‘Programming' or 'Programing': Which is Correct?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on May 17, 2023

Whether 'programming' or 'programing' is correct confuses many people. There is a good reason, too.

So, if you want to learn the right choice, this guide will teach you which to use and why, with definitions, usage tips, and sample sentences.

Are you in a rush?

If you need a quick answer, here it is:

  • 'Programming' is the correct spelling. 
  • 'Programing' is a less common spelling but is preferred in some situations. 

Now that you have the short answer stick around so I can explain why and when either is correct.

Which is Correct, 'Programming' or 'Programing?'

These two terms are both technically correct. However, 'programming' is the more common and accepted spelling.

Nevertheless, you can use either, and if you are reading older content, you will likely see the second spelling.

What is the Difference Between 'Programming' and 'Programing?'

Many words vary slightly depending on whether you use British or American English. However, 'programming' is correct in both.

In U.K. AP-Style, the word 'programing' is acceptable only rarely when referring to a specific software 'programing' language.

Why is 'Programming' Preferred?

When you are creating a present participle out of a verb, you typically add -ing to the root word, for example:

  • Row –> Rowing
  • Listen –> Listening
  • Hear –> Hearing

However, when the word ends in a vowel followed by a consonant, you double the last letter and add -ing, for example:

  • Spin –> Spinning
  • Ram –> Ramming
  • Top –> Topping
  • Hop –> Hopping
  • Spot –> Spotting

The rule doesn't always apply, though.

For example, in words that end in a consonant proceeded by two o's, you do not double the last letter before adding -ing,:

  • Loot –> Looting
  • Droop –> Drooping
  • Pool –> Pooling

If the word ends in a vowel, you do the vowel and add -ing, for example:

  • Flame –> Flaming
  • Flare –> Flaring
  • Blare –> Blaring

So, if you use the U.S. spelling of 'program,' you double the last consonant because the word ends in am. Then, you add -ing, giving you 'programming.'

If you were to use the U.K. version, programme, you drop the vowel at the end, e, and add -ing, which again makes the word 'programming.'

How to Use 'Programming' or 'Programing'

You know both terms are acceptable, but there are times when you should use one rather than the other.

So, how do you know when to use each?

When Can You Use 'Programming' or 'Programing'

Use 'programming' or 'programing' when using U.S. AP-style, for example:

  • 'Programming' a groundbreaking application is an amazing experience, especially if it solves a significant problem or need.


  • I can't wait to finish 'programing' this app. I have been working on it for over a year, and when I think I am almost finished, I find more code I need to write.

Stick to 'Programming'

Use 'programming' when using British English spellings, including lite, harbour, favourite, programme, manour, colour, and litre.

For example, you might read a statement like:

  • All our favourite shows are on late-nite 'programming.'

If you are addressing a professional audience, you should use 'programming' because it is likely the spelling your reader uses.

For example:

  • Please be advised that we ran into some 'programming' delays.

When is 'Programing' Correct?

If you choose to use 'programing,' ensure consistency throughout the text.

For example:

  • Welcome to the first semester of coding and 'programing.'You will learn a lot whether you are a beginner or an intermediate coder. By the end of the course, you should feel confident in your 'programing' abilities and have the skills necessary to market yourself to top-tier employers.

Now read this example:

  • We are 'programing' a proprietary application to help convert our traditional business systems into streamlined digital tasks. We started on the 'programming' project two years ago, but it keeps getting pushed to the back burner.

As you can see, using both spellings looks unprofessional and gives the reader the feeling that you were rushed or unconcerned with accuracy.

Definition of 'Programming'

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'programming' means:

  • A notice

It can also mean:

  • Steps necessary to complete a goal
  • An overview of acts in a play or show
  • A sequence of software instructions
  • A DNA or genome sequence
  • Step-by-step problem-solving instructions
  • To create a program
  • To code software
  • To set up a program
  • To be digitally influenced

Definition of 'Programing': What Does It Mean?

As I mentioned, 'programming' and 'programing' are two spellings of the same word. While some people dispute the accuracy of the latter spelling, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists both spellings under the definition of the former.

Synonyms of 'Programming' or 'Programing'

  • Planning
  • Scheming
  • Scheduling
  • Syllabus
  • Overview
  • Blueprint
  • Setting up
  • Outlining
  • Negotiating
  • Organizing
  • Implementing
  • Designing
  • Framing
  • Building
  • Constructing
  • Writing
  • Creating
  • Scripting
  • Drafting
  • Drawing
  • Inputting
  • Entering

Related Words and Phrases

  • Programming manual
  • Programming language
  • Programmer
  • Degree program
  • Management program
  • Incentive program
  • Recognition program
  • Programming class
  • Application programming
  • Software programming
  • Computer programming
  • AI programming

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Programming' or 'Programing'

Knowing how to pronounce words is just as important as learning how to use them grammatically, so:

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'programming' or 'programing.'


Sample Sentences Using 'Programming' or 'Programing'

We are almost done, but before you go, take a look at these sample sentences to ensure you know how to use both terms correctly.


  • As a full-stack developer, you have to know several programming languages.
  • I suggest programming your alarm clock before you go to bed tonight. Otherwise, you might not wake up.
  • Are you programming the Bluetooth nite lite?
  • We are going to our favorite pub. Programming the application to record the location, date, time, IP address, and unique identification number for each task took us 13 hours, but we did it! So, needless to say, we want to celebrate our accomplishments.
  • We plan to finish programming in January.


  • Moving forward, please ensure you notify the entire team of bugs in the programing language and planned system outages to correct them.
  • When you are programing, one wrong line of code can affect the rest of the application.
  • The programing language is complex and confusing, but the more you practice it, the better you will get.
  • You need to wait to finish programing your new phone until you are able to get a new SIM card.

A Final Thought About Which is Correct 'Programming' or 'Programing'

We have covered pretty much everything there is to know about these words. You should have a firm grasp of how to use them, but here is a quick recap:

  • 'Programming' is always an acceptable spelling. 
  • 'Programing' is an acceptable alternative when writing for American English-speaking audiences. 

If you ever question which of these terms to use in the future, you can always come back here to review this guide. You can also check out the other confusing words guides here to learn about frequently misused, misspelled, and misunderstood English phrases.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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