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  1. #1
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    Default Adj with or without -al

    Ok, I should know this, but I don't, when are adjectives ending in -al used in favor of those that don't?
    I'll give an example.
    He's very ironical.
    He's an ironic person.
    Does it have to do with having a noun behind it?

    THANKS for all your wonderful help.

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Adj with or without -al

    Some pairs are synonymous (ironic, ironical); some pairs offer different meanings (historic, historical); some are a result of ignorance (moronic, moronical). The reasons are primarily historical, so you'll need to learn them on a case-by-case basis from the dictionary.

  3. #3
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    Exclamation Re: Adj with or without -al

    Some pairs are synonymous
    some pairs offer different meanings (historic, historical)
    OK you say, some are synonims and others aren't, but I've looked as many as I can think of on dictionary.com, and they all show up as synonims (true, moronical doesn't exist). But still, in all definitions, one shows up as a synonim of the other.
    ironical= ironic
    Hysterical=hysteric
    psychological=psychologic
    even
    spheric=spherical

    So I still feel there must be something missing....

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Adj with or without -al

    Quote Originally Posted by queenmaabd
    OK you say, some are synonims and others aren't, but I've looked as many as I can think of on dictionary.com, and they all show up as synonims (true, moronical doesn't exist). But still, in all definitions, one shows up as a synonim of the other.
    ironical= ironic
    Hysterical=hysteric
    psychological=psychologic
    even
    spheric=spherical

    So I still feel there must be something missing....
    There may well be, but it escapes me.

  5. #5
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adj with or without -al

    In the dictionary, you will find separate entries for 'historic' and 'historical', 'classic' and 'classical', and other adjective pairs that differ in meaning; otherwise, it is just a fickleness of language history that both forms have been considered acceptable at some time.

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