let's face it. More and more people are not saying the silent "g" at the end of swimming, speaking, cooking etc.

When will the "ing" become just "in"?

It's already used in almost every song, because "g" is hard and almost impossible to sing.

Any revolutionary movement to eradicate "ing" and bring "in" into English out there?

  • 3
    That’s not the way language change works. Even when pronunciations change, as they certainly do, changes in spelling rarely follow. Dec 28, 2013 at 8:26
  • 6
    g is not impossible to sin.
    – Kris
    Dec 28, 2013 at 9:26
  • 2
    @Laure: G is not impossible to sing(g). Without the "G" you would have sin in its place, as Kriss smartly points out... but, but it's not the present participle or the gerund form. The song: Singin' in the rain sounds perfectly acceptable AND it's the exact title of the film.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 28, 2013 at 12:24
  • 2
    This is a loaded question. Can you provide evidence for your claim? Otherwise it is just an example of recency illusion, we can plain reject it as such and be done.
    – RegDwigнt
    Dec 28, 2013 at 12:28
  • 5
    Voting to close as Not Constructive. Again.
    – tchrist
    Dec 28, 2013 at 22:59

2 Answers 2


The premise is simply wrong. /ɪn/ has a different consonant from /ɪŋ/: there is no "reduction" involved.

Modern English has two grammatical forms ending -ing, one a verbal noun (eg I like swimming) and the other a participle, or verbal adjective (eg I thought about it while swimming), but historically the latter derives from a form in -en, and has fallen together with the other form; so some confusion between /ɪn/ and /ɪŋ/ goes right back before the beginning of Modern English.

I don't know whether /ɪn/ for /ɪŋ/ has been increasing, but I rather doubt it.


It's almost not harder at all to say, especially if the next consonant is velar (i.e. /g/ or /k/). The reason people say /ɪn/ as opposed to /ɪŋ/ or /iŋ/ at all is because the two morphemes -ende and -inge as a verb suffix essentially merged but some people favoured one pronunciation over the other, but it didn't ever hinder meaning.

To this day different dialects use different variants as a result and some even use both in free variation (like me). It's hardly "easier to say" as much as it just comes more naturally, because we've heard it and used it growing up. I doubt it would be heard so much if the only pronunciation were /ɪŋ/, if at all. I'm not ruling out the possibility of it becoming /ɪn/ an as eventual development, though.

There is more to read here, if you like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonological_history_of_English_consonants#Phonological_history_of_ng

As Barrie said, the orthography is very very unlikely to follow.

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