Not only do precede and proceed sound similar, these two terms also pertain to movement, causing confusion to some. This post will help you distinguish between the two words.
The term precede is generally used as a verb meaning “to come before something in time, order, or position” or “to go in front of or ahead of something.”
“Warmth to precede new train of storms in western US this week”
“A.J. Delgado tweetstorm precedes Jason Miller’s resignation from top Trump post”
“Three reports of dirty water preceded ban in Corpus Christi, Texas, official says”
Los Angeles Times
As highlighted by the examples above, precede is used to indicate that an event or action takes place prior to another event or action. In the second example, we can clearly tell that the tweetstorm of A.J. Delgado happened before the resignation of Jason Miller.
On the other hand, the word proceed is used as a verb which means “to begin or continue a course of action,” “to move forward, especially after reaching a certain point,” or “to do something as a natural or seemingly inevitable next step.”
“Syria Talks Proceed Despite Assassination of Russian Diplomat in Turkey”
New York Times
“UN approves Aleppo monitors as evacuations from city proceed”
“BP to Proceed with Deep Water Project in Gulf of Mexico”
Wall Street Journal
In the examples above, we can assume that the Syria talks, evacuations from Aleppo, and the deep water project were already in process and will just continue.
One technique you can use to remember which term to utilize in a particular sentence is to keep in mind that when using precede, the action or event must happen before another action or event while using proceed would mean that an action or event will move forward.