English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

"Drag & dropping" sounds better to me, but "Dragging & dropping" has more Google results...

Which one is correct and why?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you consider "drag and drop" as a single, atomic action, then inflecting the action as a unit makes perfect sense; you are "drag-and-dropping" your item.

If, on the other hand, the drag and the drop are two separate elements of the overall action sequence, you need to perform each element in sequence, and inflecting each verb is required; you are "dragging and (then) dropping" your item.

You'll have the same issue with other closely conjoined pairs; "cut & paste" comes immediately to mind, and "catch & release" and "smile and nod" are arguably the same.

To my mind, they are two distinct steps, as you can't perform the second without having performed the first; so inflecting each verb is how I would do it.

share|improve this answer

Because drag & drop would be considered a compound verb, dragging and dropping would be the correct way to phrase it.

To make it more understandable, you could say that you were dragging something and then dropping it.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.