I read a headline in The New York Times that went like this:

Times Past:

We’re diving into The Times’s archives with the help of a professional.

my thought revolve around "Times Past". what is "Past" in it a noun? I think "Times" is the trademark right? so is "Past" a noun being modified by "Times" thus the past of Times?

1 Answer 1


'Times' is a plural noun; 'past' is an adjective meaning 'gone by or elapsed in time'. In times past (or past times), we rode on horses; now we ride in cars. An archive contains old or historic things. Past things. The publication is the 'New York Times'. The title combines an obvious meaning as I just described, and also a play on words (i.e. both 'times that are past' and 'the past of the Times'). Writers of newpaper headlines and article titles are fond of wordplay, and, possibly, none more that those employed by the New York Times.

  • so can I use an adjective in front of a noun this way? Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 14:50
  • I didn't know onde could use "in times past", only "in past times" Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 14:54
  • @cynthiagrillas - Some adjectives can be before or after a noun; 'past' is one of those. Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 15:01

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