Commonly Confused Words: Hanged and Hung

A pair where for the longest time, I’d try to find other words instead of having to figure out which one is correct.

But “hanged” and “hung” is actually pretty simple. They are both past tense of the verb “to hang.”

“Hanged” is used for people. “The criminal was hanged.”

“Hung” is used for objects. “I hung the painting in the living room.”

This distinction is relatively modern, within the last few centuries. Perhaps the distinction will be lost again in the future.

About Natasha

Natasha received her MA in Literature and Culture in 2008 from Oregon State University. Currently she lives in Oregon with her husband and cats.
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