ศัพท์ น่าสับสน ชุด S – Snuck & sneaked
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ออกเสียง Snuck = ‘SNUHK’
ออกเสียง sneaked = ‘SNEEK’d’
USAGE NOTE FOR SNEAK
First recorded in writing toward the end of the 19th century
in the United States,
snuck has become in recent decades
a standard variant past tense and past participle of the verb sneak :
Bored by the lecture, he snuck out the side door.
Snuck occurs frequently in fictionand in journalistic writing
as well as on radio and television:
In the darkness the sloop had snuck around the headland, out of firing range.
It is not so common in highly formal or belletristic writing, where sneaked is more likely to occur.
Snuck is the only spoken past tense and past participle for many younger and middle-aged persons of all educational levels in the U. S. and Canada.
Snuck has occasionally been considerednonstandard,
but it is so widely used by professional writers and
educated speakers that it can no longer be so regarded.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary
Snuck = syn: See lurk.
First recorded in writing near the end of the 19th century in the U.S.,
snuck has become in recent decades
a standard variant past tense and past participle:
Bored by the lecture, we snuck out the side door.
snuck occurs frequently in fiction, in journalism, and on radio and television, whereas sneaked is more likely in highly formal or belletristic writing.
snuck is the only spoken past tense and past participle for many younger and middle-aged persons of all educational levels in the U.S. and Canada.
It has occasionally been considered nonstandard but is so widely used by professional writers and educated speakers that it can no longer be so regarded.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,
Snuck is an Americanism first introduced in the 1800s
as a nonstandard regional variant of sneaked.
Snuck probably arose in imitation of the pattern set by stick/stuck and strike/struck.
Widespread use of snuck in the United States has become more common with every generation.
It is now used by educated speakers in all regions and was acceptable to 75 percent of the Usage Panel in our 2008 survey.
This stands in marked contrast to the 67 percent that disapproved of snuck twenty years earlier.
The more traditional form sneaked,
which predominates in British English,
is fully acceptable as well, with 90 percent approving it in 2008.
Words at Play
Sneaked or Snuck: Which Is Correct?
It's a Modern English Mystery
What to Know
The original past tense of sneak was sneaked,
following the pattern of other regular verbs.
However, in the 19th century snuck started appearing,
and is now the more common version for the past tense of "sneak."
Most irregular verbs become regular over time,
but sneak has become irregular, and no other word like sneak
(peek, creak, etc.) follows a similar pattern.
It's a modern English mystery:
not so very long ago, a new past tense form of a fairly common verb snuck
– or is it sneaked?
– into the English language. And no one really knows how or why.
Sneaked vs. Snuck in History
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.
To appreciate how odd this is
we should recap the two basic English verb categories.
Those that take the familiar -ed for their past tense and past-participle forms
– for example, play:
They played chess yesterday and They have played daily for years
– are called "regular" verbs.
They follow the rules and constitute the great majority of English verbs.
The other not-so-predictable verbs are "irregular."
They follow long-abandoned logic and confuse anyonewho pays attention to them:
am becomes was becomes been??
A Regular Verb Becomes Irregular
Both regular and irregular verbs date backto Old English,
but over the centuries
most verbs that had been irregular developed regular forms,
eventually leaving only the most common of the irregular verbs
– among them be, do, say, go, take, and get
– with their quirky conjugations.
But sneak bucks the trend.
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 speakers of British English
– but it appears regularly and without commentary in respected publications on both sides of the pond.
Perhaps the most mysterious part of the story of snuck
is the question of where it came from.
No common verb follows the precise pattern of snuck:
the past tense of leak is not luck,of streak is not struck,
of creak is not cruck,of peek is not puck.
It's as if snuck just sidled on in and made itself at home in the language, and most of us took it for a native. Pretty sneaky.
Dictionary.com & Merriam-Webster Dictionary
“Snuck” vs. “Sneaked”: Which One Is Correct?
Sneak is one tricky word—sneaky,you might say.
It started out as a regular verb. You know the type:
adhering to the rules, using regular verb endings …
but then took a detour (in the last 100 years or so)
into irregular verb territory. It’s odd to say the least.
But what does this all mean?
Is the verb sneaked correct?
Like leaked as the past tense of leak,
sneaked is the past tense and past participle for sneak,
which means “to move in a stealthy or furtive manner.”
Leak and sneak are both regular verbs,
meaning they follow the set rules for forming their tenses.
The past tense is formed by simply adding the suffix -ed.
And so you’d say:
- The water leaked out of the bucket all over the floor before I finished mopping.
- The teenagers sneaked out of the house after dark.
So yes, sneaked is correct.
(Though your own sneaking around may not be.)
Is the verb snuck correct?
Strangely enough, sneak is one example
of a regular verb becoming irregular over time.
And it may well be the only one that follows this pattern!
Used as early as the late 1800s,
snuck is also used as the past tense of sneaked.
Snuck is formed by removing several letters of the original verb sneak
and adding an irregular ending -uck.
Other irregular verbs include to be, get, and take.
Their past tenses do not follow a pattern.
their past tenses would be used as follows:
- I was tired so I slept most of the morning. (Was is the past tense of am.)
- Sandra got two loaves of bread at the store. (Got is the past tense of get.)
- We took some freshly baked cookies to our next-door neighbor. (Took is the past tense of take.)
There is no precedent for treating sneak irregularly,
as it’s not, as you’ve already seen, originally an irregular verb.
But snuck has also become a standard variant past tense and past participle of the verb sneak.
So how did this strange form sneak into standard English?
by examining how shrunk overtook shrank as the preferred past tense of the verb shrink.
He pinpoints the 1989 film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids as pushing the use of shrank into obscurity in favor of the past participle shrunk for the simple past tense.
He also discusses—and uses—snuck as the past tense form of sneak, calling it a “perfect example of a usage that has crept (informally creeped) up on us.”
Should you use sneaked or snuck?
Though some grammarians, particularly in Britain, still prefer sneaked,
snuck has achieved widespread acceptance and usage in edited writing, including fiction and journalism.
That means you can choose between them, and now,
if you find yourself questioning which is correct,
you’ll know it’s not necessarily a matter of impropriety,
but of a verb that is treated as both a regular and irregular verb.
Common Errors In English Usage Dictionary
Snuck & sneaked
When Huckleberry Finn “snuck” out of a house
he was acting according to his character—and dialect.
This is one of many cases in which
people’s humorously self-conscious use of dialect
has influenced others to adopt it as standard
and it is now often seen even in sophisticated writing in the U.S.
But it is safer to use the traditional form: “sneaked.”