Choose the correct word:

Deadly Skills Days Precede/Proceed the Deadly Days Festival

CO2 regulation to precede/proceed in U.S. without climate bill

These two words have similar sounds. They also have similar definitions, encompassing an idea of forward movement. This leads to some confusion. Precede is to go before. Proceed means to move ahead, to continue.

Our first sentence, then, calls for precede, because the skills day will come before the festival. In the second sentence, proceed is the right choice; CO2 regulation will happen even though there’s no overarching climate bill.

This is one of those cases when knowing your prefixes can help you choose the right word. The two words share a root, cede, which comes from the Latin cedere, which originally meant to go. With precede, the prefix pre– means before.So precede is to go before. In proceed, the prefix pro– means forward, and therefore proceed is to go forward.

Sometimes writers will also confuse the terms by misspelling precede as preceed:

The event will preceed the men’s soccer exhibition match against UNC Chapel Hill.

Preceed your website development with a proper graphics design.

Here, it’s just a matter of memorizing the spellings: precede and proceed.