I was driving home from my workplace. And on my way there was a big pizza shop. When I was about to reach home i got a call from my dad and he asked me to buy some pizza from that shop. But I had already left that shop far behind.

Can I reply my dad with:

I'm past the pizza shop.

or simply,

I have already left the pizza shop.

I get the idea of the preposition past from :

It's past your bedtime, you should go and sleep now.

Like time can I use the preposition past when talking about distance as well?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


The key is whether the event can strictly be defined as temporal or whether it would best be defined as spatial.

I'm past the pizza shop.

describes the event temporally.

I've passed the pizza shop.

describes it spatially.

Left, in this context would imply you had already called in at the pizza shop a few minutes ago, but were now on your way home.

"I was at the pizza shop earlier, but I've since left."

You could use left to imply a general distance perhaps, rather than a specific one

"I've left the pizza shop far behind."

To use your example

It's past your bedtime, you should go and sleep now.

The time for bed has passed, it is now past your bedtime.
Which is where the spatial/temporal distinction breaks down somewhat & why this is not easy to guess at.
For 'clock' events you can think of it as the hands of the clock having spatially passed the correct numbers on the clock face.
The time is in the past, the event of that moment in time has now passed.

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