Pasar in Spanish: Conjugations, Meanings & Uses


In this short guide, we will cover the following topics for ‘Pasar’ in Spanish:

  1. What does ‘Pasar’ mean?
  2. ‘Pasar’ Conjugations
  3. How to Use ‘Pasar’ in Spanish
  4. Expressions & Idioms
  5. Synonyms of ‘Pasar’

What does ‘Pasar’ mean?

In Spanish, ‘pasar’ is the direct translation of ‘to pass’. However, this verb has multiple meanings and applications. It can be used to talk about moving from one place to another, time, life experiences, events and things that slipped your mind.

  1. When talking about moving in a place, ‘pasar’ means ‘to go’, ‘to come in’ or ‘to cross’.
  2. To express that you’re about to do something, it can be translated as ‘to proceed’ or ‘to go to’.
  3. If talking about giving things to another person, ‘pasar’ means ‘to pass’.
  4. When referring to events and experiences, ‘pasar’ is translated as ‘to happen’ or ‘to go through’.
  5. When talking about time, ‘pasar’ means ‘to go by’, ‘to pass’ or ‘to spend’.
  6. If someone wants to express that they forgot something, ‘pasar’ means ‘to slip your mind’.
  7. To talk about tests, ‘pasar’ can be translated as ‘to pass’.

‘Pasar’ Conjugations 

In Spanish, ‘pasar’ is a regular verb, so its stem is pas. This is not the case for the future and conditional tenses, where you’ll just need to add the corresponding endings to the infinitive verb.

Indicative

Present tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPasoI pass
PasasYou pass
Él / Ella / UstedPasaHe/She pass
NosotrosPasamosWe pass
VosotrosPasáisYou pass
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasPasanThey/You pass

Preterite tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPaséI passed
PasasteYou passed
Él / Ella / UstedPasóHe/She passed
NosotrosPasamosWe passed
VosotrosPasasteisYou passed
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasPasaronThey/You passed

Imperfect tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPasabaI passed
PasabasYou passed
Él / Ella / UstedPasabaHe/She passed
NosotrosPasábamosWe passed
VosotrosPasabaisYou passed
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasPasabanThey/You passed

Future tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPasaréI will pass
PasarásYou will pass
Él / Ella / UstedPasaráHe/She will pass
NosotrosPasaremosWe will pass
VosotrosPasaréisYou will pass
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasPasaránThey/You will pass

Conditional tense conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPasaríaI would pass
PasaríasYou would pass
Él / Ella / UstedPasaríaHe/She would pass
NosotrosPasaríamosWe would pass
VosotrosPasaríaisYou would pass
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasPasaríanThey/You would pass

Progressive Tenses

graphic explaining how to conjugate pasar in spanish present progressive tenses

Estoy pasando por un rompimiento.
I’m going through a breakup.

Estamos pasando por una mala racha.
We are going through a rough patch.

Perfect Tenses

graphic explaining how to conjugate pasar in indicative perfect tenses

He pasado toda mi vida estudiando.
I have spent my whole life studying.

Pensé que habías pasado tu examen.
I thought you had passed your exam.

Pasar Subjunctive Conjugations

Present subjunctive conjugation

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPaseTo pass
PasesTo pass
Él / Ella / UstedPaseTo pass
NosotrosPasemosTo pass
VosotrosPaséisTo pass
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasPasenTo pass

Imperfect subjunctive conjugations

PersonConjugationTranslation
YoPasara / PasaseI passed
Pasaras / PasasesYou passed
Él / Ella / UstedPasara / PasaseHe/She passed
NosotrosPasáramos / PasásemosWe passed
VosotrosPasarais / PasaseisYou passed
Ustedes / Ellos / EllasPasaran / PasasenThey/You passed

Perfect subjunctive

graphic explaining how to conjugate pasar in subjunctive present tenses in spanish

Me acuerdo de ti aunque haya pasado tanto tiempo.
I remember you even though so much time has passed.

Ojalá nunca hubiera pasado aquella tragedia.
I wish that tragedy had never happened.

Imperative

Imperative conjugation

When conjugating to the negative imperative form, you’ll need to follow the present subjunctive conjugation.

PersonConjugationTranslation
PasaPass
NosotrosPasemosLet’s pass
VosotrosPasadPass
UstedesPasenPass

[‘Pasar’ imperative] + [complement]

Pásame la sal.
Give me the salt.

Laura, pasa a dirección, por favor. 
Laura, go to management, please. 

No + [‘pasar’ in present subjunctive] + [complement]

No pasen a la cocina.
Don’t go into the kitchen.

Oye, no le pases mi número a Sofía. 
Hey, don’t give my number to Sofía.

How to Use ‘Pasar’ in Spanish with Examples

‘Pasar’ is a verb with a lot of different meanings. The main uses for it are:

  1. To talk about going somewhere
  2. Expressing that you’re going to do something
  3. Talking about giving something to someone else
  4. To refer to events and experiences
  5. To talk about time
  6. Expressing that you forgot something
  7. Talking about passing an exam

To talk about going somewhere

In Spanish, there are two main ways of using ‘pasar’ when talking about moving around a space or entering a place. In this situation, this verb is close in meaning ‘to go’ or ‘to go ahead’. We can also use it to describe that someone or something is going from one side to the other, in this case, it’s a synonym of ‘to cross’.

[‘Pasar’ conjugated] + a + [determiner] + [noun]

Pasaré al baño antes de irnos.
I’ll go to the bathroom before we go.

Pasé a tu cuarto, espero que no te moleste.
I went to your room, I hope you don’t mind.

Después de la junta, pasamos a la oficina del jefe.
After the meeting, we went to the boss’s office.

[‘Pasar’ conjugated] + [determiner] + [noun]

Pasamos la línea de meta.
We crossed the finish line.

Muchas personas no pudieron pasar la frontera.
Many people were unable to cross the border.

Take Note: ‘Pasar’ also works as an invitation for someone to come in. In this case, the verb will be conjugated to the imperative form, and to emphasize you can add indirect object pronouns. In this context, ‘pasar’ is translated as ‘to come in’. 

[‘Pasar’ imperative] + (indirect object pronoun) + [complement]

Pase, el doctor la está esperando.
Come in, the doctor is waiting for you.

Pásate, hace mucho frío afuera.
Come in, it’s very cold outside.

Expressing that you’re going to do something

Pasar is also used to express that someone is about to perform an action. In this context, it can be translated as ‘to proceed’ or ‘to go to’. Although this is a popular meaning, it sounds a little formal and is mostly used in conversational Spanish.

[‘Pasar’ conjugated] + a + [verb in infinitive]

Paso a retirarme.
I’ll proceed to leave.

Pasaremos a hacer un brindis.
We’re going to make a toast.

Pasaré a despedirme de tu mamá.
I’m going to say goodbye to your mom.

Talking about giving something to someone else

When talking about providing people with something, ‘pasar’ translates as ‘to give’ or ‘to pass’. This usually applies to situations where you can give things immediately, so if the things you’re going to give are right beside you or it’s information you already have, you can say ‘pasar’ instead of ‘dar’.

[Indirect object pronoun] + [‘pasar’ conjugated] + [complement]

Nos pasó su dirección.
He gave us his address.

¿Me pasas el control?
Can you pass me the remote?

Le pasé tu número a Rubén.
I gave Rubén your number.

Take Note: In Spanish, pasar can also be used to informally express that a phone call will be connected to another person. In this case, ‘pasar’ can be translated as ‘to put through’, ‘to transfer’ or ‘to put on’. 

Hola, Clara, ¿me pasas a Pepe?
Hi, Clara, can you put Pepe on?

La voy a pasar a servicio al cliente. 
I’m going to transfer you to customer service. 

To refer to events

As the direct translation of ‘to happen’, one of the most common uses of ‘pasar’ is to describe actions and events that took place. Usually, if you’re referring to more specific experiences, ‘pasar’ means ‘to go through’.

[‘Pasar’ conjugated] + [complement]

¿Qué pasó?
What happened?

Pasaron muchas cosas el día de hoy.
A lot of things happened today.

‘Pasar’ can also be used as a pronominal verb when talking about things that happen to specific people.

[Indirect object pronoun] + [‘pasar’ conjugated] + [complement]

¿Qué te pasó
What happened to you?

Nos pasó algo muy extraño.
Something very strange happened to us.

Hace mucho que no me pasa nada bueno.
Nothing good has happened to me in a long time.

When translated as ‘to go through’, you’ll need to follow the next phrase structure:

[‘Pasar’ conjugated] + por + [complement]

Pasamos por una situación muy difícil.
We went through a very difficult situation.

Raúl pasó por un divorcio hace tres años.
Raúl went through a divorce three years ago.

Si no hacemos algo, pasaremos por una grave crisis climática.
If we don’t do something, we will go through a serious climate crisis.

To talk about time

‘Pasar’ is linked to time in two ways: it can be translated as ‘to pass’ or ‘to go by’ if referring to the passage of time and it can be translated as ‘to spend’ when talking about the activities someone engages in.

[‘Pasar’ conjugated] + [complement]

En la escuela las horas pasan muy lento.
At school, the hours go by very slowly.

Ya pasaron diez años desde que salí de la universidad.
Ten years have passed since I left college.

Anoche pasé mucho tiempo despierto.
I spent a lot of time awake last night.

Pasamos semanas haciendo este proyecto.
We spent weeks making this project.

Cuando éramos niños, pasábamos mucho tiempo juntos.
When we were kids, we spent a lot of time together.

Expressing that you forgot something

In conversational Spanish, ‘pasar’ can be used to express that a person failed to remember doing something. As a result, in this context, ‘pasar’ can be translated as ‘to forget’ or ‘to slip one’s mind’.

Se + [indirect object pronoun] + [‘pasar’ conjugated] + [verb in infinitive form]

Que no se te pase comprar pan.
Don’t forget to buy bread.

Se nos pasó contarte lo que escuché.
I forgot to tell you what I heard.

Se te pasó devolver el libro a la biblioteca.
You forgot to return the book to the library.

Related Resource: How to Use ‘Se’ in Spanish

Talking about passing an exam, tests, rules or regulations

In conversational Spanish, ‘pasar’ also means ‘to pass’ or ‘qualify’ when used in academic contexts, regulatory, qualifying for something or when talking about any type of test or approval in general. Although with this meaning it’s a direct synonym of ‘aprobar’, pasar is slightly more informal. 

[‘Pasar’ conjugated] + [determiner] + [noun]

¿Pasaste tu prueba?
Did you pass your test?

No pasé el examen de manejo.
I didn’t pass the driving test.

Nuestros coches de bajo consumo pasaron la prueba de emisiones. 
Our fuel-efficient cars passed the emissions test.

Si estudias lo suficiente, pasarás tu examen final.
If you study hard enough, you will pass your final exam.

Estudié mucho, pero no pasé el examen de español. 
I studied a lot, but I didn’t pass the Spanish test. 

Pasar Expressions & Idioms

Here are some of the most commonly used expressions that contain the verb ‘pasar’ and that will help you improve your conversation skills.

Pasar de lanza is a mexican expression that describes someone going beyond a limit. It can be translated as ‘to go too far’. Although most of the time expresses something negative, in some cases, ‘pasar de lanzar’ can have a positive connotation (someone went the extra mile).

Pasar el rato is used to talk about spending time doing something, especially for fun and with friends. It means ‘to hang out’.

Pasársela bomba can be translated as ‘to have a great time’. Although this is a popular expression, it is more suitable for informal contexts. 

Synonyms of ‘Pasar’

Aprobar is the direct translation of ‘to approve’ but can also be translated as ‘to pass’ when talking about tests. This verb has a formal tone.

Suceder describes occurrences and is translated as ‘to happen’.

Cruzar is used to talk about going from one place to the other. It’s the direct translation of ‘to cross’.

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

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