Expression: "Pass the rest back"


Do you find the following sentence correct and natural? [said by the teacher who gives worksheets or question papers to the student sitting in the first row]

I don’t know why but “Pass it around” sounds OK to my non native ears, and "Pass it back" doesn’t.

Waiting for your take,


Hi Tom

“Take one and pass the rest back” would of course be the more specific of your two options. In the context “Pass it back” (basically meaning “pass it towards the back” / “pass it to the person behind you”) also sounds OK to me. To me, it means that the first (front) person in each row should begin the process of passing something to the person behind them.

However, in a different context, “Pass it back” could also be used to mean “Give it back” (i.e. “return it”). So, context is important – as usual.

“Pass it around” could involve any direction – including sideways, for example.

Exactly. “Take one and give the rest back to me!”