I before E
I before E : Grammar and Spelling Tips
The spelling rule that most people know best is i before e except after c. Generally it's safe to follow this rule.
Examples : achieve, believe, niece, siege and yield besides ceiling, conceive, deceive, and receive.
One very important exception is seize spelled with e before i. Others are caffeine and protein.
Species goes the other way with ie following c.
I and e in combination can represent a lot of sounds besides long e. You may have problems with some of these as well:
• Short e: spelled ie in friend; but ei in leisure, heifer
• Short i: ie in mischief, sieve; ei in forfeit, counterfeit.
• eir: ie in fierce; ei in weird
• Others to remember; foreign; height and weight (spelled the same way though they sound different); hierarchy; kaleidoscope; veil.
Long e can cause some problems when it's spelled in other ways too. A and e are worth noticing:
• Ea is a very common spelling for long e, as in heat or breathe.
• Be careful to put the a before the e in anaesthetize, haemoglobin and leukaemia.
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