‘Precede’ or ‘proceed’?

It is easy to get these two confused if you aren’t really concentrating or if you are distracted (perhaps by watching Daredevil, eating cake, or eating cake while watching Daredevil*).

However, the difference is fairly simple to understand:

  • To precede is to ‘go before’ (such as in time or order)
  • To proceed is to ‘go forward’ (or to ‘go ahead’)

If it helps, only proceed can be followed by to and another verb: He proceeded to eat my cake.

*I would never be distracted by this. I am a professional.


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