Er . . . What’s That Mean?

Contributor: Ryann Maginn. Lesson ID: 12348

To be a happier writer, and make fewer mistakes, you must learn to use suffixes. Your teacher or helper will show you, the learner, how to use use the rules for using the "-er" suffix to be a winner!


Comprehension, Grammar

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Can you figure out this word equation? What word are we talking about?

word equation

What are suffixes?

Suffixes are groups of letters added to the end of root words. These endings will change how the word is used or what it means. There are specific rules when adding suffixes to words.

One particular suffix that has special rules is the "-er" ending. This suffix is added to adjectives like "big" to make "bigger" when comparing something, and to verbs to change them into nouns, like "poke" to "poker" (something that pokes).

Review the rules below for adding the "-er" suffix:

  1. silent "e"
    • When words end in a silent “e,” we simply drop the “e.”
      • Write and Writer
  2. "y"
    • When words end with a consonant + "y," change the "y" into an "i."
      • Happy and Happier
  3. consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC)
    • With this word formation, we double the final consonant and add "er."
      • Flat and FlatterThe letters "l-a-t" represent the CVC blend, so we double the final consonant, "t."
    • However, if the final consonant is "w" or "x," we do not double the letter.
      • Few and Fewer

Considering what you just learned, start brainstorming words with the –er suffix.

  • What is the root or base word?
  • Does the root word have a CVC blend?
  • Does it end with a silent "e" or "w"?
  • Do you need to alter the base word before adding the –er?

Remembering all of these rules can be challenging, but with enough practice you will be able to spell any word combination!

Get ready for some practice in the Got It? section!

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