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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > present continuous doubt. EAT    

present continuous doubt. EAT


present continuous doubt. EAT

I have a doubt, when we want to use the present continuous it is said that if the word is monosyllable we have to double the last consonant, for example: sit - sitting, stop - stopping, but.... What happen withe the verb to eat? why we don �t double the "t"?? eat- eating...

Thanks for your help.

3 Oct 2012      



the answer is no. You don �t double the consonant in "eat". The rule is simple: we only double consonant when the word ends with consonant and is preceded by one vowel. When we have two vowels, we don �t double  the last consonant.


meet - meeting
eat - eating
keep - keeping


3 Oct 2012     



The rule with doubling the last consonant only works when the previous vowel is the so-called �short � one. In �sit � or �stop � �i � or �o � make a short sound, but �ea � in �eat � is a long vowel...


3 Oct 2012     


Double the final consonants in monosyllabic words with CVC or CCVC structure.
SIT is CVC so sitting
EAT is VVC only eating

3 Oct 2012     


Thanks for your quick help!! Now I understand it.

3 Oct 2012     

United States

I teach my class the rule this way:
Verb ends with:
One vowel
One consonant
Strong syllable
So beg: begging
begin: beginning
Two vowels: no double (eating)
Two consonants: no double (drinking)
Weak syllable: no double (opening)
It takes a while for it to sink in, though. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

3 Oct 2012     


So what rule do you use for "travel"? Traveling? Travelling?

The "vel" syllable is weak, so it should be : "traveling"...
"Travel" ends with CVC, so it should be "travelling"...

3 Oct 2012     


I teach that rule the way Moody Moody illustrated it. As for "travel", it �s travelling in British English (I suppose it �s an exception to the rule) but traveling in American English (or so I hear).

3 Oct 2012     


In British English, there�s a rule for verbs ending in l, according to this, verbs ending in l double the last consonant to form the simple past and the present continuous: Travel, travelling, travelled. But it just apply for British English. 

3 Oct 2012     


This is my rule:
When forming the present continuous (or progressive), we need to double the last letter of the verb when:
the verb ends with CVC,
and the last syllable is emphasized
unless the last letter is an X, Y  (buying, fixing)
I mistakenly wrote X, Y and Z earlier but - as next posts clarify - it doesn�t seem to hold up for Z, only X and Y 
Since I only teach primary school, I usually am more than content when they remember to double the last letter for cvc endings and lovingly forgive them if they double also when the last syllable is not emphasized or the last letter was X or Y .........It means they got the basic idea, fine-tuning will come with use and practice........(of course I will point it out but I also mention that those are exceptions and they got the main rule right...) 

3 Oct 2012     

United States

I don �t think there is a verb that ends in a vowel followed by a single z. That �s why you can �t think of one.

3 Oct 2012     

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