Difference between economics, economy, economic, and economical

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more (PDF Version).

The economy is, according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, “the relationship between production, trade and the supply of money in a particular country or region”, so we can say, for example:

The economy is in recession.

Economics is a science that studies economies and develops possible models for their functioning, e.g.

He studied economics at the LSE (London School of Economics).

Economic, without an “s”, is an adjective meaning “connected with economy”, e.g.

The economic growth is very slow.

Economical, on the other hand, carries a somewhat figurative meaning of “not requiring too much of something” (such as money, space, time, etc.), e.g.

That placement of furniture exhibits a very economical use of space.

This article was based on my guide to the most common mistakes in English, which explains many similar topics. Why don’t you check it out?

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