Economic vs Economical – Definition & Examples

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

The word economic is commonly found in Social Science textbooks, social media, and news. But have you heard of economical? Is economical even a word? It sure is, and I’ll explain the difference between the two so you can properly use them in writing.

I’ll show the difference between economic vs. economical in terms of definition and I also provided examples of how to use these two words in a sentence.

Economic vs. Economical: Understanding the Difference

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I actually learned the difference pretty early in life, back when I took Economics 101 in High school. These were two terms I used on a daily basis, and knew their definitions well.

The adjective Economic means of or relating to economics. Economics is a field of study that deals with the economy or the production, distribution, and consumption of products and services.

The word economic is commonly found in phrases like economic growth, economic system, and economic welfare.

Economical is a term that means not using a lot of money. You can use this word to describe products or services that give good value or a person who doesn’t waste money.Some synonyms for economical include cheap, inexpensive, prudent, and low-cost.

The word economical is commonly found in phrases like economical option, economical car, and economical meals. 

Economic vs Economical ngram
Trend of the words economic and economical through the years.

Both economic and economical come from the Greek word oikonomikos, meaning of household management. The confusion around the two words is understandable, given their association with economics and money.

Is Economical an Adjective?

Economical is an adjective like economic. Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns.

The adverb form for economic and economical is economically, which means in an economical manner. Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, and fellow adverbs.

Examples of Economic in a Sentence

Below are some examples of how to use the adjective economic. Save at least one sentence to memory.

  • The economic climate is very unpredictable right now.
  • We need a president who deeply understands economic principles for both business owners and employees to thrive in the country.
  • A family’s economic circumstances affect their household activities and separate roles.
  • Experts predict an economic boom soon.
  • My business partner always chooses the most economic option.
  • There’s been great economic development in the downtown quarter.

Examples of Economical in a Sentence

Below are examples of the adjective economical in a sentence.

  • This economical car helps me save money on gasoline.
  • He could not get used to economical living. It’s either he flies business class or does not fly at all.
  • Steel is economical for building houses because it’s multipurpose and lasts long
  • Starting a business is not the most economical option right now because we don’t have enough financial capital. Perhaps you can look for a temporary job.

Final Word on Economic and Economical

Considering your economic status will help you make economical choices for your lifestyle.

Now you know that economic and economical have the same root word but different definitions. This post has also shown you how to use the two terms in a sentence.

Remember that the shorter word, economic, describes how money works. Meanwhile, economical means resourceful or not using a lot of money.