The past tense of “ring” isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think. Sure, we have to worry about both “rang” and “rung,” but it’s a lot easier once you understand the forms. This article will explain the two past tense forms for you.
Rung or Rang: Which Is Correct?
“Rang” is the simple past tense of the present tense “ring.” “Rung” is the past participle of the same verb. Both forms are correct in English, and we can use them to interact with a sentence and change the meaning depending on the tense.
We’ll explain more about the tenses later. For now, you can look at the differences below:
- I rang you on your mobile phone.
- We have rung you a few times to talk about your future.
And these are the forms we’ll be looking at in this article:
When Is “Rang” Correct?
So, when is “rang” correct?
“Rang” is correct when used to talk about “ringing” someone or something in the past. It is the simple past tense, and it never changes form, no matter what pronoun we use with it.
You can use “rang” with any pronoun in a sentence, just like a present tense verb:
- I rang
- She rang
- He rang
- We rang
Example Sentences Using “Rang”
“Rang” is the simplest form to use, and these examples will show you exactly how simple it can be.
- I rang you a few times, but you didn’t answer.
- She rang me on my mobile just yesterday.
- You rang me once, but I didn’t pay attention.
- She rang my phone, but I missed it.
- I rang him, but apparently, I’m blocked!
- You rang the wrong phone number, mister.
“Rang” is the simple past tense. We can use it when talking about “ringing” someone in the past. The event has already been and gone, and there is nothing more we can do in the present to change this outcome.
When Is “Rung” Correct?
“Rung” isn’t nearly as simple as “rang” (hence why we don’t call it the simple past tense). However, with a bit of reading, it’s also not as hard as you think.
“Rung” is only correct when used with an auxiliary verb. We can take a verb like “have” and place it next to the past participle to create the present perfect tense. There are two other perfect tenses we can use (past and future). Each one uses different verb forms.
The important thing to remember about the differences between the tenses comes with the auxiliary verbs. There isn’t much worth nothing about the past participle changes between the present tenses (since the past participle never changes form).
- Past perfect: Had rung
- Present perfect: Have rung
- Future perfect: Will have rung
As you can see, “rung” always stays the same. Just like “rang,” there is no reason to ever change the form of a past tense verb.
However, the auxiliary verb isn’t in the past tense yet, meaning that “have” is changed based on the tense we use.
“Had” is the past tense of “have,” which is why we use it in the past perfect tense. Also, we include “will” in the future perfect tense alongside “have” to show how something might happen or occur in the future.
Example sentences using “Rung”
Since “rung” comes with a few extra language rules we need to worry about, a simple example section won’t be of much use. Instead, we’ll split this into three sections so that you don’t have to worry about the different perfect tenses.
- I had rung them before they arrived, but no one received the message.
- You had rung through once already before anyone decided to talk to you.
“Had rung” is the past perfect tense. We can use this to talk about the order in which past events took place. It helps when we’re trying to show that someone “rang” something before another event happened in the past.
- I have rung through to the office already, but nobody answered me.
- You have rung them one too many times, and now they won’t pick up.
“Have rung” is the present perfect tense. We can use this to refer to “ringing” someone or something in the past. However, the action also continues or finishes in the present, which is what “have” does to impact the meaning of the past participle.
- I will have rung you again by the end of the day; I just don’t know when yet.
- You will have rung him back by the time he receives the parcel, I’m sure.
“Will have rung” is the future perfect tense. We can use this to refer to a future happening or event that will take place based on our present actions. Usually, we set up an “if” clause to determine whether these actions will happen.
“Have Rang” Vs. “Have Rung”
We’ve shown you already that “have rung” works. After all, “rung” is the past participle of “ring,” which we can use with an auxiliary verb whenever we want to create the perfect tense.
However, there is still a little bit of confusion surrounding “rang.” Can we use an auxiliary verb with “rang” in any case, creating a new form of “have rang?”
“Have rang” is never correct. There is no reason to use “have” or an auxiliary verb with “rang.” “Rang” is already the simple past tense, which we can use correctly whenever we want to show that someone “rang” in the past. “Have” never works with it.
You can refer to these two examples to remind you:
- Correct: You have rung my phone a lot in the last few days, and I don’t know what you want to tell me!
- Incorrect: I have rang you to ask you about your warranty.
“Rung” is the past participle, which we can easily remember when using the auxiliary verb. “Have rung” is correct, but there are no cases where “rung” works alone. “Rang” is the simple past tense, which helps us to remember that it works on its own.
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