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Word comparisons

Note 62 – Precede and Proceed

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – If you would prefer to dive straight into note 62, then please read on…

Using the words precede and proceed

There is quite a distinct difference between these two words.  Precede means ‘go before’ and proceed means ‘go forward’, according to Pocket Writer’s Handbook (Penguin Reference Library) by Martin Manser and Stephen Curtis.  A tip they give is that “only proceed can be followed by to and another verb” (see example 2 under the definition proceed).


The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus defines precede as follows:

  • Go before (used in example 1)
  • Come first
  • Go ahead of
  • Lead
  • Pave the way
  • Take precedence

Definition of preceding

  • Previous (used in example 2)

Examples in sentences:

1.  He preceded me into the cave

(He went ahead of me into the cave)

2. I am going to have to ask you to read the preceding page again

(I am going to have to ask you to read the previous page again)


The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus defines proceed as follows:

  • Advance
  • Carry on
  • Go on
  • Continue (used in example 1)
  • Get going
  • Make a start (past tense used in example 2)
  • Progress

Examples in sentences:

1. Please proceed with your homework

(Please carry on with your homework)

2. He proceeded to do the cooking

(He continued to do the cooking)

Note: as mentioned in the introduction, proceeded can be followed by ‘to’ and ‘another verb’, in this case ‘to do’.

Please feel free to comment on this blog if you wish.  Enjoy your weekend.

Until tomorrow…


This blog:

My other blog:

My website: (includes first chapter of my book)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Pocket Writer’s Handbook (Penguin Reference Library), Martin Manser and Stephen Curtis

The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Please let me know what you think of my blog - constructive comments welcome. Have a great day Sandra Freelance Writer


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