English Language: Snuck or Sneaked

Which is correct: Snuck or Sneaked, in the English language..

Both are correct in each of the countries that that use them.

The English would normally use ‘Sneaked’, as it is the proper past tense form for the regular verb ‘to sneak’.

The Americans would use ‘Snuck’ which is the American-English informal for the past and past participle of sneak.

The traditional standard past form of sneak is sneaked.

In the 19th century, the Americans began to use an alternative word ‘snuck’ instead of ‘sneaked’.

English: Sneaked

American: Snuck

The Merriam Webster Dictionary (America’s foremost publisher of its own language) states that the original past tense of sneak was sneaked, but changed to snuck in the 19th century.

In its earliest appearance in print, in the late 19th century, it was considered an uneducated form of the word ‘sneaked’, but has now gained equality, in American usage, with the English ‘sneaked’.

Sneak had the past tense form Sneaked when it first appeared in the late 1500s, but about 300 years later, in the late 1800s, the form Snuck started showing up in the United States.
Over the past 120-odd years snuck has become by some estimations the more common past tense form in the US. Some people object to the sneaky upstart – especially the English.

Examples of Sneaked by the English:

To move somewhere quietly and secretly so that no one can see you or hear you.
She sneaked into the house by the back entrance.
While his parents were busy, Joe sneaked off to play.

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