Misused Words

Hanged and Hung

Hanged refers to capital punishment.

The convicted criminal was hanged at sunrise in the public square.

Hung is used when you are not referring to capital punishment.

The artist hung his masterpiece on the wall in the gallery.

Note: To understand these two verbs, you need to know the principal parts of the verbs.

The principal parts of the verb hang

Present tense Present participle Past tense Past participle
hang hanging hang hanged
The sheriff hangs the man now. The sheriff is hanging the man now. The sheriff hanged the man yesterday. The sheriff had hanged the man last week.
hang hanging hung hung
I hang the clothes on the line now. I am hanging the clothes on the line now. I hung the clothes on the line yesterday. I had hung the clothes on the line last week.
Practice

(1) The housewife (hanged, hung) her clothes outdoors to dry.

(2) The executioner was the man who (hanged, hung) the criminal.

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