The regular past form of “to hang” (“hanged”) is only used in the sense of an execution, either legal or otherwise.
- Daniel Frank was the first recorded criminal hanged in the United States. The state of Virginia hanged him on March 1, 1622.
- The first three women so executed were hanged in 1632, 1633, and 1638.
- Between 1926 and 1965, 675 people were hanged in 30 states.
“Hung” is the irregular past tense for everything else hanging, whether on a wall or from a branch or a necklace.
- My grandfather hung the pictures of all his grandchildren on the wall above the TV.
- The robin’s nest hung in the old oak tree through several winter storms.
- That chandelier has hung in the dining room as long as I remember.
The difference is who or what is now suspended in the air. Person = hanged. Non-person = hung.
Credits: I did the drawing, Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash