Sunday, 26 May 2013

Spelling with i and e

When you learned to write stories and such you may have learned a jingle about the letters i and e. I certainly did. i before e except after c.

Then there are exceptions to the rule. Aaaagh! So many exceptions!

I found this little poster and thought it worth keeping. You might think the same.

I like the subtle changes in pronunciation of words that appear similar. English is not for the weak and feint hearted. Feint or faint???

I also found some more information for those who deal with homework.

The Complete I Before E Rule - With Explanations
Each part of the rule.
Use i before e
Use ie as in thief, believe, priest, etc.
Grief, thief, relief, chief, mischief, priest,, grieve, thieve, relieve, achieve, sieve, niece, piece, apiece, centrepiece, siege, besiege, pier, bier, tier, frieze, field, battlefield, yield, shield, shriek, friend, fiend, view, review, preview, patient, impatient, patience, fielder, wield.
Except after c
Use cei as in receive, deceive, ceiling, etc.
Receipt, receiver, deceit, deceive, deceitful, ceiling, conceivable, inconceivable, receipts, conceited conceivably.
Or when sounded as "EYE" as in Einstein

or "AY"as in weigh.
Use ei in "EYE" words such as Einstein, Eileen, Heidi, stein, Steinbrenner, etc.  These words are generally regarded as being imported from other languages after the rules of English spelling were set.
Ein, Einstein, Eileen, Holstein, eider, eidetic, feisty, heist, Eisenhower, Eiffel, height, Heidi, Heidelburg, farenheit, heigh-ho, Weissmuller, Poseidon, Rottweiler, apartheid.
Use ei in "AY" words such as weigh, eight, vein, veil.
Weigh, weight, eight, freight, freighter, neigh, neighbour, sheik, sheikh, heinous, lei skein, vermeil, inveigle, feint, sleigh, deign, reign, rein, Pompeii, feign, veil, unveiled, vein, Seine, reindeer.
Neither, weird, foreign, leisure, seize, forfeit, and height, protein and caffeine forfeiture, codeine, heifer.
Neither, weird, foreign, leisure, seize, forfeit, height, weirdo, foreigner, leisurely, seizure, forfeiture, protein, caffeine, codeine, heifer, surfeit, counterfeit.
Do not let the C-I-E-N words get you uptight!
As in efficient, ancient, conscience, and sufficient etc.
Science, conscience, ancient, efficient, sufficient, scientist, conscientious, inefficient, efficiency, proficient, omniscient, scientific, prescience, inefficiency, coefficient, proficiency, omniscience.
Interesting Homophones: 
          bier/beer,                                                                 bier/beer,
          ceiling/sealing,                                                        feint/faint,
          lei/lay,                                                                     Eire/heir/air,
          neigh/nay,                                                               piece/peace,
          pier/peer.                                                                reign/rein/rain,
          seize/sees/seas,                                                       sleigh/slay,
          they’re/there/their,                                                  vein/vain/vane,
          weigh/way,                                                             weighed/wade,


  1. Funny, even though English is my 2nd language I never had all that much trouble with the spelling. Probably more the other way round (pronounciation). Or maybe that's logical. I either learned both simultaneously or saw words in text before hearing them, more often than the other way round.(Surely it is faint hearted....?)

  2. I often sing that little jingle, but thank heavens for spell check that catches the mistakes I do miss!


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