Spelling with -ist and -est: Multisensory Monday

Posted by Brainspring on 27th Mar 2016

estHi everyone,

Welcome to Multisensory Monday Sarah’s Spelling School. Today’s rule for -ist and -est depends on the type of word, not a certain feature of the word like most of the other rules. As always, this rule works most of the time, but you may run into some exceptions.

What spelling rules or patterns are you curious about?

Spelling Rule for -ist and -est

The ending of words like “artist” and “longest” sound the same. To decide if a word should be spelled with -est or -ist, consider what type of word it is.

-ist is the suffix for a word that means someone who does something

chemist, artist, biologist, therapist, optimist, dentist

-est the an ending used for superlative adjectives

longest, tallest, happiest*, busiest*, sweetest, coolest

*These words follow the Y Plus a Suffix rule that you can review here.

Student Activity

Using the words above or your own list, tell students a word. The students will hold up the -est or -ist side of their note cards and then write the word in the proper column on a separate sheet of paper. After you have gone through the word list, the students will use the words in sentences. For each sentence, they include one -ist word and one -est superlative.ist est collage

My favorite artist created the coolest painting in the museum.

The optimist turned a rainy day into the happiest day of his life.

Add sentences you or your students came up with in the comments below!


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