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General Writing and Grammar Help/Go past a vehicle, get past a vehicle, pass a vehicle

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Question
Dear Ted:

Are there any differences among "to get past a vehicle," "to go past a vehicle," "to pass a vehicle," and "to overtake a vehicle"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me som examples?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Are there any differences among "to get past a vehicle," "to go past a vehicle," "to pass a vehicle," and "to overtake a vehicle"?

*** They have very similar meanings.  Here are two slight differences:

TO GET PAST A VEHICLE suggests that you are TRYING to pass it, but you haven't quite made it.
TO OVERTAKE A VEHICLE also suggests that the passing is not complete, but you are trying to catch up to the vehicle so that you CAN pass it.

TO GO PAST A VEHICLE and TO PASS A VEHICLE are identical.  They mean that you were originally BEHIND another vehicle, and NOW you have caught up to it and are going by [passing] it.

Ted

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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.

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

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