The English language is full of words that are similar to each other but also quite distinct. Some of these words sound the same, some are spelled the same, and some have similar origins, but they are all different in their meanings—if only slightly. The words precede and proceed, are two words that confuse even experienced writers and print journalists from time to time. Both words mean to go ahead, but they mean it in different senses.
Consider the following sentences:
The word proceed originated from late Middle English: from Old French proceder, from Latin procedere, from pro- ‘forward’ + cedere ‘go’. The word precede also originated from late Middle English: from Old French preceder, from Latin praecedere, from prae ‘before’ + cedere ‘go’.
Proceed as verb:
Proceed is also used to explain originate from.
Precede as verb:
Proceed or precede:
While these two words are exactly antonyms of each other, they do have very different means, and they are focused on very different things. It’s important to know when to choose proceed or precede for a given sentence. Precede means to come before something or someone else. Proceed means to carry on or go forward. Preceed is a misspelling that attempts to combine the two. The usual mistake involving these two words is mistaking proceed for the word precede. In order to avoid this mistake, always remember the following trick. Precede means to come before and the word has one additional “E” than does proceed. Precede means before. Proceed means to carry on or go forward. The words proceed and forward have the letter “O” in them, as does the phrase carry on.