Unit 21 - Spelling ie and ei words

One of the best known spelling rules is:Spelling rule, i before e except after c

But does this rule really work? Is it true ALL the time?

The answer is:

As with most spelling rules, it works MOST of the time - but not always.
This Unit teaches you when to use ie and when to use ei.

First, take a look at these words.
They all have the long /ē/ sound:
   
Spelling rule, i before e except after c Spelling rule, i before e except after c
ie as in field ei as in receipt
field
shield
wield
yield
brief
chief
grief
belief
relief
mischief
niece
piece*
bier*
tier*
pier*
cashier
siege
shriek
priest
fierce
pierce
achieve
believe
relieved
reprieve
retrieve
diesel
hygiene
ceiling*
receipt
receive
deceive
conceive
perceive
conceit
deceit
NOTES:
1) Words marked * are homophones. Please see page 9
2) The /ē/ sound on the end of a word is usually spelled with the letter y but it can be ie.
For example:

a) Shortened words e.g.
budgie movie nightie Mountie

b) 'Pet' names e.g.
Jackie Charlie auntie sweetie

c) Slang words e.g.
goalie rookie junkie walkie-talkie

d) Other words e.g.
calorie eerie genie prairie

Look at the words in each list.

You will see that, for these words with the long /ē/ sound, this rule DOES work:
Spelling rule, i before e except after c
next part of the spelling course Go to next page: Some practice in these words.
Print this page
share this page:

Your current location:

Unit 21: Spelling the ie and ei words 'i before e except after c'
Page 1 of 9

Quick guide to Spellzone

Free Trial

Sign up today

Dictionary



Word lists and Games

cei words
ie words