‘I’ before ‘E’ except after ‘C’
In words which have an ‘i’ and an ‘e’ next to each other, the ‘i’ always comes first unless they come after the letter ‘c’.
If they do, then the ‘e’ comes first, followed by the ‘i’.
E.g. believe – The ‘i’ comes before the ‘e’ in the word because there is no letter ‘c’ before the pair.
receive – The ‘e’ comes before the ‘i’ in the word because there is a letter ‘c’ before them.
Task 1: Decide on the correct spelling of these words.
Most words that you encounter will use the ‘ie’ spelling pattern; however, it can make many different sounds.
How many different sounds can you hear?
If you are writing a word and you are unsure if it is ‘ie’ or ‘ei’ stop and think:
lie thief fiery niece
3. The ‘ei’ spelling pattern is used most of the time if those letters make the sound ‘ay’ in the word. Here are some examples:
vein weight neighbour veil
4. If a word ends with the letters ‘i’ and ‘e’, it will always be the ‘ie’ spelling pattern. Here are some examples:
lie pie tie
5. If a word begins with the letters ‘i’ and ‘e’, it will always be the ‘ei’ spelling pattern. Here are some examples:
There are some exceptions to these rules and these will just need to be learnt.
Task 2: Think of ‘ie’ words that would fit into the gaps in these sentences.
Task 3: Read the paragraph below and correct any spellings which are incorrect.
It has been a feirce battle against the weather on our journey to the glaceir, but we must sieze the opportunity in the name of sceince. My friend and I sheilded our faces from the wind and trudged the deadwieght of our equipment through the snow. People think we are wierd for trying to acheive this goal but Earth’s future depends on it. We must yeild the hieght and wieght of this glaceir before it is too late. We iether change our ways or face our peril.