preferred, prefered...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by mapiq, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. mapiq New Member

    French, Italian
    Hi there!

    'preferred' and 'prefered' ...
    Are they both correct?

    According to the rule found here:
    post 10813
    In American English, in a multisyllabic word with a final consonant directly preceded by a single vowel, that consonant does not get doubled if the stress does not fall on the last syllable.
    'prefered' should not be used since the stress does fall on the last syllable, even in American English...

    However, I find it is used, although less common...

    So... what do you prefer?

    The same question may apply to:
  2. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    U.K. English
    I've never seen refered, prefered or prefering and would consider them errors.

    I would also consider traveling an error if I weren't aware of the American spelling (or speling:))
  3. mapiq New Member

    French, Italian


    Web Results 1 - 10 of about 6,390,000 for "prefered". (0.12 seconds)
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    We have the same rule in BrE, mapiq - it's just that we throw in an extra sub-rule about doubling final "l" whether the stress falls on the final syllable or not.

    So preferred, referred, preferring, referring.

    That said, dropping the second "r" is a very easy typing error to make. I say that as an expert typo-maker:)
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hello mapiq, and welcome to WordReference.

    I see your Google count.
    If you look for preferred, you will see that it is almost 30 times more common.

    When you use Google, you should keep in mind that data entry error rates are on average something like 2%. Often these are corrected, but not always.
    That is a "raw" figure, not allowing for those who actually believe they are correct even though they are wrong.

    So among the 3% or so instances of prefered you have those who made a mistake and those who genuinely believed they were right.

    Have a look at examples of preferred and prefered and decide for yourself which seem to be the most appropriate to choose as exemplars.

    Alternatively, search in the corpora you will find linked in:
    < READ ME FIRST - Rules. FAQs. Links to external grammar, pronunciation and other resources. >
    ☛☛ Some very useful external links.
    This is a short list of links that have been referred to very often in this forum.
    Click HERE
  6. sola4lang New Member

    I wrote in on Microsoft office word and
    it indicates an error when I write 'prefered'
    It doesn't do anything to 'preferred'
    So I guess 'preferred' is right
  7. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Welcome to the forum, sola4lang.

    Yes, we all agree on this, including Microsoft.
  8. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Preferred and preferring are correct because the second syllable is stressed there.

    Same for conferred, transferred, referred, deferred, inferred.

    But: differed or tutored (stress on the first syllable).
  9. dano86 New Member

    preferred . thanks
  10. goodshot New Member

    I prefer "preferred"
  11. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    Do you really stress the second syllable of transfer?
  12. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes for the verb.
  13. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    Wow - just checked the WRF dictionary, and it agrees with you. I've always pronounced both noun and verb with the stress on the first syllable, and I'm sure I would have noticed if I heard someone pronouncing it otherwise.
  14. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I have never seen 'prefered' in print, only on the computer screen. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  15. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    And interestingly transferred is spelt with double <r> in AmE too - which suggests the stress must have been on the second syllable too. (Otherwise the doubling wouldn't occur - like mastered with no doubling.)

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