proceed in/with

  1. We should proceed in the criminal investigation.

Can I also say, “with the criminal investigation” instead?
If not, please explain the difference b/w “proceed in” and “proceed with”.


‘Proceed’ suggests ‘go ahead’ in the sense of ‘continue’ and is invariably followed by ‘with’.

Since the product was accepted by the management team, the company decided to proceed with marketing it.

Your sentence would also need ‘proceed with’.


Thanks a lot! :slight_smile:

I agree that ‘proceed’ is frequently followed by ‘with’, but to say it is ‘invariably’ followed by ‘with’ is very definitely NOT the case. Here are some examples taken from COCA and the BNC:

[i]- Please advise how you want to proceed in either reviewing or suggesting the appointees.

  • These people build and leverage on these contacts and experiences as they proceed in their careers and work.

  • As we proceed in the project of rethinking trauma studies, we need to be careful about repeating the dead ends of earlier debates…

  • So how might we proceed in improving evidence uptake into practice?

  • There’s no reason why the Senate cannot proceed in this prudent matter early next year.

  • There probably are more organized ways to proceed in the selection of an architect…

  • This historical work is also necessary for us as we proceed in the purification of the Church’s memory called for by John Paul II.

  • Keeping these qualifications in mind, we may nonetheless proceed in opening Chassriau’s allegories to interpretation.

  • One or two dogs howled, trotted around the pit, unsure how to proceed in their attacks.

  • What’s your thought about how we should proceed in this battle over communication?

  • There is widespread agreement in American society that civic education is a worthy goal, but there is not similar agreement about the content of civic education or the best way to proceed in implementing or enhancing civic education.

  • Before this lively experience, I had a conversation with Billy that didn’t proceed in the usual question-answer form of an interview.

  • You cannot proceed in business without a licence, and the licensing authority (LA) can revoke a licence if its terms are not strictly complied with.

  • Before we proceed in chapter 4 to discuss the interpretative phase of social dialectological research, however, it seems to be appropriate to add a few further remarks on the use of quantitative methods.

  • The solicitor contacted by the first defendant and Mr. Morgan for the purposes of the new will, Mr. Burgess, concluded that the deceased lacked testamentary competence and that he should not proceed in the matter. [/i]

In addition, there are any number of cases in which 'in' works', but 'with' either does not work at all or may not work well after the verb 'proceed'. For example:

[i]- proceed in this manner
- proceed in single file
- proceed in this direction
- proceed in phases
- proceed in the face of
- proceed in English[/i]

Finally, there are any number of other prepositions that can follow 'proceed'. For example (from the BNC):

[i]- proceed on a large scale
- proceed on the basis of
- proceed from the known into the unknown
- proceed from here
- proceed through Tetford village
- proceed through use of method and skill[/i]

[i][size=75]"A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much, and an action which does not [b]proceed from[/b] a thought is nothing at all." ~ Georges Bernanos[/size][/i]

Thanks for a lot of examples but…
So, how should I know wihch one is more sutable than the other, in or with?
Very confusing.

Sorry, Pooh, but they’re all context dependent, so there’s no quick way of knowing. You have to apply the ‘rules’ of the preposition.

Hi Pooh,

I can see the problem. I think it’s best to concentrate on the verb ‘proceed’ itself. This has the first meaning of ‘go forward’ very much in the sense of making a start. You would use it if you wanted people with you to start a discussion as in: Now that we are all present and very anxious to get on with our work, shall we proceed?

You should also bear in mind that many of the examples given are more ‘proceed’ + a prepositional phrase than either ‘in’ or ‘with’ linked directly to the verb. I would say the difference can be seen in these two sentences: We proceeded with the plan = We decided to adopt the plan and start using it. We proceeded in the plan = We had already adopted the plan and then continued to use it.


This sounds a very good indicator how to use!!
Thanks!! :slight_smile:

How about this: “We proceed in this case.”
As you said, “in this case” is kinda a prepositional phrase, isn’t it?
So I think we cannot say “We proceed with this case.”.
Am I right?

‘Proceed with this case’ is usually the correct options. What context did you have in mind?