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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

QUESTION 1 of 10

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.

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Decieve

Deceive

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Grief

Greif

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Achieve

Acheive

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Hygiene

Hygeine

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Protien

Protein

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Cieling

Ceiling

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Reciept

Receipt

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Caffiene

Caffeine

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Concieted

Conceited

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

Priest

Preist

  • Question 1

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Deceive
EDDIE SAYS
This example is one of the exceptions to the rule. In most cases the 'i' goes before the 'e', however if it follows a 'c' it is the other way round. Good effort!
  • Question 2

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Grief
EDDIE SAYS
The trick here is to remember the rhyme. 'I before e except after c'. As there is no 'c' in this word the 'i' comes before the 'e'.
  • Question 3

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Achieve
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get it right? Again here the 'i' should come before the 'e'. You've got this!
  • Question 4

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Hygiene
EDDIE SAYS
There is no 'c' in the word 'hygiene' so the 'i' comes before the 'e'. Super effort!
  • Question 5

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Protein
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one! This is one of the exceptions mentioned in the introduction!
  • Question 6

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Ceiling
EDDIE SAYS
Are you getting the hang of this now? Remember the rhyme 'I before e except after c'. As the 'ie' phoneme follows a 'c' the 'e' comes before the 'i'. Keep up the great effort.
  • Question 7

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Receipt
EDDIE SAYS
You've got this! Again as the sound follows the 'c' in this word the 'e' comes before the 'i'.
  • Question 8

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Caffeine
EDDIE SAYS
This is another of the exceptions! It's tricky to know if the rule applies or not. The best thing to do if you aren't sure is to use a dictionary to check.
  • Question 9

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Conceited
EDDIE SAYS
As the 'ie' phoneme follows a 'c' the 'e' should come before the 'i'. Keep it up super star!
  • Question 10

Choose the correct spelling of the word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Priest
EDDIE SAYS
High five! There is no 'c' in the word 'priest' so the 'i' should come before the 'e'.
---- OR ----

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