The Past Tense of Swing: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

If you have ever been curious about the correct past tense of swing in English grammar, this article will clear that up plus give you a look into the history of the word, the definition, and everything else you could want to learn about how the word is used in the English language.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Swing?

The word swing is defined as:

  • to cause to move vigorously through a wide arc or circle 
    • swing an ax
  • to cause to sway to and fro
  • to cause to turn on an axis
  • to cause to face or move in another direction 
    • swing the car into a side road
  • to suspend so as to permit swaying or turning
  • to convey by suspension 
    • cranes swinging cargo into the ship’s hold
  • to influence decisively 
    • swing a lot of votes
  • to bring around by influence
  • to handle successfully : MANAGE
    • wasn’t able to swing a new car on his income
    • swing a deal
  • to play or sing (something, such as a melody) in the style of swing music

It is usually a transitive verb but occasionally can be intransitive as well. 

How Do You Conjugate Swing?

Here are the other verb conjugations of the word swing:

Base Form (Infinitive/Simple Present Tense):Swing
Simple Past Tense of Swing:Swung
Past Participle of Swing:Swung
Third Person Singular (he/she/it):Swings
Present Participle/Gerund/Perfect Continuous:Swinging

The History and Origin of the Word

The Old English word for swing was swingan meaning to beat, strike; scourge, flog; to rush, fling oneself. The word comes from the Proto-Germanic word swingnanan. In the 1500s the word was used to mean to move freely back and forth and to cause to oscillate. This century also gives us the phrase in full swing meaning in total effect or operation. In the 1600s the word meant a suspended seat on ropes. In the 1800s it was used to mean a shift in public opinion. Then in the 1900s the word was used as a promiscuous way, to describe music with a swinging rhythm, and a playset for children. 

Synonyms of Swing

  • Detour- a deviation from a direct course or the usual procedure
    • especially : a roundabout way temporarily replacing part of a route
    • Deviate- a deviation from a direct course or the usual procedure
      • especially : a roundabout way temporarily replacing part of a route
    • Diverge- to move or extend in different directions from a common point : draw apart 
      • diverging roads
    • Sheer-  viewed or acting in dissociation from all else 
      • in terms of sheer numbers
    • Swerve- to turn aside abruptly from a straight line or course : DEVIATE
    • Turn- to turn aside abruptly from a straight line or course : DEVIATE
    • Turn off- one that causes loss of interest or enthusiasm 
      • the music was a turnoff
    • Veer- to change direction or course 
      • the economy veered sharply downward
    • Wheel- a circular frame of hard material that may be solid, partly solid, or spoked and that is capable of turning on an axle

Example Real-Life Sentences With the Word Swing

Spoiler alert: swang and swungen are never correct. 


  •  The sheets swung on the clothesline. 
  •  The clock’s pendulum stopped swinging. 
  •  She sat on the edge of the table, swinging her legs. 
  • The monkeys were swinging from branch to branch high up in the trees. 
  •  I swung my suitcase into the backseat of the car. 
  •  She sat on the counter and swung her legs over to the other side. 
  •  She swung the door open. 
  •  Be careful how you swing that ax. 
  •  She swung the bat but missed the ball. 
  •  She swung her purse at me. 


  •  One swing of the hammer was all it took to drive the nail through the board. 
  •  The kids were playing on the swings. 
  •  We sat on the porch swing and watched the neighbors.

Examples of the Word in Context


Next time you need to write the word of the day swing, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently. Even if you’re not a native English speaker, you should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition used in either American English or British English.