Kneeled or Knelt | Meaning, Difference & Examples
Kneeled and knelt are two different spellings of the past simple and past participle of the verb “kneel,” used to refer to the act of placing one or both knees on the ground. This action is often used as a gesture of respect or worship (similar to “genuflecting”).
The spelling of the past tense varies somewhat between UK and US English:
- In UK English, “knelt” is standard (though “kneeled” is still acceptable).
- In US English, both “knelt” and “kneeled” are commonly used (“knelt” is more popular).
Kneeled down or knelt down
Kneeled and knelt are often followed by “down” to form the phrasal verb kneeled down/knelt down. “Kneeled down/knelt down” means the same thing as “kneeled/knelt.” The same distinction applies to these forms:
- In UK English, “knelt down” is more popular (though “kneeled down” is still acceptable).
- In US English, both “knelt down” and “kneeled down” are commonly used (though “knelt down” appears more often).
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