Receive or Recieve: Unveiling the Correct Spelling

  • Receive is the correct spelling.
  • It follows the ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ rule.
  • Recieve is the incorrect spelling of receive.

Some words often trip up native English speakers and learners due to similar pronunciation but different spellings.

One such pair is “receive” versus “recieve,” which can cause confusion.

So what’s the correct spelling – receive or recieve? The correct spelling is “receive,” following the ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ rule. It’s critical to remember this rule to avoid common mistakes in your writing. Recieve is merely an incorrect spelling of receive.

Used to indicate the action of getting or accepting something that has been sent, “receive” has various implications in different contexts. Whether it’s receiving a parcel, a message, or even an idea, using the correct form of the word reinforces your writing’s credibility and polish.

Key Takeaways

  • The correct spelling is “receive” not “recieve”.
  • “Receive” is a verb meaning to get or accept something.

Receive or Recieve: What’s the Correct Spelling?

The correct spelling is “receive”.

The general spelling rule of “i before e, except after c” applies here. The rule highlights that the correct order of letters after ‘c’ is ‘ei’ and not ‘ie’.

Recieve is a common misspelling of receive. The reason it’s incorrect is that the “i” comes after the “c”, breaking the “i before e” rule for when the consonance ‘c’ is involved.

When in doubt, think of the word “receipt”, which follows the same rule – this can help cue the correct “receive” spelling.

What’s The I Before E Rule?

The classic rule ‘i before e, except after c’ is your key to remembering how to spell words like ‘receive’ or ‘receipt’.

Following this guideline, the correct spelling is ‘receive’, with the ‘e’ before the ‘i’, because it follows the consonant ‘c’.

This rule is a helpful grammar mnemonic widely taught in English-speaking schools.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are exceptions to the ‘i before e’ rule, which can cause confusion. Words like ‘weird’, ‘seize’, and ‘neighbour’ don’t fit the typical pattern.

Fortunately, ‘receive’ isn’t one of these exceptions, and you should always spell it with the ‘ei’ after the letter ‘c’. Remembering this will help avoid the common misspelling ‘recieve’ in your writing.

Receive: Verb Definitions and Usage

When you come into possession of something, or it is presented to you, you ‘receive’ it. This verb encapsulates the action of being given something or welcoming something into your space, whether it’s tangible items, communications, or signals.

Here are different contexts in which receive is used to help you understand its meaning better:

Taking or Being Given

‘Receive’ implies taking or being given something.

In its most common form, this verb leans heavily on the concept of possession: to get something that was not yours before.

For a recipient, the action is often passive—it’s about what comes to them, rather than what they actively take. For example, when you receive a parcel, it is delivered to you.

Accepting a Signal or News

In the context of technology, to receive often pertains to accepting a transmission, such as a signal or news.


  • Your television receives a signal from the broadcasting network, allowing you to watch your favourite show.
  • Similarly, radios receive audio transmissions over the airwaves.

Receiving Mail

Receiving mail is one of the most common contexts in which we use the word receive. When you receive mail, it means that someone has sent a physical or digital letter, parcel, or package through a postal service or email.

It could be personal correspondence from a friend or family member, an important document from a business associate, or even junk mail and spam.

Getting Gifts

Another context in which receive is commonly used is when you receive gifts. Gifts can come in various forms – tangible items such as clothes, books, and gadgets; experiences like tickets to concerts or trips; or monetary gifts in cash or gift cards.

young woman receiving a gift from young man

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

To avoid errors, take the time to proofread your work.

Proofreaders typically suggest reading your text out loud, which can highlight any awkward phrasing or misspelt words.

Additionally, spell-checker tools like Grammarly or Quillbot can help identify potential errors.

Using Receive in Sentences: Examples

In this section, we’ve provided you with examples illustrating the correct usage of the word “receive” and targeted practice to reinforce your understanding.

Real-Life Instances

When it comes to real-life “receive” applications, it’s important to notice its use in formal and informal settings.

For instance, you might hear an announcement such as, “The ambassador will receive guests at the gala tonight.”

In a more casual context, someone might say, “I didn’t receive your email; could you resend it?”

Sentences and Phrases for Practice

Practice makes perfect. Try crafting sentences using “receive” correctly. Here are a few phrases for practice:

  • “You will receive a confirmation once your order is processed.”
  • “Please receive this small gift as a token of my appreciation.”

Test yourself further by using “receive” in an idiomatic expression like “to receive the short end of the stick,” which means to get a disadvantage from a situation.

Remember, “I before E except after C,” unless sounding like ‘a’ as in ‘neighbour’ or ‘weigh’.

Receiving End: Expressions and Idioms

When exploring expressions and idioms, it’s vital to understand the nuances of terms like ‘receiving end,’ which reflect how you might react or feel in certain situations.

Unpleasant Treatment

When you find yourself on the receiving end of unpleasant treatment, you’re often in a position where you have to accept behaviour or actions that are less than kind. For instance, if you’re on the receiving end of criticism, you receive negative comments.

It’s a passive situation where the impact of others’ actions upon you is highlighted.

Welcoming Guests

In contrast, when you receive guests, you provide a formal welcome. Your role involves preparing for the arrival and ensuring guests feel appreciated. This might involve accepting coats, offering a drink, or simply giving a warm greeting.

You’re at the centre of the event, ensuring a pleasant experience for those entering your space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about the spelling and usage of “receive” and related words.

Is receive or recieve correct?

“Receive” is the correct spelling, while “recieve” is incorrect.

How to spell receiver?

The correct spelling for someone who receives something is “receiver.”

What’s the pronunciation of receive?

The word “receive” is pronounced as /rɪˈsiːv/, where the ‘i’ sound is as long as in ‘me’. So in phonetic spelling, you’ll pronounce it as ri-SEEV stress on the second syllable (ri-SEEV).

How do you remember the spelling?

Remember the phrase “i before e, except after c” to help you spell “receive” correctly.

Are there any synonyms for receive?

Synonyms for “receive” include “obtain,” “collect,” “accept,” and “acquire.”

What’s the USA spelling?

The spelling in the USA is the same as in UK English: “receive.”

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Aman, at the helm of Weboword as its founder and Word Architect, believes deeply in the ability of words to connect, educate, and inspire. Each word is a key, and with Weboword, he aims to unlock the doors of imagination, understanding, and connection.

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