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Which spelling is correct: benefiting or benefitting?

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    I like benefitting more, personally, because benefiting looks like the present participle of a verb spelled benefite.
    – nohat
    Oct 18, 2010 at 2:17

4 Answers 4

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Both spellings are considered to be correct; given the pattern of American English to prefer the shorter of alternate spellings (see color vs. colour; aluminum vs. aluminium), I would summarise that in the US the single-t version would be correct.

However, I see that the two-t version appears more often in searches, so it has popularity going for it.

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    It is the one-t version that appears more often in google searches. What search are you using?
    – Ophiuroid
    Oct 16, 2010 at 23:51
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    Actually, from Google Ngrams, benefitting seems to be used slightly more frequently in American English than it is in British English. I believe this is because, in American English, the rule is to double the consonant if there is stress on the last syllable, and in American English, benefit has secondary stress on the last syllable. Jan 24, 2012 at 19:27
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Both are considered correct in the English language. Benefiting and benefitting both are acceptable due to two different English spelling rules.

If the final syllable is not accented/emphasized and it does not end in an l then you do not double the consonant. If you say ben-e-fit, you accent ben, the first syllable.

I believe it can become benefitting as well, due to the other English rule, that if a word ends with a short vowel followed by a consonant, you double the consonant so the vowel doesn’t become long.

Due to these two rules, I guess it can be spelled both ways.

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Google found 12.900.000 (approximately) matches for benefiting , but only 1.210.000 for benefitting.

References:

Merriam Webster lists both as correct spelling http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/benefitting

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/benefitting

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  • Thanks for the numbers on the google searches. I've always leaned towards the one-t spelling, seems like most people do.
    – Adam
    Oct 17, 2010 at 0:39
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Benefiting is the correct one in English and American English. There is no entry for 'benefitting' in the Cambridge dictionary, see: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/spellcheck/british/?q=Benefitting The reason being we double letters on the end of the word if that is where the emphasis lies. In 'benefit' the emphasis is on the 'n', rather than the last letter.

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    I think using a British dictionary for advice about American English is clearly an error. See Merriam-Webster. (Even if Cambridge is in general a better dictionary.) Feb 28, 2014 at 21:51

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