Grammar Lessons with Kate: Passed vs Past

Passed vs. past

By Kate Asbury Larkin

Passed and past are often confused, but if you really think about it, they shouldn’t be.

Passed is the past tense (and past participial) of the verb “to pass.” “To pass” means to go forward, proceed, depart. This can mean to move forward in time, space or in action.

“Past” has several meanings, but none of them should be used in place of passed. As an adjective, past means gone, done with, over; as a noun, it refers to time that has gone by, a period of time, before the present; and as an adverb, it means to pass or go by.