Sometimes, we’re met with irregular verbs with different verb forms in the simple past and past participle tenses. We need to understand what these are and what rules follow them. This article will examine the past tense of “swing” and whether the irregular verb rules apply.
Swung or Swang: Which Is Correct?
“Swung” is the only correct past tense form of “swing.” Therefore, we do not have to treat “swing” like an irregular verb. It has the same forms in both the simple past tense and the past participle. There are no cases where “swang” is correct as the past tense.
It might help you to refer to the following examples to see the correct version compared with the incorrect one:
- Correct: I swung from the rooftops when I heard about it.
- Incorrect: I swang myself around the ropes and ended up tangled.
The issue comes from many people’s belief that words like “swung” have to have different forms. This is true only in some cases, but not in the case of “swing.”
Irregular verbs are called “irregular” for a reason. There are no genuine or readable rules that they follow. Unfortunately, we just have to learn each verb’s rules individually until we figure them out.
It could be likely that some people are taught that “swang” is a correct past tense form of “swung,” but this is not the case if you want to be grammatically correct. Make sure you avoid using it wherever possible.
Remember these forms as the only correct verb forms for “to swing:”
Also, you can refer to The Cambridge Dictionary and how they use “swung” for further information. You should notice it says “past simple and past participle of swing.”
When Is “Swung” Correct?
So, “swung” is correct in every case. It’s the only correct form. However, we’re not just going to leave you with that and hope you understand everything else to do with the verb forms. Instead, we’ll show you how to use it appropriately!
“Swung” is correct as the simple past tense and past participle of the present tense verb “swing.” We use it when an action has taken place in the past (as the simple past tense), or when there is more to say about the action (the past participle).
Simple Past Tense
The simple past tense is called “simple” for a reason. We only use it to refer to things that have already happened, and there is nothing else we can do to impact that thing in the present.
“Swung” works without any extra language rules or verbs as the simple past tense. We simply write it with a pronoun to show that something happened.
Incidentally, since “swung” is a past tense form, there is never a reason to change its form. That applies no matter which pronoun we choose to use with it:
- I swung
- You swung
- He swung
- It swung
Generally, the past participle is the more complicated of the two. That’s because it sets up something known as the perfect tense. There are three perfect tenses that we need to know about. Each one requires an auxiliary verb and the past participle form to be correct.
These are the tenses you should know:
- Past perfect: Had swung
- Present perfect: Have swung
- Future perfect: Will have swung
“Have” is not the only acceptable auxiliary verb, but it’s the one we use here to help demonstrate the perfect tenses.
Each perfect tense keeps the past participle in the same form. There are never deviations from this rule, as the past participle must always be spelt the same way. Instead, we change the form of “have” to note which perfect tense we use.
“Have” changes to “had” in the past tense since “had” shows that something happened previously. “Have” stays the same in the present for obvious reasons. We include “will” alongside “have” when we want to talk about future events taking place.
Example Sentences Using “Swung”
We can break the examples down into three sections to help you understand how best to use them.
Simple Past Tense
- I swung for the ball, but I know I missed it.
- You swung the wrong way, which is why you missed.
“Swung” works when we want to show the action of “swinging” that took place in the past. There is nothing more we can do to change that outcome.
- I had swung for it before I knew what was happening!
- It had swung across the buildings before anyone managed to stop it going further!
“Had swung” works as the past perfect tense. We use this to show the order that things took place in the past. Usually, the “swinging” action happens first, and then another action will have happened after it that might have impacted it.
- The monkeys have swung across all the trees in the enclosure.
- They have swung on the rope for hours!
“Have swung” works to show that the action of “swinging” began in the past but continues in the present. It may also show that the action has just finished taking place (even if it was only a few seconds ago).
- I will have swung from every rope swing in the area after this one!
- You will have swung too many times across those bars if you do this!
“Will have swung” shows that something will take place in the future. Usually, the action of “swinging” is guaranteed based on our choices and actions in the present.
“Have Swang” Vs. “Have Swung”
“Have swung” is correct as the present perfect tense. We can use it because “swung” works as the past participle, which is correct. “Have swang” is still incorrect, as “swang” is an incorrect verb form for the present tense verb “swing.”
As you have now seen, only “swung” is correct as the past tense of “to swing.” There are no times where “swang” works. It is not officially recognized, and there are no dictionaries that will tell you that “swang” works as either the simple past or the past participle.
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Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.