‘Walk Past' vs. 'Walk Pass': Which is Correct?

By
Amy Gilmore,
updated on
May 20, 2023

If you are stuck trying to decide which is correct between 'walk past' vs. 'walk pass,' you are not alone. 'Past' and 'pass' confuse many people. That's why I created this informative guide with definitions, usage examples, and sample sentences.

So, if you have a few minutes, read this entire post to learn the essential grammar rules that apply to this and other popular phrases.

Here is a short answer in case you are in a rush:

  • 'Walk past' is a grammatically correct term used to tell someone to walk by something. 
  • 'Walk pass' is almost always a grammatical error. 

Now that you know 'walk past' is the correct term, let's explore why.

'Walk Past' vs. 'Walk Pass': Which Is Correct?

In this phrase, it can be challenging to remember whether to use 'past,' 'pass,' or passed—all three share similar spellings, pronunciations, and definitions. Between 'walk past' vs. 'walk pass,' only the first term is the correct way to say you traveled by a site.

Definition of 'Walk Past': What Does It Mean?

To understand the meaning of 'walk past,'  we will look at definitions of the two words that phrase.

Definition of Walk

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, walk is a verb that means:

It can also mean:

  • Come or go as you, please
  • To get away with a crime
  • To have a criminal case dismissed for a finding of no probable cause or a technicality
  • They are used to describe astronauts floating around outside of a spacecraft.
  • To act in solidarity
  • To go on a quest or journey by foot

Definition of Past

According to the same dictionary, past is a separate word, meaning:

  • To travel towards and reach a specific point. Then, go beyond it.

It can also mean:

  • An event that took place before the present
  • An action that took place
  • Someone who held a position of esteem before the current leader
  • Existing before the present
  • A period before the present day

Synonyms and Related Terms

  • Pastime
  • Yore
  • History
  • Record
  • Former
  • Late
  • Irrelevant
  • Obsolete
  • Antiquated
  • Outdated
  • Old fashioned
  • Old-timey
  • Long-ago
  • Extinct
  • Over

Definition of 'Walk Pass': What Does It Mean?

'Walk pass' is a grammatical error. So, there is no specific definition or meaning to give for the term.

We can look at the definition of 'pass' to better understand why the latter term is a grammar error.

Definition of Pass

The definition of pass is:

  • To proceed or move forward

It can also mean:

  • To depart or move away
  • To go away either in life or death
  • To go through something
  • To travel by something without stopping
  • To judge someone or 'pass judgment'

Synonyms of Pass

  • Deliver
  • Buck
  • Complete
  • Transfer
  • Transmit
  • Send
  • Give
  • Died
  • End
  • Expire
  • Finish
  • Conclude

Phrases Containing Pass

  • Pass the butter
  • Pass the buck
  • Hall pass
  • Pass judgment
  • Pass out
  • Pass the class
  • Pass the torch

How Do You Use 'Walk Past?'

You know that between 'walk past' vs. 'walk pass,' the second is a grammatical error and shouldn't make its way into your writing or conversations. However, do you know how to use 'walk past?'

Here are some usage tips:

  • Use 'walk past' to say that you are physically moving toward, then beyond, a specific point.

For example, you could say:

On our way to school, we walk past the park. 

  • Use 'walked past' to indicate that you traveled by something at some point before you are writing about it.

For  example, someone might say:

 She is convinced that you walked past wearing a disguise.

  • Use 'walks past' to imply that the person travels past a site more than once or regularly.

For example, I might say:

She walks past every day at 4 o'clock.

  • Use 'walks past' to indicate that you are moving beyond something.

For example, you might hear someone say:

Lacking faith in yourself will cause you to take the safe road. This time, walk past your fears.         

How Do You Use 'Walk Pass?'

It is unlikely that you will ever encounter a 'walk pass' or have to use the term. However, you could see a sign for a passageway or footbridge referred to as a 'walk pass.'  Another possible meaning would be a pass permitting someone to walk.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Walk Past'

Learning the correct term to use is only half the battle. To speak and write confidently, you need to know how to pronounce terms, too.

So, here is a pronunciation guide:

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'walk past':

WahlK past

Sample Sentences Using 'Walk Past'

Read these example sentences using 'walk past' in different contexts to learn how you can use the term.

  • We will walk past the creepy house on the hill on our way back home.
  • Walk past here on your way back home. I have some things I want to give you.
  • On their way to school, those children walk past some of the most dangerous streets in Houston.
  • I know you go a long way because you do not like to walk past the enormous dog on our street.
  • We walk past your neighborhood because the bus drops us off there.
  • I heard you had an interesting walk past your neighbor's house, last Friday.
  • You are not the first person that family has pranked as they walk past.
  • If you walk past here, stop by on your way home from school.
  • I feel nervous every time I walk past that house.

The Last Word on 'Walk Past' vs. 'Walk Pass'

Wow! We reviewed a lot of information. So, you should easily be able to tell someone whether 'walk past' vs. 'walk pass' is correct.

Here is a quick recap to be sure: 

  • 'Walk past' is the correct term: It means you set out on a path to a point and then moved beyond it. 
  • 'Walk pass' is not grammatically correct. So, you should rarely use it. 

In the future, if these terms give you trouble, return to this page to verify the correct term. If you have questions about other commonly misused and misspelled words, you can also learn about those in the confusing words section here.

Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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