Precede vs. Proceed: They sound similar but are they?

by Arushi Gupta
precede vs proceed

The words “precede” and “proceed” are often confused with each other, but they have very different meanings. Let’s understand how the two words differ from each other and can be used in the right context.

Precede Definition

To precede means to come before or to go in advance of something. This could be a person, an event, a process, or an object. For example, if one event precedes another, it means that the first event occurred before the second event. In scientific research, it is important to understand the sequence of events or processes that lead to a particular outcome. In this context, “precede” is often used to describe the order in which experiments or observations were conducted.

Proceed Definition

To proceed means to continue or to move forward with something. It refers to the act of carrying out a plan or an action. In scientific research, “proceed” is often used to describe the next steps that need to be taken after an experiment or observation has been completed. For example, a researcher might proceed to analyze the data collected from an experiment or proceed to test a new hypothesis based on the results.

Precede vs. proceed examples

Here are some examples of how “precede” and “proceed” can used while writing:

  1. The literature review should precede the experimental design in order to ensure that the research question is properly framed.
  2. In this study, we will proceed with the hypothesis that the increase in temperature will lead to a decrease in enzyme activity.
  3. Before we can proceed with the analysis, we need to ensure that the data has been properly cleaned and organized.
  4. The researchers discovered that a high level of stress in adolescence can precede the onset of depression in later life.
  5. In order to proceed with the project, we need to secure funding from the grant agency.

When to use precede vs. proceed

The key difference between “precede” and “proceed” is that the former refers to something that comes before, while the latter refers to something that comes after. Therefore, when deciding which word to use, it’s important to consider the chronological order of events. If you’re talking about something that happened in the past or that needs to happen before something else, use “precede.” If you’re talking about something that needs to happen next or that’s happening right now, use “proceed.”

So are you ready to proceed to write your next research paper? We hope that when you are, you precede the process with thorough knowledge of grammar.

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