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Unit 11: Spelling the sound /er/

Page 4 of 8

Unit 11: Spelling choices for /er/ sound: er, ir, ear or er

Unit Startpage 1Course Testpage 3page 4Course Testpage 6page 7page 8Unit End

Page 4 of 8

Unit 11: Spelling the sound /er/: ur, ir, ear, or er ?

Some of the longer words with these spelling patterns are listed under the clue words. If you are unsure use 'Learn the Words' below.

Help spelling English words with er sound Help spelling English words with er sound Help spelling English words with er sound Help spelling English words with er sound
burger shirt earth person
burden
incur
occur
recur
urban
turban
hurdle
gurgle
turtle
disturb
perturb
surplus
survive
affirm
confirm
infirm
circular
circulation
circuit
circumference
circumstance
yearn
dearth
hearse
earnest
research
rehearse
alert
expert
external
conserve
conversation
dessert
divert
deter
deserve
fertile
permanent
reserve
refer
universe
university
terminal
terminate
Learn the Words:
Study this word list 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' spelling exercise English spelling games spelling test
Learn the Words:
Study this word list 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' spelling exercise English spelling games spelling test
Learn the Words:
Study this word list 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' spelling exercise English spelling games spelling test
All the words in the 4th column above have a very clear /er/ sound.

Many other words end in er but this is a different sound. Say these words aloud and listen to the final sound:

dinner hammer driver sweeter

Sometimes, our vowel sounds are lost if they are in an unstressed syllable. A weak vowel sound is called the schwa (from the Hebrew 'emptiness') because it can sound like there is no vowel there at all. But equally, it can sound like it is written or it can sound like it is replaced with a different vowel sound, depending on your accent.

Different vowels spell the schwa sound. There are no rules. We have to remember them. Unit 24 tells you more about them.

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