I would be grateful to know how suffix -al affects the meaning of an adjective, i.e. music - musical or academic - academical?
Specific rules are informative, but I want to see the whole picture.

  • academic is already an adjective, and 'academical' is an adjective that means something different. Mar 9, 2020 at 18:17
  • English is such an irregular language. Music is a noun, so musical is the adjective. But academic is both a noun and an adjective, so academical isn't normally used (see previous comment). Mar 9, 2020 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is a universal rule.

In general, it doesn't change the meaning of an adjective, it makes a noun into an adjective. Music is a noun, musical is an adjective. Academic is already an adjective. Academical is an archaic word that is not really used any more.

Because this is English, of course there are exceptions. Historic means something important or significant in history, e.g. the moon landing was a historic event. Historical means anything referring to the past, e.g. historical data on how vaccines affected life expectancy, the historical fiction genre of literature, etc.

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