List E

earnest or Ernest? EARNEST = serious and sincere
ERNEST = masculine first name
economic or
economical?
ECONOMIC = related to the economy of
the country, or industry or business
ECONOMICAL = thrifty, avoiding
extravagance
-ed or -t? These can be either:
burned burnt
dreamed dreamt
dwelled dwelt
kneeled knelt
leaned leant
leaped leapt
learned learnt
smelled smelt
spelled spelt
spilled spilt
spoiled spoilt
eerie or eyrie? EERIE = strange, weird, disturbing
EYRIE = an eagle’s nest
effective, effectual
or efficient?
EFFECTIVE =abletoproducearesult
an EFFECTIVE cure
an EFFECTIVE speech
EFFECTUAL = likely to be completely
successful:
EFFECTUAL prayer
EFFECTUAL legislation
EFFICIENT = working well without
wasting time, money or effort:
an EFFICIENT secretary
an EFFICIENT engine
ei/ie spelling rule Remember the jingle:
i before e
except after c
or when sounded like a
as in ‘neighbour’ and ‘weigh’.
Here are some examples which follow the
rule. There are plenty of others.
ie ei after c
achieve ceiling
believe conceited
chief conceive
field perceive
friend receive
hygiene ei sounding like a
priest eight
relief reign
retrieve reindeer
shield skein
shriek sleigh
thief vein

18 exceptions
caffeine forfeit seize
codeine heifer sheikh
counterfeit height sovereign
either leisure surfeit
Fahrenheit neither weir
foreign protein weird

emigrant or
immigrant?
An EMIGRANT leaves his or her country
to live in another.
An IMMIGRANT moves into a country to
live permanently.
eminent or imminent? EMINENT =famous
IMMINENT = about to happen
enquiry or inquiry? Both spellings are correct and there is no
difference in meaning. British English
favours the first and American English the
second.
Some writers reserve the first for a
general request for information and the
second for a formal investigation, but this
is by no means necessary.
ensure or insure? to ENSURE =tomakesure
to INSURE = to arrange for financial
compensation in the case of loss, injury,
damage or death
especially or specially? The two words are very close in meaning
and sometimes overlap. However, use
these exemplar sentences as a guide to
exclusive uses:
I bought the car ESPECIALLY for you (=
for you alone).
We are awaiting a SPECIALLY
commissioned report (= for a special
purpose).
exceptionable or
exceptional?
EXCEPTIONABLE = open to objection
EXCEPTIONAL =unusual
exhausting or
exhaustive?
EXHAUSTING = tiring
EXHAUSTIVE = thorough, fully
comprehensive
explicit or implicit? EXPLICIT = stated clearly and openly
IMPLICIT = implied but not actually
stated

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