Grammar CheckerSpellingWhat is the difference between 'past' and 'passed'?

What is the difference between 'past' and 'passed'?

What is the difference between 'past' and 'passed'?

People often confuse the words past and passed because of their similar sound. In this article, we explain the difference between them.

Past means beyond in place, quantity or time when used as a preposition, e.g. It is half past the hour.

Past can also be used as an adjective, adverb, or noun.

For example:

  • As a noun: It happened in the past.
  • As an adjective: The past month has been crazy.
  • As an adverb: He sprinted past us.

Passed is the past participle of the verb to pass. It is the action of moving ahead, e.g. I passed by the shops on my way home.

A good way to remember the difference is to think that past, which ends with a T, usually refers to time, which begins with a T.

In contrast, passed generally deals with movement. You can tell it's a verb because it ends with -ed like most verbs in the past tense. If the word you want is the action word of the sentence, then it should be the verb passed.

Which is right, blast from the past or blast from the passed?

The correct phrase is blast from the past. These phrases are often confused because they are homophones.

Is the right expression passed away or past away?

You should use passed away. These phrases are often confused because they have the same pronunciation but different meanings.

What's the right phrase, passed on or past on?

The right phrase is passed on. These phrases are often confused because they sound similar.

What's the right phrase, passed with flying colors or past with flying colors?

You should use passed with flying colors. These phrases are often confused because of their similar sound.

Some synonyms of past are: previous, departed, prehistoric, non-current.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary.

Dictionary Definition of pastDictionary Definition of passed

Examples of past in a sentence

It even has a past, which in this world amounts to a virtual miracle.
- Grand Junction by Maurice G. Dantec
Every animal I have mounted has been an interpretation of the past.
- Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
It had been her way of sweeping away the past.
- The heart of Devin MacKade by Nora Roberts
The road they followed ran northwesterly past more burned-out villages and shattered towns.
- Demon Lord of Karanda by David Eddings
The past was all around as an aching memory filled with beauty that crumbled.
- Weighed in the balance by Anne Perry

Examples of passed in a sentence

He slowed down as he passed the inn, saw lights-shining on the second and third floors.
- The heart of Devin MacKade by Nora Roberts
I ordered satay from room service and passed out with the lights still on.
- Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren
As the years passed, this postmechanical biocide had grown.
- Grand Junction by Maurice G. Dantec
Alex was still in with his sister as Samantha passed the guard.
- Secret Weapon Spouse by B. J. Daniels
Once the Stolls had passed, we forged deeper into the west woods where the monsters were wilder.
- The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan