Hanged vs Hung
There are many words in English language that seem to be well understood and are used very commonly in daily conversation. However, these words pose a big problem when it comes to non natives or students learning the language, as they cannot decide between its past tense in two different forms.
The best example of this confusion can be seen in the case of a simple word hang. We all know what hang means as we hang clothes after washing to dry under the sun. However, the real confusion is between hanged and hung. Which of the two words is to be used when we are talking in the past tense? Let us find out in this article.
We read frequently in newspapers that a convict serving a prison sentence is going to be hanged soon or that a person was hanged by terrorists, to strike fear in the minds of the other people. But when it comes to hanging pictures, we always say that they were hung and not hanged. The fact is that the regular past tense of hang is, in fact, hung, and thus we should use ‘hung’ whenever the act of hanging was performed some time back.
Yes, we hang our head in shame, but when it comes to hanging a person to execute him, it is always hanged and not hung. So if we talk about the most high profile case, Saddam Hussein was hanged and not hung. It becomes clear then which past particle of hang to be used is decided by whether it is a picture and another inanimate object or the neck of a person.
Remember, people are hanged while things are hung. Hanged is one past particle that is only used when it is the neck of a person. In case of a person put to death by hanging, we use the past tense and the past particle of hang which is hanged. In all other cases, the past tense is hung which as to be used.
What is the difference between Hanged and Hung?
• Past tense of hang is hung, and the word is always to be used when we are talking in the past tense except one situation where it is the neck of a person that is being hanged.
• Thus, a person is hanged while a picture gets hung.
• To be hanged till death is for convicts while to be hung is for pictures, coats, and paintings