English Daily Workout: Present Continuous: Spelling Rules for Adding -ING to Verbs Ending in More than 1 Syllable

Present Continuous: Spelling Rules for Adding -ING to Verbs Ending in More than 1 Syllable

Verbs of more than one syllable which end in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel

When a verb of more than one syllable ends in a single consonant other than wx or y preceded by a single vowel, the final consonant is doubled to form the present participle only when the last syllable of the verb is pronounced with the heaviest stress.

For instance, in the following examples, the last syllables of the verbs have the heaviest stress, and the final consonants are doubled to form the present participles. In these examples, the syllables pronounced with the heaviest stress are underlined. For example:

Infinitive                                      Present Participle
  to expel  expelling
  to begin  beginning
  to occur  occurring
  to omit  omitting

When a verb of more than one syllable ends in wx or y, the final consonant is not doubled before the ending ing is added. In the following examples, the syllables pronounced with the heaviest stress are underlined. For example:

Infinitive                                               Present Participle
  to allow  allowing
  to affix  affixing
  to convey  conveying

When the last syllable of a verb is not pronounced with the heaviest stress, the final consonant is usually not doubled to form the present participle. For instance, in the following examples, the last syllables of the verbs do not have the heaviest stress, and the final consonants are not doubled to form the present participles. In these examples, the syllables pronounced with the heaviest stress are underlined. For example:

Infinitive                                                Present Participle
  to listen  listening
  to order  ordering
  to focus  focusing
  to limit  limiting

If necessary, a dictionary can be consulted to determine which syllable of a verb has the heaviest stress. Many dictionaries use symbols such as apostrophes to indicate which syllables are pronounced with the heaviest stress.



Each of the following sentences is preceded by a bare infinitive, the most heavily stressed syllable of which is underlined. Paying attention to whether or not the final consonant should be doubled before ing is added, fill in the blanks with the present participles corresponding to the bare infinitives. Use the American spelling for verbs ending in l. 

For example: 
whisper: They are __________ to their friends. They are whispering to their friends. refer: I was _________ to your letter. I was referring to your letter.
It should be noted that British and American spelling rules differ for verbs which end in a single l preceded by a single vowel. In British spelling, the l is always doubled before the endings ing and ed
are added. However, in American spelling, verbs ending with a single l follow the same rule as other verbs; the l is doubled only when the last syllable has the heaviest stress. In the following examples, the syllables with the heaviest stress are underlined. For example:


Infinitive
                     
Present Participle
         American Spelling                                    British Spelling
 to signal  signaling  signalling
 to travel  traveling  travelling
 to compel  compelling  compelling
 to propel  propelling  propelling

Answers:
1. opening 2. displaying 3. submitting 4. limiting 5. permitting 6. sharpening 7. conferring 8. focusing 9. repelling 10. shoveling 11. destroying 12. dispelling 13. squandering 14. preferring 15. coloring 16. unraveling 17. propelling 18. flowering 19. inferring 20. listening