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Verb Forms and Verb Tenses (#6): Spelling -ing Forms, by Dennis Oliver

  

Verb Forms and Verb Tenses (#6):

Spelling - ing Forms

 

English verbs have five basic forms: the base form, the - S form,
the - ing form, the past form, and the past participle form.

There are several ways to spell -ing forms:

 1.  

If a verb ends in a stressed vowel + one or more
consonants + e or ue, "drop" the e and add - ing.

Examples:

abáte / abating; ache / aching; bathe / bathing;
beliéve / believing; bite / biting; care / caring;
deléte / deleting; dive / diving; ensláve / enslaving;
excíte / exciting; file / filing; gripe / griping;
hope / hoping; joke / joking; live / living;
make / making; paráde / parading; paste / pasting;
raise / raising; revíle / reviling; save / saving;
smoothe / smoothing; taste / tasting;
glue / gluing; rue / ruing; sue / suing

     
2.  

If a verb ends in - ie, change the - ie to - yand
add
- ing.

Examples:

die / dying; lie / lying; tie / tying; vie / vying

     
3.  

If a verb ends in y, add - ing. It doesn't matter if
there is a vowel or a consonant before y.

Examples:

pry / prying
spy / spying
  pray / praying
spay / spaying

     
4.  

If a verb ends in a vowel + one consonant,
double the consonant and add
- ing.

Examples:

beg / begging; chat / chatting; dig / digging;
fit / fitting; grin / grinning; grip / gripping;
hop / hopping; mix / mixing; nip / nipping;
pin / pinning; quit / quitting; rip / ripping;
sit / sitting; tip / tipping; win / winning

     
5.  

If a verb ends in a stressed vowel + r,
double the r and add
- ing, but if a verb ends
in an
unstressed vowel + r, do not double,
the r: just add - ing:

confér / conferring
defér / deferring
refér / referring
  ánswer / answering
óffer / offering
súffer / suffering

     
6.  

If a verb ends in a vowel, add - ing.

Examples:

do / doing; echo / echoing; go / going; ski / skiing

     
7.   Add - ing to all other verbs.

___________________________________________

 

Special Notes:

 1.  

Note that sometimes two consonant letters are
needed to spell a single consonant sound:

ache
bathe
breathe
cache
clothe
  loathe
smoothe
wreathe
writhe

(In ache, the letters ch are pronounced k and in
cache, they're pronounced sh. The letters th are
pronounced like th in them.)

___________________________________


Notice also that sometimes two vowel letters are
needed to spell a single vowel sound:

achieve
believe
loathe
peeve
  raise
receive
soothe
smoothe

     
 2.  

The two words die and dye have the same sound (dái)
but different spellings:
die ('become dead') and
dye ('to color'). For die, the -ing form has i changing
to y before -ing is added. For
dye, the -ing is added
after the e (which is not the normal pattern):

die ---> dying   dye ---> dyeing

     
 3.  

The spellings vowel + consonants + e and
vowel + consonants show two different vowel
sounds. Notice that when - ing is added, the first
spelling drops the e and adds -ing, but the second
spelling doubles the consonant and adds -ing.

Examples:

file / filing
hope / hoping
mope / moping
tape / taping
  fill / filling
hop / hopping
mop / mopping
tap / tapping

Next: past forms

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