Past vs. Passed
Do you not know when to use past vs passed? Use this page to discover past vs passed examples. You can also use this page to learn the definition of past vs passed.
The Easy Explanation: Past vs Passed
Past can refer to an earlier period of time, but it can also show a relative position:
Passed is the past tense of the verb “to pass”:
When to Use Past vs. Passed
The word past refers to an earlier time and can be an adjective (as in “a past girlfriend”) or a noun (as in “the distant past”). It can also be a preposition that shows a relative position (as in “past the corner”).
The word passed is the past tense of the verb “to pass,” which means to go beyond someone or something.
Examples of Past vs. Passed
(In this sentence, “past” is a noun and refers to an earlier time period.)
(In this sentence, “past” is an adjective and refers to an earlier time period.)
(In this sentence, “passed” is the past tense of the verb “to pass.”)
How to Remember the Difference between Past vs Passed
Like many homophones, these words are confusing because they sound alike but their meaning and spelling are different.
To confirm that you are using the right word, replace the “passed/past” in question with “traveled” or “traveled by.” If the sentence still makes sense, you should use the word “passed.” If the sentence no longer makes sense, use the word “past.”
Theory Into Practice: Past vs Passed
Is the underlined word correct? See if you can tell.
Wrong: This example refers to an earlier time period and should use “past.”
Right: This example calls for the past tense of “to pass” as the verb in the sentence, so “passed” is correct.
Wrong: This example requires the past tense of the verb “to pass” and should use “passed.”
Right: This example refers to an earlier time period and is correct.