Past or passed?

I’ve just been to your site which I found in Australia’s Internet Directory this month. I was mainly interested in ellipsis, which I always forget how to use, but found the whole site very interesting.

I’ve given it to a few friends I know can use it. I’m writing this e-mail because I’m confused about when to use past or passed, and thought it may be a good addition to your site. If I pass a car on the freeway, have I past it, or passed it? A motion in parliament is passed, but the shop is past the corner of the street. Why is that?
I hope you can help my confusion. Thankyou and keep up the great work.

Michael B., Australia
August 1999

Teena says:

Michael, thanks so much for your very kind words! And for your terrific question – I have written a page to cover this – please read Past or Passed? >>

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