How is the Word ‘Received’ Spelled in the UK?

When it comes to writing in English, one of the common errors often committed involves the word ‘receive‘. Considering the complexity of the English language, such issues can easily arise, especially given that words may vary in spelling and pronunciation based on their origin and context. Hence, this piece aims to provide detailed guidance on correctly spelling the term ‘receive’, the areas typically presenting the pitfalls, and how to comfortably navigate through them.

Understanding the Word ‘Receive’

The most frequent confusion encountered regarding word ‘receive‘ revolves around its spelling with ‘e’ and ‘i’. The word ‘receive’ is a transitive verb equating to ‘take into one’s possession’ or ‘be the recipient of’. It often gets misspelled with an ‘-ie-‘ instead of ‘-ei-‘, bringing up misconceptions and incorrect usage.

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The Core Spelling Rule with ‘Receive’

The term ‘receive’ should be spelled with an ‘-ei-‘, and any deviation from this is incorrect. If faced with doubt, a staple rule to keep in mind is ‘i before e, except after c‘. This simple mnemonic significantly simplifies the spelling of ‘receive’ and similar words.

To illustrate, ‘receive’ is spelled R-E-C-E-I-V-E. Thereby, when writing this term, always stick to ‘ei’, not ‘ie’.

Common Mistakes Surrounding ‘Receive’

    • The spelling error common with ‘receive’ results from its elongated ‘ee’ sound often represented by ‘-ie-‘ in words like ‘believe’ and ‘achieve’.
    • In this regard, the ‘-ie-‘ sequence becomes a go-to, but for ‘receive’, it is an exception, hence, correctly spelled ‘-ei-‘.
    • An example of a mistake could be spelling ‘receive’ as ‘recieve’, which is incorrect.
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No Regional Differences

Regardless of being in the UK or any other English-speaking country, the spelling for ‘receive’ remains constant. No regional differences affect its spelling. Therefore, whether you’re in the UK, the US, or anywhere else, ‘receive’ should be spelt as R-E-C-E-I-V-E.


To avoid common spelling mishaps with ‘receive’, always recall the rudimentary rule—’i before e, except after c‘. Ensure you use ‘-ei-‘ and not ‘-ie-‘ whenever writing the word. Understandably, English language variations, irregularities, and similarities with other terms can create uncertainties. However, maintaining this spelling rule ensures minimal errors. Therefore, when in the UK or elsewhere, remember the correctly spelled term is ‘receive’, not ‘recieve’.

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