I want to express simply that some time had elapsed. Is the following correct?

It was passed 10 minutes.

Are there any alternatives?

  • You can say 'it has been 10 minutes since I got here' which means '10 minutes have passed since I came here.'
    – Max
    Apr 26, 2013 at 19:36
  • Just forget the "of time" part (if they "elapsed", they can't be units of angular measurement. So "ten minutes had elapsed" is all you need. Or "passed", if you want a more common verb. Apr 26, 2013 at 19:55
  • 2
    This question is edited too much and not reflect original - I want to delete it :)
    – Chameleon
    Apr 26, 2013 at 20:08
  • I don't understand what this question is asking now, and I'm totally bewildered by all the edits made. The only interesting thing I can see here is: Why can't we use the 'dummy it' of "It rained yesterday", or "It was ten minutes later when [blah blah]" in something more like (OP's postulated?) construction "It passed ten minutes"? But there's no evidence that's what's being asked, so I think the question is Too Localised (whatever the question actually is! :) Apr 26, 2013 at 22:05
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    @ Chameleon: In English, time usually passes, or goes by. We normally say "10 minutes passed", or "10 minutes went by" (where went is the past tense of to go). You'll sometimes see by with to pass, and sometimes it won't be there with to go, but those are less common versions. Let me know if that's what you're asking about. Note that the current "It was passed 10 minutes" in your text isn't a valid English sentence, but it would probably be understood as meaning "It was 10 minutes later" (than some earlier time which you had just been talking about). Apr 27, 2013 at 0:11

1 Answer 1


Ten minutes have passed.

is the grammatically correct form. Another way to say it is:

Ten minutes have gone by.

There are undoubtedly other ways of noting the passage of a specific number of minutes, but these are the two that come immediately to my mind.

To use the past tenses, you can say:

Ten minutes passed. [simple past]
Ten minutes had passed. [past perfect]

Which form you choose depends on context. Your sentence has no context.

  • Is past tense forms is invalid?
    – Chameleon
    Apr 26, 2013 at 14:03
  • The present perfect tense is the one normally used in these cases. In some cases, British English uses the present perfect when American English would use the past tense, but I think this is one of those cases where both would use the present perfect.
    – apaderno
    Apr 26, 2013 at 14:37
  • @Chameleon: The past tense form would be: "ten minutes passed [before my bus arrived]", or "it took ten minutes for my bus to arrive".
    – Matt
    Apr 26, 2013 at 14:40

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