Targetted or Targeted? Which is correct?

In English, there are certain words that need double consonants to make the word flow better. One debate has been over the word “target”. Is it targetted or targeted?

The correct spelling of the word is targeted. Whether you’re spelling it as targeted or targeting, you don’t need to double the consonant. Any spelling other than targeted is incorrect, which includes targetted. If you put targetted into a spell checker, it will mark the word as wrong and tell you to change it to targeted. 


Why Targetted Is Wrong

Although double consonants are popular in English (i.e. stopped, preferred, omitted), targeted does not follow that rule. This is determined by the stress you put on the syllables. With the examples included (stopped, preferred, omitted), you’ll see that the stress is put on the end.

In those three words, most of the stress is put on the second half of the word. Meanwhile, with targeted, much of the stress is put on the “tar”. In general, when the preceding vowel in a word isn’t stressed, the word doesn’t need the double consonant.

Targeted applies to this rule, hence why targetted is incorrect. There’s no need to double the consonant. A lot of the confusion comes from the rule where words need double consonants when adding an -ed or -ing. However, targeted is an exception.

Why Targeted Is Right

Targeted is a very common word. Targetted is a misspelling that isn’t too common. Most use targeted and targeting with one consonant, but it’s understandable why it can be tricky. After all, English has many layers and exceptions, with targeted being one of those exceptions to the double consonant words.

For example, targetted is often seen as a British spelling. In American English, targetted is incorrect in all cases. You should never use targetted, especially in formal documents. Targeted is one of the words that doesn’t need the double consonant.

Here are a few examples of how to use “targeted” in a sentence:

“During the laser tag match, John targeted Elaina.”

“It was a busy evening at the restaurant, so Hayley targeted the angry customers first.”

“Last night, there was a group of teenagers who were targeted by unknown attackers.”

“The exhausted man was targeted by a group of bullies.”