By Request: Passed verses Past

Yay!  A fun grammar test!

I found a great test on Grammar Monster where it gives you a paragraph (there are three different paragraphs, so you can do this three times if you like)  and you need to choose the correct form of “passed or past” 4-5 times in each paragraph.  Check it out.

http://www.grammar-monster.com/easily_confused/past_passed.htm

I am happy to say that even though I thought I was confused, I found that taking this test three times, I didn’t make a single mistake following three simple rules.

Well, of course I am going to tell you…

1.        Passed—Almost always means to “go by” something.  “I passed the bookstore on my way to school.” It can also mean “I passed an exam” (I got by with a passing grade)

2.       Past—Almost always refers to time.  “Don’t hate me for past mistakes.”

3.       Here’s the tricky one…  pay attention.  If you have already used a verb that signifies motion, then the second action will be “Past” even if it does not refer to time.  “I ran past the bookstore on my way to school.”

Take a look at those side by side to make sure you understand:

“I passed the bookstore on my way to school.”

“I ran past the bookstore on my way to school.”

Ahhhhh.  It’s those little subtleties in life that just drive you crazy, don’t they?

I hope this helps!

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18 responses to “By Request: Passed verses Past

  1. Holy Grammar Tip Batman. I didn’t know this. Also thanks for the tip on the site. Hadn’t seen it before.

  2. How big of a nerd am I… I saw “grammar test” and was suddenly inexplicably excited. nerdwit. oy.

  3. fun!! love this post.. and playing word games. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the link. I’ve now bookmarked it. There’s no better way to learn than with concrete examples.

  5. Another confusion my main reader helped me clear out of my drafts. Homonyms? Words that sound the same and have different meanings … double “ll” and “nn” and other consonants. One is used with the long vowel the other with the short vowel. Rats. I used past and passed incorrectly, interchanging them like mismatched socks. She handed me back a draft after reading only 50 pages. The problem? I had misused past and passed and used an abudance of “ings” more “as” than anyone needed “as” they wrote what “had” been for the fifth time and told me … “Clean it up and then I’ll read it.”

    Jennifer, your mission should you decide to accept is to write a post about … “As I was walking along the road and thinking, as I had done for years, I began sweating and breathing heavy, then started running as though I had been shot.”

    Great post on grammar. We write and we learn 🙂

  6. writerwendyreid

    I love your posts, I always walk away smarter 🙂

  7. Oh, it’s these little things that make my brain hurt. And first thing on a Saturday morning? Jennifer, you are killing me, LOL!

    Great lesson, I shall book mark for future reference, cuz you know I’ll forget. Thank you muchly!

  8. I passed! Whoo hoo! I did a post on this a long time ago but it was nowhere near this fun.

  9. I think I’ll lay my book down and lie on the couch.

  10. Great lesson… the third rule always gets me…

  11. This is great! Now if I could just sort lay and lie…