The /e/ vowel is spelled <e>, <ea> in bread and occcurs in the letter names L, M and S. The diphthong /aɪ/ is usually spelled with <iCe>, <i>, and <ei> in loan words from German such as Reich.
This is a contrast bewteen a short vowel and a diphthong and is not in general a problem for learners.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density is 2.7%. The pairs make 138 semantic contrasts, giving a loading of 57%.
abed abide append opined ascend assigned beck bike becks bikes bed bide bedded bided bedding biding beds bides bell bile ben bine bens bines bend bind bending binding bends binds bet bight bets bights bet bite betting biting bets bites blend blind blended blinded blending blinding blends blinds bread bride breads brides bred bride Bren brine Brens brines Cecil sisal crest Christ Clem climb coalmen coalmine compel compile compelled compiled compelling compiling compels compiles Cres cries dead died deck dike decked diked decking diking decks dikes defend defined den dine dens dines Des dies dread dried Ed I'd Elland island ever Ivor fell file felled filed felling filing fells files fen fine fens fines fend find fending finding fends finds fender finder fenders finders fennel final fetter fighter fetters fighters Fred fried Freddie Friday fret fright frets frights fretted frighted fretting frighting fretful frightful fretfully frightfully gels Giles head hide heads hides heading hiding headings hidings heck hike hecks hikes Hetton heighten indebted indicted inset insight insets insights ken kine kenned kind L I'll lead lied leaden Leiden leaven liven leavened livened leavening livening leavens livens lemming liming Len line lend lined lens lines Les lies less lice let light let's lights letter lighter lettered lightered lettering lightering letters lighters letting lighting L's aisles M I'm Mecca mica men mine menace minus menaces minuses mend mind mended minded mending minding mends minds mender minder menders minders mess mice Met might ness nice net knight nets knights netted knighted net night net night nether neither Netley knightly netting knighting network nightwork peck pike pecks pikes pen pine penned pined penning pining pens pines pep pipe pepped piped pepping piping peps pipes pepper piper peppers pipers pled plied Pres pries Pres prize press price pressed priced presses prices pressing pricing read ride Reading riding red ride reds rides redder rider ref rife rend rind rends rinds Rennes Rhine rep ripe res rise revel rival revelled rivalled revelling rivalling revelry rivalry revelries rivalries revels rivals Rex Reichs S ice S's ices send signed set cite sets cites setting citing set sight setting sighting settings sightings set site sets sites setting siting shed shied sled slide sleds slides smell smile smelled smiled smelling smiling smells smiles spec spike speck spike specked spiked specks spikes sped spied swept swiped tech tike techs tikes Ted tide Teds tides teddy tidy teddies tidies tel tile tels tiles tell tile telling tiling tells tiles ten tine tens tines tend tined then thine tread tried treble tribal tress trice tresses trices unbend unbind unbending unbinding unbends unbinds wed wide weld whiled weld wild welder wilder well while welling whiling wells whiles wen whine wens whines wen wine wens wines wend whined wend wind wending winding wends winds wept wiped wet Wight wet white wets whites wetter whiter wettest whitest wetting whiting when whine when wine wreck Reich wrecks Reichs wren Rhine
Credit: John Higgins