When a verb ends with a "e" that is pronounced, do you get rid of the "e" when you add "-ing"?

For example, would you say "His karaoking last night was really unique", or "His karaokeing last night was really unique"?

  • I realise I'm asking about the appropriate spelling of a somewhat appropriate gerunding of an inappropriate verbing of an inappropriate form of entertainment, but I couldn't come up with a better example. – Andrew Grimm Jul 14 '14 at 3:23
  • While the question in legitimate, it should be noted that the word given in the example, karaoke is a noun, or adjective, e.g. "Karaoke contest tonight". I've never seen it used as a verb, except in the example given above. "Be", "agree" and "free" are better examples, and in adding "ing", the "e" is not dropped. – brasshat Jul 14 '14 at 6:14
  • @Brasshat Karaoke is just a noun, not an adjective. In karaoke contest, it's a noun adjunct. Just about any noun can be verbed in English, though, so Andrew's example is not particularly far-fetched. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 14 '14 at 7:23

Unlike a case such as "make", in this case the -e represents a vowel in the pronunciation; that vowel remains pronounced when -ing is added, and so there's no reason to remove the -e. Hence: karaokeing.

As with a case such a ski > skiing, you may get a slight yod ([j] sound) introduced, but this isn't represented in the spelling.


You can probably just add -ing and retain the sounded <e>. This would be the case for the verb recce, a clipping of recconoitre used in British English. I would write recceing. And in your case, karaokeing. In the past the hyphen was call into service for such situations (hence ski-ing) but we are less fond of hyphens these days.

For the past tense form, you can also add the -d the regular way. Again in the past, the apostrophe might have been used. Thus, karaoked (or possibly karaoke'd) and recced (or recce'd).

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