IE and EI Spellings

The classic spelling rule is this:

I before E except after C unless it is A as in neighbor and weigh.

Generally, IE sounds like a Long E, and EI is the spelling we use after the letter C, so that cashier, achieve, receipt and deceive all have the Long E sound. If you are looking at a new word, and you see the IE spelling or EI after C, the Long E sound is a good guess, but you should check the pronunciation for the other possibilities.

In some words, EI has a Long A sound as in weigh

When CI sounds like SH, the IE sounds like a Short E, as in ancient (an-shent) and efficient (e-fish-ent). 

Sometimes, IE has two sounds, both the I and the E, as in science (si-ens) and society (so-si-e-tee). In the word experience (eks-peer-ee-ens), the I sounds like Long E, so there are still two sounds.

Uncommon sounds: There are a few other sounds that occur, but not very often. One is the Short I which occurs in a few words like foreign and counterfeit. Another is the Long I sound in the word height.
750 Business WordsI Sounds Main Page
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