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Hello everyone

To make "agent noun" why sometimes we add " er " and sometimes "or" and sometimes "ist"


for examle ... teacher , sailor and scientist

?

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-ist is used for relatively newer words coined from Greek, Latin or Old French roots. See a list here.

pharmacist
scientist (science is a relatively new word)
projectionist
contortionist


https://www.etymonline.com/search?page=1&q=-ist

-er is more deeply rooted in English. The ending is Germanic, so it is mostly used with words from Germanic or Danish roots.

https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=-er

maker
healer
lover

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There is no pattern. These "agent nouns" are the result of the haphazard history of the English language.

CJ