Adjectives ending in -ic and -ical
A large number of adjectives end in -ic and -ical. In most cases, it is not easy to say which form is correct.
Here is a list of some adjectives ending in -ic.
In older English, some of these words ended in -ical. Examples are: majestical, tragical and fantastical.
Adjectives ending in -ical
Adjectives with both forms
Some adjectives can have both forms with no significant difference in meaning. Examples are:
arithmetic or arithmetical
egoistic or egoistical
fanatic or fanatical
geometric or geometrical
strategic or strategical
In some cases both forms exist, but there is usually a difference in meaning.
Classic and classical
Classic means ‘belonging to the highest class or degree’. Classical refers to the culture of ancient Greece or Rome. It may also refer to works of art of the so called ‘classical’ period in the 18th century.
I am studying classical languages.
Comic and comical
Comic refers to artistic comedy.
Comical means ‘funny’.
She had a comical expression on her face.
Economic or economical
Economic refers to the science of economics.
Economical means ‘not wasting money’.
An economical little car
Politic and political
Politic means wise or prudent. Political means ‘connected with politics’.