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Re: English: no rule for making "ing" verbs?

On 12/7/2017 6:45 PM, David E. Ross wrote:
On 12/7/2017 3:33 PM, Balaco wrote:
In English, is there a rule for knowing when we need or not to duplicate
the last letter of a verb, when writing it in the present participle?

Begin => beginning
Know => knowing

Every now and then I miss them. And the rule for this, that I learned in
scholl, is: "if the last letter is consonant, duplicate it". But I found
many exceptions for that, so I basically know this rule as something
that does not work. When I need it to be correct and have some doubt, I
use a dictionary - but that is a pain to do, if for everything I write,
and also sometimes unfeasible.

Unfortunately, there is no rule that is absolute.  In general, the last
letter is doubled if it is a consonant AND the letter before it is a
vowel.  However, your own example with "know" versus "knowing" shows
that this rule is not absolute.

I am a native speaker of English, born in California to parents who were
born in Chicago (all in the U.S.).  I have spoken English, written it,
and read it for over 70 years.  Yet I must often refer to a dictionary
or spell-checker to determine if I have written a word correctly.

Probably the best rule for most things 'English' is to read A LOT, and then look at the word, and see if it looks 'right'. Works as well as trying to remember the rules, and exceptions. Note that accepted spellings DO change over time, and this can be very annoying!

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