i before eIt’s been a while since one of our grammar tips, so we thought we’d focus on the i before e rule for your brain teaser today.

It’s great when there is a little slogan around to prompt you as a reminder for correct grammar. This rule is…

Use i before e except after c.

Now on the whole, this rule rocks but there are a few exceptions. The rule only works on words that have an ‘ee’ sound, like the ones in the table below.

ie

ei

achieve

ceiling

belief

conceit

believe

deceit

chief

deceive

piece

perceive

thief

receipt

yield

receive

If you have words where there isn’t that ‘ee’ sound like science or efficient, the rule doesn’t apply.

There are also a few exceptions to the general rule, even when the sound is ‘ee’ and these words include weird, seize and caffeine.

That’s it – that’s the rule. Look out for our next top grammar tip and if you want a grammar refresh, come and join us on our writing workshop.