Vie or Vye?

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
Should I write vie or vye?

To vye is the obsolete form of to vie. (NB: The letter y only appears in vying.)

Here are some examples with the verb to vie:
  • Government rivals vie for power in Zanzibar.
  • A variety of former opposition parties are vying for power in the upcoming elections.

Vie or Vye?

Writers are sometimes confused whether to use vie or vye. To vye is the obsolete form of to vie. The letter y only appears in vying.

The verb to vie means to compete with someone in order to achieve something.

  • The government is heading for serious political instability as its rival party vies for power.
  • The top students in the class vied for the title of valedictorian.
  • The Japanese potters could never vie with the Chinese in the production of glazes.
  • The swimmers were vying for a place on team USA.

Conjugating the Verb To Vie

Here is the conjugation of the verb to vie.
PronounPersonSimple PresentSimple Past
IFirst person singularvievied
YouSecond person singularvievied
He/She/ItThird person singularviesvied
WeFirst person pluralvievied
YouSecond person pluralvievied
TheyThird person plural vievied

Present Participle of To Vie

The present participle of the verb to vie is vying (i.e., it retains the y from the obsolete version).

The verb to vie is like to lie, the present participle of which is lying.

  • We are independent of the two factions that are vying for power.
  • I'm really interested in cliques. I like watching girls vying for attention. (Lorde)
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are verbs? List of easily confused words