Word Jugglers: Learning the Uses of -er

er_jugglerA learner asked me why we add the suffix -er to existing prepositions to form words like insider and inner. What a wonderfully curious question! I love how this person’s mind works. Talk about a teachable moment. I responded with an explanation about the versatility of -er and called attention to the parts of speech we can build using that ending.

Isn’t it both convenient and confusing when a suffix does more than one job?  If you’d like to raise awareness of word parts and focus on the uses of -er, please take a look at The Suffix -er_handout. It’s geared toward lower level students.

Photo credit: 

Juggler by Markus Lütkemeyer. (February 2007) Retrieved from the Creative Commons on Flickr. Changes made: -er added to the pieces being juggled.


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