‘-erer’ / ‘-ered’ endings

– Look at and listen to the following three words:

murder murderer murdered

i) Which word contains an /r/ sound?
ii) How many syllables does each word contain?
i) ‘murderer’ contains one /r/ sound, the other two words do not.
ii) murder /ˈmɜːdə/ – 2 syllables. murderer /ˈmɜːdərə/ – 3 syllables. murdered /ˈmɜːdəd/ – 2 syllables.

How do you pronounce ‘-erer’ and ‘-ered’ endings?

In GB English:

  • If a root word ends in ‘er’ and is followed by ‘ed’, the ‘ered’ ending is pronounced /əd/
  • If a word ends in ‘er’ and is followed by ‘er’, the ‘erer’ ending is pronounced /ərə/.


– Repeat the words in the following order – i) root ii) root + ‘er’ iii) root + ‘ed’:

answer | answerer | answered
slaughter | slaughterer | slaughtered
scatter | scatterer | scattered
whisper | whisperer | whispered
deliver | deliverer | delivered
loiter | loiterer | loitered
discover | discoverer | discovered
sober | soberer | sobered


– Make a suitable word from the root by adding ‘er’ or ‘ed’ then listen and check the pronunciation:

1. alter

Have you ______ the brightness on the screen?

2. cater

Sue has been working as a ______ for a few years now.

3. decipher

John’s a very good code ______.

4. gather

Yes, we’ve ______ that you are drunk, now please stop mumbling!

5. murder

They think the twins were ______ in the Tower of London.

6. squander

What a useless ______ I was!

7. suffer

The UK has ______ terrible storms this winter.

8. wander

Oh yes, Claire’s been a ______ for years, she simply won’t settle down.

1. altered /ˈɔːltəd/
2. caterer /ˈkeɪtərə/
3. decipherer /dɪˈsaɪfərə/
4. gathered /ˈgæðəd/
5. murdered /ˈmɜːdəd/
6. squanderer /ˈskwɒndərə/
7. suffered /ˈsʌfəd/
8. wanderer /ˈwɒndərə/