Practicable vs Practical
A good understanding on the difference between practicable and practical is needed as practicable and practical are two words that are often confused when it comes to their usage. Word wise, practical is, as we all know, primarily used as an adjective. The word practical is also used as a noun at times. The other word, practicable, is also an adjective. Practicably is an adverb that is a derivative of practicable. Moreover, practicable has its origin in the mid-seventeenth century from the French word practicable. On the other hand, the word practical has its origins in the late sixteenth century from archaic practic.
What does Practicable mean?
Here is the definition given by the Oxford English dictionary. It says practicable is “able to be done or put into practice successfully.” The word practicable is used expressive of plans that can be carried out. Observe the following sentence.
Don’t you think that it is practicable to take the boy skiing?
The speaker is exploring the possibility of the plan of taking the boy skiing. He thinks that the plan can be carried out too.
The word practicable is sometimes suggestive of usability as in the sentence given below.
The bridge is only practicable for light traffic.
In this sentence, the word practicable is used in the sense of usability as you get the meaning ‘The bridge can only be used for light traffic.’
What does Practical mean?
The word practical, on the other hand, is generally used in the sense opposite to theoretical as in the sentence given below.
He has a sound practical knowledge of computers.
In this sentence, the speaker says that the person is well equipped with the non-theoretical knowledge of computers. The speaker probably was hinting at the fact that the person was good in carrying out repairs on the computers as well.
It is interesting to note that a sensible and a realistic person is called a practical person. He is adept in solving problems and finding out solutions to problems as in the sentence,
He is practical in life.
Generally, the word practical is considered as the word concerned with practice or use rather than theory. Anything practical is suited to action. A practical person is always inclined to action rather than speculation. A practical person does not speculate but only acts.
As a noun practical carries the meaning “an examination or lesson in which theories and procedures learned are applied to the actual making or doing of something.”
What is the difference between Practicable and Practical?
• The word practicable is used expressive of plans that can be carried out.
• The word practical, on the other hand, is generally used in the sense of opposite to theoretical.
• A sensible and a realistic person is called a practical person.
• The word practicable is sometimes suggestive of usability.
• Generally, the word practical is considered as the word concerned with practice or use rather than theory.
In several cases, it is interesting to note that both the words practicable and practical are used as interchangeable words. This is because of the closeness in the meanings of the two words.