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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (March 28, 2010)

I Passed in the Past

Native speakers often confuse the meaning of “passed” and “past,” perhaps because they are both pronounced the same way.

Here’s what you need to know:

Passed is the past tense of the verb “to pass” that means “to go beyond a point or place”.

For example: “I have passed the certificate test for English 10.”

Past is a noun that means something “that happened in past time.” Note that the article “the” usually precedes it.

For example: “Now that my English 10 is in the past, I can go on to taking Communications 12.”

Note that the verb “to have” is the only one used before passed as in “The term has passed quickly.” If you use the verb “is” it normally means you would use past as in “The fall term is past, so I am looking forward now to the spring term.”


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