question… what’s the difference between autobiographies and biographies? Essentially, it’s quite simple. An autobiography is written by a person about themselves, and a biography is written by someone about someone else.
We can realise this by breaking down the meaning of these two words. Working from the back forwards, ‘graphy’ is a suffix meaning a ‘form of writing, drawingor a field of study’, says YourDictionary. This suffix is derived from the Greek suffix ‘-graphia’, which means writing.
The next bit is more simple: ‘bio’ means life. Just life. I told you it was easy. It comes from the Greek word (Greek again!) ‘bios’, which means ‘the course of human life’.
That’s biography done for us, but what about the ‘auto’ bit in autobiographies? In this context (since we’re not talking about cars), it means by yourself, done by one, about said ‘one’. This little prefix is derived from the Greek word ‘autos’, which basically means the same thing as our ‘auto’.

So there we are. We now know what these words mean, the differences between them and even explored their history and meaning. Who knew so many words come from Greek?

Check out some autobiographies here:

Take a look at some biographies down below:

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