Words ending in ‘ar’, ‘er’, ‘or’, ‘our’, ‘re’, ‘ure’, ‘ur’

The pronunciation of these different terminations is often very similar. In fact, it is not easy to decide when to use one or another.

The lists given below give some common words ending in each of these terminations and these should be learned by heart. Note that this is not an exhaustive list.

Words ending in -ar

Pillar, scholar, calendar, vicar, particular, pedlar, beggar, solar, grammar, circular, similar, altar

Words ending in -er

Miner, traveller, saddler, conjurer (or conjuror)

Robber, summer, alter, clever, character, prisoner

Leather, manner, messenger, villager, farmer, meter, tiger, interpreter

Words ending in -or

Minor, impostor, inventor, traitor, debtor, surveyor, actor, tailor

Doctor, ancestor, governor, emperor, sailor, author

Professor, visitor, liquor, director

Words ending in -our

‘-Our’ is the common termination of abstract nouns.

Endeavour, humour, hour, vigour, rigour, valour

Colour, ardour, candour, demeanour

Words ending in -re

Centre, massacre, theatre, sombre, calibre, metre

Sceptre, manoeuvre

Words ending in -ure

Leisure, signature, manufacture, agriculture

Literature, imposture, nature, venture, enclosure, miniature

Words ending in -ur

Murmur, sulphur, augur

Words ending in ceed and cede

Common words ending in these terminations are given below and students should add to this list as they come across fresh examples.


Proceed, exceed, succeed


Accede, precede, concede, intercede, secede

Note the spelling of ‘supersede’


A number of words end in -or in American English and -our in British English. Examples are: color and humor (US).

Similarly some words end in -er in American and -re in British English. Examples are: center and meter (US)