Walked Passed Or Past And How To Check You Are Correct

Walked Passed Or Past

Walked passed or past is one of the common confusing word choices in writing.

The correct form is walked past. Walked passed is incorrect.

The reason is that the word past is an adverb, so it is modifying the verb walked.

The word past can be a little tricky to use in the right way. So let’s look at how you can get it right every time.

The difference between passed and past

You often see the incorrect use of these two words in writing.

The problem arises because of the confusion between the verb pass and the adverb past.

Both passed and past have a similar meaning of passing from one side of something to the other.

For the verb, it is easy.

But the word past can change meaning depending on whether it is an adverb, adjective, noun, or preposition.

Walked passed or past is one example of the challenge.

The easiest way to get these two words right is to decide if you are using a verb.

If you are, it’s always passed.

But there are many other expressions with these two words that can cause problems in writing.

Let’s look at how you can check.


The verb pass is easy

passed something

Generally, we use the verb pass to indicate movement or cause to move in a specified direction.

It can also mean changing from one state or condition to another or spending or using up a period of time.

It is a regular verb, which means that the past form is passed. The present form is pass or passes, and the present participle is passing.

When you use it as a verb, there is little chance of you making a mistake.

From the image above, you could write these examples.

People passed the girl sitting on the floor.

The girl passed her time studying the painting.

She didn’t notice the people as they passed by.

The man passed through the gallery without looking at the paintings.

When you use the verb, there is no confusion at all.


Past has many meanings

ran past

You really have to know what part of speech you are using when you use the word past.

Look at these quick examples to help you. Notice that the adverb usually indicates movement, but the other forms generally refer to time.

Past as an adverb

He drove past the house but didn’t stop.

He ran past us so quickly. So we didn’t have a chance to stop him.

Past as an adjective

He’s the past president of the association.

The past year has been very difficult

Past as a noun

Most nations have a checkered past.

What’s done is done and is all in the past now.

Past as a preposition

I can’t believe it. It’s half past five already.

He ran on past the security checkpoint.

The key to understanding when and how to use the word past is to know what type of word you are using.


A verb before past

she walked past

The easiest way to avoid making a mistake is to identify the first verb in a sentence.

You will always use the adverb after the verb.

There are many verbs you can use with past to indicate movement in a specific direction.

She walked past him, covering her face with her cap.

He didn’t recognize her as she strolled past him.

He flew past us as he ran from the police.

As the boat sailed past, the crew waved to the crowd.


Speaking and writing

When we speak, these two words don’t cause us any problems.

But because they are homophones, which means that they sound exactly the same, we have to get them right when we write.

There are many such word pairs, such as bear and bare, or hole and whole.

So while past and passed makes no difference in speaking, we have to check our usage and spelling when we write.


Common mistakes with past and passed

There are many expressions that use these two words.

Here are the correct forms of some common phrases.

Sadly, he past/passed away last night.

I’m really past/passed caring about what he does.

The past/passed few days have been hectic.

It’s way past/passed the deadline.

I don’t know why, but she just past/passed out.

I think he is well past/passed his prime.

We past/passed around the hat and collected $40.00.

It’s well past/passed my bedtime.

When you use idioms or common expressions in your writing, take extra care, and make sure you are correct.


Summary of passed or past

Whenever you use these two words in your writing, pass with care.

When you use pass or passed, you are generally indicating movement.

But when you use past, you are often referring to time.

However, the tricky part is when you use past following a verb. Then past usually means movement.

That is why the correct answer to the title of this article is walked past and not walked passed.


Related reading: Wreaked Havoc And Wrought Havoc – Are They Both Correct?

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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2 thoughts on “Walked Passed Or Past And How To Check You Are Correct

  • Avatar for Ellen Caya
    February 15, 2022 at 4:54 am

    I’m french Canadian,never learned anglish at school( it wasn’t t even optional!!! But, I “dove” in when I moved to Florida. Not from books, from streets! If you don’t worth a laugh, you don’t worth s…, Right?
    Well, I consider myself fully bilingual,( and I do better than some people whom grew up in the States) What would you say about my language?

    • Avatar for Anne Weprin
      April 29, 2022 at 2:34 pm

      a WIP
      *work in progress

      and aren’t we all? just depends what someone is a WIP about…‍♀️


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