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Spelling 07 - IE or EI?
Is this a high cieling or a high ceiling?

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.
1.
"The batsman got a --- when the fielder dropped the catch." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Repreive
Repreeve
Reeprieve
Reprieve
When the sound is E or EE, IE is used. However, there are exceptions such as the word 'seize'
2.
"Rats are rich in ---. But how can you eat rats?" - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Proteen
Protien
Protein
Proteene
When the sound is E, IE is used and when the sound is other than E, EI is used. However, there are exceptions and 'protein' is one of them
3.
"The child was amused by the horse's ---." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Neigh
Niegh
Nieghay
Neiy
When the sound is other than E, EI is used and when the sound is E or EE, IE is used
4.
"The high --- house was a magnificent example of Victorian architecture." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Ceelinged
Cieilinged
Cielinged
Ceilinged
When the sound is E, IE is used and when the sound is other than E, EI is used. However, there are exceptions as is the case with the word 'ceilinged'. The general rule is I before E except after C
5.
"The doctor's diagnosis was that the --- carrying blood to the heart had become narrow." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Vien
Vein
Vain
Vine
When the sound is other than E, EI is used and when the sound is E or EE, IE is used. However, there are exceptions such as 'friend'
6.
"Virat Kohli --- a brilliant plan to defeat the Sri Lankans." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Concieved
Conceeved
Conceived
Concieived
When the sound is E, IE is used and when the sound is other than E, EI is used. However, there are exceptions and 'conceived' is one of them. The general rule is I before E except after C
7.
"My friend has a --- sense of humour. He laughs when a person faces misfortune." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Weired
Wiered
Wierd
Weird
When the sound is E, IE is used and when the sound is other than E, EI is used. However, there are exceptions as is the case with the word 'weird'
8.
"Neil Armstrong's --- of landing on the moon was a giant leap for mankind." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Acheivement
Achieviement
Achieivement
Achievement
Spellings with I and E together are tricky. Remember when the sound is E, IE is used. However, there are exceptions such as 'weir'
9.
"The --- train came to a screeching halt." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Frieght
Freight
Frayght
Freyght
When the sound is other than E, EI is used and when the sound is E or EE, IE is used. However, there are exceptions such as 'lieutenant', which is pronounced in the USA as if it were spelt LOO-TENANT, but in the UK as if it were spelt LEFT-TENANT!
10.
"I believe Sachin Tendulkar was --- when he was a young boy." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Mischievous
Mischeivous
Mischeevous
Mischeievous
Spellings with I and E together are tricky. Remember when the sound is E, IE is used. However, there are exceptions such as 'forfeit'
Author:  V T Narendra

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