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General Writing and Grammar Help/Pass by, go past, get past

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Question
Dear Ted:

Would you please explain with some examples when to use "pass by someone," "go past someone," and "get past someone"?

If all three phrases/expressions are grammatically possible, do they mean the same thing?

If so, which is more commonly used or do you prefer?

Also, would you please give me some alternatives to the above phrases?

Thank you

Sincerely,

Paolo

P.S. Ted, is the question "Would you please explain with some examples when to use.....?" correctly written?

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Would you please explain with some examples when to use "pass by someone," "go
past someone," and "get past someone"?

If all three phrases/expressions are grammatically possible, do they mean the
same thing?

If so, which is more commonly used or do you prefer?

*** The first two mean the same thing.  They mean that someone is near to you, and your path is going to take you TO where he is . . . and then BEYOND where he is.


Also, would you please give me some alternatives to the above phrases?

You can "walk by" the person.  You can "cross his path."  You can "go by him."

*** "GET past someone" has a different meaning.  The phrase has a negative connotation.  You don't really want to see or talk to the person, so you must GET past him.  [There is also a suggestion that you want to AVOID seeing him or you want to ESCAPE from him, without his noticing you."

EXAMPLES OF A DIFFERENT NATURE:

If we can just get by [win over] our last two opponents, we will finish the season with a perfect win record.

Although my test grade was not very good, I managed to GET BY the course with a grade of C.



Thank you

Sincerely,

Paolo

P.S. Ted, is the question "Would you please explain with some examples when to
use.....?" correctly written?

**** YES.

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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