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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default spelling of participles

    I am confused about the spelling of certain participles and wish to know if there are general rules which may be applied.
    e.g. travel becomes traveling/traveled or travelling/travelled?
    model becomes modeling/modeled or modelling/modelled?
    prefer becomes prefering/prefered or preferring/preferred?
    I have been too long out of school!
    thanks to anyone who can help

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: spelling of participles

    Quote Originally Posted by cameron love
    I am confused about the spelling of certain participles and wish to know if there are general rules which may be applied.
    e.g. travel becomes traveling/traveled or travelling/travelled?
    model becomes modeling/modeled or modelling/modelled?
    prefer becomes prefering/prefered or preferring/preferred?
    I have been too long out of school!
    thanks to anyone who can help
    Hi Cameron:

    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.

  3. #3
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    In British English, we double l in travelled
    The rule about syllable stress for verbs ending -r is the same as Mike described :)

  4. #4
    Hamid is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: spelling of participles

    Thank you for all
    I appreciaite very much

  5. #5
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: spelling of participles

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamid View Post
    Thank you for all
    I appreciaite very much
    Do you mean you asked this question almost five years ago and now you're thanking for the replies?!

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: spelling of participles

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    Do you mean you asked this question almost five years ago and now you're thanking for the replies?!
    If you want MNY to know you thanked him, send him e-mail (click on his name and select that option). He hasn't appeared here since last year (though he may still be lurking!)

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 10-Sep-2007 at 11:25. Reason: Corrected instructions

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