Review of how to form stressed "er": Make a circle with your lips and feel your lower jaw move slightly forward. The sides of your tongue should press against your upper side teeth toward the back of your mouth. Raise the tip of your tongue up toward the roof of your mouth, making sure it does not touch anything. The stressed vowel "er" occurs in the stressed syllable of a word. The vowel "er" and consonant "r" are formed the same way, with one exception: the tongue is more relaxed for vowel "er" and more tense for consonant "r".
Illustration of correct lip placement Illustration of correct tongue placement
Practice the following words.
1. bird 2. turn 3. worm 4. work 5. burn 6. learn 7. tern 8. burst 9. her 10. nurse
11. person 12. firm 13. certain 14. perfect 15. first 16. curtain 17. world 18. purse 19. hurt 20. fern
Practice the following sentences. 1. The bird ate a worm. 2. It was herturn to water the plants. 3. I arrived at workfirst this morning. 4. That person has a nice purse. 5. The world will never be perfect. 6. He was certain his law firm was a good one. 7. Why did the tern fly into the curtain? 8. Don’t burn my favorite fern. 9. The nurseburst into his hospital room. 10. You need to learn not to hurt others.
Practice the following paragraph. It was hard work taking care of the animals at the pet store. Jan and Andy took turns cleaning the cages and feeding the dogs. It was Mary’s first day at work, and she was trying to learn proper procedures to avoid hurting the animals. Her job today was to follow Jan with the dogs, while Andy worked with the birds. Although she enjoyed her first day of work, she was exhausted when she got home. She had worked her fingers to the bone.
Idiom: work one’s fingers to the bone Definition: work until one can’t work any longer