14th January 2021
Spelling Tips: Receive or Recieve?
To draw on the old phrase, is giving better than “receiving” or “recieving”? This word is often misspelled, so we’re going to look at whether the correct spelling is “receive” or “recieve” to help you avoid errors in your writing.
What Does “Receive” Mean?
Typically, the verb “receive” means “get,” “be given,” or “be the recipient of” something. For instance, we could use it in any of the following:
I receive my pay weekly.
I received a bunch of red roses on Valentine’s Day.
We are receiving your message loud and clear.
He received a bad leg injury from the fall.
More rarely, “receive” can mean “give a formal welcome”:
The president received the delegates in the Oval Office.
In all cases, though, this word is spelled with an “-ei-” after the “c,” making it “receive.” The same applies for related words, like “receiver” or “unreceived.”
The Error: Recieve
As noted above, the correct spelling of this word is “receive.” However, many people misspell it as “recieve,” with an “-ie-” rather than an “-ei-“:
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She recieved a Christmas card from his parents. ✗
She received a Christmas card from his parents. ✓
Did you recieve my letter? ✗
Did you receive my letter? ✓
This may be because “receive” contains a long “ee” sound, which is often spelled with an “-ie-” (e.g., believe, achieve, relieve). But “recieve” is always an error.
When using this word, keep the “I before E except after C” spelling rule in mind. This rule isn’t perfect, but it works for “receive,” where the “-ei-” follows a “c.”
Summary: Receive or Recieve?
“Receive” is a verb that typically means “get,” “be given,” or “be the recipient of” something. Some people misspell this word with an “-ie-” instead of an “-ei-.” But “recieve” is always an error, so make sure not to use this spelling in your writing!
To make sure you can avoid errors, remember the rhyme “I before E except after C.” While not always reliable, it works for the “-ei-” after “c” in “receive.”
And for more help with spelling and grammar, or any other aspect of your writing, why not submit a free trial document to our proofreaders?
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