“Snuck” vs “Sneaked”: Main Differences & How to Use Both Correctly as a Writer

Do we actually need one other word as an irregular verb? The ones we have are confusing enough. Even native speakers have experienced some form of trouble using irregular verbs.

Fortunately and unfortunately, snuck is an irregular verb.  Dive is one of them. Sneak is another.

Snuck, on the other hand, is a regular verb that many don’t believe exist. If words could have self-confidence issues, snuck would be on the list.

In this article, we are considering both a regular and an irregular verb. Stay put as we discuss sneaked vs snuck.

Meaning of Sneaked vs Snuck

Sneak is a verb that means to move around just to avoid being seen or detected. Sneaked is the past tense of sneak. You use sneaked when the verb is used like a regular verb.

However, Snuck is the past tense of sneak. This is used when the verb is seen as an irregular verb.

For example;

Some people growl at using snuck in sentences, so, if you’re in this wagon, use sneaked instead.

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What is the past tense of sneak?

The past tense of sneak is sneaked.

It’s sneaked because sneak is a regular verb. That means we form the past tense by adding the regular -ed suffix to it.

Recently, some speakers have started treating sneak as an irregular verb. In that case, the past tense is created by adding and removing some of its letters, and it becomes snuck.

Now, we can say either snuck into class or sneaked in when you’re late but got in.

Sneaked vs Snuck: What’s the Difference?

Sneaked and snuck both function as the past tense and past participle form of the verb sneak. In most cases, sneaked is only seen as the past tense of sneak while the latter is the past participle but it isn’t so.

Actually, the primary difference between the words comes down to conjugation. Sneaked is the regular verb conjugation of the verb sneak, while snuck is the irregular verb conjugation. Both sneaked vs snuck are appropriate to use in the past tense or past perfect tense.

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Is snuck a real word?

Yes, snuck is a real word! It has everything that’s needed to be a word. When writing formal pieces, it is advisable to use sneaked.

Snuck or Sneaked—Which One to Pick

Sneaked has been the standard past tense form of sneak for centuries. Snuck is also accepted in many parts of the world where English is spoken. in all variants of the English language. However, snuck is a bit newer in use than sneaked although they are both correct.

When writing an essay, it is safer to use sneaked.  Otherwise, it’s solely a matter of preference.

Examples of Sneaked vs Snuck in sentences

Sneaked Examples

  • He waited for everyone to fall asleep and sneaked into the kitchen to steal some meat.
  • I once sneaked into my boyfriend’s bedroom to surprise him.
  • I sneaked outside at midnight to gaze at the stars.
  • This new fashion trend has sneaked its way into the streets of cities around the globe.
  • They all sneaked into one room and waited for Jill to surprise her.

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Examples of Snuck in sentences

  • The cat snuck up on the mouse like a hungry wolf.
  • That night, the two of them snuck out of the house and went to check what had happened.
  • Her parents didn’t let her go to the party, so she snuck out.
  • The pigeon snuck into our home through an open window when we were away.
  • I was living in Morocco at the time when the movie was premiered and I sneaked out to watch it


The Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage both list sneaked and snuck as modern English words.

When writing formal pieces, advise to stick with sneaked. While snuck is a perfectly acceptable synonym, it is the newer past tense of sneak.

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