Although the French verb passer is regular, it has many different meanings.

Present tense
Je passe par un moment difficile. – I am going through a difficult time.

Tu passe l’examen demain? – Are you sitting the exam tomorrow?

Il passe sur le pont en allant à l’école. – He goes over the bridge on his way to school.

Elle passe pour une femme de vingt-cinq ans. – She is taken for a woman of twenty-five.

Nous passons le chercher à six heures. – We’re picking him up at six o’clock.

Comment est-ce que vous passez le temps? – How do you pass the time?

Les souris passent par ce trou. – The mice go through this hole.

Future tense
Je passerai vous voir en rentrant. – I’ll pass by and see you on my way home.

Tu passeras par Paris en retournant? – Will you go via Paris when you return?

Le laitier passera demain matin. – The milkman will come tomorrow morning.

Nous passerons à table dans cinq minutes. – We’ll sit down to eat in five minutes’ time.

Vous passerez comment votre envie de chocolat? – How do you satisfy your craving for chocolate?

Elles passeront leurs examens la semaine prochaine. – They will sit their exams next week.

Perfect tense/passé composé
J’ai passé devant le magasin sans le remarquer. – I passed by (in front of) the shop without noticing it.

Tu a passé les chercher? – Did you pick them up?

Il voulait etre astronaute mais ça lui a passé. – He wanted to be an astronaut but he got over it.

On a passé ‘Amelie’ à la television hier soir. – ‘Amelie’ was on television last night.

Nous avons passé par la banque en allant au cinéma. – We passed by the bank on our way to the cinema.

Vous avez passé tous vos examens? – Have you taken all your exams?

Elles ont passé le temps en écoutant de la musique. – They passed the time listening to music.

Present participle
en passant – on my way, in passing

Imperative
Passe me voir. – Pass by and see me. (‘Tu’ form)

Passez en marche arrière. – Go into reverse. (‘Vous’ form)

Passons. – Let’s say no more about it.

Se passer
There is a reflexive form of passer, se passer, which means to happen.

Qu’est-ce qui se passe? – What’s happening?

Il s’est passé quelque chose de mauvais? – Did something bad happen?

With thanks to Elizabeth Allen

Read more on irregular verbs and on learning French

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