Spelling of Present Participle /
Spelling of the -ing Form

Objectives of today’s lesson:

In this lesson, Learn English with Julia presents to you “Spelling of Present Participle / Spelling of the -ing Form”, in order for you to:

  • feel confident pronouncing and writing gerunds
  • feel confident pronouncing and writing present participles or -ing forms

Video Script:

Hello and welcome to this video dedicated to the present participle!

It is also commonly known as the “-ing” form.
Now when do we use the “-ing” form or present participle, we use it in two major contexts.

First of all we use it to make a continuous tense or a progressive tense. So when we want to show that something lasts a while we use a continuous tense. So that’s one use.

Second use:
we use the “-ing” form or present participle as a noun in which case we refer to it as a gerund.
We can say for example:
“Reading is relaxing.”
“reading” is a gerund
“Reading is relaxing.”
“Skiing is good fun.”

There are so many different ways of using this “-ing” form.
The major problem seems to be the spelling. So what is the form? How do we create an “-ing” form? Well generally we take the bare infinitive:
“learn”. And we just add “-ing” to the end.
That is how we create the “-ing” form.
However it’s not always as simple as that.
We have sometimes to make changes to the bare infinitive before adding the “-ing” form.

There are other cases just like in the examples Illustrated before: There are no changes.
We just simply add the “-ing” at the end of the very infinitive. So let’s look at the examples here.
We have seven different scenarios: When do changes occur? Why and when don’t changes occur?

So changes occur in the first scenario. If my bare infinitive has an “-E” at the end. This “-E” is silent. We drop this “-E” before adding the -ING.
We remove the “-E” and add “-ING”.
There is a spelling change before adding “-ING”.

Second scenario: There are no changes. We simply add “-ING” to the bare infinitive. So my verb has to end in “-EE”, “-YE”, “-OE”. I simply add -ING

Third scenario: In my bare infinitive at the end I have a vowel followed by “L”. What do I do? I double the “L” This is in British English. In American English we do not double the “L”. So let’s stick to British English here today. We double the “L” before adding the “-ING”. I’ve doubled my “L”

Fourth scenario: my bare infinitive has a single vowel followed by a consonant at the end.
I will double this consonant when the end of this word is stressed.

I double the “N” and I add “-ING”. However if my bare infinitive is a single vowel and a consonant. But this last syllable is not stressed, I do not touch my bare infinitive. I do not double any consonant. I do not touch it. I simply add “-ING” We stress the beginning of the word.
(Examples) I just add “-ing” at the end.

Now sixth scenario: if my bare infinitive has two vowels and a consonant at the end I do not make any changes to the bare infinitive. I simply add “-ing”.
Double “E”: I simply add the “-ing”. I do not touch the consonant. I do not touch the bare infinitive.

And finally the last and seventh scenario:
If my verb ends in a “-C”. I have to add a “-K” before adding the “-ing”. So here there are some major changes.

Thanks for watching!


Keywords listed in English:

  • gerund
  • present participle or -ing form
  • spelling changes

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