-ie- or -ei-


Sometimes it is difficult to remember whether a word is spelled with -ie- or -ei-. There is a very simple rule about this:

I before E except after C or when sounding like AY as in neighbour and weigh



I before E

achieve, believe, brief, chief, friend, grief, hygiene, patience, pierce, priest, thief

except after C

ceiling, conceit, conceive, deceit, deceive, perceive, receipt, receive

or when sounding like AY

beige, feint, freight, inveigle, neighbour, sleigh, vein, weigh, weight

Here are some common exceptions to the above rules:

  • either, neither, caffeine, codeine, counterfeit, foreign, forfeit, height, leisure, protein, their, weird, seize, seizure

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