Passed and Past Exercise (363)

Although the words function as different parts of speech, "passed" and "past" are frequently used incorrectly. Choose the form that belongs in each sentence.

  • I was walking the dog when a boy on a bicycle whizzed ____ without warning.

  • I have been reading for the ____ three days.

  • You are not allowed ____ these doors.

  • Not a morsel of food ____ his lips.

  • When she woke, an hour had ____.

Answers and Explanations

1. I was walking the dog when a boy on a bicycle whizzed past without warning.

"Past" functions as an adverb in this sentence. "Whizzed where? Whizzed past."

2. I have been reading for the past three days.

"Past" functions as an adjective in this sentence. With "three," it describes "days."

3. You are not allowed past these doors.

"Past" functions as a preposition in this sentence. Its object is "doors."

4. Not a morsel of food passed his lips.

"Passed" functions as a past tense verb in this sentence. As a transitive verb, it takes the direct object "lips."

5. When she woke, an hour had passed.

"Passed" functions as a past tense verb in this sentence; with "had," it forms the past perfect tense.

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