Doubling Consonants when Adding a Suffix

    To double or not to double?
    That's the question.

    This is an area where lots of good spellers are unsure.
    So, let's look at the problem.

    If, for example, we want to write the word plan + ing,
    is it planing or planning?
    Do we leave the base word alone or do we double the n?
    Are we planing a trip to China or planning a trip?

    Luckily there's a very useful pattern to help us.
    It might sound complicated at first but it's
    one of the most useful patterns to know about.

    If the base word has:
      one syllable
      one short vowel
        (the short vowels are ham, bed, lip, rot, gun)
      one consonant at the end
    you double the final consonant when you add a vowel suffix

    Sounds complicated doesn't it? But some examples will help:
    slip has one syllable, one short vowel (i) and one consonant (p) at the end so:
    slip + ed = slipped (double p) and:
    bed + ing =   bedding, flat + est =   flattest
    fun + y =   funny hot + er =    hotter

    When you add a consonant suffix, the base word doesn't change:
    bag + ful = bagful,    wet + ness = wetness
    Click here for a worksheet on this topic

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Spelling it Right

Roger Smith
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Knowing

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deal with

suffixes

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