Is it spelled “recieve” or “receive”? #1 rule to always remember

Have you ever been looking at someone’s only post, seen the word “Recieve” and wondered what the hell they were talking about? Is this a new word that the kids are using now? It is a complex term that you don’t understand? The answer is no.

Is it spelled “recieve” or “receive”?

The correct spelling is “receive”. “Recieve” is just a misspelling of “receive” and is not a real word.

That’s literally all there is to it. In this article, I want to talk about why this rule is misspelt so often, other spelling mistakes we tend to make, but I also want to try and figure out why “spelling” is even a thing in the first place.

Prepare to be educated!

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Why do we misspell “receive” so much?

The English language is one that works on phonetic rules. Which means that how a word is spelt relates to how it’s said. However, because many of our words come from other languages, we will need to change the spelling rules based on every word’s origin language.

Once you learn all the rules, you will need to know all the rules’ exceptions. For example, “C” usually makes a “cuh” sound, but we pronounce “cello” and “chello”.

With all these words that break the rules, there’s no shame in getting spelling wrong sometimes.

I before E, except after C

The rule for spelling “recieve” correct

Many years ago, schools used to teach the rule of “I before E except after C”.

If we take the words field, belief, and tier, we can see no C, so the I goes before the E.

Ceiling, deceive and perceive all have the letter C in them. So in all of these words, the E comes before the I.

For a very long time, teachers would make sure their students knew this rule. And for a long time, we knew there were exceptions, but we never really questioned the rule itself. But that’s not the case anymore.

It’s a bad rule

They stopped teaching the rule because more words broke the rule than obeyed it.

Here are some times when “I before E except after C” does not apply.

  • When he is pronounced “ay” – Neighbour

  • When C is pronounced “sh” – Glacier

  • When in a comparative word – fancier

  • When ei is pronounced “ee” – Receive

  • When a verb has an E before “ing” – cueing

  • Compound words – albeit

  • And other words such as science, forfeit, and weird.

Other commonly misspelt rules

Because many will spell words how they are spelt, there are loads of words that we misspell a lot.

In the word “absence”, the C makes a sound similar to an S, which has caused some to misspell it as “absense”.

When we say “accidentally”, we don’t pronounce it as “accident tally”, but that is how we spell it.

The word “Acquire” can also be confusing because C and Q both make similar sounds. People who misspell it as “Aquire” will hear it as A+quire. In reality, it’s Ac+quire. This is similar to how when people say “India and China” it sounds like “Indiar rand China”.

History of Spelling

As we’ve mentioned before, the English language is a mish-mash of different languages, so all of the spelling rules came about from other cultures who took over England.

In the 1300s, the general spelling rules came about, to help us understand what other people were trying to say. But back then, as long as you spelt phonetically, you were okay.

It wasn’t until the printing press that the idea of “correct spelling” became popular. And since then, what qualifies as “correct” spelling is determined by dictionaries and other authorities.

Why Spelling matters

If you’re anything like 12-year-old me, you might be wondering why spelling even matters.

When you know how to spell correctly, it’s a sign that you’re a well-educated person, and you have a firm grasp of the English language.

But when a word is always spelt the same, it means that anyone will be able to read it and know what it means. If we’re going to have one language, we need to have one rulebook that all speakers of that language need to obey.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to be in a bad mood if you happen to misspell a few words.


The word “Receive” can have several definitions.

  • When you get given something, you receive it.
  • When something is subject to a particular treatment. For example, an event might receive wide press coverage.
  • If you give consent to hearing something. For example, you might receive testimony in a court of law.
  • When signals are detected, scientists will say they have received signals.
  • In Tennis, you have the server and the receiver.
  • And if you eat or drink in Church, you will have received Christ.

I know some of those definitions are related, but they are all somehow unique.


As with most words in the English language, there are other terms that you can use for “Receive”. Which word you choose to use might change based on the mood you’re in, the context, or the person you’re trying to talk to.

Some alternatives to “Receive” are: Be given, accept, encounter, suffer, gain, obtain, and endure.

As you can see, these words can slightly alter the meaning, so they won’t always work as a replacement. But in the right context, they can have similar implications.


“Recieve” is nothing more than a misspelling of “Receive”. The main reason for this misspelling is that our English teachers taught us the rule of “I before E except after C”.

However, this was a massive mistake as it’s false more often than it’s true, and as a result, words such as “Receive” are misspelt as “Recieve”.

Although since the 1300s, you would need to spell words in ways that made sense, it wasn’t until the printing press that there came to be such a thing as “official spelling”. Today, knowing how to spell shows you know your own language.

“Receive” can have multiple definitions and synonyms, but one thing that remains the same is that you should never spell it as “Recieve”.

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