Confusing Words

Past vs. Passed

People often have confusion about the words past and passed. This is because of their similar sound and similar meaning. In this article, we will explain past vs. passed. Past and passed are homophones and having almost identical sound, but having different definitions. Both past and passed are being used related to motion and time. The verb pass, when used in the present tense will look like for example, I will pass the ball to you.

Here, if we substitute the word pass for passed, then I passed the ball to you. It signifies that this happened previously. And thus, it has already happened. With the addition of “-ed” to the end of the verb pass, will make it passed. Whereas the word past is defined as gone in time and currently has no longer existing.

We may have an example for it, “In the past, people used to live differently.” Or, “Somesh struggled with his weight in the past.” In the word past, once we see the definition for this, all will become clear. Thus, “past” is mostly used to signify a point in time.

With the reference of time, we often have used that, the word past used to describe the time, “It is quarter past nine.” Clearly, it is describing something which has gone beyond time. It means we cannot mix these two words up. So it is very important to keep past and passed separately in our writing. Let us discuss Past vs. Passed.

Past vs. Passed

                                                                                                            Past vs. Passed

Difference Between Past and Passed

The difference between the past and passed is an interesting example of confusing words in the English language. Past vs Passed is a very commonly confused pair, so their difference is a must to know. The way to keep the meaning straight is to remember about the past only ever has that form. But passed is really just a tense form of the verb pass. Thus, it can take the forms of the pass, passes, or passing accordingly.

Passed is only a form of the verb “pass,” in the second or third form. On the other hand past word is the noun, adjective, preposition as well as adverb. It is clear that “Past”, will always have the same form irrespective of the sentence making or its tense.

Past: The word “past” has different meanings and related to “time before the present”. It also indicates the movement from one side of a reference point to the other side.”  We may use it as an adjective, an adverb, a noun, or a preposition.

Passed: The word passed is the past tense of the verb pass, which says about movement through or into a place or a time or to have happened. There are many sentences, where Pass and passed have many uses and also related to motion and time.

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How to Use the Past?

One may use word past can be used as an adjective, a preposition, a noun, or an adverb.

As an adjective- some examples are as follows:

  • He was good at his job because of his past experience.
  • You just saw my parents this past weekend.
  • It was not correct happening in past few years.

As a preposition- some examples are as follows:

  • We walked past the railway station on our way home.
  • Her house is a kilometer past the school.
  • He looked past me and saw his father approaching us.

As a noun- some examples are as follows:

  • Sita was living in problems in the past and couldn’t move on due to the financial crisis.
  • We had many valuable and happy memories of the past.
  • They have an interesting past too.

As adverb- some examples are as follows:

  • We drove past too quickly to get the movie ticket timely.
  • Three bunnies hopped past energetically through the wire.
  • A year went past before he heard from his brother.

Incorrect: I think that the juice bottle is passed its expiration date.

Correct: I think that the juice bottle is past its expiration date.

How to Use Passed?

To pass generally means to move past. And this is the point of the confusion. This is important to bear in mind that if we have used any verb of motion, then it will be partnered with the word “past” and not the word “passed.” For example:

Incorrect: The ships past each other in the daytime.

Correct: The ships passed each other in the day time.

Examples of Past – Using Past in a Sentence:

  • It was past 7:00 pm when all people left the office.
  • It is quarter past eleven now.
  • It is not good to talk in the exam hall, past the distribution of question paper.

Examples of Passed – Using Passed in a Sentence:

  • Fear and panic passed through the crowd in the street.
  • The rumor quickly passed from one person to another person.
  • They passed the time by playing outdoor games.
  • The meeting passed without any solid conclusion.
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