The Suffix –stan Means Land


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • suffix: an ending that adds meaning and form to words
  • Persian: of Iranian descent
  • settlement: a place where people stay and live
  • pure: not tainted, not mixed with anything

The Suffix –stan Means Land

Have you ever why so many countries have the same suffix? Many countries in end with the suffix -stan. The suffix -stan comes from a Persian word, meaning land of or settlement. Pakistan (Land of the pure), Afghanistan (Land of the Afghans), and Kazakhstan (Land of the ) are just a few countries in Asia that use this suffix. In fact, many countries have been named in a similar way, including Ireland, England, , Poland, and Finland. Don’t stop there. There’s also , New Zealand, and Swaziland. Let’s not forgot Switzerland and the Netherlands!

Comprehension Questions

  1. What does the suffix -stan mean?
  2. What does Pakistan mean?
  3. According to this report, why is England like Kazakhstan?

Discussion Question: Do you know the origin of your country’s name? Do a little research and share it with your friends or classmates.

show Answers

4 Comments on The Suffix –stan Means Land

  1. Bijan says:

    Hi again Tara,

    Because of this reason that your above subject is very interesting for me, so I decided to show you and your students the map of Persian Empire with an explanation of Wikipedia.

    First, here is a link about Persian Empire map:

    Second, here is the explanation of Wikipedia about Persian Empire:

    I hope you and Sir Josef can visit Persepolis that is one symbol of Persian Empire soon.

    Thanks for your beautiful reporting and best wishes,
    Bijan from the Persian Gulf

  2. Bijan says:

    Hi Tara,

    I didn’t know at all that the suffix of “stan” comes from the word Persian and means “land”.

    It is very interesting for me that many countries in the Middle Asia have the suffix of “stan”. For example:
    Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and so on.

    I guess it is because of in many centuries ago these countries were part of Persia Empire.

    I should explain that my country’s name was Persia before, but it changed to Iran in 1916 (nearly).

    Thank you for reporting this beautiful subject,
    Bijan from the Persian Gulf,

  3. Cathy says:

    Very useful

  4. Hani says:


Let us have your ideas:

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