Difference between Passed and Past

Both past and passed can be used in motion and time. Passed and past are the most confounding homonyms in the English language. The word past can be used as an adjective, a preposition, a noun, or an adverb. The word passed is the past tense of the verb pass. 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.

Passed and past are homophones, which means that they sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. 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.

Difference between Passed and Past


  • We use the word passed when something goes by, elapses, gets success, or moves ahead.
  • The word pass is the past form of the word ‘pass’ which means to cross, clear, transfer, or complete something. The word “passed” is the past tense of the verb “to pass”, e.g., “I pass” (present tense), “I passed,” and “I have passed” (both past tense), and “I will pass” (future tense).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Examples: More than one hour has passed. I wonder how Robin passed his high school exams?


  • We use the word past to denote something which is completed, ended, gone by, or occurred previously.
  • The word, ‘past’ means preceding, it refers to something which existed in the previous time or that has already happened. The word “past” has several meanings (usually related to “time before the present” or to indicate movement “from one side of a reference point to the other side.”) “Past” can be used as an adjective, an adverb, a noun, or a preposition.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Examples: Jane’s past experience in marriage was not so good. Nowadays, many citizens work past their age of retirement.