precedence and precedents - the difference

Our most common search themes:
apostrophe
semicolon
adjective
verb


Precedence pertains to ranking.
A precedent is a previous example used to guide a decision.

Precedence

The noun precedence pertains to ranking or status in order of importance or urgency.

Examples:
  • The medics treated them in order of precedence according to their
    injuries.
  • The rules that govern the precedence of members of the Royal Family are complex.

Precedent

The noun precedent means an example from the past that provides evidence for an argument. It is most commonly used in legal circles and, more specifically, can be described as a previously decided case that guides the decision of a future case.

Examples:
  • Having discovered a similar case in the past, the prosecution team used this precedent to support their argument.
  • There is precedent with last year's Smith versus Jones case.

Common Terms

Here are some common terms with precedent and precedence:

Precedent

Common terms with precedent:
  • To set a precedent
  • There is past precedent

Precedence

Common terms with precedence:
  • In order of precedence
  • To take precedence over something
 
 


What are nouns? List of easily confused words

More Free Help...

All the lessons and tests on Grammar Monster are free. Here's some more free help:

Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook
by Craig Shrives Follow us on Google+
mail tip Sign up for our daily tip emails
Chat about grammar Ask a grammar question
Search Search this site

Buy Some Help...

Too busy to read everything on Grammar Monster? Here are the paid services we recommend to learn grammar and to keep your writing error free:

Paste your text into Grammarly's online interface for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Press F2 while using Word, PowerPoint, etc., for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Send your text to a trained editor and grammar geek for checking. (Free trial available)

Learn English (or another language) with a state-of-the-art program. (Free trial available)

Buy Our Book...

Buy "Grammar Rules: Writing with Military Precision" by Craig Shrives (founder of Grammar Monster).


More info...