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'Aging' or 'ageing'? What to do with '-ing' when forming the participle
Jean-Pierre Michel from Belgium asks:

I would like to know which form is correct. I have seen both aging and ageing written and would be grateful to know which is right.
Roger replies:more questions
The answer is that both are correct! Ageing is the form that is more commonly found, although aging is occasionally used. The norm, of course, is to drop the final 'e' when forming the participle:

Rage becomes raging as in: 'The storm was raging.'

Stage becomes staging as in: 'They were staging 'Macbeth' in Stratford when I was there.'

In a survey carried out in Britain, 1000 people aged between 16 and 65-plus were asked to spell commonly misspelt words. Among those aged over 65, 20% spelt seven or more of the words correctly, while for those aged between 16 and 24, the figure was just 8%!

I have reproduced those ten most commonly misspelt words in the quiz below so that you can try your hand at getting them right.


Type in what you think is the correct spelling and then check your answers in the key beneath.

1. There was no room in the hotel, so they were at the bed-and- breakfast nearby.
a) accommodated
b) accomodated
c) acommodated

2. The skiing holiday was Ben and Tom both fell ill with food poisoning and I broke my leg the first day out on the slopes.
a) disasterous
b) disastrous
c) disastorous

3. She is such a witty and person. I couldn't stop laughing when we had supper with her last week.
a) humorus
b) humourous
c) humorous

4. I wonder whether you will be doing this quiz before the old ends or after the new has begun.
a) milenium
b) millenium
c) millennium

5. The schoolboys were more than just Putting a live crab down someone's trousers goes beyond a joke.
a) mischevous
b) mischievous
c) mischievious

6. Being invited to the Holy Land to take part in the Christmas Day celebrations was a great .
a) privilidge
b) privilege
c) privelege

7. English people often find the of French difficult.
a) pronounciation
b) pronunciation
c) proununciation

8. It was not possible to the Siamese twins. They were joined together for life.
a) separate
b) seperate
c) saparate

9. It was such a nice to find you at home when I got back from work. I wasn't expecting you till the weekend.
a) suprise
b) serprise
c) surprise

10. His behaviour was really . He was walking down the street, muttering and chuckling to himself.
a) weird
b) weired
c) wierd


1. They were accommodated in the bed-and-breakfast.
2. It was a disastrous skiing holiday.
3. A humorous person.
4. The new millennium
5. Mischievous schoolboys
6. Being invited to the Holy Land was a great privilege.
7. The pronunciation of French is difficult.
8. It was impossible to separate the Siamese twins.
9. A nice surprise.
10. Weird behaviour.

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