It seems to be that Bee is Biene when almost everywhere else it's e before i. Understandably, I'm confused. If anyone can help me out with how German grammar works that would be helpful. Does the Word screen talk about grammar. I don't know. Thanks!

December 10, 2017


I think the "e before i" rule was about English, not German.

There are a bunch of words with ei (spoken as i ) zwei, drei, mein, dein...

and other bunch of words with ie (spoken as e) Biene, Fliege, Krieg..

For grammar, read the tips&notes for every lesson, and you can also look up other grammar sites.

But wasn't there that phrase "I before E except after C?" Which I changed to "I before E except after C, and some other random times!"

Yes, I have heard that phrase. It is for English spelling. And even that includes random times :)

I think that (unfortunately) as with so many grammar in German you need to learn them. Some words are with “ei” and some with “ie”. The good news is that the pronouncitation is always the same, not as in English. The “ie” is a long German i. Other words are : Bier, Lied, Frieden.

By the way, if you had an “ei” in Biene it would be another word: Beine (legs).

in German, usually 'ie' makes an ee sound, e.g. Biene, viele, liebe etc. whereas 'ei' makes an I sound, e.g. Bein, Kleine, mein etc.

In english there's very little pattern to it (protein doesn't rhyme with vein, but vein rhymes with vain???)

Oh. That makes sense. Thanks!

Hi Jackson,

'ie' like in Biene, Fliege, Bier, Sieg are a hint to the pronounciation. All these words are spoken with a long 'e' like bleeding or breed. But no rule without exeptions so don't kill me if you find a word with 'ie' that is spoken whith a short 'e'. :-)

Best regards Angel

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