Spelling tip – the doubling rule

Here is an easy way to remember which consonants at the end of verbs are doubled before adding –ed, –ing, or –er.  If the verb is one syllable, and there is one vowel before one consonant at the end, then you double the consonant before adding an ending.


stop            stopped             run            running            swim            swimmer

Don’t double when there are two consonants or two vowels.


rest            rested                         dream            dreaming

NEVER double:  c, f, h, j, q, v, w, or x

With verbs of two or more syllables, only double when the accent is on the last syllable, in other words when the last syllable is stronger than the others.


exit (accent on the first syllable)            exited

omit (accent on the last syllable)            omitted

One problem area is with verbs that end in –el such as travel and cancel.  In North American English the rule above is followed, but in British English it isn’t.  In North American English the ‘l’  is not doubled (traveled, traveling, traveler), but in British English it is (travelled, travelling, traveller.)

Click on the audio recording  below to hear the lesson.

© 2014 Ambien Malecot

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