A site for spellers, teachers of spelling and reading, and students of english words
cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader
cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader
 
cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader

Questions and Answers

>> Search questions and answers

Keyword or phrase:   
Topic: 
     or view all answers

Teaching tips

How can we help students remember which spelling to use with words like proceed with <ceed>, and precede with <cede>?

In these words <cede> and <ceed> are different spellings of the same base, which comes from Latin verb cedere "go, withdraw, proceed." This base has produced several Modern English words, in most of which the bases spelling parallels the spelling in Latin: accede, antecede, cede, concede, intercede, precede, recede, retrocede, secede.

The <ceed> alteration of earlier <cede> didn't gain dominance in England until the 16th century and appears in only three verbs: succeed, proceed, and exceed . There is no way I know of to show logically why these three are spelled with <ceed>, but there are mnemonic devices that can help. One is based on the word speed. The <s> stands for succeed, the <p> for proceed, the first <e> for exceed, and the final <eed> reminds you of the <ceed> spelling:

Succeed

Proceed

Exceed

E

D

Another useful mnemonic is a sentence like, "If you proceed but do not exceed, you will succeed."

There is one common word and three not so common ones that complicate this tidy division: Procedure is spelled as if its stem word were <procede> rather than proceed. The same is true of procedendo, succedent, and succedaneum. These three, all of which came into English directly from Latin, are consistent with Partridge's suggestion that the <ceed> spelling is due to French influence.

  cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader
cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader