Definition 2, 4 and 5 all deal with forming agent nouns, 2 from verb, and 4 & 5 from various types of nouns. Is not the agentive suffix productive enough to in fact be simply specified as 'forming agent nouns from verbs and nouns'? And if so, these three definitions could be merged. Even if not so, at least 4 & 5 could be merged as noun + er == player of noun or some such. But f ex executioner or electrocutioner would hardly fall into any of the specified definitions.--sanna 08:15, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'd say that 3 (resident of a place) is also an agent noun. I think 2, 3, 4 and 5 should become just #2. --Connel MacKenzie T C 08:24, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Rearranged and somewhat expanded. I would say the translations don't really work on a page like this; things like forming the comparative are really aspects of a language's grammar and as such are probably best left to Wikibooks etc. Widsith 08:39, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Definition 2Edit

I am not sure if this is the place to put this, but I have a question about "er". In the definition it says that "er" can be added to the end of any verb to form a noun. Are there any exceptions to this rule? Does the word Dier exist? Or even Denoter? What determines what words "er" can be added to? --2:34, 19 February 2007

sense 2 (inhabitant of)Edit

Perhaps this should be moved to its own Etymology, as the -er of New Yorker and Londoner do not descend from Old English -ere, but from another OE suffix -ware. Leasnam 23:40, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


Is this even a suffix in English? It may have been in OFr, but one cannot sever danger into dang(e) + -er--the OFr word seems to have been borrowed as a unit, not as a stem + suffix. The only word I can think of where it actually can be separated is stranger, but this still probably represents a borrowing as a unit and it's merely coincidental that strange is its own word. Leasnam 15:16, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


Isn't this also a plural? Lysdexia 21:14, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes it is (e.g. Kind -> Kinder). Longtrend 23:42, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

er, not the previous incorrect, but this correctEdit

"Er" is used to correct a previous mistatement. It goes something like this:

"Today is my 114th birthday. Er, my 115th birthday."

Badon 20:02, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

That's er, not -er. Equinox 13:41, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

German suffix added to verbsEdit

  1. What kind of substantives are formed with -er? "Arbeiter" [= person who works] is different from "Bohrer" [tool to drill] -- though "Bohrer" might also mean "person who drills" ...
  2. To what form is -er added? Here it is said, it is added to "the first-person singular indicative present form from which the E is dropped".
    • Usually that's shortly "stem" (= "infinitive from which the en is dropped").
      • In case of verbs like "schütteln", ind.pres. "(ich) schüttel[e]" or "(ich) schütt[e]le", it would be *Schütt[e]ler. So one can still say -er is added to the stem schüttel-, but the e can be dropped.
    • What's with verbs whichs ind.pres. form doesn't end with -e or doesn't always end with -e? E.g. it's "(ich) schüttel" (besides "(ich) schüttele" and "(ich) schüttle"), "ich weiß", "(ich) darf" and "(ich) geh" (besides "(ich) gehe" and "(ich) geh'").
      • Regarding "weiß": There's Mitwisser, so it should be *Wisser and thus -er is added to the stem and not to the ind.pres. from which the -e is dropped (well, this would also give Wisser, but in another way which shouldn't always work: weiß -> wiß -> *Wisser).
      • In case of "gehen" there's "Gänger" (as in "Doppelgänger"). So it be like this: -er is added to the past participle without prefixes (like ge-) and suffixes (-en or -t), sometimes together with umlauting:
        infinitive: gehen -> past participle: gegangen -> past participle without pre- and suffixes: gang -> Gänger.
        But this should make more sense: it's (der) Gang + -er (& umlaut) = Gänger. So -er isn't only added to verbs, but also to other parts of speech.

- 11:26, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Return to "-er" page.