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The Suffixes ER and OR: A FREE Morphology Lesson

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Mar 20

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Morphology is a powerful tool for teaching older students both decoding longer words and understanding new vocabulary words. We use the suffixes -er and -or to change the meaning of a word. Adding the suffixes -er and -or to a base word changes a verb into a noun. Specifically, the noun is a person or tool that performs the action. For example, teach becomes teacher.


The suffix -er is much more common in English. This suffix can be used with any type of base word. The suffix -or is lesson common. It comes from Latin, so it is used with Latin roots. You will notice that words that end in -ate tend to have the -or suffix. Other words with the -or suffix do not follow a specific pattern.



suffix er example of photographer


It is helpful for students to know the parts of speech as they work on morphology. If your students need to work on parts of speech, I highly recommend this writing program. It teaches writing complete sentences based on parts of speech. If you need to, you can even use these two programs at the same time.


writing complete sentences


Teaching the Suffixes -ER and -OR

To teach your students about the suffixes -er and -or, display the presentation below. You can access the presentation from this website for free. You can also purchase the slideshow for use at school.




This suffix does not change the spelling of base words, so you will want to focus on the meanings of the words.


  1. You display a base word from the presentation.

  2. Students write the word with the -er or -or suffix in their writing notebooks or on a whiteboard.

  3. You display the words with the -er or -or suffix from the presentation (the next slide).

  4. Students check their spelling.

  5. Students say or write a sentence using the base word. Then, say or write a different sentence using the word with the suffix.


This lesson is designed to last six days. You also get 25 mixed review practice slides to use later in the year.



Check out this list of words with the suffix. You can use this list to build your own activities for your classroom. You can also get a printable .pdf.


suffix er word list


More Morphology Practice

Do you love this lesson? You can access all of the morphology lessons for FREE on this website! You can also purchase the presentations!


Base Words

The Suffixes -S and -ES

The Suffix -ING

The Suffix -ER for Comparative Adjectives

The Suffix -EST for Superlative Adjectives

The Suffix -ER for Someone Who

The Suffix -ED for Past Tense Verbs

The Prefix UN- MEANING OPPOSITE OR NOT

The Prefix RE- MEANING AGAIN

The Prefix DIS- 

THE Suffixes -ER and -OR MEANING A PERSON WHO

The Prefix IN- Meaning Not

The Suffix -FUL Meaning Full Of

The Suffix -LESS Meaning Without

The Suffix -Y Meaning What Something is Like

The Suffix -LY Meaning How an Action is Done

The Prefix UNDER

The Prefix OVER

The Prefix NON

The Prefix PRE

The Prefixes BI/DI

The Prefix TRI

The Prefix QUAD

The Prefix OCT

THE SUFFIX ION

THE SUFFIX NESS

The Prefix SEMI

The Prefix SUPER

The Prefix MULTI

The Prefix POLY

The Prefix TELE

The Prefix MID

The Prefix MIS

The Prefix INTER

The Prefix DECA/DECI

The Prefix KILO

The Prefix SUB

The Prefix MILLI/MILLE




the suffixes er and or

#er #morphology #suffix

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Mar 20

0

0

0

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