Hi Cameron:Originally Posted by cameron love
There is a lot of confusion about when to double consonants before adding suffixes, such as -ing and -ed. To add to the confusion, British English and American English handle these matters in different ways. I will give you the American rules and leave the British to a Brit.
In one syllable words, we normally the double the terminal consonant before adding -ed. There are no single syllbale words with the -ing suffix.
In words of two or more syllables, double a terminal consonant that follows a vowel if:
1. The accent is on the last syllable AND
2. The terminal vowel sound is short.
That means that we don't double the consonant if the accent is on another syllable or if the terminal vowel sound is long.
So: In travel and model, the accent is on the first syllable. Hence, we have: traveling/traveled and modeling/modeled. In prefer, the accent is on the last syllable and the vowel sound is short. Hence, we have preferring/preferred.
There are, as always, exceptions to these rules. In many cases, the dictionaries accept both spellings. This is partly in deference to British English, in which there is a tendency to double certain consonants regardless of the rules I gave you. If you look up program and diagram, you will find programing and programming, diagraming and diagramming.
There is also the occasional word that is a quirk. Take kidnap. With normal spelling rules, we would have kidnaped and kidnaping. While these are acceptable, many spell these words with a double p. This is because we have a word "nap" that becomes "napping" and "napped". The handling of "nap" follows the rule because it is a single syllable word.