Benefiting vs. Benefitting: Which is Correct?

Which is the correct form to use, benefiting vs. benefitting? Read our explainer to make sure you are using the word correctly.

Say you’ve been planning a nice trip outside, and the sun just came out. Are you benefiting or benefitting from the weather? Or maybe you’re writing about the economic ties between the United States and Europe. Are the two commercial giants mutually benefiting or benefitting from trade?

When it comes to benefiting vs. benefitting, both are correct. It all depends on who your target audience is, as the difference relates to the native dialects of English.

According to Oxford International English Schools, “English keeps the spelling of words it has absorbed from other languages, mainly French and German. Whilst American English spellings are based mostly on how the word sounds when it is spoken.

It is claimed that George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, often illustrated the absurdities of English spelling by demonstrating that fish could be spelled as ghoti. For example, by taking the gh from rough, the o from women, and the ti from palatial.

As Kurt Vonnegut so eloquently wrote, “All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful.”

Once you have mastered the difference between benefiting and benefitting, check out our guide to 30 surprising spelling rules every writer must know. And if you want to know more about Kurt Vonnegut, read our roundup of the best Kurt Vonnegut books.

Benefiting vs. Benefitting: What’s the Difference?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, both forms of the word are correct. Both benefiting and benefitting have the same meaning. They are simply different ways of spelling the same word. 

Benefiting, with a single ‘t,’ is primarily used in the United States.


  • We have been benefiting from great weather this month.
  • The bank is benefiting from a boom in the housing market. 
  • European farmers are benefiting from the extensive support provided by the state.

Benefitting, with a double ‘t,’ is preferred in standard English. The same spelling is preferred in Canadian English and generally outside the United States.


  • He’s benefitting from the results of all his hard work.
  • They are benefitting from their latest investment.
  • The show is benefitting from a wave of popularity due to the protagonist.

The difference in spelling extends to the past tense, benefited and benefitted. The former is used in America, while the latter is preferred in standard English.

Origin of the Word

Origin of the word benefiting
The word benefet was already used in English to mean a good or noble deed, or a friendly action

The word benefit comes from the Latin benefactum, meaning a good deed. 

In the late 14th century, the word benefet was already used in English to mean a good or noble deed, or a friendly action, according to Etymonline. The word comes from the Anglo-French benfet, which in turn came from the Old French word bienfait, which evolved from Latin.

Meaning of the Word

The definition of benefit implies the giving or receiving of help or a type of gain. The term is used in connection to, for example, health, finances, education, or politics. 

Hospitals may benefit from a donation allowing for new treatments. Financial investment can be of benefit to some, and students may benefit from foregoing distractions. 

Often used in connection to the self, the concept of benefit also has a social component. Whole communities can end up benefiting from the actions of an individual do-gooder, and donations surely benefit those in need. 

The General Rule

Depending on whether we are using standard English or American English, words that end in a consonant are spelled differently when a suffix such as -ed or -ing is added.

In the standard English variant of spelling, words that end in a consonant generally double that consonant when adding a suffix. The consonant is doubled, particularly if the word ends in a vowel followed by a consonant, regardless of where the stress falls.

As such, when travel becomes travelling or travelled in standard English, it doubles the ‘l’.

In the US, words that end in a consonant do not double that consonant when adding a suffix. However, words that end in a consonant DO double that consonant if the final syllable is stressed and if the word ends in a single vowel followed by a single consonant. 

For example, when benefit becomes benefiting or benefited, the ‘t’ is not doubled since the stress is not on the last syllable but on the first (BEN-uh-fit-ing).

However, when occur (o-CUR) becomes occurring or occurred, the stress is on the last syllable. Moreover, the word ends in a single vowel followed by a consonant, so it doubles the ‘r’.

Suffixes Matter

Keep in mind that the rule of doubling consonants applies when adding a vowel suffix like -ed or -ing. A vowel suffix is simply a suffix that begins with a vowel.

Conversely, if the suffix is either -ly or -ment, the final consonant is generally not doubled in either form of English. 

The suffix -ly is a derivational suffix that can be added to an adjective to form an adverb. 


  • The adjective slow becomes the adverb slowly.

However, the consonant is not doubled. Slow never becomes slowwly.

The suffix -ment is a noun suffix, and when added to a word, usually a verb, it becomes a noun. 

  • The verb amend becomes the noun amendment.

The Present Participle of Benefiting and Benefitting

Benefiting or benefitting is the present participle of the verb benefit, meaning to give an advantage to something or someone.

British English 

  • The corporation is benefitting from legal loopholes.
  • Renewable energy is benefitting the health of the planet.
  • Employees are benefitting from paid healthcare and can be more at ease.

American English 

  • I was benefiting from my aunt’s care.
  • The school has been benefiting from being near a park so children can often play there.
  • Houses in this neighborhood have been benefiting from the lack of traffic.

Benefit as a Noun

The word benefit can also be a noun, meaning profit.


  • He has been playing the market to great benefit.
  • Being a student comes with a certain benefit in terms of discounts.
  • The benefit of a good night’s sleep can be felt throughout the day.

For further reading, check out our list of common English spelling mistakes.

What are Common Synonyms for Benefiting?

Synonyms for Benefiting
One synonym for benefiting is Profit

Some synonyms of the verb benefit are:

  • Profit 
  • Gain 
  • Make the most of 
  • Reap 
  • Put to good use 

As a noun, the word benefit is synonymous with:

  • Good
  • Sake
  • Interest
  • Well-being
  • Satisfaction

What is the Opposite of Benefiting?

The opposites, or antonyms, of benefiting include:

  • Harming
  • Damaging
  • Impairing
  • Disadvantaging
  • Hurting

New learners should never be afraid of opening a thesaurus or checking online to find more synonyms and antonyms. This is a great way to expand your vocabulary and keep learning. To illustrate the point, check out our list of 130 synonyms for the word important.


  • Radu has been writing for a decade as a copywriter, journalist, and academic writer. He was nominated for the European Press Prize in 2019 and authored a book on campaign finance and corporate personhood in the United States. Books are Radu’s passion, particularly science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and nonfiction. Check out his YouTube channel.