<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=iA1Pi1a8Dy00ym" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="" />
Skip Navigation
Our Terms of Use (click here to view) have changed. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our new Terms of Use.

11.2: Final < e > and Ve# Stems That End < ee > and < ie >

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
Turn In

Final <e> and Ve# Stems That End <ee> and <ie>

1. Here are some words with Ve# stems that end <ee>. Your job is the same as it was with the <oe> stem words in the previous lesson:

Word = Stem + Suffix Did final <e> deletion occur?
seeing = see + ing No
foreseeable = foresee + able No
agreeable = agree + able No
agreeing = agree + ing No
refereed = refere + ed Yes
refereeing = referee + ing No
freest = free + est Yes
seer = see + er Yes
guaranteeing = guarantee + ing No
foreseeable = foresee + able No

2. When you add a suffix that starts with a vowel to a stem that ends <ee>, you do NOT delete the final <e> if the suffix starts with the letters <i> or <a>.Otherwise, you do delete the final <e>, just as the Final <e> Deletion Rule says.

3. Ve# stems that end with <ie> do something special when we add certain suffixes to them. For instance, here is what happens when we add -ing to the stem lie:


The final <e> is deleted, as the rule says it should be. But notice that if we stopped there, we'd get lie + y + ing = *liing. English avoids <ii> , so * liing is an unacceptable spelling. But we can't just delete one of the <i>s, because that would lead to *ling, which doesn't look at all like the sound of the word it is meant to spell.

So we make use of the fact that <i> and <y> are a two-letter team. You've already seen that in a number of words we change a <y> to an <i> when we add a suffix. For example: try + ed =try + i + ed =tried and lady + es = lady + i + es = ladies. When we want to add -ing to a word like lie, we do just the opposite: We change the <i> to <y>:lie + y + ing = lying.

However, this <i> to <y> change only occurs when the suffix starts with <i> . With other suffixes we just delete the final <e>:lie + ed = lie + ed = lied and lie + ar = lie + ar = liar.

4. Analyze each of the following words into its stem with <ie> and suffix. Show any changes of <i> to <y>:

Words = Stem + Suffix Did the <l> change to <y>?
lying = lie + y + ing Yes
lied = lie + ed Yes
lies = lie + s No
tied = tie + ed Yes
tying = tie + y+ ing yes
ties = tie + s No
died = die + s No
dying = die + y + ing Yes
pies = pie + s No

5. When you add a suffix that starts with the letter <i> to a stem that ends <ie>, you change the <i> to a <y> and delete the <e>. Otherwise, you just delete the final <e>.

Teaching Notes.

Item 2. If a question comes up about suffixes that start with <o>, <u>, or <y>, which are not mentioned in this lesson, we have not found any cases of stems ending in <ee> and taking suffixes starting with <o> or <u>. The only case found so far of a stem ending in <ee> and taking a suffix starting with <y> is the rare treey, (tree + y), defined by the OED2 as “Abounding in trees; well wooded.” All in all, it seems a safe bet that what is said in this lesson about suffixes starting with <a> or <i> is also true of suffixes starting with <y> and would be true of suffixes starting with <u> or <o>, if we could find any instances.

A helpful way to think about it is that we only delete the final <e> in stems ending <ee> if the suffix starts with an <e>, and then the motivation is surely to avoid the <eee> produced by simple addition. For more on the avoidance of triplets in English spelling see AES, p.77.

Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

Color Highlighted Text Notes
Show More

Image Attributions

Show Hide Details
Files can only be attached to the latest version of section
Please wait...
Please wait...
Image Detail
Sizes: Medium | Original