Zully Ramirez-Gamboa, who is following the business English
Internet course "Click here for English", wants to know about
rules for pronunciation.
example: 'Words of one syllable, ending in a single consonant preceded
by a single vowel, double the final consonant before a suffix beginning
with a vowel. run -ing; running; big-est; biggest'
If the word ends with two or more consonants, or if the final consonant
is preceded by two vowels instead of one, the rule does not apply:
debt-or: debtor; yard-age: yardage; swear-ing: swearing. I would
like to know other rules, because I will have an oral exam.
raise two issues, Zully: spelling and pronunciation. Pronunciation
in the stem syllable doesn’t change when the final consonant is doubled
as in ‘run - running’, ‘big - bigger’, or ‘shop - shopping’.
The doubling of the consonant is important. If the past tense forms
of ‘shop’ were spelt ‘shoped’ or ‘shoping’ instead of
‘shopped’ or ‘shopping’ , they would have the same vowel
sound as ‘hoped’ or ‘hoping’, and this would be confusing: ‘shoping
in the supermarket’, rather than ‘shopping in the supermarket’.
verbs like 'swear' or 'shout' or 'shoot', the two vowels together
produce either a diphthong or a long vowel sound and it is therefore
unnecessary to double the consonant in the past tense or past participial
exceptions to the rule, though. Thus, while: 'He trailed her by five
minutes' would be the norm, if we reverse the 'i' and the 'a' to produce
‘trial’ and we talk about trialling (= testing or piloting)
an exam, then the 'l' is doubled, at least in British English: ‘We
trialled the exam in South America.’