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Ring vs. Rang vs. Rung

You can tell when to use ring, rang, or rung by whether you need the present, past, or past participle (used with has or have) form.

Present: ring

Examples:
I always ring the bell after I knock.
He rings twice before entering.

Past: rang

Examples:

I rang the bell after I knocked.
He rang twice before entering.


Past participle: has or have rung

Past participles are used with all perfect forms of a verb.

Present perfect

Examples:
I have rung the bell.
She has rung the bell.

Past perfect

Examples:
I had rung the bell.
She had rung the bell.

Future perfect

Example:
I will have rung the bell by noon if the automated system is still malfunctioning.

Conditional perfect

Example: I would have rung the bell if the automated system had still been malfunctioning.

The present participle of ring is ringing. Present participles are used with to be verbs.

Examples:
I am ringing the bell.
She was ringing the bell.
We will be ringing the bell.

 

Pop Quiz
1. He rings/rangs/rungs the bell to get the students’ attention.
2. We ring/rang/rung the bell, but no one answered the door.
3. She had ringed/rang/rung the bell three times before I was near enough to hear it.
4. They are ringing/ranging/runging the bell to start trading in the stock market.

 

Pop Quiz Answers
1. He rings the bell to get the students’ attention.
2. We rang the bell, but no one answered the door.
3. She had rung the bell three times before I was near enough to hear it.
4. They are ringing the bell to start trading in the stock market.

Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2008, at 4:55 am


83 Comments

83 Responses to “Ring vs. Rang vs. Rung

  1. shriya says:

    the telephone was ringing for serval time before i answered it?

    or

    the telephone had rung serval times before i anwered it?

    • Jane says:

      The simplest and best way to write the sentence is in past tense like this: The telephone rang several times…
      Your second alternative is fine. Your first one, although awkward, should be as follows: The telephone was ringing several times before I answered it.

  2. Adele says:

    My Microsoft Word can’t even decide which form to use here….

    The bell was without a rope to be rung by.
    The bell was without a rope to be rang by.
    The bell was without a rope to be ringed by.

    I’m thinking the first option?

    • Jane says:

      You are correct by using “rung.”

    • Cassandra says:

      I don’t think you’re supposed to end a sentence in a proposition. A better way to write it would be, “The bell had no rope with which to ring it.” or “The bell could not be rung, as it had no rope.”

      • Jane says:

        We agree that Adele’s sentence could be written in a better way, however, one of the undying myths of English grammar is that you may not end a sentence with a preposition.
        The following sentences are grammatically correct and they end in prepositions:
        That is something I cannot agree with.
        How many of you can I depend on?
        This is the case I told you about.

        • Robert says:

          Although those sentences are acceptable in modern use, they are not proper grammar. It is just another sign of our decay as a society. However, that is the world in which we live.

          • Although there might be better ways to write the sentences, they are grammatically correct.

          • Amy says:

            The decay of society? That is a very dramatic statement. Do you suggest that the evolution of language is unnatural and that language and grammar are static?

  3. allan cerf says:

    I have a problem with some of the advice regarding rung/rang/ring!

    In Dickens Great Expectations my wife tells me Dickens – a not bad grammatician … ! says, “The bellls had rung.” Isn’t this contrary to your advice regarding the past tense?

    Thanks,

    • Jane says:

      Mr. Dickens was using the past perfect form. My examples of the past perfect form are “I had rung the bell” and “She had rung the bell,” which are consistent with the sentence, “The bells had rung” by Mr. Dickens.

  4. Crystal says:

    Not sure here…

    What an eventful new year we have rung in…

    What an eventful new year we have rang in…

    • Jane says:

      What an eventful new year we have rung in.
      What an eventful new year we rang in.
      (If you are referring to the New Year holiday, then “New Year” would be capitalized.)

  5. Shabana difdowui says:

    Isn’t that correct to use simple past after “be”? So in case of Adele, the rang should be the correct answer, please clarify? Thank you!

    • Jane says:

      In this case, “be” is used as an auxiliary verb (otherwise known as a “helping” verb). Auxiliary verbs help form the tense, voice, or mood of the verb. In the example sentence, “The bell was without a rope to be rung by,” the past participle is used.

  6. Brandi says:

    Thank you so much for clearing this up for me! I’ve wondered which one (rang/rung) and now I know. Thank you!

  7. Chuck in Atlanta says:

    When shopping, I noticed a sign that said, for items that scan at higher than the shelf tag, you will receive one of that item free.

    “All additional like items will be rang up at the lower price”.

    I felt, Ouch! And thought that should say “All additional like items will be rung up at the lower price”.

    I thought how about a sentence that has all forms of “Ring” in it?

    Bill was ringing the register and he was asked to ring up the toaster, and when it was rung up, it rang up at more than the shelf tag, so the customer asked Bill to re-ring the register at the price found on the shelf tag.

    • Jane says:

      You are correct that the store sign should have read, “All additional like items will be rung up at the lower price.” In your sentence, you did manage to correctly use “ring,” “rang,” and “rung” although it is a run-on sentence and not grammatically correct.

  8. Chuck in Atlanta says:

    Would you please provide an example of Conditional Perfect Form?

  9. ram says:

    is it corect this
    has the bell been rung ? or has the bell rung ? or what is the correct way of asking whether the bell rang.

  10. Sarah Gallacher says:

    The bell has rung and you are still wasting time!
    Or
    The bell has rang and you are still wasting time!
    Or neither!

    • Jane says:

      Either of the following would be correct:

      The bell has rung and you are still wasting time!
      The bell rang and you are still wasting time!

  11. Tiff says:

    The bell is ringing the bell has rung? or The bell is ringing the bell rang?

    • Jane says:

      It would be best not to mix present and past tenses in the same sentence. For present tense you would write:

      The bell is ringing.

      For past tense, either of the following would be correct:

      The bell has rung.
      The bell rang.

  12. Tayim says:

    The bell already rang?
    The bell had rung?

  13. Alex says:

    the telephone was ringing for serval time before i answered it?
    or
    the telephone had rung serval times before i anwered it?

    Actually, neither one of them is good.

    the telephone rang several times before I answered it
    is the best choice. They also spelled several wrong.

    • Jane says:

      As I responded previously, the simplest and best way to write the sentence is in past tense: “The telephone rang several times before I answered it.”
      “The telephone had rung several times before I answered it,” is also grammatically correct.
      “The telehpone was ringing several times before I answered it,” is also acceptable, but awkward.

  14. Karen says:

    My sister always says – I rung her whereas I think she should say – I rang her. Who is correct please?

    • Jane says:

      I assume your sister is referring to a phone call she made. “Rang” is the past tense: “I rang her.” “Rung” is the past participle: “I have/had rung her.”

  15. Angie says:

    The drinks were _________ into the register.

    Would rang or rung work better? Thanks.

    • Jane says:

      This is an example of “passive voice.” Voice shows whether the subject acts (active voice) or is acted on (passive voice)–that is, whether the subject performs or receives the action of the verb. The passive voice is formed with an auxiliary verb (were) plus a participle (usually the past participle) of a verb (ring). Since you have the auxiliary verb were you need the past participle form of ring, which is rung. “The drinks were rung into the register,” would be correct.

  16. alice says:

    Is it I rung the customer out or I rang the customer out?

  17. Ian says:

    This is similar to Angie’s question.

    Let me get those drinks ____ in for you.

    Thank you.

  18. Sarahbeth says:

    Would it be correct to say “The bell has not rang yet.” or should it be stated “The bell has not rung yet.” ?

  19. Sky says:

    Good morning, Jane!

    Every so often the following statement arrives from our building manager via email:

    “The fire bells will be rang continuously on Wednesday, from 05:30 hrs. to 05:50 hrs.”

    Although it doesn’t sound right to me, I’m not certain whether it’s correct or incorrect.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jane says:

      The phrase “will be rang” is a mixture of future and past tenses. Better wording would be, “The fire bells will be ringing continuously on Wednesday from 5:30 pm to 5:50 pm.” (Unless this is occurring on a military base and is really being done in the morning, then it would be, “The fire bells will be ringing continuously on Wednesday from 0530 to 0550.” The inclusion of hours or hrs. is optional.)

  20. Chris says:

    The saying, “do unto others, as they would have done unto you,” has rang aloud on lots of occasions during my midwifery career.
    Is this a correct use of the word ‘rang’?

    • Jane says:

      The correct phrase is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” With the word has, you need to use the past particiiple form rung. Since you are not quoting someone directly, you do not need commas to set off the saying. The word aloud is usually used when referring to a voice. You could use the word loudly instead. The term lots of is rather informal. I recommend using the word many. Also, the word midwifery is a noun but you used it as an adjective in your sentence. It would be better to rewrite the phrase to my career as a midwife.

      The saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you ” has rung loudly on many occasions during my career as a midwife.

  21. Doreen says:

    What about after “was”?

    As in the case of the Liberty Bell:
    The restored bell was rung for the first time to the public during the reading of the Declaration of
    Independence.

    • Jane says:

      Your sentence is correct using rung. You could also write “The restored bell rang in public for the first time during the reading of the Declaration of Independence.”

  22. Ramesh_MRM says:

    Which is the correct one ? Tq.

    The bell has not ring/rang/rung for the school to begin.

    • Jane says:

      With the word has or have, use the past participle form rung. Also, the word the before school is unnecessary in your sentence as written.

      The bell has not rung for school to begin.

  23. Leonie Wynne says:

    any boy late after roll call may sign in at the administration/student services area if a parent has not rung the Absentee Line.
    Should I use rung or phoned?

    • Jane says:

      The dictionaries accept phone as a verb.

      Either phoned or called would be best. Rung is a little old-fashioned. The absentee line does not need to be capitalized.
      Any boy late after roll call may sign in at the administration/student services area if a parent has not called the absentee line.

  24. Carla H says:

    She named the items as she rang/rung them up. I want to make sure I’m editing this sentence correctly. Thanks.

  25. Lizzy says:

    The school bell rang or is it the school bell rung?

  26. Clau says:

    thanks this helped me a lot
    greetings from Argentina

  27. Michelle T. says:

    Would you please let me know what the difference between Present Perfect Form, Past Perfect Form, Future Perfect Form, and Conditional Perfect Form? When do we use them?

    • Jane says:

      The present perfect tense is formed by using have or has with the main verb’s past participle. It refers to something that is now completed or continues up to the present.
      The past perfect tense is formed by using had with the main verb’s past participle. It refers to something that was completed before another past time or past action.
      The future perfect tense is formed by using will have with the verb’s past participle.It refers to something that is expected to be completed before some other future act or time.
      The conditional perfect is formed using would have with the main verb’s past participle. It refers to something that might have happened in the past.

      Examples:

      She has baked three cakes for the bake sale.
      She had baked three pies on Wednesday.
      She will have baked a total of six items to sell.
      She would have baked some cookies if she had more time.

  28. Helen says:

    What about the words “hang, hanged, hung” ???

    • Jane says:

      There is a twist with the verb hang that isn’t present for ring. Normally, for present, past, and past participle you would have:

      Please hang your coat in the closet.
      She hung her coat in the closet.
      She had hung her coat in the closet.

      And similarly for hanging other objects except for one–people. In that case, you have:

      Hang the prisoner at dawn.
      They hanged the prisoner at dawn.
      They had hanged the prisoner at dawn.

  29. Saloni says:

    Is this sentence correct?

    The bell is rung.

    • Jane says:

      The sentence is sometimes correct: for example, if someone asks, “When do they ring the bell?” you might reply, “The bell is rung every day.” Otherwise, “The bell has rung” or “has been rung” may be better.

  30. Shankar says:

    Hi Jane,
    Please let me know if the below usage is correct?

    I had plans to rung in the New Year at the beach but had to be content with ringing it in at home

    • Jane says:

      If a verb follows to, it is called an infinitive, and it is not the main verb. Use the base form for the infinitive ring in your sentence, not the past tense rung.

      I had plans to ring in the New Year at the beach but had to be content with ringing it in at home.

  31. Dan says:

    Most of your examples are for ring/rang/rung when defined as producing a sound. For example, he rang the bell.

    Do the same rules apply for ring up/rang up/rung up when defined as “to total and record especially by means of a cash register” [Webster]? For example:

    Did the cashier ring up my charge?
    The cashier rang up my charge wrong.
    The cashier would have rung up my charge if the register wasn’t broken.

    What is the origin of ring up in this context? I would guess that people began using “ring up” when old time cash registers had a bell that rang each time the lever was pulled.

    • Jane says:

      The same rules apply to ring up/rang up/rung up. Although etymology is not our expertise, we think you could be correct in regard to the origin of “ring up.”

  32. sudhir says:

    What will be the improved sentence of following :-
    I have been ringing the doorbell five times but no one has
    —————————–
    answered.
    Improvement should be taken place at underlined part only…

    Thanks in advance. :)

  33. Victoria says:

    The boy has ring/rang/rung the bell again. Which is correct

  34. Barry says:

    The birds had been ringed before or the birds had been rung before

  35. chillesq says:

    I was reading a book recently and came across this sentence
    …”they ringed the building…” and it did not sound correct, should have been “rung”.
    my problem is that I am finding these types of issues more frequently in literrature lately. Is grammar changing? Am I missing something? I am sort of a grammarphobe so I am finding it difficult to read the current literature when I see these types of glaring mistakes.

    • We do not know the context of the sentence, however, we assume that “they ringed the building” means that a person or group of people made or put a circle or ring around the building. In that case, the sentence could be grammatically correct.

  36. joel says:

    starting to day there will be no free food eveything must be ______ be for you can eatit

    • Your sentence contains numerous grammatical errors. We are not sure, but we think you are trying to write the following:
      Starting today there will be no free food. Everything must be rung up before you can eat it.

  37. Kat says:

    What would it be correct if i were to say

    my phone has never rung/rang in the middle of class

  38. Judy Smith says:

    Which is correct?

    I have not ran a mile in a while.

    I have not run a mile in a while.

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