Schwa and R Spellings Diagram and Explanation

ER, IR and UR

When ER, IR and UR are in words and there is no silent vowel nearby, they have the same sound. This is ur which is the schwa + R. Next to R, the schwa almost seems like no sound at all because it is very light beside the strong R sound. In all of these words, ER, IR and UR sound the same: after, fern, jerk, offerconcerndirt, firstgirl, sir, stir, third, blur, burn, fur, murder, purpose, purse, and turn. 

The most common silent vowel is the letter that comes at the end of words like firehere and pure. This silent E indicates that the vowel is Long, and so the sounds in these words are Long I, Long E and Long U respectively.

Unless there is a silent E, IR and UR almost always sound like ur. ER is a little tougher. It’s most common sound is ur, but sometimes it will be a Short E, as in very, or a Long E, as in period. ER will always sound like ur if it is the ending as in weather or letter

AR and OR

Both AR and OR are used as endings or are part of endings (like –ard). As endings, they usually have a schwa sound, the same ur sound as above.  The words forwarddollarauthor and visitor have the same sound at the end.
750 Business WordsSchwa with R Main Page
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