“-ic” vs “-ical”, which to use

Is there a rule about when an adjective should end with “ic” or “ical”?



The NOAD says that the -ical suffix is used to form adjectives:

  • Corresponding to nouns or adjectives usually ending in -ic (such as comical corresponding to comic)
  • Corresponding to nouns ending in -y (such as pathological corresponding to pathology)

As for the words you list, the NOAD says:

  • Geometric and geometrical are both adjectives, with the latter being a derivative of the first
  • Analytic is another term for analytical
  • Theoretic is another term for theoretical
  • Kinetical is not a word listed by the NOAD

In some cases, a suffix is preferred over the other one, but there isn’t a rule that explains in every case when to use one or the other.

Source : Link , Question Author : user5402 , Answer Author : apaderno

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