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Passed and Past?

(44 Posts)
KatyMac Fri 03-May-19 11:16:44

I am never quite sure on these 2

I ride passed parked cars but when I am stood at traffic lights cars whizz past me?

Is that right? and if so why/why not?

makingtime Fri 03-May-19 11:20:11

No, you ride past parked cars too. However you could have been standing on the road when the cars passed you

KatyMac Fri 03-May-19 11:36:27

So are they interchangable?

Or just awkward?

DadDadDad Fri 03-May-19 12:34:35

passed is a verb or a participle (clue is -ed ending which suggests a verb) so you can replace it with other verbs / participles, say avoided: "when the cars avoided you" - still grammatical.

If I go back to your OP sentence and write "I ride avoided parked cars..." it doesn't sound right.

past is a preposition, so can try replacing it with other prepositions such as alongside or ^next to^: "I ride alongside parked cars..." sounds grammatical.

Which exams have you passed? -> Which exams have you avoided? (still grammatical, even if meaning different)

Which exams have you past? -> Which exams have you alongside? (nonsense)

(past is also a noun and adjective, in the sense of opposite of future, but that's a totally different meaning).

DadDadDad Fri 03-May-19 12:36:23

Well, not a totally different meaning, because the past refers to time that has passed - which shows why this can be confusing!

KatyMac Fri 03-May-19 16:54:06

I wonder if my problem is that I say them the same?

Redlocks28 Fri 03-May-19 16:55:44

I wonder if my problem is that I say them the same?

Well yes-so does everyone else.

RubberTreePlant Fri 03-May-19 16:57:27

The car that passed us back there has just sped past a red light.

LIZS Fri 03-May-19 16:57:45

You would pass the shop on your bike.
You would ride past the shop on your bike.

iklboo Fri 03-May-19 16:57:56

I passed my exams in the past.

CharminglyGawky Fri 03-May-19 16:59:30

Thank you for that excellent explanation. I have just copied and pasted it to save it as despite dong English at Uni that one always makes me doubt myself!

RubberTreePlant Fri 03-May-19 17:02:16

Pass/passing/passed is a verb.
(You can test it by seeing if you can replace it with overtake/overtaking/overtook and still get a sensible sentence.)

Past is a preposition or an abstract noun.
(So try replacing it with "beyond" for a preposition, or "history" for the noun, to test for sense.)

lazylinguist Fri 03-May-19 17:02:49

They sound exactly the same. DadDadDad's explanation is perfect, especially the idea of substituting 'alongside' to see if it makes sense. Are you a language teacher by any chance, DadDadDad?

RubberTreePlant Fri 03-May-19 17:05:04

Oh i didn't see dad's (much better) explanation before I posted blush

DadDadDad Fri 03-May-19 21:30:01

I was a teacher once, but my subject is Maths. I do take an interest in language and enjoy reading linguists (eg - some of that's quite technical and beyond me, but there's plenty of interest).

It probably appeals to my mathematical mind to take a scientific approach to grammar - eg the idea of showing that a word is a verb because it does verb-y things like have tenses, or takes endings like -ed or -ing.

julensaor Sat 04-May-19 02:03:49

@DadDadDad, great explanation.

KatyMac Sat 04-May-19 09:31:58

I think it's because time passes

so half past an hour

I don't teach (well not that sort of teaching - under 3s) and tbh it has always fuddled me

Thank you

dudsville Sat 04-May-19 09:36:51

This is helpful. I thought one referred to time and the other to place? I'm uneducated and diagnosed dyslexic. I managed to use these words appropriately but have never thought about the reason.

UnaCorda Sat 04-May-19 15:43:24

Incidentally, "when I am stood" is grammatically incorrect and should be "when I am standing". The same goes for "when I was stood" which should be "when I was standing". The same also goes for sat/sitting.

I hope it's ok to point this out as it is Pedants' Corner!

RubberTreePlant Sat 04-May-19 15:51:12

Yes but that's also a regionalism @UnaCorda so it's polite to let it pass unless you are correcting your own children.

AliceRR Sat 04-May-19 20:05:11

@DadDadDad v helpful explanation

it's polite to let it pass unless you are correcting your own children.

Really? Even in a thread about grammar in pedants’ corner?

I didn’t think it was a regionalism either it would have thought OP would appreciate the correction if she had posted on here

It’s like “I was sat...” instead of “I am sitting...”

KatyMac Sat 04-May-19 20:14:44

So is "Yesterday I was sat by a lake" wrong?

AliceRR Sat 04-May-19 20:18:10

You could say “yesterday i sat by a lake” or “yesterday i was sitting by a lake*

I note PP said it’s a regional thing. I hear a lot of people say it but consider it to be incorrect

AliceRR Sat 04-May-19 20:18:40

With a capital “I” of course 😬

DadDadDad Sat 04-May-19 20:20:51

KatyMac - I wouldn't say wrong, but it's certainly frowned upon in standard British English (in formal writing). However, I believe it's grammatical in some regional dialects (I can hear "I was sat..." being said with a Yorkshire accent).

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