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12.10: Instances and Holdouts to the <i>-Before-<e> Rule

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Instances and Holdouts to the <I>-Before-<E> Rule

1. Our I-Before-E Rule describes the following five cases:

  1. When we're spelling long <e>, anywhere except after <c>, it's <i> before <e>
  2. When we're spelling long <e> after <c>, it's <e> before <i>.
  3. When we're spelling long <a> it's <e> before <i>.
  4. When we're spelling long <i> at the end of free stems, it's <i> before <e>.
  5. When we're spelling long <i> anywhere else, it's <e> before <i>.

Any words that fit any of those cases are instances of the rule. Any words that do not fit into any of the cases are holdouts.

2. Below are the same sixty-four words you worked with in the previous lesson. All of the words contain <ie> or <ei> spelling either [ā], [ē], or [ī]. Read them carefully and then sort the instances into the matrix below. As you write each instance into the matix, check it off the list. There are fifty-seven instances:


3. In addition to the fifty-seven instances, among the sixty-four words there are just a few holdouts. Two of these holdouts can each be pronounced two different ways. When pronounced one way, they are holdouts. When pronounced the other way, they are instances. These two only apparent holdouts are

Four of the other, true holdouts have [ē] spelled by an <ei> that does not come after <c>. These four holdouts are:

The last of the five true holdouts has [ē] spelled <ie> after <c>. It is

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Oct 09, 2015
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