Many poor writers write poorly because they do not distinguish written English from spoken English. They assume that written English is simply transcribed speech. That’s a poor assumption because written English and spoken English are two different animals! And those who hold poor assumptions generally get poor results.
Here’s one reason for the distinction between written and spoken English. Many words that function differently sound the same. The words passed and past provide a great example. Passed functions as a verb, but past functions as a noun, adjective, or preposition.
Observe the example sentence in the graphic above. The word past is used incorrectly. The intended word functions as a verb, but past never functions as a verb. The correct word is passed, and so the corrected sentence would appear as follows: