It's <i> before <e>, except after <c>Or when spelling [ā], as inneighbor or weigh.
1. 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 <a>. Long <a> 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 <a> in the following words. Do not underline <gh> as part of the spelling of long <a>:
3. We can make the l-Before-E Rule even more useful if we add something about spelling long <i> to it. Underline the letters that spell long <i> in the following words. Again, don't underline any silent <gh> after long <i>::
5. Among these words, is [ī] at the end of the word spelled <ei> or <ie>? <ie>
At the beginning or in the middle of words [ī] is spelled <ei>.
6. In the previous lesson you saw that the <ie> spelling of long <e> sometimes occurs when a stem that ends in <y> has a suffix added to it that starts with <e>: gallery + es = gallery+i+es = galleries. The <ie> spelling of long <i> sometimes occurs in the same way: sky + es = sky+ i + es = skies, with [ī] spelled <ie>. Combine the following stems and suffixes and underline the letters that spell [ī]:
Free Stem + Suffix
sky + es
= sky+ i + es
ally + es
= ally+ i + es
dignify + ed
= dignify+ i + ed
satisfy + ed
= satisfy+ i + ed
modify + es
= modify+ i + es
terrify + ed
= terrify+ i + ed
multiply + ed
= multipiy+ i + ed
testify + es
= testify+ i + es
qualify + ed
= qualify+ i + ed
dry + es
= dry+ i + es
7. Notice that this <ie> spelling of long <i> also comes at the end of the free stem, just as it does in words like untie and magpie. So now our l-Before-E Rule can tell us the following things:
a. When we're spelling long <e>, it's <i> before <e> except after <c>.
b. When we're spelling long <a>, it's <e> before <i> .
c. When we're spelling long <i>, it's <i> before <e> at the end of free stems, but it's <e> before <i> everyplace else.
Item 1. Heir and their illustrate again the effect of [r] on a preceding vowel sound. Probably the students in your class will pronounce these words with a range from [e] to [ā]. But we will still treat their vowels as long <a>'s and blame the variation in pronunciation on the effects of the following [r].
The instructions to the students not to underline <gh> in these words is due to our earlier decision to treat the <gh> in words like weigh as diacritic markers rather than as part of the spelling of the vowel. For more on <gh>, see the teaching notes to Book 5, Lesson 8.
Item 7. This summary of the l-Before-E Rule simply adds to the second line of the original jingle: