Spelling Tip: The “i” and the “e”

Here is a spelling tip that can save you a lot of time and a lot of spelling mistakes.

When writing English words, note that the letter “i” comes before the letter “e” except when it is after the letter “c”. Sounds a bit confusing? Let’s clarify it through a couple of examples.

For example, in “thief”, “believe”, and “achieve”, the letter “i” comes before the letter “e”. However, in “receive”, “receipt”, and “ceiling”, the letter “i” comes after the letter “e” because there is a letter “c” that came first.

Now, you might be thinking and asking yourself: “What about ‘science’, ‘efficient’, and ‘height’?” Well, that is a good question indeed.

This rule only applies when the letters “i” and “e” are making the long “ee” sound (or /i:/ in phonetic transcription). Words like  “weight” and “beige” do not have the “ee” sound, so they can consider themselves out of this rule.

Here is a helpful link that you can consider for extra information on this spelling tip: https://www.englishclub.com/spelling/rules-ie-ei.htm.

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