Wondering what the difference is between ‘hanged’ and ‘hung’? And which one is correct to use? We can clear that up, plus teach you how to use the correct word in a sentence.
Don’t feel like waiting? Here’s the short answer:
As you just learned, ‘hanged’ and ‘hung’ are both acceptable past tense forms of the word ‘hang.’
However, you can’t use them interchangeably because they mean two different things.
‘Hanged’ is the past tense of ‘hang’ when you’re referring to killing someone.
‘Hung’ is the past tense of ‘hang’ when you’re talking about hanging something up.
So, is it ‘hung’ or ‘hanged’? Well, that depends on the context.
As we said before, ‘hung’ is the past tense of the word when you’re referring to hanging something up, such as a coat.
‘Hanged’ is the past tense of the word when you’re referring to hanging someone (i.e., killing them) with a rope.
The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘hanged’ is: “to fasten to some elevated point without support from below: suspend,” “to suspend by the neck until dead > often hanged in the past > often used as a mild oath,” “to fasten so as to allow free motion within given limits upon a point of suspension,” “to furnish with hanging decorations (such as flags or bunting),” “to hold or bear in a suspended or inclined manner,” “to apply to a wall,” “to display (pictures) in a gallery,” and “baseball: to throw (a pitch, such as a curveball) so that it fails to break properly.”
The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘hung’ is: “past tense and past participle of hang,” “unable to reach a decision or verdict,” and “also, British: not having a political party with an overall majority."
Some synonyms of the word are:
To pronounce ‘hang’ correctly, here’s how you’d say it phonetically: hAng.
To pronounce ‘hung’ correctly, here’s how you’d say it phonetically: hUHng.
Now that we know what both words mean let’s look at how to use them both in a sentence.
Now, let’s take a look at how to use ‘hung’ in a sentence.
To recap, we’ve learned that ‘hung’ and ‘hanged’ are both past tenses of the word ‘hang.’ We’ve also learned that they can’t be used interchangeably because the former means hanging something up, while the latter refers to killing someone by hanging. So, you’ll want to make sure you use the right version of this word.
If you ever get stuck, you can always come back here for a quick refresher or to find information on another word. We’ve got a whole library of content on confusing words and phrases you might come across in the English language.