English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In the particular context that I'm in, I was writing about several lines of programming. For simplicity, let's call them:

line a
line b

First, I described line a. Great. Then I wanted to write about line b, but couldn't think of the way to describe the relationship between b and a. The closest I could think of was "follows", but to say "the following line" is ambiguous: it can refer to either the line of code after line a, or it can imply that I'm going to copy and paste line b into my text and reference it there (which was not the case).

I ended up saying something to the effect of "line a precedes some code that...", but was wondering:

If line a "precedes" line b, then what is the proper and unambiguous term for the relationship between line b, relative to line a? Postcede?

share|improve this question
Succeed or follow. Online thesaurus. – Mitch Jun 28 '11 at 23:31
Parliament is changing the law. Now, the eldest child (of either gender) will succeed the monarch. – GEdgar Nov 12 '11 at 22:59
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Line B is preceded by Line A.

Line A is followed by Line B.

EDIT after the first comment:

To make it active, you can try:

Line B follows Line A.

Alternatively, you could say:

Line B comes after Line A.

share|improve this answer
Ah, I like "comes after". What about an adjective form? – Dave DeLong Jun 28 '11 at 23:41
What exactly do you mean? I think you're looking for "the preceding line" and "the following line", or alternatively, "the succeeding line". – RiMMER Jun 28 '11 at 23:44

The most natural-sounding way you could say it (other than using "follows") is probably: "is next after".

If "line A" precedes "line B", "line B" is/comes next after "line A".

"Succeed" is the technical antonym to "precede", but "line B succeeds line A" does not sound as natural.

Then again, though you discarded the term "follows", it may turn out to be a good choice.

share|improve this answer
predecessor/successor ... follower has another meaning – GEdgar Jun 28 '11 at 23:56

Antecede is synonymous with precede (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/antecede). I believe the proper "mirror word" to precede is succeed. This usage is most commonly seen in the form predecessor/successor, but it's perfectly valid to say that line a precedes line b and line b succeeds line a.

share|improve this answer
Welcome to the site, but your suggestion of succeed has already been given and the commentary about antecede would be more suitable as a comment, not an answer. If you are new to Stack Exchange, I encourage you to visit the Help Center— this is a Q&A site, not a discussion forum. – choster Dec 20 '13 at 20:28

"Subsequent" is a fitting antonym to precede.

share|improve this answer
How fitting can it be as it isn't even a verb? – choster Jan 13 '14 at 22:39

I see the question the inquirer is driving at. The word "precede" means to walk "in advance of" or "in front of". He/she is asking if there is a mirror word (presumably utilizing the root word "cede"), for "precede". A single word that means, essentially, "to walk behind" or "to follow", or "the last in a train of..."

That word, dear asker, is not "postcede", though I see your logic, but "antecede".

share|improve this answer
But antecede is actually a synonym of precede: thefreedictionary.com/antecede – Chris H Sep 17 '13 at 9:05

protected by tchrist Feb 26 '15 at 2:09

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.