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Spelling: ie or ei?

This KS2 English spelling quiz takes a look at words spelled using either 'ie' or 'ei'. You might have heard the spelling rule: 'I before E, except after C'. This rule is very useful for helping us to decide whether to spell a word with 'ie' or 'ei', especially when you also know this exception: always use 'ei' for the 'ay' sound (as in 'eight').

Many people struggle with these spellings as there are quite a few exceptions. Take your time and practise this quiz more than once to get used to words with 'ie' or 'ei'.

See how well you can spell 'ie' and 'ei' words with this quiz - but watch out for the exceptions!

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  1. Spell the missing words correctly.
    The ____ was surprised to ____ an unexpected parcel in the post.
    Remember: i before e (priest), except after c (receive).
  2. Spell the missing words correctly.
    The receptionist asked ____ father for his ____.
    Remember: i before e, except after c (receipt); 'their' follows the 'ay' rule.
  3. Spell the missing words correctly.
    He remembered to step carefully in the loft because the ____ could not hold his ____.
    Weight follows the 'ay' rule.
  4. Spell the missing words correctly.
    The horse pulling the ____ began to ____.
    Remember: 'ay' sounds need e before i (sleigh and neigh).
  5. Spell the missing words correctly.
    The ____ executive opened the new ____ centre.
    Remember: i before e (chief); 'leisure' is an exception.
  6. Spell the missing words correctly.
    Mrs. Harrison's ____ caught the ____.
    These two words follow the rule.
  7. Spell the missing words correctly.
    ____ you will ____ it or you will not!
    'Either' is an exception, as is 'neither'.
  8. Spell the missing words correctly.
    She could actually see the quick pulse in her ____ after her sprint across the ____.
    Veins has the 'ay' sound.
  9. Spell the missing words correctly.
    His mum couldn't ____ it was his ____ birthday.
    Eighteenth has the 'ay' sound.
  10. Spell the missing words correctly.
    They were ____ to find out that there would be no ____ lecture today.
    'Relieved' and 'hygiene' both follow the i before e rule.

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