Hi,

On one hand, there are pairs like ARITHMETIC/ARITHMETICAL, where the adjective ending in '-ic' is 100% equivalent to its counterpart ending with '-ical'.
Let's say such pairs belong to category 1.

On the other hand, there are pairs like ECONOMIC/ECONOMICAL, where one adjective seems to differ a lot from the other?
Let's say such pairs belong to category 2.

Category 2 is of special interest of course....

Could you please help me compile a list of adjectives (pairwise) belonging to category 1 and (in the first place!) category 2?

(I realize this is FAQ kind of question... perhaps somebody could point me to a link where I could copy the required list(s) from?)

mus-te
Contributing Member1,405
There aren't many in category 2 (if we consider the problematic cases). Here are some:

classic/classical
comic/comical
economic/economical
electric/electrical
historic/historical
magic/magical
politic/political

-----------------------------------------

category 1:

arithmetic/cal egotistic/cal
geometric/cal ironic/cal
pedagogical strategic/cal
theoretic/cal


There are many more examples but they are not common in everyday English. It is just a guess. I'm not a teacher or a native speaker.
Full Member334
Good lists! Emotion: yes Thanks!

On a slightly different note...
Hole One a New Seegory 2 (if we consider the problematic cases). Here a
What do you think of the alternative
"problem cases" v "problematic cases"?
(I am aware that 'problem' is NO ADJECTIVE... it is a noun modifying another noun in this word combination? :-)

Hope some native speakers will like to comment on the PROBLEM {NOUN} / PROBLEMATIC{NOUN} pair too Emotion: smile
I think of "problem cases" nothing. I'm not aware of the rules of 'noun + noun' pairs (if any). Therefore I always try to avoid them except I know that particular combination. One of my basic principles is that I use this structure only if I saw the combination in Macmillan/Cambridge/Oxford/Wikipedia (only in special cases = special means 'there isn't in monolingual dictionaries'). Grammar books also mention some combinations. These are my main sources.

If I were you I would avoid this 'problem case'. I think that one is a case which deals with a problem (not necessarily problematic).

But I'm still not an English teacher.
MUSCOVITEWhat do you think of the alternative"problem cases" v "problematic cases"?
They have the same meaning, if that's what you're asking. Emotion: smile

You are correct that 'problem' is a noun, and 'problematic' is an adjective.

Noun Noun is a very common group in English.

CJ
Veteran Member51,743
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Um, interesting. Thank you, CalifJim Emotion: smile

The meaning of 'problem' is 'unpredictable', am I right? Should I learn the meaning at every combination? My wrong information is based on 'problem page' (which is a page about problems of people but the page itself is not problematic). I saw it in Oxford Advanced Learner's dictionary (with explanation).

So my question is: Which is the more common?

1. 'problem' means the same as 'problematic' in a combination

2. 'problem' means something that differs somehow from 'problematic'

Maybe my text is confusing a little bit but you are always able to find out my point. So I count on your empathic skills, again Emotion: smile

Thanks for your help in advance.
Hole One a New SeeThe meaning of 'problem' is 'unpredictable', am I right?
Yes, in some narrow sense. That is, 'problem' has a definite meaning, but various nuances of that meaning may be more prominent than others within a given context. As the first of two nouns in a compound noun situation, it is less the core meaning of 'problem' that is [a problem / problematic], and more the relationship between the nouns that is [a problem / problematic].
_______

a problem sheet might be a list of mathematics problems to be solved as homework. ('problem' is not 'problematic')
a problem child is a child whose behavior is less than optimum. ('problem' is 'problematic')

In the first case we have a sheet that contains (math) problems. In the second case we have a child that creates problems. It is these relationships (underlined) that are more unpredictable than the meanings of the words.
Hole One a New SeeSo my question is: Which is the more common?1. 'problem' means the same as 'problematic' in a combination2. 'problem' means something that differs somehow from 'problematic'
I have no data to sway me one way or the other. You would have to scour the results of many searches of many corpora (corpuses) and study the results in detail to answer this question.

CJ
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CalifJimThey have the same meaning, if that's what you're asking.
I see. Emotion: shake hands
You might think I am jumping to conclusions but... "problem cases" should sound better than "problematic cases" to most AE speakers... just because the noun is 30% shorter than the adjective. Emotion: wink

Btw, seriously, COCA reports 17/5 hits for "problem cases"/"problematic cases" respectively...
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