Hanged vs. Hung – Usage, Difference & Examples

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Do you need help understanding the difference between “hanged” and “hung”? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Many people struggle to tell the two apart. Understanding this important vocabulary distinction is essential for better communication in English – and that’s where I come in.

In this blog post, I’ll explain the difference between “hanged” and “hung” and provide plenty of examples to better understand each word’s meaning.

Is It Hanged or Hung?

Both “hanged” and “hung” are past tenses of the verb hang, but they have different meanings based on the context in question. Objects are usually hung, but so are people without the intention of hurting them (like those hung from a bungee jumping cord). People that were executed via capital punishment were “hanged.”

Hanged vs. Hung

httpsgrammarist.comusagehanged hung

The difference between hanged and hung lies mostly in their meaning.

“Hung” is the past tense form of the verb “to hang,” and it’s used when talking about something suspended, usually an object.

“Hanged” is also the past tense of the verb “to hang,” but we use it when talking about a person sadly killed by hanging.

In short:

  • Hung = suspend
  • Hanged = to kill by hanging

How Is Hung Used in a Sentence?

We use “hung” mostly when talking about something suspended from above. For example, clothes are hung from a clothesline while pictures are hung on the wall.

However, don’t assume that “hang” is exclusive to objects and “hanged” to people. When someone is suspended without the intention of hurting/killing them, they are also hung.

For example:

  • We hung all of our family photos in the living room.
  • She hung her head in shame.
  • He was hung from a cord, waiting for his friends to pull him up.

English verbs are funny things. Hung can also be part of different phrases and English expressions. It is used in a sentence in many different ways and can add an extra layer of expressiveness to your speech.

Most commonly, it’s used to describe someone or something with a lot of power or influence. For example, if you wanted to describe the most popular kid in school, you could say they’re “hung like a celebrity.”

It can be used when talking about decisions with lasting implications. For example, you might say, “That motion was hung up for so long that it caused irrevocable damage.”

As you can see, “hung” can convey seriousness, power, or humor –or all three at once!

Here are other correct usage examples of the word “hung”:

  • We hung out together in a pub last Saturday.
  • I don’t know if my phone lost reception or if she just hung up on me.
  • Lisa finished classes earlier but hung about the library to finish her essay.
  • Would it be cool if I hung around with you for a few hours?

How Do You Use Hanged in a Sentence?

When using “hanged,” we refer strictly to the act of execution. It is also correct to use it in sentences that refer to suicide.

For example:

  • The criminal hanged himself to avoid a life sentence.
  • In Salem, they hanged everyone suspected of witchcraft.

How to Remember the Difference

The most important difference between these two words is understanding what they mean based on the context they’re used in.

You will know when to use the correct past tense of “to hang” once you figure out whether the sentence refers to execution or has some other meaning.

The Final Thoughts

“Hung” is the common past tense form of the regular verb “to hang.” It refers to something suspended, usually an object. “Hanged” is also the past tense of “to hang,” but it refers to a person killed by hanging.

However, don’t assume that “hang” is exclusive to objects – people can be hung, too. For example, someone may be hung by a cord without the intention of hurting/killing them.

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