precedent / unprecedented

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Mulham

Senior Member
Arabic
Hello everyone .I have a favour to ask .What's the difference in the meaning between the two adjectives :
precedent / unprecedented .
I would appreciate it very much if you could write some examples , because I'm totally at sea with the meanings .Thanks in advance .
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Precedent" is now rarely used as an adjective, except possibly in legal contexts. It is more commonly a noun. If something has a precedent, something like it has occurred before. If nothing like it has occurred before, it is unprecedented.
     

    Mulham

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Precedent" is now rarely used as an adjective, except possibly in legal contexts. It is more commonly a noun. If something has a precedent, something like it has occurred before. If nothing like it has occurred before, it is unprecedented

    Thank you so much . So can I use precedent as an uncountable noun ?
    for example :
    men crying in public doesn't have much precedents ?
    or
    men taking care of babies is not precedented much?
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thank you so much . So can I use precedent as an uncountable noun ?
    for example :
    men crying in public doesn't have much precedents ?
    or
    men taking care of babies is not precedented much?
    More likely:

    Men crying in public doesn't have much precedent.
    Men taking care of babies is largely unprecedented.


    I would avoid "precedented."
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If there is little or no precedent for a particular situation that has arisen, people are unsure of how to deal with it. It creates a problem: We don't know what to do, because this kind of thing has never happened before.

    The fact that there is no precedent is relevant only in the context of someone having to decide how to deal with the problem. I don't know what kind of problem a few men crying in public could create, but they could certainly "set a precedent", whereby other men might begin to think it was a normal thing for men to do.
     
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