Spelling Rules for Adding "ing"

Vowel = a sound we make when the breath flows out through the mouth freely, without being blocked. The English letters a, e, i, o, u are called vowels, because they represent such sounds.

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Consonant = a sound we make that is not a vowel. The breath is somehow blocked on its way out of the mouth. For example, the sound b is made when breath flow is stopped with the lips. All the English letters which are not vowels are called consonants. These are: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z.

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Some verbs change their spelling when "ing" is added to them.

Verbs ending with

When a verb ends with a consonant-vowel-consonant and we put STRESS on this sound in speech, we double the last consonant. Then we add ing.

In the following examples the consonant is in blue, the vowel is in green, and ing is in red. The STRESS is underlined.

run => running => running
stop => stopping => stopping
plan => plann + ing => planning
begin => beginn + ing => beginning

But if we don't put STRESS on this sound in speech, then we simply add ing.

open => open + ing => opening
visit => visit + ing => visiting
listen => listen + ing => listening
happen => happen + ing => happening

Verbs ending with "e"

When a verb ends with the letter e, we first remove it, and then add ing.

In the following examples the letter e is in purple and ing is in red.

take => taking => taking
make => making => making
dance => dancing => dancing
write => writing => writing

Verbs ending with "ie"

When a verb ends with the letters ie, we change them into y and add ing.

In the following examples the letters ie are in brown, the letter y is in brown too, and ing is in red.

lie => lying => lying
die => dying => dying

So these were the spelling rules for adding "ing".

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What's Next?

  1. Visit the Spelling Rules page, for spelling rules on other subjects

  2. Practice, practice, practice with the Exercises

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