Spelling:  ie or ei?
The 'ei' in the word 'freight' sounds like 'ay'.

Spelling: ie or ei?

This KS2 English spelling quiz takes a look at words spelled using either 'ie' or 'ei'. You might have heard the spelling rule: 'I before E, except after C'. This rule is very useful for helping us to decide whether to spell a word with 'ie' or 'ei', especially when you also know this exception: always use 'ei' for the 'ay' sound (as in 'eight').

Many people struggle with these spellings as there are quite a few exceptions. Take your time and practise this quiz more than once to get used to words with 'ie' or 'ei'.

See how well you can spell 'ie' and 'ei' words with this quiz - but watch out for the exceptions!

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
Spell the missing words correctly.
They were ____ to find out that there would be no ____ lecture today.
releived, hygeine
relieved, hygeine
releived, hygiene
relieved, hygiene
'Relieved' and 'hygiene' both follow the i before e rule.
Spell the missing words correctly.
He remembered to step carefully in the loft because the ____ could not hold his ____.
cieling, weight
ceiling, weight
cieling, wieght
ceiling, wieght
Weight follows the 'ay' rule.
Spell the missing words correctly.
His mum couldn't ____ it was his ____ birthday.
believe, eighteenth
beleive, eighteenth
believe, ieghteenth
beleive, ieghteenth
Eighteenth has the 'ay' sound.
Spell the missing words correctly.
____ you will ____ it or you will not!
Either, beleive
Iether, beleive
Either, believe
Iether, believe
'Either' is an exception, as is 'neither'.
Spell the missing words correctly.
The ____ was surprised to ____ an unexpected parcel in the post.
priest, recieve
preist, recieve
priest, receive
preist, receive
Remember: i before e (priest), except after c (receive).
Spell the missing words correctly.
The receptionist asked ____ father for his ____.
thier, receipt
their, receipt
thier, reciept
their, reciept
Remember: i before e, except after c (receipt); 'their' follows the 'ay' rule.
Spell the missing words correctly.
She could actually see the quick pulse in her ____ after her sprint across the ____.
veins, field
viens, field
veins, feild
viens, feild
Veins has the 'ay' sound.
Spell the missing words correctly.
The ____ executive opened the new ____ centre.
chief, leisure
cheif, leisure
chief, liesure
cheif, liesure
Remember: i before e (chief); 'leisure' is an exception.
Spell the missing words correctly.
Mrs. Harrison's ____ caught the ____.
niece, theif
neice, theif
niece, thief
neice, thief
These two words follow the rule.
Spell the missing words correctly.
The horse pulling the ____ began to ____.
sliegh, niegh
sleigh, niegh
sliegh, neigh
sleigh, neigh
Remember: 'ay' sounds need e before i (sleigh and neigh).
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Spelling

Author:  Sheri Smith

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