I Before E Except After C Exceptions

By eContent Pro on Feb 14, 2017
I Before E Except After C Exceptions

There is a mnemonic device that has been taught to help individuals learn the spelling of some words. This rule is “I before E except after C.” Many people do not know that the saying is longer than just this phrase. The entire saying is “I before E, except after C or when sounded as A, as in neighbor and weigh. And weird is just weird.” While this saying is useful when it comes to remembering some spellings, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. We will look at these exceptions below.

Categories of I Before E Except After C Exceptions

When sounded as “AY,” as in neighbor and weigh

Words that have an “AY” sound in them, such as neighbor, weigh, eight, vein, or veil are spelled with the e before the i.

When sounded as “EYE,” as in Einstein

Words that have an “EYE” sound in them, such as Einstein, Eileen, and Heidi are spelled with the e before the i as well.

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Words commonly mistaken as exceptions (but are spelled correctly)

There are many words that are commonly thought of as being exceptions, but are in fact spelled correctly. There is no easy way to remember these words. The list of commonly mistaken words is below:

Neither, weird, foreign, leisure, seize, forfeit, height, protein, caffeine, forfeiture, codeine, and heifer.

We recommend that you memorize these words, or that you save this list for reference.

CIEN words

Most words that contain the letters “CIEN” are spelled correctly and do not follow the “I before E except after C” rule. We have included a list of some of these words below.

CIEN word examples:

  • Efficient
  • Ancient
  • Conscience
  • Sufficient

Final Thoughts on Remembering I Before E Except After C Exceptions

“I before E except after C” is a grammar rule that will help you with remembering the spelling of some words. It is important that you do not rely on this rule completely, as there are exceptions and words that can trick you. We recommend that you memorize our list of exceptions, and keep them in mind when you are writing. If you are unsure of yourself when it comes to the spelling of these words, let eContent Pro (eCPro) help.

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