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What exactly is the difference between "introduction to" and "introduction of"?

For example: should it be "Introduction to the problem" or "Introduction of the problem"?

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4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are two different meanings here:

(1) the action of introducing something
issues arising from the introduction of new technology

(2) a thing preliminary to something else, especially an explanatory section at the beginning of a book, report, or speech
a good general introduction to the subject is A Social History of England

From oxforddictionaries.com.

I suspect you want meaning (2):

The first paragraph provides an introduction to the problem.

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It's an introduction of a problem to the people, therefore:

Let me introduce this problem to our employees.
An introduction of this problem was made to our employees.

But, you can also say

I've been introduced to the problem.
Our employees were introduced to the problem.

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It's a matter of meaning and usage.

Both of "introduction of" and "introduction to" are grammatical and have the same meaning in the following case:

Do you mind giving us an introduction of the problem?

Do you mind giving us an introduction to the problem?

But, they will have different meanings in the case below:

Your introduction to the problem will last 5 minutes. ("You" are going to be introduced)

Your introduction of the problem will last 5 minutes. (The meaning here is ambiguous: 1) "You" are going to be introduced or 2) "You" are the one who introduced the problem to others)

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I have to disagree: I believe your introduction of the problem doesn't mean that you are going to be introduced to the problem, it only means the latter: that you are going to be introducing the problem to others. But I will not down-vote your answer unless someone else agrees with me by up-voting this comment. –  RiMMER May 22 '11 at 19:41
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It's a matter of usage and meaning, some examples:

"Our students are learning English faster since the introduction of new classroom methods."

  • Here, "Introduction of" has more to do with ideas, techniques and articles.

"With the introduction of penicillin, pneumonia was no longer as life-threatening as before."

  • Here, "Introduction of" refers to bringing something into a place or situation.

"Can you give me an introduction to the president of the company?"

  • "Introduction to" is more commonly used in referring to presenting someone to another person.

"Since my introduction to the use of the DVD player, I watch more movies than before."

  • "introduction to" has to do with a meeting, either between people, or between a person or person, and an idea, situation, thing, etc.

So, for your case, "introduction of the problem" should be correct, according to first one.

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It would be nice if you could leave a comment on why down-vote! –  user8568 May 22 '11 at 20:29
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