1. Education

Rational and Rationale

Commonly Confused Words

By

The adjective rational means having or exercising the ability to reason.

The noun rationale refers to an explanation or basic reason.

Examples:

  • "No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude." (Karl Popper)

  • The senator challenged the government's rationale for the financial bailout.

Practice:
(a) What is the mayor's ____ for trying to sell three of the city's public hospitals?

(b) "It is not to be forgotten that what we call _____ grounds for our beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our instincts." (Thomas Huxley)

Answers to Practice Exercises

Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Grammar & Composition
  4. Words
  5. Commonly Confused Words
  6. Rational and Rationale - Glossary of Usage - Commonly Confused Words - Rational versus Rationale

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.