Common mistake rational (rationale)

Common Mistake: "Rational" vs "Rationale"

One common mistake that people often make is confusing the words "rational" and "rationale". While they may sound similar and share a common root, they have distinct meanings and usage.


The word "rational" is an adjective that describes something that is based on reason or logical thinking. It refers to the ability to think and make decisions in a logical and sensible manner. For example:

  • He made a rational decision based on the available evidence.
  • It is important to approach problems with a rational mindset.


The word "rationale" is a noun that refers to the underlying reason or explanation behind something. It provides the logical basis or justification for a particular decision, action, or belief. For example:

  • The rationale for implementing new safety regulations is to protect the workers.
  • She explained the rationale behind her choice of career.

Confusing these two words can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication. It is important to use them correctly to convey your intended meaning.

Linguix grammar checker: Grammar checkers such as Linguix can help you identify and correct errors like these, ensuring that your writing is clear, concise, and grammatically accurate.

rational (rationale) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    The rational for the policy is not well understood.

    The rationale for the policy is not well understood.

  • Incorrect:
    I fully understand the rational behind it.

    I fully understand the rationale behind it.

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