Spelling system in the english language, compare to other major languages, is one of the most complicated and difficult to master. So, in order to change the forms of words to make plurals, to add both suffixes and prefixes, and to form genders, proper understanding of spelling rules is inevitable.
Spelling rules to add vowel suffixes
• When words end with consonant preceded by a single vowel, the last consonant doubles with vowel suffix.
Examples–Transfer + ing = transferring; Refer + ed = referred; Run + Ing = running; Sad + eat = saddest;
• Exceptions– bus = buses; gas = gases.
•But, when the word in question has two ‘Stresses’ of pronounciaton and the main stress comes at the beginning, then the last consonant doesn’t double.
Examples–Visit = vi–sit = visited, visiting, visiter etc. In this word, stress of the pronunciation comes at the beginning instead at the last syllable –t– so it doesn’t double despite condition of the first rule is fulfilled.
• If the last consonant isn’t pronounced or remained silent, then the last syllable is written as it is even in the case of vowel suffix.
Examples –Slow + ed = slowed, slow + Ing = slowing; blow + ed = blower, blowing. In the both words, ‘w’ syllable is remained silent and stress missed the last syllable. So, the last syllable, despite fulfilling above two conditions, remained as it is.
Let’s see another examples — Flat + en = flatten; clap + ed =clapped. Flatten + Ing = flattening.
In these examples, you may easily notice and understand that whenever the stress of pronounciaton hits at the last syllable, the consonant doubles; otherwise, in the absence of stress, the syllable in question doesn’t get doubled even though the the earlier conditions are fulfilled.
• There is no question of doubling the last consonant when the preceding vowels are two.
Examples –Heat + Ing = heating; break + Ing = breaking; shoot + Ing = shooting; feed + Ing = feeding; conquer + Ing = conquering. In this rule, exceptions are word ending with “l” syllable as they have different rules. In the case of “l” syllable, it gets doubled without stress of pronounciaton.
• But, words with two consonants at the end, it retains both without change; unless there are other rules.
Examples–Access + ed = accessed, accessing; process + ed = processed, processing, processor.
• Whenever there is ‘ia’ and ‘ai’ before last syllable “I” the state of last syllable behaves opposite.
Examples–Dial + Ing = dialling, dialled; but in case of ‘ai’–fail + ed = failed; jail + ed = jailed.
Truly, it is clear that there is no fix spelling rules system to guide the spelling words of english language.
But, with better practice and careful understanding, one can grasp this skill with mastery.
Through this blog, I have tried my level best to clarify the spelling rules of doubling last syllable with all probable conditions along with suitable examples. Hope, you will find it useful for your purpose.