Posted by: episystechpubs | November 7, 2016

Editor’s Corner: The Past Has Passed

Good morning, friends.

Well, the weekend is in the past. I know that I speak for many of you when I say that our two days off passed much too quickly.

Did you notice my use of past and passed in the previous sentences? It’s my clever lead-in to today’s article. You see, a few people have mentioned recently that they have trouble figuring out which word is correct: passed or past. I’m here to help.

Let’s start with passed, which is a verb. It’s the past tense of pass. Regular past tense verbs end in –ed (cleaned, lifted, screamed, loved, etc.). We use the verb pass and all its conjugations (he passes, they passed, we are passing, etc.) to talk about moving on, going on, or proceeding.

On the other hand, the word past can be an adjective (The days of my childhood are past), a noun (We cannot live in the past), or a preposition (The bird flew past my window). Past is typically used to describe time that has elapsed.

Here’s a hint to help you remember which word to use: generally, passed is about movement and past is about time. (Past has the letter t in it and so does time.)

Does that help, or are you past caring?

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Extension: 765432

Symitar Technical Publications Writing and Editing Requests

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