Spelling ie and ei words

The rule would make us believe that the letters i and e will appear in that order unless they come immediately after the letter c. However, there are words that contain ei without there being a c in sight! These often make the sound /a/ (which we covered in Unit 7).

ei as in reindeer Spelling rule, i before e except after c

Here are the most common examples:

Study the words with ei saying /ā/:
Several of them have a silent g or gh

English spelling English spelling
vein* rein* reign* deign* feign neigh

eight* weigh* weight* freight

veil* feint* beige sheikh (or sheik)* sleigh
English spelling English spelling

When you have finished studying the words click here to start the test.  

Read the clue and choose the best ei word from the box above:

Blood runs through it.
Noise made by a horse.
Use this to control a horse.
Eighty-eight minus eighty.
It covers the face.
Pale brown colour.
Goods transported, cargo.
Rule as king or queen.
Heaviness.
Find out how heavy.
To pretend.


Skip this exercise and go to the next part of this unit: A new version of the ie/ei rule. *

* Skip link not available for logged in students.

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