As far as I know, it is common in American English to say "to pass him" instead of "to overtake him".

However, is it common for a sports commentator in the USA to say

"Тhe runner was overtaken at the very end of the race"

or would

"Тhe runner was passed at the very end of the race"

be still more common?

  • 1
    I can't think of any objective way to measure which is more commonly used in this context. Your answers are likely to be based on personal opinion, not any kind of third-party measurement.
    – Andrew
    Aug 18, 2018 at 11:54
  • @Andrew - My answers?! I didn't give any answers here. I only posted a question.
    – brilliant
    Aug 18, 2018 at 12:50
  • Sorry, "your answers" is short for "the answers you receive to your question". For example, I might disagree with Jay's answer below, but there are no statistics we can point to to prove which if us is right.
    – Andrew
    Aug 18, 2018 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


I think "passed" is more common but both are routinely used and would be readily understood. Neither would strike a fluent speaker as odd.

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