Wondering whether to use ‘pass time’ or ‘pastime’? And what is the difference between the two? We’ll go over that, plus you’ll learn how to use both phrases correctly in a sentence.
The quick answer is that ‘pass time’ is a phrase that means spending time doing something.
‘Pastime’ is a noun that refers to activities we do in our free time.
As you just learned, ‘pass time’ means spending time doing something. It acts more like a verb.
‘Pastime’ is a noun that refers to the actual activities you do to pass that time.
These words are what's referred to as homophones, words that sound the same but mean different things.
We just went over the difference between ‘pass time’ and ‘pastime,’ but what about ‘past time.’
The phrase is one you might not hear often, but it refers to a time that’s passed already.
For example, ‘People used to read by candlelight in a past time.’
But the phrase itself is a bit awkward, so you might not see a whole lot of it.
The Merriam Webster definition of ‘pass’ is: “move, proceed, go,” “to go away: depart,” “die > often used with on,” “to move in a path so as to approach and continue beyond something: move past another vehicle going in the same direction,” “to run the normal course > used of time or a period of time,” “to go or make one’s way through,” and ‘to become legally rendered.”
The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘time’ is: “the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues: duration,” “leisure,” “the point or period when something occurs: occasion,” and “an appointed, fixed, or customary moment or hour for something to happen, begin, or end.”
The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘pastime’ is: “something that amuses and serves to make time pass agreeably: diversion.”
Now that we know what both phrases mean let’s see some examples of how to use them in a sentence.
Here’s how you’d use ‘pass time’ in a sentence.
Now, let’s see how to use ‘pastime’ in a sentence correctly.
Now that you know the difference between ‘pass time’ and ‘pastime’ and how to use them both in a sentence correctly, you can start using them in your everyday writing with confidence.
We’ve got a ton of other content dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases you might come across as you’re learning the language.
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