Er words are the most common /er/sound words where the base word has the /er/ sound.
Hint: When in doubt, use er especially if it is at the end of a word. Why?
First, er is the most common phonogram or digraph for the /er/sound and can be remembered with this little sentence from Orton/Spalding phonics books:
Second, words ending in er are common for two reasons: They're used as nouns and as adjectives.
As nouns: Add er to many verbs to name one who does the verb:
As adjectives: When the comparison is between two, add er.
The er phonics worksheets on this page are interactive which means that you or your children can type on them to leave notes or fill out the answers.
Simply copy the PDF download to your students' files and let them do their phonics and digraph exercises on the computer. Instant record, saves on ink and paper, and combines phonics practice with typing practice.
Choose for the level you want, or print the first one two up for older students to have a small and elegant size:
Learning phonics is easier when you have a teacher showing you how to say the letter sounds while you write the letters. Our practice phonics worksheets are a great way for elementary kids to practice what you teach.
After that you can reinforce what they're learning by reading a poem or story that uses several words that use the sound you're teaching. Poetry is a natural here as er is a suffix ending. It's exciting when you see your kids understanding the patterns.
In English we use er in base words and as noun and adjective suffixes. This is why the list of er words is so long compared to the ear, ir, ur, and wor lists.
Most of the time English words use ER for the /er/ sound in spelling root words. It's not a rule, it's more of a probability.
Always cover the vocabulary of the words in the list at least orally. Second and third grade children can often write their own sentences using these words as a list.
As you're teaching the phonogram er, use your favorite phonics book to dictate er words for your children to write. The main thing is to have practice writing the /er/ sound "by ear". The er worksheets above are a nice homework lesson for practice.
I include some simple sentences below so your children can recognize the word. Older children can write the sentences, too. Use just the words for a quick review, or use the sentences for writing class. Your phonics book will have the syllabication, rules and markings; yet these are handy for a quick phonics lesson.
For first grade er est worksheets see our comparative and superlative adjectives worksheets.
They show adding er and est to words to show comparison
To print a suffix er worksheet go to our printable adjective worksheets where you'll find 1st grade manuscript worksheets and 2nd or 3rd grade cursive worksheets with words ending in er.
Our ESL friends would want to know that in English does not have regular er verbs. English words are based on Latin (Spanish, French) words that have ere, ire, ure or er, ir, ur endings. If you already know Latin, Spanish, or French, you have a head start. :-)
This is not something you'll need to study in English phonics. We do not conjugate our verbs this way. Usually words ending in er are nouns formed from verbs or they are adjectives expressing comparison.
There are two pages of er words in this ad-free PDF download for your students to practice the /er/ sound using the er spelling.
The second page has some blank spaces for dictating new words that use er or for more phonics practice.
Again this er words digital download has two pages. The first has practice words and the second has more practice words with blank spaces for new words or dictation.
An excellent idea for the extra spaces is to teach the positive, comparative, and superlative adjectives.
If you add the ending -er to a verb the word means "one who does a thing". This changes the verb to a noun.
See more er ir ur worksheets and activities on this phonics worksheets page.