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

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## Instances and Holdouts to the <l>-Before-<E> Rule

1. Our <l>-Before-<E> Rule describes the following five cases::

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

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 \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]\end{align*}, \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*}, or \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{i}}]\end{align*}. Read them carefully and then sort the instances into the matrix below. As you write each instance into the matrix, mark it off of the list. There are fifty-seven instances:

\begin{align*}& \text{allergies} && \text{feisty} && \text{neither} && \text{skies}\\ & \text{allies} && \text{field} && \text{niece} && \text{sleigh}\\ & \text{believe} && \text{financier} && \text{perceives} && \text{sleight}\\ & \text{calorie} && \text{freight} && \text{poltergeist} && \text{studied}\\ & \text{ceiling} && \text{galleries} && \text{prairie} && \text{surveillance}\\ & \text{collie} && \text{grief} && \text{priest} && \text{their}\\ & \text{conceit} && \text{height} && \text{protein} && \text{thief}\\ & \text{conceive} &&\text{heir} && \text{qualified} &&\text{underlie}\\ & \text{deceit} && \text{hurried} && \text{receipt} && \text{untie}\\ & \text{deceiving} && \text{hygiene} && \text{receiver} && \text{varies}\\ & \text{dignified} && \text{kaleidoscope} && \text{reign} && \text{veil}\\ & \text{dried} && \text{leisure} && \text{reindeer} && \text{vein}\\ & \text{eiderdown} && \text{magpie} && \text{relief} && \text{weigh}\\ & \text{eight} && \text{married} && \text{seismic} && \text{weight}\\ & \text{either} && \text{movies} && \text{seize} && \text{weird}\\ & \text{fallacies} && \text{neighbor} && \text{shriek} && \text{yielding}\end{align*}

Instances of the Rule
Case 1: \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*} = <ei> not after <c>

ceiling

conceit

conceive

deceit

deceiving

perceives

receipt

Case 2: \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*} = <ie> not after <c>

allergies

believe

calorie

collie

fallacies

field

galleries

grief

hurried

hygiene

married

movies

niece

prairie

priest

relief

shriek

studied

thief

varies

yielding

Case 3: \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]\end{align*} = <ei>

eight

freight

heir

neighbor

reign

reindeer

sleigh

surveillance

their

veil

vein

weigh

weight

Case 4: \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{i}}]\end{align*} at the end of free stems = <ie>

allies

dignified

dried

magpie

qualified

skies

underlie

untie

Case 5: \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{i}}]\end{align*} at the beginning or in the middle of stems = <ei>

eiderdown

feisty

height

kaleidoscope

poltergeist

seismic

sleight

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

\begin{align*}& either && neither\end{align*}

Four of the other, true holdouts have \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*} spelled by an <ei> that does not come after <c>. These four holdouts are:

\begin{align*}& leisure && protein && seize && weird\end{align*}

The last of the seven true holdouts has \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*} spelled <ie> after <c>. It is

\begin{align*}financier\end{align*}

Teaching Notes.

Item 3. These five words (leisure, protein, seize, weird, financier) are hardcore holdouts to the <l>-Before-<E> Rule. There are seven others: fiery, foreign, counterfeit, sovereign, heifer, weir, hierarchy. Only a dozen holdouts to a rule that covers as many instances as this one does is not too bad. One way to help students remember this list of holdouts is to ask each of them to think up a little scene, the whackier the better, such that a sentence that describes that scene would include all of the holdout words. The following scene and sentence include all twelve, but you may choose to have the students deal with fewer than that:

Scene: A strange looking man with flashing eyes and a tall silk hat is grabbing a young cow alongside a small dam in a small creek while the king and his court sit idly by.

Sentence: The weird foreign financier with fiery eyes and no taste for counterfeit protein seized the sovereign's heifer beside the weir as the hierarchy took their leisure.

The scene helps remember the sentence, and the sentence helps remember the hardcore holdouts. It is important that each student composes a scene and sentence on his or her own. It can also be useful to have them draw a picture of their scene. The more different kinds of mental processing they can do of the list, the more likely they are to remember it.

Counterfeit analyzes to counter+feit, twp other words with that same base are forfeit and surfeit. In hierarchy the first element is the bound base hier,which shows up in a number of words, hierocracy hieroglyphic, and hierophant. In the scene and sentence above the bases feit and hier are represented by counterfeit and hierarchy.

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