Monday, July 2, 2007

12. Hanging Around

Hey, Y'all! I hope you're all enjoying your summer! While you're "hanging around" the beach, pool, or enjoying a vacation to some exotic locale, keep in mind today's topic--one that we seem to hear quite a bit. Which past tense verb is correct to use: HANGED or HUNG? This one really shouldn't be difficult at all if you'll just keep a couple of things in mind.

First, though, try these sentences to see if you know the difference between the two uses:

1. The criminal was (hanged, hung) at high noon.

2. The mourners (hanged, hung) a weath on the family's door.

3. The mob (hanged, hung) its enemy in effigy.

4. My boyfriend got mad and (hanged, hung) up on me.

5. Robert (hanged, hung) out with his friends all weekend.

So, how did you do? HANGED is correct in only two sentences: 1 and 3. HUNG is correct in 2, 4, and 5. Now, as you may know, the main problem we seem to have with these two past tense verbs is illustrated in the use of HANGED in sentences 1 and 3. We often misuse this verb and use HUNG instead.

Here's all you need to remember: The verb HANG has two correct past tenses: HANGED and HUNG. The only time you need to worry about using HANGED is when the sentence is referring to THE EXECUTION OF A PERSON OR PERSONS . When you use HUNG, you are generally referring to the placement or suspension of an object on a wall, ceiling, hook, or elsewhere.

Therefore, except at the gallows, HUNG is the correct past tense of HANG: He HUNG loose...HUNG out...HUNG around...HUNG laundry, etc.

I hope you see how easy this one is! Enjoy your week and thanks for visiting. GG


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