-ing

-ing1
a suffix of nouns formed from verbs, expressing the action of the verb or its result, product, material, etc. (the art of building; a new building; cotton wadding). It is also used to form nouns from words other than verbs (offing; shirting). Verbal nouns ending in -ing are often used attributively (the printing trade) and in forming compounds (drinking song). In some compounds (sewing machine), the first element might reasonably by regarded as the participial adjective, -ing2, the compound thus meaning "a machine that sews," but it is commonly taken as a verbal noun, the compound being explained as "a machine for sewing." Cf. -ing2.
[ME; OE -ing, -ung]
-ing2
a suffix forming the present participle of verbs (walking; thinking), such participles being often used as participial adjectives: warring factions. Cf. -ing1.
[ME -ing, -inge; the var. -in (usu. represented in sp. as -in') continues ME -inde, -ende, OE -ende]
Pronunciation. The common suffix -ING2 can be pronounced in modern English as either /-ing/ or /-in/, with either the velar nasal consonant /ng/, symbolized in IPA as [n], or the alveolar nasal consonant /n/, symbolized in IPA as [n]. The /-in/ pronunciation therefore reflects the use of one nasal as against another and not, as is popularly supposed, "dropping the g," since no actual g-sound is involved.
Many speakers use both pronunciations, depending on the speed of utterance and the relative formality of the occasion, with /-ing/ considered the more formal variant. For some educated speakers, especially in the southern United States and Britain, /-in/ is in fact the more common pronunciation, while for other educated speakers, /-ing/ is common in virtually all circumstances. In response to correction from perceived authorities, many American speakers who would ordinarily use /-in/ at least some of the time make a conscious effort to say /-ing/, even in informal circumstances.
-ing3
a native English suffix meaning "one belonging to," "of the kind of," "one descended from," and sometimes having a diminutive force, formerly used in the formation of nouns: farthing; shilling; bunting; gelding; whiting. Cf. -ling1.
[ME, OE -ing, c. ON -ingr, -ungr, Goth -ings]

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Universalium. 2010.

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