Adjectives: economic and economical

Monday, July 15, 2013

The subject of money is of much interest to people, either making it or losing it, so let me clear up (explain) a mistake I often encounter with English learners on this subject: the use of economic and economical.

Everyone likes to save a little money or get a good value when they can. This is being economical, an adjective, not wasteful or extravagant.

- Hiring a freelance worker can be an economical alternative to permanent staffing costs.
- Riding the bus is an economical way of getting around, or you can drive an economical car.

Economic, on the other hand, relates to the subject of economics or the economy. It is also an adjective.

- Economic reforms are outlined in the letter.
- The government's economic policy plans to lower interest rates.

People often use economical when they really mean economic so try not to confuse these two adjective and you will sound like an well-informed, native speaker.

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