There are many options for spelling words with /ē/. However, there is not always a rule for determining which long /ē/ spellings to use. This is true with many English sounds spelled multiple ways; however, there are often patterns for which spelling is more common that make it easier.
Y spelling /ē/ at the end of words
The phonogram y spelling /ē/ at the end of words is the most common. Thousands of words end in the long /ē/ sound spelled with a single-vowel y.
E Says /ē/ at the End of the Syllable
|me||she||he||fe ver||ve gan||re cess|
|ve to||e go||E gypt||re ci pe||sim i le||ca tas tro phe|
Should I spell with EA or EE?
Both ea and ee may be used at the beginning, middle, and end of words.
What about the phonogram EY?
There are only a few common words spelled with ey and pronounced /ē/
A few other spellings of /ē/
ie the /ē/ of field
i at the end of foreign loan words
During spelling analysis, it is necessary to cue students on which spelling of /ē/ to use. Once students learn the phonograms and spelling rules, the words with sounds that have more than one option for spelling permitted by the rules are one area that requires more practice and time to memorize and internalize the spelling patterns.