The verb passer in French has a variety of meanings, as diverse as to happen, to do without or simply to pass (by)...
The different meanings of passer in French
ATTENTION: it never means to pass (succeed) an exam.
See Differences between French and English usages - Passer un exam vs To pass an exam
Here are its main usages:
Passer [quelque chose/quelqu'un]
to pass [something/someone] on
First of all, the easy one: passer + thing/person simply means to pass something/someone (on).
Annie, tu me passes le sel ?Annie, can you pass me the salt? Attends, je te passe Paul.Wait, I'm passing Paul onto you.
Passer par / devant ... (to pass by / in front of...)
Again here, easy: passer (par, devant...) + a location simply means to pass (by, in front of...) somewhere.
Je passe devant chez toi tous les matins.I pass in front of your house every morning. Ma tante est passée à la boulangerie en venant ici.My aunt popped by the bakery on her way here. Yann est passé par ton quartier en allant au travail.Yann passed by your neighbourhood on his way to work.
Passer + time (to have + time / to spend + time)
In English, you will use to have to talk about a good time, such as Have a good day! or I had a good evening. In these cases, you will use passer in French:
Je passe un très bon moment.I´m having a really good time. Et passez une bonne journée !And have a good day!
You will also use passer + duration to express to spend (time):
Nous avons passé une semaine à Madrid l'été dernier.We spent a week in Madrid last summer. Elles passeront quinze jours en Australie l'année prochaine.They will spend a fortnight [US: two weeks] in Australia next year.
Se passer (to happen / take place / to go [event])
To ask How did this event go?, you will use event + (reflexive) se passer:
Comment se sont passées tes vacances ?How did your holidays go? La soirée s'est bien passée, tout le monde était content.The evening went well, everyone was happy.
You can also use thing + se passer to express [this] happens / takes place:
Ça s'est passé un dimanche.It happened on a Sunday. Cette histoire se passe au Maroc.This story takes place in Morocco.
Se passer de (to do without)
And finally, to say that you can do / go without [something/someone], you will use the reflexive form se passer de + thing/person:
Je vais me passer de pain pendant une semaine.I´m going to go without bread for a week.
Nous ne pouvons pas nous passer d´eau.We cannot do without water.
Je peux très bien me passer de toi.I can very well do without you.
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