Which spelling is correct: “benefiting” or “benefitting”?

Some words can be spelled in such subtly different ways that it can be hard to remember which way is correct and which is not. One example of this might be the word “benefit” – is it “benefiting” or “benefitting”? The different is a subtle “t”, but, if spelled incorrectly, it could lead to embarrassing and unprofessional mistakes.

What might first be noted while typing “benefiting” and “benefitting” into a word processor is that neither spelling of the word triggers a Spell Check correction. Why might that be? Well, quite frankly, it’s because neither spelling is actually grammatically incorrect. So whether you choose to add a second “t” to “benefit” when creating a gerund, or if you choose to leave it as it is, neither are deemed incorrect in the grammatical world.

Some words that can be correct with more than one spelling are found to be more popular in American English than British English, or vice versa, depending. An example of this might be “aluminum” versus “aluminium”, “color” instead of “colour”, or “center” to spell “centre”. In the case of “benefiting” versus “benefitting”, however, the results are skewed enough to realize the preference is likely more of a personal one than anything. Different people might argue that the spelling relies on where the emphasis is put in the word, but that explanation seems unlikely. Whichever way one chooses to spell the gerund of “benefit”, the important part is to remain consistent – and to remember both are actually acceptable.

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