Hanged vs Hung
The specific action hung and hanged refer to and the context in which they are used make the difference between them. 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 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.
What does Hung mean?
Hung means someone suspending someone or something with the use of something else. Hung is the past tense and past participle tense for the verb hang when the action carries this most commonly used meaning. Accordingly, we can say the following things.
I hung a picture on the wall yesterday.
Mary hung her coat on the peg.
They hung the slave by chains and beat him violently.
In the first sentence, someone has suspended a picture on the wall using a nail. In the second sentence, Mary has put her coat on the peg. Since the coat is suspended by the peg, we say she hung the coat. In the last sentence, some people hung a man using chains. That means these people suspended this slave above ground using chains, and they beat him. So, here also we can use the past tense form hung.
What does Hanged mean?
Hanged is the past and past participle form of hang that we use if we are referring to the act of executing someone by suspending him or her by the neck using a rope. 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 hung has to be used.
What is the difference between Hanged and Hung?
• Connection to Hang:
• Hanged and hung are both past and past participle forms of the verb hang.
• Hung is used as the past and past participle of hang as long as we are speaking of the action of suspending something or someone above with the support of something else.
• Hanged is the past and past participle of hang when we are talking about the death penalty where a person is hanged till death.
These are the differences between hanged and hung. The 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.