Are there any circumstances where one of these terms can be used but not the other? If there are, I dare you to write a sentence where only one of these words could be used.
There are other circumstances too. The word "unlawful" is/was used to refer to a child born to an unmarried couple. "Illigal" has never been used that way, at least to my knowledge. A love affair can also be called unlawful and legal at the same time.
Last edited by birdeen's call; 15-Apr-2011 at 14:42. Reason: typo
Heroin and cocaine are illegal drugs- I have never heard them described as unlawful drugs.
Equally, I have not heard of a love affair called unlawful and legal; It may be illicit, but I don't think it's unlawful unless it's illegal.
Example 1 unlawful = illegitimate
Example 2 unlawful = illicit (His love wasn't illegal. Laws don't forbid feelings.)
I have no patience to look for an example of an unlawful love affair that was not illegal, but I also don't think it's necessary. Example 2 tells us that "unlawful" can (or could) be used in the meaning of "illicit".
It may have been better if I'd written "can/could" as I did with "is/was".
Last edited by birdeen's call; 15-Apr-2011 at 19:10. Reason: typo