I hear this question a lot:
What is the difference between past and passed, and when should I use them?
Past as a preposition, noun, adjective and adverb.
Past as a preposition
to or on the further side; from one side to the other
- She drove past the church.
later than; beyond in time
- It is twenty minutes past ten.
- It was past three o’clock when he arrived.
no longer capable of
- He is past running so fast.
- I was past being concerned, and decided to move away.
Past as a noun
the time before now
- They were great friends in the past.
- Life was very different in the past.
the history of a person or place
- I would like to discover the building’s past.
Past as an adjective
gone in time
- That situation is now past.
belonging in the past
- They wondered why past visitors had left so quickly.
occurring before and leading up to the present
- The political landscape has changed over the past ten years.
Past as an adverb
to pass from one side to the other
- The red car swept past the blue car.
to describe a period of time
- A week went past and they didn’t see their friend once.
Passed is the simple past or past participle of the verb to pass.
- He passed the exam.
- He passed her a love note.