Spelling 07 - IE or EI?
Spellings are a fascinating part of the English language and you will come across some interesting spellings that might stump you. Coupled with some imaginative spellings are pronunciations that will amaze you. Usually spellings and pronunciations go hand in hand, but not always!
You may have wondered why THOUGH is spelt the way it is but pronounced differently and similarly with the word TROUGH, but OUGH is not the only group of letters which can be confusing. Two letters that have intrigued all of us are I and E.
You have come across several words that have a combination of IE or EI. So many times you might have wondered whether FRIEND is correct or should it be FREIND? Often you may have been confused as to whether NEIGH is right or is it NIEGH? There are other words such as RECEIVE that can create a doubt in your mind and you could begin to wonder whether RECIEVE is the correct spelling. Fortunately there are some rules that are followed, although (being English!) there are exceptions.
The general rule is that in spelling words the letter I comes before E except after C. Based on this rule FRIEND and RECEIVE seem to be correct. But, NEIGH poses a problem. Here comes the exception to the rule I before E which is that if the word has a pronunciation other than E or EE then E comes before I. With this exception to the rule NEIGH is the correct spelling.
Practicing frequently with words that are spelt with the IE or EI combination is the way to learn about such words. Take the quiz that follows and begin your practice.