Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
I often hear "You hung up on me" instead of "You hanged up on me"
On contrary, I hear
"She hanged herself by the neck" instead of "She hung herself by the neck"
My computer hanged/hung this morning when I tried to get online. (I have heard both versions)
Thanks in advance!
These are two completely different verbs The infinitives and the present simple are the same, but the rest is different.
I hung up the phone, and hung a couple of pictures.
The judge said they're going to hang me. I will be hanged first thing in the morning. I guess I should look this up. The past tense is usually used in the passive. I suppose the active is, "They hanged my brother yesterday."
hang hanged hanged (used in relation to death by hanging)
I don't know how reliable your animate vs inanimate may be. For sure, inamimate things (incl. computers) are hung, or hung up; but I don't think you'd say "the gorilla was hanged." You could hang a guy up on a meathook, living or dead (that may be macabre, but it's not gallows humor.) A human type person can be hung up in traffic. I think "hanged" must be an intentional means of execution or suicide or murder. I'm not sure if one can be accidently hanged, but I guess I'm going to have to look it up.
My American Heritage treates the two uses as being the same verb, with a different past, and past participle, when it applies to capital punishment. They don't mention murder or suicide, but I know I've heard "he hanged himself" many times. (once per person, please)
The famous "Usage Panel" is split on accepting "hung." 31% allow it in active voice and 34% accept it in the passive. I forgot to mention before that it can be transitive and intransitive. (I wonder if that makes it an "ergative verb," with the middle voice, etc.?) (BTW, we never got an official "yea" or "nay" on the "middle voice" concept.)
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