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 | edit source]
- /ɜːr/: certain - concern - determine - her - perfect - person - service - term - version - were
- /ɪə/: experience - material - period - series - serious
- with magic e: here - mere - severe
- /er/: American - austerity - ceremony - experiment - heroism - merit - peril - sheriff - therapy - very
- /ɑː/: sergeant, clerk, derby, Berkeley, Clerkenwell, Derby, Hertford.
Spelling anomalies[edit | edit source]
- /eər/: there - where
- /ɜːr/ with misleading silent e: were
Unstressed[edit | edit source]
- /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