Did you Know…. hung or hanged?

I can almost see my students smiling with a hint of irony painted on their faces when they hear me saying the words” English is very easy”. And yes, you  might disagree with me here but  it all depends on what language you compare it with and, in their case, Spanish grammar is a far cry from English grammar, being the first much more complicated to understand. I am also well aware of the difficulties they have when learning English but we need to focus on the positive things. I wouldn’t be doing a good job if I don’t motivate my students!

But… sometimes… only sometimes, English could be a bit confusing, and the use of  hung and hanged is a little quirk of the English language.

This is what one of my students wrote . “He said that  nobody  lived in that house  because the man who lived there had killed all his family and then he hung himself.”

I crossed it off and wrote “hanged” instead. The verb “hang” can be regular or irregular. You study:

                 hang- hung/hanged-hung/hanged

So far, easy.But when do you use “hung” and when “hanged”? The explanation can be either short or long. I think I’ll go for the short one as you can always check meanings and use in a good dictionary.

  • Hanged is used  when the meaning is
  1. to kill somebody  by tying a rope attached from  above around their neck and removing the support from beneath them .

                              The prisoner  was ​found guilty of the crime  and hanged ​.

       2.  (slang) to damn or be damned: used in mild curses or interjections. 

                               I’ll be hanged before I ask her out again

  • Hung is preferred in all other senses of the word.

Once clarified, it isn’t that difficult, is it?

Do you have time for a little test?

[spoiler title=’Some pictures ___ on the walls of his house’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]hung[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=’His arms __ down limply,  over the edge of the couch.’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]hung[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=’Red meat is __ for at least 28 days, making for a memorable steak’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]hung[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=’He was __ for murder’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]hanged[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=’I am __if I know’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]hanged[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=’A ​heavy ​gold ​necklace __ around her ​neck.’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]hung[/spoiler]

[spoiler title=’He _____ himself from a beam in the attic’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]hanged[/spoiler]

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