‘Hang' or 'Hung': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on May 16, 2023

Wondering about the difference between 'hang' and 'hung?' There is a simple answer. However, the best way to learn English or become a more effective writer is to comprehensively understand the definitions, meanings, usage rules, and pronunciations. I am going to give you all of that below.

Are you short on time?

If so, here is the short answer:

  • 'Hang' is a verb that means to attach something to something else.
  • 'Hung' is the past-tense form of 'hang,' meaning that you attached or affixed something in the past. 

As I mentioned, there is a lot more to learn. So, I hope you stick around until the end of this guide.

Definition of 'Hang': What Does 'Hang' Mean?

'Hang' is a verb that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as:

  • To affix to something above

It can also mean:

  • To dangle
  • To fasten without restricting movement
  • To put up decorations
  • To suspend one's self or an object
  • To display in a nook or gallery
  • To turn while driving
  • To be suspended without support underneath
  • To linger, loiter, or stay around
  • Something sure to occur
  • To put an item on another
  • To cling to something
  • To lean on or drape yourself on something
  • To be entranced
  • Waste time

In rare cases, it is a noun meaning:

  • The way something fits
  • A droop
  • The comprehension of a task or job
  • A  delay in the completion of a task

Synonyms of 'Hang'

  • Dangle
  • Suspend
  • Hook
  • Pin
  • Mount
  • Attach
  • Affix
  • Overhang
  • Cascade
  • Depend
  • Turn
  • Droop
  • Float
  • Poise
  • Position
  • Swing

Terms and Phrases Related to 'Hang'

Definition of 'Hung': What Does 'Hung' Mean?

'Hung' is also most commonly used as:

  • The past tense verb form of 'hang.'

You can also use it as an adjective, meaning:

  • The inability to develop an opinion on something, specifically a legal matter
  • The lack of a controlling political party (used in reference to the British parliament)
  • A slang term for having a large male genital

Synonyms of 'Hung'

  • Slouching
  • Slumping
  • Falling
  • Entranced
  • Enthralled
  • Sinking
  • Dipping
  • Dropping
  • Nodding
  • Sitting
  • Suspended

Terms and Phrases Related to 'Hung'

  • Hung in the air
  • Hung there
  • Stockings hung by the chimney
  • Hung jury
  • Hung on every word
  • Hung onto the past
  • Hung up
  • Hungover

Pronunciation of 'Hang' and 'Hung'

Pronunciation is crucial if you want to speak and write English with confidence. Learning to pronounce these two terms is extremely straightforward, and the cheat sheet below will help.

How to Pronounce 'Hang'

The pronunciation of 'hang' is precisely the way the word sounds:


How to Pronounce 'Hung'

You also pronounce 'hung' according to the proper spelling:


How Do You Know When to Use 'Hang' or 'Hung?'

'Hung' is the past-tense verb form of 'hang.'

So, how do you know when and which to use?

  • Use 'hang' when referring to something that is actively affixed or needs to be securely dangled from another object.

For example, you may hear someone say:

                   'Will you please hang those family photos on the wall in the hallway?'

  • Use 'hung' when talking about something that has been hanging.

For example, you might hear me say:

                   'The picture hung on the wall for two decades.' 

Past and Present Tense Verbs

To understand which verb tense is correct, you must know how to use past and present tense words. If you are using the active voice or discussing things occurring in the present:

  • Use the present tense form, 'hang.'

For example, if you wanted to use the active voice, you could say something like:

                    'I want to hang out with you.' 

If you are talking in the passive voice, use the past tense verb, 'hung.'

For example, you could say:

                  'After we hung out, I felt terrific. I can't wait until I see you again.' 

Sample Sentences Using 'Hang' or 'Hung'

You are likely an expert on these words now, but before you put what you learned into practice, look at these example sentences. They will help you remember how to use the words when speaking or writing.


  • If you hang the mirror over there, it will reflect the entire room.
  • I used to hang on to his every word, but nowadays, I don't even pay attention to him.
  • You can hang your bag and coat over there on the hat rack.
  • If you cannot hang the television on the wall, you can put it on your dresser.
  • Hang close to the house. I might need you to get home quickly.
  • While staying at the hotel, hang the 'do not disturb' sign on the door if you want to sleep late or hang out in your room.


  • He hung on for as long as possible but hadn't been in the pink of health for a long time.
  • Finally, he went for a checkup, but his world changed after he hung up the phone with the doctor's office.
  • When he went in to receive his test results, the doctor hung the scans up to show him the tumor they found.
  • They're going to start treating him with chemo and radiation. He will have to go to the hospital twice weekly and wait while the drugs hung on the IV stand slowly entered his body.


  • The picture you hung of us all those years ago still hangs on our wall today.
  • Hang in there for a little longer. You've hung on for this long; it would be a shame to give up now.
  • After we hung up, I missed you! We are going to have to hang out soon.
  • Did I hear that correctly? Did you hang out with Jan last Friday? You haven't hung out with me in over a year.

A Final Word of Advice 'Hang' or 'Hung'

You should be ready to use 'hang' or 'hung' correctly.

However, let's do a quick recap: 

  • 'Hang' is a present tense verb that means to suspend without support from below. 
  • 'Hung' is the past tense form of the verb 'hang,' meaning something was suspended or attached to something. 

Now you know how to use the past and present forms of the term correctly. If you get mixed up in the future, you can always return to this page to brush up on this lesson. You can also check out the other guides in the confusing words section here. It is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to expand their vocabulary or improve communication.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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