In English, there are many homophones “homophone” that are easy to misunderstand for language learners. Although when we speak, we don’t care what words we use, when we write, it’s another difficult story. The two words “PASSED and PAST” are similar, they sound exactly the same but have completely different meanings and functions.

Watching: What is Passed

Passed (verb): is the past tense of the verb “pass”

Often used when talking about movement and acting as a verb in a sentence

Meaning: pass, go through, go through

→ I pass (present simple tense)

→ I passed (simple past tense)

→ I have passed (present perfect tense)

→ I will pass (simple future tense)

Eg:

We passed the theater on the way to the station.

We passed the movie theater on our way to the station.

I passed my driving test last month.

I passed my driving test last month.

past: is noun – adjective – adverb – adverb

Often used when talking about time

Vietnamese Meaning

→ past (n) past

→ past (adj) in front of nouns, means: past

→ past (adv) comes after the verb, meaning: past

→ past (preposition) means: past

Eg:

She’s always refused to talk about her past (noun).

She always refuses to talk about her past.

She’s changed greatly in the past (adj) year.

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She has changed a lot in the last year.

It’s past (preposition) midnight, let’s go to sleep.

It’s past midnight, let’s go to sleep.

A month went past (adverb) and nothing changed.

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A month has passed and nothing has changed.

Hints on how to distinguish

Passed has only one function as a verb in a sentence, and Past can play many different roles.

At that point, I pushed passed him. ❌ Wrong, the sentence has 2 verbs

→ At that point, I pushed past him.

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If you find it difficult to distinguish between Passed and Past, try writing sentences in the present simple, this will make it easier to see the mistake.