Rational vs Rationale

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What’s the difference between them?

Rational

Meaning:

adjective that means to be based on logical reasoning and is described as being logical, reasonable, or understandable.

Examples:

1. She was able to make a rational decision in a difficult situation.

2. His rational behavior made him popular among his peers.

3. The rational approach to problem-solving is often the most effective.

Rationale

Meaning:

noun that means the underlying basis or reasoning for a particular decision or action.

Examples:

1. The instructor provided a rationale for why the test was changed.

2. I need a rationale for why this new policy should be implemented.

3. The rationale behind this decision is based on sound economic principles.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Rational

1. Logical

2. Reasonable

3. Judicious

4. Sensible

5. Prudent

1. Irrational

2. Unreasonable

3. Illogical

4. Unsound

5. Unintelligent

Rationale

1. Justification

2. Grounds

3. Explanation

4. Logic

5. Reasoning

6. Rationality

7. Basis

8. Cogency

9. Valid grounds

10. Supportive evidence

1. Irrational

2. Illogical

3. Incoherent

4. Unreasonable

5. Without rhyme or reason

6. Unthinking

7. Unprincipled

8. Unjustified

9. Unsound

10. Unstructured

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Rational", "Rationale".

1. Rational means logical or reasonable.

2. Rationale means the reasons or motivations behind an action.

3. Remember that Rational means to use reason and Rationale means to explain the reason.

4. If you're talking about being logical or reasonable, use Rational.

5. If you're talking about the reasons behind an action, use Rationale.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the word 'Rational' be used?

Rational is a noun that should be used when referring to something that is based on logic or reason. Rational can be used to describe something that is logical or sensible. It can also refer to something that is mathematically accurate. For example, you could say 'the rational decision to do X' or 'a rational explanation for Y.'

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'Rationale'?

Rationale is an adjective that is typically used when referring to a set of reasons that have been provided to explain an opinion or decision. For example, you might hear someone say 'This is our rationale for investing in X' or 'We have a solid rationale for choosing this option.'

Do the two words 'Rational' and 'Rationale' share the same pronunciation?

Yes, these words have similar pronunciation, so you have pay attention to the context to use the correct word.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake is using Rational when Rationale is meant. Another mistake is misspelling the words.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The companys new policy was difficult to understand, but its ___________ was quite clear.

2. It took a lot of ___________ thought to come up with the solution.

3. After a long discussion, we were able to come to a ___________ conclusion.

4. Id like to explain the ___________ behind my decision.

5. We need to approach this problem with a ___________ mind.

6. His speech was full of ___________ arguments.

1. The companys new policy was difficult to understand, but its rationale was quite clear.

Explanation: Rationale refers to the set of reasons or the explanation accompanying a policy or course of action.

2. It took a lot of rational thought to come up with the solution.

Explanation: Rational means expressing or based on facts and evidence rather than emotions, therefore rational thought implies using logical reasoning to come up with the solution.

3. After a long discussion, we were able to come to a rational conclusion.

Explanation: Rational means determined by facts and logic rather than emotions and irrational thinking, therefore a rational conclusion is one that is based on logical reasoning as opposed to biases or emotions.

4. Id like to explain the rationale behind my decision.

Explanation: Rationale refers to the set of reasons or the explanation accompanying a decision.

5. We need to approach this problem with a rational mind.

Explanation: Rational means expressing or based on facts and evidence rather than emotions, therefore a rational mind is one that is able to think logically and objectively rather than being swayed by emotions.

6. His speech was full of rational arguments.

Explanation: Rational means expressing or based on facts and evidence rather than emotions, therefore rational arguments are those that are backed up by facts and evidence rather than appeals to emotions.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.