7 Common Uses of the Spanish Verb “Pasar”

The verb pasar in Spanish is one of the most used verbs in Spanish. It is used in many different situations so can seem tricky to use and therefore cannot be translated in one word easily. However, the good thing is that it is a regular verb, so it is easy to conjugate in any tense.

In this blog post we will look at the 7 most common uses of pasar:

1) To spend time

2) To happen

3) Relating to a place

4) Change of state or condition

5) Accepting and adapting to a situation

6) To pass an object to someone

7) Experience something good or bad

1) To spend time

Pasar can be used to say how long you spend doing something. Let’s look at some examples:

Pasé dos horas estudiando.I spent two hours studying.

Pasamos una semana en España el verano pasado.We spent a week in Spain last summer.

El tiempo pasa lento cuando esperas.Time passes slowly when you wait.

2) To happen

Pasar is used to talk about what has happened.

¿Qué pasó?What happened?

Hay una ambulancia – creo que algo ha pasado.
There is an ambulance – I think something has happened.

¿Qué pasa con este edificio?What is happening with this building?

3) Relating to a place

You can use pasar to talk about a place; stopping by somewhere or entering a place:

Pasé por el banco para sacar dinero.I stopped by the bank to withdraw money. 

Tuvimos que pasar por otra calle a causa de las obras.
We had to go through another street because of the roadworks.

Entering a place:

Mis vecinos pasaron sin llamar.My neighbours came in without knocking.

4) Change of state or condition

Pasar is used to describe a change of a situation:

Mis amigos pasaron a ser ricos porque ganaron la lotería.
My friends came to be rich because they won the lottery.

Pasó a ser futbolista profesional después de muchos años.
He came to be a professional footballer after many years.

5) Accepting and adapting to a situation

This use of pasar is used in informal situations:

No voy a comprar un ordenador nuevo. Paso con el que tengo.
I’m not going to buy a new computer. I’ll make do with the one that I have.

6) To pass an object to someone

Pasar is used to simply say “Pass me the …”.

Pásame la sal, por favor.Pass me the salt, please.

¿Puedes pasarme el agua? Tengo sed. Can you pass me the water. I’m thirsty.

7) To experience something good or bad

You can use pasar to say that you have had a good time:

Lo pasé muy bien en la fiesta anoche.I had a really good time at the party last night.

Siempre lo pasamos bien cuando salimos juntos.
We always have a good time when we go out together.

There are many more uses of pasar in Spanish but the seven uses that we have gone through in this article are the most commonly used in everyday speaking. Hopefully this has given you a better idea of how to use this tricky verb that seems to crop up everywhere!

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