Double Consonants

Typical cases of double consonants in English words are described in this material. The phrases "double consonants; a double consonant" in this material refer to two neighboring consonant letters that are the same, for example, "ss, mm, nn" as in "pass, summer, running". Phonetic transcription is indicated according to American pronunciation.

Transcription symbols:

[θ] as in THIN; [ð] as in THIS; [sh] as in FISH; [ch] as in CHIP; [j] as in Jane; [ŋ] as in LONG; [y] as in YES;

[i:] as in SEE; [i] as in SIT; [a:] as in PARK; [æ] as in CAT; [o:] as in BALL; [o] as in HOT;

[yu:] as in USE; [u:] as in COOL; [u] as in BOOK; [ə:r] as in FUR; [ʌ] as in HUT; [ə] as in AWAY;

[ei] as in DAY; [ai] as in MY; [au] as in NOW; [ou] as in NO; [oi] as in BOY.

Primary stress and secondary stress are shown before stressed syllables: hallmark ['ho:l,ma:rk]; referendum [,refə'rendəm].

General information

Generally, double consonants do not occur at the beginning of English words, but there are some cases of initial double consonants in words of foreign origin and in personal names (llama, llano, Lloyd, Llewellyn).

The consonant letters "h, j, q, w, x" are not doubled in any position in the word. Unusual doubling of these consonants is found in some names and abbreviations (Exxon; www; qq.v.), and there are spelling cases where "h" stands after "ch, sh, th" (fishhook, withhold).

Double "k" and double "v" are rare. They are found in a few words, as well as in nicknames: yakka, yakky, trekker; savvy, skivvy, flivver, revving; Nikki, Vikki, Bevvie, Evvie, Livvy.

Consonant combinations are never doubled (brother, fishing). There are certain cases of a double consonant before another consonant letter, for example, in words like "middle, settle, bubble".

Three like consonant letters in a row in one and the same word do not occur in English, except when they are divided by a hyphen in compound words (bell-like shape; stainless-steel instruments).

A double consonant may represent one sound, for example, "stiff" [stif], "lesson" ['lesən], "normally" ['no:rməli], or two sounds, for example, "misspell" [mis'spel], "meanness" ['mi:nnis], "roommate" ['ru:m,meit].

Reasons for doubling

There are two main reasons for the appearance of double consonant letters.

1. The final consonant letter of the first part of the word may be the same as the initial consonant letter of the next part.

This may take place when adding prefixes that end in a consonant (dissatisfy, illogical, unnecessary) or suffixes that begin with a consonant (openness, really, soulless), or when two words are combined to make a compound word (newsstand, roommate).

2. Generally, a double consonant letter indicates that the preceding vowel letter represents a short sound (matter, tunnel, tipping, sell). Generally, a single vowel letter in a stressed syllable represents a long sound or a diphthong before a single consonant letter followed by another vowel letter (meter, tuner, typing, sale).

When adding a syllable beginning with a vowel letter to a single consonant letter that stands after a short stressed vowel sound represented by a single letter, the consonant letter is doubled in order to keep the preceding vowel sound short. For example: kitten, manner, funny, biggest, reddish, swimmer, regrettable, spotted, stopping.

There are many exceptions – actually, too many to call them exceptions. Consonants may be single or double depending on such factors as word stress, position in the word, number of syllables, word meaning, word origin. (Compare: mirror, miracle; mill, military, milliard, familiar.) Typical examples are provided in the material below.

Prefixes "dis, mis, over, un, under"

If the prefix ends in the same consonant letter with which the root begins, both consonants are kept in the word. For example:

The prefix "dis": dissatisfy, dissent, dissertation, disservice, dissident, dissipate, dissimilar, dissociate, dissolve, dissonance. (But: disallow, dismiss, distrust, etc.)

The prefix "mis": misspeak, misspell, misspend, misstate, misstep. (But: mislead, misplace, mistake, mistrust, misunderstand, etc.) Note: misshape [mis'sheip].

The prefix "over": overrate, overreach, overreact, override, overripe, overrule, overrun. (But: overdo, overeat, oversee, oversleep, overuse, overwhelm, etc.)

The prefix "un": unnamed, unnatural, unnecessary, unnerve, unnoticed, unnumbered. (But: undo, unimportant, unlikely, unreadable, unstable, untie, etc.)

The prefix "under": underrate, underripe, underrun. (But: underestimate, undergo, underline, understand, understatement, undertake, underwrite, etc.)

Note: The words "disperse, distance, distress, district" have the prefix "di"; the words "descend, despair, destiny, destroy" have the prefix "de". (See Difficult Prefixes in the section Writing.)

Latin prefixes

When Latin prefixes were added to Latin words, the final consonant letter of the prefix changed (due to assimilation) under the influence of the initial consonant letter of the word, in a number of cases causing the appearance of double consonants.

For example, the prefix "in" changed into "il, im, ir" before "l, m, p, r": independent, illogical, immortal, impolite, irregular.

Variants of Latin prefixes can be seen in many English words of Latin origin. (See Prefixes, with Meanings and Examples in the section Writing.)

There are no rules for double consonants in such words, and in most cases it is difficult to understand why there should be double consonants in them (that is, if you don't know that they are former Latin assimilated prefixes). Compare: (1) defend, offend; emigrate, immigrate; recur, occur; (2) oculist, occupy; acoustic, account; imitate, immigrate.

You can memorize such words more easily if you arrange them in groups according to the prefix.

Examples of English words with Latin prefixes

The prefix "in" and its variants "il, im, ir": independence, innate, innocent, innumerable, insult, invest; illegal, illiteracy, illogical, illustration; immediately, immigration, immunity, impersonal, impolite; irrational, irregular, irrelevant, irresistible, irritate.

The prefix "com" and its variants "co, col, con, cor": combine, command, commerce, compare; coincide, co-operate; collapse, colleague, collect, college, collide; confess, connect, connote, consult; correct, correspond, corrosion, corruption.

The prefix "dis" and its variants "di, dif": disagree, display, dissatisfy, dissociate, disturb; digest, direct, distance, divide; differ, different, difficult, diffident, diffuse.

The prefix "ad" and its variants "a, ac, af, ag, al, an, ap, ar, as, at": address, advise; ascend, aspire; accident, accommodate, accompany, account, accumulate, acquire; affair, affect, afford; aggravate, aggressive; allegedly, allocate; announce, annul; appreciate, approve; arrest, arrive; assemble, assist, associate; attend, attract.

The prefix "ob" and its variants "oc, of, op": object, oblige; occasion, occult, occupy, occur; offend, offer, office, official; oppose, opposite, oppressive.

The prefix "ex" and its variants "e, ec, ef": exaggerate, exclude, exist, export; edit, elect, emerge, emigrate; eccentric, eclectic; effect, effective, efficient.

The prefix "sub" and its variants "su, suc, suf, sug, sup, sur, sus": subject, submit; suspect; succeed, success; suffer, suffice, sufficient, suffrage; suggest; supply, support, suppose; surrender, surrogate; susceptible, suspend, sustain.

Suffixes "ness, ly, less"

If the suffix begins with the same consonant letter as the consonant letter to which it is added, both consonants are kept in the word. For example:

The suffix "ness": cleanness, drunkenness, evenness, greenness, keenness, meanness, openness, rottenness, sternness, stubbornness, suddenness, thinness.

The suffix "ly" (in adverbs): awfully, beautifully, carefully, gratefully, equally, ideally, ironically, logically, morally, normally, really, periodically, totally, usually. Note: dully (dull+ly); fully (full+ly); wholly (whole+ly).

The suffix "less": nailless, pupilless, railless, recoilless, soulless, tailless, shell-less, skill-less, wall-less.

The use of "like" as a suffix: naillike, taillike, pencil-like, bell-like, shell-like, skull-like, wall-like.

Double consonants in compound words

If the final consonant letter of the first word and the initial consonant letter of the second word are the same, both consonants are kept in the compound word: bookkeeping, bookkeeper, roommate, barroom, earring, newsstand, midday, taillight. Exception: One "t" in "eighteen" (eight+teen) (and in "eighth" [eitθ] eight+th).

If the first word ends in a double consonant letter, both letters are kept in the compound word: bellboy, bullfight, hallmark, hallway, telltale, classmate, classroom, grasshopper, innkeeper. Hyphenated or separate if the initial consonant of the second word is also the same: ill-looking (adjective), still life (noun).

Compound adjectives are usually hyphenated: custom-made, even-numbered, half-finished, half-full, still-life. The use of the hyphen in compound words is described briefly in Stress in Compound Words in the section Phonetics, but it is always advisable to consult an up-to-date dictionary.

Examples of compound words in which "h" stands after "ch, gh, sh, th": hitchhiker ['hich,haikər]; witch hunt (witch-hunt); high-handed (highhanded); fishhook; bathhouse ['bæθ,haus], ['ba:θ,haus].

Examples of compound words with double consonants and silent consonants: dumbbell ['dʌmbel]; jackknife ['jæk,naif] (jack-knife, jack knife); knickknack ['nik,næk] (knick-knack, nicknack); penknife ['pen,naif].

Compound words with "all, well"

The words "almost, already, always, also, although, altogether, almighty" have one "l". The spelling "alright", though common, is considered substandard; it is advisable for language learners to write "all right".

Compare the difference in meaning between "already" and "all ready" and between "altogether" and "all together": They are already here. They are all ready for work. I forgot it altogether. We sang the song all together.

Compound adjectives with "all" have double "l" (except "almighty"): an all-day tour; an all-inclusive price; an all-out effort; all-purpose flour; an all-round sportsman; my all-time favorite; all-year resorts.

The words "welcome, welfare" have one "l". Other compound words with "well" (mostly adjectives; some nouns) have double "l": well-done, well-known, well-lighted (BrE: well-lit), well-to-do; well-being (wellbeing), well-wisher.

Note: There are compound words with "well" in the meanings connected with underground water: wellspring, wellhead, well water.

Double consonants at the end of words

Final "f, l, s, z" in one-syllable words

The final consonants "f, l, s, z" at the end of one-syllable words are always "ff, ll, ss, zz" if the preceding vowel is single.

Examples with "ff" and "ll": cliff, stiff, riff, buff, cuff, huff, puff, stuff, scoff; bill, fill, ill, kill, mill, pill, skill, still, will; bell, hell, sell, tell; all, ball, call, fall, hall, mall, small, tall, wall, doll; bull, full, pull; dull, hull, lull, null, skull.

Examples with "ss" and "zz": kiss, miss; dress, guess, less, mess, press; class, glass, mass, pass; cross, loss, toss, fuss; buzz, fuzz, jazz, fizz.

Exceptions: if, chef, nil, pal, gas, bus, plus, this, thus, us, yes, quiz. (The plural forms of "gas, bus, quiz": gases, buses (rarely, busses), quizzes.)

Note: "ss" has the sound [s]; "s" is usually single if it has the sound [z]: as, has, his, is, was. But "ss" has the sound [z] in "dessert, dissolve, possess, scissors".

Note: Generally, double consonants do not follow long vowel sounds and diphthongs in English words. But there is a long vowel sound in words like "all, call" [o:l], [ko:l] and a diphthong before double consonants in the following words: poll [poul], roll, toll, troll, gross [grous].

The letters "f" and "l" at the end of one-syllable words are single if there are two vowel letters or vowel + consonant before them.

Examples: leaf, beef, reef, brief, chief; half, self, shelf, wolf, loaf; deal, meal, feel, reel, fool, tool, wool; haul, crawl, boil, bowl; curl, hurl, girl, pearl.

Final "f, l, s" in two-syllable words

Double "f": sheriff ['sherif], tariff, bailiff, mastiff, plaintiff. But: belief, relief; mischief, handkerchief.

Double "l": distill [di'stil], fulfill, install, instill (BrE distil, fulfil, instil). But many words have single final "l" after a short stressed vowel sound: hotel [hou'tel], motel, canal, excel, compel, expel, repel, rebel. "Control" has a diphthong before "l": [kən'troul]. Single final "l", if after two vowel letters: conceal, reveal, prevail, etc.

Double "s" (stress on the second syllable): confess [kən'fes], discuss, dismiss, distress, excess, possess, recess, success, address, impress, express, progress, digress, regress, caress, assess [ə'ses].

Double "s" (stress on the first syllable): access ['ækses], congress, process, progress, address, mattress, compass, canvass ['kænvəs], cutlass, harass. Three syllables: embarrass [im'bærəs]. But: atlas, canvas, bonus, campus, focus, minus, etc.

Also, there are lot of words with the suffixes "ess, ness, less": goddess, hostess, lioness; business, politeness, witness; careless, helpless, meaningless. (See List of Nouns with Suffixes and List of Derivative Adjectives in the section Writing.)

Words ending in a double consonant usually keep it in derivative words: ill, illness; class, classic, classify; success, successful. Exceptions: fulfil, skilful, wilful, instalment. (AmE usually: fulfill, skillful, willful, installment.)

Final "p, b, t, d, g, m, n, r"

The final consonants "p, b, t, d, g, m, n, r" standing after a single vowel are always single at the end of one-syllable words.

Examples: cap, map, lip, rip, tip, top; cab, rib, rob, rub, web; hat, rat, let, set, hit, hut; bad, bud, mud, lid, rid, rod; dig, pig, leg, dog, rag, hug; ham, rim, trim, hum, sum; man, pen, pin, tin, fan, son, sun; bar, car, star, stir, fir, fur, blur.

Exceptions: ebb, butt, add, odd, egg, inn, err, purr.

If a suffix beginning with a vowel is added to the final consonant of such words, the consonant is doubled: capped, robber, hitting, buddy, digger, summary, sunny, furry, etc. (See "Double consonants before suffixes beginning with a vowel" below.)

Double consonants in the root

Double consonants in the root of two-syllable words are usually found between two vowel letters, where the first vowel is single, stands in the stressed syllable, and represents a short sound.

Examples: kitten, litter, pretty, pillow; berry, merry, message, lesson, letter, fellow; carry, cabbage, manner, matter, happen, rabbit, parrot, channel, gallon, valley; butter, summer, sudden, tunnel, muffin; hurry, worry; bottom, gossip, common, dollar, trolley.

But a lot of words have a single consonant in similar positions: finish, limit, timid, city, pity; metal, merit, very, bury; manage, balance, cabin, rapid, habit, valid; color, honey, money, punish; model, modest, proper, profit, solid, robin, copy, etc.

The consonant that ends the first (stressed) syllable is single if there are two vowel letters before it (reason, ready, courage, powder, beauty), or if the preceding vowel letter represents a diphthong (basin, paper, open, molar, motor, idol, item) or a long sound (meter, liter, cedar).

Double "r" is found after short and long vowel sounds: sorry, lorry, porridge; arrow, narrow, borrow, sorrow; horror, mirror, terror; barrel, quarrel, squirrel, current, torrent, torrid; warrant, warranty. But: orange, moral, coral, chorus, boring, glory, story, quarantine, guarantee, guaranty.

Note: In words of foreign origin, double consonants are found in various positions in the word, including the positions after long vowels and diphthongs. For example: balloon, collage, bizarre, giraffe, chauffeur, connoisseur, spaghetti, graffiti, pizza.

Words like "middle, table"

Words like "middle, table, apple" have two syllables; that is, combinations like "ble, ple, dle, tle" form an unstressed syllable: ['teibəl], ['æpəl]. The neutral sound is very short in such words and is often dropped: ['midəl], ['midl].

A double consonant in such combinations, for example, "dd" in "ddle" in "middle", indicates that the preceding vowel sound is short: little ['litəl], riddle, middle, riffle ['rifəl], drizzle, sizzle, nibble, pebble ['pebəl], meddle, kettle, settle, bottle, goggles, apple, cattle, rattle, bubble, struggle, puzzle ['pʌzəl], muzzle.

A single consonant in such combinations, though before another consonant, for example, "b" in "ble" in "table", indicates that the preceding vowel sound is long or a diphthong: bugle ['byu:gəl], people ['pi:pəl], eagle, beetle, table, stable, ladle ['leidəl], maple, noble, Bible, idle, rifle ['raifəl], title. But: triple ['tripəl], treble ['trebəl].

If there is another consonant before combinations like "ble, ple, dle, tle", none of the consonants is doubled: marble ['ma:rbəl], temple, purple, humble, tumble, nimble, bundle, handle, kindle, spindle, gentle, circle, uncle, angle, tangle, mantle.

In three-syllable words of this type, usually with the combination "cle", the consonant "c" is not doubled: parable, miracle, oracle, obstacle, bicycle, cubicle, icicle, particle, vehicle. (Can you explain, with the help of the rules described in this article, why "c" is not doubled in such words?)

Note: Don't confuse "ble" in such words with the suffixes "able, ible", in which "b" is never doubled. Compare: babble – probable; rabble – curable; dribble – horrible, terrible; nibble – discernible.

Double consonants before suffixes beginning with a vowel

Rule: The final consonant is doubled before adding a suffix beginning with a vowel (able, age, en, er, ish, etc.) and before adding "ed" or "ing" if: (1) the consonant is single, (2) the consonant ends a stressed syllable, and (3) the consonant is preceded by a single vowel representing a short sound.

Examples: fun, funny; red, reddish, redder, redden; beg, begged, begging, beggar; bag, baggage; plan, planned, planning, planner; rob, robbed, robbing, robber, robbery; slip, slipped, slipping, slippery; stop, stopped, stopping, stopper, stoppage, unstoppable; stir, stirred, stirring.

Examples: begin, beginning, beginner; forbid, forbidden, forbidding; admit, admitted, admitting, admittance; commit, committed, committee, committal; regret, regretted, regretting, regrettable; occur, occurred, occurring, occurrence; recur, recurrence, recurrent; deter, deterrent.

The final consonant is doubled in such cases in order to keep the preceding vowel short. Compare:

hop+ing = hopping ['hopiŋ]. If we don't double "p" before adding "ing" to "hop", we will get "hoping" ['houpiŋ] (hope+ing), that is, a different word with a different meaning that has no relation to "hop".

(See more examples in Adding the Endings ed, ing to Verbs and Adding Suffixes in the section Writing.)

Note double "m, n" before the suffixes in the following words: inflammable, inflammation; programmer, programming (AmE also: programing); millennium, personnel, questionnaire. But: inflamed, personal, millionaire.

Final "r"

When adding suffixes beginning with a vowel to the verbs "refer, prefer, confer, infer", the consonant "r" is doubled if the stress in the derivative word remains the same; "r" is not doubled if the stress is shifted to another syllable. Compare:

Stress on the same syllable: refer [ri'fə:r], referred [ri'fə:rd], referring [ri'fə:riŋ], referrer [ri'fə:rər], referral [ri'fə:rəl]; prefer [pri'fə:r], preferred, preferring; confer [kon'fə:r], conferred, conferring; infer [in'fə:r], inferred, inferring.

Shift of stress to another syllable: reference ['refərəns], referee [,refə'ri:], referendum [,refə'rendəm]; preference ['prefərəns], preferable ['prefərəbəl], preferential [,prefə'renshəl]; conference ['konfərəns]; inference ['infərəns].

The verb "transfer" and its derivatives: transfer [træns'fə:r] or ['trænsfər] (verb); transferred [træns'fə:rd], transferring [træns'fə:riŋ]; transferable [træns'fə:rəbəl]; transference [træns'fə:rəns] or ['trænsfərəns]. Noun: transfer ['trænsfər].

The final consonant is not doubled

If the vowel before the final single consonant is unstressed or represented by two vowel letters, the final consonant is not doubled before adding a suffix beginning with a vowel.

Examples: visit, visited, visiting, visitor; suffer, suffered, suffering, sufferer; open, opened, opening, opener; parallel, paralleled, paralleling, unparalleled; read, readable, reading, reader; train, trained, training, trainer, trainee.

The consonant remains single in such cases even if the stress in the derivative word is shifted to the syllable before the suffix, which often takes place before the suffixes "ity, ic, ical" (HUman, huMANity; SYMbol, symBOLic).

Examples: human, humanize, humanism, humanist, humanity; equal, equalize, equalizer, equality; civil, civilize, civility; real, realize, realist, reality; vain, vanity; symbol, symbolize, symbolic; angel, angelic; titan, titanic; puritan, puritanical.

But: tyrant, tyrannize, tyrannical, tyranny; crystal, crystallize, crystalline; metal, metallic.

Note: If there is a double consonant in the main word, it is kept in the derivatives: jolly, jollity; odd, oddity; necessity; idyll, idyllic, etc.

The final consonant that stands after another consonant is not doubled before adding a suffix beginning with a vowel: help, helper, helping; drift, drifted, drifting, drifter; long, longer, longest, longing, longish; burn, burner, burning; absurd, absurdity.

The final consonant is not doubled before adding a suffix beginning with a consonant: sinful, forgetful, spotless, equipment, madness, winsome, inward. Compare with a double consonant before a vowel: sinner, unforgettable, spotted, equipped, madden, winning, inner.

Single "l" and double "l"

There are some differences between British English and American English in doubling the final single "l" before suffixes beginning with a vowel. Usually, final "l" in American English is not doubled if it stands after an unstressed vowel sound or after a combination of vowels letters. (British spelling variants exist as secondary variants in American English.)

British English: travel, travelling, traveller; cancel, cancelled, cancelling; equal, equalled, equalling; dial, dialled, dialling, dialler; tranquil, tranquillize, tranquillizer, tranquillity; medallist; wool, woollen, woolly.

American English: travel, traveling, traveler; cancel, canceled, canceling; equal, equaled, equaling; dial, dialed, dialing, dialer; tranquil, tranquilize, tranquillize, tranquilizer, tranquillizer, tranquillity (also, tranquility); medalist; wool, woolen, woolly (also, wooly).

(See more examples in British and American Spelling in the section Writing.)

Several verbs have double "l" before the suffix "ate", and also in their derivatives: oscillate, oscillation, oscillator; scintillate, scintillating; titillate, titillating; vacillate, vacillation; flagellate, flagellation.

The majority of such verbs have single "l" before "ate", and there is single "l" in their derivatives: annihilate, annihilation; calculate, calculation, calculator; mutilate, mutilation; populate, population; relate, relative, relation; stimulate, stimulant, stimulation, stimulus; ventilate, ventilation, ventilator.

But: cancellation, constellation, fibrillation, distillation, installation.

Note double "l" before the suffixes in the following words: controller, medallion, rebellion, surveillance, miscellaneous. But: battalion.

Note: Double vowels

The vowel letters "ee" form a vowel combination representing the sound [i:] (feel, meet). The vowel letters "oo" form a vowel combination representing the sounds [u:] (choose, cool, food, moon) and [u] (book, foot, good, wool), and the sound [ʌ] in the words "blood, flood". (See Spelling Patterns for Vowels in the section Writing.)

Double vowel letters are read as separate vowels when they occur at the juncture between the prefix and the root: reentry [ri:'entri], cooperative, co-operative [kou'opərətiv]. Such words are usually written with a hyphen (re-enter, de-emphasize, co-operate, re-election, anti-imperialist), but some of them may be written as single words, without a hyphen (reentry, coordinate). (See Hyphen with Prefixes in the section Writing.)

The vowel "i" is before -ing in the words "skiing" ['ski:iŋ] and "taxiing" ['tæksiiŋ]. Other cases of "ii": Hawaii [hə'waii], Pompeii [pom'peii]; et alii (=et al.). The vowels "aa" and "uu" are in the words "aardvark, Aaron, bazaar, continuum, vacuum", and in some others. "Aa" is read as [a:]; "uu" is read as [yuə].

Двойные согласные

Типичные случаи двойных согласных в английских словах описаны в этом материале. Фразы "double consonants; a double consonant" в этом материале имеют в виду две одинаковые соседние согласные буквы, например, "ss, mm, nn" как в "pass, summer, running". Фонетическая транскрипция указана согласно американскому произношению.

Знаки транскрипции:

[θ] как в THIN; [ð] как в THIS; [sh] как в FISH; [ch] как в CHIP; [j] как в Jane; [ŋ] как в LONG; [y] как в YES;

[i:] как в SEE; [i] как в SIT; [a:] как в PARK; [æ] как в CAT; [o:] как в BALL; [o] как в HOT;

[yu:] как в USE; [u:] как в COOL; [u] как в BOOK; [ə:r] как в FUR; [ʌ] как в HUT; [ə] как в AWAY;

[ei] как в DAY; [ai] как в MY; [au] как в NOW; [ou] как в NO; [oi] как в BOY.

Главное ударение и второстепенное ударение показаны перед ударными слогами: hallmark ['ho:l,ma:rk]; referendum [,refə'rendəm].

Общая информация

Обычно, двойные согласные не встречаются в начале английских слов, но есть некоторые случаи начальных двойных согласных в словах иностранного происхождения и в личных именах (llama, llano, Lloyd, Llewellyn).

Согласные буквы "h, j, q, w, x" не удваиваются ни в каком положении в слове. Необычное удвоение этих согласных встречается в некоторых названиях и сокращениях (Exxon; www; qq.v.), и есть случаи написания, где "h" стоит после "ch, sh, th" (fishhook, withhold).

Двойная "k" и двойная "v" редки. Они встречаются в нескольких словах, а также в уменьшительных именах: yakka, yakky, trekker; savvy, skivvy, flivver, revving; Nikki, Vikki, Bevvie, Evvie, Livvy.

Сочетания согласных букв никогда не удваиваются (brother, fishing). Есть некоторые случаи двойной согласной перед другой согласной буквой, например, в словах типа "middle, settle, bubble".

Три одинаковые согласные буквы подряд в одном и том же слове не встречаются в английском языке, кроме случаев, когда они разделены дефисом в сложных словах (bell-like shape; stainless-steel instruments).

Двойная согласная может передавать один звук, например, "stiff" [stif], "lesson" ['lesən], "normally" ['no:rməli], или два звука, например, "misspell" [mis'spel], "meanness" ['mi:nnis], "roommate" ['ru:m,meit].

Причины удвоения

Есть две основные причины появления двойных согласных букв.

1. Конечная согласная буква первой части слова может быть такой же, как начальная согласная буква следующей части.

Это может иметь место при прибавлении префиксов, которые оканчиваются на согласную (dissatisfy, illogical, unnecessary), или суффиксов, которые начинаются с согласной (openness, really, soulless), или когда два слова соединяются, чтобы образовать сложное слово (newsstand, roommate).

2. Обычно, двойная согласная буква указывает, что предыдущая гласная буква передаёт краткий звук (matter, tunnel, tipping, sell). Обычно, одиночная гласная буква в ударном слоге передаёт долгий звук или дифтонг перед одиночной согласной буквой, за которой следует другая гласная буква (meter, tuner, typing, sale).

При прибавлении слога, начинающегося с гласной буквы, к одиночной согласной букве, которая стоит после краткого ударного гласного звука, представленного одиночной буквой, согласная буква удваивается, чтобы сохранить предыдущий гласный звук кратким. Например: kitten, manner, funny, biggest, reddish, swimmer, regrettable, spotted, stopping.

Есть много исключений – на самом деле, слишком много, чтобы называть их исключениями. Согласные могут быть одиночными или двойными в зависимости от таких факторов, как ударение в слове, положение в слове, количество слогов, значение слова, происхождение слова. (Сравните: mirror, miracle; mill, military, milliard, familiar.) Типичные примеры даны в материале ниже.

Префиксы "dis, mis, over, un, under"

Если префикс оканчивается на такую же согласную букву, с которой начинается корень, обе согласные сохраняются в слове. Например:

Префикс "dis": dissatisfy, dissent, dissertation, disservice, dissident, dissipate, dissimilar, dissociate, dissolve, dissonance. (Но: disallow, dismiss, distrust и т.д.)

Префикс "mis": misspeak, misspell, misspend, misstate, misstep. (Но: mislead, misplace, mistake, mistrust, misunderstand и т.д.) Примечание: misshape [mis'sheip].

Префикс "over": overrate, overreach, overreact, override, overripe, overrule, overrun. (Но: overdo, overeat, oversee, oversleep, overuse, overwhelm и т.д.)

Префикс "un": unnamed, unnatural, unnecessary, unnerve, unnoticed, unnumbered. (Но: undo, unimportant, unlikely, unreadable, unstable, untie и т.д.)

Префикс "under": underrate, underripe, underrun. (Но: underestimate, undergo, underline, understand, understatement, undertake, underwrite и т.д.)

Примечание: Слова "disperse, distance, distress, district" имеют префикс "di"; слова "descend, despair, destiny, destroy" имеют префикс "de". (См. "Difficult Prefixes" в разделе Writing.)

Латинские префиксы

Когда латинские префиксы прибавлялись к латинским словам, конечная согласная буква префикса изменялась (из-за ассимиляции) под влиянием начальной согласной буквы слова, в ряде случаев вызывая появление двойных согласных.

Например, префикс "in" превращался в "il, im, ir" перед "l, m, p, r": independent, illogical, immortal, impolite, irregular.

Варианты латинских префиксов можно видеть во многих английских словах латинского происхождения. (См. "Prefixes, with Meanings and Examples" в разделе Writing.)

Нет правил для двойных согласных в таких словах, и в большинстве случаев трудно понять, почему в них должны быть двойные согласные (то есть, если вы не знаете, что это бывшие ассимилированные латинские префиксы). Сравните: (1) defend, offend; emigrate, immigrate; recur, occur; (2) oculist, occupy; acoustic, account; imitate, immigrate.

Можно запомнить такие слова легче, если расположить их в группах по префиксу.

Примеры английских слов с латинскими префиксами

Префикс "in" и его варианты "il, im, ir": independence, innate, innocent, innumerable, insult, invest; illegal, illiteracy, illogical, illustration; immediately, immigration, immunity, impersonal, impolite; irrational, irregular, irrelevant, irresistible, irritate.

Префикс "com" и его варианты "co, col, con, cor": combine, command, commerce, compare; coincide, co-operate; collapse, colleague, collect, college, collide; confess, connect, connote, consult; correct, correspond, corrosion, corruption.

Префикс "dis" и его варианты "di, dif": disagree, display, dissatisfy, dissociate, disturb; digest, direct, distance, divide; differ, different, difficult, diffident, diffuse.

Префикс "ad" и его варианты "a, ac, af, ag, al, an, ap, ar, as, at": address, advise; ascend, aspire; accident, accommodate, accompany, account, accumulate, acquire; affair, affect, afford; aggravate, aggressive; allegedly, allocate; announce, annul; appreciate, approve; arrest, arrive; assemble, assist, associate; attend, attract.

Префикс "ob" и его варианты "oc, of, op": object, oblige; occasion, occult, occupy, occur; offend, offer, office, official; oppose, opposite, oppressive.

Префикс "ex" и его варианты "e, ec, ef": exaggerate, exclude, exist, export; edit, elect, emerge, emigrate; eccentric, eclectic; effect, effective, efficient.

Префикс "sub" и его варианты "su, suc, suf, sug, sup, sur, sus": subject, submit; suspect; succeed, success; suffer, suffice, sufficient, suffrage; suggest; supply, support, suppose; surrender, surrogate; susceptible, suspend, sustain.

Суффиксы "ness, ly, less"

Если суффикс начинается с той же согласной буквы, как согласная буква, к которой он прибавляется, обе согласные сохраняются в слове. Например:

Суффикс "ness": cleanness, drunkenness, evenness, greenness, keenness, meanness, openness, rottenness, sternness, stubbornness, suddenness, thinness.

Суффикс "ly" (в наречиях): awfully, beautifully, carefully, gratefully, equally, ideally, ironically, logically, morally, normally, really, periodically, totally, usually. Примечание: dully (dull+ly); fully (full+ly); wholly (whole+ly).

Суффикс "less": nailless, pupilless, railless, recoilless, soulless, tailless, shell-less, skill-less, wall-less.

Употребление "like" как суффикса: naillike, taillike, pencil-like, bell-like, shell-like, skull-like, wall-like.

Двойные согласные в сложных словах

Если конечная согласная буква первого слова и начальная согласная буква второго слова одинаковы, обе согласные сохраняются в сложном слове: bookkeeping, bookkeeper, roommate, barroom, earring, newsstand, midday, taillight. Исключение: Одна "t" в "eighteen" (eight+teen) (и в "eighth" [eitθ] eight+th).

Если первое слово оканчивается на двойную согласную букву, обе буквы сохраняются в сложном слове: bellboy, bullfight, hallmark, hallway, telltale, classmate, classroom, grasshopper, innkeeper. С дефисом или раздельно, если начальная согласная буква второго слова тоже такая же: ill-looking (прилагательное), still life (существительное).

Сложные прилагательные обычно пишутся с дефисом: custom-made, even-numbered, half-finished, half-full, still-life. Употребление дефиса в сложных словах кратко описано в статье "Stress in Compound Words" в разделе Phonetics, но всегда желательно проверять в современном словаре.

Примеры сложных слов, в которых "h" стоит после "ch, gh, sh, th": hitchhiker ['hich,haikər]; witch hunt (witch-hunt); high-handed (highhanded); fishhook; bathhouse ['bæθ,haus], ['ba:θ,haus].

Примеры сложных слов с двойными согласными и немыми согласными: dumbbell ['dʌmbel]; jackknife ['jæk,naif] (jack-knife, jack knife); knickknack ['nik,næk] (knick-knack, nicknack); penknife ['pen,naif].

Сложные слова с "all, well"

Слова "almost, already, always, also, although, altogether, almighty" имеют одну "l". Написание "alright", хотя и распространённое, считается нестандартным; изучающим язык рекомендуется писать "all right".

Сравните разницу в значении между "already" и "all ready" и между "altogether" и "all together": Они уже здесь. Они все готовы к работе. Я совсем забыл это. Мы спели песню все вместе.

Сложные прилагательные с "all" имеют двойную "l" (кроме "almighty"): an all-day tour; an all-inclusive price; an all-out effort; all-purpose flour; an all-round sportsman; my all-time favorite; all-year resorts.

Слова "welcome, welfare" имеют одну "l". Другие сложные слова с "well" (в основном, прилагательные; некоторые существительные) имеют двойную "l": well-done, well-known, well-lighted (BrE: well-lit), well-to-do; well-being (wellbeing), well-wisher.

Примечание: Есть сложные слова с "well" (колодец) в значениях, связанных с подземной водой: wellspring, wellhead, well water.

Двойные согласные в конце слов

Конечные "f, l, s, z" в односложных словах

Конечные согласные "f, l, s, z" в конце односложных слов всегда "ff, ll, ss, zz", если предыдущая гласная одиночная.

Примеры с "ff" и "ll": cliff, stiff, riff, buff, cuff, huff, puff, stuff, scoff; bill, fill, ill, kill, mill, pill, skill, still, will; bell, hell, sell, tell; all, ball, call, fall, hall, mall, small, tall, wall, doll; bull, full, pull; dull, hull, lull, null, skull.

Примеры с "ss" и "zz": kiss, miss; dress, guess, less, mess, press; class, glass, mass, pass; cross, loss, toss, fuss; buzz, fuzz, jazz, fizz.

Исключения: if, chef, nil, pal, gas, bus, plus, this, thus, us, yes, quiz. (Формы множественного числа слов "gas, bus, quiz": gases, buses (редко, busses), quizzes.)

Примечание: "ss" имеет звук [s]; "s" обычно одиночная, если у неё звук [z]: as, has, his, is, was. Но "ss" имеет звук [z] в "dessert, dissolve, possess, scissors".

Примечание: В целом, двойные согласные не стоят после долгих гласных звуков и дифтонгов в английских словах. Но долгий гласный звук в словах типа "all, call" [o:l], [ko:l] и дифтонг перед двойными согласными в следующих словах: poll [poul], roll, toll, troll, gross [grous].

Буквы "f" и "l" в конце односложных слов одиночные, если перед ними две гласные буквы или гласная + согласная.

Примеры: leaf, beef, reef, brief, chief; half, self, shelf, wolf, loaf; deal, meal, feel, reel, fool, tool, wool; haul, crawl, boil, bowl; curl, hurl, girl, pearl.

Конечные "f, l, s" в двусложных словах

Двойная "f": sheriff ['sherif], tariff, bailiff, mastiff, plaintiff. Но: belief, relief; mischief, handkerchief.

Двойная "l": distill [di'stil], fulfill, install, instill (BrE distil, fulfil, instil). Но многие слова имеют одиночную конечную "l" после краткого ударного гласного звука: hotel [hou'tel], motel, canal, excel, compel, expel, repel, rebel. "Control" имеет дифтонг перед "l": [kən'troul]. Одиночная конечная "l", если после двух гласных букв: conceal, reveal, prevail и т.д.

Двойная "s" (ударение на втором слоге): confess [kən'fes], discuss, dismiss, distress, excess, possess, recess, success, address, impress, express, progress, digress, regress, caress, assess [ə'ses].

Двойная "s" (ударение на первом слоге): access ['ækses], congress, process, progress, address, mattress, compass, canvass ['kænvəs], cutlass, harass. Три слога: embarrass [im'bærəs]. Но: atlas, canvas, bonus, campus, focus, minus и т.д.

Также, есть очень много слов с суффиксами "ess, ness, less": goddess, hostess, lioness; business, politeness, witness; careless, helpless, meaningless. (См. "List of Nouns with Suffixes" и "List of Derivative Adjectives" в разделе Writing.)

Слова, оканчивающиеся двойной согласной, обычно сохраняют её в производных словах: ill, illness; class, classic, classify; success, successful. Исключения: fulfil, skilful, wilful, instalment. (AmE обычно: fulfill, skillful, willful, installment.)

Конечные "p, b, t, d, g, m, n, r"

Конечные согласные "p, b, t, d, g, m, n, r", стоящие после одиночной гласной, всегда одиночные в конце односложных слов.

Примеры: cap, map, lip, rip, tip, top; cab, rib, rob, rub, web; hat, rat, let, set, hit, hut; bad, bud, mud, lid, rid, rod; dig, pig, leg, dog, rag, hug; ham, rim, trim, hum, sum; man, pen, pin, tin, fan, son, sun; bar, car, star, stir, fir, fur, blur.

Исключения: ebb, butt, add, odd, egg, inn, err, purr.

Если суффикс, начинающийся с гласной, прибавляется к конечной согласной таких слов, согласная удваивается: capped, robber, hitting, buddy, digger, summary, sunny, furry и т.д. (См. "Double consonants before suffixes beginning with a vowel" ниже.)

Двойные согласные в корне

Двойные согласные в корне двусложных слов обычно встречаются между двумя гласными буквами, где первая гласная одиночная, стоит в ударном слоге и передаёт краткий звук.

Примеры: kitten, litter, pretty, pillow; berry, merry, message, lesson, letter, fellow; carry, cabbage, manner, matter, happen, rabbit, parrot, channel, gallon, valley; butter, summer, sudden, tunnel, muffin; hurry, worry; bottom, gossip, common, dollar, trolley.

Но множество слов имеют одиночную согласную в похожих положениях: finish, limit, timid, city, pity; metal, merit, very, bury; manage, balance, cabin, rapid, habit; color, honey, money, punish; model, modest, proper, profit и т.д.

Согласная, которая оканчивает первый (ударный) слог, одиночная, если перед ней две гласные буквы (reason, ready, courage, powder, beauty), или если предыдущая гласная буква передаёт звук дифтонга (basin, paper, open, molar, motor, idol, item) или долгий звук (meter, liter, cedar).

Двойная "r" встречается после кратких и долгих гласных звуков: sorry, lorry, porridge; arrow, narrow, borrow, sorrow; horror, mirror, terror; barrel, quarrel, squirrel, current, torrent, torrid; warrant, warranty. Но: orange, moral, coral, chorus, boring, glory, story, quarantine, guarantee, guaranty.

Примечание: В словах иностранного происхождения, двойные согласные встречаются в различных положениях в слове, включая положения после долгих гласных или дифтонгов. Например: balloon, collage, bizarre, giraffe, chauffeur, connoisseur, spaghetti, graffiti, pizza.

Слова типа "middle, table"

Слова типа "middle, table, apple" имеют два слога; то есть, сочетания типа "ble, ple, dle, tle" образуют неударный слог: ['teibəl], ['æpəl]. Нейтральный звук очень короткий в таких словах и часто выпадает: ['midəl], ['midl].

Двойная согласная в таких сочетаниях, например, "dd" в "ddle" в "middle", указывает, что предыдущий гласный звук краткий: little ['litəl], riddle, middle, riffle ['rifəl], drizzle, sizzle, nibble, pebble ['pebəl], meddle, kettle, settle, bottle, goggles, apple, cattle, rattle, bubble, struggle, puzzle ['pʌzəl], muzzle.

Одиночная согласная в таких сочетаниях, хотя и перед другой согласной, например, "b" в "ble" в "table", указывает, что предыдущий гласный звук долгий или дифтонг: bugle ['byu:gəl], people ['pi:pəl], eagle, beetle, table, stable, ladle ['leidəl], maple, noble, Bible, idle, rifle ['raifəl], title. Но: triple ['tripəl], treble ['trebəl].

Если есть ещё одна согласная перед сочетаниями типа "ble, ple, dle, tle", ни одна из согласных не удваивается: marble ['ma:rbəl], temple, purple, humble, tumble, nimble, bundle, handle, kindle, spindle, gentle, circle, uncle, angle, tangle, mantle.

В трёхсложных словах этого типа, обычно с сочетанием "cle", согласная "c" не удваивается: parable, miracle, oracle, obstacle, bicycle, cubicle, icicle, particle, vehicle. (Можете объяснить, с помощью правил, описанных в этой статье, почему "c" не удваивается в таких словах?)

Примечание: Не путайте "ble" в таких словах с суффиксами "able, ible", в которых "b" никогда не удваивается. Сравните: babble – probable; rabble – curable; dribble – horrible, terrible; nibble – discernible.

Двойные согласные перед суффиксами, начинающимися с гласной

Правило: Конечная согласная удваивается перед прибавлением суффикса, начинающегося с гласной (able, age, en, er, ish и др.), и перед прибавлением "ed" или "ing", если: (1) согласная одиночная, (2) согласная оканчивает ударный слог, и (3) перед согласной одиночная гласная, передающая краткий звук.

Примеры: fun, funny; red, reddish, redder, redden; beg, begged, begging, beggar; bag, baggage; plan, planned, planning, planner; rob, robbed, robbing, robber, robbery; slip, slipped, slipping, slippery; stop, stopped, stopping, stopper, stoppage, unstoppable; stir, stirred, stirring.

Примеры: begin, beginning, beginner; forbid, forbidden, forbidding; admit, admitted, admitting, admittance; commit, committed, committee, committal; regret, regretted, regretting, regrettable; occur, occurred, occurring, occurrence; recur, recurrence, recurrent; deter, deterrent.

Конечная согласная удваивается в таких случаях, чтобы сохранить предыдущий гласный звук кратким. Сравните:

hop+ing = hopping ['hopiŋ]. Если мы не удвоим "p" перед прибавлением "ing" к "hop", мы получим "hoping" ['houpiŋ] (hope+ing), то есть другое слово с другим значением, которое не имеет отношения к "hop".

(Посмотрите ещё примеры в статьях "Adding the Endings ed, ing to Verbs" и "Adding Suffixes" в разделе Writing.)

Обратите внимание на двойные "m, n" перед суффиксами в следующих словах: inflammable, inflammation; programmer, programming (AmE также: programing); millennium, personnel, questionnaire. Но: inflamed, personal, millionaire.

Конечная "r"

При прибавлении суффиксов, начинающихся с гласной, к глаголам "refer, prefer, confer, infer", согласная "r" удваивается, если ударение в производном слове остаётся таким же; "r" не удваивается, если ударение смещается на другой слог. Сравните:

Ударение на том же слоге: refer [ri'fə:r], referred [ri'fə:rd], referring [ri'fə:riŋ], referrer [ri'fə:rər], referral [ri'fə:rəl]; prefer [pri'fə:r], preferred, preferring; confer [kon'fə:r], conferred, conferring; infer [in'fə:r], inferred, inferring.

Смещение ударения на другой слог: reference ['refərəns], referee [,refə'ri:], referendum [,refə'rendəm]; preference ['prefərəns], preferable ['prefərəbəl], preferential [,prefə'renshəl]; conference ['konfərəns]; inference ['infərəns].

Глагол "transfer" и его производные: transfer [træns'fə:r] или ['trænsfər] (глагол); transferred [træns'fə:rd], transferring [træns'fə:riŋ]; transferable [træns'fə:rəbəl]; transference [træns'fə:rəns] или ['trænsfərəns]. Существительное: transfer ['trænsfər].

Конечная согласная не удваивается

Если гласный звук перед конечной одиночной согласной неударный или представлен двумя гласными буквами, конечная согласная не удваивается перед прибавлением суффикса, начинающегося с гласной.

Примеры: visit, visited, visiting, visitor; suffer, suffered, suffering, sufferer; open, opened, opening, opener; parallel, paralleled, paralleling, unparalleled; read, readable, reading, reader; train, trained, training, trainer, trainee.

Согласная остаётся одиночной в таких случаях, даже если ударение в производном слове смещается на слог перед суффиксом, что часто происходит перед суффиксами "ity, ic, ical" (HUman, huMANity; SYMbol, symBOLic).

Примеры: human, humanize, humanism, humanist, humanity; equal, equalize, equality; civil, civilize, civility; real, realize, realist, reality; vain, vanity; symbol, symbolize, symbolic; angel, angelic; titan, titanic; puritan, puritanical.

Но: tyrant, tyrannize, tyrannical, tyranny; crystal, crystallize, crystalline; metal, metallic.

Примечание: Если в основном слове есть двойная согласная, она сохраняется в производных словах: jolly, jollity; odd, oddity; necessity; idyll, idyllic и т.д.

Конечная согласная, которая стоит после другой согласной, не удваивается перед прибавлением суффикса, начинающегося с гласной: help, helper, helping; drift, drifted, drifting, drifter; long, longer, longest, longing, longish; burn, burner, burning; absurd, absurdity.

Конечная согласная не удваивается перед прибавлением суффикса, начинающегося с согласной: sinful, forgetful, spotless, equipment, madness, winsome, inward. Сравните с двойной согласной перед гласной: sinner, unforgettable, spotted, equipped, madden, winning, inner.

Одиночная "l" и двойная "l"

Есть некоторые различия между британским английским и американским английским в удвоении конечной одиночной "l" перед суффиксами, начинающимися с гласной. Обычно, конечная "l" в американском английском не удваивается, если она стоит после неударного гласного звука или после буквосочетания гласных. (Британские варианты написания существуют как не основные варианты в американском английском.)

Британский английский: travel, travelling, traveller; cancel, cancelled, cancelling; equal, equalled, equalling; dial, dialled, dialling, dialler; tranquil, tranquillize, tranquillizer, tranquillity; medallist; wool, woollen, woolly.

Американский английский: travel, traveling, traveler; cancel, canceled, canceling; equal, equaled, equaling; dial, dialed, dialing, dialer; tranquil, tranquilize, tranquillize, tranquilizer, tranquillizer, tranquillity (также, tranquility); medalist; wool, woolen, woolly (also, wooly).

(Посмотрите ещё примеры в материале "British and American Spelling" в разделе Writing.)

Несколько глаголов имеют двойную "l" перед суффиксом "ate", а также в своих производных: oscillate, oscillation, oscillator; scintillate, scintillating; titillate, titillating; vacillate, vacillation; flagellate, flagellation.

Большинство таких глаголов имеют одиночную "l" перед "ate", и в их производных также одиночная "l": annihilate, annihilation; calculate, calculation, calculator; mutilate, mutilation; populate, population; relate, relative, relation; stimulate, stimulant, stimulation, stimulus; ventilate, ventilation, ventilator.

Но: cancellation, constellation, fibrillation, distillation, installation.

Обратите внимание на двойную "l" перед суффиксами в следующих словах: controller, medallion, rebellion, surveillance, miscellaneous. Но: battalion.

Примечание: Двойные гласные

Гласные буквы "ee" образуют сочетание гласных, передающее звук [i:] (feel, meet). Гласные буквы "oo" образуют сочетание гласных, передающее звуки [u:] (choose, cool, food, moon) и [u] (book, foot, good, wool), а также звук [ʌ] в словах "blood, flood". (См. "Spelling Patterns for Vowels" в разделе Writing.)

Двойные гласные буквы читаются как отдельные буквы, когда они находятся на стыке между префиксом и корнем: reentry [ri:'entri], cooperative, co-operative [kou'opərətiv]. Такие слова обычно пишутся с дефисом (re-enter, de-emphasize, co-operate, re-election, anti-imperialist), но некоторые из них могут писаться как одно слово, без дефиса (reentry, coordinate). (См. "Hyphen with Prefixes" в разделе Writing.)

Гласная "i" стоит перед -ing в словах "skiing" ['ski:iŋ] и "taxiing" ['tæksiiŋ]. Другие случаи "ii": Hawaii [hə'waii], Pompeii [pom'peii]; et alii (=et al.). Гласные "aa" и "uu" есть в словах "aardvark, Aaron, bazaar, continuum, vacuum" и в некоторых других. "Aa" читается как [a:]; "uu" читается как [yuə].

Double consonants in English words. Rules, exceptions, typical cases, and many examples.

Двойные согласные в английских словах. Правила, исключения, типичные случаи и много примеров.