Distinguishing Between Pass & Past

Pass vs Past

Understanding the difference between “pass” and “past” can be challenging, especially for those who are not native English speakers or are less familiar with the language. While “past” refers to a time gone by, “pass” is a verb that describes a person or object passing by something or someone. Despite these distinctions, there are situations where it seems either term could be used, causing confusion. This article will help clarify the differences between the two words.

What does Pass mean?

“Pass” is a verb used in the sense of moving or going in a certain direction. When used with the word “past,” it conveys the idea of someone passing by someone else. “Past” refers to a point in time that has already occurred, while “pass” is an action verb that describes the act of going past someone or something. However, there are many other uses of “pass” as demonstrated in the following sentences:
– He passed out after his sixth drink.
– He passed away after suffering a major heart attack.
– A white BMW passed past me while I was on the road.

In the first sentence, the person loses consciousness after consuming too much alcohol. In the second sentence, a person dies from a disease, and in the third sentence, a white car overtakes the speaker on the road. In this case, we understand the meaning of overtaking because the word “past” is used with “pass.”

“Pass” can also be used as a noun, with two primary uses. First, it can mean a success in an examination, test, or course, as in “I got an A pass for Maths.” Second, it can refer to a card, ticket, or permit that authorizes the holder to enter or have access to a place, form of transport, or event, as in “I got two backstage passes to a Taylor Swift concert.”

What does Past mean?

“Past” is a word that refers to a time that has already passed or happened, such as when an adult person talks or reminisces about their childhood events. “Past” can be used as a noun, an adjective, and a preposition, depending on the context:

– As a noun: She was working 20 hours a day in the past.
– As an adjective: He was a past chairman of the committee.
– As a preposition: It was half past four when he finally showed up.

Key Takeaways

  • Past refers to a time gone by and tells us about something that has already happened.
  • Pass is a verb that refers to a person or object passing by something or somebody.
  • Both “pass” and “past” can be used in different contexts and forms, such as nouns, adjectives, or prepositions.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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