Spelling 08 - EI or IE?
Do you enjoy parties or parteis?

Spelling 08 - EI or IE?

We all enjoy the fascinating world of the English language, with all its diversities and contradictions. Spellings and pronunciations are integral parts of the language that might sometimes put you off completely. Just think about the pronunciation and spelling of the word COUGH and also the word BOUGH. Both have similar spellings but are pronounced very differently. The letters E and I, when placed together, can also be confusing.

We frequently come across words such as ORIENTAL and UNVEIL and begin to wonder why the order of the letters E and I is different in the words. There are other words such as DECEIVE and FREQUENCIES where the order of E and I is different. Certain rules can be framed for us to follow so that some clarity is seen:

Generally the rule is I before E except after C. But two of the four words that are given as examples break the rule. As always, there are exceptions to every rule!

When the word with the letters E and I has an E or EE pronunciation, then the rule is broken, as in the case of UNVEIL.

Similarly, in the case of the letters coming directly after the letter C, when it is to be E before I, there is an exception when the word is formed from a root word with CY ending. FREQUENCIES is formed from the root word FREQUENCY by adding the suffix IES after removing the Y. In such cases the C rule does not hold.

The C rule also does not hold in words such as DEFICIENT or SCIENCE. The only way to get to terms with the use of the letters E and I is to use them as often as possible. Take the quiz that follows to become more familiar with some of the words spelt with EI or IE.
1.
"Parineeta enjoys --- rides on snow covered slopes." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Sleiy
Slay
Sliegh
Sleigh
The general rule is I before E except after C. Here, the rule is broken because when the sound is other than E or EE the E is placed before the I. Other such words are 'neighbour', 'freight' and 'reign'
2.
Choose the sentence with the correct spelling.
The growing menace of counterfeit bank notes is being reviewed by the government periodically.
The growing menace of counterfiet bank notes is being reveiwed by the government periodically.
The growing menace of counterfeit bank notes is being reveiwed by the government periodically.
The growing menace of counterfiet bank notes is being reviewed by the government periodically.
'Reviewed' follows the I before E rule but 'counterfeit' does not
3.
"His --- was thoroughly rejected by the panellists" -. Choose the word to fill the blank.
Veiwpoint
Viewpoint
Vuepoint
Vewpoint
The general rule is I before E except after C
4.
"I hate to attend --- as they are a sheer waste of time." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Partees
Partys
Parteis
Parties
The general rule is I before E except after C. Here, 'parties' is a word formed from 'party' by adding a suffix S, where the rule is to remove Y and add IES. In such cases the I before E rule holds. Other such words are 'fries', 'dries' and 'copies'
5.
"Kailash Satyarthi had never --- his chances of being selected for the Nobel Peace Prize." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Fanceid
Fanceed
Fancied
Fancide
The general rule is I before E except after C. Here, the rule is broken because 'fancied' is a word formed from 'fancy' by adding a suffix IED, where the rule is to remove Y and add IED. In such cases the I before E rule holds even though there is a C
6.
"Achieving the target was a --- of cake for him." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Piece
Peice
Peece
Peace
The general rule is I before E except after C. Before the letter C the order is unaffected
7.
"The boy --- his heart out when his toy was taken away from him." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Creid
cryed
Cried
Cride
The general rule is I before E except after C. Here, 'cried' is a word formed from 'cry' by adding a suffix, where the rule is to remove Y and add IED. In such cases the I before E rule holds. Other such words are 'fried', 'dried' and 'copied'
8.
"The company chose four advertising --- to handle its publicity." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Agencies
Agenceis
Agencees
Agencys
The general rule is I before E except after C. Here, the rule is broken because 'agencies' is a word formed from 'agency' by adding a suffix IES, where the rule is to remove Y and add IES. In such cases the I before E rule holds even though there is a C
9.
"The new Tata Motors car is a highly --- machine." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Efficeint
Efficient
Effyciant
Effitiant
The general rule is I before E except after C. Here, the rule is broken because 'efficient' is a word pronounced with the SH sound
10.
"Keith Carter is a --- doctor treating patients with empathy." - Choose the word to fill the blank.
Consceintious
Conscentious
Conscyentious
Conscientious
The general rule is I before E except after C. Here, the rule is broken because 'conscientious' is a word pronounced with the SH sound. Note that 'Keith' is using E before I and generally it is accepted that proper names such as 'Keith' or 'Neil' use this spelling. Note also that 'patient' follows the I before E rule
Author:  V T Narendra

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