Monday, March 23, 2009

pasar vs pasar por vs pasarlo bien

Pasar is without a doubt one of the most commonly used verbs in the Spanish language with a myriad of uses, so today I'm going to share with you all the different ways of using this verb that I've learned so far.

Please keep in mind that the information that follows is only based on my experiences to date, and is by no means exhaustive. Now with that disclaimer out of the way, ¡empezamos!

If you want to talke about having a good time or enjoying yourself , then you can use pasarlo bien.

Que te lo pases bien - Have a good time

Que te pases bien el fin de semana or Que pases bien el fin de semana - Enjoy your weekend / Have a good weekend

¿Cómo [or Qué tal] te la pasaste el fin de semana? - How was your weekend?

¿Lo estás pasando bien? - Are you enjoying yourself?

Que pases bien la Navidad - Have a good Christmas

¿Te la pasaste bien en Navidad? - Did you have a good Christmas?

Anoche la [or lo] pasé bien / la [or lo] pasé bien anoche - I had a good time last night

Lo pasamos bien - We had a good time.

If you need to ask someone to stop by and pick you (or someone else) up, then pasar por is what you need.

¿Pasas por los niños? - Are you going to pick up the kids?

Pasa por mi a las 8:00 - Pick me up at 8.

Pasamos por ti a las 8:00 - We'll pick you up at 8.

¿A qué hora pasas por mí? - What time are you going to pick me up?

Por favor pasar por mi al aeropuerto a la uno - Please pick me up at the airport at 1

You can also use pasar to tell someone to come in when they knock on the door. A simple "pase" (if you need to be formal) or "pasa" will do. And for more than one guest, "pasen".

Of course, we have the famous "qué pasa" to ask someone "what's happening". I don't think this needs any explanation.

We also have qué pasó - What happened? Once you get your answer, you may need to admit that "lo mismo me paso a mi" - The same thing happened to me.

Can't reach the salt at the dinner table? Maybe if you ask politely, Por favor, pásame el sal someone will be kind enough to help you out. And of course you substitute the word sal with anything you want - Pásame el libro. I think you get the picture.

Wow. It wasn't until I sat down to write this post that I realized how many uses pasar has, and those are just the ones I know about.

Oh, and there's one more I want to leave you with....

¡Que pases buena noche!


  1. Useful stuff. Especially since saying things like "we had a good time" or "we enjoyed ourselves" in Spanish turns out to be harder (or "more different") than I expected.

  2. Very useful information. Especially for such a common word. Thanks for the effort.

  3. I'm studying spanish right now, though I'm studying spanishspanish and not latinspanish. Great blog!

  4. Nice blog you have here!
    One other use for "pasar" is the expression "pasar por ---" or "hacerse pasar por---"
    For example you can say:
    "No quiero pasar por tonto", which can be translated as "I don't want to be taken as a fool" and is equivalent to "No quiero ser visto como un tonto", for example
    Other example is "Se hizo pasar por el presidente", which is something like "He pretended to be the president". It's a way better translation that "Pretendió ser el presidente", which is a false friend and actually means he -intended- to become the president (but may have failed)
    Hope this was helpful, keep on the good work! =)

  5. Can I use pásala bien-Have fun. And La pasaste bien?- did you have fun? As well