This English Language quiz is called 'Vocabulary - Determining the Use of "ie" or "ei"' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at middle school. Playing educational quizzes is a fabulous way to learn if you are in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade - aged 11 to 14.
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In English we have words that contain “ie” and “ei” in them. However, without being familiar with a word, how can you determine if the word should be spelled with an “ie” or an “ei”? There is a simple rule you can remember for that and it is:
“I” before “e” except after “c.”
What does that mean? It means that in any word where the letter that precedes (comes before) the “ie” or “ei” combination is anything other than the letter “c,” the order will be spelled using the “ie” combination.
However, if the letter that precedes the combination is the letter “c” then you go with “ei.” For example: “He received his report card at the end of the day.” As the word “received” has the letter “c” before the “ie” or “ei” combination, then “ei” is to be used.
Now let’s look at the following sentence: “I believe he got all A’s on his report card.” In the word “believe,” the letter that comes before the “ie” or “ei” combination is the letter “l.” This tells us that the “ie” combination is to be used.
This seems easy enough - right? Well, there are exceptions to the rule that can make knowing when to use “ie” or “ei” more difficult. So another rule also applies:
When the sound of an “ie” or “ei” word has a long “e” sound, it will be spelled using “ie” but when it has a sound other than a long “e” sound it will be “ei.”
For example, let’s look at the word “weight.” It has an “ei” but the preceding letter is not a “c.” However, the “ei” in this word does NOT have a long “e” sound so we know we won’t be using “ie” here. Therefore, we use “ei” which has an “a” sound.
Confused? Well, we also have words that are the exception to both of these rules. These words are words that will simply have to be remembered without following a rule. An example would be the word “leisure.” The “ei” has a long “e” sound making it an “exception to the rules” word.