HOMOPHONES sound the same but have different meanings, commonly creating chaos and confusion. If you're familiar with the Thomas the Tank Engine series on PBS, you can think of HOMOPHONES as the Troublesome Trucks of vocabulary! As the title suggests, the goal of Spoonful #26 is to stop PAST and PASSED confusion in its tracks.
PAST refers to a time gone by. The opposite is PRESENT, as in an event that's happening right now or ongoing.
#1: If you're reading this post in the PRESENT, I thank you very much. If you've read many of my PAST posts as well, I'm tickled pink.
#2: Essays for English class are standardly written in PRESENT tense, while novels may be written in PRESENT or PAST tense.
When is PASSED appropriately used? First, PASSED is the PAST tense of PASS.
#3: When I worked at my former job, I PASSED the YMCA every day on my drive to work.
#4: Whoo-ee: John just PASSED gas again!
#5: I'm open! PASS me the ball! In the last game, you PASSED the ball to everyone but me.
PASSED can also mean "rejected", "turned down," or "skipped."
In this case, it will be followed by "on" or "over."
#6: Wilma PASSED ON Jane's offer to drive her home.
#7: Roger PASSED ON the camping trip because he had a family commitment.
#8: Skippy was PASSED OVER for a promotion once again.
The third way PASSED is used is when referring to a person or pet who has died.
#9: After her goldfish Goldie PASSED away, Gretchen sobbed for a solid month.
#10: After her beloved Grandma Greta PASSED, Mariana slept with her Grandma's favorite teddy bear.
That's a wrap! I wish students a wonderful new school year and grownups a fantastically fulfilling Fall. Happy Labor Day, everyone!!
Laura Fineberg Cooper
P.S. Spoonful #25 offers a summary (with links) of #1-#24