Language tip of the week: commit

Posted by on May 17, 2012

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English (e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc) which learners often find difficult.

This week’s language tip is about how to spell the inflections of verbs like commit.

Don’t write the -ed and -ing forms of commit with only one ‘t’. The correct spellings are committed and committing:
✗ His wife went mad and commited suicide.
✓ His wife went mad and committed suicide.
✗ Take a little time to think before commiting yourself.
✓ Take a little time to think before committing yourself.

The reason why the t is doubled in the -ed and -ing forms is that the stress falls on the final syllable of the verb in its infinitive form: commit.

The same rule applies to other verbs ending in ‘t’ where the stress falls on the final syllable: permit; admit; submit.

When the stress does not fall on the final syllable, the -ed and -ing forms are spelled with one ‘t’: limit; edit; prohibit.

Don’t spell commit with only one ‘m’:
✗ A crime is comitted because the perpetrators want to attract attention.
✓ A crime is committed because the perpetrators want to attract attention.

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Comments (1)
  • I find this useful for my adult students to develop their speakng and writing abilities both sooner and in a much more practical way.

    Posted by Patricia on 23rd May, 2013
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