A writer friend posed this question recently. When do you use past and when do you use passed?
Very good question. Remember the following rules and you’ll avoid the dilemma:
- Past is an adverb describing when. It was past the deadline.
- Passed is the past tense of pass, which is a verb. He passed the ball on the fourth down.
- Pass and Past may also be nouns; passed isn’t. My visitor’s pass was part of my past.
Or do as I do. Forget the rules and just memorize this line: I passed the store when I drove past it.