Possible Duplicate:
Why is it “geometric” but “theoretical”?
“Electric” vs. “electrical”

I think I'm clear on the difference between word pairs such as elector and electoral, where the latter pertains to the former, I'm not sure if the same rule applies to the following examples:

  1. Numeric vs. numerical
  2. Electric vs. electrical

Is the relationship between these the same as e.g. elector and electoral?

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Dec 28 '11 at 23:46

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I am not sure what relationship you are referring to, but if you mean does the -al ending mean the same thing in all cases, the answer is yes, more or less. However:

  • numeric and numerical are actually synonyms or variants

  • likewise electric and electrical, more or less

  • electoral doesn't just mean "related to electors"; it also means "related to elections"

EDIT: What I would say in the case of numeric and electric is that the -al suffix does not actually add the "pertaining to" meaning in the same way, because the -ic ending already does so. As to why there are both forms,...that's another question.

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