“Get past” or “Get passed”: Here’s the correct version (with 12 examples)

Have you ever looked at a phrase and been unsure whether or not it’s grammatically correct? One term that might confuse many people is “Get passed” or “Get past”?

Today, we’ll be using plenty of examples to look at some of the differences between “past” and “passed”. By the end of this, you will not use the wrong one ever again.

Should you use “Get past” or “Get passed”?

To “get past” means to overcome or walk past something.

To “get passed” means either being denied an opportunity or physically being passed from one place to another.

So you need to “get past” when there is something in the road. And you need to “get past” your fears.

 But, if you don’t make the team, you will have “got passed up”, if you become the ball, you will “get passed” from one player to another.

Watch the video: Only 1 percent of our visitors get these 3 grammar questions right... video

When to use “Get Past”

To “get past” means to overcome a challenge. This can be physical or emotional. If you want to play in the Olympics, you will first need to “get past” the national championships.

If you want to swim, you will need to “get past” your fear of water.

“Get passed” can also be used when you need to walk around something. If someone is in the street, and you need to walk in front, you can say, “excuse me. Please can I get past”.

4 examples of “Get past”

“You will have to get past us first. Although, it’s not like we’re a threat with how many injured players we got”

“I didn’t get past the paywall, but this is a familiar story and we all know why.”

“I have tried at least twice to listen to the Burna Boy album y’all are raving about and each time I couldn’t even get past the 4th song.”

“Congrats! That’s a scary thing to put out there and a nice hurdle to get past”

When to use “Get Passed”

To “get passed” has a slightly different meaning.

When you “get passed up”, this means you are being denied an opportunity. So, if I apply for a job, but they give it to somebody else, I will have just “got passed up”. When “passed” is followed by “up” or “over”, it’s talking about the denial of a chance.

When there is no “up”, to get “passed” means to be given to somebody else. Usually, this is talking about objects, such as a football. However, people can still get “passed”. If you work for a chain shop, you might “get passed” from branch to branch.

8 examples of “Get passed”

“It’s crazy how people don’t realize they can get passed up easily!”

“I want to know how laws get passed.”

“I would say to the extent they do not get passed on.”

“If other bills get passed I am all for them.”

“Leave if you get passed over twice.”

“And somehow, the message of the song would get passed on to the listeners.”

“This involves a great number of preliminary readers whose reports get passed up the line.”

“Nothing will get passed unless I put my signature.”

Etymology of “Passed”

To fully understand “passed”, we should look at its etymology. Because, like most words, “passed” was not created by English.

The word “pass” comes from the late 13th-century word “Passen”, meaning to cross over. “Passen” comes from the Old French “Passer”.

And “Passer” comes from the Vulgar Latin “Passare”, which comes from the Latin “Passus”.

“Passus” comes from the Proto-Indo-European “Pete”, meaning to spread. As you can see, as the world changed, so did its meaning. Today, “pass” and “spread” have very different meanings.

It wasn’t until 1865 that “pass” would be used in sports. Today, that’s where you’re most likely to hear it.

Multiple definitions of “Past”

“Past” has several definitions. Use these definitions to decide whether you should use “past” or “passed”.


The days for sadness are in the past.

All past presidents were men.


In the past


Half-past one.

Just past the turning


The ball sped past the keeper.

Definition of “passed”.


The days passed quickly

I passed the test

I passed the old factory on my way to work.


We hope this has helped you understand the difference between “get past” and “get passed”. They are both phrases that make sense, but they aren’t interchangeable.

“past” and “passed” are great examples of homophones- words that sound the same but have different meanings.