Can you clarify differences or subtleties between:”my life passed by me” and “my life passed me by.”
Sometimes the placement of a word makes all the difference in meaning.
My life passed by me could mean simply that a portion of one’s life has gone by.
Anyone who bought stocks in mid-1929 and held onto them saw most of his or her adult life pass by before getting back to even.
The sun is shining on my brown eyes; eyes that have seen these past three years of my life pass by me in a flash.
My life passed by me could also mean that the speaker had a vision or revery in which the events of his life replayed in his mind the way the thoughts of a drowning victim are thought to cause his life to “pass before his eyes” before he dies. Usually the preposition is “before,” rather than “by.”
I felt panic and fear at first and saw my whole life pass by me in an instant.
How could he come that close to death and not see his life pass before his eyes?
Just saw my life pass before my eyes as elevator I was in … plummeted 10 floors before lurching to a stop …
My life passed me by, on the other hand, conveys the idea of a wasted life, a life that has been frittered away in meaningless activity.
I feel like my life has passed me by to the point where I experience very dark and depressing days
Has life passed me by at 40?
If spoken of another person, “life passed him by,” the expression can mean that the person so described passed his life in uneventful obscurity:
[Harish Chander Mehra] Saved Nehru’s life, but life passed him by