How to Transform a Thing into a Person with –ist and –ian



By Jacqueline Schaalje

Additions that are glued to the end of a word are called suffixes. (From Latin: Suf comes from sub, which means under, and fix means attach.)

There are many words in English to which you can add –ist or –ian and they will mean a person.

For instance if we take the word science. If you add –ist you will get the person who practises science, a scientist.

Someone who practises art is called an artist.

Someone who plays music is a musician.

And someone whose job it is to make people look beautiful is a beautician.

As you can see, sometimes you can just add the –ist and –ian, without changing the word.

In other cases, you need to tweak (= change) the word a little bit.

Here are some more examples:

Subject Person
Motor Motorist
Electricity Electrician
Paris Parisian
Christ Christian
Piano Pianist
History Historian
Buddha Buddhist
Economy Economist
Bicycle Cyclist
Politics Politician
Psychiatry Psychiatrist
Terror Terrorist
Flower Florist
Comedy Comedian
Journal Journalist
Parachute Parachutist
Language Linguist
Archaeology Archaeologist

Want to check yourself?

Do the quiz online here. 

Fill in a person ending in –ist or -ian.

Subject – Person

1 Language – ____________

2 Beauty – _____________

3 Economics – _____________

4 Flowers – _____________

5 Terror – _____________

6 Art – _____________

7 History – _____________

8 Parachute – _____________

9 Psychology – _____________

10 Politics – _____________

11 Magic – _____________

12 Buddha – _____________

Do you want to become an Exclusive Member of English with a Smile? Check out the possibilities here. 

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