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12.8: The <i>-Before-<e> Rule and Spelling Long <a> and Long <i>

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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The \begin{align*}<\text{I}>\end{align*} Before <E> Rule and Spelling [ā] and [ī]

It's \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*} before <e>, except after <c>

Or when spelling [ā], as in neighbor or weigh.

1. You've seen that when you are spelling long <e> the first line of the jingle is a good guide. The second line of the jingle is a good guide when you are spelling long \begin{align*}<\text{a}>\end{align*}. Long \begin{align*}<\text{a}>\end{align*} is never spelled <ie>. So far as the choice between <ie> and <ei> is concerned, when spelling [ā] always choose <ei>. Underline the letters that are spelling long \begin{align*}<\text{a}>\end{align*} in the following words. Do not underline <gh> as part of the spelling of long \begin{align*}<\text{a}>\end{align*}:

\begin{align*}& \text{neighbor} && \text{eight} && \text{veil} && \text{reindeer} \\ & \text{vein} && \text{heir} && \text{freight} && \text{surveillance} \\ & \text{reign} && \text{weigh} && \text{their} && \text{sleigh} \end{align*}

2. Sort the words into these two groups:

3. We can make the I-Before-E Rule even more useful if we add something about spelling long \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*} to it. Underline the letters that spell long \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*} in the following words. Again, don't underline any silent <gh> after long \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*}:

\begin{align*}& \text{eiderdown} && \text{height} && \text{feisty} && \text{poltergeist} \\ & \text{kaleidoscope} && \text{untie} && \text{seismic} && \text{either} \\ & \text{magpie} && \text{neither} && \text{sleight} && \text{underlie}\end{align*}

4. Sort the words into these two groups:

5. Among these words, is [ī] at the end of the word spelled <ei> or <ie>? _________

At the beginning or in the middle of words [ī] is spelled _________.

6. In the previous lesson you saw that the <ie> spelling of long <e> often occurs when a stem that ends in <y> has a suffix added to it that starts with <e>: gallery+es = galler\begin{align*}\cancel{y}\end{align*}+ i + es = galleries. The <ie> spelling of long \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*} sometimes occurs in the same way: sky + es = sk\begin{align*}\cancel{y}\end{align*}+ i + es = skies, with [ī] spelled <ie>. Combine the following stems and suffixes and underline the letters that spell [ī]:

Free Stem + Suffix = Analysis = Word
sky + es = sk\begin{align*}\cancel{y}\end{align*}+ i + es = skies
ally + es = =
dignify + ed = =
satisfy + ed = =
modify + es = =
terrify + ed = =
multiply + ed = =
testify + es = =
qualify + ed = =
dry + es = =

7. Notice that this <ie> spelling of long \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*} also comes at the end of the free stem, just as it does in words like untie and magpie. So now our I-Before-E Rule can tell us the following things:

a. When we're spelling long <e>, it's \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*} before <e> except after <c>.

b. When we're spelling long \begin{align*}<\text{a}>\end{align*} it's <e> before \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*}.

c. When we're spelling long \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*}, it's \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*} before <e> at the end of free stems, but it's <e> before \begin{align*}<\text{i}>\end{align*} everyplace else.

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1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Oct 09, 2015
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