Is there any rules regarding gerund that tell when to double the consonant of a word and when not to?

I'm a little bit confused regarding this matter. Based on this link there are words that can be spelled with or without double consonant. An example given was "traveling" and "travelling" which was discussed further here while there are words that are required to be doubled and words that are required not to have double consonants like beginning and opening. Or should I just follow this rule,

-If the base verb ends with consonant + stressed vowel + consonant, double the last letter. (This does not apply when the last syllable (thus last vowel) is not stressed.) but,

-If the base verb ends in vowel + consonant + e, omit the e.

and think that "travelling" is wrong (even though we knew that it is accepted in normative English).

1 Answer 1


"Travelling" is not wrong and "Travelling" vs "Traveling" is a "British English" vs "American English" thing as well-explained in the linked Wikipedia article:

The British English doubling is used for all inflections (-ed, -ing, -er, -est) and for the noun suffixes -er and -or. Therefore, British English usage is cancelled, counsellor, cruellest, labelled, modelling, quarrelled, signalling, traveller, and travelling. Americans typically use canceled, counselor, cruelest, labeled, modeling, quarreled, signaling, traveler, and traveling.

I think the linked article, "Why do some words have double consonants while others have only one?" seems to be a good starting point. You have to get yourself familiarized with all those examples.

It is important to note that, in two-syllable words such as happening or entering, etc.

If the stress is on the first syllable, the word gets only one consonant + -ing.

"Travelling" is an exception. There is no rule but has some exceptions.


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