Understanding the past tense of irregular verbs can be challenging, and that is the aim of this article. We shall find out how to use “sang” and “sung” correctly.
“Sing” is the simple past tense of “sang.” We use “sang” when referring to someone who performed the action in the past. “Sung” is the past participle, which needs an auxiliary verb like “have” to make sense in a sentence.
The examples below will help you understand better.
•I sang in the choir because I liked it!
•I have sung one too many times, and now my voice is croaky.
To make sure you don’t forget the vital differences between the two, you can refer to the following:
Past Participle Sung
When Is “Sang” Correct?
“Sang” is the simpler of the two forms to use, so we’ll start with explaining it.
As long as there is a pronoun in the sentence, “Sang” is correct. There are no other special requirements when it comes to using the simple past tense; it refers to “singing” in the past and nothing more than that.
We can attach the relevant pronoun to “sang.” For example:
•You sang, etc.
Your choice of pronoun should correspond with the doer of the action. The spelling of “sang” doesn’t change regardless of the pronoun in use.
Example of sentences with “sang”
•I sang because I love to.
•He sang to me the other day, and I think I fell in love.
•The band sang throughout the night.
•We sang together at the concert.
•She sang your praises all day.
•You sang a lot more when you were happier, and now you hardly ever sing!
“Sang” refers to the past action of singing.
When Is “Sung” Correct?
“Sung” happens to be the more difficult of the two to understand. The past participle isn’t “simple,” after all.
“Sung” is correct when we include an auxiliary verb with it. We can use verbs like had, has, have, be, will have, etc. All of these verbs produce perfect tenses (past, present, and future, respectively).
While they somewhat deal with past events, they have large impacts on the present and future tenses that we use.
Perfect tenses are:
Past perfect: Had/has sung
Present perfect: Have sung
Future perfect: Will have sung
The past perfect isn’t commonly used. We use the auxiliary verb “had” to talk about something that has already happened in the past but has some kind of impact on us in the present.
The present perfect is the most common of the three, using “have” as the auxiliary. It means that someone started “singing” in the past and continues to do so in the present (or he/she has just finished doing so).
The future perfect is somewhere between the two. We use it to talk about “singing” in the future, but it’s often a hypothetical scenario that may only happen based on our actions and choices in the present.
Example sentences using “Sung”
Let’s look at some examples to understand this better.
- Past Perfect
•I had sung at the concert before then.
•We had sung together before; he just didn’t like my voice.
- Present Perfect
•I have sung a lot to try and get his attention, but it never seems to work.
•They have sung to their hearts’ content.
- Future Perfect
•I will have sung for the band a hundred times by the weekend.
•You will have sung the song before he arrives.
You can look at the following for clarification:
Incorrect: You have already sang the song.
Correct: You have already sung the song.
“Sang” is the simple past tense, and “sung” is the past participle. We can use both in the past tense for the verb “sing,” but they each have their own rules. You need to include auxiliary verbs like “have” or “had” when using the past participle.