The Doubling Rule


A, e, i, o, u and y are vowels. All the rest of the letters are consonants.

Vowels are short unless there is a reason for them to be long.

a says â as in apple
e says ê as in elephant
i says î as in it
y says ý as in gym
o says ô as in olive
u says û as in umbrella

I and y have the same sound Y is the Greek way of spelling that sound.

What is a Syllable


A syllable is a push of breath. How many syllables are there in the word 'cat'? In 'batter'? In 'Massachusetts', 'Nebraska', 'Boston'?

One One One Rule


Look at these words:

sad, fit, dim

They are alike in three ways.

1. How many syllables do they have?.....One syllable
2. What is at the end of each word?..........One consonant
3. What is before the consonant?............One vowel

One syllable, one consonant, one vowel.

One, one, one.

Look at this word:

sad + est = saddest

What has happened to the d? It has doubled. There are two d's.


Likewise:

sad + en = sadden
fit + est = fittest
dim + est = dimmest

The last letter is doubled.

BUT:

sad + ness = sadness

The d in sad did not double. There is only one d.

Look at the two endings on sad: en and ness. How do they differ?

What is at the beginning of 'en'? A vowel. The ending starts with a vowel and the last letter, d, is doubled.

What is the beginning of ness? A consonant. The ending starts with a consonant and the last letter in sad is not doubled.

This is the doubling rule. First look at the base word. Does it have One, One, One (one syllable ending in one consonant after one vowel)? Then look at the ending. Does it start with a vowel? If you can say yes to these two questions, double the last letter in the base word. If either answer is no, then you don't need the doubling rule.


Always look at the base word first.

Look at the following words and endings:

fit + est = fittest
fit + ness = fitness
dim + est = dimmest
dim + ness = dimness
ship + ing = shipping
ship + ment = shipment

(i,n,g says ing as in ring.)


If the base word is One, One, One and the ending begins with a vowel, double the last letter in the word.

More on Doubling Rule


What happens to words of more than one syllable?

omit + ed = omitted
forget + ing = forgetting

If the last syllable ends in one consonant after one vowel and the ending begins with a vowel, double the last letter in the word.


omit + ed = omitted

The accent is on the last syllable. The last letter is doubled.

forgèt + ing

The accent is on the last syllable. The last letter is doubled.

BUT:

market + ing = marketing

The accent is not on the last syllable. It is on the first syllable. The last letter is not doubled.

òffer + ed = offered

The accent is not on the last syllable. It is on the first syllable. The last letter is not doubled.

In words of more than one syllable, if the accent is on the last syllable and the other parts of the doubling rule are present, double the last letter.
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