Present continuous form

English grammar and usage issues

Moderator: Susan

Registered Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 21 May 2009, 15:43
Status: Trainee Teacher

Present continuous form

Unread postby SophiesChoice » 12 Apr 2012, 13:46

This may be a really simple question, can someone tell me why verbs with stressed syllables, but also have a consonant and vowel, do not double up. For example, stop becomes stopping, but shout doesnt become shoutting.

Thanks for your help

Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
Posts: 541
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Status: Teacher
Location: Tokyo

Re: Present continuous form

Unread postby Alex Case » 14 Apr 2012, 11:43

It's basically the magic E thing: Stope is pronounced differently to to stop ("the vowel says its name"), so stoping is pronounced differently to stopping. Like with magic E, this is only true with short vowels - shoute is pronounced the same as shout, so shoutting is pronounced the same as shouting. To put it another way, the consonant only needs to double to stop the vowel sound from changing.

Same thing with -ed endings too.

Registered Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 22 May 2012, 18:00
Status: Teacher Trainer

Re: Present continuous form

Unread postby Rusmeister » 01 Jul 2012, 03:34

Doubling is triggered under what I call "the hamburger rule". If you have a closed final syllable - or one-syllable word (consonant-vowel-consonant), then you have a hamburger, which is made up of bread-meat-bread.

Well, almost. A ball of meat becomes a hamburger patty when it is squashed under stress. So it's really only a hamburger when the syllable is stressed.

And if it's a hamburger, then it has to be a double cheeseburger (Big Mac). So you double the last consonant before adding -ing/-ed.

The Hamburger theory TM
Owned by Rusmeister - send donations via Paypal
Warning - this might make your students hungry!

Return to “Grammar & Usage”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests