I am actually writing a computer program. I think that practically everyone knows how programs work at the very high level: they have conditions and if conditions are met then a program goes further.

Now what I would like to know is: how can I say in one word "to go further", or even "condition to met to go further".

  • I would prefer to use "execution flow" instead of "program". Program is an artifact, for example .exe file.
    – zoonman
    Mar 7, 2019 at 6:21

1 Answer 1


When its conditions are met, your program proceeds:

2a : to continue after a pause or interruption
b : to go on in an orderly regulated way

4: to move along a course : advance
from m-w.com

And those conditions can be referred to as prerequisites (or preconditions, if you prefer):

something that is necessary to an end or to the carrying out of a function
from m-w.com

M-W goes on to explain that a prerequisite "can be anything that must be accomplished or acquired before something else can be done."

  • How bizarre! My first thought when I read this question was that the program continues sounds like a much more likely verb. But when I created that linked NGram to double-check/prove the point, although it showed something like a 3:1 preference in support of my choice, I thought it might be even stronger for software in particular... Aug 14, 2018 at 16:59
  • ...so I tried this NGram specifically comparing the computer program proceeds / continues. But according to that one, continues is so uncommon it doesn't chart at all. Perhaps the old Cobol Procedure Division has greater "reach" here than the oft-maligned Continue reserved word in more modern languages like C++. Aug 14, 2018 at 17:06
  • @Fumble it could be because “continue” is a keyword with a specific meaning in many programming languages that its use is avoided for a more general sense.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 14, 2018 at 17:22
  • Hellion, thank you! I knew the "proceed" word but completely forgot it. @FumbleFingers, ColleenV is correct, a "continue" word is a keyword with a completely different meaning - to continue to a next iteration of a loop. Aug 14, 2018 at 17:31
  • 1
    But we can and do say that execution continues. google.com/…
    – TimR
    Aug 14, 2018 at 18:40

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