Difference Between Pass and Past

Pass vs Past
 

Difference between pass and past may sometimes be hard to understand. Actually, pass and past are words in English language that pose a problem of incorrect usage to people whose mother tongue is not English, or not too familiar with the language. While past clearly refers to the time gone by and tells us about something that has already happened, pass is a verb that refers to a person or object passing by something or somebody. However, despite such clear demarcation, there are situations where it seems either of the two terms can be used in a sentence, which is a confusing state. This article tries to differentiate between the two words, to make it simpler for the readers.

What does Pass mean?

Pass is a verb that is used in the sense of go or move in a certain direction. If you use the word past with pass, it gives the idea that someone goes passing someone else. Past is a point in time that has already happened, while pass is an action verb that describes the act of going past someone or something. However, there are many other uses of pass as will be clear after reading these sentences.

He passed out after his sixth drink.

He passed away after suffering a major heart attack.

A white BMW passed past me while I was on the road.

In the first sentence, a person is being described who loses his sense after consuming excessive alcohol. In the second sentence, there is a reference to the death of a person because of a disease while, in the third sentence, a person is telling how a white car overtook him on the road. Here, we get the meaning of overtaking as the word past is used with pass.

Pass is also used as a noun. As a noun pass has mainly two uses. Firstly, it is used to mean a success in an examination or test or course. Look at the following example.

I got an A pass for Maths.

Then, secondly, according to the Oxford English dictionary, pass means ‘a card, ticket, or permit giving authorization for the holder to enter or have access to a place, form of transport, or event.’

I got two back stage passes to a Taylor Swift concert.

Not everyone can go to the back stage of a concert. Now, having these passes allows one to go there.

What does Past mean?

This is a word that refers to a time that has already passed or happened like when an adult person talks or reminisces about his childhood events. This is when past is used as a noun. Look at the following example.

She was working 20 hours a day in the past.

Here we are talking about the past time. Then, we also use past as an adjective to speak about past time too.

He was a past chairman of the committee.

Here, past is referring to a former time.

Past is also used as a preposition to indicate later than a given time.

It was half past four when he finally showed up.

Difference Between Pass and Past

“He was a past chairman of the committee.”

What is the difference between Pass and Past?

When talking about the difference between pass and past, the following sentences beautifully exemplify how the two words can be used side by side in a sentence.

Sachin was clearly past his prime when he passed the age of 35.

Sachin, when he passed 200 runs in a match went past Saeed Anwar’s record of 194 in a match.

• Past clearly refers to the time gone by and tells us about something that has already happened.

• Pass is a verb that refers to a person or object passing by something or somebody.

• Pass is also used as a noun.

• Past is used as a noun, preposition and an adjective.