1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

"benefitted" or "benefited"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Er.S.M.M.Hanifa, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Er.S.M.M.Hanifa Senior Member

    Tamil
    Hi,
    Is it American to write "benefitted" or "benefited"?
    Please comment,
    Thanks.
    Er.S.M.M.Hanifa
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    That would be benefited for me, but I see that M-W lists benefitting, as well... without elaboration.
     
  3. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    I think that American spelling standards differ from the rest of the world only in verbs ending in an unstressed syllable ending in l or p:
    American leveled v others levelled
    American worshiped v others worshipped.

    Otherwise the rules for adding -ed to a verb are the same everywhere.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  4. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Mama once horsewhipped me for making generalizations like that. :D

    I see that M-W lists worshipped first and worshiped (which looks terrible weird to me) second.
     
  5. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    I believe doubling T and S is a minority usage everywhere: some people write benefitted, rivetting, biassed, focussing, but it's not an AE/BE difference as it is with L and P.
     
  6. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I suppose the geminated <t> is to do with the possible secondary stress on -fit. That would also explain the AE preference for formatted, worshipped and kidnapped (worshiped and kidnaped as minority options; I don't think I've ever seen formated).
     
  7. True_Liberal New Member

    Cincinnati
    English (American)
    "Programmed" seems much more common than "programed".
     
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Moderation note.
    Please remember the topic of the thread.
    At least, ensure that your posts address the question asked in post #1.
    Those that do not will be deleted.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A look at the corpora:
    BNC
    benefited - 764
    benefitted - 60
    COHA
    benefited - 1721
    benefitted - 140

    I'm a bit surprised by that - I'm sure I would write benefitted.

    BNC - British National Corpus
    COCA - Corpus of Contemporary American English
    COHA - Corpus of Historical American English
     
  10. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I would write benefited, on the grounds that the stressed syllable is "ben" not "fit".
    That said, Er.S.M.M.Hanifa's question seems to me to have two possible meanings:
    (1) Is it correct in AmE (and also possibly in BrE) to write "benefitted"?
    (2) Is it correct in AmE only (and not in BrE) to write "benefitted"?

    I suspect that the "correct" spelling in both AmE and BrE (recognising I'm disagreeing with Panj here:eek:) is "benefited".
     
  11. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    You are also disagreeing with some dictionaries (as Copyright pointed out), so we have to accept that both spellings are correct…

    I think natkretep's point about secondary stress is valid, although it's hard to verify. There just aren't that many verbs ending in ‹-it› that have the same stress pattern as benefit (and that don't belong to another derivational family). For example, retrofit and manumit have the right stress pattern, and they double their ‹t›, but that's because retrofit is based on fit, and manumit is part of the -mit family.

    I think if gigabit, kilobit, and megabit were verbs, I think I would be tempted to write gigabitted. But I would write preterited and hematocrited with one ‹t›. (In fact, I think the last one may actually exist as a verb.)
     
  12. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Errmmm ... I wasn't suggesting that benefitted was righter than benefited, only that I must add this to the rather long list of words whose spelling troubles me :)

    ... Although when I looked for examples, it seems that I don't use either.
     
  13. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Sorry, Captain, I'm not sure I understand you: do you vote for "benefitted" or "benefited"?
     
  14. Uriel- Senior Member

    New Mexico, US
    American English
    I vote for "benefitted", usually use "travelled" and would never write "worshiped".

    These are words that exhibit more variation than say, the stricter AmE/BrE spelling distinctions of color/colour or center/centre. You don't have to sweat them as much, because even Americans will be of differing opinions on them.
     
  15. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    With at least 10:1 in favour of benefited in both corpora, and benefited being the only version in the OED, I think that's the version I would recommend to Er. Hanifa
     
  16. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    'Retrofit' and 'horsewhip' are very good example words. They absolutely must double their consonant: retrofitted, horsewhipped. That's because they're transparently extensions of words where the stressed syllable ends in the consonant: fit, whip. But with other words, it is unclear how much of the etymology is still present, or how much stress a secondary-stressed syllable gets. 'Benefit' doesn't come from 'fit', and for me the syllable 'fit' doesn't even have secondary stress. No-one [hardly no-one] doubles the P in 'galloped' or 'filliped', where the P-syllable can't be given any kind of secondary stress, but in 'worship(p)ed' there is a feeling that 'ship' is a strong syllable in its own right, so it might allow consonant-doubling.
     

Share This Page