A very quick usage note based on an error I see quite a lot.

Economic” is an adjective that means “related to economics or the economy.”

As in: “I had to sell my house for economic reasons.”

Or: “Universities that invest in sports enjoy certain economic benefits.”

Economical” (note the last two letters) is an adjective meaning that something is affordable or doesn’t cost or use a lot of money.

As in: “My new compact car is very economical.”

Or: “I replaced my old light bulbs with more economical fluorescent bulbs.”

Or: “Switching to solar energy is a very economical choice in the long run.”

You can also refer to a person who doesn’t spend a lot of money as “economical,” but I think this is a bit less common and I tend to avoid it.

As in: “Josh is a very economical shopper.”

Just to complicate things, the subject you study at university is “economics.” Note the final letter.

As in: “I took an economics class last semester.”

And: “I need to buy an expensive economics textbook.”

Quite a lot of students forget that final “s” when they write personal examples in their essays!

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