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  1. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
    • Posts: 863
    #1

    economy vs. economical

    "If you want to save money, buy large economy packets."

    "An economy drive means that people attempt to save money by spending as little as possible."

    Why not "economical packets" and "economical drive"? How would the adjective economical change the meaning?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: economy vs. economical

    See here for the difference in meaning: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...-question.html

  2. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
    • Posts: 863
    #3

    Re: economy vs. economical

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    See here for the difference in meaning: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...-question.html
    Thank you, Anglika. But it doesn't explain the reason why economy was used instead of economical - I know what the difference between the adjectives economic and economical is but I don't know why, in the example sentence, was used the noun "economy" and not the adjective "economical".


    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 242
    #4

    Re: economy vs. economical

    As it happens, the adjective economy is used here.
    Rarely, economy is used as an adjective meaning economical, such as
    "an economy drive", "an economy packet" and "an economy car".

    Personally, I don't like the use of economy as an adjective. I suspect its use originated from the misuse of the noun as an adjective, and then became generally accepted.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 1,153
    #5

    Re: economy vs. economical

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    "If you want to save money, buy large economy packets."

    "An economy drive means that people attempt to save money by spending as little as possible."

    Why not "economical packets" and "economical drive"? How would the adjective economical change the meaning?
    This is a tough one to explain. Most dictionaries do not define economy as anything but a noun. But increasingly this word is coming to be used as an adjective.

    economy. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

    This dictionary does describe it as an adjective - meaning Economical or inexpensive to buy or use: an economy car; an economy motel.

    My guess is that this may be an American English vs British English issue as I have not found this described as an adjective in a British dictionary.

    This would not be the first word to have its definition changed through common usage.

    To me there is a difference between

    Economy car (a class of automobile)
    Economical car (a particular car that is inexpensive to run)

    Economy packaging (a class of packaging)
    Economical packaging (inexpensive method of packaging)

    This is my take on the use. Personally though economical is an adjective and could be used in the sentences shown...I think
    economy is the right answer.


    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 242
    #6

    Re: economy vs. economical

    I am sure sooner or later we will be able to explain this much more easily. Afterall, it is inevitable in society that soon everything will be given the prefix "economy".
    Economy class, economy beans and economy packagaing are only the start!

  3. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
    • Posts: 863
    #7

    Re: economy vs. economical

    Thank you both for your explanations!

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