Spelling the schwa ending: er, ar, or, our, re, a

Teaching point Here are two more ways of spelling the schwa ending:
British English words with schwa endings British English words with schwa endings
-our as in colour -re as in theatre

These are the BRITISH spellings. American spelling has made things simpler by using the ending -or instead of -our. Also, in most cases, American spelling uses -er instead of -re.

Look at the table below and decide which lists you need to study:

American English words with schwa endings American English words with schwa endings
-our as in colour
British English words with schwa endings
-or as in color
American English words with schwa endings
-re as in theatre
British English words with schwa endings
-er as in theater
American English words with schwa endings
armour
candour
clamour
demeanour
endeavour
flavour
glamour
harbour
honour
humour
labour
neighbour
odour
rancour
rigour
rumour
savour
splendour
valour
vapour
vigour
saviour
behaviour
armor
candor
clamor
demeanor
endeavor
flavor
glamor
harbor
honor
humor
labor
neighbor
odor
rancor
rigor
rumor
savor
splendor
valor
vapor
vigor
savior
behavior
calibre
centre
centimetre
metre
millimetre
litre
fibre
lustre
manoeuvre
meagre
sabre
sceptre
sombre
spectre
caliber
center
centimeter
meter
millimeter
liter
fiber
luster
maneuver
meager
saber
scepter
somber
specter
Note: These words are spelled with -re in both Britain and the USA:
acre massacre mediocre ogre

There is a logical reason for this.
Can you work out why these spellings are not changed to er in the USA?
Click here to find out the answers.


Choose which words you wish to learn and click on that link:

next part of the spelling course

Go to the test in British spellings, -our and -re.

Go to the test in American spellings, -or and -er.

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Unit 25: Spelling the schwa ending: er ar or our re a
Page 5 of 14

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