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Know the Rules: 'i' Before 'e' Except After 'c'

In this worksheet, students decide whether to use 'ie' or 'ei' to spell the long 'ee' phoneme.

'Know the Rules: 'i' Before 'e' Except After 'c'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Transcription

Curriculum subtopic:   Spelling Awareness (use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling)

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

The long 'ee' phoneme can be spelt in many different ways.

for example:

beef     cheap     key     chief     deceive

 

It is often hard to know when to use 'ie' and when to use 'ei'.

For example, is it 'believe' or 'beleive'?

 

This rhyme can help:

'i before e except after c'.

 

For most words we use 'ie':

thief

believe

piece

 

However, if it comes straight after the letter 'c' then we use 'ei':

receive

ceiling

 

As always, there are some exceptions (protein, seize, caffeine), but the rule generally holds true.

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