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hanged, hung

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Both hanged and hung are past-participial and past-tense forms of the verb hang meaning “to suspend” or “to attach.”

The difference is that hanged (past tense and past participle) should be used exclusively in cases where the thing suspended is a human body and the process is capital punishment (or suicide). If, however, one person suspends another person through amusement or malice, then that person is hung, not hanged.

After the officials hanged the prisoner, the mob hung his body on a pole in the town square.

In all other cases the correct past participle of hang is hung.

Example: He was hanged from the same old oak tree where his childhood swing hung for many years.

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