Passed and past are the most confounding homonyms in the English language. However, their spellings and meanings are completely different from one another. While the word passed means to gone ahead, cleared or permitted, past is used to denote an earlier period, beyond or something which ceases to exist in the present time. You can understand the terms with the help of these examples:
- The centre-forward of the hockey team didn’t pass the ball to other players, in the past tournament, due to which the team was defeated.
- In the past ten years, the passing percentage of CA students has increased.
In the first sentence, pass (base form of passed) is used to represent handing over something, but past is used to describe something that took place in the previous time. In the next one, past indicates the earlier time, but passing (present participle form of passed) is used to mean the percentage of students who cleared the exams successfully.
Content: Passed Vs Past
|Basis for Comparison||Passed||Past|
|Meaning||We use the word passed when something goes by, elapses, gets success or moves ahead.||We use the word past to denote something which is completed, ended, gone by or occurred previously.|
|Part of speech||Verb||Adjective, Noun, Adverb and Preposition.|
|Examples||Diya passed the sheets to me.||We'll meet at November 29, 2018, at twenty past three.|
|More than one hour has passed.||Jane's past experience in marriage was not so good.|
|I wonder how Robin passed his high school exams?||Nowadays, many citizens work past their age of retirement.|
Definition of Passed
Basically, the word ‘passed’ is the past form of the verb ‘pass’, which has several meanings in the English language. However, it is primarily used to denote gone by, elapsed or ceased, cleared etc. Let us now understand the use of the word ‘passed’ in sentences:
- To move past an individual or thing:
- If you pass the bakery on the way to home, please get me some cupcakes.
- A cab passed by when I was standing at the bus stop, in which I saw Peter.
- It is also used to go past a specific date or time:
- One should not buy such medicines, whose expiry date is passed.
- The date to apply for civil services exam is passed.
- On crossing a milestone, breaking a record:
- The company’s anticipated worth may pass ₹50 billion, by the end of 2018.
- To succeed in some exam:
- My sister had passed the IAS exam, in 2016.
- To give, supply or convey something to someone:
- Could you please pass this message to Mr Poonawala?
- Pass me the bowl.
- To die:
- Robert’s father passed away from a heart attack.
- It is also used to indicate proceeding with time:
- As the time passes, everything falls into its place.
- To approve:
- Our loan application is passed.
- To give judgement:
- The Supreme Court passed judgement on the Right to privacy, as a fundamental right.
Definition of Past
Past refers to the period which is over or no longer exists when you are discussing or writing about it. It also refers to a form of the verb, and it can be used as a noun, adjective, preposition and adverb. Let ‘s discuss their usage in sentences:
- To express a time prior to the present time:
- The temperature is highest in Rajasthan in the past ten years.
- In the past one year, the company’s sales have shown a tremendous increase.
- It is also used for telling the time when certain minutes are up after an hour:
- She left for the interview at twenty-five past ten.
- It may also mean the events, actions or anything that happened to you in the preceding days, months or years:
- There are many things to learn from the past.
- She was the past Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
- It can also be gone by or ended:
- The past month was hectic.
- It may also mean beyond:
- The teacher took our sheets, as it was past the exam time.
- It can be used to talk about a position that is ahead of a certain point:
- Her hostel is in Shivaji road, just past the university.
Key Difference Between Passed and Past
The points presented below explains the difference between passed and past:
- The word pass is the past form of the word ‘pass’ which means to cross, clear, transfer, or complete something. On the other extreme, past means preceeding, it refers to something which existed in the previous time or that has already happened.
- The word passed is a verb as it shows a direct action. It is the simple past form and past participle form of the verb pass. As against, due to lack of any action, the word past is not a verb, rather it can be used as an adjective, noun, adverb and preposition in sentences.
- To use these two words in sentences, just do one thing, when you talk about movement, use passed, but when you talk about previous time, use past.
- Mr Sharma passed away a year ago.
- She just passed the mall; she will be here anytime.
- The GST bill was passed in 2015.
- The criminal was guilty of his past crimes.
- For the past one year, She has been working for an NGO.
- In the past, I used to play volleyball regularly in the evening.
How to remember the difference
The first and foremost difference between passed and past is that while the word passed ends with a ‘d’ sound, the word past has a ‘t’ sound in the end. Furthermore, the word passed is nothing but the past form of the verb pass, but past itself is a form of the verb.