Decoding exercises: "er"

From Teflpedia

ə

letter /ˈletər/

e

very /ˈveriː/

ɪə

here /hɪər/

ɜː

term /tɜːrm/

The letter combination "er" has several different pronunciations, mainly /ɜːr/ when stressed and /ər/ when unstressed. This article sets out some words teachers can use to help their students become more aware of the differences.

For "err" see Decoding exercises: "err".

Stressed[edit]

  • /ɜːr/: certain - concern - determine - her - perfect - person - service - term - version - were
  • /ɪə/: experience - material - period - series - serious
  • /er/: American - austerity - ceremony - experiment - heroism - merit - peril - sheriff - therapy - very
  • /ɑː/: sergeant, clerk, derby, Berkeley.

Spelling anomalies[edit]

  • /eər/: there - where
  • /ɜːr/ with misleading silent e: were

Unstressed[edit]

  • /ər/: after - another - consider - letter - modern - never - number - offer - order - other - over - pattern - under - whether
  • /ər/ or /r/. See Varisyllabic words.
average - different - every - general - interest - several
  • /ɪr/: derive - derogatory - eraser - prerogative
Secondary stress
  • /iːr/: prerequisite

Variant pronunciations[edit]

See also[edit]