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'Combatting' or 'Combating': Which is Correct?

Shaun Connell
June 23, 2023

Are you wondering whether 'combatting' or 'combating' is correct? If so, this post will help.

Here is a quick answer: 

  • 'Combatting' is a grammatically correct spelling of the present-tense intransitive verb form of combat, most commonly used in British English writing. 
  • 'Combating' is also a grammatically correct spelling of the present-tense verb form of combat, most commonly used by American-English writers.

So, the only difference is that one version is British English, and the other is American English. As a freelance writer, you are more marketable if you can write for U.S. and U.K. audiences. Keep reading to learn more about these two writing styles and when to use each of these terms.

Which is Correct, 'Combatting' or 'Combating?'

When it comes to which is correct between 'combatting' or 'combating,' both are correct. There are not many English words that have multiple spellings. In most cases, there is one acceptable spelling according to the U.K. style and a slightly different American version.

However, despite the spelling you use, the meaning is the same.

When Do You Use 'Combatting' vs. 'Combating?'

You know that 'combatting' and 'combating' are acceptable spellings. So, how do you know which to use and when?

  • Use 'combatting' when you are writing to a British English-speaking audience.

For example, you could say:

The combatting teams had the same team colours, so it was hard to tell when our favourite team made a goal. 

  • Use 'combatting' if you are writing descriptions of products from Europe, Canada, or any other British English-speaking nation.

For example, I might write something like:

Combatting pests has never been easier, and with our new all-natural formula, you don't have to worry about the damage

  • Use 'combatting' or 'combating' as the present-tense intransitive verb form of combat. 

For example, you might hear someone say something like:

The teams combating for the title are the Stingrays and the Barracudas. 

  • Use 'combating' when you are speaking to an American audience.

For example, I might say:

We are combating ideas that originated decades or even centuries ago on our anonymous blog

Definition of 'Combatting': What Does 'Combatting' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of 'combatting' is:

  • A verb that means to engage in a fight or fighting

It can also mean:

  • To struggle with an opponent
  • Designed for combat
  • Having a relationship with combat

Definition of 'Combating': What Does 'Combating' Mean?

The definition of 'combating' is precisely the same as 'combatting.' The only difference is the spelling, and this is the most acceptable of the two for writing content for American audiences.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Combatting' or 'Combating'

Now that you know both terms are acceptable to present tense intransitive verb forms of combat. Let's look at the pronunciation. Knowing how to pronounce them will give you more confidence to use them in verbal and written communications.

So, here is a quick pronunciation guide.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'combatting' correctly:


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'combating' properly:


As you can see, there is no difference in the pronunciation of these two words. The additional is silent.

Samples of 'Combatting' and 'Combating'

Here are some sample sentences using 'combatting' and 'combating.' Read them to learn different ways to use the terms to improve your writing.


  • She wrote about combatting changes in the British government in her latest self-published e-book.
  • Writers can use inspirational quotes for motivation when they are combatting fear or self-doubt.
  • If you are combatting a challenging diagnosis, it is important to have a strong support system.
  • Applying for freelance writing jobs can often feel like you are combatting hundreds of other candidates, especially if they are in popular or high-paying niches.
  • Combatting fears and discouraging comments from others is vital while you are trying to publish a book.
  • We have been combatting the other team all year, but they finally beat us out of the competition last weekend.
  • You can move there, but I heard the complex has been combatting a horrible rat infestation. They even published a news article about it last week.


  • The creative writing prompt was to write about a time when you were combating social injustice.
  • Hiring an experienced blog editor or proofreader is an excellent way of combating low-quality content.
  • Watching combating gladiators must have been a nail-biting experience.
  • I am sure your parents are not being nosy to be mean. They are just combating a world full of dangers.
  • You do not have to have a large platform to start combating injustices. Writing a compelling story on the subject is a great way to share your opinions constructively.
  • She loved writing poetry but often found herself combating the opinions of her parents about her passion being a waste of time.
  • Police are combating a surge of crime in the city. The violent crime rate is higher than it has ever been.

The Final Word on Whether 'Combatting' or 'Combating' is Correct

Before you go, let's do a quick review: 

  • 'Combatting' and 'combating' are both grammatically correct spellings. 
  • You can use 'combatting' or 'combating' as the present-tense intransitive verb form of combat.
  • 'Combatting' is the version most commonly used by British-English writers. 
  • 'Combating' is the spelling most frequently used by American-English writers. 

Most words only have one spelling. There are a few that have two or more acceptable variations. In most cases, British writers use one version, while English writers use the other.

When it comes to 'combating' or 'combatting,' you can use either. However, as a writer, if a customer asks you to use U.K. style, it is best to use the double tt spelling.

Learning the meanings, acceptable usages, and pronunciations of words and commonly misused terms helps you become a more confident writer. So, we regularly post grammar and spelling guides. You can also find valuable tips and advice to help you launch a successful freelance writing career, market your writing services, or improve your skills. Or, you can read our guides for suggestions for hiring and managing expert or entry-level writers and editors.

So, take a moment to read the other posts here and visit often to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices.

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

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