Is it ‘Hung’ or ‘Hanged’?


Melyik a helyes forma? Sokan nem tudják, úgyhogy nézzük is meg közelebbről! 

Yes, there are two words for the past tense of ‘hang’.

Some people bristle when they hear hanged or hung used incorrectly. Their blood boils. Their vision blacks out. Mixing up hung and hanged will make these people thoroughly cheesed off and mad as heck.

hung = be suspended or hanging

The standard rule for the past tense of hang is this: in almost all situations, you should use the word hung.

I hung a picture of Noah Webster on the wall.

After school, she hung out in the library.

hanged = kill by hanging

Use hanged when referring to a person being suspended by a rope around the neck until dead.

The Salem “witches” were not burned; they were hanged.

Justice Wargrave ordered Edward Seton to be hanged by the neck until dead.

It’s not that simple, however: most usage guides reserve hanged for people subjected to death, which means if an inanimate object is suspended from a gallows, the correct term is hung.

Despisedby the voters, he was hung in effigy.

A stripped-down version of why we have these two different words is that the word hang came from two different verbs in Old English. One of these Old English verbs was what we might think of as a regular verb, and this gave rise to hanged; the other was irregular, and ended up becoming hung.

Hanged and hung were used interchangeably for hundreds of years, although over time the one from the irregular verb (hung) eventually became the more common one. Hanged retained its position when used to refer to death by hanging, possibly due to being favored by judges who were passing a sentence. However, both forms are commonly found, and both are commonly found used in either sense.

Is the distinction important? It’s still commonly found in usage guides, which typically say that the past and the past participle of hang should be hanged only when referring to a person being subjected to death. Hung is preferred, at least by people who make a distinction, in almost every circumstance. However, not everyone makes this distinction.

In other words, observing this distinction will help you to avoid criticism from people with strong feelings on the subject. But don’t get too hung up about it.


Hanged or hung? Which one would you use in the following sentences?

1. The murderer was …… last week.

2. The American flag ….. on the wall of the school.

3. They ought to be ……–the brigands!

4. A man due to be sentenced tomorrow for murdering his brother has been found ……. in his cell.

5. A column of smoke …… over the city all afternoon.

6. I …… the decorations on the Christmas tree.

7. The traitor was …… for treason.

8. He …… his head in shame when he was told off.

9. The students …… on every word of the teacher.

10. The man …… on to the rope fighting for his life.


1. hanged

2. hung

3. hanged

4. hanged

5. hung

6. hung

7. hanged

8. hung

9. hung

10. hung


to bristle

megborzong, feláll a hátán a szőr

Theirblood boils.

felforr a vérük

Their vision blacks out.

elhomályosodik a látásuk

cheesed off

mérges, ingerült

to be mad as heck

állati mérges

to hang out

lógni valahol



to suspendby a rope




to subject to death

halálra ítélni

inanimate object

élettelen tárgy



to despise


to be hung in effigy

jelképesen felakasztani

stripped-down version

egyszerűsített verzió

regular verb

szabályos ige





to retain

megtart, megőriz



to pass a sentence

ítéletet hirdetni, elítélni

to make a distinction


to be hung up

nagy fontosságot tulajdonítani, a rabjává válni

Kapcsolódó anyagok

Egyéb megjegyzés