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English Sounds and Spelling (#2), by Dennis Oliver

 

English Sounds and Spelling #2:

 

Many languages have a sound like the English / iy / sound
(the vowel sound in beat or beet). In languages that use
Roman (Latin) letters, this sound is often shown by the
letter i. In English, however, this sound is spelled in many
different ways.

Here are some common ones:

Spelling
  Examples

 e
  be, he, me, she, the, we, zero
     

ee
  agree, bee, beet, bleed, breed, deed,
deep, fee, feed, feel, feet, flee, fleet,
foresee, glee, green, greet, heel, knee,
meet, need, peek, peel, peep, preen,
queen, reed, reek, reel, see, seed, seek,
seem, seen, seep, screen, sheep, sleet,
speech, speed, steel, steep, tee, teem,
teen, wheel
     

ea
  bead, beak, beam, bean, beast, beat,
bleat, cheat, clean, cleat, cream,
dream, feast, feat, freak, gleam, heal,
heap, heat, knead, lean, leap, least,
meal, mean, meat, neat, pea, peak,
peal, peat, read, real, sea, seal, seam,
scream, sheath, steal, steam, stream,
tea, teak, team, veal
     

eCe*
  eke, mete, scene, these, compete,
complete, concede, concrete, convene,
discrete, effete, mete, theme
     

eeCe
  cheese, fleece, freeze, peeve, sleeve
     

eaCe
  breathe, ease, eave, grease,
lease, peace, please, tease
     

ie
  belief, chief, grief, lien, thief
     

ieCe
  achieve, believe, niece, piece,
receive, relieve, reprieve, retrieve
   

ei
  ceiling, either*, neither*
     

eiCe
  conceive, perceive, receive
     

i, iCe
  chic, ski, machine
     

* C = consonant

____________________________________________

 

Special Notes:


1.   The words either and neither are also
pronounced with the sound / ai / (the
vowel sound in I, eye, buy, sky, and pie).
     
2.  

Be careful!

Many words have the same sound, but
different spellings and meanings.

Examples:

bee / bee;
beat / beet;
feat / feet;
knead / need;
lean / lien;
meat / meet / mete;
peak / peek / pique;
peal / peel;
real / reel;
sea / see;
seam / seem;
scene / seen;
steal / steel

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