I saw such phrases used by some guy:

make a pass on something


take a pass on something

What I want to convey with this phrase is something like

browse something (like writing or blueprints, etc) from start to end, maybe quickly. Usually aim to correct errors or refine the stuff.

Like in the following sentence:

I just finished my thesis, can you please make a pass on it and correct the grammar errors there?

Somehow I just want to know whether it's also correct to say

have a pass on something.

Is it okay to put it this way? Or it's mostly unseen before?

  • Could you add what you think the phrases 'make/take/have a pass' would mean?
    – loonquawl
    Jul 27, 2018 at 15:29
  • If by take a pass you mean abstain from offering an opinion, most people would probably just say I'll pass on that one [that subject / question requiring a response]. You could say I'll take a pass on that, but note that making a pass on [a potential sexual partner] is a completely different usage. Unless you edit to clarify the sense you intend, this question will be closed as "Unclear". Jul 27, 2018 at 15:49
  • @FumbleFingers Yeah, sorry for being so sloppy. Just added one sample sentence there.
    – W.W.
    Jul 27, 2018 at 15:57
  • 1
    Okay, well I've retracted my closevote. I don't recognise your example usage though. Are you perhaps conflating pass with parse? I suggest you just switch to ...can you please run through it? (or even more informal, eyeball it). And ask any future questions like this on English Language Learners. Jul 27, 2018 at 16:03
  • @FumbleFingers Ah, actually I saw the usage of "make a pass on" from one email. I think that's how the guy uses the phrase. For me I never used it before. So I really don't know whether it's correct or not.
    – W.W.
    Jul 27, 2018 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


No, that’s not an idiomatic way of asking for people to help make improvements to something like a thesis.

Consider proofreading or review instead. If you want something quick, you can ask someone to “look it over”.

proofread verb Read (printer's proofs or other written or printed material) and mark any errors. ‘Final drafts of essays, assignments and lab reports are reviewed and proofread by highly knowledgable graduate students with refined writing skills.’ - ODO

review verb 1 Assess (something) formally with the intention of instituting change if necessary. ‘Every UK local authority website is reviewed and assessed against e-government and good practice criteria.’ - ODO

look-over noun A quick inspection of something; a survey. ‘Most applications get a look-over for quality control by programmer colleagues.’ - ODO


make a pass TFD

the idiomatic uses of this includes flirting, attempts at something, and flying over X.

I suggest modifications to your sample question:

I just finished my thesis, can you please X it and correct the grammar errors there?

X = read it, look over, brutally and unmercifully review

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